Monday, November 11, 2013

5 On 5 Roundtable: Episode IV: A New Hope

By: Benjamin Hart

We're back with another edition of the 5 on 5 roundtable discussion! Made possible by our good friends at Star Wars Geeks Of The World Unite! This week our five panelist answer five questions about the film that started it all; Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Our Panelists are:

Andy Peachey - Admin at the Jedi Unite page
Chris Seekell - Podcast host & webmaster at The Star Wars Underworld
Peter Miller - Admin at the Bounty Hunters Unite page
Richard Cheers - Admin at the Blue Milk Cantina
Robin Glader - Member of the Star Wars Geeks 'share for share' team

1. If you could change one thing about A New Hope, what would it be?

Andy: For my money, it’d have to be the Obi-Wan vs Vader Lightsaber battle. That Lightsaber battle just feels so lifeless and awkward to me, just zero emotion and barely any choreography, it just doesn't fit, even with the other lightsaber battles of the Star Wars Trilogy. Some might say that was because it was shot in 1970’s, but I've seen sword fight sequences in movies earlier than that that are far superior. Definitely a low point of the movie for me.

Chris: This is a difficult question to answer, because I feel like A New Hope is one of the most flawless movies ever made. I think if I could change anything, it would actually be the actors and politics surrounding the film. I’ve always thought it was unfortunate how Sir Alec Guinness never grasped how special that film was, and how Dave Prowse was not in the loop about his voice being overdubbed by James Earl Jones. Star Wars is mainly one big happy family, but it’s not perfect, and those are some elements that I wish were better.

Peter: This is very hard to do, since ANH is a nearly perfect movie, but in my opinion, the part where R2-D2 and C-3PO were walking in the Tatooine desert in the beginning of the film could be shortened just a tad bit. Yes, we get the point that they landed there, and were split up, and were taken by the Jawas, and then were sold off to Luke. We don't really need a whole ten minute segment on that. But still, of course, I would never want to take that out, since it is a part of my most beloved franchise that I love so dearly.

Richard: Tricky, I would have to get rid of all the Rebel spaceships and replace them with the luck dragon from the neverending story. How amazing would the Death Star attack sequence be with Luke riding the luck dragon and instead of Ben speaking through the force to guide Luke, the dragon looks back at Luke and tells him to believe in himself. Makes me cry thinking about it.

Robin: What would I change about the most important movie in my life? That’s a hard question ya know. I really don’t know. More screen time for Biggs maybe.

2. True or false: Han shot first.

Andy: False, Greedo shot first!

Chris: True. There are so many things supporting the theory that Han Solo shot first. It was that way in the original version, and Lucas admitted to changing it only to make Han look more like a hero than grey character. Additionally, just logically there is no way Greedo, a professional bounty hunter, would have missed at such close range. And finally, Paul Blake, who played Greedo in that scene, even admits that Han Shot first.

Peter: I know this will get a lot of hate directed, but the actual true answer is false. Of course, I like it better when it is true, and I would rather have it that way. Real, authentic tapes of the Original Trilogy are very rare to find, and so we all watch the Special Editions. In that version, Greedo is the one who shoots first. And still, I actually get why George Lucas changed that scene to make it like that. I really don't know why many people hate this addition. I just take Star Wars as a whole, and I love every bit of it.

Richard: It had been a long day and Greedo had been in the Cantina drinking steadily for several hours. He didn't intend to shoot at Han, he didn't even realize he had his gun out, he thought he had a novelty cigarette lighter and he was he was so hammered that he couldn't see straight. His next line was going to be, "Your my best mate, I love you brother!" it was a drunken accident!

Robin: True. Remember….The first and only reality of the star wars fan:  Han shot first!

3. Why didn't Obi-Wan recognize R2-D2 & C-3PO? Or did he?

Andy: I doubt it, Obi-Wan never looked at R2 other than one of Anakin’s many pet projects he liked to keep around like the Twilight for example. C-3PO, like R2, was a dime a dozen in terms of their model so no I wouldn’t have thought he’d have remembered them.

Chris: One theory I have heard is that droids are a “dime a dozen” in the Star Wars universe, like appliances. Therefore Obi-Wan had no special attachment to the droids, and had no reason to recognize them. It also had been many years since he had last seen them, and it is understandable that he may have forgotten them. However I think it still is very possible he recognized R2 at the very least, and way just being vague. His statement that he didn't ever recall owning a droid was true, from a certain point of view.

