Remember Luke Skywalker, the hero of the original STAR WARS trilogy? He’s kind of a jerk; here’s five reasons why.
1. He drops everything to chase tale.
When backwater Luke wakes up R2’s messaging software, the holographic princess awoke something in Luke. We can chalk some of Luke’s behavior to being a Tatooine provincial, but not all.
One sight of the princess and he’s forgotten about cleaning droids. He wants the entire message, and only bedtime interrupts him. (Perhaps Luke has reason to rush for the privacy of his bedroom.) In the morning when R2 is missing, any responsible young man might have confessed his error, prompting Uncle Owen to dock Luke’s allowance to pay for a replacement. Not Luke. He risks not only himself, but his other droid in hot pursuit. Read More →
Jason and Megan, 2008
I never gave Megan an engagement ring or technically asked her to marry me.
When I worked for the Sheriff’s department, Megan found a ring she liked and called me at work. The ring was on sale because the store was going out of business. The store was open for one more day…for 8 hours in the middle of my 12-hour shift. I couldn’t come see the ring or buy it for her out of custom. Either she bought, it or waited for another she liked.
Megan assured me:
- We could afford the ring.
- She liked it.
- She had no misgivings.
Mobile phones don’t work inside Orange County Jail (Hillsborough). Calls from the Missus were taken at the front desk, a huge office separated into “behind” and “out front” by huge metal bars — the same ones that demarcated cells. The room was part office, part break room for everyone working “up top” (the front half of the jail).
My half of the conversation was plainly audible.
After hanging up, I turned to my fellow officers and said, “Guess I’m getting married.”
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Critics claim that the middle film of a trilogy is the most difficult. They’re wrong.
The opening has the advantage of introduction. More time is allotted to get to know the people, setting, rules. Caring about the characters is more critical than advancing the plot.
The ending has the advantage of drama: Everything hinges on individual moments.
The penultimate installment has its own advantages, though. New threads can be introduced that don’t require immediate resolution. The characters are established. The center of a trilogy is the only place you can get away with episodic cliffhangers (the kind television takes for granted).
That’s why The Empire Strikes Back is the strongest STAR WARS. There’s no time wasted on Luke’s background, Han’s motives or Leia’s personality. Obi-Wan’s stoicism sets up Yoda’s hilarity (which wouldn’t be funny if we’d met Yoda first). Throw-away lines from the first movie (“You think a princess and a guy like me…?”) become whole plots, because there’s time for development.
Events aren’t concluded. Heroes stumble from bad to worse ’til credits roll. It’s fantastic.
Despite the gooey fun at the trilogy’s center (like a tootsie pop), The Two Towers managed to repeatedly disappoint, though sandwiched between two of the greatest fantasy adaptations of all time. Read More →