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Best Star Wars Remakes

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Old 07-21-2008
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Best Star Wars Remakes
: We can safely stop calling Star Wars a movie and recognize it for what it really is: a virulent media infection.
It's a great movie to be sure, but there are many superior movies, and none of them have inspired, say, thousands of people to dress up as faceless, nameless secondary characters. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was a great movie, but you don't see 200 sanitarium orderlies marching in the Rose Parade.
Nowhere can you witness Star Wars' contagious qualities more clearly than in the realm of fan-made videos that, to one extent or another, retell the story of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the movie formerly known simply as Star Wars. Here are some of the best.
Left:
Star Wars Sweded
Modern computing gives the average middle-class American a level of graphical processing power that would have made a '70s-era special effects engineer pant continuously. But that's no fun! Why render lifelike X-wing starfighters when you can build one out of cardboard and run around the park?
Lightsabers portrayed by: Red and blue wrapping paper
: Star Wars Remake
Balanced precariously on the line between impressive and ridiculous, this silent, late-'70s remake stars a micro-encephalic Darth Vader and a 10-year-old Han Solo. While not as self-consciously goofy as "Star Wars Sweded," cardboard is still vitally important to the oeuvre. They managed to recruit an impressive Mark Hamill "Luke-alike," though. Yes, I just made that pun right in front of you.
Lightsabers portrayed by: Transparent plastic dealies
: Hardware Wars
Take the do-it-yourself sensibility of the previous two Star Wars tributes, add some hand puppets and jokes, and what do you get? The best Star Wars parody of all time, and yes I've seen Spaceballs. Toasters! Vacuum cleaners! Awesome. (Warning: brief fuzzy nudity at the end of the second part.)
Lightsabers portrayed by: Flashlights
: Lego Star Wars
The Lego Star Wars games are a couple of the best co-op games out there, especially to play with younger children or friends who aren't really into videogames. As an added bonus, they're chock-full of amusing cut scenes portrayed with the sort of mute humor that only plastic bricks can provide. Even with the actual game parts removed, the resulting video is still fun to watch.
Lightsabers portrayed by: Legos, duh.
: Star Wars in Three Minutes With Action Figures
I'm sure I'm not the only one who thought of trying to play out the entire Star Wars movie using the little action figures with the uncomfortable-looking embedded lightsabers as a kid. So I find it satisfying that at least one person has made an all-figure reinterpretation of the movie. Plus, it's brief.
Lightsabers portrayed by: Glowing, computer-generated lines. That's actually kind of disappointing.
: Star Wars Shortened
The George Lucas Appreciation Society -- I'm not sure if the fact that there are only three people in the society is supposed to be a backhanded slam -- covers all three original movies in just less than 10 minutes. Twice. Using one stage, some impressive vocal imitations, poetry, puppetry and interesting headgear.
Lightsabers portrayed by: Mime
: Star Wars in Thirty Seconds With Bunnies
You can't really argue with the fact that bunnies make things good. For instance, any given piece of chocolate can be improved by being melted down and formed into a bunny shape. So it's natural that Star Wars with bunnies (or, in some cases, aliens with bunny-ear implants) is head-devouringly amusing. Although Princess Leia's tied-up little bunny ears look painful.
Lightsabers portrayed by: Flash animation
: Star Wars Movie Mistakes
What better way to appreciate a classic film than by going through it bit by bit, nit-picking all the small errors? If you're the sort of person who always notices when a movie character's cigarette keeps changing length from shot to shot, you'll enjoy this. You'll also enjoy it if you like seeing widescreen movies squashed into YouTube dimensions.
Lightsabers portrayed by: A remote control and some digital effects
: Store Wars
If you prefer your comedy served up with a side dish of heavy-handed social moralizing, this is the film for you. All the characters are portrayed by veggies and other edibles fighting over the concept of organic food. However, seeing R2-D2 portrayed as a block of tofu is worth being lectured by an Italian dessert.
Lightsabers portrayed by: Little lightsabers. Come on people! Ever heard of carrot sticks?
: Thumb Wars
This little tribute combines comedy and nostalgia with intensely disturbing creepiness. All the characters, most of the spaceships and many of the props are thumbs, but what makes this particularly notable are the little faces the filmmakers digitally superimpose on the thumbs. The faces combine the eeriness of upside-down chin puppets with staring wide-eyed marionettes, creating creatures that would claw at the dream centers of my brain if they weren't, you know, thumbs.
Lightsabers portrayed by: You know, thumbs.
: Star Wars According to a 3 Year Old
This isn't the shortest summary of Star Wars in this list, but it may capture the essence of the film better than anything else. I think the sublime apex of the Star Wars experience lies in her description of what the nerdiest among us call The Battle of Yavin: "The big thing that blowed up stuff, we blowed it up together." Yes, little girl, yes we did.
Lightsabers portrayed by: The phrase "little light-up sword."


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