EDITORIAL: My Thoughts On The STAR WARS Saga And J.J. Abrams Directing EPISODE VII

Every Wars fan obviously loves the original films, with mixed feelings weighing in on the prequels from both sides of the fanboy fence. Hit the jump to read my thoughts on the films as well as my views on the decision of J.J. Abrams to helm the new film.

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By WesleyGibson - 1/26/2013
Well let's start this off by saying that this read means no offense to the people who dislike the prequels and I respect those opinions, but I for one, love the films. Same goes for the originals, because frankly, I just love everything Star Wars, and always have since I was a kid. Nothing was ever more awesome to me than that magical hum of a lightsaber(one of the greatest weapons in Sci-Fi history I might add), The wisdom of Yoda, the chilling sound of Vader, Han Solo, Bounty Hunters, hell, anything that relates to the universe has always appealed to me. Nothing was more essential in my years of childhood than getting to see a Star Wars film on the big screen. While I may not have got to see the originals, I did get to see all the prequels, and seeing that in the theaters was a wonderful experience.

After hearing the news of J.J. Abrams(Star Trek) getting the role of director behind the new Star Wars, I know not everyone was happy, but I sure the hell was. I love Abrams work, and I feel he could bring something really different to the universe we all know and love, yet keep it close to what everyone grew up with. I have faith in him. I am a little afraid however, that it will be similar to Star Trek and it would seem like a re-hash of his previous work. So while I am excited, I am cautious towards the decision because of that reason. So, we'll Just have to see how it turns out.

Now, let's move on to my standings on the films. As a whole, I feel they are an amazing series of films, with the connection between them making them all the better. I loved how Anakin's story slowly moved from film to film, with somewhat of a satisfying beginning, to a very satisfying end. The rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker was a very interesting story for me seeing as how Vader is one of my favorite movie villains. So I never thought it was a bad choice to go, and I found myself enjoying the storyline for what it was.

Chronologically, It all started in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. We were introduced to a young Obi-Wan Kenobi, the humble beginnings of Anakin Skywalker as a slave, Darth Maul, Anakin's future love interest Padme Amidala, The Emperor a.k.a. Palpatine and many other things, people, and events that started the connection between the prequels and the original films. I felt that the effects were great, and as a kid seeing it, the lightsaber duel at the end of the film had me entranced from beginning to end. Liam Neeson did a great job as Obi-Wan's master, and Ray Park really shined as the menacing Darth Maul simply by his choreography and facial expressions. I was also really young when the film was released so I think I was about one of the only ones that actually liked Jar Jar Binks(which later became no more than a pathetic pawn of the Sith).

Next, was Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones which was a little more darker in tone than the previous episode. We witnessed the introductions of Boba Fett, as well as his father, Jango Fett. We saw the birth of the Clone Wars as mentioned by Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi in A New Hope, as well as the rise of a new Sith Lord by the name of Darth Tyranus, or better known as Count Dooku. The film also marks the very beginnings of Anakin's fall from grace, as he goes on a rampage killing Tusken Raiders due to the death of his mother at their hands. One of the things I feel that took away from what could have made the prequels better was the romance between Anakin and Padme which began in this episode and awkwardly carried on in Revenge of the Sith, the next episode.

Speaking of which, brings me to the next installment of the franchise, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. This one is one of my favorites simply because if how dark it was due to Anakin's betrayal to the Jedi, and I got to see Darth Vader on the big screen. Also, the lightsaber fights were amazing to see. I will agree however that the plot was weak, and the romance and weird, hammy dialogue should have been handled better. Besides those elements, I really liked this one. I will never forget how everyone in the packed theater room stood up and cheered when the film ran its course. It was awesome to experience.

Now, we move on to the original films. Staring with Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope where Darth Vader has seized control of the galaxy and the only hope to stop him is his only son, Luke Skywalker, who is as strong with the force as Vader is, as well as a band of unlikely heroes who form the rebellion against the evil empire which Vader holds. This is the film that introduced audiences to the wonderful world of Star Wars with its swashbuckling story and amazing special effects. This is truly a classic and one of the best films ever made. I love the film for all that it is, and it will always be one of my most favorite films to watch.

