Empire Dreams

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December 17, 2015 by bck1402

There are certain seminal movie in my life, especially the ones I saw in the cinema. Back then, going to the cinema was a special occasion. I’m talking about those older types, with the massive halls and red curtains that would part when the show started.

The first movie I can recall seeing in the cinema was a documentary called “Animals are Beautiful People” so the first actual movie was Jaws, followed by Orca and several years of staying away from bodies of water like the beach or the swimming pool. I’m over all that now. First movie with my dad was Bambi. First movie I got dropped off at the cinema on my own was Die Hard. First movie I saw with friends was Ladyhawke. First movie I saw three times in a day at the cinema, Back to The Future Part III. Don’t ask how that came about, probably a story for another time.

empire_strikes_back_ver1The last movie I remember watching in Johor was Superman the Movie, and then was the move to Penang. Star Wars was already in the air and much discussed but I never saw that first one. However, the first movie my mom took me to in Penang was The Empire Strikes Back. it wasn’t the first cinematic movie in Penang, but that was the first with my mom.

Recently, she asked what was so special about the new Star Wars flick, and aside from giving a spiel about the legacy and history of the films and the fandom, I didn’t remind her of that one fact.

Without having seen Star Wars, I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on in the movie. Darth Vader was scary then, the Force was weird (how DID that metal stick jump into that guy’s hand?) and despite the occasional assurance that the heroes will save day… they didn’t. It was a weird show at the time, but oh-so-cool. Lightsabers and Snowspeeders. Big walking tanks and little green wise creature. A city in the clouds and asteroid fields! The bad guys won!!! What was all this?

Well… my intro into the proper Star Wars universe.
Why “proper”? Because I had seen the Star Wars Holiday Special a year or so earlier and had no frelling idea what that was all about. Star Wars wasn’t a big thing to pay attention to when that Holiday Special is your introduction. And then there was that one comic my mom bought for me at the train station to keep me occupied for the trip. thThere was a big green rabbit on the cover and nothing in the comic made sense. For years, no one could ever verify there was a big green rabbit in the Star Wars universe.

Well, apparently, there was. ->
And I don’t have this one particular comic anymore.

A few months after watching the movie, there was a family vacation to Thailand where I found a copy of the novelisation by Donald F Glut, and I picked it up. I figured since I liked the movie, but couldn’t understand much then, reading the book would help. It did, a little. That led to the comic adaptation by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson, which led to the newspaper strips and back to the regular comics.

By the time Return of the Jedi rolled around, I was pretty much in the fandom having finally seen Star Wars on video, a poor full screen edition that had been numerously copied from a tv screening. It wouldn’t be until the Special Edition version that I would see Star Wars for the first time on the big screen. By then, however, I was very aware of the writing, the performances and the rather grating-at-times dialogue.

empire_strikes_back_ver4Empire had been my first and was my favourite. it wasn’t till much later that I learnt almost everyone considered it to be the best of the three shows (at the time), and still the best of the six after the prequels came out.

I recently watched it again, followed by Return of The Jedi... the day before heading off to watch Episode VII. It still holds up fairly well and the Special Edition with all the new added features does nothing to diminish it, unlike with the additions to Star Wars or that new ending in Jedi with celebrations going on around the other Star Wars worlds.

At this time, I’ve seen the new one, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That’s all I’ll say about it for now. A review has been written but I’ve decided to wait a while before posting it. Let the fans get to it first and then, hopefully, come back for my thoughts on the new one.

Until then, May the Force be with you all.

For comparison…

Star Wars 8/10
The Empire Strikes Back 9/10
Return of The Jedi 8/10
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 5/10
Star Wars: Attack of The Clones 7/10 (I like the creatures in the arena, and Yoda)
Star Wars: Revenge of The Sith 6/10


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Amazon (US) / Barnes and Noble / Amazon (Ca) / Amazon (UK) / Amazon (Jp) / Book Depository / Best Deals (ISBNS.net)


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Amazon / Book Depository / ISBNS Net Barnes and Noble / aLibris Google Play Store

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