Where It All Began… Intermediately

Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope

By now, I would assume that some of you would see that I love science fiction in pretty much any aspect. Like any other hardcore fanatic that came before me, this is one of the major reasons why I became one to begin with. Released in 1977, “Star Wars” (Episode IV) swept up everything else that came before its time and became from what I’ve seen, a worldwide pop culture sensation. Kind of weird how another new trilogy is set to be brought to all of us within the next year supposedly. I for one, am completely anticipating it, but like anyone else, I still have to face the curse of patience for Episode VII, but that’s another story…

*SPOILERS*

Back to what I was talking about, “A New Hope” starts off with a completely vast array of characters that play a certain role in not only this film, but in the film series as a whole. Obi-Wan represents the Jedi father figure of Luke Skywalker who is non other than our protagonist along with Han Solo and Princess Leia. So in a time of turmoil where the Galactic (Evil) Empire rules over the galaxy, our Rebel Alliance (the good guys), have managed to obtain a means of destroying the Empire’s most powerful weapon, the Death Star. Oh yeah and our main protagonist is none other than the now infamous Darth Vader.

Believe me, it is hard trying to explain this whole universe and plot without any visual elements so just try to bear with me. Fast-forward throughout the story and our damsel-in-distress plot involves Luke, Han, Chewbacca, and Obi-Wan on a quest to rescue Leia who has since been seized by Darth Vader.

After a lengthy journey during which Obi-Wan performs a useless sacrifice, no pun intended, the rest of our group manage to rescue the Princess and escape the confines of the Death Star. The climax of the film follows the Rebel Alliance as they now try to destroy the Death Star once and for all before it destroys their base. Through a lengthly dramatic struggle, they eventually succeed and thus we have a resolution… for the time being.

So in terms of a story it was pretty much like any other film that involves hero antics, a good vs evil situation, and the struggle of identification for each character. Luke for instance, faces the circumstances of suddenly being thrust into the war between the Empire and the rebels, while starting to discover who he secretly is through the tutelage of Obi-Wan. Han is a bit more cynical as he cares for nothing except his precious Millennium Falcon as well as his first mate co-pilot, the cute and lovable Chewbacca. As the film progresses he slowly begins to have a classic change of heart, which is explored more thoroughly in the sequel. As for Princess Leia, well she does all she possibly can to restore peace and justice to the galaxy, or more specifically, her home planet, even though it ends up being destroyed about halfway through the film by Darth Vader. It actually ends up being her fault. Irony…

As for the bad guys, you can’t help but love them. Darth Vader is the ultimate badass who everyone seems to be scared off for good reason, with the exception of Obi-Wan who knows a little secret about him. Throw in C-3PO and R2-D2 into the mix for comedic humor and you’ve got yourself a universe of amazing proportions. I even loved the fact that both of these droids are just as relevant to saving the universe as are our main heroes.

I won’t explain the reason for this because quite frankly, I’ve now realized, if you haven’t seen “Star Wars” yet, it’s pretty much the time to start already. You can enjoy the CGI or character aspects of the film or basically not enjoy it at all, but the point would be to give it a try. Believe me, I could continue with this post for days, going off about thousands of other aspects about the film series. It could be about the science fiction aspect but for arguments sake, let me just conclude this by saying that “Star Wars” IS the sh-t. Take that censoring 👊.

Let me just include a little scene here so hopefully someone gets persuaded to watch “Star Wars” thanks to me…

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Groundbreaking “Effect(s)”

Avatar (2009)

From the Na’vi themselves to the dozens of species that exist on Pandora as well as the geography of the entire landmass, “Avatar” can almost immediately be summed up as a groundbreaking film in terms of special effects. Released in 2009, this one looked like James Cameron hit a home run on certain levels.

*SPOILERS*

To me, the story of “Avatar” seemed pretty cliched. A main character (Sully) thrust into the wild by the majority; he/she encounters the unknown or less-advanced population (Na’vi), forms an unlikely alliance and together, they take on the stronger majority, and thus a “new hero” is born out of it. Even so it’s still an emotional investment that can keep you wanting to know what follows after every sequence. Apart from that, the acting is decent enough, but not the main aspect of the film.

What really was the stand-out aspect, and I’m sure almost everyone will agree with me, is the utilization of special effects. I’m not always a fan of CGI sometimes because it can divert the audience’s attention from the plot, but in this case, James Cameron really made it work. Since this film takes place on the fictional Pandora setting, it’s pretty obvious that visual effects would come into play and I really enjoyed it, and I’m sure most of you did too.

With all that said, “Avatar” to me really is that special film that seems ahead of its time. Definitely not the best film ever made, but a groundbreaking one for sure. If you still haven’t seen it, I most certainly encourage you too. It’s long, but it’s visually stunning as a big payoff.