Pirating Star Wars

(Oh, I’m just dying to see what links to this article because of that title!)

No, this is not about copying the Star Wars movies. So if that’s what you’re looking for, please look elsewhere. This is about two great movies trilogies.

Thirty years ago today, Star Wars entered the collective consciousness. Darth Vader would become the most important screen villians of all time (#3, according to the AFI). Science fiction changed forever. It was hip to be geek. Star Trek would experience a resurgence. Whole new series (good and bad) would spawn even more series.

The fact that Lucas had to “reimagine” them a couple times later in the years to come, and then introduce a mostly-weak pre-story is mostly irrelevant (I’m seriously debating even telling my kids about Episodes 1 or 2, and maybe — maybe — starting with #3). They stand as icons, as pure classic film literature (pulp or otherwise).

I never saw Star Wars in the theatre — I was only four years old at the time (heading rapidly towards five), and my parents weren’t movie-goers. I would see both Empire Strikes Back (courtesy of my babysitter, Kathleen, who’d seen the movie a dozen times by that point) and Return of the Jedi in theatres.

That was my first great trilogy. Others would follow over the years: Indiana Jones, Die Hard (yes, a fourth is coming out, therefore killing the notion of a trilogy), Austin Powers (although I honestly felt #2 was a bit of a waste), Back to the Future, Evil Dead, The Matrix (even though people say #2 and #3 aren’t as good as the first, they’re still better movies than average), Spy Kids, Naked Gun, Spiderman (yes, #3 included), and one cannot miss one of the best produced trilogies ever, The Lord of the Rings.

(I purposely neglected X-Men and the Terminator from the list, because the third movies in each of the series eliminates them from being collectively “great”. It’s a tough call, considering that the first two movies in both series are exceptionally strong. I also excluded any movies not currently in a trilogy.)


Pirates. Gotta love ’em.

Tonight, we added Pirates of the Caribbean to that list. I remember when I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl when it first opened in 2003. I, like many, was skeptical of Disney’s ability to make a ride into a full movie. Enter Jerry Bruckheimer. If there was a producer who could ensure a solid movie, it was him. The Black Pearl remains one of my favourite movies.

Tamara, Adrian, Teak, Rose, Fritz, Jin, and I all went to Chinook tonight to watch the last installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, At World’s End. (Don’t get me wrong, while I would LOVE there to be another, I have my doubts that they’d be able to get the cast together for another. And Johnny, you’re the King as Sparrow, but you’d best cut your time short and move onto other characters.) Tamara, Adrian, and I held the line (and seats) until the others arrived.

It had been a very long time since camping out in the hallways at Paramount Chinook. The last time I can remember doing so was 2002, when Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers opened. (We did also line up for the Lord of the Geeks, but that was outside the theatre entirely.) Hard to believe that was four and a half years ago.

It was a packed theatre. It was an excited crowd. It was a great (but long) movie. It’s hard to have it any better than that. (Well, maybe except for insulated popcorn bags so it doesn’t cool off so fast.)

I be needing that series on disc, says I.