National Post


- By Chris Knight Weekend Post cknight@nationalpo­­tfilm

So, you haven’t seen Star Wars. Or maybe you remember the original trilogy, but missed one of the newer chapters. Or you can’t remember if Qui-Gon Jinn is a good guy, a bad guy, or s-omething Han Solo was drinking in the can tina. Well, you have two choices if you want to get up to speed before the new film opens. You c-an be like intrepid/insane National Post re porter David Berry, who is going to sit through all six movies for a butt-numbing 13 hours and 2-0 minutes (with a 133-minute optional inter mission known as Episode I). Or you can read our handy cheater’s guide to Star Wars. It’s the summary that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs! ... which, if you’re a Star Wars virgin, you won’t get. Never mind; off we go! And beware gifts bearing spoilers. Episode I : The Phantom Menace


QUOTABLE: “I have a bad feeling about this.”

– Obi- Wan Kenobi; also uttered by someone in every Star Wars film to date.

also: “- Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to an ger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda

BEST SCENE: The pod race is pretty cool, if narrativel­y unnecessar­y.

THE STORY: Episode I is, ironically, the least important of the six movies. Many fans suggest skipping it altogether. In it, Obi-Wan Kenobi and his soon- to- be- killed master, QuiGon Jinn, battle droid armies on the planet Naboo. They meet Jar Jar Binks, a simplemind­ed Gungan. That’s right; George Lucas created an entire race so he could be racist to them. They also meet Queen Padme Amadala, who travels with them to the desert planet of Tatooine and meets Anakin Skywalker, a chirpy little kid who will, somehow, one day become Darth Vader. ( This is why no one makes movies about a jolly, nine-year- old Adolf Hitler.) Padme makes a great impression on the kid, as we’ll see in ... Episode II: Attack of the Clones


QUOTABLE: “I’m haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me.” – Anakin Skywalker. Yep, that’s as good as it gets.

BEST SCENE: -( In the words of Scott Feschuk in the Na tional Post): “Yoda takes out his lightsaber and – to put it in the ancient parlance of the sacred order of Jedi Knights – opens a honkin’ can of whupass.”

THE STORY: This is the second-worst of the series, but it holds the record for worst title. Set 10 years after Episode I, it finds Anakin now a whiny teenager mooning over Padme, who’s been reduced in rank from Queen to Senator. That’s democracy for you. Anyway, Obi-Wan is hunting a bounty hunter named Jango Fett, and tracks him to a world where a clone army is being created. ( Jango’s cloned son, Boba, w- ill have much to do when he grows up.) Next stop, Geono sis, a desert planet ( there’s always a desert planet) where Jedis fight droids and almost lose, until the clones show up. The story ends with a wedding – just like Shakespear­e! – between Padme and Anakin, though it’s anyone’s guess what she sees in him. I sense Jedi mind tricks.

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Released date: 2005 Quotable: "Nooo! - Darth Vader Best Scene: Darth Vader gets his suit on. The Story: We skip over the actual Clone wars, which are covered in an animated TV series, and open with a battle in the skies over Coruscant, the Jedi homeworld. Anakin kills the evil Count Dooku, while obi-wan takes out General grievous, a four-armed badoie who really needs to put some more meat on his bones. The clones turn on the jedi, and anakin, now officially darth vader, turns on obi-wan. the battle leaves Darth stuck in a big black suit. Padme dies after giving birth to luke skywalker and leia, who are sent into hiding. Senator Palpatine, now the self-crowned Emperor of the newly formed empire, starts building a killer space station called the death star. It's 99% destructio­n-proof unless someone manages to dump a proton torpedo into a small thermal exhaust port, but what are the odds of that? Episode V: A New Hope

RELEASE DATE: 1977 Quotable : “Help Me Obi-Wan Kenobi; you’re my only hope!” – Princess Leia

BEST SCENE: Han comes back to help Luke destroy the Death Star.

THE STORY: The first film to be released, this is the one people mean when they say “Star Wars.” Eighteen years have passed since Episode III, even though that one came out 26 years later. ( Stupid chronology!) Leia steals the Death Star plans and gives them to droids R2- D2 and C3PO, who take them to Tatooine, where they meet Luke and Obi-wan, who take them to Han Solo and Chewbacca, who then rescue Leia from the Death Star. ( This is called “- getting the band back together.”) Along the way, de pending on which version of the film you’re watching, Han either kills a bounty hunter named Greedo in cold blood ( yay!) or lets the guy have the first shot, which misses at point- black range, before frying him. Darth finally gets his revenge on Obi-Wan, but the Death Star is destroyed. Medals for everyone! Except Chewie. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Release date: 1980 Quotable : “I am your father.”

best scene: The one where Vader says: “I am your father.”

the story: The Empire tracks the rebels to the ice planet of Hoth, and attacks with snow walkers. But everyone – well, everyone important – escapes. Luke goes to Dagobah, where Yoda briefly pretends to be as dumb as a Gungan before admitting that yes, he’s a Jedi. He “trains” Luke, which means the kid has to give Yoda piggyback r- ides while the Jedi tells him to be calm and trust his feel ings. Meanwhile, Leia, Han, Chewie and the droids head to the gas world of Bespin, where Han’s old friend/poker b- uddy Lando Calrissian briefly double- crosses them. Vad er freezes Han in Carbonite, and Boba Fett ( Jango’s kid) takes him to Jabba the Hutt, Tatooine’s resident gangster. Luke shows up to fight Vader, loses a hand and learns that Vader is his dad. episode Vi: Return of the Jedi

release date: 1983 quotable: “When 900 years old YOU reach, look as good you will not, hmm?”

best scene: The speeder- bike chase. Actually, the best scene, depending on your age and sexual orientatio­n, was the one with Leia in a gold metal bikini. Some fans couldn’t concentrat­e on the rest of the movie and had to see it again, making it the top-grossing film of 1983. She, Luke, the droids, Lando and Chewie go to Tatooine to rescue Han. Boba Fett gets eaten; ignominy, thy name is Sarlacc. Luke goes back to Yoda, who reveals that Leia is his sister, but dies before he can confirm whether Chewie is in fact Luke’s second cousin. Then everyone heads to the forest moon of Endor, where they race speeder bikes and get help f-rom adorable Ewoks. Luke fights Vader, who has a death b-ed conversion and kills the Emperor. Death Star No. 2 is de stroyed; here’s hoping they don’t have any more. The Ewoks throw a big party and everyone lives happily ever after, or at least until Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Now go see the new movie, my young padawan learner. As Yoda once said: “Already know that which you need.”

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