Saturday, June 7, 2014

Star Wars: Star Wars first impressions

Alright, here we go. Just have to push play.

There's a fanfare I know. 20th Century Fox logo. Cool. So far, so good.

Heh, it's like fairy tales gone sci-fi. "A long time ago..."

MotherFUCKER I am sold this music is who did this who kept this hidden from me.

This says Episode IV. I am confusion. And we're reading! The evil galactic empire, so I was right!

Oh cool, we have letters of transit. Or will this be more significant? Also clearly DEATH STAR is meant to be in all caps so we're doing that.

I'm missing like half of this because awesome music. Rewinding to catch it all.

Already stoked and nothing is happnSHIP LASERS

Dear god, do you have enough ship there? There's an underdog message in all this, I'm sure of it


One talks, one doesn't Alright then

White robots! The Empire

Man, do not fuck with the white robots. Are they robots?

There's a black one!

With asthma. Okay, that's a guy in a suit then. Nobody else is breathing like that though.

There's the princess.

Okay this guy has a badass voice and NO TIME FOR YOUR SHIT. I like him already.

Well at least she got one. Helpless damsels is a bad cliche. Also I'm pretty sure they're soldiers in armor, not robots.

Oh THIS is Vader. That makes a lot of sense man I'm dumb

Vader would like you to know about all of the time he has none of. For your shit.

Man don't backtalk Vader, he's got no time for your shit.

These robots feel like a classic comedy duo. I'm impressed that it works so well even though one of them doesn't talk. or have conventional body language.

Gold and Silver have split up already. You fools! Don't split the party!

This must have been amazing to see back in whenever year.

Random encounter!

Okay what? Silver can scream? That's disturbing. And now lots of goblins.

creepy looking robot

HAHAHA what the hell is that robot? It looks like a garbage bin with legs.

Party's back together. That was quick.

Oh wow. Okay, yeah, the obvious new thing sticks out and doesn't look good. It's like a lizard cow thing.

"We're doomed."

 Desert igloo?

Aha, I hear a main theme coming back. Luke is our main character, I think.

He was going to whatnow?

I just noticed, Owen's wearing robes. Is he Jedi?

We have names for robots!

 Ooh, a plot hook!

This name is going to give me trouble. Odie Wonkanodi? Obie Wonkanodi?

It's going to run away now. Just you wait.

HAHAHA "no. I don't like you either." "sad sound"

Oh you two know who that is. A WIZARD. SPACE WIZARD I CALLED IT.

oh okay so it's Obie Won. Got it.

IT'S LIKE ANDROIDS I get it now.

I just need to say, again, this music is astounding. Also two suns! Also he lives with his uncle and aunt, his father totally did something foolish and got both parents killed. That's my bet. And there goes R2D2. I am a genius who wins all of the bets!

WHAT THE HELL ARE THOSE and why are they wearing burlap sacks on their heads

WHACK yes I guess you can see one now. You asked for that why does it howl like that

well that was predictable. Space orcs?

Space wizard! Hello there! That's Jedi. Well, Ben, but you get my point. I AM STILL RIGHT.

OH NOT THEM AGAIN I don't like that howling.

C whatever is a goddamn pessimist.

Oh wow okay so Jedi is a thing you are, not a name. And they're pilots who fight clones?

SOLD. LIGHTSABER. LOVE IT. so it's like a sword made of laser?

Oho, Vader's his blood enemy

The Force! I feel like I am learning things! And there's a dark side of it, and Vader's on the dark side. Alright. I feel smart now.

And now we have the quest! Go to Aldaran to deliver the secret plans!

Obie Wan, master of the hard sell. Be a space wizard, Luke!

That must be the DEATH STAR! Holy crap it's massive.

Okay I want to know who the hell this is because Vader's following him like a dog. Apparently Vader has time for Skullface's shit. He's not the emperor. Can I get a name?

Space DARK WIZARD. LOVE IT. He's got no time for your lack of faith.

No but seriously that guy tells Vader what to do who the hell is he

So does it like carpet bomb planets or

Oh those were Jajas. Meh, they weren't so bad.

Oh I have a bad feeling about this. Luke just got double orphaned, didn't he


so I have no idea what the floating ball means. It has a needle? this feels like a reference to something I don't know.

So Luke is going to take on Vader at the end. Watch out, Vader's not one for the taking of shit.

