The worlds that Lucas created are certainly magical and wondrous. Thanks to the digital updates, the flow between the two trilogies was surprisingly seamless I had been expecting hilarious House of Frankenstein-worthy graphics. Obviously the CGI in the newer films is impressive, but to actually see what Lucas was able to do with limited technology is almost even more impressive.
For me, the biggest problem with seeing these films in their intended order is that Episodes IV-VI offered little surprises. I know who Luke's father is; I know that the little creature is Yoda. I have to sit through that uncomfortable kiss between Luke and Leia knowing that they are indeed brother and sister. Most of the mysteries and questions that drive the plots of the later episodes are nullified by having seen the first three. I almost envied those who saw them in original order, so I too could have enjoyed the shock and surprise of some of the plot's twists and turns. Luckily I was never a fan of bellbottoms, so I will indeed stick with the intended order.
Seeing the movies the way Lucas intended us to see them also lets us see how his power and clout in Hollywood have changed over the years. The scripts in the earlier movies are significantly stronger. The dialogue is more mature and smart. They had to be, if he was going to get the funding to continue his saga. For the newer Episodes, you can practically see George sitting at his Mac on top of his pile of money and giggling as he types lines line ''Whoa, that's tense'' and ''How rude!'' I looked it up and he was never a writer for Full House, which means he came up with those ditties all on his own. It could be the 4 o'clock in the morning talking, but it's almost as if he didn't have anyone proofreading his scripts. And did he even hire a casting director?
It was also interesting to note the shrinking galaxy as the movies progressed throughout the night. The first trilogy boasts enormous cities with towering buildings and seemingly endless planets that surrounded them. The later trilogy is more focused on the core cast in desolate settings. Every planet seemed to be a forest, desert, or giant icicle. I missed the busy cities and vast galaxies.
So after watching the sun set on all six of the Star Wars (or sun rise, in my case), what do these movies mean to me? I have to be careful where I tread here, because people's love of these movies is passionate to say the least. (Personal note: My friends had a Star Wars-themed wedding.) The cynical and tired side of me wants to say that George wanted Episode I to be shown first because after watching 14 straight hours of Star Wars, my memories of young Anakin and Jar Jar are almost long forgotten. I've tossed them aside along with my package of caffeine pills and bottle of Coke.
However, I would be lying if I said that I wasn't sucked into this Galaxy Far, Far Away. The stories that Lucas has weaved are truly imaginative and exciting. The six movies flow together with ease, and I cannot imagine having to wait all that time between movies. I barely could wait through the credits (no matter what my bladder said). Seeing the legendary journey of a Jedi was thrilling. After six Episodes, perhaps I too could begin my training to be a Jedi! Okay, maybe that's reaching, but I will be practicing my lightsaber moves in my living room when my roommate is not around!
I've become reflective on the time I have spent on my couch (and sometimes on the floor) while watching this marathon. Where does this leave me now, my virginity cut away like Skywalker's hand? Am I a different person? Certainly I don't feel different, though my head is full of new terminology! I know what a Sith is now, and I've seen Yoda go from hopping all over the senate to dying on the floor of a cave an old creature. Things like that cannot be taken lightly.
When I watch the Friends rerun with Ross' Leia fantasy, I will now know what he is talking about. No longer will I be scorned when I walk down the street for being a SW virgin. I will no longer watch Spaceballs with a look of confusion on my face. I will laugh like John Candy would want me to. Thank you, John. Thank you.
After 14 hours of Star Wars, I turned off my TV no longer a boy, but a man. I was now like so many of those before me. My eyes heavy and hands shaking (hopefully that's temporary!), I went to bed left with only one question: When can we do it again?