Saturday, June 7, 2014

Star Wars: Starting point

It's this huge pop culture phenomenon. I know it is. I saw an army of Star Wars robots marching in a St. Patrick's Day parade, of all things. People in my gaming group reference things I don't get and then give me this look like I'm a talking ostrich as they go "You know! Star Wars!"

Well, I don't know Star Wars. Yet. I'm certainly about to, though. Turns out there wasn't really much of a choice when it came to what I should review first - as soon as Roomie found out that I'd never watched Star Wars, he put his foot down. So this is going to be a thing!

In the interest of full disclosure, here's where I'm starting out with Star Wars. This is the sum total of my knowledge, conjecture and gleanings:

• There's a character called Jedi, who is one of the main characters, and he's a guy who wears robes. I think he's some kind of space wizard or space monk or space wizard/monk.

• The other main character is called The Falcon; he's a sort of rogue or pirate type who shoots first and asks questions later.

• The bad guys are the Empire, and I'm guessing they get struck at some point, since apparently they are going to strike back.

• Their leader is Emperor Vader, and he has an army of robots called Vader's Fist, which is a pretty cool name for an army. There are white robots, which are the weaker ones and there's lots more of them, and then black robots which are much more powerful and there's not as many.

• There's some kind of creatures called Jajars and everyone hates them because they're stupid. We'll see if I hate them too.

• There's a force and a dark force. Emperor Vader controls the dark force or is pledged to the dark force.

• This per Roomie: they added extra special effects to the movies long after they were originally released. Apparently I will notice and be unimpressed by the new effects.

• This also per Roomie: there's a scene in the first movie that I have to skip? I'm going to take his word for it. I have a timestamp to look for and I can skip ahead to the next thing.

• Believe it or not, this will actually be the first time I've personally used a DVD player. Not counting things shown at school I think this is actually the first time I've watched a DVD. VHS for life, yo.

• It's apparently going to be just the best thing since sliced bread! :D


  1. To borrow a recurring phrase from the Mark Does Stuff blog... You are not prepared, Jeremy. I'm so excited for you to experience this.

  2. Hey! I posted this message on the RPGnet thread, but I'm not sure if you or your roommate / screener are watching that thread, so I thought I should also post it here?

    The question is, are you going to watch the six movies in release order or "Machete" order?

    The proper Machete Order goes, IV, which you just watched; V, Return of the Jedi; II, Attack of the Clones; III, Revenge of the Sith; then VI, A New Hope; and then /possibly/, if you really want more Star Wars and you're willing to take a quality hit to do so, I, The Phantom Menace.

    (Seriously, don't watch I before II and III in that sequence. It really breaks the tension and messes up a lot of the parallels that that sequence spends a lot of time building.)

    So. IV, V, II, III, VI, and then maybe I.

    Here are some of the reasons why.
    - Watching II and III before V will spoil a big part of V. And also, watching VI, or V, OR EVEN I before II and III will spoil a big part of /those/ two movies. Watching them in this order will allow you to experience both parts "blind" without spoiling either one.
    - Watching II and III before VI will enhance the experience of watching VI. There's a lot of stuff in those two that make events in the last one more meaningful, or more ominous, or more dramatically built-up.
    - I is generally held to be pretty awful in a lot of different ways. And it breaks the tension if you're coming into it after any of the original trilogy (IV, V, and VI). And it messes up some of the parallels II and III will spend a lot of time building up, such that they're less apparent and less relevant-seeming and less dramatic when they do show up.
    - The events of I, completely aside from spoiling II and III, are literally /almost completely irrelevant/. Most everything in the movie will never come up again (and thank god for that), and what /does/ come up is (with maybe one tiny exception near the end of II or III?) explained perfectly fine as a standalone thing when it does appear in II or III.
    - Some of these movies are all about rising tension. Some of them end in cliffhangers. Some are big climaxes with long denouements. Watching them in this order arranges those things into a pleasing narrative structure that you wouldn't get by watching them in, for example, the order IV, V, VI, I, II, III.

    Here's a SPOILER-FILLED LINK FOR YOUR ROOMMATE that explains why I think this is a good idea in more detail:

    1. The correct order is IV, V, VI, the end. Not one of the prequel trilogy is worth a damn, mostly because 90% of the creative staff that made the originals so good was absent.

  3. wait shit I got the names of V and VI wrong. V is Empire Strikes Back. VI is A New Hope. The rest of my comment remains unchanged.

  4. Per Roomie, we're not doing Machete order. He tried it already and wasn't a fan, and he's the guy who determines whether or not there's bacon in my grocery order right now, so... :D

  5. This looks like the starting point of an awesome blog. I will be following you anonymously.

    I especially love the list of things you already know about Star Wars. It's promising.

    1. Well thanks very much! I hope you continue to enjoy it. :D

  6. Tell me you're starting with episode IV!!!!!

    1. I started with Star Wars, and then Empire Strikes Back.