Top Reasons the New Star Wars Sucked
While the original Star Wars trilogy was a classic, the new trilogy stirs up mixed feeling. See the tops reasons the new trilogy sucked.
Whiny, raspy, and stiff, Hayden Christensen exudes about as much personality as a two by four. Anakin/Vader was the most important casting call of the new trilogy, and Lucas screwed it up big time. There's nothing likeable about him. Every emotion feels forced and stale. Arrogance, love, anger, compassion... he tries to express them all, but they seem feigned. In the end, and in a bad way, we're left with a picture of Vader we never wanted to see. It's shocking how this talentless actor ever made it to the big screen, let alone a Star Wars film
"Thisea how meesa talk". Ah, Jar Jar, it's hard to believe how much angst your gratuitous antics stirred up. Overblown as it might be, there are valid reasons Jar Jar has become a scapegoat of new-trilogy denouncers. The way he brings about comic relief is childish and base, like stepping in poo or getting his head caught in a power coupling. He's annoying to listen to. He has no admirable qualities. He serves no plot purpose. And lastly, Episode I is simply not serious enough to require comic relief in the first place. Unfortunately, Jar Jar is one of several stark reminders of the childishness of the franchise that no one wanted to see.
The success of the original Star Wars rests on a solid foundation of storytelling: the eternal hero's journey. Luke was an ordinary farm boy who rose the occasion, an average Joe. He explored mysterious worlds, befriended allies, and defeated great villains with his sheer ideals. Becoming a Jedi was a metaphor for mastering himself, not an excuse to showboat or kickass. In contrast, the new trilogy abandons this core in pursuit of something else. Anakin's path is opposite to Luke's in every way. He's not a hero at all, and the only journey he takes is an arrogant, whiny descent into hell. It might be the making of a fine tragedy, but a hero's journey it is not, and it cannot hope to lift the spirit in kind.
The childishness of Anakin in Phantom Menace undoubtedly makes it the worst episode in the series. Anakin should have been cast as Luke's age. Then Phantom Menace could offer something to adolescents and adults. The original trilogy appealed to adolescents because it dealt with the tough decisions of becoming a man. The idealism with which Luke overcame these problems also appealed to adults because it inspired hope. Unfortunately, a ten-year-old Anakin just couldn't carry a theme worth its salt to anyone in the audience over ten. To the generation that grew up on the originals, Phantom Menace felt emotionally hollow.
Anakin: "You are so... beautiful."
Padme: "It's only because I'm so in love."
Anakin: "No, it's because I'm so in love with you."
Please excuse us as we take a moment to swallow our vomit. Unfortunately, cases of sickeningly shallow dialogue such as this crop up throughout the new trilogy. To Lucas' credit, he never proclaimed to be a master dialogue writer, but the prequels set the bar so low it can't be overlooked. The romance scenes are shameful and cringe-worthy, Samuel Jackson sounds like a dumbass, and any confrontations involving Anakin feel phony. How good could the prequels have been with properly-written dialogue? Probably a great deal. Too bad we'll never know. Check out the above link for more horrible dialogue moments.
Han Solo was bad-ass, plain and simple. He gave Star Wars an edge. The I-don't-give-a-shit, tough-guy attitude made him suave and all the more endearing when he really cared. Harrison Ford's performance was brilliant, from the hilarious "We're fine... how are you?" in A New Hope, to the immortal "I know" in Empire Strike's Back. Without Solo and his hostile romance with Leia, the original three episodes would have been a fairy tale, too immature and simple to have the appeal they did.
Lucas' works are oddly spotted with strokes of brilliance and questionable taste. It's amazing how revolutionary his ideas are, and yet, it's equally amazing how greatly a few bungled details can detract from the larger work. The general problem is inappropriate-silliness. We see it in the Star Wars prequels, a few of the Young Indiana Jones prequels, Howard the Duck, and the Ewoks. For the love of God, why? Just cut that crap out and make a serious film! For whatever reason, Lucas has glaring moments of bad taste like few other directors.
Granted, the original Star Wars was arguably more advanced in the way of special effects than the new trilogy, but the effects served the story. With the new trilogy, Lucas gave himself license for special effects masturbation. The old, grimy galaxy we came to love got a slick new face-lift. But as pretty as the 3D sets are, they can't match the allure of the originals. Seeing actors in front of these virtual sets gives us a clue as to why their performances were so stale: if most of the new trilogy lives inside a computer, little wonder it feels that way too. The original trilogy certainly didn't.
The new trilogy romance between Anakin and Padme is simply painful to watch. There's something eerily formal and jarring about the whole affair. The biggest problem is that the two have no chemistry. Add to this bad dialogue and Hayden's generally up-tight, stale, and whiny acting, and we get some truly unsettling scenes. On first thought, it might be said that romance doesn't belong in the platonic Star Wars universe at all, that's just not what Star Wars is about, but Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher played out their romance just right. Little wonder that we were so disappointed when Hayden and Portman made us divert our eyes in shame. Any admirer of the new trilogy has since learned to selectively edit these scenes out of the memory. Ah... much better.
In A New Hope, Vader defined what a villain should be, and the emperor added a few master strokes of his own in Return of the Jedi. Unfortunately, the new trilogy villains didn't have the same affect. Count Dooku is just a geezer with a lightsaber, General Grievous has little personality, and the Emperor is perfectly clairvoyant to the point of unbelievability. The main character, Anakin, was himself the greatest villain now, but that just not the same, only underscoring the lack of a true hero.