Old Lady Movie Night Old Lady Movie Night: ‘Star Wars: A New Hope' Anne T. Donahue

Star Waaaaaaaars, nothing but Staaaaaaaaaaar Wars; Give me those Staaaaaaar Wars, don’t let them eeeeeeend!

Yes, this week we’re moving in a different direction. First, we begin with a song by Bill Murray’s Nick The Lounge Singer, who left Star Wars forever imprinted in our minds in a way that George Lucas never could.

Second, we’re breaking from my standard collection of musicals, rom-coms and disaster films. This week, we are watching Star Wars, and because I’m SURE I have already told you guys one million times that I once wrote a speech in grade six called “What I Like About Star Wars,” we are all going to walk away from this Old Lady Movie Night knowing each other better whether we like it or not. (Translation: Guys, I think you’re going to learn a lot about me. I think we’re there, and I’m excited to share this with you.)

So before we delve right into the heart of the matter (the credits are playing when I’m writing this, so I AM RUNNING OUT OF TIME), let’s let this stunning photo of Billy Murray set the bar for the type of commentary we are going to experience today.

Here is a dollar; go watch a Star War.

1. I can’t tell you how badly I did not want to watch a movie once I saw the robots

I mean, I just didn’t care. I’m not a robot person and I never will be, but when I first saw this movie, my friend’s older brother had basically convinced us just to shut up and watch the movie with him already, so we did, and kind of leaned on the couch while thinking, “Wow, our day really can’t get any worse than not being able to go swimming” and guess what! We were right! In FACT, it turned out to be pretty damn good, because ALL OF A SUDDEN, there enters Darth Vader.

2. CARRIE FISHER IN THE HOUSE

Alright, so here at the unofficial Carrie Fisher fan club headquarters (see: When Harry Met Sally), I will admit that despite her weird English-based theatre accent (that she acknowledges in Wishful Drinking – I’m not just being unnecessarily mean), I STILL think she is the coolest part of this movie, trumped only by Han Solo AND Carrie Fisher when they form their beautiful power couple. Also, I wanted to be her. Desperately. And tried to wear my hair like that which was entirely not flattering for someone that was not Carrie Fisher.

3. When does Darth Vader take off his mask?

No, I know he takes it off in the third movie (WHICH WE CAN TOTALLY WATCH, GUYS – WANNA?!) but I mean, does he take it off to sleep? Does he shower every morning? I mean, SPOILER ALERT, we all know he is an actual man, so … does he just like, hang out with his helmet on since he needs it so much? HOW DOES HE BRUSH HIS TEETH? Does he attend to his personal hygiene in any way, shape or form? I mean, he’s wearing a cape, so he DOES care what he looks like. Let’s all email George Lucas and ask.

4. C3PO, SHHHHH

Obviously, when you’re 11 years old and obsessed with a movie, you LOVE C-3PO because he is just saying what we’re all thinking, am I right?! No. Because none of us are thinking what he is thinking. I think most of us would be like, “What secret mission are you talking about, R2D2? I am a robot, and you are a robot, so why don’t I just ask you a question about what you’re trying to tell me?” Also, I mean, I GET C3PO’s point, but he really is the person you would call last to hang out with, ever. SO MANY QUESTIONS. Just live your life, man! You’re not even human!

5. The robot buyers = bore me to tears

I just don’t care. I never did, because I didn’t like their costumes (because even as a child, I did know they were costumes), and this plot development just doesn’t give up. See: point one and my disinterest in robot films. Seriously, this part has been going on for approximately two hours already, and the robot-buyers are only just walking up the stairs into their ship. George Lucas loves robots, you guys. It’s the only explanation for all the different kinds.

6. OH NO I AM ACCIDENTALLY WATCHING ONE OF THE REBOOTED ONES

OH THE HUMANITY! What have I done?! Listen. We were all super excited about when the Star Wars trilogy was re-released in theatres, but WOOF, these remakes. WHY, LUCAS. I hate the Jaba the Hutt scene, and I will not acknowledge it. Let’s just pretend we’re watching the VHS versions from when we were younger, and Jar Jar Binks was maybe an inside joke with someone we would never be friends with. (And it was actually a jar, and not a terrible, TERRIBLE character.) BUT OH THE ROBOT SCENES ARE DONE. Time to get into it!

