March 1, 2016

The Star Wars Films

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Hello! And welcome to the Here Be Spoilers Multi-Movie Marathon! All through March, the guys will be watching movies Series, including the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman movies, the Indiana Jones movies, and the Harry Potter films -- some with guests! And a warning: These ones will likely go longer than normal, so be prepared. (This week's is about three-and-a-half hours because there were so many movies!)

This week, however, the guys chose to kick off the month with the ongoing Star Wars series, going by the films' chronological order. And what a Herculean task it was!

(Since you wouldn't be listening to this if you didn't know what these movies are about, we'll spare you individual descriptions.)

Starting with The Phantom Menace, the guys attack without hesitation. The cheesy slapstick comedy, Jake Lloyd, the podracing (although Derek insists they weren't that bad), and, most importantly, the incredibly racist stereotypes that were given to many of the character.

Let's just say that these guys would most likely not vote Republican.
From the cartoonish "ching-chong" accents the Trade Federation guys have, to whatever the hell Watto's voice is supposed to be, to the entire race of Gungans and their weird pseudo-Jamaican accents, this film takes every horrible imitation of foreign people that you did when you were in first grade and slaps it into the mouths of turtle fish, aardvark moths, and basset mudskippers, and expects you to like it.

It wasn't all bad stuff, though; As noted, Derek mostly liked the podracing, Jake thought Ewan MacGregor was the perfect choice to play young Obi-Wan, and Larry liked it when the guys stopped talking about this one.

If you don't believe they're the same guy, go away now. We have nothing for you.
Next is Attack of the Clones, which fared better with the guys. All agree that Jango Fett was pretty badass, and Obi-Wan was even more awesome than before. The characters themselves begin to notice just how terrible their luck is, and the reddest of herrings appears to pimpslap anyone who thinks they know what's going on.

There's also the beginning of Anakin's descent toward the Dark Side of the force.

Follow along with this handy chart!
Hayden Christensen replaced Jake Lloyd this time around, in order to skip a few years ahead so we could get to the Darth Vader-y parts as soon as possible, and he did a serviceable job, but he was mostly just a whiny teenager with a laser sword. He could have done better, is all.

And he did! With Revenge of the Sith, we see Anakin not just walking, but straight-up running down the path to the Dark Side, and Christensen has some flashes of brilliance in this one, especially when Anakin and Obi-Wan fight in the third act. Also, Artoo-Detoo begins establishing himself as the most murdery droid in the galaxy.

One is an effeminate butler that doesn't understand irony.
The other is a hate-filled murderbot. Can they get along?
With A New Hope, the guys are on firmer, and much loved, ground. Derek takes the lead and breaks the whole movie down to a searing indictment of politics (the Empire are dicks) and religion (the Jedi are manipulative dicks, with Obi-Wan being the worst).

Also by this point, Artoo has firmly set himself and a blissfully unaware Threepio on a road that will leave a trail of burned and destroyed droid bodies across the galaxy.

Nobody can bring themselves to mention the most beloved character of the entire series: Jek Porkins.

In Memoriam...
For The Empire Strikes Back, Larry jumps in and tells of Wampas, AT-ATs, speeder bikes, Tauntauns, Yoda, Force ghosts, and that smooth motherfucker, Lando Calrissian.

We didn't have a Lando picture handy, but these guys are pretty damn smooth, too.
There is also discussion about whether the training montage on Dagobah needed a Rocky-esque soundtrack to go along with it.

Derek (as George Lucas) and Jake (as Lawrence Kasdan) help out by arguing about whether there should have been more farting animals and racists accents in what is very much the darkest movie of the series.

Return of the Jedi fell to Jake, who compared and contrasted the lightsaber duel in this film to the one in Empire, as well as commentary concerning what it was like trying to catch up after seeing this one at the age of four.

But not whether it was appropriate? Th' hell?
All agree it was a nice wrap-up to Anakin/Vader's story, but they also worry about the murder bears known as Ewoks. (More on this in a moment.) There are also a few suggestions concerning how Anakin's Force ghost should have been shuffled off the mortal plane by the Force ghosts of all the younglings he killed way back in Revenge of the Sith. Good times!

HINT: Loser.
And finally, The Force Awakens is tackled briefly, but very accurately, and the guys finally hang it up for the night before they start talking about the Holiday Special again.

Derek is the only one who says he likes the podracing, although he makes up for it by suggesting that the true evil of this franchise is Artoo-Detoo himself, who has killed so many other droids, and always manages to insinuate himself into situations where he can do it again and again...

Larry is blown away by many interesting little tidbits that he did not know about previously. He still doesn't care for Anakin, although he thinks Padme and Leia are, to put it in one word, "yummy". All were in agreement on that point.

Jake throws out the mind-blowing conclusion on The Force Awakens and the others have no way to argue otherwise. He also insists that the Ewoks are murderous little hate bears that want nothing more than to destroy or consume anything upon which they lay their eyes.

So dig in and may the Force be with you as you power through this mega-podcast episode!