|May the Feff be With You|
|February 23, 1997|
This past weekend was the opening of the George Lucas movie classic The Empire Strikes Back. Well actually it originally opened over fifteen years ago, but it has been re-released into the theaters, along with the original Star Wars, which was re-released towards the end of January, and The Return of the Jedi, which will be back in theaters in under a month. The reason Lucas decided to re-release the epic trilogy back into the theater was because he realized that there was a whole generation of movie-goers who never had the chance to shell out six bucks a ticket to see the movies when they were originally out in the theater. And to make sure that the people who have already seen the movies fifteen times went to go see it again, Lucas souped up the special effects, and added a few minutes of unseen footage. So the end result is that Star Wars mania is sweeping the country once again. Thus it was long ago, in a galaxy far away, that the topic of this week's Whack was born. I'm kind of glad that the Star Wars trilogy is back on the big screen since, due to my age, I never got to see Star Wars or The Empire Strikes Back when they were first out. However, I did get to see Return of the Jedi when it was first in the theater. Although during the climatic scene when Darth Vader removes his helmet and everybody gets to see his face for the first time, I was in the bathroom. For the longest time I never knew what Darth Vader looked like. Of course my brothers would never tell me. My brother Chris had him looking like Cheech Marin, while my brother Mike had him looking more like Dick Van Patten. Since I never saw what he looked like, for the longest time I just pictured him as being James Earl Jones, since he did the voice for Darth Vader. It would have been different if he was actually Darth Vader. Like, "Luke, I am your father. And if you ever want to advertise your business, do it in the yellow pages, where nine out of ten people look." I think the whole idea of re-releasing a movie after nearly two decades of being out of the theater is a bit maverick. But I definitely don't think they should stop with the Star Wars trilogy. Why not start re-releasing other classic movies? I mean there is a whole generation of people who never got to see Peewee's Big Adventure on the big screen. Think about it, I bet that would make a lot of money if it was put back in the theater. Of course they would have to soup up the special effects and add a few minutes of unseen footage, but I think they can do it. All they have to do is put back in the one scene they cut where Peewee hired Boba Fet to hunt down the guy who stole his bicycle. However they definitely will have to leave out the scene where Peewee is playing with his light saber. I mean that scene was cut for a reason. But talking about light sabers, I always thought that it was the greatest weapon. I would certainly feel safe walking the city streets if all the cops were carrying light sabers. I wondered why no one has invented it yet. It seems like a simple enough concept, I'm sure one of our genius engineers at the Pentagon could develop a light saber without much trouble. They probably already have, but they're just keeping it a secret from the Russians. George Lucas is really a genius when you consider what he accomplished. I mean when he was casting for the role of Luke Skywalker, the dashing, handsome young hero, he ignored all conventional wisdom and gave the role to an unknown actor, Mark Hamil. You figure when Star Wars was being made over twenty years ago, the obvious choice for the role of Luke Skywalker would have been John Travolta. Well you figure he was the hottest young actor at the time, most producers would have been begging him to take the part. I could just picture Luke Skywalker wearing a sequined suit with bell-bottoms and platform shoes. And if you're going to have Travolta play Luke Skywalker, why not have Gabe Kaplan play Ben Kenobe? It would be something like, "Hey Mr. Kotter, I used to be a sweat hog, but now I have the force so I'm like a Jedi knight now or something." And you might as well forget about John Williams doing the main theme, the Bee Gees would have to take care of the entire soundtrack. Could you imagine the scene in the bar with all the different aliens, and "Staying Alive" was playing in the background? I could just picture all the aliens forming a circle around the dance floor while Chewbaca is in the spotlight doing a disco number. Talking about George Lucas, I always wondered how he went from making a movie like American Graffiti to making a movie like Star Wars. I mean they are two completely opposite movies. One is about a bunch a kids cruising around town, listening to Wolfman Jack; and the other is about a guy who saves the universe. That's a mighty big jump. I can see the connection with his jump from the Star Wars trilogy to the Indiana Jones movies. I mean they're both action-type movies, and they all have Harrison Ford in them. But American Graffiti is completely different than either than them. And also American Graffiti is one of the few Lucas films that doesn't have a computer game based on it. I think American Graffiti: The Computer Game would be a great idea. Sure the game wouldn't really have any point to it, but you would be able to drive around, pick up women, challenge people in drag races, listen to old music, and talk to other people about your anxieties over graduating high school. I just think that's more fun than Window's 95 can handle. Well anyway, I think it is time to run the closing credits on this Whack, so to conclude for this week, Peewee Herman's off screen exploits ruined his on screen triumphs; George Lucas made the right move by not making Star Wars a seventies movie; and Jabba the Hut really let himself go between the first movie and the third.
Now for this week's very special feature, Feff's top ten favorite classic movies that he would like to see re-released into the theater:
10. 2001 9. The Natural 8. Spaceballs 7. Howard the Duck 6. Hollywood Knights 5. Big Top Peewee 4. Oh God You Devil 3. Super Fuzz 2. The Bad News Bears 1. Herbie the Lovebug