Nostalgia is a sucker's game. We imagine all the toys and TV shows from childhood as perfect and awesome purely because our immature brains hadn't developed the ability to joylessly pick things apart for their flaws. The songs we liked at age 10 weren't any better than the Justin Bieber stuff the 10-year-old girls love now.
So it's good to go back and look at our childhood icons through adult eyes. OK, maybe "good" isn't the word for it ...
(For a look inside the Star Wars universe that WON'T ruin your childhood, watch Cracked's adventures in Jedi School.)
17"Luke! Be Careful! There Are Exposed Springs on That One!"
The Child Saw:
The "bottomless" chasm is as much a staple of the Star Wars universe as the lightsaber. It's a wonderful symbol for that world's vast, endless technology and how small it can make a person feel. Nobody who watched the above scene as a kid was thinking that consciously, but we felt it when Luke, crushed by the revelation from Vader, tumbled down into it, falling, forever ...
... onto a bunch of used garage sale mattresses.
That behind-the-scenes pic is from the coffeetable book The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Usually it's cool to see the inventive wizardry that went on behind the scenes at Lucasfilm, but now I can't watch that scene without picturing the big pile of smelly mattresses just below Luke that appear to have been collected from various alleys around town.
While we're on Star Wars ...
16"Guys, Make Sure Kenny Hasn't Suffocated."
The Child Saw:
It's not like it's some shock to find out R2-D2 isn't "real." He's supposed to be a robot, and even as a kid you figured he probably actually is a robot. Just one that can't think and stuff.
R2-D2 is a dwarf eating a hot dog.
Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against dwarves (that's Kenny Baker, who's still working to this day because there are only like three dwarf actors in Hollywood) and I've eaten my share of hotdogs. But all I can think about is how freaking hot it must have been inside that airless tin can, shooting in the desert for long days.
Couldn't it have been, I don't know, remote-controlled or something? Did Baker have a little steering wheel in there to move R2 around? Also, I note that among Baker's roles on his IMDb page are characters named "Bungo," "Fidgit," "Dufflepud," "The Croat" and "Bruce Foreskin."
And ... now I'm depressed. No more Star Wars.