Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Return of the attack of the revenge of the phantom new hope strikes back.

For the geeks among us another cultural milestone will soon be here. It is almost time for the next episode of Star Wars. This is the sixth time I have had the pleasure of looking forward to a new Star Wars movie. Funny how culture works; I can easily blow off the enthusiasm of sports fans going on about the team du jour, but this movie captivates me. Even as I seethe about the mass entertainment industries and avoid them more and more. Bad movies, bad teevee, bad music. I have every intention of queuing up for hours to experience this one moment.

I know that the latest couple of episodes pretty much sucked. But that is okay. George Lucas captured my imagination early, my formative years were spent under his spell and I now believe he can do no wrong. When it comes to Star Wars I will watch sucky movies and like them.

Being fully aware of how Star Wars has managed to become formulaic, I have built up some expectations.

A bottomless pit.
Luke and Leia did the cool swing across a bottomless pit in Star Wars. Luke and Vader battled over a bottomless pit in Empire Strikes Back. Return of the Jedi had two bottomless pits with the Sarlacc pit in the beginning and the one the Emperor got tossed into at the end. The conclusion to Episode I involved a bottomless pit. Lucas really screwed up by not including a bottomless pit in Episode II; and no, jumping out of flying cars does not count. It was not a pit and you could see the bottom.

An annoying character.
Luke ("…but I was going to Toshee station to pick up some power converters…"). C-3P0 ("…you have put my head on backwards…"). Jar-Jar ("Okeeday"). Annakin ("I don't like sand, it's rough and coarse, not smooth like you.") The question for the new Star Wars is will the annoying one be a lead character or supporting cast?

A new monster with bad monster makeup.
The most believable monsters to me were in the Star Wars cantina. Empire's monsters passed muster because there were not too many of them. Return of the Jedi had blatant and flagrant abuse of rubber suits (or furry suits). The new episodes and their CGI spiffyness do not pass the 'suspension of disbelief' test. The computer creatures look more fake than the guys in the rubber suits.

A new tool for R2D2.
First movie, R2 just rolled around and plugged into computers. Empire Strikes Back, he started welding things (and he had that cute little tiptoe scene outside Yoda's hut). Return of the Jedi, he starts serving drinks and using saw blades. Episode I he has magnetic wheels holding him to the hull of the ship. In Episode II we discover he can fly! What do you think the new movie will have? A blaster rifle popping out of his dome?