“It's a trap!”
Star Wars (also known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, but only to those pretentious jerks who like to pretend they know about Star Wars but don't even care about the real Star Wars like I do) is a 1977 American epic space opera film directed by George Lucas and salvaged by his wife Marcia in editing. It is the first film to be released in the Star Wars saga and the first of the original trilogy, yet the fourth in terms of the series' internal chronology. Confusing, huh?
Star Wars takes place "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away," if you are slow and didn't quite get that the first time I mentioned it. Yes, George Lucas was such a mastermind, he didn't have to set his story in the future, which is clearly a sci-fi cliché. Instead, Star Wars takes place in the past, completely ignoring every law of science and common sense about technology there is to ignore. The movie also takes place in an alternate galaxy, because it seems like it should. Really, look at the Milky Way. BORING! Unless you throw in an extra dimension or two, you just can't make our humble galaxy interesting.
So, the movie begins, with Lucas, in his eternally laudable sense of storytelling, giving us a bit of background info on the story. Apparently, at the start of the movie, it is a period of civil war. Also, it is a period of galactic unrest, and um.....Princess Leia's ship....yeah, anyways, the bad guys are after the good guys. There are lasers, badass guys in white suits called stormtroopers, and cool explosions and stuff, so....yeah.... I forget exactly what happens next, since I went upstairs at this point to grab my popcorn. Anyways, a couple of these robots (I know, robots in a sci-fi movie! Who would've thought?) wind up on a desert planet, apparently Yootapootapowpow, or some such creative name, where they're captured by hooded creatures called Jawas. Princess Leia, meanwhile, is captured by the heavy-breathing Darth Vader, who apparently is not a very nice person. Presumably both characters are lonely and would like friends. He and Leia pass the time by staring menacingly at one-another and threatening to blow up planets.
Meanwhile, the two robust robots are sold to moisture farmers Owen and Beru Lars, and fall indirectly into the hands of a spry, rather whiny young lad named Luke Skywalker, who's Owen and Beru's step-nephew (Yes, that means Skywalker was the real family name of both Luke and his father. Whom Luke was hidden from. By really smart Jedi. With his father's family name. On his father's home planet. Why didn't Owen and Beru just rename him "Luke Lars"?). Luke's robotic companions lead him to the humble abode of three Sand People, who proceed to beat the living shit out of Luke, until an old man comes along and asks them to leave. The old man, after revealing himself to be Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi, takes a shot at Luke as well. Luke takes this opportunity to whine, and is again punched, this time by C-3PO, one of the droids. They reach Ben's hut home, where Luke is told of his father, one of my personal favorite parts of the movie. Ben speaks to Luke: "Uncle Owen... never told you about your father..." Luke says that "He told me enough. He told me he died while navigating a spice freighter!" "No," says Ben. "I was once a Jedi Knight who fought in the Clone Wars, same as your father. Search your feelings, boy! You know it to be true!" Obi-Wan then gives Luke his father's lightsaber, which he totally didn't use to kill ten kids, and tells him about the Force, some kind of magic substance that apparently binds together all living things and has a "light side" and "dark side".
At this point, Luke's hand is chopped off by Obi-Wan's lightsaber, and the entire Cantina goes silent. Luke, now with one hand less than before, recruits the help of the rugged and manly space captain Han Solo, whose gruffness hides his soft spot for soap operas and kittens. Put simply, Han Solo is not a stock character, nor is anyone else in the Star Wars movies, and anyone that says they are is obviously not an expert on the movie like me. Along with Han, they meet Chewbacca, the lovable yet internally tortured companion of Han. His greatest dream was always to be a spaceship-piloting smuggler-mercenary-type thing, but his father always wanted him to be a baseball player. "Someday I'll make you proud, dad," sighs Chewie as he boards Han's spaceship.
