10 Reasons why George Lucas shouldn't have directed the Star Wars Prequels.
1999 was a much more innocent time than the one we live in now. The world's intelligentsia all believed whole heartedly that the new millennium would bring about a technological apocalypse, few of us had even heard of George Walker Bush yet, and right about this time ten years ago, fans began to line up for 'The Phantom Menace' and thought it was going to be good. I have a distinct memory of Liam Neeson promoting the film on The Rosie O'Donnel show, saying that Ahmed Best (aka Jar Jar) was going to be the next Eddie Murphy.
I've been looking forward to seeing how the film 'Fanboys' portrays this period ever since it was finished 2 years ago. After some re-shooting, re-editing, and redirecting (the original director was replaced), the film finally got its (limited) US release last month. No word yet on when the Canadians will get to see it, even though there's a bunch of us in it (Jay Baruchel plays one of the main characters, Seth Rogan and William Shatner both have cameos as well). For those of you unfamiliar with the plot of the film, it involves a group of fans trying to sneak into the Skywalker ranch to get a copy of the first unreleased Star Wars prequel so that their dying friend can see it.
While they may have not known the disappointment that awaited them, the world today is much wiser to the directorial skills of Darth Lucas. The following list isn't really what the title of this post suggests, but more just a list of really cool things other people have done with the Star Wars universe, showing that 'fanboys' sometimes grasp the content better than its creator.
10. Troops (1998)
9. Masters of Teras Kasi (1997)
Ever wonder who would win in a fight between Han and Chewie? I know, it would never happen, right? Except in this awesome Star Wars fighting game for the original sony playstation.
8. Robot Chicken: Star Wars (2008)
This is just one of the many great moments of the 23 minute special.
7. Darth Vader with removable helmet toy (1996)
His hand comes off too. Totally boss.
6, 5, 4 Timothy Zahn's 'Thrawn Trilogy'
'Heir to the Empire' (1992) 'Dark Force Rising' (1992) and 'The Last Command' (1994) take place about 5 years after Episode 6 and are the first serious and successful literary contribution to Star Wars' expanded universe. It's been a long time since I've read a Star Wars book, but I would probably read these again before picking up anything new, as I'm sure these are superior.
3. Warning: mind is at risk of being blown if image below is clicked to enlarge.
2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Okay, this film has no literal connection to Star Wars whatsoever, though I'm sure one could uncover several thematic links. The first time I watched this martial arts masterpiece, these links are what made me think Ang Lee would be a much better man for the job that Lucas, blinded by self importance, refused to let anyone else have.
1. 'Fette's Vette' by MC Chris
Wanting to post this video was the primary catalyst behind this entire post. It's a great rap, and the videogame footage they show is pretty incredible as well, though I'm not sure where it comes from. Kevin Smith used the song in 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno' and it's ten times better than that Chewbacca song he used in 'Clerks.'
The only thing that George Lucas has done in the last 15 years that's anywhere near as cool as anything in the list above, was setting Hayden Christensen's stumps on fire, and he made us sit through three movies before that happened.
Click here to read what like-minded individuals over at Dork Shelf have to say about Lucas beginning production on a live action Star Wars series.