Monday, February 06, 2006

Space hardware 

I had a bit of a dilemma this weekend. My son, soon to turn 6, has been playing what he calls “Lego Star Wars” on the Playstation belonging to his friend’s big brother. I have no idea whether this Lego thing is some kind of joint marketing campaign, or some misunderstanding on my part, but the Playstation bit explains why he thinks everyone comes back from the dead. Anyway, having seen the game, he now wants – as no doubt Sir George intended – to see the movies. Off we went to the video store. Here comes the dilemma. Do I submit to the Episode 1 to 6 bollocks that Lucas foisted on us, and start with the 4th one, or do I take him through them in the order that the rest of us saw them?

On the side of the first option is that the story probably makes a bit more sense in the right order – no sense is making the convolutions any worse. On the side of the second is that if I show him ‘Episode One’ first, he might be put off for life by the wooden acting and Jar Jar Binks. Quite how you can take a cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman and – ahem – Samuel L Jackson, and turn out acting that looks like actuaries on am-dram night is one of the mysteries of the galaxy far, far away. When you have to read out the portentously scrolling titles and the alien dialogue to your 5 year old, you realise just how bad it sounds out loud. Harrison Ford was spot one: you can write this crap, George, but you can’t say it.

So, we went for Episode One, which seemed to work, since he knew all about the droid fighting and the pod racing, ate breakfast during the pseudo-political bits, and is still convinced that Liam Neeson – Gunga Din or whatever he’s called – will be back for the next one. He likes the kid, so he’s going to be gutted about Darth Vader, but he’s going to be dead chuffed when Obi-Wan does come back from the dead. At least he’ll understand Star Wars pop culture references. Next we’ll have to hire Ghostbusters so he can figure out why I keep telling him not to cross the streams when we’re sharing a toilet bowl.

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