So you lied to your boyfriend/fiancé/husband about having seen Star Wars… Me too. Though, I swear I only claimed to have seen the first one (which is apparently the fourth one?). I just remembered it including things that are in the third one (which is apparently the sixth one?). This all would have gone unquestioned, but they had to go and make a seventh one (which is in fact the seventh one??) and R talks about it so often that it’s now become too obvious I have no idea what he’s talking about. I finally broke down and confessed. It wasn’t pretty. Someone said, “wish I’d known that before we got married.” Now I’ve committed to watching all three that matter (except for the third one aka the sixth one that I might have to watch because it might matter. R is still deciding.).
As a service to our kind I’ll be sharing these Cliff’s Notes. To be clear, I think the Star Wars are important/enjoyable/worthy of your time, but so is a 120th viewing of Love Actually so you be you, boos.
STAR WARS IV: A Star Is Born
Some things to know right off the bat:
- This is not the “Luke I am your father” one and trust me you do not want to make that mistake
- If you choose to watch this film with the Star Wars lover in your life be prepared for a lot of disclaimers. Apparently it does not hold a candle to numbers two and three (aka five and six) and they want to be very clear about that.
- They changed some things for a modern re-release that will be very upsetting to your super fan. I mostly understand it as large, globby CGI alien things that honestly didn’t look so terrible, but just agree that they are an abomination and move on.
- R2D2 = Beeker in a rolling trash can. C-3PO = British talking Oscar statue. Your guy will call them R2 and nothing because apparently no one likes C-3PO. I blame the accent.
- Han Solo is Harrison Ford. Luke Skywalker is NOT Harrison Ford. Despite this, the lead of the movie is Luke Skywalker.
There is a big war going on in a galaxy far, far away. There are good guys (Rebels) and bad guys (Darth Vader + Storm Troopers). Very serious people get very serious about what this all represents (good/evil, light/dark, God/devil), but it doesn’t matter.
Darth + Cronies live/exist/are on the Death Star which is a their planet-shaped space ship and also what we here in Los Angeles call the CAA building.
A quick note on Darth Vader: He is not technically the leader of the bad guys but rather, as R described it, the Vice President of the bad guys? “But he wears the cape,” I said. “He’s just being dramatic,” R explained. The president is the Emperor as in The Emperor Strikes Back (you at least know that, right? Note: that’s R talking, not me). I don’t know why Darth isn’t just the Emperor. If I were the studio executive covering Star Wars, I would have insisted on that change.
This movie is about three things:
- Save Princess Leia who has been captured by Darth (kind of her fault)
- Blow up the Death Star (using floor plans Leia stole, see her need to be saved)
- Transform Luke Skywalker from unassuming farmer boy to Jedi warrior (but do NOT inform him that Darth is his father)
You’ll note that there is no storyline for Harrison Ford who seems to just be in the movie to chauffeur Luke + Co. around while charming the pants off of the entire galaxy. I’m fine with that.
Princess Leia – the princess of I-don’t-know-what – is a major player in the rebel movement. Think of her like that one girl in Pussy Riot that does all the talking.
Before the movie starts Leia and her rebel friends steal the floor plans to the Death Star so they can blow it up, but Leia gets captured by Darth + Co. Just before they drag her to Room she hides those floor plans INSIDE R2D2 (rolling trash can). During the Darth/Leia/Storm Trooper scuffle, R2 and C-3 get into a hatch (like a mini spaceship, not that place in LOST with all the food) and blast off into the universe. They land on a planet called Tattooing, WHICH IS WHERE LUKE LIVES.
A note on Princess Leia. SHE IS A BAD ASS. Not only is she alone in this steal-the-plans caper but she really gives it to Darth all while wearing the equivalent of a nun’s costume. If this were a Marvel movie she’d be in a latex bathing suit. The Star Wars people should get more credit for this situation. I think I’ll be Leia for Halloween next year.
Back to the intro of Luke.
Luke who is an orphaned farmer boy – just like Superman, maybe?? – buys R2 and C-3 from some weird animals that are NOT WOOKIES so when they come on screen don’t say, “Wookiiieess!!!” like you suddenly know something about this movie. Just call them Gremlin Monks in your head and move on.
Luke tickles R2 and he projects the movie that Leia made before she went to Room. It’s her saying, “Help me Obie Juan-Kinobe (sp?). You’re my only hope.” Luke is like, “Obie Juan-Kinobe? I wonder if he’s any relation to old Ben Kinobe who lives up the street?” and I’m like, “Really?!”, but R is no longer speaking to me on account of my Wookie fail.
A note on Obie Juan-Kinobe. Maybe give the most important spiritual leader of your entire movie franchise a less hysterical name? I get it. I have trouble naming characters too, but I don’t employ the Jessie-Jessie-Bo-Bessie tactic.