7. Luke Skywalker is IN THE HOUSE!

Okay, so Luke is … how old? 17? 21? Either way, he is kiiind of a brat, and I like him much better in the next Star Wars movies and probably in real life. My Dad and I used to whine like Luke, though, any time we asked each other to do anything, which I’m sure was a blast for my Mom to hear. Also, shout out to Luke Skywalker’s deep v-neck! Tight pants, super-low v-neck, shaggy haircut. He is just one fixie bike away from telling us all to come to his DJ night!

Also, why can’t he just leave? I mean, he lives with his Aunt and Uncle, but all you have to do is go away from a place you don’t want to be at to not be there anymore. Has Luke never been told that? Did his Uncle Owen make him think he HAD to live with them or die? I am 100% sure that’s what it is/was. IT HAS TO BE.

#Emotion

8. And then Luke calls his sister beautiful

And right, FINE, he doesn’t know he a) has a sister or b) that it is Leia, but it IS and that doesn’t excuse the fact that they TOTALLY KISS. (And I’m sorry to spoil everything, but guys, this movie was made in 1977, so I don’t know why you haven’t seen it, but I’m really glad we can go through all of this together.) (And also, they definitely kiss. Hashtag YIKES.)

9. Hands up if you fast-forwarded past the sandpeople scene

Am I a terrible Star Wars fan? I GUESS, but guys, we all know the movie only REALLY gets interesting when Luke and Han meet in the bar. I am so tempted for us just to forget about this part and move forward with our lives and acknowledge that Harrison Ford was my/your/everyone’s crush after he shoots that terrible alien, but if we were in the theatres, we would have to watch the sandpeople live their lives, so let’s just be troopers. But oh! Look at that! The sandpeople scene is finished, and we have all survived! Hello to you, SIR Alec Guinness! What a handsome gentleman you are.

10. And now they are talking about The Force!

No, not the sandpeople. COME ON, GUYS! Obi-Wan and Luke! Luke, who brought Obi-Wan over even though Uncle Owen called him a “crazy old man” and said never to speak of/to him again. But eff that! Luke DOES WHAT HE WANTS. So the Force is with them! All of them! WE ARE ALL THE FORCE. (Or more realistically, Luke is going to learn the ways of the Force.) But more realistically, remember how Obi-Wan asks Luke to come with him to another planet? And Luke is what, in high school? “Uncle Owen, I am just going to accompany this older gentleman to another planet. COOL?”

“YES!” –  nobody, ever (except for us, who were like, “COME ON LUKE, GO WITH AIR ALEC GUINNESS AND HAVE A GUINNESS!)

11. Why would anybody talk back to Darth Vader?

He is basically the devil. Why would ANYONE talk to him in a way that wasn’t completely respectful? He chokes people at will all the time! This guy’s at the roundtable and is all, “Get bent, Vader” (kind of, I’m sure), and Vader goes for the chokehold – again. Yet people CONTINUE TO DEFY HIM. It’s like watching The Devil Wears Prada all over again, and Darth Vader is Miranda Priestly and everyone else is Adrien “quit your job, Andie!” Grenier.

“I’m surrounded by idiots.” – Scar, from The Lion King (also Darth Vader, probably)

12. YIKES, RIP UNCLE OWEN AND AUNT RUTH (?)

Well that’s a terrible way to die, being attacked by storm troopers, and could Lucas have made a more grotesque shot of their skeletons in the sand? Probably not. And then Luke doesn’t grieve for them at all, basically, despite being raised by them for approximately 19148 years. LUKE, I am concerned that you’re emotionally stunted. (Also, C3PO just tossed a Jawa’s body on a fire? For the love of GOD I hope those were just its robes.) (Why is this movie terrifying? How did I not understand how traumatizing it was when I was wee?)

OH GOD AND NOW THERE’S THE NEEDLE SPACE PROBE SCENE WITH LEIA. WHAT. WHAT IS THIS. I HATE IT.