Next is Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back which is also my favorite of the six films. It is of a darker tone than the previous film, and the title of the episode says it all. Vader wants to find Luke, and convert him to the dark side, while the rebellion suffers a massive and devastating attack from the empire. Luke discovers who his father really is and loses a hand in the process. This one was a tricky one to watch as a kid, but also a very enjoyable experience due to the fact that it was a huge contrast to the by-the-book antics of the fourth episode, by giving the dark side its time to shine while leaving a pretty interesting cliffhanger. Highly recommended.

Last, but not least, is the sixth film, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. While it does have a bit of a slow start, the action really picks up, from the daring rescue of Han Solo from the evil clutches of Jabba the Hutt, to the final climactic and highly emotional lightsaber duel between Vader and Luke, in which Luke realizes his true destiny while making his father realize his by saving Luke's life from the evil Emperor. The film, while not as enjoyable as to me as V, is still a great film, with the best part being the final confrontation between father and son.

All in all, I do have my favorites, but I love and enjoy all the films for what they are and what they have. I gotta say that without the wonderful world of Star Wars, my childhood would have been a little less fun. The films aren't perfect, but I never had too many complaints. I just hope that J.J. Abrams will deliver. I hope you enjoyed this article, and please, feel free to share your thoughts below.
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GIFfreyGinsberg - 1/26/2013, 1:08 AM
Like the current media in regards to history and Django toys.., we should just try to pretend that the prequels didn't happen, eh? Oooohhhhh.., lose the pic of Hayden.
hush - 1/26/2013, 1:22 AM
If a person truly loved Star Wars then they wouldn't like the sequels.

I am sure Disney will pull something amazing out of their hat, but ultimately, unless Han Solo, luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are in the movie, they are flogging a dead horse.
TheSensationalSpiderman - 1/26/2013, 1:25 AM
Amazing article!!! It's great that there our other Star Wars fans out there that love all Star Wars and not just the originals.
Parker2017 - 1/26/2013, 1:27 AM
nice job you bring up some interesting points and I LOVE IT! really thought out article and hey I thoguth Arbams did make a star wars film. the prequals where nice the orignals are classic's.
TheSensationalSpiderman - 1/26/2013, 1:33 AM
@hush So if a person loves the sequels that means they truly don't love Star Wars. Wow you are completely wrong. Same goes to the people who say if you love the prequels you're not truly a fan. What gives you the right to say something like that.
jambion - 1/26/2013, 1:34 AM
lmao at these elitist mutha[frick]as who are saying that you cant like the prequels if you "truly love Star Wars" get off your high horse, pal
DrHorrible - 1/26/2013, 1:36 AM
Great editorial, Wesley.

BTW, it's Episode VII, not IIV. Just letting you know. :)
ahhmynuts - 1/26/2013, 1:38 AM
@hush im sure theyll be involved if they want to be involved but to make them play significant roles? idk about that. gotta got with reality over nostalgia.
theyre old as hell and not even close to the shape they were in when they were filming. why would a new trilogy just use the guys from the old movies. i mean it'll be like watching the movie RED based in space.
only real reason someone would want to see the past characters is because we havent seen them on the big screen in a while. not because we think "itll be better" JJ revived star trek with a new cast and i think he can do it with star wars
DrHorrible - 1/26/2013, 1:45 AM
@hush You are a perfect example of an elitist jerkoff. How about instead of acting like an idiot, you grow up and accept that others have their own opinions about things.

I have loved Star Wars about as long as I have loved comics. I am a HUGE Star Wars nut. In that respect, I love all of the movies for what they are, no matter how "crappy" people say they are.

I am unsure about the fact of an Episode VII, seeing as the events after Episode VI are covered in the books and because I think Star Wars is good as a double trilogy.

Furthermore, the way they say that the movie won't tie into the books makes me uneasy, mostly because the expanded universe is RICH with stories that are just begging to be shown on-screen.