At this point, the movie moves into space, territory previously uncharted by science fiction, which Lucas bravely opted to venture into. Han Solo, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan, and Luke take off in Han's spaceship, the Centuryhawk, or some such device. There are a couple space battles, but they all get to the Death Star and rescue the trigger-happy Princess Leia, who proceeds to somehow wind up with a firearm and shoot nearly every human, alien, and droid in the station. This clears the way for her, Han, Luke, and Chewbacca to escape the Death Star while Obi-Wan wanders away and apparently gets lost, being the senile old man he is. Darth Vader finds him, and he is not really the nicest of people. A downright meanie-head, if you'll excuse my fucking language. Yeah, he kills Obi-Wan. It really didn't take him very long, either. Obi's last words are..... irrelevant, really, because he comes back later as a ghost, anyways.
At this point, there is a final, climactic, frantic, conclusive, final, climactic battle. In space, of course, as Lucas's aforementioned genius permits the aforementioned battle in the aforementioned movie to take place in the aforementioned setting, space. Space, of course, being aforementioned, like many other aforementioned aforementionings. Essentially, Luke is flying through some evil-looking canyon-y thing, when Darth Vader has locked onto his spaceship with his lasers. Darth is dramatically pausing before finishing his opponent, which he knows will certainly happen, because all the odds are in his favor and at this point nothing could possibly go wrong to stop him. Suddenly, and completely unexpectedly, Han Solo appears in his spaceship, which was apparently not around for any of the actual battle and just showed up at the end to serve as a deus ex machina. Either way, he shoots Darth Vader's ship, and Luke shoots some shiny things down a hole, which was apparently important, because it makes the Death Star explode.
At this point, I assumed the movie was over, because only a filmmaker with such brilliance as Lucas could think to end a page with an explosion. Still, there was more! An awards ceremony where Han and Luke get medals from Leia, presumably for being in what is without question the greatest fucking movie of all-time. But being the biggest fan ever, I noticed that Chewie seemed to be sad at the ceremony. Then it hit me. Those nerf-herders don't give him a freakin' medal! After all he does, he gets nada. Zilch. Zippo. I mean, c'mon, he's the pilot! All Han does is shoot a couple of TIE fighters and save Luke. But no one ever realizes how hard it is to steer the ship while being shot at. So, nothing. At least he gets the last line in the movie.
In 1973, George Lucas had an idea. Not an idea as simple as one that you or I might have, of course, as the idea was not had by you or me. It was had by George Lucas. Yes, George Lucas, already the brilliant mastermind behind such works as American Graffiti, but who really cares about that, anyway? He made fucking STAR WARS!!
Well, he made six of them as to separate all this into chapters of a serial since this way, he realized he could make more money and draw a larger audience if he stretched this out. All he wanted to do was special effects, and making movies was his way of making BILLIONS along with his special effects. This six-part saga was going to be a NINE-part series, but even Lucas himself got fed up with this damn thing.
Well, he had this idea, and he made his movie(s). A movie which took place a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base have... etc., etc., DEATH STAR!!, etc., Princess Leia, etc., save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy!!
As soon as Star Wars was released, it instantly fell under a constant waterfall of acclaim and praise. Of course, the movie came out in 1977, so no evidence of this praise actually exists today. Still, anybody who was anybody went to see Star Wars, and then went home to tell everyone how awesome it was. Star Wars is also considered one of the first "high concept" movies, which, despite having absolutely no idea what that means, I will mention here. Even today, it is praised as one of the best science fiction movies of all time, by critics such as myself, as I am now an expert on the movie, having just watched it.
One of the things critics praise about the movie is its intricate symbolism. For example, did you know that the seemingly outdated 1970s special effects are actually symbolic of the internal, emotional battles of man? They are. Not only that, note the numerous, supposedly unintentional holes in the plot, where the movie seems "inconsistent" to the untrained eye. These represent the chaos of modern society, and indeed the entire universe, as Lucas saw it in his artistic mind's eye at the time.
Still Star Wars's symbolism proved to be accessible enough for both the "Average-Joe" moviegoer and the wolf-like critics, who gaze intently at the screen, waiting... waiting for a flaw to exploit, and an excuse to destroy any chance the movie had for ever making any money and ruining a director's credibility, all in one fell swoop. Damn you, critics! Why? WHY??? Luckily, Star Wars was basically perfect on every cinematic level, so no critics anywhere disliked it, and Lucas's credibility remained intact. Well, until the sequels, at least...