13. HELLO, Han Solo!

Say what you will about Harrison Ford, even he didn’t need the extra footage of the ewok thing riding that computer-animated dinosaur. Also, you are very handsome, and I am okay with all of the choices you make as this character.

14. THE MIND TRICK

Alright, I’ll admit it: I tried to do this, and I can guarantee that you sound INSANE because the person on the other end will tell say, “…What?” Or they think you are joking, so if they do, just go with that. Unfortunately, I was in grade school, and not a Jedi, so my Dad and Mom were just kind of like, “Aww… wow.”

I should also just take this opportunity to tell you that I may have bought the Star Wars soundtrack on CD and then used my Barbies to act out the movies TO the soundtracks, and then I made Leia-outfits for my Barbies using Kleenex because this story could not get worse if I tried and because I could not afford/find ACTUAL Leia-outfits. (Now, what if I told you I spent hours recreating her hairstyles JUST for certain songs?) (And what if I told you I owned a lot of collector books as well?)

Guys, I was so lonely.

15. IMAGINE being in a closed space with Luke Skywalker

So picture this: Han Solo and Chewie are best friends, just owning life. And then this kindly old man pays you a lot of money to drive him and his friends somewhere. And you’re like, “Well how bad can it be?” AND THEN you realize it is Luke Skywalker and two robots – one that beeps all the time, and another that NEVER shuts up. And then Luke Skywalker starts talking crap about your car and then tries touching all the buttons while they’re flashing. Guys, Han Solo is a saint. An actual saint. Amen.

16. RIP Alderaan

: (

Actually, I wil say that at Pat Thornton‘s 24/hour stand-up gig this year, there was a wonderful joke that was said:

“The planet was destroyed for Alderaan reasons!”

And I laughed. Hard.

17. LOL at “THE BIG SWITCH”

God, I love when tricks are played! And WHATTA TRICK by Han and Luke and Chewie (“they’re all here!”) and whoever else. BUT I will say, what if they didn’t fit into those stormtroopers’ uniforms? Is this a one-size-fits-all situation? And if not, WOW the Force really WAS with them because WHAT ARE THE ODDS. But I will say that nothing – and I mean nothing - is as good as:

b) “THE BIG SWITCH” part II

Well, not so much. It’s not REALLY a switch, fine, guys, I get it. But three cheers for Han Solo when he blasts into the control room and then pretends to be a stormtrooper over the PA. Guys, I love Han Solo. Still. But only if it’s Harrison Ford from 1977 to 1983.

18. “Into the garbage chute, flyboy!”

YOU GO GLEN COCO ALSO LEIA. I was GOING to highlight “I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m here to rescue you” but WHO CARES. You’re the worst, guy! But Leia rules, so let’s just all acknowledge that. And of COURSE she and Han begin by hating each other, only to truly love each other in the end. SPOILERS ALL OVER! But that’s fine! Grab your light sabers and almost drown in the garbage room or be crushed by the walls! (Seriously, probably the worst room in the world to have chosen, and what is that thing and UGH I bet it smells exactly like the garbage room at the mall I used to work at. It smelled like Cinnabon and Chinese food and old milk, and while those things are delicious on their own (minus the milk), together, they created a symphony of the worst possible scent.)

19. RIP BEN KENOBI

And man alive, talk about Luke suffering from the most intense kind of emotional trauma. First, he finds his aunt and uncle’s bodies after being vaporized, then he kisses his SISTER (woof), and then he watches his only other friend, Obi-Wan Kenobi die right in front of him. Cue: Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” because Luke Skywalker, you have EARNED IT. (Or at least a free pass to shout “NOOO!!!” when you’re all trying to escape from a space station full of stormtroopers, which you are, by the by.)

Also, Obi Wan Kenobi is the bravest character EVER*.

*Or close. He’s pretty brave, guys. I mean, when it comes to sci-fi at least, he is pretty brave.

20. SPACE FIGHT!

And then there’s this wonderful scene in which Luke gets to fight off The Enemy WITH Han Solo, and Han Solo is still thinking, “HOW did I get myself into this?” And when I say “wonderful” I mean “still not as good as when Han Solo charges at the group of stormtroopers, but still pretty wonderful.” (I mean, remember when Han Solo charged at the group of stormtroopers? Also, remember how he calls his ship “baby”? Also, remember how I really loved him in The Fugitive and I am now asking you guys if you would ever be interested in pursuing The Fugitive for an Old Lady Movie Night because it is actually one of my favourite movies in the world? REMEMBER?)