More new effects that look bad. Why would you do this?

You just got told by a space wizard. That's a useful power. "You don't need that' "okay"

I need to pause the movie here because I just have to say: I am overwhelmed by the sheer imaginativeness of this bar scene. There's a new creature every second and they're all so incredibly different, and they you've got the aliens playing space jazz that sounds awesome because seriously who wrote the music for this film I want to shake their hand. And it doesn't let droids in, and there's just this flow of interactions between so many weird and wonderful critters. Right. This is just seriously impressive. I bet you're all laughing at me right now, but these are like practical effects, not computer things. Someone had to come up with all of these ideas and put them together and make them work and whoever it was just kept saying "we've got room for one more." Okay. Back to the film.

It just keeps going! Amazing

okay well the practical effects kind of fail with the arm but WHO CARES LIGHTSABER

DIFFERENT space jazz! Is there a whole album of this?

the falcon is a ship, isn't it. I'm dumb, aren't I

Han like the dynasty? Is this going to distract me? I fell like he's chaotic neutral. Big on the money thing.

No. No. Disappointed. You've got this orgy of imagination all around and then you call the green alien Greeno? Really?

Wonder if we'll see Jabba. Also Han's totally getting ready to shoot Greeno and run.

OR NOT. Walk away slowly. Cool as a cucumber. Chaotic neutral. I think I like Han.

They're being chased by an aardvark. This can't end well. And the aardvark is my cue to skip ahead!

to more aardvark. Who talks like a zipper.

The bear is the pilot? I love this movie.

I want that ship. I just want that as my sitting room.

Wait there's more than one of that big ship


Tarkin? Vader got the better name.

Oh is he gonna do it tell me he's gonna do it I wanna see. Scorched earth. Do it.

OH SHIT okay they really meant destroy

it's kind of horrifying to think about when Ben puts it that way

haha space chess. I love how much work went into trivial stuff in this movie.

HAHA wukees don't have time for your shit either.

Again, I love the music.


Ben senses Vader too, doesn't he?

Rescue the princess. Classic plot. Except with space!

Chaotic neutral. Love it. You're a class act, Han.

Heh. Droids get the short end of the stick.

HAHA little mouse thing. Chewy has no time for your shit.

Oh shit they're hunting each other. Can't wait.

YES. Cameras?

HAHAHAHHAHA most awkward lying ever. How are you?

Gotta say, that was quicker than I expected.

...she's got cinnamon buns for hair, I just noticed this.

Love it. She's feisty.

What an incredible smell you've discovered!

the hell was that


nope we're not doing this


oh holy shit

this is stressful and yet I love it

HAHAHA misinterpreting

No reward is worth this! LOVE IT SO MUCH

Ben's scenes are kind of slow. Did he magically distract them there?


AHAHAHAHHAHHAHA that was awesome

still just such an awesome, adventurous, heroic theme. how have I never heard this?

oh it's coming now, isn't it


Lightsaber duel? Awesome.

Vader's is like this evil red and I love it.

Go on, tell him how much you have no time for his shit.

More powerful?Interested


 did he vanish? confused

R2D2 just laughed. It was adorable.

Oh you clever fuckers.

Haha, Luke has the hots for the princess

now we're at Jupiter or something. It's big and red.

I'm still sort of in awe that they filmed this.

okay I'm completely on board with the finale they're setting up.

Luke used to shoot wombats? I don't think that qualifies him to attack a planet-killing DEATH STAR.

but wait, when does Luke fight Vader? did I misread this

ah damn, Luke, you've got to go it alone now.

why is he bringing R2D2?

this is awesome. I'm so glad to be a part of this right now.

Yes you heard Ben, don't pretend you didn't.

This is going to be like Dambusters, isn't it

On board with all of this

Ben's giving him the force power!

thumbs up for the ship designs

Vader's a pilot too

dueling aces. sold.

I like how Vader's is more menacing than the normal ones

moustache is dead. :(





Vader escaped. I smell a sequel!

Chaotic good? He's getting there.

More awesome music. I need to just listen to this soundtrack.

Okay well that was just fantastic.

Was that really all one movie?

Wrapping this up now that the credits are on. Late night, need sleep. This was a really good first pick. If the rest of the suggestions are like this, I'm going to have a lot of fun. :D


  1. Your reactions are everything I dreamed they would be. I cannot wait for you to see the rest of the OT.

    Some (non-spoiler) clarifications:

    Some spelling things: "Obi-Wan Kenobi", "Alderaan", "Jawas", "Wookiee".