....DUNH DUNH DUUUUUUUUUUNH!!!
Sequels, Prequels, Novels, Comics, Video Games, Toys, Spin-offs, Spoofs, and What Little Credibility the Franchise has Left
In the beginning, there was only one Star Wars. Of course, after a success such as Star Wars, fans, and the faceless Hollywood corporations are left wanting more. The fans want more movie time so that they can pretend that their boring life is action-y and explosion-riddled for a couple of hours. The faceless Hollywood corporations want more so that they can leech money off of said fans until there is nothing left to take, and they control all the money. This is because if they control the money, they control the spice, and if they control the spice, they control the universe. Still, this left Lucas with only one option: numerous sub-par prequels and sequels!
Well, the next two original trilogy movies, also known as the second and third movies made, also known as the fifth and sixth episodes, weren't really that bad. It was the first and second prequels, also known as the fourth and fifth movies made, also known as the first and second episodes, that really sucked. The third and final prequel, also known as the sixth
and final movie made, also known as the third episode, was largely unnoticed. Supposedly it didn't suck, but by the time it came out, everyone had lost all faith in the Star Wars franchise, and none of my friends ever even mentioned it at lunch. Then you have Disney's first, second, and third sequels, also known as the seventh, eighth, and ninth movies made, also known as the seventh, eighth, and ninth episodes, which have ultimately desecrated the corpse of this beloved franchise, and none of my friends even mention Star Wars anymore period, now they're more into Marvel movies.
Anyway, the other original trilogy movies can be summarized rather quickly. In The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader is Luke's father. No he wasn't dead. Yes, he's Luke's father. Yes, Obi-Wan was lying. Yes, Vader is Luke's father. Yes, Darth had sex with Luke's mommy and nine months later a baby came out that grew up on Tatoo....Tatoo....that dry planet and was named Luke. In other words, Darth Vader was Luke's goddamn father!! Really.
In Return of the Jedi, Luke goes to the "New Death Star", which I assume was like "New Coke", and vastly inferior to the original. There, Luke fights Darth Vader one last time. Did I mention that said Darth Vader is Luke's father? He is. Anyways, Luke wins, Vader dies, and so does the Emperor, because Darth throws him off a cliff into some giant pit-thing, which apparently leads to something bad, and/or something that he would not survive hitting at terminal velocity. Luke buries Darth Vader, who I should probably mention is Luke's father. This is the end of the series. Well, not really.
The Star Wars prequels, released much later than the original than the two sequels, follow the life of a young Anakin Skywalker. We watch as he blossoms from a young child, full of hope and a sense of adventure, to a whiny teenager with a temper issue. He falls in love with Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo. Apparently, she cheated on him with Obi-Wan, because one day Anakin gets really angry at both of them all of a sudden. He chokes Padmé (with the Force, because I guess he can do that now) and attacks Obi-Wan. Needless to say, this upsets Obi, who, after trying to "talk things out," chops off all of Anakin's arms and legs and pushes him into a giant lava pit.
Luckily, Anakin seems to have rolled for +17 and is impervious to blood loss, post-traumatic shock, lava melting, and immobility due to lack of bodily appendages. He slowly worms himself out of the lava in what could only be described as an amusing display of a pathetic attempt to move. The Emperor finds him, and, from what I can tell, turns him into a robot, and Darth Vader is born, completing the prequels.
Oh, and I should probably say that the prequels are lame. That's what all the real Star Wars fans say, and I feel that I am finally ready to join their ranks, as I have seen (parts of) almost every Star Wars movie! So yeah, fuck the prequels!
