Star Wars - John C. Kirk
Sep. 30th, 2006
09:41 pm - Star Wars
Following on from my trip to see "One Man Star Wars" last weekend, I've just been watching Star Wars Shortened on Sky. This is a similar premise, where the three guys from the Reduced Shakespeare Company perform all six films in 20 minutes. I actually liked this better than the theatre performance, due to their different style. For instance, their version of episode V is almost entirely taken up by a dramatic reading of "Ode to a fallen AT-AT". They alternate between performing short scenes and discussing the films in the form of a lecture, although even when they're out of character they still use quotes from the films, e.g. "I've got a bad feeling about this..." It's delightfully low budget, with costumes/props that have been cobbled together, or left over from the toys the actors owned as kids.
After doing the six films separately, they then performed all six put together in 60 seconds, and you can view that on the Sky Movies website (that video uses Media Player). If you're less bothered about copyright issues, I believe that you can also find copies of the whole thing on YouTube, but I won't include any direct links to those here. Oh alright, I'll provide one - here's an interview they did on Sky News. Anyway, well worth watching if you get the chance (based on the people who I think are likely to be reading this).
I never got round to posting a proper review of Revenge of the Sith after I saw it last year, but one question which did occur to me at the time - what exactly did the prophecy mean when it said that Anakin was supposed to bring balance to the Force? I.e. balance between what and what? If it said "He will destroy the dark side", then I can see the Jedi council being all in favour, but if it says that he'll put the Light side and the Dark side at equal strength then this might not be such a great thing...
I've also been pondering which order it's best to see the films in. I started out by seeing Return of the Jedi at the cinema, then saw A New Hope on TV afterwards, and didn't get round to watching The Empire Strikes Back until a few years later. I then watched the prequel films in the order they were released, although I think that I've only seen each one once so far. If someone was completely new to the series, and didn't know anything about it (specifically the Skywalker family tree), which order would it be best to watch them in? The order that they were filmed in, or chronological order for the characters? When I've come to a book series late, I've favoured chronological order (thinking about the Stainless Steel Rat and Miles Vorkosigan series) rather than publication order, so maybe that would be best here too? I re-watched the remastered version of Return of the Jedi on DVD with rjw1 a while back, and I found that it was a stronger film when I could think back to corresponding scenes in episodes I/II.
What order should someone see the Stars Wars films in for the first time?
I still don't have my own copy of the films, so at least I've avoided the trap of buying 5 different versions like some people I know :) My new plan is to wait for the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD version, so that I can hopefully get all six on one disk. Ditto for Lord of the Rings - even if that's just one film per disk, I think that would be better than the current split.
Speaking of Blu-Ray, what I'd really like to see is box-sets of seasons being released in a condensed form, i.e. going for quantity rather than quality - if you can get 50 hours to a disk, that would cover two seasons of a standard American SF series. I used to say that Babylon 5 would be my "killer app" for DVDs - I didn't buy the VHS tapes because I was waiting for the DVD versions to come out, and although I didn't actually own a DVD player at the time I said that I would buy one just to watch them. As it's turned out, I never followed through on that, but I'll make the same plan now for the next generation. Mind you, I'll wait until the price drops a bit - Amazon are currently selling a player for £999.99! And speaking of Amazon (UK), I was amused to see that searching their site for Blu-Ray returned The Smurfs - Baby Smurf on VHS in its top 10 results.