    Jawas are not the Jar Jar you heard about.

    The music in this series of films is by John Williams. He was quite prolific from the late 70s to the early 2000s, you will likely hear more of him as you explore.

    The floating ball needle thing is a torture droid. I don't think that shot is a reference to anything, but I could be wrong.

    Yes, the final battle is based on Dambusters. I can't tell you how hard I laughed when I put that together as a teenager.

    1. John Williams also did Indiana Jones, Jaws, ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind...basically if he did the soundtrack, the movie should be on your must see list after Star Wars.

    2. If it's a film directed by Steven Spielberg; it has John Williams music score. Besides above list, Empire of the Sun, Lincoln, AI, Always, Jurassic Park, Warhorse, Hook, etc. Check out and search "John Williams" for complete list.

    3. BTW- Impressed with 'Dambusters' reference also, I am. John Williams was also conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. You might like to pick up his/their album of John Williams film music/themes.

  2. Thanks for the spelling corrections. Guess I was pretty far off!

    1. As others have commented: Greedo. Naming characters and things is not among Lucas' strengths.

      By the way, in one "Directors Cut Special-Effectified Fancy Version" release of the movie, Han's alignment is nudged toward lawful good by the addition of Greedo shooting at Han first. Han dodges the shot by having his head digitally tilted slightly. Then Han returns fire from under the table, in what is now an act of self-defense and justice.

      If you've heard the expression "Han shot first", that was the nerd purist rallying cry against this softening of Han's chaotic alignment.

  3. This commentary is amazing. Pretty enlightening to hear this from an almost totally fresh perspective.

  4. It's great to see it through new eyes, and have it still be as good as my first time. Thank you!

  5. This is as awesome as I expected, maybe even more.

    "There's an underdog message in all this, I'm sure of it"
    Yes there is. Along with the shiny metallic hightech imperials and the scruffy dirty scrapyard rebels. That's nice perception there, try to do more of it, makes you look cool and attentive.


  6. Any geek points you lost for not watching Star Wars before, you easily doubled with that Dambusters reference. Thanks for this blog post, it made my night.

  7. Once you've done with the three Star Wars, you need to try Babylon 5 and\or Farscape...

  8. Many of the fab aliens are courtesy of Jim Henson's Creature Shop, so that explains the quality. And I'm pretty sure it's Greedo, not Greeno, so that might make it a little less lame.

    1. Well no, that just means he's a greedy alien called Greedo. Also is this a shop like a workshop or a shop like Jeremy's going to throw pizza money at buying a crazy alien to put in the corner of the apartment? :D

    2. like a workshop. Check out the show Jim Henson's Creature Shop - competition show about people making these aliens and similar stuff.

    3. The many aliens of the Mos Eisley Cantina scene were actually done in two passes, one shot on set and another done as inserts after the main shooting. At the time, Jim Henson's Creature Shop didn't evist yet though some of the folks that worked on Star Wars helped form JHCS. The inserts were done by Rick Baker (you'd be amazed at the number of movies this guy has worked on since then) and Phil Tippett among others.

    4. Besides Star Wars leading to Jim Henson's Creature Shop; Industrial Light & Magic was formed to produce the ships, effects, etc. in Star Wars. Good catch that these were all "physical" models and special effects in the days before CGI. Try and see a copy of the 'Original' Star Wars (episode 4); before the CGI explosion of the Death Star was added later. You'll see how the actual blowing up is mirrored almost exactly in John Williams music there. PS- Rick Baker also would be a good 'look-up' on IMDB. See the creature in 'American Werewolf in London.'

    5. Originals! Something to look forward to :D

  9. This is fantastic. I just watched 5 of the 6 movies with my 4-year-old daughter (we skipped Episode I), so I can relate to a lot of what you're saying here. :)

    1. How fantastic. I hope some day I get to share them with someone, too. Someone who hasn't seen them yet, I mean. Right now I'm sharing them with everyone who comes to call. :D

  10. How have you seen Dam Busters but have never seen Star Wars? I can count the number of people I know who have even heard of Dam Busters on one hand. I'm pretty sure George Lucas saw Dam Busters though, and borrowed from it.

