Saturday, January 14, 2012

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

See? Ewoks cannot be all bad if their spin-off material can produce something like this.

Oh wait. Nevermind. Their spin-off material also produced this.

Alright, so in our review of Empire, I mentioned that I thought it was the weakest of the original trilogy and then went to point out what I thought were pacing and story flaws with the movie. That was the easy job. Since I think Empire is the weakest, that means I think that Return of the Jedi is better than it, which leaves me with a much more difficult task in this review: Defending Ewoks. I will get to that later. First of all, let me point out a couple of this movie's strengths:

Death Star:
Now, while some people may think that it is rather lame to reuse something like this in a later movie, I have to point out that the fact that the Empire built another Death Star excited me like no other movie. This isn't because I am a Death Star fanboy. Sure, it's neat and all, but that was no reason for my childhood excitement at seeing it rebuilt.

You see, I spent a LOT of my childhood watching cartoon serials and pseudo-serials like Voltron and being filled with remarkable levels or ire and rage at the bad guys. King Zarkon or Prince Lotor would create this incredible Robeast infused with all kinds of special power and implement a huge plan of attack. Voltron would be virtually defeated, laying in near ruins with victory just a breath away from the villains. Then something random or unlikely would occur, like a random mouse chewing on wiring, and the plan would fail at the last moment and Voltron would barely be able to beat back the bad guys. Then next week, Zarkon and Lotor would just come up with some completely new line of attack, but WHAT THE FUCK, GUYS?!?! You were so goddamned close to winning and something so randomly arbitrary occurred and stopped you. Obviously your plan was good. Fucking hit them with the same thing again. This time, if there doesn't happened to be a fucking eclipse during your attack, you'll win. Don't just toss a plan aside that had the only defenses of the good guys shattered and nearly destroyed.

This all or nothing approach of villain plans drove me crazy. Seriously, you were SO FUCKING CLOSE to winning! So, when the Imperial Forces decided to rebuilt the Death Star, I didn't roll my eyes and say, "Seen it." No. I fucking felt vindicated for every schmuck of a villain I had seen before. The Empire said, "Fuck this. This was a fucking awesome plan that got fucked up in such a random way. Let's fucking fix that problem and build a better Death Star. I mean, Christ, we blew up Alderaan. An entire fucking planet! Billions of people. For shit's sake, that was such a good plan, we'll just patch up our ventilation port and fuck shit up again."

So seeing the rebuilt Death Star vindicated my outrage at every single plan gone wrong in every single cartoon serial I watched as a kid. Even fucking Wile E. Coyote came close some times and just needed to learn from his fucking mistake and alter the plans that came closest. This coolness factor is able to cancel out the cuteness of at least ten Ewoks.

The Ewoks tend to distract people from the fact that Return of the Jedi is a dark, dark movie. I mean, forget about the obvious themes of corruption, patricide and the realization that the last two movies were full of incest, there is a lot there. The entire Jabba's Palace opening has Jabba's lustful molestation and near rape of a Twi'lek who was then murdered for his amusement after her refusal to accept his advances. Leia is later captured and turned into what will eventually be a sex slave for Jabba, who then is choked to death by her. Think about that scene. This isn't some glib blaster shot and someone falling down. She wrapped a chain around his neck and struggled with all her might as Jabba's tongue flapped out helpless as he took his last breath. Not saying he didn't deserve it, but that's a rather dark death. Strangling someone fully on camera who is desperately trying to breathe one more breath is dark enough to cancel out at least two dozen Ewoks.

But then the entire confrontation scene between Luke and Vader with the Emperor overseeing is actually a very dark scene as well. Seriously, watch it again and you'll realize how dark it is. It goes beyond a simple corruption scene. The Emperor gloats about how everything Luke holds dear is going to die around him, taunting him to attack him in anger. Luke resists at first, because his plan is to confront Vader for that resolution and self-testing that he needs, even though he realizes that he will die on the Death Star as his friends complete their plan. He just needs to prove to himself that he is worthy, even though he will die. However, the thing about the taunting is that it works.