Peter: This is a question that I love to get in debates on; it always serves as a fun little discussion topic. Of course he recognized them!!! He just wanted to keep Luke safe, and to let him know as little as possible. Also, it is another way to make sure that Luke does not know of the dark past of his family. And as you remember this quote, "I don't ever remember owning a droid." you realize that what he said was actually the truth! He never owned R2! Anakin did. And Anakin also owned 3PO, which he later gave to Padme. This was all a part of his strategic plan.

Richard: He was old and mad! He probably didn't even remember what he had for breakfast that morning. Which was Coco pops and blue milk.

Robin: Lucas has been comparing them to toasters but I believe that he really did remember them. Maybe he just wanted to avoid some unwanted questions from Luke. He has lied to him before after all.

4. Special Edition: Yay or nay?

Andy: Yay of course! Like any movie that has some fairly significant changes made to it, there are going to be good and bad changes that happen but overall the movies are far superior to their theatrical releases. Though I understand why people who grew up with those versions of the movies would want to see them again.

Chris: I grew up with the special editions, and to me, those films are nostalgic, rather than the originals. Whenever I see the ending of Return of the Jedi, for instance, with the Yub Nub song, it seems really out of place to me. I understand, however, that by the same token those who grew up with the originals might find that jarring, but for me personally, and a whole generation, the Special Editions are Star Wars. Additionally I like the remastered special effects. The Special Editions definitely look better visually.

Peter: Yay. It introduces us to Jabba for the first time, gives a whole panoramic view of Mos Eisley, puts real people into the crowd of the Celebration Scene, and even better, gives a whole lot of new special effects that makes the experience that much better! Sure, it makes Greedo shoot first, which actually is not that bad, but it just adds so much to it! Also, the Special Edition makes the movie longer, which is better, since you can spend even more time in this wonderful world that is totally new to you! There are still some background alien species that I have never noticed before!

Richard: The special edition arrived at a very sad time in life. My beloved father who was my hero passed away just before the films were released. Having these films back in my life at this time was like a blessed reminder of a happy star wars childhood. I say yay.

Robin: Yay!....mostly. I grew up on the 2004 DVD version of Star Wars so that’s MY Star Wars. Although I can agree that some of the changes were a bit unnecessary none of them really bother me (in the DVD version of this particular movie at least). But as I said I don’t really hate any of the changes made to the special edition or the dvd.  But I can understand the people who do because even I got a little annoyed with the blu-ray changes. That was messing with MY Star Wars.  The new Krayt Dragon yell for example is just terrible.

5. Chewbacca didn't get a medal at the end... Did he deserve one?

Andy: Of course, but Leia hates Wookiees. Total fact!

Chris: I understand why Han and Luke got medals, because they were the ones firing the shots in the Battle of Yavin. The droids and Chewbacca helped in the endeavour, and that’s why they were standing on stage with Han and Luke. From a behind-the-scenes point of view, at the time, George Lucas may also have not considered Chewbacca to be on the same level as the human characters, but rather like a droid. He was after all inspired by Lucas’ pet dog. Now we consider Wookiees to be just as sentient as humans in the Star Wars universe, but it may have been different initially in George’s mind. Therefore it makes sense that Chewbacca and the droids would be on the same level in the ceremony.

Peter: YES!! Of course he did! He risked his own life to rescue Princess Leia. He helped fly Luke and Obi-Wan to Alderaan, broke into the Empire's most top-secret base, killed a bunch of Stormtroopers, impersonated a prisoner, helped rescue Leia, and drove the Millennium Falcon away from the Death Star, while saving his friends' lives, and risking his own life at every corner!! He did a lot for the Rebellion, and without him, they probably would not have escaped all in one piece! He might have done subtle things, but he was a major asset to the best rescue mission in history!!

Richard: Chewie proved to be the smart one here. The heroes were offered a choice, medals or gift vouchers? Chewie gladly accepted gift vouchers for hair and beauty treatment hence the change of hairstyle in the later movies.

Robin: Heck yeah he did! I don’t know why he didn’t get one. I guess the rebels are just douchebags.

This feature is courtesy of the Star Wars Geeks Of The World Unite community. Check out their vast network of pages and groups!


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