I can't tell you the first time I watched Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, or Return of the Jedi. The series started the year I was born, and Episode Six premiered four days before my sixth birthday. Nevertheless, they were burned into my childhood, like most other kids of the '80s, and as much as we could giggle over the Ewoks, Star Wars was a being of mass-love. Fast-forward some years, and we get the first three episodes -- the story of how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader -- and the series became something to deride, from Jar Jar Binks to Skywalker's fall to the Dark Side.

When I think back on the series, two things always pop into mind -- one good, one bad -- hence, this post. Even back in the late '80s and '90s, whether I'd seen the films recently or it'd been a few years, I always remembered the trash compactor of A New Hope (aka Star Wars). I'm not sure why. It isn't as thrilling as Han getting solidified, for example, but something about the ridiculousness of the situation, the engagingly angry banter, and the creepy trash monster made it the go-to memory in my head, the one that always made me smile.
Unfortunately, with Episodes 1-3, a negative memory joined its ranks. While I didn't love the first two installments, I didn't hate them like many others did. But then 3 came, and turned me into a ranting ball of rage. After hours with the super-cutie Anakin growing up, trying to fight fear ... oh no! Amidala could die when she has their babies! There's only one thing to do to save them and her -- go full-stop evil, and as one of your first truly evil acts, massacre a group of younglings. It was so ludicrous I actually had to restrain myself from ditching my friend and leaving the theater. George Lucas had started with my favorite memory, but ended with probably my most hated cinematic scene ever.

But what about you? On this Star Wars day, which favorite scenes will you throw into the player (or watch on YouTube), and which will you avoid like the plague?
categories Features, Sci-Fi