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Saturday, October 07, 2006

A wretched hive of scum and villainy

I've been a fan of Star Wars as long as I can remember. I never saw it in a cinema, and we didn't have a TV at my house when I was growing up. We used to watch movies at my aunt's house, about an hour's drive from our place.

My aunt had a setup I've never seen anywhere else. The movies were big and flat, about the dimensions of an old-fashioned record jacket but slightly thicker.

Given my long-standing distaste for all things violent, I'm sure I didn't care much for the severing of limbs or the cold-blooded murder of Obi-Wan Kenobi. What I remember most clearly is the speeder chase from Return of the Jedi...zipping through the forest at top speed, dodging blasts from storm troopers. It usually brings me back, at least temporarily, to that dark living room with its comfy couches and the dog trying to sniff our feet. We sat in awe that such a thing could even be captured on film.

Return of the Jedi gets a bum rap among Star Wars fans. It gets lumped in with The Phantom Menace and dismissed. I'm sorry to see this, because this movie has it all. Action scenes, humour, nudity (if you press PAUSE at exactly the right second) and the moment when the whole saga is tied together. And it's nice to see Luke finally stop being a whiny brat and start acting like a Jedi.