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SW - Star Wars
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The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

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The film's 40th anniversary yesterday was as good an excuse as any for my first rewatch in at least a decade, and my first spin of Adywan's Revisited version. Apart from the generally magnificent picture and some subtle CG flourishes on displays, I could barely tell what had been added or changed.

Two things leapt out at me on this viewing. One is the extent to which the movie is a non-stop, rollercoaster-paced thrill ride. The other is that it makes crafting a Star Wars movie look easy. You don't need a Death Star (apart from the opening crawl, it isn't even mentioned!), you don't need a conflicted villain, you don't need scenes (let alone subplots) of Imperial officers bickering and jockeying for power, you don't need to build a whole character out of a Rebel officer, you don't need a sequence of infiltrating an Imperial ship/facility, you don't need to subvert audience expectations again and again (once or twice will do quite nicely), you don't need a meditation on loss, or the meaning of life, and you certainly don't need indestructible, infallible heroes to which everything comes easily. (Yes, a lot of this features in The Last Jedi specifically, but a lot also applies to the ST generally, plus Rogue One.)

Here's what you do need: sexual tension, and lots of it. In order to balance out the grimness of war and constant death, lots of flirting does wonders to bring balance to the For- the film. (For all my issues with the ST's story direction in general, its near-total lack of flirtation is among its biggest faults.) You need throwaway beasties, and perils aplenty. You need wisecracking, great cinematography, and a focused, streamlined story. Just make a fun, lively, fast-paced adventure with believable characters, damn it. Why do only four of eleven movies (the OT plus Solo) manage this?!

Indeed, it's hard to look back on RotJ, for all its strengths, and figure that a fairly easy rewrite could have made Han's rescue a 007-style opening sequence, and built a second act around fomenting a galactic upheaval, leading to a third act in which the basic Endor infiltration/battle is shifted onto Coruscant, with the Emperor living in an ancient castle in a wilderness preserve to keep some degree of a forest setting. Instead of a second Death Star that turns out to be operational, we could have had a defecting Imperial leader and all his troops revealed as a double agent for the Empire all along - except, twist, some of his troops turn out to quite like the idea of defecting, hence a fairer fight than the Emperor imagined. See? Is that really so hard? Doesn't sound like it, right? Tongue

(Anyhow, watching Empire again, the ST Episode I was most reminded of was... TRoS. Yes, it's a mediocre mess, full of facepalm-inducing moments like lightspeed skipping and the beyond clumsy Force healing of a random snake for zero reason apart to set up the ability, but it's also the fastest-paced of the three, somebody/Poe finally got to flirt with someone, and the Emperor provided an effective, hissable main villain throughout. Of course TRoS doesn't hold a candle to Empire or the OT, but it at least has some vim to it, and the Burning Man festival and occupied town were kinda nifty. So, that's settled: TRoS is the best of a bad bunch.)

Conclusion: all hype aside, Empire is indeed a near-perfect flick. Only a bit too much Threepio prattling in the last third keeps it from being without discernible fault at all.

Grade: A
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This Disney+ show in no way infringes the copyright of the long running TV show 'Crystal Maze':



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It's a pretty familiar format. Reminds me a lot of Legends of the Hidden Temple.
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Looks like an SNL parody with the jokes removed! I missed the December announcement for this somehow, and was wondering how the heck it was kept under wraps if it's due to premiere in just a week. Welp, good on Ahmed Best for getting work. Tongue
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(05-27-2020, 06:37 PM)TM2YC Wrote: This Disney+ show in no way infringes the copyright of the long running TV show 'Crystal Maze'

Richard O'Brien would have been amazing as Snoke

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Well I think my kids would love that. Maybe it will distract them from Minecraft and the annoying Minecraft YT videos they watch.
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Very mild language on this one:


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I thought this was some pretty amazing editing....

"... let's go exploring!" -- CALVIN.
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