5 Ways To Watch The Star Wars Series (That Are Crazy AF)
After a laundry list of movies, multiple cartoon series, and branded products ranging from toilet paper to weirdly sexual Jar-Jar Binks candy, we understand you might be a little tired of the Star Wars franchise. But some fans out there have found ways to spice up their relationship with that galaxy far, far away, mainly by giving the original movies some ... unusual spins. These aren't your daddy's Star Wars.
Star Wars Wars Is All Six Original Star Wars Movies ... At Once
Even before Disney started cranking out sequels, spinoffs, comics, and sexy dance parties, Star Wars was already a long-ass saga. To watch Anakin Skywalker's full journey from whiny little kid to dome-headed space wizard takes over 13 hours. However, one crafty editor found a nifty way to save time that didn't even include pretending the prequels don't exist.
"Star Wars Wars" is Marcus Rosentrater's epic experiment to condense the Star Wars saga in the most confusing way possible: superimposing all six original Star Wars movies over each other in one gloriously trippy mess. The result is a movie (a "movies?") that's a little like watching Star Wars through someone else's prescription glasses while huffing paint thinner on a roller coaster.
Despite the plot being a bit tricky to follow at times, what with six movies' worth of characters talking and moving all over each other, the visuals are sometimes so amazing that they'll make you want to start a prog rock band just to use them as album art.
Other times, the compositions are surprisingly meaningful, such as Padme seeing a hologram of her own future daughter Leia pleading for help, separated by the dark specter of Darth Vader.
It almost makes you wonder if the once-experimental filmmaker George Lucas always intended for his movies to be smooshed together into one avant-garde epic in which all the boring trade negotiations are cleverly drowned out by screaming Wookies. Then again, most of it is just brain-meltingly chaotic.
But maybe we're not smart enough to see the artistic layers of having Leia host the medal ceremony inside a lava-filled IKEA.
You Can Be Part Of The Empire Strikes Back While Watching It
It's hard to choose the objective best reworking of Star Wars, but if we had to pick one, it would be whatever version could include us. It's every nerd's dream to be in these movies, to fly an X-Wing, meet C-3P0, get some hot Wookiee action. But besides convincing Lucas to CGI your face in like another crap Force ghost, there's no way to make that happen, right? Wrong.
If you want to know how easy it is to pop up in a Star Wars movie, just ask Dr. J.S. Abernathy, who advertised his dental practice by digitally inserting himself into A New Hope. But Dr. J. did more than merely appear in the movie; he hijacked an entire scene, giving the rebel pilots attacking the Death Star a brief presentation on cavity fillings instead of letting them know how they're all going to die in a blaze of laser glory.
But not everyone has all that dentist money to throw around. Fortunately, there's another way. A UK group called Secret Cinema puts on screenings that Last Action Hero the audience into the movie, physically recreating scenes using elaborate sets and acting school rejects. Recently, they put on a screening of The Empire Strikes Back in a giant factory. To get in, you had to enter through a replica of the Mos Eisley Cantina, which isn't the weirdest party scene you can find in an abandoned factory at night.
Walking out of the cantina, people suddenly found themselves in a bustling Tatooine marketplace full of Jawas, Stormtroopers, and the most alien creatures of all: a bunch of 21st-century Earth nerds.
Even during the movie screening itself, the audience had a life-sized X-Wing hovering over them:
And during the climactic duel between Luke and Vader, two fully costumed actors staged the fight in real time. The only way it would've been even more real is someone in the front row could've caught Luke's severed hand like a foul ball.
A Gritty Grindhouse Cut Called The War Of The Stars
One of the amazing things about the original Star Wars trilogy is how well it's held up over time. Sure, George Lucas keeps remastering them like a fussy plastic surgeon on his 40th facelift of the day, but even in their original glory, they still look great, unlike a lot of other tacky '70s sci-fi schlockfests. But for those who like Star Wars but wish it looked more like it was shot through the bottom of a moonshine jug, there's The War Of The Stars, a fan edit that reimagines Star Wars as a cheap '70s grindhouse movie.
