I could go on for days as to why the Original Star Wars movies are better than the Prequels. Better Acting, wittier dialog, Sir Alec Guinness (love the last name), less Blue Screen work, ect…. But what it all boils down to one thing…..Smoking.
You see, smoking is a bad habit. We all know it, and we all relate to it (in one way or another). Its ingrained in our world. And it is that connection that makes the Universe of the Originals believable. People smoked!
In Star Wars- A New Hope, we go into a BAR. Not a Night Club (more on that in a minute), but a BAR. Nasty, Seedy and No Droids Allowed. It is here in Mos Eisley that we get our first glimpse of the Bounty Hunter Dannik Jerriko (bet you didnt know he had a name or back story) – and he’s smoking a pipe/hookah. That fleeting moment adds more realism than anything in TPM, AotC or RotS.
Although there is no smoking in The Empire Strikes Back, they did put out two funny Smoking PSAs (I blogged about them HERE) between it and A New Hope. You see, the at least acknowledge it. In particular, I find it hypocritical that C3PO should put out that message, when he himself was a smoker.
Finally, while RotJ is the lesser of the Originals – it still has TWO instances of smoking – one in Jabba’s Palace and a second with a blink and miss it Ewok scene.
Jabba’s Palace has a hookah prominently displayed throughout, AND we get to see Jabba puffing on it. AWSOME! In fact, from all the smoke in that place – everyone there was firing up…not just or favorite Hutt.
What makes this even funnier – is that when they made the toys for the movies….they included the hookah not once, but TWICE (for the Re-release).
And before we discount that only the “Bad Guys” smoke – what about race specifically targeting children….the Ewoks? While C3PO is regaling the Ewoks with stories of the rebellion, we get a quick pan that shows “Smokey” and his pipe. Again, it adds a bit of realism to the whole thing.
What is the best we can get in Prequels? A Nightclub Scene in Attack of the Clones. In this scene we have Obi-Wan and Anakin chasing an assassin into the club on Coruscant (starting at 7:33 in the clip below). The club is clean, almost pristine. The clientele are all “Pretty People” who are friendly to each other and seem to be enjoying this Galactic Buffalo Wild Wings. We even have big screen TVs! Not a hint of smoke in the air, but at lease they appear to have booze. At the 8:85 mark is where we get our “Death Stick” remark (very clever George) – and, although we get to see a Jedi Mind Trick….its hardly a substitute.