Having watched the new Star Wars trailer, one thing I wish they would stop doing with the Star Wars universe is constantly trying to one-up the other films.
They do this in most aspects of the films – from the the pristine clothing and ludicrous costumes, lacking any of the thought and functionality of the outfits from the original, to the ever-present sci-fi tech. In fact, one of the many criticisms of the prequel travesties … er, I mean, films… was that the technology in the universe seemed to have taken leaps and bounds ahead from the original trilogy, despite the originals being set chronologically after the prequels.
I also noticed and lamented this, since one of the things I loved about the originals was that feeling of a lived-in world, with the same shabby, beaten-up, run-down and workaday stuff lying around as you’d find anywhere.
In most previous sci-fi, the cast, and indeed the directors, seemed to treat the sets and the props as things of wonder and awe. In the Star Wars universe, the people didn’t ignore the things around them, but neither did they revere them, and they were portrayed as neither miracle nor spectacle, just… things, things that people use every day – speeders, vaporators, astromech droids,spaceships, food mixers.
Luke’s landspeeder, for example – a wonder to us watching from the real world – was a piece of crap to all who saw it and was treated as such, in much the same way that an old Mark 3 Ford Escort would be a work of magic and wizardry to a 15th-century peasant, but is just… an old knacker to us, accustomed as we are to the million wonders of the modern world.
The prequels ruined that, that feeling of immunity to wonder that comes from being exposed to a thousand former miracles from the moment we wake up.
They reintroduced the prop-as-a-star, here’s-one-for-the-merchandise style of sci-fi set dressing and production design. Nothing was mundane, nothing beaten and ordinary, unless as part of a nod-nudge-wink in-joke.
It was thoughtlessly sleek, CGI ships that looked like they’d never been unwrapped, let alone flown through fire and smoke and war.
It was, in short, CGI tech-porn, and I would not have been surprised to find in the Making Of- out-takes a clip of George Lucas nursing a chubby while skulking round the ILM studios.
Now, if they’d have had an even half-way decent story none of this would matter and I would have still lapped it up and loved it. Pretty much the same goes for the new films.
You have a chronological excuse to upgrade stuff now, so there’s that, but I hope they at least try to keep that real-world-with-better-stuff feel.
But anyway, I digress.
As I was saying, it grieves me that the makers of the Star Wars films feel that they have to outdo themselves and each other in all aspects except storyline, and that each iteration of any aspect of the world must be better and shinier and faster than the last.
But I’m an adult (for the most part) so I can handle it.
Except for in one thing.
Stop fucking about with the light-sabres.
There’s still a year to go Mr Abrams – nip this in the bud. Change whatever else you like but leave the light-sabres alone.
Trying to make light-sabres more exciting not only completely loses sight of the explanation of them from the first film, it also ignores the fact that THEY ARE ALREADY COMPLETELY FUCKING AWESOME.
You cannot make them MORE awesome by adding extra bits or funny shaped handles to them.
Now we have a T-shaped one?? It was obviously designed and marketed by an eye-patch manufacturer. What other possible use could those silly extra side bits have?
Other than that, the Millenium Falcon is still the most beautiful thing that ever flew 🙂