Luke eventually gives into hate and draws his weapon. Luke stops himself and decides not to fight and hold off. Then Vader senses that he has a sister and that he can pervert her to darkness instead. So, Luke, angered and  vengeful, attacks Vader. Here he strikes wildly and full of anger and rage. He gives into the darkness and it is stronger in him because it is this anger and rage that lets him finally beat Vader. He cuts off his hand and leaves him near death and realizes that he has become the evil that consumed his father... He has reversed roles with him and he has become the rage-filled force standing over the wounded, handless, weaponless and undefended man, capable of striking him down.

That's some dark shit as well. That's worth canceling out at least another two dozen Ewoks' cuteness.

Now, this isn't to say that there aren't problems with Jedi, but they are mostly minor ones that are understandable from a story-telling standpoint. For example, why the fuck would you want to take a ship as big as the Millennium Falcon inside the Death Star instead of the smaller, more agile fighters? For no reason other than the audience feels a connection to the ship and it is almost a character in and of itself and would be disappointed if it somehow did not help out with the end game. Or, when going down in a rough surface terrain forest where stealth is important and everyone is camouflaged, why the fuck would you bring down a shiny gold robot prone to being knocked over and a little droid that runs on two skids that couldn't compensate for a raised tree root? The answer, because they are primary characters who should be given a role.

But the Ewoks. There is a lot of hate for the Ewoks because they look stupid and are cuddly. However, I first need to point out that, for the time, they were actually really decent costumes. We're talking pre-CGI days. You know, the days when dwarves/little people knew that they could always put on some crazy-ass costume and get a job in Hollywood? If Jedi was made today, you'd end up with CGI Ewoks and a shitload of unemployed little people. Now, the Ewoks had a purpose. Yes, I realize that the primary purpose of them was to sell toys and kiddie spin-off merchandise and products. However, these are simple stories told at the level of kids. Really, there isn't a lot of depth to the plots. But this story is so dark that you need something for the kiddies to lighten it up a bit. Perhaps Lucas went a little too far with the cute, but I don't think so.

The Ewoks also serve to give us a view of war not shown before in these movies. Rebels, Stormtroopers and aliens died left and right in these movies and we didn't pause or care. But I defy anyone to tell me honestly that the first time that they saw that Ewok die on screen and his friend try to wake him up they didn't tear up. Seriously. This is the first we've had impact of war and had it mean something. Obi-Wan's death ended up being a good thing overall. But that Ewok laying there while the other one pushed him a couple of times to try to move him showed an emotional cost of war. That Ewok death scene cancels out at least two score living cute Ewoks in the movie.

Ultimately, however, the Ewoks are supposed to give a message that the "little people" can make a difference. But it also gives us another message of strength of indigenous people in terrain that qualified soldiers are unused to fighting over. So, yes, the Ewoks are an allegory to the Viet Nam war.

Okay. That's probably going too far. But you get my point.

There only real problem that I have with Return of the Jedi is the fact that in the original Star Wars when Luke first gets C-3PO and finds out that he was part of the Rebellion, he asks him if he has any stories. Threepio responds that he isn't a very good storyteller. However, in Jedi, he's fucking mesmerizing the Ewoks with his storytelling and is even adding in sound effects for all of the principle battle scenes. Fuck what he said to Luke. Threepio can fucking spin a yarn.

Molly: (As usual, Molly is sitting next to me as I type this. Because of her age, her portion of the review will be in Q&A form.  I'll ask her a question and transcribe her responses to the best of my ability and will format it afterward.)

Chuckie: So, what did you think about the Return of the Jedi?
Molly: I like it in the middle. I liked it and I didn't like it.

Chuckie: Okay, what didn't you like about it?
Molly: Um, that -- that -- that little guy that got shot.
Chuckie: The Ewok?
Molly: Mm-hm.
Chuckie: How did that make you feel?
Molly: Sad. Because he got hurt.

Chuckie: Was there anything else that you didn't like about the movie?
Molly: I didn't like that his father got hurt.
Chuckie: Whose father?
Molly: Lucas.

Chuckie: Okay, we'll get to that later though. Anything else you didn't like?
Molly: No.

