The first movie I ever remember seeing in a movie theatre was Return of the Jedi in 1983 or 1984. And that was that: open mouth, insert hook. For many, many years after that, my birthday and Christmas lists were filled with all things Star Wars. Okay, not ALL things – we had many more He-Man and Barbie figures than we did Star Wars figures. But I watched any of the three original movies whenever, and I mean whenever they came on TV or cable. I was at the re-releases, the re-re-releases, and Episodes 1, 2, and 3. And I read so many of those related books that came out in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Yes, I was a fan.
I don’t know exactly when the break-up started. After seeing the doctored old episodes, well…I was thrilled to see the movies on the big screen, but, like most, I was not very happy with all the cgi additions. My heart sunk a little at the thought that someone (Ahem *Mr. Lucas* Ahem) had become so displeased with his works that he thought they needed to be changed. After seeing the new movies, my inner fangirl, sadly, all but died.
Yeah, it’s a familiar story that’s been written about to death; and now I kinda regret writing that previous paragraph. But unlike *some,* I will not change what has already been just for the sake of change. It’s called integrity. Maybe.
Episodes 1, 2, and 3 really did kill what I thought was my hardcore Star Wars spirit. But, leave it to the good folks at Lego and TT Games to help rekindle that spirit, as well as my interest in those colorful plastic, segmented building blocks! I’m talking, of course, about the Lego Star Wars.
I was introduced to the game via the Xbox version of Lego Star Wars: The Video Game in mid 2005. Honestly, at the time, I wasn’t convinced; but I remember watching a couple playthroughs thinking that it looked like fun.
It took awhile for that thought to turn into action, but about a year-and-a-half later, after I got my Nintendo DS, I picked up Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (TCS). I was a little worried seeing as how I didn’t ever want to see Anakin and Princess Amadala ever again, except perhaps in a fiery, testosterone-ridden Michael Bay explosion.
But once I started playing, TCS was So! Much! Damn! Fun! I had an absolute blast in the new Star Wars Lego Universe. As I think I mentioned in my Lego Indiana Jones post, the game was incredibly simple. I mean, it was pretty much aimed at kids. But let me tell you, it brought out the kid in me! (How’s that for Velveeta cheeeeeeziness. Ugh. But again, not changing.) Collecting, infinite lives, and secrets aside, the best thing about the game was how it poked fun at the original movies. For so many years, I had held the original movies on a pedestal that was absolutely untouchable by other movies. The slow, seething disdain I developed for the movies in the early 2000s ate away at that pedestal like George Lucas-shaped termites (of doom!). But the humor and kitchiness that was infused into TCS facilitated my new, more pleasant, and less serious world view on the Star Wars universe. It was meant to be enjoyed not revered.
I though it was wonderful that, with just a little creative license, the developers turned the sacred Star Wars universe into something, not quite profane, but rather a little less haughty. And frankly, I loved Han, Luke, and Leia as little bumbling Lego-ites who were trying to make sense of their blocky surroundings. I loved all the characters even more after playing the game, and I even re-watched the original movies with a new found sense of happiness. As for the game representations of Episodes 1, 2, and 3 — gone was the dourness, scene chewing, and petulance. TCS injected much needed lightness and frivolity into the stories and gameplay. I even liked playing as Jar Jar.
Of all the Lego games, the Star Wars games are truly my favorite. The familiar characters made new brought me many hours of gaming joy and brought me back to the days of yore when Star Wars was good and Mr. Lucas wasn’t a huge d-bag.
(Sorry Mr. Lucas, love hurts. Just ask Nazareth.)