Confessions of a STAR WARS Virgin

by     Posted 2 years, 29 days ago

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Hello, my name is Allison, and I have never seen Star Wars.  Nope, not any of them.  It was mostly an oversight for awhile growing up (and my house was loyal to Star Trek), then a conscious decision at a point I can’t really remember; probably around the time I found out the main spoiler (“I am …”) and was so saturated in cultural references to it at all times that I figured, “why bother?”  My general understanding of the series is summed up more or less by the character Malcolm Tucker from the BBC series The Thick of It, plus a zeitgeist and film-studies awareness of the fiasco of Jar Jar Binks.  But the nuances of the performances, the relationships among the characters, and certainly the obsession over the franchise, is completely lost on me.

It seemed like a decent time, then, with Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilms and rumors of a new movie and this site’s extensive coverage of all things Star Wars to admit to my boss and co-workers that, well, I hadn’t actually seen it.  The idea was then born: better late than never, right?  Hit the jump for the specifics of this journey through space and time. 

star-wars-episode-v-the-empire-strikes-back-yodaAs for the viewing order, rest assured there were extensive email chains about it (release order or chronological order?  Or something altogether experimental?), but in the end it seemed right to approach it the way the rest of the fandom did, with the original three first, followed by the prequels.  So here I am, an adult, watching the series for the first time and giving, along the way, my feelings about it.  Does the series stand up for those who weren’t indoctrinated in childhood?  Will I find the typical characters and situations as appealing as the majority, or will there be something that I pick up on as a veteran movie watcher now that is different?  Most importantly, what color lightsaber am I going to want?

Every day I’ll be sharing my thoughts and impressions film by film, so feel free to join in a re-watch (or first-time watch, if there are other newbs among you) or just observe the experiment in action.

Now, from what I understand, somewhere a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

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  • mrnateathon

    May the Force be with you

  • lovetron

    How do you get a job at a movie site without having ever seen what is arguably the biggest American cultural phenomenon ever? Way to screen, Collider. Hurpadurp!

    Sure, I’d love to follow along with your virgin endeavor. It will be similar to hearing what it was like to put pants on for the first time.

    • Katie

      You know what would be awesome? You figuring out that you’re not as smart or witty as you think you are and just deciding not to comment. If you don’t like the concept, don’t read it.

      Or, you could trot out your snark just to prove how big of a dick you can be to someone you won’t be accountable to later. Whatever gets you off, bro.

      • Dan

        Katie is awesome. That is all.

      • Matt

        Dan is pretty awesome too.

    • @cinejordan

      I don’t understand the overwhelming adoration for the films, so I look forward to reading something from someone who has never seen them. Should be a unique perspective…

  • Nate H

    Prepare to be underwhelmed by these films, Allison. It’s not that I don’t think they’re good – they are amazing. But a large part of the love people have for them is growing up with them and having them be part of our culture. You can’t make up for that. Then add on the fact that people who have seen them hype them so much that they can’t possibly live up to the expectations. On top of that, the special effects don’t quite hold up to today’s standards (even with the remastered versions). Add it all up, and it’s a recipe for a let down. I had the same experience when I saw Ghostbusters for the first time as an adult and wondered why anyone thought the movie was exceptional. I hope you love ‘em like all of us lifers do, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up for love at first sight.

    • lovetron

      Well said. I suspect we’re in for a bunch of condescending snark, wondering what all the to-do is about. Still not sure how this is relevant in the first place. Yay, you’re late to the party.

    • ccraw13

      Ghostbusters holds up because it is hilarious. I did not see it until I was an adult either, and after my first viewing I went and bought the DVD. CLASSIC.

    • Lance

      Agree with Nate. There’s probably no way to go back in time and re-experience the wonder the way we all did when the original trilogy first came out. Especially because so much of filmmaking since that time has been influenced by Star Wars. To see it now without all the collective memories is likely going to be a “Huh? How is this better than…” moment.

  • stylus59

    Only watched the prequel trilogy. Fuck me right?

  • Retro

    Watch the originals without the added special effects. Original release effects, all the way. I hadn’t watched the original 3 the whole way through until a few years ago, and still haven’t seen all of the new 3. I think the most endearing part of the original Star Wars movies was the fact that you were watching real miniature models flying around in space, walking on glaciers, and zipping through forests. A lot of the special effects were old-school and practical, and it was fun. From seeing the ads for the new 3, the fun is lost by the look of space craft that don’t look real – you know it’s just a computerized cartoon and not a tangible model that you know is real. I’m hoping the next bunch of films blend models with CGI and use less green-screen sets, to keep that real feeling of wonder of the old films.

    • lovetron

      Not to mention the creatures. The cantina scene and Jabba’s palace left indelible impressions upon my adolescent mind in a way digital effects probably never could. Muppet Yoda is infinitely better than digital Yoda.

    • Kenny B

      2001 did it better……………….. not as nuanced, but better.

  • amg907

    Wow. Your STARWARS cherry needs to be popped. Hard.

  • Boingg

    Yea not to sound nasty but your breaking bad reviews were lousy, and you havent seen star wars..?? How did u land this job lady?

    • Katie

      “Not to sound nasty,” huh? Try again, sweetie.

    • Tim

      Then why are you commenting here Boingg? Just to whine and bitch?