Chuckie: So, tell me what you liked about movie.
Molly: Well, I liked that they were celebrating because the good guys won and Lucas's father died. They had fireworks. Daddy, did you know that they had fireworks on other planets?
Chuckie: No, I didn't know that. I would have thought that they had some kind of more technologically advanced means of celebrating, like giant holograms or laser light shows or something.
Molly: Nope. Fireworks.

Chuckie: Yeah. So, what else did you like about the movie?
Molly: Wait. There are other parts that I didn't like about the movie!
Chuckie: Okay, like what?
Molly: Like when the one guy fell into the sea monster in the sand and it ate him and when Dark Vader's boss got thrown down that pit and died.

Chuckie: Well, you know that these guys that died were bad guys in the movie, right?
Molly: Yeah, but it was still sad. They have families, you know.
Chuckie: Wow. Okay. Good point. So, why don't you tell me what happened in the movie?
Molly: Well, they had to rescue Han Solo because he was frozen, so they put him in the oven to free him--
Chuckie: Wait. They put him in the oven?
Molly: Yeah. He turned red like he was hot then got out of the frozen stuff.

Chuckie: Ah... Okay. Well, continue.
Molly: Princess Leia freed Han Solo, but the big frog took him and her. Oh, and the big gorilla was there as well. Then Lucas showed up and rescued them.  Then Lucas visited Yoda, then Yoda died, so that's another part I didn't like too. And then they had to stop the bad guys' plan.

Chuckie: What was their plan?
Molly: They were building another Death Star.

Chuckie: Okay, I know it broke into a few interweaving plot points here, but what happened on the ground in the forest?
Molly: Princess Leia found Ewoks. And the Ewoks helped them fight the bad guys. And when they won, everyone was celebrating, but they weren't congratulating the Ewoks because they did most of the work.

Chuckie: Okay, while that was going on what was Lucas doing?
Molly: He went to see his father, Dark Vader. And Dark Vader tried to turn him into a bad guy, but it didn't work. Dark Vader didn't really want to fight Lucas or turn him into a bad guy, but his boss told him that he had to and so he fought Lucas because he didn't want to get fired.

Chuckie: So what happened in the fight?
Molly: Dark Vader became a good guy and killed his boss so that he could save Lucas and his boss would be dead and couldn't fire him. So then he became the boss. But then he died.

Chuckie: What did you think when Lucas took off Dark Vader's mask?
Molly: He looked like an alien. He did not even look like a person.

Chuckie: So, a lot of people don't like the Ewoks and think that they ruined the movie. What do you think about that?
Molly: I liked them since they fighted the most. They fighted more than the rest of the good guys did.

Chuckie: So, tell me about the character arcs. How did Lucas change by the end of the movie?
Molly: He was really good at using the force field. I'm not good at it yet though. Watch. (She stares at the shelf, straining.) See? Nothing happened.
Chuckie: What were you trying to do?
Molly: I was trying to move the books and shelf. But I'm not good with the force field yet. But that's okay, because you never give up and you have to practice, practice, practice.

Chuckie: What about Han Solo? Did he change by the end of the movie?
Molly: He wasn't frozen in the sandbox anymore.
Chuckie: Any kind of personality change?
Molly: What is a "personality"?
Chuckie: The way he acts and the things he believes in.
Molly: Well, he wasn't acting when he was frozen in the sandbox, so that changed.

Chuckie: Fair point. How about Princess Leia? Did she change at all?
Molly: No.

Chuckie: Okay, did Dark Vader change?
Molly: Yes. He turned into a good guy and then turned into a ghost.

Chuckie: So, how would you rate this movie?
Molly: Stars.

Chuckie: Okay. How many stars would you give Return of the Jedi?
Molly: Um, five and out of three.
Chuckie: You are giving it more stars than it is out of, you know that right?
Molly: Yeah.  And I want to give it Ewoks, Daddy.

Chuckie: Okay. Um, how many Ewoks?
Molly: Twenty-four Ewoks. Is that a lot of Ewoks?
Chuckie: I don't know. I'm not used to an Ewok rating system. Out of how many?
Molly: Four.
Chuckie: Then, yes, I would have to assume that it is a lot of Ewoks to rate a movie with.
Molly: Good.

