Finding flaws in the Prequels isn’t a challenge. Everyone does it. But judging the Best and Worst in the Original Trilogy which I’ve seen so many times and that are iconic is harder than bullseyeing womp rats back home. So I picked out a few favorites, a few misses, and especially looked for connections back to the Prequels that stood out on watching all 6 films in a row.
I don’t remember movie going experiences from when I was 7. Except one. My mom, older brother, and I arrived late at a giant theater (movie theaters used to be bigger) for Star Wars. We arrived about 9 minutes in because I remember the images of C-3PO and R2-D2 walking on the desert sands of Tatooine. I was instantly in love.
Fast forward 22 years. I was very early for a midnight showing of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. I had arrived a few hours earlier to a group that had been in line all day. We were excited. When the movie began we screamed for the LucasFilm Logo. We screamed for the words “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….” We screamed for the amazing John Williams music starting, screamed for even for the film’s stupid title as the opening crawl appeared.
Then it happened. I can point to it exactly. In the second sentence of the crawl I read, “The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute.” And I knew we were doomed.
I haven’t seen the Prequels since their first showing in the movie theater. So I decided over Thanksgiving weekend to check them out again and how they connected to the Original Trilogy. As I have seen the movies before, I didn’t need to use the Machete Order, which is the best way to show the movies to someone seeing them for the first time (i.e. your kid). I was looking for chronological flow.
Along the way I noted some of the best and worst moments of each film and I share them here.
As part of #BlogElul, the amazing Rabbi Phyllis Sommer suggested I take each day’s theme and connect it to a movie. I am not sure I am up to it – or if that’s really the procrastination device I want use in these 30 days before Rosh Hashanah – but here we go anyway. (Suggestions for movies fitting any of the above themes MOST welcome).
Lots of movie characters “return”: Superman, Batman, the Mummy, the Living Dead, the King (Lord of the Rings), and the Jedi.
I’m going to use Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Partially because, as many people know it was going to be called Revenge of the Jedi, but Lucas realized that Jedis don’t take revenge, but it would have been a cooler name.
Return, in Judaism, is a central concept. Teshuvah, repentance, is about returning to a more complete state in your life. Sometimes that means trying to go back to where you were before. But that never happens. The experiences that drew you apart from another, from yourself, from health or wholeness or righteousness have forever influenced you. You are someone else and need to embrace who you are now, not who you once might have been.