  • Classics on Screen

    I love the anonymous hate on Allison, at least Ryan Sternfels had the balls to say something using his real name.

    • Retro

      I think they are so bitter because she’s just a Star Wars Virgin and not just a plain-old regular virgin, like they are… from being die-hard Star Wars fans. hehe All kidding aside – really foul attitudes are usually linked to not getting any sex.

      • Get Real!

        Yeah, because guys who are a-holes and women who are beyotches never get laid. Oh wait, yes they do. Welcome to life, middle-schooler!

      • Nerdgasm

        I have a sinking suspicion though that Lovetron is Ryan so Ryan was doing it to.

  • Joseph M

    Too many say SW can’t be fully appreciated unless you saw it back in the day. While this is true, it has to be remembered that not everyone was a kid in 1977 and a truly good film can be appreciated at any point in time. The truth is, SW is now an ‘old movie’ just as Forbidden Planet was an old movie back in ’77. Both films can be watched, appreciated and enjoyed while always maintaining a subliminal reminder that they are of the past, and that consideration has to be given to the state of film and genre at the time of release. While it’s a bit harsh to question Allison’s worth as a Collider writer, I do think it’s odd she hasn’t viewed a cinematic behemoth that changed the entire face of late 20th century cinema, regardless of spoiler awereness. However, I have much respect for Collider and trust their judgement when hiring writers.
    PS. A tip? Try and ignore the Ewoks…

  • lordjim

    star wars (i´m referring to the original trilogy, couldn´t make myself care about the new ones) has a lot to do with the imagination the audience invested into this huge world, the movies from an objective standpoint aren´t nearly as good as the universe they exist in, just collecting the sticker´s when i was a child even before i had seen the movies made me feel entering a whole new world.the empire strikes back was the only truly good movie of the franchise, and george lucas was a hack back then as he is now, polemically speaking without the fantastic design a new hope would have been just a childish remake of a better kurosawa movie (of course i admit that the space setting was a brillant idea).also empire strikes back was my first star wars experience so maybe the other ones just had do disappoint me.anyway may the force be with you!

  • Yahzee

    Stop.Saying.Hit the jump…

  • Mez

    Love this! I hope you enjoy the journey and be as honest as you can. I look forward to your view on this and may it be an enjoyable experience. :D

  • tinypony

    I haven’t seen any of them either. I’m 0 for 6. I’ll decide whether to start after reading Allison’s reviews.

    • hi

      Me either. Can’t decide whether or not to invest SO MUCH time on these movies. We’re counting on you, Allison!

      • Beatific

        “SO MUCH time”? If you watch the original trilogy it’s six hours.

  • Kay

    This is the same chick who gave the “Dead Freight” episode of Breaking Bad (the train heist episode) a “B”. Does anyone really value her opinion?

    • Katie

      Does anyone really value yours?

    • Tim

      Why on earth are you wasting your time commenting here then Kay? Move on to something else in your life.

    • Nerdgasm

      “Dead Freight” was a convoluted mess of story telling that i started to not care about half way through the episode. And was FAR FAR from one of the best episodes of season 5. shut up Kay…Your probably someone who discredits people for not liking things you like or up to the standard you like which means you are closed minded and not very smart. try branching out and accepting what people say you might be up to reading and watching some really amazing things.

  • Retro

    I think they are so bitter because she\’s just a Star Wars Virgin and not just a plain-old regular virgin, like they are… from being die-hard Star Wars fans. hehe All kidding aside – really foul attitudes are usually linked to not getting any sex.

  • Anthony

    Hey Kay, shut up and show some respect!

  • Howie

    This all depends on a couple factors. You have to watch this w/ THX enabled headphones, you can’t be watching it from laptop speakers. What version will you watch? Even the original version is not the original. The only(best) way to watch the original is laser disc and i don’t know how you’d be able to see that in a theatre with a THX certified surround sound system. Is this going to be your first intro to sci-fi? If it was only star trek you’d seen previously seen it’d be an okay primer, but it’s not, you’ve been to avatar, prometheus, or total recall all sci-fi with far better composite abilities. You’ve been jaded exposed to far better, nothing in the movie will be ground breaking. In the end it’ll result in a meh experience, with more questions than anything, like, “Why’s that guy green?”, or “How is that fat guy in charge of spice trade?” or something to that effect. The only thing it’s got going for it is the sound, which is why you can’t stress it enough to get a THX certified system to watch it with. Let the wookie win.

  • tarek

    Star Wars is a PURE HACK.

  • JLC

    I second the idea that you should watch the original trilogy in the laser disc versions that were extras on the DVD release a few years back. The special effects will look even more dated, but it will be a more pure experience. Then you can watch the special edition versions on Blu-Ray to see what all the fuss (especially Han Shot First) was about.

  • Oh Yeah?

    I’ve never seen any of the American Pie movies. Suck on that, internet!

  • Josh

    For an article about Star Wars…there seems to be a lot of people that hate these films and any idea of watching them. I think the article is an interesting idea and I look forward to the upcoming articles about the series Allison.

  • Enigmatic

    I had not seen the original trilogy until earlier this year either but I have to say that I enjoyed them and felt they held up well after all of this time. I think part of the reason was that I was able to think about when then they were made and that allowed me to keep everything in perspective.

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  • Scotty

    ENJOY!!!

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