Chuckie: So, who do you think would like this movie?
Molly: Ellen, Eva and Cassie. Not the little Cassie, but the big one.

Chuckie: Why do you think they would like it?
Molly: Well, I think Ellen would like it because I'm her best friend, Ewoks and they fight and stuff. My other friends would like it because of the Ewoks.
Chuckie: You really liked the Ewoks, didn't you?
Molly: Mm-hm. That's why I gave it more Ewoks than stars.
Chuckie: I don't know if that's how ratings work.
Molly: Well, I was going to give it three Ewoks, but then I thought I should give it more.

Chuckie: Okay. So, while the Ewoks are cute and cuddly, there are actually a lot of rather dark themes and scenes in this movie. Would you say that the movie is more for kids or for grown-ups?
Molly: Grown-ups. But I still think kids would like it because I did.

Chuckie: Fair enough. So, is there anything else that you wanted to say about Return of the Jedi?
Molly: (covers her right eye with her hand.) Sibuna.
Chuckie: Sibuna?
Molly: Yeah, that means it's a secret that only people from House of Anubis can hear.
Chuckie: So, I can't hear it?
Molly: Nope. The End.

So, that's our review. Molly really liked the Ewoks in the movie, but was rather upset at the Ewok death scene. When it happened, I had to pause the film and talk to her since she started to cry. We still made it through the rest of the movie, but for anyone who discounts Ewoks of being too cute, they made an impact on the potential cost of fighting and war to my five year old.

Of course I liked it. I don't think anything touches the original Star Wars by a longshot, but this is my second favorite of the original trilogy. But most importantly in this movie, the Empire learned a lesson that everyone from Prince Lotor to Wile E. Coyote to Desslok to the Zentraedi to Cobra Commander to the Decepticons could not grasp: If your plan came THIS FUCKING CLOSE to wiping out your enemy and failed for some fluke reason, don't throw out the blueprints. just tweak them and retry them.

Molly gives it five out of three stars and twenty-four out of four Ewoks. She also considers the Vader's struggle with battling his son and his attempts to either pervert or murder his child stem from a fear of being fired from his job. She also apparently had more to say on the movie, but I'm not a member of the Sibuna club from House of Anubis, so I have no clue what it might be.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Molly with Han Solo frozen in sweet, sweet chocolate. He was eaten just after this review.

Alright. I know I'm in the minority on this one and I routinely take crap for it, but here it goes: The Empire Strikes Back is the weakest of the three original Star Wars movies.

That isn't to say it is bad. I mean, it's still Star Wars, though decidedly less fun than the other movies.

So before I get flayed, here are my three primary reasons why it is a weaker movie:

1. Incoherent Story Pacing:
Star Wars had a basic story of rescue the princess and destroy the Death Star. These were pretty tangible and easy to track for the plot. Empire separates the characters and builds to separate stories to follow: A) Train as a Jedi and B) Escape the Empire. On the whole, this wouldn't seem bad except that jumping back and forth between the two build such different levels of excitement and theme that is sometimes jarring. Holy shit! It looks like the end for Han and Leia! Things couldn't possibly get any worse and--oh... there's Luke doing a handstand with a puppet on his foot who talks like he is reciting ASL literally talking vaguely mystical. So, it causes pacing problems with the movie, as opposed to everyone in the first movie sticking together. And, when they aren't sticking together, they are at least all trying to achieve different goals of the same objective.

 But secondly, this break and attempt to tell two different stories causes problems with the timing of the movie. How long does it take to train to be a Jedi? It seems like it would be a long and arduous training, especially with Yoda's hard on for teaching patience. So, how long did Luke train with Yoda to get the new powers that he employed by the end of the movie? My gut would say at least weeks. However, you have to compare this to the pacing of Han Solo's escape from Hoth. He left Hoth and immediately went into an asteroid field, to be flushed out and hide in the Imperial garbage and then flew directly to Bespin where he was almost immediately betrayed by Lando. Since the Empire was there before Han, one would think that there would be no real reason to stall Han's capture too long--just enough for Vader to arrive personally. So by that time frame, I would say that maybe Han was on the run for a day or two at the most. With this timing, we have to assume then that Luke's Jedi training lasted less than this time (since he then needed to rush to Bespin to free his friends). So, Luke learned a shitload of Jedi powers with probably less than a day's training. Now, I don't know much about the Force, so maybe the power-learning is rather front-loaded, but it still seems off to me. So the pacing of the action to training is awkward and it also makes trying to figure out how much time really passed just as bad.

