My issues with Episodes I and II of Star Wars are well-documented, and anyone who knows me will be happy to tell you that they tried to convince me that they were due to some fault of my own, that I went in to the movies with my standards held too high. Time and again I was told to just go and enjoy the movies instead of expecting anything.
As one should with trusted friends, I took their advice with Episode III, and enjoyed it far more than the others, despite the fact that my issues remained. I forgave the litany of transgressions and sat back to let the Force-filled goodness wash over me.
As the fight on the volcano was about to start, I remembered reading somewhere as a kid — a young kid, as this was before Jedi came out — that the events which took place there were the reason Vader was a machine. I realized at that moment that something I had been looking forward to since childhood was about to transpire. As I was already pleased with my experience, I was in a good mindset to see a scene that even my critical eye would see as canon. I had already seen the worst of how far these movies could get from “good” so what could go wrong?
“Either you are with me, or you are my enemy.”
“Only Sith speak in absolutes.”
So, as the killing stroke, Lucas decided to throw in politics. Up until then, my issues with departures from my concept of the original vision were based exclusively in the world he created. My own politics aside, the fact he would use his movies as a soapbox to discuss current events is a slap in the face to someone who took his opus as a stand-alone. He went into this with the concept that if Campbell’s hero-journey applies to all people at all times in all lands, then a new story with flashy effects could take the lessons of those old stories and bring them to a wider audience. He ended by attacking the statements of one man in present-day America.
As it turns out, my friends were right; I did take these movies far more seriously than anyone should have. I bought into the concepts of the original trilogy, and should have abandoned them when seeing the latest.