Greg, when you take STAR WARS up again in its own section, I'm interested in specifying what you consider flaws and why, as well as how you find those flaws charming -- because I'm always interested in your opinions!
|Posted: 26 May 2017 at 9:12am | IP Logged | 7
Oh, just the little things--errors, goofs, production limitations. Stuff like the Stormtrooper bumping his head aboard the Death Star, some of the clunkier bits of dialogue and acting, visual continuity issues, etc.
In terms of story and characterization, though, it really is rock-solid. And the editing is phenomenal. SO many clever editing tricks used to make the film more exciting and/or hide the limitations of the budget and filmmaking technology. It's a masterclass in taking limited raw material and squeezing ever last bit of awesomeness out of it.
Probably my favorite editorial trick is the scene in Ben's home. As originally written and filmed, it began with Luke and Ben watching Leia's message ("Now, let's see if we can't figure out what you are, my little friend, and where you come from."), and then talking about the Clone Wars, Luke's father, and the lightsaber. In editing, the sequence was restructured to have Ben and Luke talk about the Clone Wars and Luke's father first, and then watch Leia's message, which adds a lot more urgency to the mission at hand. Originally, they receive this critical information, and then start talking about less-important stuff (Leia's mention of the Clone Wars is what prompts Luke to ask Ben, "You fought in the Clone Wars?") before coming back to the matter at hand--going to Alderaan.
It's a brilliant and seamless edit, unless you're really paying close attention to the continuity of the scene (since Luke suddenly goes back to working on Threepio, who is suddenly "awake" again after they watch the message).
The first hour of STAR WARS has this remarkable sense of forward-thrust, as each new character takes you to the next one, and it's subtle editing like in the aforementioned scene which helps move the story forward. That's why, as interesting as that material might be, the deleted scenes with Luke and Biggs on Tatooine were rightfully cut, since they would have damaged the flow and pacing. I love how the film begins with the non-human-ish droids and troopers and Vader, and then slowly builds to a point where you're deeply emotionally invested in this farmboy--the main character, who isn't even introduced until nearly 20 minutes in--and his desperate, last-chance bombing run in the Death Star trench. The movie just builds and builds until the emotional crescendo of the last few minutes, and you become totally invested in the characters and their story after the chaos, weirdness, and (in 1977) newness of the first 20 minutes.
More thoughts (in the SW section) later!