Then again, Han's fleeing was hindered by the fact that he couldn't fly to light speed. So it's possible that travel time was extended and it took him roughly 10,000 years to fly to Bespin without being able to go to light speed.

2. Vader Become a Farce:
 I know, I know. All of the fanboys who love Vader love this movie, but for me, this movie breaks his character even more than removing his mask in the third movie to find that the menacing evil of the galaxy looks like mashed potatoes. I loved Vader in the first movie. He was a religious zealot, but he was properly leashed in a military structure. Grand Moff Tarkin kept him in check and stopped him from making too much of an ass of himself. I -loved- that dynamic. I mean, really, think about the scene from Star Wars when they are discussing the completion of the Death Star and how militarily obsolete Vader's views really are:

Admiral Motti: Any attack made by the Rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they have obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe! I suggest we use it!
Darth Vader: Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the potential of the Force.
Admiral Motti: Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerous ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you enough clairvoyance to find the rebels' hidden fortress...
Darth Vader: (starts Force Choking the shit out of him) I find your lack of faith disturbing.
Grand Moff Tarkin: Enough of this! Vader, release him!
Darth Vader: (releases him) As you wish.

What this scene illustrates is that Vader is a religious zealot, but is still under the command of the military structure. And I love this scene. Not because Vader uses cool Force Choke powers, but rather because it shows how he is archaic and out of place in this structure. Not to bash religion, but really, think about a real-world equivalent of this scene:

(sitting on an Aircraft Carrier in the Gulf)
Admiral: With us positioned out here, we can use the aircraft to control the air space and control the sea of our less technologically advanced enemies, giving us full control and power over this sea zone.
Naval Chaplain Who Has Somehow Found His Way Into the Meeting: Yes, but the power of this aircraft carrier pales in comparison to the power of Christ.
(sighs and eye rolls from around the command room)
Admiral: (speaking diplomatically) Yes. That may be true, however, it is not really applicable in this situation. Now, if you don't mind, we really need to get back to planning the strategic assault and conquest of the enemy ports.

I mean, really, Grand Moff Tarkin was right to call Vader down and stop him. And Admiral Motti was right to make fun of Vader. I mean, yes, the Dark Side of the Force is really powerful. I'm sure Vader could have transported down to Alderaan and Force Choked the entire planet's population to death. However, it would be a rather time consuming endeavor. Just blowing up the planet with the Death Star really was the much more efficient path to take. Though, I suppose, hearing that Vader went and spent 6 months on Alderaan personally Force Choking every single inhabitant of that planet would also be rather intimidating to the rest of the galaxy. But more in the religious zealot way rather than the military might way.

But anyhow, Vader didn't have a leash in this movie. So he's constantly strangling people and making immediate promotions. It just became farcical. I preferred him as mystical and powerful, but at odds with a military structure. Now, he's just killing admirals who forget to say please and thank you. And really, this illustrates the idiocy of the officers in the Empire. The best position to have is the one just below the current General. Invariably, he'd fuck up and Vader would choke and kill him and immediately promote you. Your next move? Resign your commission and get your pension at General pay level and sit nice and pretty on some Outer Rim planet.

3. No Love for Blondie:
This is a personal, but very real beef of mine. Growing up with nearly albino-white blond head of hair, it became a signature trait of my childhood. So, whenever we would play games with a group of kids, I'd become the defacto blond character. Do you know how much it sucked playing Super Friends with your friends and having to ALWAYS be Aquaman? Do you know how terribly limited children's school yard imaginations are to create problems that also involved, at the very least, a nearby lake? So, when we got to play Star Wars, it was fine being the blondie. I got to play Luke. Sure, others rushed and argued over who was Han. But I had a blaster AND a lightsaber. And, if a girl was playing with us and got the be Leia, then Luke got the girl.

