|Been there, done that, got the T shirt|
I thought some of the blogger's ideas about where the movie could have gone were spot-on. Especially casting Anakin as a frustrated nineteen-year-old, rather than a cute little kid. For me, and many, many others, the whole idea of Padme, who is a brave, intelligent woman of character, falling for the bratty, whining, entitled teenager we meet in the second movie just does not work. But her falling for a brash, brave, bad boy - oh, yeah. It's a bit like Leia and Han with a twist.
Having said that, I can understand why Lucas took the road he did. I was (ahem) in my twenties when the first movie - then simply entitled Star Wars - was released. It's a well known fact, (because I keep telling everybody), that my obsession with Star Wars really took off with The Empire Strikes Back. At that point, I was a True Fan. Bought the magazines, collected the figures, built the models. My star destroyer was a joy to behold. And my A-wing, Y-wing, X-wing, TIE fighter, Slave I... The point is, Lucas actually had a pretty good idea of the Star Wars backstory. Anakin was a slave. He had a fight with Obi-wan on a lava planet, which is why he wears the suit. He helped to track down and destroy the Jedi and of course, he was Luke and Leia's father. Certainly some of it was dreamed up after the success of the first movie (eg Leia being Luke's sister, not love interest). But it was there, in the magazines, before Return of the Jedi was released. Of course Lucas was going to flesh out the story in his head. Such a pity it died in a heap.
But you see, we all went to see The Phantom Menace. And although we hated it, we went to see The Attack of the Clones. And though that was an abysmal crock (How could she? How could SHE? What can she possibly see in that TWAT?) we all trooped off to see Revenge of the Sith. I dare say quite a few of us bought the animated stuff that's been produced since, and latched on to Star Wars Rebels, too. I've watched every trailer for the new movie, kept an eye on the news, sucked in my breath at the sight of a star destroyer crashed in the desert, shouted a nostalgic yay with Han and Chewbacca. And raised a cynical eyebrow at the new baddy's very odd light sabre. Oh man, he's gotta burn himself on the way through with those burny bits at right angles. Like fellow spacefreighter, Pippa Jay, I'm repeating, "please don't suck" under my breath. That's the shadow of the prequels - and Abram's pretty ordinary foray into Star Trek land - looming on the horizon. But even if everybody says it's crap, I'll still watch it, if only to make up my own mind.
It's a mythology, a fairy tale, somewhere to go to escape the troubles of a complex world in crisis. It has taken on a life of its own, attracting new audiences that hadn't been born when Revenge of the Sith came out in 2005. The toy stores are full of Star Wars merchandise, including all the items from the original series. I'm old enough to shake my head and deplore this money-grubbing machine. But... yeah. I wasn't a kid when I was sucked in, I'm still sucked in, and there's nothing wrong with that.
May the Force be with you.