Star Wars

I didn’t feel like going to work.  I had some tax forms ready to mail. I took the bus.  My shift was tiring because I didn’t have any help.  I returned home and ate my lunch and fell asleep for a while.  I watched the Blu-ray edition of “Star Wars.”  Before this movie, Carrie Fisher was in “Shampoo,” Harrison Ford was in “American Graffiti,” and Mark Hamill talked with Laurie Partridge after she got her braces.  This special edition wasn’t as offensive to me as “Return of the Jedi” was with its image of Hayden Christensen.  The scene with Jabba the Hut was kind of interesting, in fact.  Still, I would have preferred no tampering with my memories.  I read that Brian De Palma saw the movie before its release and thought it was terrible.  This is my favorite of the Star Wars movies because of the humanity.  Luke Skywalker is still a regular person, at least in the beginning, and the heroes end up in the garbage at one point.  The main characters are not too important yet.  It’s amazing how this movie has been etched into our pop culture consciousness.  The images are memorable, although I questioned George Lucas’ ability to write decent dialogue.  Did he really want to cast dwarves in this movie and turn it into Willow in Space?  Someone had to tell him that that notion would have turned the project into a comedy, and one that wouldn’t be funny.  Watching this movie again made me wish more than ever that the most recent Star Wars movie could have had fresh ideas and imagery.  I’m not sure you’d want a grittier Star Wars movie, like a science fiction rendition of “Saving Private Ryan,” but I would like to see something new.  Did Darth Vader look different in this movie, like he was lighter than in the other movies?  He never removes his helmet in this movie, like those guys in LCD Soundsystem.  Was there a scene in this movie in which people ate anything?  I feel kind of hungry when I think of this movie.  Carrie Fisher was supposed to lose ten pounds to be in this movie.  I could not imagine Cindy Williams as Princess Leia.  When Luke Skywalker made the long distance shot that brought down the Death Star, it made me think that he was the Stephen Curry of 1977.  It’s incredible to me that the Star Wars phenomenon is still going strong after nearly 40 years.  The special effects were fantastic in 1977.  The movie does show a bit of age here and there.  It’s almost shocking to look at Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher to see how young they were.  I can hardly believe that Harrison Ford to going to do another Indiana Jones movie.  Did George Lucas really think about casting Toshiro Mifune for a role?  It would have exposed Lucas for being influenced strongly by Akira Kurosawa, I would say.  I had the feeling that Mifune would have had trouble with English dialogue.  I could not imagine this Star Wars movie being successful if “The Hidden Fortress” had never been made.  For a director who is regarded so highly, he sure gets a lot of criticism for the things he does in writing screenplays, casting, and tinkering with his films with special editions and such.  I wonder how his wife influences his thought.  I always thought the rebels could have attacked the Death Star more effectively.  It seemed that they could have taken some shorter path to their target without facing a lot of fire.  Was anyone taking into account Darth Vader?  He seemed like that wide receiver who is left wide open, or a basketball who isn’t covered and is ready to take the winning shot.  One other mistake Lucas made was turning the Wookie planet into an Ewok planet in “Return of the Jedi.”  I thought that following the first two Star Wars movies was a whole lot of fun.  It all kind of got off track with the things that happened in the third movie.  George Lucas had many years to come up with a lot of ideas for story lines and images and casting, but he really let me down with “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones.”  I didn’t really mind Jar Jar Binks that much, but Hayden Christensen was a travesty.  The whole thing got out of control, and Lucas lost track of what we liked in the original movies.  He nearly redeemed himself with “Revenge of the Sith,” but the problem was that we knew how it was going to end.  We wanted to be surprised.  When I looked at George Lucas’ filmography, I was a bit surprised to see that there wasn’t that much in his directing credits.  This first Star Wars movie and “American Graffiti” are his greatest achievements.  He’s known for the blockbuster movie and not the smaller and more personal movie.  I listened to the Warriors game on the radio.  They were still able to win against the Rockets even though they didn’t have Stephen Curry playing.  I am going to predict that the Rockets will not come back to win this series.  I am rather glad that I didn’t buy tickets for the first round of the playoffs.  I would have seen the Warriors trounce the Rockets in Game 1, and I would not have seen Curry in Game 2.  I watched “Supergirl” and didn’t think that all human beings were going to be killed in the episode, or that Supergirl would die.  It would have been more interesting to see her as a lower level employee than someone who has her own office.  We don’t want to root for someone who is already successful, rather like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.  The Dick Cavett Show was on one of the channels, and his guests were Carroll O’Connor, Carol Burnett, and Burt Reynolds.  “Children of a Lesser God” was on another channel, and it made me think back to the 1980s.  I heard about earthquakes on the news and wondered if we’re going to have a major earthquake one of these days.  I heard about the death of Doris Roberts, who was 90 years old and played Charles Grodin’s mother in “The Heartbreak Kid” years ago.  I didn’t watch her very much on “Everybody Loves Raymond.”  One movie that I knew her for was “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”  She was also in “Little Murders,” “A New Leaf,” and “Hester Street.”  Some of the people who died on April 19 include Charles Darwin (1882), Daphne du Maurier (1989), Benny Hill (1992), and Levon Helm (2012).  Today is a birthday for Ashley Judd (48) and Tim Curry (70).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 19, The Beatles released their single “Ticket to Ride” in the United States in 1965.  In 1980, Blondie had the Number One single, “Call Me.”  In 2001, the Mel Brooks musical “The Producers” opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre.  In 2012, Levon Helm died of cancer at age 71 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

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