But that changed with Empire. Now the gaggle of Han Solos would get to smooch the girl on the playground. As consolation, if there was a really young or really short kid playing, he'd get to be my Yoda. But that was hardly any consolation.

Now, none of this is to say that Empire is a bad movie. But it is also an incomplete one. Star Wars had a beginning, middle and end. Return of the Jedi had a beginning, middle and end. Empire just felt like middle throughout. There was no overarching story that covered a grand scale and it just feels a little flat.

What I did like about Empire, however, is that characters continued to develop. Luke and Leia both come a bit more into themselves during their journey. Han remains static, however, and Vader develops, but, as I mentioned, is almost farcical now as a character.

But the absolute best part of Empire Strikes Back? The fact that it lends us the best worst nerdy joke ever:

How warm is it inside of a Tauntaun?
Luke warm.

Molly: (As usual, Molly is sitting next to me at my computer as I type this. Because of her age, her review will be in Q&A form. I'll transcribe it and reformat it when we are finished.)

Chuckie: So, what did you think about The Empire Strikes Back?
Molly: I liked it.

Chuckie: What did you like about it?
Molly: Um, the last part where the guy was still alive even though they chopped off his arm. When they were in the fight.
Chuckie: What guy was still alive?
Molly: Lucas.
Chuckie: Who chopped off his hand?
Molly: Dark Vader.
Chuckie: Why were they fighting?
Molly: Since they were on other teams.
Chuckie: So, did Dark Vader tell Lucas anything important while they were fighting?
Molly: Yes. That he was actually his father.
Chuckie: Do you believe him?
Molly: Well, kind of. But maybe actually Dark Vader's a good guy and I just don't know.

Chuckie: Don't you think that a father can be bad and a son can be good?
Molly: Well, no.
Chuckie: Why not?
Molly: Well, I just don't think it.
Chuckie: Does that mean if I was bad, you'd have to be bad too because your my kid?
Molly: (shakes her head)
Chuckie: Why not?
Molly: Since I don't want to be bad. And other people might be good. And since I was bad, I might be mean to you.
Chuckie: Then don't you think that maybe Lucas is good even though his father is bad? They can be different?
Molly: Kind of, but then they won't like each other.

Chuckie: Fair enough. Alright, so tell me about the movie. What was it about?
Molly: Um, all the star wars.
Chuckie: Wait. What? Can you be more specific?
Molly: Well, on the ice cold planet an ice bear tried to eat Lucas. And he used that thingy to try to grab it.
Chuckie: Wait. Thingy? You mean the Force?
Molly: Yes. He used the force field.
Chuckie: Okay. Then after he got his light saber, what did he do?
Molly: He got out and saved himself. Then he went to see that little guy.
Chuckie: Little guy?
Molly: Yoda something. They didn't tell us his last name.
Chuckie: Why did he go and see Yoda?
Molly: He went to learn how to be a master.
Chuckie: A master of what?
Molly: The force field.

Chuckie: Okay, but meanwhile, what was Han Solo and Princess Leia doing?
Molly: They went to a city in the clouds where Dark Vader was waiting for them.
Chuckie: What happened then?
Molly: He trapped Han Solo and put him in the sand box thingy so that he'd be in there forever.

Chuckie: Alright, so tell me a little about the characters in this movie. Tell me what happened during Lucas Skywalker's character arc in this movie?
Molly: He changed.
Chuckie: Wow. Good answer. How did he change?
Molly: Um, since he started with two hands and ended up with one.
Chuckie: (laughs)
Molly: (interrupts) But he got a robot hand at the end, so even though he had two hands at the end of the movie, his character was still changed.

Chuckie: Good point. Tell me about the other characters.
Molly: Well, there's Princess Leia. She's a princess of the galaxy.
Chuckie: Did her character change or grow?
Molly: Well, she kissed a lot of guys in the movie.  But she told Han Solo that she loved him right before he got frozen in the sandbox. But she kissed Lucas before that, so I think she was just confused.
Chuckie: So, by the end of the movie, she wasn't confused anymore and knew who she liked.
Molly: Yeah. She liked Han Solo.