Anyway, Luke is right. Ben is Obie AND to make the plot fly even faster – he knows Luke’s father who died in some earlier but equally important war. Luke’s father was a Jedi. Jedi’s are very excellent fighters who also have The Force, so you can think of them like Marines meet The Mentalist. What is The Force? I don’t know. I’m not sure anyone really knows. Just think of it like how Ursula can control a lot of things in The Little Mermaid and you’ll be fine.
Semi important side note: Luke’s father was the greatest pilot in all the land, which is why Luke also wants to be the greatest pilot in all the land. Now I’m very confused because I thought Luke wanted to be the greatest flashlight fighter making him like Inigo Montoya in space (if the 6-fingered man was his father, which is an adjustment I would propose to The Princess Bride people), but apparently he wants both. I respect that.
Turns out Darth + Co. found out R2 + the floor plans were on Tattooing and sent Storm Troopers to find them but instead they killed Luke’s Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. Now Luke has no excuse not to go save Leia, but to do so he’ll need a good pilot to fly him around the galaxy because he’s not good enough, yet.
Your Superfan will pause the DVD here and say, “this is a really important shot.” Agree immediately.
Enter Harrison Ford and Chewbacca, who is finally a Wookiee.
Han Solo. Now that’s a character name.
Before this there’s some stuff where Obie teaches Luke how to employ the force that has always been within him because he is a Jedi like his father. They do exercises ala Wax-On, Wax-Off and then Luke gets to practice with his new flashlight sword. It seems promising.
But back to the more important story.
Obie, Luke and the robots find Han in the Canteena during a scene entirely inspired by an acid trip.
I rest my case
Han has a space ship called the Millennials Falcon (which you have to say with lots of awe and wonder like you might say Christmas in Paris or Ryan Gosling). It’s kind of a piece, but apparently it’s the fastest in the galaxy and Han is the greatest pilot (currently) so Luke, Obie, R2 and C-3 get on and take it to the planet L. Ron Hubbard which is where they think the Rebel Alliance lives? I don’t remember why they know to go there, but it doesn’t matter because the actual Emperor blows it up (with Darth-the-should-be-Emperor standing by his side wearing his clearly-the-emperor cape).
Now no one knows what to do, but it doesn’t matter again because the Death Star happens to be cruising by and it pulls the Millennials Falcon in using its E.T. light. This is both incredibly inconvenient and also perfect because now Luke + Co can find Leia, which they do. I dozed off at the point where they actually break into Room and rescue her, but I assume Han does it because Luke is a so much less handsome.
While this is going on Obie finds Darth and they have a MASSIVE flashlight fight that Obie loses! According to R Obie doesn’t lose, he sacrifices himself in a very Snape way so that Luke can be motivated to fight the bigger fight in the end. It is still sad because Obie was the only real adult among all these yahoos so now who’s in charge? I vote Han.
A very blue pill, red pill moment.
At this point I assume the entire movie will dissolve into a love triangle between Team Han and Team Luke fighting for Leia’s love, but instead they work together, get back to the rebels, review the Death Star floor plans and make a plan to blow it all up. In this way Star Wars is the most modern film of our times and Twilight should be ashamed.
Side note: somewhere I dozed off again and Han vanished. Maybe someone did sleep with the wrong person? Let’s assume so. Now it’s up to Luke the amateur pilot to fly the ship that takes down the Death Star, BUT I remember from the first time I saw this movie (I SWEAR) that Han comes back to save the day at the very last moment and says the line, “Did somebody call for backup?” And HE DOES COME BACK, but he doesn’t say the line… I have never been more disappointed than when he doesn’t say that line. I really, truly believe he says it. I think they removed this line when they added the CGI dinosaurs.
[Follow up: I have since learned that, “Did somebody call for back up” is in fact from Toy Story. Hahahahahaha!
No matter because Luke + Han DO destroy the Death Star, which is no doubt an accomplishment but ends up being totally worthless because Darth isn’t on the ship. I smell a sequel!!!
I’m not sure they know that about Darth because Leia, now re-installed as princess and with a far sexier outfit to boot, knights them Sir Luke and Sir Han and tells them to hang tight because the love triangle will happen in the next movie!
I get it girl. Travel comfy!
Stay-tuned for the next installment: Star War: The Emperor’s New Groove.
“This is where things really get good!” R says.
I trust that means the movie is entirely about Han, Darth becomes the actual Emperor and C-3 loses the accent, but we’ll see.
For More Like This See:
The Girlfriend’s Guide To Star Wars: Part II (The Empire One)
The Girlfriend’s Guide To Star Wars: Part III (The Jedi One)
The Girlfriend’s Guide To Star Wars: The Force Awakens (The New One)