Turning a Trekkie to the Dark Side of Star Wars

11:37 am HelenLJohnson 0 Comments

Here is my, perhaps, terrible confession; until November 2015 I had never seen a Star Wars film. Despite my better half owning a complete set of Jedi robes and having to carry his lightsaber across London one time (never again!). I also giggled along to the usual Star Wars memes, knowing the gist of the content matter but maybe not wholly in context. Thing is, I grew up in a Star Trek family. My dad had collector decorative plates of all the crew hung up on the landing (I wish I was joking), my mum had a Star Trek cook book and I had a tribble as a Christmas present one year. As my Dad would say, ‘there is non of that space fantasy in this household! Star Trek is the future of science’. So I completely missed out and have zero nostalgia with the series. However with the new Star Wars film on the horizon I thought that I should probably at least try to watch them.


Well I’m blaming my better half again for making me watch them in episode order, not machete order. Episode order. I ended up falling asleep towards the end of episode one and two. I tried, I really did and while I did admittedly enjoy two a lot more than one, oh my, they dragged on. Everyone told me, they get better. I was slowly losing the will to live as pieces of chicken in my chicken madras became more interesting than the unfolding space opera in front of me. Though I do understand the hatred for Jar Jar Binks now, I’m with you all on that. Episode three came around and I settled myself down with another curry (a different night I should point out, I like curry but even I can’t eat two in a row!) and expected more of the same from what people had told me, as it seemed, because I was a newbie to it all, various friends took great pleasure in telling me how much I’d hate such a thing, or such an episode.

However, I quite liked episode three. It’s far from perfect admittedly, but from halfway through I really quite enjoyed it. Main reason, was Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi who fitted quite nicely in those robes…you know what I mean.
McGregor’s acting also seemed more genuine, reflecting roles he had acted in previously such as Moulin Rouge! and Trainspotting. And you know what, props to Hayden Christensen, he had certainly improved and while over dramatic at times; I didn’t mind too much. I already knew before starting my run through that Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker, that came as no surprise to me. I’m not sure how I knew, it just seems to filter through life as common knowledge, like something I always knew from school. What was surprising was how little time it took at the end, for me anyway, it felt like a piece shoved on to the end because the costume department asked what the hell are we doing with this thing and Lucas was like, oh shit yes! Let me wrap up the council meeting, then I will get to you. Overall though, I enjoyed episode three and would happily watch it again.

And now we move on to the classics. Oh boy, my expectations were pretty low at this point which I supposed, made my enjoyment that much sweeter.

Episode four and five, I loved them. I really did. The humour worked so well and I adore Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. So having another variant of a sarcastic yet charming character from him as Han Solo was brilliant and refreshing after the overbearing misery of the prequels. I never set out for realism, but the lack of over the top, and dated, CGI made me believe in the world a lot more. I also felt the original trilogy has dated far better than the prequels despite being made decades before. It just goes to show that sometimes substance works better than style. I cared about the characters more, I wanted to see them succeed. More importantly, each one of the main characters had a purpose and made an impact into the storyline. I don’t feel I can say that for the prequels.

Episode six I was looking forward to, if only to see how slave Leia fitted into everything…pun not intended… So I was quite surprised how that scene was over pretty quickly and was a tamer than I imagined. I enjoyed six, however out of the classics wasn’t my favourite as I felt it went a little too frivolous towards the end. I am not even sure if that is the correct term to use; however referring back to how I began to believe that this highly fantastical world was something that existed with the previous two films, it seemed to unravel a bit in episode six.

And so I was ready. I had caught up and bought my ticket to see Force Awakens and I loved it. I even felt some faux nostalgia, because you know, you can’t really have nostalgia from two weeks ago. It had the humour mixed with drama that I think made the classic trilogy timeless and read like a love letter to the series. I also quite like JJ Abrams as a director and the Force Awakens certainly got the special JJ Abrams lens flare of approval. So I am interested to see how everything moves forward and develops now with him at the helm. I have also now turned to reading fan theories, looking up costume and prop builds and considering playing KOTOR because my backlog isn’t big enough already. I understand why a lot of people invest so much time, love and dedication into the series now. I get it now.

You are still not getting me to watch episode one again though. Sod that.

Finally, I will say my main annoyance over all the films bar Force Awakens WAS THE GODDAMN EDITING CUTS. Let’s have a left sweep here, a right sweep there, let’s go from the centre then ten seconds later a diagonal sweep from the left. It was as if Lucas had just found out all the different powerpoint presentation slide transitions and used them all at once. Stop it! I beg you for a jump cut! 

So this was just a brief account of Trekkie who had been slightly turned to the dark side, so please excuse me while I finish my dark Rey costume design ;)
Aw yiss.