My husband and I took a few weekends to re-watch all the Star Wars movies, and it was quite overdue for us to do so. The last time I remember re-watching any of the Star Wars films was when they re-released Episode I in 3D for the theater a couple of years ago. Yikes! I had kept putting it off when my husband suggested it because he wanted to watch them in story order, not filmed order, and I wasn’t exactly excited to see Jar Jar Binks. But I decided it had to be done and we finally got through them all.
This re-watch really renewed my love for the original trilogy. I grew up watching the first three movies but couldn’t keep much of it straight as far as what happened when, except I could remember the Ewoks made their appearance in the last movie. When Episode I released I was 12 years old, which was the perfect time for it to be released and for me to love it. I didn’t even hate Jar Jar. And that epic light saber battle with Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul! I was so into it. Episode II: Attack of the
Whiny Anakin Clones came out three years later, and then I was a senior in high school when they released Episode III, and I went to the midnight showing with my then-boyfriend-now-husband and a couple of others. By that point, I think my original love for Episode I had diminished some as my taste refined, but I just had to see what could very well be the last Star Wars movie ever at midnight.
There are some things I still like about the prequels, but overall, they definitely lack the charm of the original trilogy. The prequels often times get overshadowed by flashy effects (that aren’t really all that better than the original effects), lame dialogue, and stiff acting. And no one in the prequels has the charm of Han Solo.
I’ve always liked Han Solo, but this re-watch made me like him a lot more. I think Carswell Thorne from Cress has something to do with this… but his quips! His expressions! Spot on every time! I liked Luke and Leia a lot more than I remembered as well.
In story order, my rating and mini review of each film… (BTW, there are spoilers, but if you haven’t watched Star Wars yet, what are you waiting for?!)
Episode I: The Phantom Menace: 3 stars
I still have a bit of affinity for this one, I think because it was the first one that I got to see released to the theater (for its first time anyway) and I was just the right age when it released. I think Amidela is a strong and interesting character, and I also like Obi-Wan quite a bit.
Episode II: Attack of the Clones: 2.5 stars
I fell asleep during our rewatch of this one, and I didn’t care, because it’s my least favorite. The love story between Anakin and Padme is just so BLEH. Actually, it’s kind of icky. And Anakin is so annoying in it. The other story line with Obi-Wan was fine but yeah, this one just doesn’t offer much to me. Unfortunatley, I was asleep during the best part, when Yoda has his awesome light saber dual with Count Dooku.
Episode III: The Return of the Sith: 3.5 stars
Episode III is definitely the strongest of the prequels, and I would have given it four stars if the acting in this one wasn’t so wooden. Seriously, it’s like they suddenly forgot how to. But this installment is a pretty powerful one. Just as Anakin starts becoming likable, he gets mixed in with Palpatine and he turns to the dark side. It’s heart-breaking. But Padme dying due to a lack of will to live… really? Having twins isn’t good enough of a reason to live?
Episode IV: A New Hope: 4 stars
A New Hope is a lot of fun, but it’s serious too. Luke loses the only family he has ever known, and this is what moves him to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi. The movie has its flaws, but I think it’s really, really good it is for its time. And there are so many great lines in this one, especially from Han!
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back: 3.5 stars
I do enjoy The Empire Strikes Back quite a bit, but it does feel just slightly transitional as the second movie in a trilogy. Still though, I can’t complain about much here. It’s still fun but serious and a good story all in one!
Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi: 4.5 stars
The Return of the Jedi is my long-time and all-time favorite. I’m not sure if it’s the Ewoks or the fact that it’s the happy conclusion or what, but I’ve always enjoyed this one the most. This time around I came to appreciate Luke’s overall story arc and how he stands up to Darth Vader in this one, but he also still recognizes the fact that he’s his father. I really wish he had chopped off Darth Sidious’ head, though watching Darth Vader throw him down was also pretty satisfying. Did I mention the Ewoks?
Now some of you might be thinking, Aren’t you this big self-proclaimed Trekkie?! Why yes I am, and who says you can’t love Star Trek and Star Wars? They’re very different. To me, Star Trek is a TV series that had some OK movies (I say OK to average out the range from truly awful to pretty awesome movies they have) that focuses on questions of humanity in our ever-changing times. Star Wars is a film franchise that tells the story of a family, of Jedis, of good versus evil. They are different and they are both good at what they do. Star Trek is my favorite, if I have to choose, because of the incredibly rich story arcs the shows offer me. I think the Star Wars films tell an overall great story, and I do think they are better movies than the Star Trek movies. And now, I’m really excited about Episode VII coming next year! I do hope J.J. does a better job with Star Wars than he did with Star Trek, but I think he will. He’s more of a Star Wars fanboy anyway. And I doubt he’ll do worse than Episode II.
What are your thoughts on Star Wars? Which movie is your favorite? Who’s your favorite character?