Made in 2010, The War Of The Stars gives A New Hope a beat-up 16mm print, replaces John Williams' majestic score with the kind of '70s rock that wouldn't be out of place in a softcore porno, and creatively edits out all the big-budget scenes. It really makes you feel like you're not in a galaxy far far away, but instead in a urine-soaked craphole of a movie theater.
The movies open not with a spectacular space battle, but with the more budget-friendly decision to show Luke Skywalker just looking at a battle from all the way down on Tatooine.
It then cuts to the opening titles, playing inside the blood-red interior of the Tantive IV.
Short of photoshopping Leia's top off in every scene, this fan version really throws every bad exploitation flick trope there is at Star Wars. Like by subtitling all of R2-D2's beeps with hacky dialogue:
Or making Darth Vader's force powers involve glowing eyes and blood:
The movie also very appropriately blatantly steals scenes from other movies to sloppily incorporate into the story. That's why halfway through, a clip from the fan film Troops gives us an oddly violent interlude wherein Stormtroopers gun down Jawas.
It even incorporates bad outtakes into the finale, with Harrison Ford yucking it up by biting into Leia's medal to make sure it's real gold.
A Star Wars Fan Edit Made Up Entirely Of Non-Star Wars Movies
Nobody's issue with Star Wars is that it's too Star Wars-y. (Though there are plenty who think some aren't Star Wars-y enough). When it first came out, Star Wars was a breath of fresh cinematic air, something no one had ever seen before. But before we go praising the series for being so original, one YouTuber would like to point out how little of a crap George Lucas gave about stealing stuff from other movies.
Kyle Kallgren's 16-minute video "Star Wars Minus Star Wars" endeavored to tell the story of A New Hope using footage from old movies and TV shows that decidedly aren't Star Wars. The video shows scenes that clearly served as Lucas' inspiration while writing the film, such as the two bickering peasants from Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress ...
... or the tiny holographic woman from the science fiction classic Forbidden Planet ...
And when it comes to Lucas' favorite story beats, he clearly cheated off of old samurai movies ...
... sci-fi serials ...
... and classic adventure stories ...
But what Kallgren really wants to do with his tribute is highlight how Star Wars is simply part of a long and rich tradition of storytelling tropes. So his fan movie also includes scenes from newer movies like Eragon, which obviously couldn't have influenced Lucas.
He even draws a parallel between Obi-Wan teaching Luke and The Karate Kid's Mr. Miyagi training Daniel-san to take on those Cobra Kai bullies, who are of course the Earth equivalent of the Empire.
A Chinese Bootleg Changed All The Dialogue In Revenge Of The Sith
It's no secret that the Star Wars prequels aren't well-written. The plots are boring, the new aliens are racist caricatures, and the dialogue is godawful. With lines like "I'm haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me," it sometimes feels like Lucas put the prequels in one of those English to Chinese to English translators. But as it turns out, doing that would've made for funnier movies.
China has always had a thriving bootleg market. However, DVD bootleggers don't make the most nuanced of translators, often leaving the subtitling to crappy machines. And in the case of one of the oldest Star Wars bootlegs, the results are hilariously off. For example, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith was translated to Star War The Third Gathers: The Backstroke Of The West. Famously, Darth Vader's embarrassing "Nooooo" becomes the even more toddler-like "Do not want!"
The translation of Revenge Of The Sith became such a phenomenon that one fan dubbed the entire movie with the dialogue from those subtitles. And call us crazy, but it really adds some clarity to Anakin and Obi-Wan's climactic volcano planet duel.
Some lines sound like bad freestyle poetry at an open mic, yet somehow are still more coherent metaphors than Lucas managed to write.
Also, for a PG-13 movie with no obscenities whatsoever, there's a surprising amount of swearing in the translation. Though that does finally give the scene in which Obi-Wan and Yoda discover a room full of murdered children the emotional gravitas it needed.
It also sheds some much-needed light on the true relationship between the Emperor and Anakin.
Naturally, when The Force Awakens came out, another fan tried to contrive a sequel to The Backstroke Of The West, translating the movie's subtitles into Mandarin and then back again. The result isn't quite as magical, though it does totally nail the Kylo/Rey dynamic.
Your reward for reading this should be getting yourself a LEGO Millennium Falcon.
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