    BTW, I think your site is about to go viral, if it hasn't already. Get ready for traffic.

    1. See I would say how have you seen Star Wars but not Dambusters? What about Triple Cross? The Great Escape? Casablanca? The Eagle Has Landed? Tora Tora Tora? (Okay not the last one don't watch that. It's not all that great.)

      How about WWII musicals? Miss London Limited? The Sound of Music? Anchors Aweigh? Thousands Cheer?

      WWII is like my thing. I mean it was my grandfather's thing and my uncle's thing first but IT IS JUST AS MUCH MY THING.

      Anyway if you know any WWII movies that I should watch and haven't seen you should definitely give them to me.

    2. Right sorry forgot to ask in my big nostalgia thing there: is traffic a problem? I'm getting some errors trying to post comments. Not worried, just curious.

    3. See: Victory (Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine), A Bridge Too Far (TONS of famous 70s actors).

    4. Add 'The Longest Day', 'The Story of G.I. Joe (Ernie Pile, not the figurine & Robert Mitchum's only Oscar nomination), Paths of Glory, Bad Day at Black Rock (a post-WW2 version of 'High Noon), of course- "Saving Private Ryan", Stalag 17, Patton, On The Town, The Final Countdown. That will do for a start...

    5. If you like movies about the making of A-bombs; add 'The Hero's of Telemark', 'The Beginning or the End (out of print, but you might find a copy on line), 'Fat Man and Little Boy' (one of Paul Newman's last films).

    6. Excellent! :D I'll have to do some arm-twisting to get them jumped up the list.

    7. "Dambusters" isn't as well known here in the US so forgive me for not having seen that-- I've certainly heard of it though. If you watch the 1944 documentary "Memphis Belle" you'll see where a lot of the Falcon-vs-fighters dogfight came from.

      Honestly, WN, I can't think of a better introduction to pop culture than Star Wars. You can spend the rest of your life following up on its influences-- Westerns, fairy tales, Kurosawa, Vietnam...

  11. yep this got posted to MetaFilter and I'm sure reddit won't be far behind as there's quite a bit of crossover between the two.

    Thank you for posting these. You are a fantastic writer, and I think you have a future as an excellent movie critic as well, since you seem to already know thematic tropes and literary / cinematic theory. Rock on!

    1. You can tell my English profs that, they'll be so pleased to know I deserved better grades. ;)

  12. This is awesome. :^)

    You should seriously consider watching the rest of the series in "machete order": Episodes IV, V, II, III, VI. (Skip I.) Sadly, one can't explain why without major massive spoilers. Maybe other commenters can just comment on whether it's a good idea or not. is the argument in favor of it, but SERIOUSLY DO NOT FOLLOW THAT LINK if you haven't seen the movies, it has super-massive spoilers.

  13. WW2 stuff ...
    Movies - To Have and Have Not. Cross of Iron. Downfall.
    Docos - The World at War is dated but excellent.

  14. Yay for pausing and the whole paragraph appreciating the Cantina. I'll frequently watch a movie and get totally sucked up in four seconds of detail, knowing that only a few people like myself are appreciating a certain bit.

  15. Although I have a hard time really believing this is written by someone who's never seen the movie before, it was still fantastically entertaining and I enjoyed every second of reading it.

    Side note, in case you're for real on not knowing anything about the movie: John Williams wrote the soundtrack. He's also responsible for the music in Jurassic Park, Jaws, Indiana Jones and a plethora of other films, especially Steven Spielberg's.

    1. So what you're saying is that I need to watch Steven Spielberg films. I know Jurassic Park and Jaws are already on the list. :D

      Now I can't even wait. Expectations severely raised!

    2. Yeah, Spielberg films are usually great. The Indiana Jones movies, Jurassic Park, and War of the Worlds are all favorites of mine that he's done. They're sometimes dissed by film critics because he's a definite crowd pleaser, but at the same time he does a great job adapting stories and coming up with imaginative and fun movies.

    3. Having just watched my first Spielberg movie: SOLD.

  16. Also, sadly the guy behind a lot of the worldbuilding, Ralph McQuarrie, passed away less than two years ago. Just as amazing as his concept art was the fact that the guys who actually cobbled together the sets, props and creatures got it so close to his original concepts.

    1. Did he do work on any other big movies? I'd love to see more of that imagination. It must have been amazing to work with a guy who could dream up all that.

