George (redacted) Lucas.
The son loves "Star Wars," even though the entire story has plot holes big enough to drive a Death Star through.
However, I used to enjoy Darth Vader. That guy was cold; he destroyed entire planets, wiping out millions of people and economic and natural resources that could have been used to power the Empire's war machine to find just one little, poorly outfitted rebel base. And he didn't even blink.
Darth Vader was so cold, he tortured his own daughter for information. Of course, he didn't know it was his kid, although he had to have known she was adopted at the same time his pregnant wife died by a couple to whom his wife had been close. Also, you know, same coloring. Maybe even a family resemblance. (Don't even get me started on how he can sense Luke through the Force on a nearby moon, but can't sense Leia when she's standing right in front of him.)
But Darth Vader does not ponder these things. These things are immaterial when one is perusing a jury-rigged fleet of short-distance fighters on the run and you have a ginormous space station with the most excellent death laser in 20 galaxies.
Maybe he wasn't the brightest evil overlord around, but he was the most powerful. Plus, you know, the big black cape. That was cool.
Then the prequels came out. And instead of Darth Vader, we get Anakin - whiny, selfish and arrogant. Even with all that, I still could have gotten behind Darth Vader, but the reason he went evil was stupid. If he went over for ultimate power or to give his Space Jesus dad the figurative bird, I could have respected that. Instead, he slaughters his friends and substitute family because he had a bad dream. Indigestion gives me bad dreams. Maybe Anakin just had some bad pastrami.
If he was so worried about his wife dying, why didn't he ever consult anyone else? Heck, he didn't even take her to get a checkup by an OB/GYN! Don't tell me you can build giant death lasers, but there's no qualified healthcare providers. Not once did he say, "hey, Yoda, you've been around for 900 years, you know any good holistic medicine for pregnant ladies?"
Now, some of you Star Wars fans are going to say, "but theirs was a secret love!" But it wasn't a secret Anakin knew her or they were friends. He was assigned by the Jedi Council to protect her from assassins. He didn't need to tell anyone they were married. He just took the advice of a guy who admittedly practiced black magic. Seriously, you don't even ask for a second opinion, Anakin?
By all rights, they shouldn't have even met. Please explain why, once Padme and Qui-Gon Jinn crash land on Tatooine, they just don't roll up to Giant Space Ships R Us and trade in their busted ship for a smaller, less luxurious, but functioning ship? Don't tell me they had no cash - sell one of Padme's ridiculous dresses, and you'll probably have enough money to feed a family of four for a month.
Instead, Qui-Gon decides to gamble on a 9-year-old kid winning a race he's never won before. I don't care if you're a jedi, those are crappy odds.
But Lucas puts it out. And again. However, this time, it's in 3-D. But he's not going to have things coming out of the screen at you - the only real use for 3-D, if you ask me - it's for depth and texture.
Of course, the son wanted to watch it. I knew I would ruin his enjoyment if I went, so in the interest of letting him enjoy it - and, quite frankly, sparing myself having to endure the single worst movie in the entire saga - I told him he could go ... and make it a boys' day out with his father. (Yeah, I threw the Long Suffering Husband right under the bus. And I didn't have a second thought - Darth Vader, watch out.)
When he came home, I asked him how the movie was.
"It was the best movie ever!"
... you win, George. This time.
(Wallace-Minger is The Weirton Daily Times community editor and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org) She is a Weirton resident.)