Chuckie: What did you think of Dark Vader in this movie?
Molly: He was mean.
Chuckie: Do you think that they overplayed his character without having reigns on him and essentially made him into a cartoonish characterization that is a bit over the top instead of keeping him a darkly mysterious figure who plays his vast power closer to his chest?
Molly: I have no idea what you just said.

Chuckie: Alright, which did you like better, Star Wars or The Empire Strikes Back?
Molly: Star Wars. I loved that movie. Especially where they yelled "Utini!"

Chuckie: So, what didn't you like about Empire Strikes Back?
Molly: Hm. That he chopped off his hand.
Chuckie: When we were watching the movie,  you told me that Dark Vader chopping off Lucas's hand was a dumb idea. Why did you think it was a bad move?
Molly: Because when you chop something with a light saber, it becomes more powerful, like Ben.
Chuckie: I'm not sure if that's exactly how that works.
Molly: Well, you still shouldn't be chopping off people's hands. It's rude, especially because it's his own kid. But, Daddy, I don't think that he wanted to. I think that he had a master who told him to do it but he didn't want to, but he had to follow his rules.

Chuckie: Wow. Very astute.
Molly: What does stoot mean?
Chuckie: It means you were very clever in thinking that Dark Vader was following a master's orders.
Molly: Oh.

Chuckie: So, how would you rate the movie?
Molly: With stars and suns.

Chuckie: Okay, how many stars would you give the movie?
Molly: Fifty million.
Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly: Out of one star.
Chuckie: So, the movie is fifty million times better than the absolute best?
Molly: I think so. And suns, Daddy.

Chuckie: Alright, so how many suns would you give the movie?
Molly: Thirty five and a hundred and forty five.
Chuckie: Out of how many?
Molly: Out of two.

Chuckie: So, who do you think would like this movie?
Molly: Wait! How about the moons.

Chuckie: Sorry. How many moons would you give this movie?
Molly: Forty five and fifty hundred and forty five and a hundred more.
Chuckie: Okay. Out of how many?
Molly: Hm. Out of X.
Chuckie: "X"?
Molly: Yes.
Chuckie: As in a variable "X"?
Molly: What's a variable mean?
Chuckie: It means that it can potentially be any number, but is often solvable to a single number, set or range.
Molly: What's a range mean?
Chuckie: It is a span of numbers that it can be within.
Molly: Yes. That's what I meant.

Chuckie: So, who do you think would like this movie?
Molly: Um, most of all, I think Edison and Pop Pop.
Chuckie: Why do you think they'd like it?
Molly: I think she's grown up enough to really enjoy it.

Chuckie: Who was your favorite character in the movie?
Molly: Princess Leia.
Chuckie: Why?
Molly: Since she's a girl and she's a princess.

Chuckie: So, do you think that grownups or kids would like this movie more?
Molly: Grownups. Well, I think because Pop Pop likes it and I just think that. I think more grownups would like it.

Chuckie: Alright. Is there anything else that you wanted to say about The Empire Strikes Back?
Molly: It was a sad ending because he cut off his arm and that was his dad that did that to him.

So, that's our review. Molly liked the move, but not as much as Star Wars. She was also a lot more distracted during this movie. The pacing really is a lot slower than the others, especially for a kid. While Molly chatted up every possibly theory as we watched the first one, she was looking for distractions during this one.

Of course, I like it, but it is my least favorite of the original trilogy. That isn't really a bad thing though when you consider the relativity of it all though. It's like saying that oral sex is my least favorite sex out of the three options. Although it gets the "least favorite" title, I'm still a big fan.

Molly thinks that it was still a good movie. She gives it fifty million stars out of one star, thirty five and a hundred and forty five suns out of two and forty five and fifty hundred and forty five and a hundred more moons out of X. You can solve for X at your leisure. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we'll have a good chance to sit and enjoy Return of the Jedi.