21. Aaaaand Carrie Fisher continues to rule

I mean, she’s the only person who really tells Han Solo to check himself before he wrecks himself, and then she just walks away like, it ain’t no thing. “If money is all that you want, then that’s what you’ll receive.” BOOM. Also, let’s just reflect on how Luke is all, “Good – don’t think about her” to Han Solo like that will change his mind. Are we all following what scene I’m on right now? If not, can we just remember what happens in The Empire Strikes Back when she calls Han Solo a nerf herder and then they make out?

Oh, woof, the one guy in the “how to destroy the battle station” tutorial just called Leia “Leah.” That’s like when people email me and call me “Anna.” Or “Ann.” Or even “Annet” –  but that I can understand better because of the Twitter handle. But still, guys! Come on! Four letters! FOR BOTH OF OUR NAMES.

22. They really are giving Luke Skywalker a lot of responsibility

Like, A LOT. Like, letting him fight with the rest of the academy and rebels, despite him not having ever flown one of those ships before or being trained in any way shape or form. But okay, Rebel Alliance! Maybe that’s why you’re not succeeding, though. You’re literally letting ANYONE fly your ships at this point. Pretty sure I could walk in right now and say, “Hey – can I fly this ship, maybe?” And they’d be like “Hey! Sure! Just go ask Leah!”

I mean, even in this scene. I really will go right ahead and say that Leia truly had this situation under control.

23. ALSO HE IS THE WORST PILOT

He just turns off his radio and signals and everything! Just to use “The Force!” That is totally valid and works out for him, but at the same time, imagine a pilot of a plane just turned off everything and was like, “Nah – The Force has this.” MAYBE THE FORCE GAVE YOU THE EQUIPMENT TO USE. Did you ever think about that? Maybe Obi-Wan had never flown a ship like this! Maybe just turn your equipment back on or use both together at the same time. You have options, Skywalker.

24. And then there Darth Vader goes, just spinning out of control

I mean, I know he needed to pave the way for a few more movies, but at the same time, him spinning away is definitely more a comedic effect than him, say, getting beamed up just in time or something? And listen: I know “being beamed” is all part of the Star Trek schtick, but considering they’ve got rebels and guns and space and ships and The Force, “being beamed” doesn’t seem too far out of the question. But no, Lucas chose a spin-out in space, so whatever blows your hair back, George Lucas.

25. THE AWARD SCENE

I wanted nothing more in the world than Carrie Fisher’s hair. And I would still wear my hair like that now if a) I had the time and b) she didn’t have a rat-tail like style happening with that one braid. But look! Look at this chemistry:

HELLO, NURSE.

And so we conclude. Luke has destroyed the Death Star, and Han Solo returns and nothing in the world matters aside from the look you just witnessed in the above photo. Also, breathe a sigh of relief because in every other Star Wars movie (primarily the next two), Luke Skywalker grows up and stops complaining about everything.

And that is the REAL victory, because as that Facebook bumper sticker used to say,

“I had friends on that Death Star.” – Stormtrooper [sad face]

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  1. nice!

  2. I’d just like to say that Luke Skywalker is the Mirroring Character (voices the audience’s thoughts/concerns) just like Rhett Butler is in Gone with the Wind (a historical movie where the audience already knows much of the ending- so Rhett addresses those concerns and states them to the other characters- pretty good writing tactic).

    Something that a lot of the best movies have. Lets the audience feel that they are identifying with someone onscreen.

    I’m in awe of people who write movies. It takes such crazy attention for a long, long, time. A different way of thinking! I just think it’s amazing.

  3. Bless. This post makes me so happy. I loved Princess Leia so much as a kid that I managed to convince myself she had blonde hair just so I could be her. Also, I can’t have been the only one going “But what about Chewie??” In the award scene.

  4. Aunt Beru

    this is an interesting take on SW which i love obsessively