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I guess I just like liking things

This past Saturday I hosted my 8th annual movie marathon. I chose Star Wars because Episode VII is coming out later this year, so this was my first repeat – Star Wars was the very first movie marathon. We had a decent crowd, 10-15 throughout the day, with 7-8 of us there for the whole thing. I choose Episode order rather than release order (or Machete order) for one main reason: it puts Episode I at 7:45a, so anyone who overslept wasn’t really missing much. Anyone planning to come see the whole series already knew Darth Vader was Luke’s father, so ruining that surprise wasn’t really an issue. We also watched the theatrical releases of Episodes IV-VI, which I hadn’t seen in a long time. I knew that Han shot first, but I didn’t remember that Greedo didn’t shoot at all. That was pretty cool.

I won’t go into all the problems with the prequels, as others have done it and done it better than I ever could. Honestly, I’m not near as invested in Star Wars as I am in Star Trek, so while the lousy stuff does bother me, it doesn’t make me weep, gnash my teeth, and tear my clothes. I’m reminded every time I watch them, though, about the stuff I do like in the prequels. It’s a short list, but these are the things I really like about them:

  • The first 20 minutes (or so) of Episode I – I like seeing the Jedi being used as negotiators. It stands to reason that if they are the keepers of the peace they’d be used like this. When we saw Obi Wan, Luke, and Yoda in the originals, it was a galaxy devoid of Jedi other than those three, so we didn’t know what it would look like with more. I love this expansion. I also like that we see Qui-Gon and Obi Wan use Force Run and Force Jump, things we learned about mostly in the Star Wars videogames (aside from Luke’s force jump out of the freezing facility on Bespin in Empire Strikes Back).
  • Darth Maul – Enigmatic, determined, and dangerous. Plus, he looked really, really cool!
  • The lightsaber fights – I love how athletic and manic they are. I realize there’s a lot of useless flash in the fights, but I can accept that as attempts to confuse the opponent.
  • GeneralĀ Grievous – I wish we would have seen more of him. A lightsaber-collecting (and using!) cyborg? Heck, yeah!
  • Mace Windu – A great character done well, and that purple lightsaber is the coolest.
  • Palpatine’s machinations – Watching them all in a row gives a better picture of how he uses fear and manipulation to turn Anakin towards the Dark Side and create war to give himself more power. Dooku should not have been surprised in the slightest when Palpatine told Anakin to kill Dooku. That’s what Sith do, man. Should read the fine print.

And, dialogue aside, I have to admit I like the pod race.

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