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Wimpy Ross Douthat Resorts to Half Measures Only!

One of the big problems of the world is these wishy-washy centrists who offer us milk tea and weak toast. Here Matthew Yglesias identifies a problem:

Ross Douthat: I was watching Star Wars IV: A New Hope last night on television, and somehow it occurred to me for the first time that a new generation who watches... starting with The Phantom Menace is going to wind up with a very different perception of the story... that whole thing about Darth Vader being Luke's father... also in terms of some broader atmospheric points. The beginning [of] A New Hope is cloaked in a sense of mystery. For all we know old Ben Kenobi really is just a crazy old man and Han Solo's skepticism about "hokey religions" is justified. The audience rides along with Luke throughout the film, learning to trust in the power of the Force. New audiences won't have that experience, they'll already know much much more than Luke does about the Jedi, the Empire, the Skywalker clan, etc...

But Ross Douthat's proposed solution will do only half of what needs to be done:

Ross Douthat: I can promise you this much: In the Douthat household, the prequels don't exist - not now, and certainly not in a future where I'm charged with introducing a new generation to the Skywalker universe. Indeed, I intend to carefully vet all of my children's friends to ensure that there's absolutely no risk of a playdate or sleepover bringing them in contact, even fleetingly, with Jar Jar Binks, Count Dooku, the midichlorians and Padme Amidala, Queen of frickin' Naboo...

If he were a proper man he would go farther, and not pretend that half-measures will salvage the situation. There is a remaining problem bigger than all the rest: Ewoks. Enough said.

The only proper way to watch Star Wars is this: "A New Hope" followed by "The Empire Strikes Back" and the first third of "Return of the Jedi." The saga properly ends with the death of Boba Fett and Jabba the Hut, and oru last image of our heroes should be them looking forward into their unknown future struggle with the empire.

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