I guess we will wait and see what happens.
SupLezz - 1/26/2013, 1:47 AM
Episode IIV? there's no such thing... (in Mandarin's voice)
Newbus - 1/26/2013, 1:52 AM
Vader didn't seize control of the galaxy the Emperor did. Vader was the means to an end.

Now that the Emperor is dead along with Vader I wander what else is there to tell. Star Wars is about good vs evil. If evil has been destroyed then that's it...end of story.
TheSensationalSpiderman - 1/26/2013, 1:59 AM
@ Newbus peace doesn't last forever and we don't know if every sith was killed in the galaxy.
DrRockso - 1/26/2013, 2:34 AM
Nice job. Just please don't refer to Star Wars as "Wars"
DrHorrible - 1/26/2013, 3:10 AM
The Sith are NOT dead, guys. In the events after Episode VI, Han and Leia's son, Jacen, becomes a Sith named Darth Caedus after helping stop the Yuuzhan Vong War and saving countless lives. His own twin sister, Jaina, who gets help and training from Boba Fett (yes, THAT Boba Fett) is forced to kill him.

Long story short, just because the Emperor and his right-hand man are dead, it doesn't mean evil dies with them. There are plenty of unexplored evils and conflicts not yet explored in the Star Wars universe.

Personally, I'd like to see the Yuuzhan Vong War, mostly because it was a very brutal conflict and it would be cool as hell to see on-screen.

But, we most likely won't get that because this new movie is going to be "original", which has me concerned...
Danbojohnj - 1/26/2013, 3:13 AM
Love the originals and the Clone Wars stuff is amazing and as far as I'm concerned that's all that exist .Ewoks,Droids,Caravan of Courage(and the other one),Christmas Special and the prequels never [frick]ing happened.

Put the WAR back into Star Wars JJ and I'll give you a shot,but I'm watching you.
Danbojohnj - 1/26/2013, 3:20 AM
Bring back the Emperor too,he only fell down a big shaft(s[racial slur]) same as Luke did at the end of TESB,and while I'm at it,turn Luke to the dark side.He went nuts and chopped his Dads hand off,same loss of control as when his Father slaughtered the Tusken camp...once you start down the dark path etc.


And kill Han and Chewie.
Danbojohnj - 1/26/2013, 3:21 AM
^^^WTF racial slur??? I put sn1gger as in snicker or chortle not the N word???????
hueyfreeman - 1/26/2013, 3:29 AM
BOO, get off ofmain
DrHorrible - 1/26/2013, 3:37 AM
@Danbojohnj



All of your "ideas" literally made me lose brain cells. I only hope you are joking. If you're not, I feel very sorry for you.
Danbojohnj - 1/26/2013, 3:40 AM
Haha
AC1 - 1/26/2013, 3:45 AM
I don't mind the prequels, but they're no where near as good as the originals, and I hate Jar Jar and dislike both Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen as Anakin. Plus, Count Dooku could've been handled better, the romance could've been done better (not the cliche soppy mess we got) and I think General Grievous, while a cool character, was a bit pointless.

Not sure why this is on main though, you pretty much just recapped the saga so far and said that you liked them.

@Danbojohnj it's a computer system that just detects swear words and censors them, even if those letters in the same order happen to be within another word. I remember there was a Japanese actress mentioned in an article once whose name was censored to [frick]ishima.
USAgent - 1/26/2013, 3:45 AM
Well said. Nice to hear someone else loves it like most others. Sure the prequels could have been better but I loved them, with Sith also being my favorite of those as well as Empire being most everyone's fav from the OT. We can only hope that Disney will do us proud. They done well with their Marvel properties thus far so we can only hope and expect nothing more than excellence in return
AC1 - 1/26/2013, 3:49 AM
Not sure I want to see any more Sith though, getting a bit old now. If the Sith have to be reintroduced, then use at least this first new film as just a set up, perhaps focusing on one of the new Jedi who slowly begins to fall to the dark side, eventually leaving the order. The next film could have him find and study the Sith holocrons, and the film after that could have him recreate the Sith order and (if they're planning to go further than Episode 9) ignite a new Sith war. In fact, it might be interesting to focus on the villain more than the hero - it'd parallel Anakin's downfall, but it'd be different as it'd be of his/her own doing and (s)he'd take control whereas Anakin was seduced to the dark side.
hush - 1/26/2013, 3:59 AM
@ DrHorrible - The prequels are wank, they are rubbish films badly directed, poorly acted with no soul and are designed for one purpose - to make money. They are a shambolic mess, the stories are contrived and they rely to much on effects and not enough on actual story telling.

