Maul Stanley Interviews Dee Snider!
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars saga, Maul Stanley has conducted a series of interviews with various rock stars regarding their own unique Star Wars experiences. What follows is a transcript of the intergalactic communiqué between Maul Stanley and Twisted Sister vocalist Dee Snider, a man possessing sharper fangs than most Wookiees.
Dee Snider, are you a Star Wars fan?
Yes, I would say that I am a Star Wars fan. I'm not a fanatic but I definitely enjoy the films!
What are your memories of the first time seeing a Star Wars movie?
Well, I remember seeing the first one when it came out in 1977. I saw it during a matinee with my wife, who at the time was still my girlfriend... my very young, 15-year-old girlfriend! She was so young that I could only take her to a matinee! She and I and a few friends had decided to go see Star Wars but we honestly had no idea what we were in for. There was simply nothing else like it at the time and when we got to the theater, it was absolutely packed! Star Wars was a whole new kind of action-adventure film, even though it borrowed heavily from Flash Gordon and other films of that era. In the end, we were just wowed by the whole experience.
Do you have a favorite Star Wars character?
I'd say it's a toss-up between handsome Luke Skywalker and ugly Luke Skywalker! He just looked so completely different in the second film! They tried to explain it away by showing him getting mauled by that snow beast, but everybody knew he'd actually been in a car accident. I can't say which Luke I prefer but they each have their merits!
Do you have a favorite line, moment or scene from any of the Star Wars films?
There are some great ones, for sure. Like that insane gun battle on the Millennium Falcon when Luke shoots down his first spaceship. "Don't get cocky, kid!" That's a great Han Solo line. I also love the chess game with Chewbacca, which was just so freakin' cool. "Let the Wookiee win!" Or all those insane shots of the spaceships flying into the narrow trenches of the Death Star. That was just so thrilling and mind-blowing. And of course, who could forget Princess Leia in the gold bikini? I mean, that goes without saying! Who knew what she was hiding under that baggy robe?
How do you think the prequel Star Wars trilogy compares to the original?
Overall, the new Star Wars trilogy didn't really float my boat. Maybe it's due to my age, but I don't think so because I still really enjoy science-fiction and fantasy. I think maybe George Lucas was simply trying too hard to outdo what he'd done before. In a situation like his, it must be incredibly difficult to please your audience and live up to the expectations of so many different people. Naturally, I don't think his effort was a failure and I certainly enjoyed the films, but they weren't as interesting to me as the first three.
Do you see any similarities between what you do with Twisted Sister and what George Lucas did with Star Wars?
Well, I can very much appreciate the challenge of living up to your own history because I've experienced that in the music industry. It's difficult not to second-guess yourself when you're trying to recreate the formula for what gave you success in the first place, especially when there really was no formula! In the case of Star Wars, George Lucas was just going with his gut. People kept saying, "Are you insane? A space movie? No one's watching those anymore!" But Lucas stuck to his guns and it paid off for him big time. However, when you go back and revisit something as successful as that, that's when you begin to doubt yourself. I'm sure George reads what the fans are saying on the bulletin boards and in the chat rooms, hoping to interpret what they want. But the minute you start doing that, it's the kiss of death! It's always difficult to follow in your own footsteps.
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