A FEW YEARS AGO...IN THE MIND OF AN IDIOT MANCHILD
I was watching the new Star Trek movie the other day and observing what it did for a franchise that had essentially killed itself with redundancy, that is, reinvigorate it in an exciting and productive way. I wondered, what made this so much different from the Star Wars revival prequels (other than the factStar Trek had better source material). And then it dawned on me, in making Star Trek the way he did, JJ Abrams essentially stared down all of canon, all of fandom, all of the things associated with Star Trek since its inception and said “Fuck you, I’m doing this my way.” That he even payed homage to the original series at all was entirely at his discretion, and it works best that way. Imagine some nerd with encyclopedic knowledge of the series talking in his ear about how the warp cores are “supposed” to look, what kind of plot holes he personally finds distracting, etc. etc. fanboy horseshit that has no understanding of actual storytelling and verve. Now imagine Abrams punching that dork in the face, telling him to sit the fuck down and shut up, that even being able to see his movie is a privilege, and enjoying a docile, seated nerd for the rest of production. That’s what Abrams did to die-hard Trekkies, and it worked, we got a tits-awesome movie that’s too busy fucking green chicks and punching aliens to care about how unlikely it is for two stranded individuals to end up in the same ice cave, or how a Romulan mining vessel would look. That is why Trekkies are virgins, and JJ Abrams is a billionaire God-Jew.
The problem in George Lucas’ case, is that in making the new Star Wars movies, he wasn’t working against a fan paradigm, I literally care more about what I had for breakfast than George Lucas cares about his fans. There is no measure of space, time, or matter that can quantify the fuck George Lucas’ does not give for anyone’s opinion but his own and maybe Spielberg’s if Steven is signing the checks.
So, with a much broader and easier to please fanbase, George Lucas continued not giving a fuck about them and made three of the most boring movies to feature killer robots, laser swords, spaceship dogfighting, hot chicks, aliens…seriously, how do you fuck that up?
Okay, you know what, I’ll say it: George Lucas is a hack and I could have pulled a better trilogy plot out of my ass whilst drunk…
On a completely unrelated and wholly sober note, here is What the New Star Wars Prequel Trilogy Should Have Been Like.
My Episode I:
Remember where the Phantom Menace started? Obi Wan’s like 19 and Qui Gonn’s all boring docile and training his shit up to be Alec Guiness? Fuck that. Also, take out all the bullshit about a trade blockade that doesn’t make any sense. In fact, barely even show the fact that there is a Galactic Senate, and the only reason they should be fighting against a Trade Federation is…well, since it’s a Federation…they…um…
Fuck it, the galaxy is besieged by an organized coalition of pillaging Space Pirates. Because you don’t have to explain why Space Pirates are evil, especially if they’re the pillaging type and not the charming, roguish, cowboy, smuggler type.
I am so sorry I brought up Jar Jar Totally-Not-An-Ethnic-Stereotype, here is a picture of Harrison Ford/Han Solo to exemplify my last point AND put your mind at ease.
Just assume that these evil space pirates are also cyborgs and big into robotics and therefore have armies of fucking battle-droids, so George Lucas can sell as many fucking battle-droid toys as he did the first time around, goiter-necked motherfu…
So where does the movie start you ask?
Anakin’s seventeen or so, in the latter half of Padawan training, Obi Wan is his Master. Anything absolutely essential to character development or plot exposition from TPM (which ain’t much except that Anakin doesn’t have a real father and…that’s really it) is told through flashback, in between all the good stuff we saw in AOTC (Clones attacking and shit like that) times about a thousand. Jedi cutting through bitches like nobody’s bidness, Samuel L. Kenobi purpling the fuck out of every Space Pirate Cyborg Battle Droid in his way…and the introduction of the clone army happens in like the first half-hour. Boom, Star Wars Episode One: Space Pirate Cyborg Battle Droids + Natalie Portman in a tight white outfit and literally Anyone other than Hayden Christensen (even Nic Cage) as Anakin Skywalker
“But Danny,” you say, because you are foolish, “What about all the exposition of where Darth Vader comes from as a character?”