Feel free to defend the films - and then watch Red Letter Medias review of the prequels, come back, agree with me and then... and only then I will stop mocking you for defending these bag of **** movies.

Sorry if I dislike people who defend movies that, in my opinion (yes, I am also allowed one even if it differs with yours) belittle something I loved dearly as a child.

There is absolutely no defence for the total arse gravy George Lucus brought to the table.

Your taste in movies is bad and you should feel bad.

casanovagunny - 1/26/2013, 4:23 AM
Nice article! Waiting to see if JJ Abrams will deliver a Star Wars movie we deserve as fans and not a Star Trek copy.
Christuffer - 1/26/2013, 4:31 AM
@hush-

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Hawksblueyes - 1/26/2013, 4:37 AM
Nice write up Wes!

I've been meaning to write an editorial on this topic myself. As tea stated... the sequels were heartless. Every bit of character that overflowed in the first three films was blatantly missing in the three prequels.

Han, Luke, Hell...every character in the first three wore their emotions on their sleeve. Yet, the droids in the prequels seemed to be the only things with any emotion at all.

Abrams can and I'm certain that he will, rectify that. He can make the world care about these characters again.
Gunjin - 1/26/2013, 4:52 AM
@DoctorHorrible Totally agree. Bring on the New Jedi Order! P.S. I'll plug again for Zach Levi as Corran Horn. Just start with the stand alone move "I Jedi".
Spideyguy94 - 1/26/2013, 5:02 AM
I'm 23 and my exposure to Star Wars all comes from my dad, who grew up on the originals. Which led to my exposure to the originals. I'm part of a generation that grew up with the prequels, but due to my exposure to the originals as a kid they'll always be my Star Wars movies and not the prequels. The thing about the prequels Is that much like batman forever and robin I walked out of the movie theatre loving them due to my extremely young age, but as I grew older I realised how bad they are. The thing about the prequels and why they aren't as good as the originals, is that George Lucas got old. Because when Lucas made the originals he was young, very rebellious and anti-hollywood and wanted to beat them at they're own game with Star Wars but he didn't have full creative control. With the prequels he was much older and had become part of the Hollywood money machine he was once against, he didn't care and only wanted to make money. It's much like frank millers and his different mind sets for his 2 dark knight comic books. You read the dark knight returns and you can see that it's written by a young man who got a lot of anger in him saying look at how f*cked up and shitty the world is. The dark knight strikes again and you can see its written by an old man saying why is everything so grim and gritty now a days, lets get back to being fun (the dark knight strikes again is still poor).
BenRielly - 1/26/2013, 5:04 AM
I started to read this article and then dude lost me right at the first sentence when he said that he "loves" the prequels. LMAO LOL ROFLMAO. Any point that you were hoping to make by writing this article is now null and void.

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NoAssemblyReqd - 1/26/2013, 5:19 AM
I love STAR WARS, but I admit I rarely watch TPM or AOTC. ROTS, while still flawed in the acting department, is storywise several levels better than its predecessors, so it easily gets the most play of the prequels whenever we do a family STAR WARS marathon.

Lucas set the bar low, unfortunately, but that's good news for the sequels!
Facade - 1/26/2013, 5:23 AM
The prequels don't exists for me. They are no more Star Wars as the infamous Holiday Special or the Ewok Adventure was Star Wars. Lucas set the bar so low that a film student could have done better than the prequels, so considering JJ Abrams is not film student, he'll do fine. For the record: Abrams' Star Trek was better than most Star Trek films.
JacksonVegaIII - 1/26/2013, 5:24 AM
I can understand liking the recent prequels if your a Star Wars obsessive but from a cinematic point of view there just [frick]ing terrible films all cg wankery with no depth whatsoever, the 1st 3 great, I get it, Im not a massive fan or anything but I understand the fanaticism, Abrams is a smart guy and Im sure he'll be all to aware of what was wrong with the prequels and will be calculating ways in which he can avoid makinjg the same mistakes again.

