(For those who may be unfamiliar with this holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal "floating" holiday which lands on the third Monday of January, celebrating one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement that aimed to eliminate racial discrimination. His actual birthday is January 15--but the USA loves its three-day weekends so it's always on a Monday.)
(DISCLAIMER: There will be no spoilers in this post, I promise. I will make no mention of the specifics of what happens in the movie.)
So, this weekend I watched Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
I'm sure you've heard of these Science Fiction movies before. It's impossible to browse the internet without running into a reference to one character or another or the setting or the plot.
What stirred me to see them now? Eventually, I tired of wondering how many references went over my head and/or how many times I missed a joke. And since I love SF and nerdy things, I decided to watch them, in the order the movies were released. That seems to be what most people say is the best way to see them, despite the fact the prequel trilogy is labeled I-III and the original trilogy is IV-VI. Don't ask me.
Plus, I figured if I was going to come across so many spoilers, I might as well go to the source. (Thank you, world wide web, for telling me what happens and who happens to be re--ah, I'll shut up now.)
Anyway. I put a hold on it at the library and they shipped me the video. I began with a few expectations:
1. That it would be a lot like Eragon by Christopher Paolini.
2. That R2-D2 would be cute, though I wasn't sure he was in Episode IV.
3. That there would be light sabers.
And I discovered that:
1. It is rather like Eragon by Christopher Paolini. That's due, of course, to the fact Paolini drew on a lot of influences in his Inheritance Cycle (meaning he mashed together different elements from famous stories). There are, however, a few differences in the other major characters and the setting doesn't have a whole lot in common.
2. R2-D2 is indeed cute. (Reminded me of Wall-E.)
3. Light sabers are weapons used by the Jedi. I thought they could be used by, you know, everybody.
I also found out:
1. I have been pronouncing Jedi in my head wrong all this time. It isn't Jed-EE it's Jed-AI. Oops. (And yes, just in my head. I don't know, definitively, anyone who has seen Star Wars in person . . .)
2. Darth Vader talks. I thought he just wheezed.
3. Princess Leia can stand up for herself. I won't point out the multitude of SF stories that have weak female protagonists, but I can't put Star Wars in among them. Huzzah!
All in all, I thought Episode IV: A New Hope was a good movie and worth watching, with an interesting cast of characters, an overall strong plot, and a fascinating Science Fiction universe. I can see how they could build prequels out of it, because the first thing that comes onscreen is a scrolling and highly-condensed explanation of the rebellion against the Empire. There's got to be a story behind that.
Have you seen Star Wars? What did you think of it? And if you haven't seen any of the movies, do you want to?
-----The Golden Eagle