KingMidget's Ramblings

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Why Star Wars is the Worst Movie Ever (This is for Trent Lewin)


Over at Toasted Cheese, there’s this wonderful community of writers as well as a wonderful place to explore the world of writing.  They publish a quarterly literary e-zine.  They have daily writing prompts.  Four writing contests during the course of each year.  All sorts of forums and discussion topics, as well as places to post your writing efforts for critique and comment.

But even more important they have the Friday FUM, each and every Friday.  FUM stands for Five Unmistakable Marks, five questions to be answered by any who care to join.  (Hint:  you should register at the site and start participating, if for no other reason than the FUM.)  Typically, the questions revolve around writing, but there are always some variables thrown in.

Last Friday, the first question had to do with movies.  Specifically, naming movies from the AFI’s Top 100 movies of all time that you had not seen.  After I responded to the day’s questions, I also pointed out that there was absolutely no way that Star Wars should be considered the 13th greatest movie ever.

I would suggest instead that it should be considered one of the worst movies ever.  How could this be, you might be asking yourself?  I know that Trent Lewin at the very moment that he read those words was probably tearing his hair out, threatening me with some type of force-driven evil involving a light saber.  (I’m not worried.  There is no force and light sabers aren’t real.)

Is it the horrible acting?  No.

Is it the horrible dialogue?  No.

Is it the fact that the story is nothing more than cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, but in space?  No.

Is it a combination of all those things and more?  Yes.  And most definitely more.

The fourth reason and the one that makes it the worst movie ever was how the film’s makers used technology to do so much in the film and how that technology has taken over so much of film-making today.  Nothing is real in the movies anymore.  Yes, I know, I know.  That’s kind of the point with most movies.  They are fiction.  They are an escape.  So, yes, “real” doesn’t necessarily mean real in the movies.

I also get that a lot of the technology used in Star Wars had been around for some time before the movie was made.  But what Star Wars did was significantly advance the use of the technology.  Now, you never know if what you’re seeing on the screen is “real” and I hate that.  Absolutely hate it.

So, why is Star Wars the worst movie ever … the acting sucks, the dialogue sucks, the story is one of the most basic stories there is but in space (oooh, aaaaah), and it has led to the technology-driven degradation of moviemaking.

Deliberate and discuss.

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36 responses to “Why Star Wars is the Worst Movie Ever (This is for Trent Lewin)

  1. A Passionate Dreamer January 8, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Never seen it and now not so sure I ever will.

  2. MishaBurnett January 8, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    I don’t think it’s quite fair to judge a movie by the influence it has on other filmmakers. I think that John Carpenter’s “Halloween” is a fine and very original work, it just happened to spawn a host of bad imitations.

    So I believe that “Star Wars” should be judged on its own merits. I do agree with you that it’s a bad film, a pedestrian space opera that was propped up by special effects. The trend to use movie tricks to paper over bad filmmaking can’t be entirely blamed on Lucas, however. The technology was there and if he hadn’t done it someone else would have.

    • kingmidget January 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Can’t disagree but Lucas showed the way forward for the generations of filmmakers who followed. Yes, somebody else would have figured it out. I think it’s the combination of the horribleness of the film and then the impact it had. If it had been a great film, it wouldn’t be as bad.

      • Trent Lewin January 9, 2014 at 4:47 am

        Many people believe it is one of the greatest movies ever made. I agree with them. Many many others do too. Against the standard of a movie like Citizen Kane or Apocalypse Now, how do we compare? These are divergent beasts. Citizen Kane is horribly boring in my opinion and is called on of the greatest movies of all time. Apocalypse Now is like a dream…. what is the standard against which we compare, except against our own personal reactions to art?

      • kingmidget January 9, 2014 at 6:04 am

        You know I’m just making more out of this than is necessary. Having a little fun. I get why a lot of people love the movie. When it came out it was fresh and new and incredible, but to me, where it falls apart is whether it stands the test of time. And my newest reason for disliking it just kind of came to me yesterday. I sit in movies these days and all too frequently get turned off by the idea of what technology has done to how they are made now. It’s because I’m getting old.

      • Trent Lewin January 9, 2014 at 10:56 am

        Yeah but technology would have happened no matter what, and Star Wars didn’t even really invent special effects, it just popularized it. We were in for it one way or the other.

        Besides, without Star Wars, how would we have had Indiana Jones? Or Blade Runner? Or Donnie Darko? Or Gravity?

  3. Trent Lewin January 9, 2014 at 4:44 am

    Okay Midget. I will not argue with me. I will only give you what this movie did to me. To a five-year-old kid seeing this in the movie theatre, my world was changed. It electrified me. It appealed to my imagination. It told me about heroes and places that I had never imagined, never thought anyone would possibly conceive of in such a way as to put it into film. I think kids imagine many things; but how often do these things get translated into screen? I felt immediate kinship with this movie. By the end, I cheered. So did everyone else. I will never forget that moment, it was euphoria and surprise and the sense that we would never forget that moment. And then the story continued, and turned a tale of horror (Luke, I am your…), and then into a deep story of redemption of return. it didn’t stop after that first memory.

    Dialogue, cowboys and indians, the repeated story, sure. What isn’t these days? But that’s not what Star Wars is about. For me, it’s pure magic. It’s like the magic of writing, it reaches (for me) some indefinable place that cannot be replaced by anything. It set the tone and set me on my creative journey in many ways; it’s the first thing that deeply appealed to me in a creative manner, and it still resonates on that front.

    There is an entire generation that has grown up around this movie and what it created. There is a reason that Star Wars still resonates 36 years after it was created – that reason is pure magic, and magic is not about dialogue and special effects only. For me, it’s about dialogue and acting and belief and imagination and music and largesse and spectacle and theme and heroes and villains and princesses in distress and swords made of light and battles amongst the stars and wise old men who sacrifice themselves for a greater good and rascals who have hearts of gold and sidekicks and robots and aliens and strange different worlds and the destructive force of technology and the hope of victory against the odds.

    Star Wars is not just the greatest movie of my generation. It is the movie of our generation. That will never stop; almost four decades later, it is stronger than ever.

  4. Theryn January 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Thanks for the TC/FUM shout out.

    I think the reasons why you dislike SW (innovation and influence) are the reasons it’s so high on that particular list, i.e. a list compiled by filmmakers.

  5. Deliberately Delicious January 11, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    And can we say something about Princess Leia’s hair???

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