As long as he avoids going mental with the cg and tries to use as much 'physical' animatronics, sets and puppetry as he can I think these films could be really special.

Personally Idve preferred a Del Toro type director some one with a real original visual style who has a strong background in designing creatures and sets but Abrams is a decent choice


Ps Dash Rendar should be the new Han Solo
RyGoR - 1/26/2013, 5:33 AM
@wes good editorial man very nice write up my good sir!

I personally like the prequels but now that I'm older I can understand why people dislike them so it's all a matter of opinion and taste whether you like the cgi heavy prequels or not it makes no difference because we ALL our Star Wars fans we should be happy that the sequel trilogy is happening!!!!!! So whatever you feel is fine but think about it Star Wars Episode VII is coming out...........same year as avengers 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Be happy we all can agree that a new Star Wars is greatly needed

And we can also agree on boobies! All hail boobies <3 :)
norseman79 - 1/26/2013, 5:39 AM
The prequels were not good films but I enjoyed them to a certain extent simply because they were Star Wars.
mykanmur - 1/26/2013, 6:05 AM
Though I did not grow up with the prequel films, I just turned 36 this week, I can understand how the experience of it can be awe-inspiring for a kid. It's the experience itself that is enjoyed, more than the quality of the films. This article is a good one, but as much as the writer says how much he likes the prequels, he admits to how they fell short - and he's right. Story and character development are absolutely crucial to a film, and no amount of light saber dueling, cool aliens and gadgets, and starship battles can make up for that.

The prequels were tightly controlled by Lucas, who allowed for very little creative collaboration that could have made the "sucky" parts better. The actors in the original trilogy actually argued with Lucas to change things - Harrison Ford insisted on changing lines, thus the famous line "I know" in response to Leia's "I love you." The prequels are beautifully executed films - in the visual, choreographic, sound and musical sense (the story is terribly lacking and often painfully contrived). They are now part of the Star Wars lexicon. Folks that choose to ignore that have that right, but there's no sense in denying it for others.

We can only hope that Mr. Abrams will not fall into the traps that caused for the prequels to be so lackluster, and perhaps the sequel trilogy will reunite the Star Wars fan community in loving the sequel movies together.
Hawksblueyes - 1/26/2013, 6:22 AM
tea: God Damn! Why does that always happen when I pass out?
MJPETTY7 - 1/26/2013, 7:24 AM
Good article. I really enjoy the Prequels too. I was 4 when I saw Episode I in theaters and I was hooked on Star Wars ever since. The only thing Star Wars I don't really care for is "The Clone Wars" TV series (the new on, not the original one) and that's mainly because I don't like Asoka and the fact that it's nothing like the original Clone Wars series. All-in-all, I too am happy that Abrams is taking over Star Wars, and I'm looking forward to Episode VII. In my opinion, if you say the only reasons you don't like the Prequels are Jar Jar and how Anakin was portrayed, then you're VERY closed-minded. If you're a fan of Star Wars, you should at least be open to any Star Wars film out there, and shouldn't dig on those who like the Prequels, especially since we all like the Originals better anyway. Nuff said, peace!
EdgyOutsider - 1/26/2013, 7:29 AM
I never grew up with Star Wars so, I don't really have much of a valid opinion. I've always found them boring. That being said, if I had to pick a favorite, it would definitely be The Phantom Menace. It was the most engaging to me.

That is all.
TheDudeRises - 1/26/2013, 7:33 AM
Weak article. All of that just to say "I like JJ and his movies" and "I love Star Wars and have watched them all. Just to prove it I will list some of the major story beats". This is some some Harry Knowles kinda crap. I'm just saying throw some wild speculation in there. Make it interesting and not just a wankfest.
Also the character's name is Emperor Palpatine. Not The Emerpor aka Palpatine. He was an evil senator who became an evil emperor he never dropped the surname.
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