It’s easy to say that the original trilogy is flawless. The films are monoliths of popular culture, inspiring current legends of cinema like Christopher Nolan to begin making films. They propelled the art of visual effects forwards into previously unimaginable directions and most of all made multiple generations fall in love with its diverse universe and fascinating characters. They are some of my favourite films and my enjoyment of them has never wavered like some other film series I used to be a fan of. But I must go back to the controversial sentence that began this paragraph: the original trilogy is not flawless. I can easily look past the problems of the originals but that doesn’t mean they are not there. I can absolutely enjoy the films and they can be some of my all time favourites but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be better. So let’s take a look at some of the problems in the first three, or for some people the only three, Star Wars films.
George Lucas has stated that he knew the outline for the Star Wars saga back when he started writing A New Hope back in the mid 1970’s. Yes, he may well have known a very rough outline for some major events and he even named a few planets, like Naboo, that we wouldn’t see until the prequels but did he really have a master plan? The answer is no; and it shows. If Lucas knew that Luke and Leia were brother and sister then why did he have the obvious attraction between them in A New Hope which culminates in a kiss in The Empire Strikes Back. He just didn’t know when starting to pen the trilogy. Part of me likes the fact it wasn’t properly planned which meant they could take it one film at a time and give each of them the proper attention they needed but it sure didn’t help keep continuity. It’s probably a good thing that they didn’t follow a master plan because one of the best things in all of Star Wars, the dark ending to The Empire Strikes Back, wouldn’t have happened. It was never Lucas’s intention to freeze Han Solo in Carbonite, it only occurred because Harrison Ford didn’t want to play the character again and so it was a way to write him out of a sequel without killing him just in case they persuaded him to return for a third film; which thankfully they did (with a truck load of money). Maybe that last point is on the opposite side of the continuity debate but screw it, it’s hard to stay mad at Star Wars for long.
The death of Boba Fett
More than any other character, Boba Fett has reached cult status. He is the epitome of cool. Whether it be his Mandalorian armour, limited dialogue or awesome weapons, people love him. This all makes his sudden death in Return of the Jedi all the more disappointing. Lucas has since spoken of regret in killing him off but I’m ok with him dying. The end of the first act of the movie closes the Jabba/bounty hunter subplot of the trilogy and therefore whether Fett survives or not we were never going to see him again. What I don’t like is the manner of his death. He doesn’t go out in a blaze of glory and a battle cry. He goes out with a burp, literally. As you know, Han accidently bumps into his back, Boba’s jetpack turns on, he crashes into the side of the Sail Barge, falls into the mouth of the Sarlacc and the Sarlacc then burps. It’s an atrocious death and an even worse attempt at comedy. Hopefully the new canon challenges this and we find out that he didn’t die and is still around for the upcoming sequel trilogy but no doubt we will see him in the Han Solo spin-off movie, if not a film of his own.
I don’t hate the Ewoks, I just dislike them. They prove to be pretty badass in the fight on Endor at the end of RotJ by taking down a series of AT-STs and throwing stones at the Stormtroopers who have the worst aim in the galaxy. It’s just all the other stuff I don’t like. The little noises they make, the incompetence of Wicket, the Stormtrooper/Ewok speeder bike chase and the Ewok story time with C3P0. Let’s not forget that the Ewoks were going to cook and presumably eat Han, Luke and Leia. They’re the furry Star Wars equivalent of Hannibal Lecter. Obviously meant to appeal to children they get more and more annoying as I get older and no doubt partly inspired the creation of a certain other character aimed at children in the Star Wars Universe; you all know who I’m talking about.
Another Death Star?!
That’s right, another thing from Return of the Jedi. Having another Death Star is just a bit too easy. Couldn’t the writers come up with something more original than just recycling a plot point from the first film? The Death Star is, of course, a great threat for the rebels but it feels just like something for the rebels to do while the pivotal events with Luke in the Emperor’s Throne room unfold. Don’t get me wrong, both the space battle with Lando, Admiral Ackbar and Nien Nunb and the fight at the shield generator on the surface of Endor with Han, Leia, Chewie and the droids are great, but it just feels a little bit lazy.
Lack of female characters
Princess Leia is a great character who transcends her gender tropes and fantasy archetypes fairly quickly. Sure she’s a princess to be rescued but soon after she’s involved in briefing people on how to attack the Death Star, seems to become one of the leaders of the Rebel Alliance and isn’t afraid to kill entire squadrons of Stormtroopers. Other than Leia who are the other female characters? Mon Mothma pops up for a scene in RotJ and is only remembered for having a funny name, Aunt Beru has a couple of scenes before she is sharply incinerated off-screen and there are a couple of slaves in Jabba’s Palace. That’s it and it’s a big shame. Thankfully the upcoming Star Wars films, both The Force Awakens and Rogue One, have female leads and Kathleen Kennedy, master overseer of Lucasfilm, has promised for even more in the future of the ever expanding saga.
Do you agree? Do you think that the original trilogy is flawless? Or are there faults that are not on the list? Let me know in the comments, either here and on Reddit, on Facebook or on Twitter @kylebrrtt. Thanks for reading, don’t forget to like, subscribe and check out the other amazing blogs and reviews on OutofLives.net. See ya next week.