For years I wrote off “Star Wars” as another typical classic film I had zero interest in watching until 1998 when sheer boredom gave way to curiosity. Managing to borrow the original trilogy on VHS from my aunt, I watched it in one entire sitting and loved every minute of it. Since then it’s been a very hectic relationship with the series packed with a lot of love, and a lot of bile. In 2015 “Star Wars Rebels” made me realize I still love the series after a self inflicted hiatus, and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” finally confirmed I wasn’t quite ready to abandon this series just yet. Like any other “Star Wars” geek I have controversial ideas about the series I love and hate, and these are five of the controversial aspects from the whole shebang I don’t hate.
5. Jango Fett
Let’s face it: a lot of the prequels were nothing but pandering and lame nostalgia that had no bearing to the narrative at hand. Did we really have to have Artoo and C3P0 in the prequels? Did we really need to see Yoda use a lightsaber? In either case, while including Jango Fett was just an excuse to appeal to the Boba Fett fans, Jango is not a bad character when you get down to it. He kind of looks like a Power Ranger, but he’s deadly, every bit at ruthless and merciless as Boba was, and he’s an ace shot to boot. He also manages to fight a Jedi without spiraling out of control screaming like a punk. Fett had the honor of being decapitated during battle by a Jedi master.
4. 1996 Star Wars Special Edition
If Disney opted not to release the original editions and asked fans to choose one of the many special editions, I’d choose the 1996 versions. It has the least amount of damage, improves on some bits here and there, and is the most subtle change Lucas inflicted on the trilogy. I didn’t get in to “Star Wars” until 1998, and before then I was shocked at how much people loved “Star Wars.” I fondly recall buying a big bag of Doritos plastered with “Star Wars” logos, and collecting a hologram pog of the main character Luke Sky—something. When I was given the VHS trilogy for my birthday in 1997, it’s what hooked me in to the series and never let go. I owned the gold VHS box set for years, and still have it in my collection somewhere. I watched it every weekend for a whole year, and enjoy the smaller changes, as well as the more interesting new sequences like the CGI scene of the X-Wing armada approaching the Death Star. I want the original editions on Blu-Ray, but I don’t hate the 1996 editions, either. And sorry, but I much prefer the new closing song to “Return of the Jedi” over the Ewok celebratory song from the original film.
3. The whole General Grievous Thing
You may know him as the CGI lame spider-Robot with the spinning lightsabers in all four hands who was beaten easier than a cub scout at recess, but Grievous actually had a better shelf life in the mid-quel “The Clone Wars.” Before “Revenge of the Sith,” Genndy Tartakovsky brought us in to the middle of the mythical Clone Wars where Anakin and Obi-Wan fought alongside each other. During the limited series, he introduced Grievous. Grievous is an imposing horrifying precursor to Darth Vader who kidnaps Palpatine and chases Obi-Wan and Mace Windu halfway across the city to reclaim him. Not only is Grievous fast, imposing, and relentless, but he’s an amazing warrior with the lightsaber. When a group of master jedis are forced to confront Grievous, he completely murders the entire group single handedly and shows off his four arms for the first time. He also shows he’s capable of holding another lightsaber with his foot, and is just a sick villain until the very end. It’s a shame Lucas didn’t know how to handle him and treated him so shoddily because Grievous is a cool villain; an unnecessary one, but a cool one.
2. Eliminating the Extended Universe
“Get over yourself, man.” Hey, hate me all you want, but I’m glad it’s no longer relevant. Mara Jade. Jacen Solo. Jaina Solo, Admiral Thrawn. The Jedi Academy. Exar Kun. I’m glad it’s all gone, gone, and completely defunct. When Disney bought Star Wars and all of its properties, they gave us the major announcement that the Extended Universe (aka the EU) would not be referenced in the new movies, and that the Extended Universe isn’t considered canon anymore. I cheered. I am so glad that the EU is no longer bearing any relevance to the new series, because it’s all so convoluted and boring.
I bought the “Star Wars Encyclopedia” back in the early aughts and did significant research and just can’t quite comprehend why so many people love the EU. I couldn’t connect with the novels, or the comics from Dark Horse, and couldn’t muster up enthusiasm for this large mythology that felt so detached from the original trilogy. I’m glad Disney is taking bits from the EU that doesn’t suck and using them for the new films. It’s like Disney is stripping a clunky old vehicle and using the working parts for a more simple and streamlined machine that works for everyone.
1. Masters of Teras Kasi
I’m subscribed to a lot of game channels on Youtube, and “Masters of Teras Kasi” is almost universally reviled as one of the worst “Star Wars” games of all time. Truthfully, I don’t hate it. I won’t defend it as a great game, but I fondly remember playing the demo for it when I got the first Playstation years ago and replayed the demo a billion times. It’s just a fighting game when you get down to it. It’s another mediocre fighting game, which is sad because with the “Star Wars” Universe at one’s fingertips, “Masters of Teras Kasi” should have been an amazing fighting game that utilized the universe.
It should have opened the door for a large series of “Star Wars” fighters that would have changed the way we look at the Lucas film series. Instead of giving us the best of “Star Wars” it feels like they just settled on the bare minimum and put it on shelves. The fighter is tough to control, the movements lack fluidity, the combos and moves are tough to master, and in the end it’s really just a button masher. But doggone it, I don’t hate the game, sue me. I like the animation, and the atmosphere, and the concept. Boba Fett fighting Luke Skywalker? Love it. Darth Vader fighting Chewbacca? Love it. I don’t disagree that “Masters of Teras Kasi” isn’t a good game, but I see it more as a giant missed opportunity rather than an awful game, when all is said and done.