After the Star Wars saga allegedly ended in 2005 with Revenge of the Sith, many fans became depressed, as they had nothing left to look forward to in life except reissues of countless Special Edition DVDs and Blu-rays with a new stupid piece of CGI put in which would add very little to the movie and only make fans roll their eyes every time. By 2012, it seemed that Lucas was also getting down on his luck; for the last thirteen years the angry villagers of the Internet rallied pitchforks and torches against him online for the Special Editions and prequels. St. George desired further riches to support his seven food court meals a day, and to sit atop his mountain of dollars bathing in his hoard of golden treasure. Then he hatched an idea—a dastardly idea! Lucas had a wonderful, dastardly idea! "I know just what to do," Lucas said slithering and flapping his wings, his tongue flicking as he ate noodles and sipped a Diet Coke. He chuckled from his oversized frog-like goiter and belched fire, "What a great bitchin' trick! If I sell Star Wars to Disney, I'll be a rich peacenik!"
So George unexpectedly sold Star Wars to the automatons over at Disney, for a heart-stopping $4.05 billion. It was with these newfound riches that George donated to charity and education, built affordable housing on his Skywalker Ranch, and financed sculptures made out of chicken fat before eating them. Disney then announced three new Star Wars sequel trilogy films to be produced in the future, and hired J.J. "The Jet Plane" Abrams to direct the first new sequel, Episode VII:
A New Hope Redux The Force Awakens. Abrams gave the film his usual Michael Bay-esque explosions combined with a touch of '50s sentimentality and "gee whiz"ms.
Fan enthusiasm for The Force Awakens was high, bolstered by them knowing that Lucas wouldn't be writing or directing this installment. Unfortunately, said enthusiasm waned when the fans actually saw the movie, and realized it was nothing more than a corny, soulless clone of A New Hope, injected with $306 million dollars worth of Disney's cursed Aztec gold. Come back, George;
all most some is forgiven! This was not helped by the subversive travesty that was Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, a tonal shift too far directed by Rian "Brick Looper" Johnson, or the existence of /r/prequelmemes, created by nostalgia-blind Millennials, that have made people love the prequels and turn on Disney movies. Now Disney is scrambling to get J.J. back for Episode IX: Rise of Skywalker, with the guy who wrote Justice League writing script, a surefire sign that the movie will be good.
Oh, and I should probably say that the sequels are even lamer than the prequels. That's what all the realest Star Wars fans say, and I feel that I am finally ready to join their ranks as a member of the rebel resistance against Disney's shill media empire. You have failed me for the last time Star Wars!
Disney has also produced anthology films, such as Rogue One which shows the origins of the Death Star plans, and Solo which shows the origins of Han Solo. After the nine-part main saga wraps up, Rian Johnson will also directed his very own Star Wars trilogy, with McG and Kenny Hotz penning the scripts; McG and Hotz have promised, in unison, to make the new films "bigger, better, and sexier than the Skywalker Saga. Loyalty to Disney. Loyalty to the brand." Disney has also announced plans to produce a Star Wars squeakquel, making Star Wars Episode SQUEAK: The Squeakquel the second ever squeakquel in history, after Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. The film will star Larry the Cable Guy as Skippy the Jedi Droid, who goes on an adventure to Tosche Station to pick up those famed power converters.
In 2019, Disney produced The Mandalorian as a killer app for their Disney Plus streaming service. The series takes place five years after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows a Mandalorian (that's Boba Fett's species, FYI) bounty hunter beyond the reaches of the New Republic. The series became popular due to Internet memes of Baby Yoda, aka Baby Yoda's Species.
Critical Acclaim of the Other Stuff
Despite being massive, epic failures (on the "entertainment" level), the Star Wars prequels and sequels made Lucas and Disney a lot of money, furthering Lucas, Disney, and their puppet-masters' plans to "control the world". Not only that, but the original trilogy movies are regarded by everyone as some of the best movies of all-time. At least, I assume so; I thought that one I saw was pretty good. Way better than Big Momma's House 2.
Anyway, The Empire Strikes Back and to a lesser extent Return of the Jedi are a testament to the fact that some movie directors can make follow-ups that doesn't suck, they just choose not to. The newer prequels and sequel rehashes, meanwhile, show that sometimes you just can't win 'em all. More than any other symbolism in these, there is this: quit while you're ahead. George Lucas and Bob Iger have never said anything smarter. After all, I would know.