Popping my Star Wars cherry: What I thought about A New Hope

  • Soumya Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 21, 2015 13:51 IST
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer and Harrison Ford in a still from Star Wars: A New Hope. (Lucasfilm)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens released on December 18 everywhere in the world but China and India (you can thank Dilwale and Bajirao for that). While the rest of humanity is frothing at the mouth with excitement, we are here waiting for Christmas (it releases here on December 25). But hold on, we have something you can chew on meanwhile.

I have watched more movies than I can count on stars and I feel not a sliver of humility in making such a proclamation. However, I still have not watched some really big ones (incredibly ashamed as I make this confession) like the $4.6bn Star Wars space saga— a colossus of entertainment that so many works after it have stood upon to reach for their own heights.

Star Wars made me feel alienated. It hurts when you see online rants and understand none of them. Obsessives would fight over which lightsaber is the best as I would stand there waiting for the conversation to move to Harry Potter instead.

But no more! I will not endure another decade of cluelessness as others around me bask in the glory of the new Star Wars movie. I will try to be one of them. I will join the Force.

This scene was a good reminder that you are really far away from home (Earth). (Lucasfilms)

In a span of six days I will watch the six movies in the order of their original release and share my thoughts on them. There are a lot of different opinions on how one should watch the series but I feel it is best to follow the original sequence as time intended.

Characters/plot: Iconic or moronic?

Aside from a title scrawl borrowed from the Flash Gordon series, A New Hope begins with that familiar horn-blaring sound we have all heard a thousand times: the Star Wars theme, finally at the place it originated from. Every note, every beat, is seared in everyone’s mind having heard it at award ceremonies, in other movies, in vines and videos, but hearing it like this was spine-tingling: “Oooooh, here we go!”

Random question: If it is a story from a galaxy far far away, are Luke, Leia and everyone else humans or aliens that look a lot like humans? (Lucasfilms)

So the movie starts with the Empire forces taking control of a rebel ship and a gun fight (if you even call them guns) between the two parties. The green and red lasers sure looked childish and the “pew-pew” sound wasn’t helping either. But the horrible, goofy special effects of the sci-fi TV series Doctor Who were good preparation.

Read: The Force Awakens as Star Wars opens to enthusiastic response

Darth Vader was not half as scary as we thought he would be. That’s a shame. (Lucasfilms)

Feminists will no doubt be confused when they meet Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), who is supposed to be leading the rebel forces but still needs Han Solo and Luke Skywalker to come rescue her. She is smart, not easily intimidated, cares for her people and gives a lot of kisses to people she has just met, which felt weird. Random smooches aside, she looks like she could be a potentially likeable adventurous heroine. She is the one who finds a way to escape the Stormtroopers as they attack the trio. Not Han and not Luke. Plus her voice is hot.

“Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi”, goes Princess Leia as Luke falls in love with her hologram. (Lucasfilms)

Speaking of Luke (Mark Hamill), he is one twisted guy. His uncle, who took care of him for so many years, got charred (a very graphic death for an audience majorly made up of kids, you do you 1970’s) and the kid doesn’t shed a tear, he is all up for leaving the village and going out for adventures. But when Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi, whom he had just met, dies, the guy is shattered! Learn something from Spiderman, Luke. Peter Parker is still not over Uncle Ben’s death. May he RIP.

Luke Skywalker, you need to get your priorities straight. (Lucasfilms)

Luke is another one of those “gifted” kids who just somehow happen to be amazing at things. Ugh. His priorities aren’t straight yet the Force is strong with him. What a waste. This is kind of a dampener on what one expects from the hero of a huge franchise.

Han Solo reminds us so much of a young Amitabh Bachchan. Nah? (Lucasfilms)

You’re all familiar with the comparisons between Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy (boring), and Han Solo. It’s assumed if you don’t like one you probably won’t like the other either. Well, wrong. Han Solo is nothing like Star Lord. Han is more mature, subtle and has a much calmer personality. What is there to enjoy about Star Lord swinging to 80s music? Ford doesn’t talk unless required while Chris Pratt just wouldn’t stop prattling. Basically, Han Solo gets a thumbs up and here’s hoping his chemistry with Chewbacca gets more screen time in the next movies.

C3PO and R2D2 were the buddies we could easily fall in love with. (Lucasfilms)

Talking of chemistries, the R2D2 and C3PO robomance was adorable. They were there from the beginning to the very end of the movie and managed to shine just as bright as the movie’s human protagonists. R2D2’s silent smartness gave a perfect balance to the nervous blabbermouth C3PO. While no one gave a damn about poor R2D2 getting his head blown off in the climax fight, C3PO said “I’ll donate my parts if you need them to fix him” and my heart was like a gooey marshmallow. *Note to self: Gotta search online for some R2D2, C3PO figurines.

Were any ‘Forces’ awakened?

After repeatedly pausing at many meme-inspiring scenes, the movie was over. (Tumblr)

After repeatedly pausing at many meme-inspiring scenes, the movie was over. It was a fun, adventurous film that made me excited and feel involved, bringing back memories of Back to the Future. But do I see myself dressed as a Jedi Knight, waiting in queues for the latest action figure at the next comic con? Well, not yet.

Fandom requires time. One movie never converts you into a fanatic. With Harry Potter, we had 11 years to soak it in, read it, watch it and live it side by side with a billion other kids. We talked about it, fought about it and loved everything about it and that is what made me a “worshipper” of Harry Potter.

To bind it in a few words, if I sat for the movie with no expectations, I would have been incredibly impressed, but we don’t live in that ideal world. You cannot even imagine the expectations that were riding with the behemoth of a name Star Wars and, sadly, I didn’t really get all the hoopla around it. But I am going to give it a little more time, a few more movies, till I decide to give up on it or join the sect.

Read: What I thought about The Empire Strikes Back

Read: What I thought about Return of the Jedi

The author tweets as @soumya1405.

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