08 February, 2011

Star Wars Surge

Lately it seems to me that Lucas is trying to milk the cash cow bring renewed interest in the Star Wars franchise, adapting it to new trends and audiences (read: ruining it). The prequels will be remade as 3D (can nothing good come out of this technology at all?), the Phantom Menace being scheduled for release in 2012. If you are not familiar with the prequel trilogy this is the most awesome summary anyone has ever done for anything:

The trend of making lots of Star Wars fan videos strikes again. Another example would be a mash-up with Tron which is pretty interesting and just goes to show you can put anything over anything else and if it has enough geek momentum (or fanboyism) it is a win. However in the series of amusing remixes I would say my favorite is the most old school:

If you are in the mood for some looong video reviews here are some I gave a look-over.
And some really, really long ones:
Actually the only one I found quite amusing, because let's be honest that's what they are for (none of them will exactly help you develop yourself as a human being) is this one

There are also some interesting points I noted about the prequel trilogy I wasn't aware of on first look. Like the part about Anakin's name, picked up from here http://reprog.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/luke-skywalker-a-new-hope/, I reproduce it in its entirety and original form because I am lazy it is the most interesting piece of insight on the Star Wars universe I have ever come across.

By the way, I assume the significance of the name Anakin has not escaped you?  ”Ana” is the Greek prefix for “again”, as in “anastasis” (“again life”) for resurrection, and the so-called “Anabaptist” church, which baptised adults who had already been Christened as children.  ”Kin” of course means “family”.  So Anakin is one who one again becomes family. Having explicitly abdicated his role within the family of the Jedi, and even repudiated his love for Padme and, by implication, for his unborn child(ren), he finally returns to become both reunited with his son and, again, part of the Jedi family. Can that be accidental?  If so, if “Anakin” is just a nonsense name like “Boba Fett”, then it is the most absurd piece of good luck of Lucas’s part.

If you are interested on how the new trilogy is a rewrite of the old one and how Anakin (or was it R2D2) is the real hero of the whole 6 movies take a look here http://www.rilstone.talktalk.net/mask-of-god.htm. The numbers indicate the order of the films but each of the posts is a jumbled mess of a point and you need an overview at least to know what he is talking about.

Ok, so enough talk about the prequels. They were pretty crappy but also fun. And I'm not going to talk about the new Clone Wars cartoons because I haven't watched them and honestly doubt that I could find something of interest in them (also note the less than brilliant design).

No, instead let's focus on a good thing to come (hopefully). This year will see the launch of the MMORPG The Old Republic, which is probably the only thing that could put a dent in the World of Warcraft domination of the genre.

Yeah, this baby is made by Bioware the ones that din Knights of the Old Republic (in the screenshot you see Darth Raven and Darth Malak), so we can hope for a good storyline based game. KotOR and KotOR II are some of the best RPGs and definitely some of the best releases of the Star Wars franchise, the first featuring one of the most memorable twists in gaming history, the second some of the more interesting and memorable Sith: Darth Sion, Darth Traya and (although the actual fight and conclusion of his destiny is pretty disappointing and underdeveloped) the best of all Darth Nihilus. And we all know the Sith are the driving force behind any Star Wars story. Or was it the robots? Anyway HK-47 is probably the most brilliant character created in the Star Wars universe (read: comedy relief bomb, so not like Jar Jar).

So let's start summing up, by saying what is good about the Star Wars franchise. Skeptics mention the first two movies and KotOr. I would add to this list just their direct sequels: Return of the Jedi and the Sith Lords respectively. I actually realized episode 6 is better than I remember by watching the Family Guy parody (which is follows the storyline closely, just in an original manner). If you like them you might also like the bunch of sketches they did on Robot Chicken. Although all are stupid and silly, some are really funny and well done http://www.adultswim.co.uk/robot-chicken-star-wars.

All in all we should be grateful to Lucas, wanting to make money is not in itself a bad thing and how can we blame the owners of the product when others are exploiting it as well (although with a lot of style and by creating content of value):

I want to leave you with something inspirational, so in the vein of being grateful to Lucas for making these movies at all here is a video about how he facilitated the fulfillment of childhood dreams (there is a Star Wars bit that starts at 30:50, so squeezing this video in is not cheating :P ).

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