(Warning: May Contain Star Wars Cynicism and Clone Wars Spolier! Read at your own risk!) I’ve always considered myself a Star Wars fan. After all, I grew up with original movies, owned toys and comics, watched the Ewoks movies… basically a sucker for anything Star Wars. I even own a Star Wars beer stein which stores some old coins. So of course I was twice lured in to Star Wars features this month… the Star Wars Exhibit at the Science Museum in St. Paul and Clone Wars, released today in theaters.
The former event was billed as “Where Science meets Imagination” and should have been dubbed “Where Science Kills Imagination, stuffs it in a trunk, and buries it in the cement foundation of the new Twins stadium”.
I had high hopes when they scanned my ticket and it sounded like Han Solo’s blaster, and we started out our visit with an IMAX movie on special effects. It highlighted the effects in the re-release of the original Stars Wars films and Independence Day. In other words, it was created in 1997… before DVDs were even released. It was like trying to explain to a teenager the magic and wonder of the days before cell phones.
After leaving the IMAX theater you make your way to the actual exhibit where they have costumes and all kinds of models of things like the Death Star, X-wing fighter, and lightsabers. It was actually much cooler than the IMAX movie, but still fell slightly short. You assumed the models and costumes were the actual ones used in the movies, but nothing is ever described as such. Instead the signs read something like, “Tatooine is a desert planet filled with sand”. Imagine walking through the baseball hall of fame and seeing hundreds of bats, gloves, and balls… all with descriptions like “This bat was made of wood” or “Gloves were used to catch this ball.” No one cares about the glove unless we know whose hand it fit. No one cares about the ball until we know it was Number “61”. It was still cool to see everything, but I went away feeling a little cheated.
Then today Jill and I saw Clone Wars. A meaningless story trapped between two movies. If you intend to see the movie – DO NOT READ any further. Basically Anakin Skywalker trains a young Jedi while saving Jabba the Hut’s son from the evil separatists so the republic can travel freely through the outer rim. That’s it. The sad part is that all of us know how everything ends up. A better description would be: Anakin Skywalker trains a young Jedi who he eventually murders while saving Jabba the Hut’s soon to be dead son from the evil separatists who are actually conspiring with the republic to rule the galaxy making the whole movie completely pointless since Jabba the Hut sides neither with the rebellion or the empire in the end and gets choked to death by Anakin’s daughter. It’s great.
Yes, I complain, but I remain loyal. Now a cynic, but always a sucker, I know I’ll spend money to see whatever is next. I hold fast to the belief that it can’t be this bad forever… eventually George Lucas will get it right again… won’t he?