To you I say, “A) shut the fuck up and drink your juicebox Timmy, and B) As Patton Oswalt said, just because I think Angelina Jolie is hot, doesn’t mean I want to see John Voight’s balls.” I don’t want to sit around and watch where my favorite characters come from unless it’s equally badass as seeing them kick ass and take names, aka the reason I like them in the first place. Which takes me two story years into the future for…
My Episode II:
Everything covered in ROTS plus more coverage of the latter part of the Clone Wars (i.e. epic eyeball-bleeding battle scenes a la LOTR except with FUCKING LASERS AND SPACESHIPS AND LIGHTSABERS SERIOUSLY GEORGE NONE OF THIS SHIT THAT YOU HAD COMPLETELY AT YOUR DISPOSAL SEEMED LIKE IT WOULD MAKE FOR GOOD ACTION SEQUENCES? NONE OF THAT OCCURRED TO YOU SO INSTEAD YOU WROTE MORE ANNOYING DIALOGUE ABOUT BULLSHIT SPACE POLITICS? TRY GETTING HIGH JUST ONCE AND WATCHING THE OLD MOVIES I SWEAR TO G…), because if there’s anything a Star Wars movie can use, it’s more hot, nasty, bad-ass laser and laser-derivative action. As the Republic starts to quell the Space Pirate Cyborg Battle Droids, Wrinkly Palpatine’s evil plot moves forward and we end up on a less convoluted and more importantly less fucking stupid pathway to the clones turning on the Republic. By the end of this movie, Anakin is Vader, and all of the major plot shit that happened in ROTS has already been achieved. It sounds like a lot, but when you think about how airy the existing movies are, this would actually make for a pretty interest-holding middle film (I’ll admit, AOTC is probably still the most watchable of the newbies, but it’s nowhere near what I just described).
Two story years pass…
My Episode III:
Two and a half hours of Darth Vader parading through the galaxy in his Star Destoryer killing the fuck out of the remaining Jedi in insanely badass saber fights, while the Rebellion forms itself from the ashes of the Galactic Republic, ending the movie sometime in the ten years prior to A New Hope. You will see young Han Solo and Lando Calrissian hustling space-pool or something. You will see cameos of five-year old Luke and Lea growing up separately. Hell, you could even throw in that batshit crazy comic book plot where Darth Maul comes back with robot legs and fights Obi Wan Kenobi for revenge.
Yes, it actually happened.
This movie actually provides a better opportunity to get to know Darth Vader than anything we could have seen in TPM, because it retains him as a Byronic protagonist and allows us to see what he was like before Luke was in the picture, and maybe gives the character some room to actually become the stone-cold, heartless, Sith killing machine he is by the time A New Hope rolls around, instead of making us take it on faith that putting the mask on changes him from a whiny pussy to the greatest individual threat in the known galaxy. This would come out in his interactions/battles with the remaining Jedi, wherein the dialogue allows them to ask questions or offer up pleas like “It is never too late to turn back from the dark side. There is good in you,” foreshadowing what he will eventually come to know through the efforts of his son Luke to remain true to the light side of the force. That’s called an “arc”, or more generally, “reasonable character development” George.
I came up with that in ten minutes while I was drunk at a party, and George Lucas couldn’t have done just a little more in the way of planning?
I know I’ve left some story elements from the Prequilogy out of this rundown, but that’s honestly because the framework I have here provided allows all of that shit (Palpatine, Jimmy Smits, gay robots) to settle in wherever the fuck it pleases so long as it doesn’t distract from the good shit for more than thirty seconds or more than twice each movie. If you actually enjoyed C3PO at all during the new movies…well, I’ll be nice to you because you are obviously retarded, and I leave you with a transliteration of John Williams’ Star Wars theme:
I can see that I was a little harsh in my kneejerk response to Zack Snyder’s being tapped for the Superman reboot. This time with clarity, although I stand by my statements about Watchmen.
I don’t have much faith in Zack Snyder as anything more than a jock-movie director. He’s not unimaginative, but he is not by any means a “visionary” (that word seems to have come into overuse at the same time as “make it darker”). It’s nice that the Superman film will be visually engaging, but that’s not a difficult task and it’s not one the Snyder alone is authoritatively capable of handling. What is difficult is making Superman interesting without betraying the character. Nothing in Snyder’s track record indicates that he is capable of this. On the other hand, he seems to be taking this movie with appropriate weight (although the same could have been said for his approach to Watchmen and we all saw what a shitshow that was).
Until I see more, this movie is a 60/40 in favor of falling short of the mark and at best being a forgettable guilty pleasure and a failure of the Superman character.
I’m honestly just glad the Superman is getting a fresh start. Zack Snyder is at least marginally better than Bret Ratner or Marc Steven Johnson.
When I see the stuff my state school friends post on facebook...
I get really snobby and glad that I go to a private school.
And as guilty as that makes me feel,
I’d rather be a burdened intellectual
than someone dumb enough to think that the shit like this is enlightened:
”When you say you’ve come to a conclusion about something,you’re only saying you’ve stopped thinking about it.”
Followed by, I shit you not, seventeen comments of heated debate.
There is no measure of mass, space, or time that could quantify the fuck that should not be given about this.
After what this talentless motherfucking hack did to watchmen I was hoping they’d never let him near comic movies again…
Chris Nolan will have to keep a stranglehold on production to make sure this movie has any chance, otherwise it will, like the Watchmen movie, be a poorly acted, overly masculinized, unnecessarily slow-motion train of shlock that misses the point of its source material entirely.