I'm seven hours deep into re-watching the original Star Wars movies, preparing for The Force Awakens premiere. I'm coming up on Revenge of the Sith — this week has shown me the value of the Machete order — and between Hayden Christensen's overwrought performance, baby-faced Natalie Portman, the constant interludes of C-3PO, and the banter between Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, the movies are filled with even more campy excellence than I had remembered. But there are some moments that should be left alone, enshrined in history without being mined for The Force Awakens. The weight of fan expectations must bear a heavy load on J.J. Abrams, but he should avoid these nine Star Wars quotes in The Force Awakens , despite the temptation to rehash the historic series that fans love so much.
In contrast to Abrams (and here, my abilities to compare myself to the director end), I've always been more of a Star Trek girl than a Star Wars fan. But really, any science fiction will do — I've gone through periods of total obsession with Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space 9; the list goes on. Revisiting the movies this week has been a strange nostalgia trip, simultaneously reminding me why these movies were so beloved (though Darth Maul is still the stuff of nightmares) and forcing me to question their actual artistic merit. (There are more than a few cringe-worthy moments, especially in the prequel trilogy.) So this list is at once a retrospective of what worked at the time, a rundown of moments I'd rather forget, and an homage to quotes that are just too iconic to re-appropriate for The Force Awakens. Because sometimes, something that felt right in the moment ends up just cringey when revisited.
1. "I Don't Know Where You Get Your Delusions, Laser-Brain"
Essays could be written about the vehement delivery of obscure disses used throughout the trilogy. While "nerf herder" and "fuzzball" are of the so-bad-they're-good variety, Princess Leia falls flat with "I don't know where you get your delusions, laser-brain," directed at Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back.
2. "Don't Look At Me Like That"
One of the creepiest scenes in Attack of the Clones, a besotted Anakin Skywalker looks lustfully at Natalie Portman's Padme Amidala, to her evident discomfort. She tells him to back off, to which he responds, "Why?" It's an uncomfortable moment in a movie that's already filled with gems like Anakin's rhapsody about why he hates sand.
3. "Young Padowan"
So condescending! No wonder young Anakin felt infantilized and turned to the conniving Emperor Palpatine. At least the dark side took him seriously.
4. "I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing"
Perfect, fear-inducing, untouchable. This Darth Vader moment from A New Hope worked brilliantly at the outset of the franchise, but the precise moment best suits the original film and not the rebooted series.
5. "Strike Me Down, And I Will Become More Powerful Than You Could Possible Imagine"
Shortly before Darth Vader does indeed strike down his good-guy nemesis and one-time Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Obi-Wan (played with stoicism by Alec Guinness) tells him to beware of striking down a stronger Jedi than himself. This emblematic quote is best left alone.
6. "When I Left You, I Was But The Learner; Now, I Am The Master"
In the same A New Hope fight scene, Darth Vader confronts his former master Obi-Wan, proclaiming his superiority. But as anyone who also saw the prequel trilogy knows, Anakin didn't complete his training — just like his son Luke. I hope this quote remains in the annals of Star Wars history simply because I don't think I can deal with another young Jedi leaving his master before his time. Finish your training!
7. "I Am Your Father"
This cannot be the big reveal again. By all early reports, The Force Awakens retreads just enough of the ground of the original movies to please fans, while setting up sufficient new material to foster future stories. So please, no separated siblings or long-lost parents.
8. Anakin's "I Don't Like Sand" Speech
I dare you to hold it together during this unintentional moment of Skywalker comedy.
9. "At Last We Will Have Revenge"
As a child, I refused to see The Phantom Menace in theaters because Darth Maul, with his red-and-black tattooed face that looks like the flesh has been melted off of it, just terrified me. He still does. So please, Star Wars creators, let's leave him in the past.
This oddball assortment of quotes ranges between quotes that are too silly and too scary to revisit in a new context. Still, there are plenty of Star Wars quotes that the filmmakers should consider in bringing the franchise back to the screen, to honor the original films and, of course, please the ravenous hordes.
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