    2. Well, he designed the Mothership in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, did design work for the original Battlestar Galactica (despite the show's corniness everyone agreed the ships were cool as hell) Cocoon and did some work for the Star Trek movies in a couple of places. And yes, I agree that working with him must have been absolutely incredible.

      By the way, you really loved the cantina scene because of the variety, I noticed; one of the first works in the utterly massive collection of books written in the Star Wars Universe was "Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina," an anthology of short stories that details the background of all of the aliens you saw. There were two followup books about the bounty hunters on the Star Destroyer in Empire and the aliens in Jabba's Palace in Jedi.

    3. Those sound like things to look out for. Are they available on Kobo?

  17. I'd never even heard of Dambusters! I'll have to look into it. Lucas was also heavily influenced by Akira Kurosawa films, especially Hidden Fortress, which, if you watch it, you'll recognize R2D2 and Cee Threepio right away.

    1. It's not the greatest movie per se, but it's an interesting look at a tense mission.

  18. Loved the commentary! You've got a good ear; the music was the biggest effect for me, from the first time I saw Star Wars in my home town theater in 1978. If you search some torrents, you can find an ORIGINAL version of the movie--no CGI additions, no awkwardly-cut Jabba scene, Han shoots first. Only a little less immersive because of some of the visual limitations in the effects, like dark squares around ships in space scenes.

  19. I took my son to see this in a full screen theater release about 20 years ago. He has seen the movie on a TV, but the fill screen version of the effects blew him away. If you ever get a chance to see it in a real, wide screen movie house, take advantage of it. It will be like watching it for the first time all over again.

    1. That would be incredible. I can't even imagine how awesome it must have been to see the movies in theater.

  20. WWII = Kelly's Heroes...Oddball is the man.

  21. I think it's Greedo not Greeno.

  22. "Dear god, do you have enough ship there?"....
    That moment right there where the Imperial Star Destroyer came into shot from the right hand side of the screen and just got bigger and bigger and bigger is the moment I was hooked on Star Wars for life ....
    Imagine the scene a 7 year old kid sat in a cinema watching that unfold wide eyed and mouth wide open in astonishment ....that was me

    1. I wish I'd had the chance. It must have been beyond words.

  23. Thank you for watching Star Wars in this way. You are now a better human than you ever could have been had you not watched it.

  24. The Stormtroopers are NOT robots. :)

    1. Yes I... figured that out eventually. I'm not a genius. :(

  25. John Williams finest live performance:

  26. Replies
    1. If you mean Empire Strikes back, I did watch it. Roomie just put up a search thing on the blog to help people find old posts.

  27. When you get a chance (now that you know the characters/stories etc) try to watch a copy of the Family Guys versions - Blue Harvest is the first

  28. This is wildly entertaining. Now I have to re watch star wars so I can follow the plot form your comments because its been like 8 years since I saw the original trilogy.

  29. It would be totally rad to see a fresh perspective on babylon 5 or Farscape next!

    1. Those are on the Big List, I think. Or they will be.

  30. This was a really fun and good read. :) I hope you'll do the same for the next two movies. I'll just pretend the first prequel trilogy didn't exist. :P

  31. I just want to sit with you while you watch the rest! You are going to freak!!! There is soooo much more for you to see and learn!! Watch like everyone else had to in the beginning IV,V,VI. Then I,II,III. I KNOW EVEYONE HATE I (that's for those rolling their eyes at me. I know, wasn't my favorite either.) Have fun becoming part of a HUGE fandom! Welcome to the family!

  32. oh, if you liked the soundtrack on this one, just wait till you hear the imperial march in the next one...

    1. And then I browsed the comments and came to find you already watched more than this one, now going to read up on it and see if Vader's jam gets a mention. Also, I could follow the movie point by point from your first impression above, it was a wonderful read, thank you for that.

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  34. "This must have been amazing to see back in whenever year. "

    You can't even imagine.

    I was 16 years old in 1977 when it first came out. Look at the other SiFi 10 years before and after (not while sober). Nothing like it had ever even been thought of or attempted. SiFi was considered a joke suitable only for children back then. I saw it 10 times and that wasn't even considered unusual. You would go to the theater for months afterward, see that SW was still playing and go..."Fuck it lets just see Star wars again..."

    1. "....Vader escaped. I smell a sequel!.."

      Or two, yes.