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November 07, 2015



I can't keep track of the various Star Wars installments, which one comes when, but the scene with Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman in the bedroom has to rank as one of the worst bedroom scenes ever filmed. Portman delivers her lines in that whole movie in a quite stilted way, iirc, and Hayden Christensen is only perhaps slightly better. The bedroom scene was the one chance they had to shut up and display their bodies; instead, the director has Christensen take off his shirt for three seconds and Portman doesn't take off anything. Maybe it had to do with keeping a PG rating or something. Anyway, it's horrible, that scene esp.

bianca steele

Hayden Christensen wasn't in the first one, and that isn't one of the scenes that stuck with me. I mostly remember him ranting about his reasons for abandoning the good side of the Force, near the end. I think Lucas long ago lost any interest he once had in science fiction or, really, cinema for it's own sake, and has become interested mostly in doing paint-by-numbers hero's-journeys, which he apparently sees as less childish. But at the same time, there's that PG rating--many of my daughter's friends had seen all of the movies already in kindergarten.


I remember, sort of, the ranting scene you mention -- it's a little over the top, well, more than a little.

Do you think any of the Star Wars movies are really 'science fiction'? Has Lucas ever had all that much interest in the classic concerns of sci-fi (however one might describe those)? I know someone who is a fan of the Star Wars movies but insists they are a genre distinct from sci-fi, namely fantasy, in which the main concerns are precisely the hero's journey to -- what -- self-knowledge? and of course the struggle betw good and evil, etc.

If I were sufficiently interested and wanted to spend the time (no and no), I wd find a way to watch all six either in the order they were made, or some other order, and reach some conclusions. As it is, all I basically have is a jumble of impressions (oh, and I have seen the one centered on the hovercraft racing -- not great).

The very first Stars War movie, released in 1977, had a cultural impact, istm, because of the way it blended the John Williams score, the special effects (rather novel at the time), and the figures of Yoda and Luke and Vader into some kind of allegorical concoction that cd be enjoyed on different levels by different people. While there are good moments, I guess, in some of the others, the project, if it can be dignified with that word, has been pretty much downhill from that very first movie, I wd say.

bianca steele

There are definitely good arguments that Star Wars is fantasy and not SF, and twenty (or even fewer) years ago I might have argued that all those mass-market movies and TV shows were not really SF, but I think that argument is over now. Lucas's first movie was definitely SF, I remember reading something in 1975 that was really anticipating something new and exciting from Lucas (where maybe they should have been looking toward Spielberg instead, I guess, since Close Encounters came out the same year), and the plots really depend on technology (Luke's artificial hand after Vader cuts his real one off, his choice between technology and tinkering, on the one hand, and the Force on the other) in a way that can't work otherwise. And science fiction has arguably moved more toward that kind of thing since then. But you can really see the (new in the 1970s) film-school influence in the early movies, where's he's doing an homage to Laurence of Arabia, to old-time WWII movies, etc. (which was really noticeable to me because I saw Star Wars first), which I think he really stopped doing after one or two films.


Interesting points. And since it's getting on toward midnight, I'm going to leave it at that, for now anyway.

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