Euphoria #22: A New Hope

OK, what can I say? Art College technician and filmmaker Fiona Reid suggests this happy-happy-HAPPY ending from the first STAR WARS (I refuse to call it by that other title) and who are we to judge?

I asked WHY, of course, and she said she liked the whole thing, it was a warm childhood memory, and she liked the way Leia winks at R2-D2, or whatever it was.

I thought, “She WINKS at R2-D2? The little dustbin robot? What’s been going on here that we don’t know about? Why would she prefer him over, say, the wookie?” (And why doesn’t the wookie get a medal?)

ready for action

We know R2 is anatomically correct — I don’t mean the third leg, I mean the contraption he uses to stick it to the Death Star computer and make the garbage compactor open up — but he still seems a little bit too mechanical to play romantic interest, compared to, say, the wookie (although I’ve said that about Tom Cruise too). No doubt he has a winning personality, if only we could understand his clicks and whistles. But still…


Then it clicked (and whistled)! The sinister torture-bot Vader sends into Leia’s cell (this is a roBOT torturer, not something to torture your BOTtom) — this has caused her to suffer Stockholm Syndrome or it’s galactic equivalent and she has transferred her passion to the nearest non-humanoid robot (C-3PO being both humanoid and obviously gay). STAR WARS begins to look like a colourful re-imagining of THE NIGHT PORTER.

So, there must be DELETED SCENES, previously unseen frottage, showing Leia’s romantic tryst with the pint-sized mechanoid during the long trip back from the Death Star to Yavin, as I believe it’s called. No wonder Han Solo is so frosty towards her. Princess-droid relations are still frowned upon in these post-Republican days. It is the love that dare not beep its name.

why's he smiling?

But given Lucas’ well-known fondness for ripping off his fan-base, I’m sure we have only parsecs to wait before a new edition of SW hits the stores, full of restored, digitally-enhanced, hot droid action (actor Kenny Baker, sweating away inside the tin can, is replaced by a porn dwarf stand-in for these scenes), leading to further adult re-imaginings: in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, Luke experiences a sentimental education from the experienced person of Yoda, and in RETURN OF THE JEDI, Jabba the Hutt… well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

a new hope

This entire theory may actually be DESTROYED as soon as anyone looks at the clip and realises it’s HAN SOLO the Princess is winking at in the Riefenstahl-inspired coda. But of course, this is just another example of Lucas’ sinister Stalinist historical revision, recutting the film to remove all traces of the tender cross-category romance.

It’s like the whole “Greedo shot first” thing all over again.

But we know.

R2 shot first.


17 Responses to “Euphoria #22: A New Hope”

  1. princess leia feeds some kind of disk into r2-d2’s frontal slot at the start of the film – could this be the (demon) seed of their doomed ro(bo)mance?

  2. The Wookie Look is IN!!!!

    As for the finale of the first <i.Star Wars it owes less to Triumph of the Will that it does the end of Cobra Woman. Same ceremonial set-up and instead of a cute ‘droid, a cute monkey.

  3. “Lookee lookee lookee,
    Here comes wookie…”

    Inserting a disc into somebody is in itself a fairly intimate act. I bet if you play the other side, it’s not “Help me Obi-Wan”, the hologram probably does a strip.

    Carrie Fisher had her breasts taped down “because they don’t have breasts in space” and always considered having a raffle to choose the crewmember who gets to rip the tape off. This reminds that a) Judy Garland was bandaged flat for Wizard of Oz and b) my friend Lawrie had the onerous task of washing Jean Simmon’s body makeup off at the end of each day on Black Narcissus.

    A pity Star Wars doesn’t also include a magnificent Sacrificial Dance a la Cobra Woman. That’s one of the BEST THINGS EVER.

  4. Harrison Ford would have won that raffle. It was a running gag on the set that the answer to the question “Where’s Harrison?” was invariably “In Carrie’s trailer of course.”

    In The Empire Strikes Back (my fave of the series) Carrie gets to wearing a truly stunning dancing girl outfit that’s pure Maria Montez.

  5. Isn’t the Montez / Flash Gordon outfit in Return of the Jedi? That one seems to have sparked a gazillion adolescent dreams. But you’re right that Empire is the best film. The one Lucas had least to do with writing!

    In a better universe, Hodges’ Flash Gordon would occupy the place in our culture that Star Wars occupies now.

  6. You’re right — it’s in the third film.

    Hodges Flash Gordon is superb. What a cast! Max Von Sydow as Ming the Merciless, Mariangelo Melato as his cheif henchman (torturing Topol by draining the memories out of his head), luscious Ornella Muti as Princess Aura ( “I like you Flash. I like you a lot.”) John Osborne as a Hiborian High Priest and boneheaded, blonde-dyed ex rent boy Sam J. Jones as Flash. All this and a score by Queen too.

  7. Fiona managed to get a lot of good stories out of Hodges when they met, but most of those are now on the director’s commentary, available to everyone. Nevertheless, I intend to blog about it sometime.

    Melody Anderson should have had a much greater career afterwards.

    I wish Delaurentiis would make some more sci-fi/fantasy: Dune, Barbarella, Diabolik — he has a real gift for it!

  8. Of course Leia loves R2!

    Stockholm Syndrome or not, the little guy is just the most charming, charismatic and witty person! (-except for the Imperator)
    And God knows what he can do with all those tools he can extend out of his body to plug into things!
    Besides wookies are far to hairy!

    (standing up for the social acceptance of droid-love)

  9. Hodges career got a brief flare-up when Croupier made Clive Owen a star. Unfortunately it’s brilliant follow-up I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead was scandalously negelected.

  10. Kris, you obviously speak R2’s language. The only movie I can think of to feature droidly passions is Heavy Metal, where a girl has a fling with a ‘bot. “I’m just scared I’ll come home one day and find you banging the toaster,” she worries. Oh, then there’s Battlestar Galactica, but the robots in that are “passing” as human.

    Croupier was buried in the UK (“The only thing I like about this film is the end credits,” said the Film4 boss who made it) but became a hit stateside in part due to the E.R. connection (+ nudity). I’ll Sleep didn’t have a similar hook, and was unfairly compared to Get Carter, a major cult film here. Hodges himself referred to it informally as “Get Carter made by a 70-year-old”, but had to fight exactly that perception when the film came out.

    I’d like to see more people discover Pulp and The Terminal Man, and especially Squaring The Circle, where he gets to treat a Tom Stoppard script about the Solidarity movement in Poland in a style derived from both Fellini and Ophuls…

  11. and we mustn’t forget peter wyngarde as klytus; “bring me… the bore worms!” (although this is a line from the movie, i wouldn’t be surprised if it cropped up on his album too)

    i bet he kept the gold mask. in fact, i bet it was his already

  12. We asked Mike if the bore worms were in a deleted scene. They weren’t.

    Wyngarde was desperate to get his mask off and emote onscreen. He said, “How about, when I’m dying, I just reach up and TEAR MY MASK OFF!”

    Mike said, “No.”

  13. Lizabeth Scott recalls Pulp with great fondness.

  14. David, you are forgetting that legendary Data + Tasha Jar romance in Start Trek TNG which started off with the very hot scene in the very first episode (after the Pilot) ! -Those who do not remember be damned.

  15. Kris, that’s true. Although Data is mostly humanoid in appearance, at least.

    Ironic that we have a cat called Tasha, she was never a favourite character.

    David E: She SHOULD! Very nice use of pre-70s stars in that film. A great role for Rooney, and especially Dennis Price.

    One could put together a whole retrospective of films that reference the Dominici affair…

  16. Liz looks GREAT!

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