If you haven’t let me by this point, well, I salute you, but now it’s time for me to slog on Episode IV: A New Hope some more, sorry!
First things first, to make sure you know what I’m talking about head over to Between The Seats and check out Edgar’s review of Episode IV: A New Hope.
When you and I talked about doing a Star Wars marathon I knew this day would come, the day when you and I were in almost complete disagreement over one of the films. I think you had an inkling this day would come, because for as long as you have known me I have never shied away from letting you know my rather unique feelings towards Episode IV: A New Hope Still, I’m not sure if you were quite ready for the vitriol with which I went after Episode IV: A New Hope, or that I had so many areas in which I would attack. From my end, your review was also a bit different from what I expected, I knew that you would like Episode IV: A New Hope, but I always figured you’d fall in line with the masses and lavish so much praise upon the film that I would want to throw up. Instead you were even handed in your praise, and that makes this rebuttal all the more interesting.
The first point you made in your review creates a bit of a quandary within me. On the one hand I agree with you, Episode IV: A New Hope does breeze through too many events. This goes back to the idea of weight or importance and if the film doesn’t feel the need to allow its important moments to resonate on screen then why should they resonate in my mind? The quandary comes into play with your take on Episode IV: A New Hope as both a simple film and one that moves at a brisk pace. I can’t agree with either of those sentiments at all. Episode IV: A New Hope wants to be simple, and it’s core story is simple, but it loads up on so much exposition and needless backstory that the end product is far from simple, it’s actually far too complex for its own good. This in turns creates a hulking beast, a monstrosity of a film that moves at the speed of a slug, and not a skinny slug either, but a fat one that just finished eating dinner. I don’t know where you see a brisk pace, because I see a film that slogs from moment to moment with each minute feeling like an eternity and the run time of two hours feeling like it never wants to end.
On the subject of the climax, I again disagree and agree at the same time. Yes, the corridor weakness in the Death Star is stupid, but I expect that kind of stupid in my pulp from time to time, so that has never been a big deal to me. You do raise an interesting point about Vader and his squadron, a point I’ve never thought about. I always assumed that Vader and his squadron either had some sort of stealth or were simply that much better than the Rebel pilots, but there’s nothing in the film to suggest either of my extrapolations so you may be on to something. I can’t, however, say you are on to something with the exterior shots of the Death Star. I wouldn’t call those shots revolutionary or anything, but to my untrained eye they look more than adequate, and after going back and taking another look at that sequence I still fail to see anything in those exterior shots that stands out to me as bad. Hmmm….
I do believe there was a bit of a communication error in my review of Episode IV: A New Hope as it pertains to the characters around Luke. It’s not that I didn’t find them interesting, I did, it’s that I didn’t find the story taking place around them all that interesting. So with that in mind I can’t add much to your piece on the interesting characters, other than to say that while I also don’t think much of Mark Hamill as a physical actor, he is a truly great voice actor. His Joker is the best Joker ever and is a million times better than any other Joker, yes, even Ledger’s.
Your remaining points are all ones that I agree with, from James Earl Jones to the life that Lucas infuses into the background of every scene in Episode IV: A New Hope. I know I should be disagreeing with you, but I can’t, what you say in your final couple of paragraphs is pretty spot on. My problem comes in those facets that work not being able to overcome the facets that don’t work. I know it’s not much, but at the end of the day I think that’s the best way for me to end this rebuttal. A lot of what worked for you didn’t work for me, and in a major way. That is where the large gulf comes between us I think, little things bugged you about Episode IV: A New Hope and they remained little nuisances, but for me every little problem was magnified and made into a major hurdle by my lack of interest in what I was seeing on screen. I’m not going to say we will agree to disagree, but this is clearly one film where I don’t foresee you and I ever seeing eye to eye, oh the awesomeness of my wit.
And that’s it folks, another rebuttal is in the books and that’s another round you can chalk up to Bill. There’s no denying it Edgar, once again you were beaten down by the mighty sword of my wit, choked by the hand around your throat that is my power. You fought well, but on the sands of Tatooine there can be only one man left standing, and I am that man.
You can read Edgar’s rebuttal to my review at Between The Seats.