Re-watch Review: Star Wars, Episodes I-VI

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.

By Jeffrey Brown

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.

hansolo-smileI’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

starwars-episodeII 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

starwars-episodeIII 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

starwars-episodeIIIEpisode 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

star-wars-episode-ivA 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

star-wars-episode-vI 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

star-wars-episode-viThe 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.

Funny if you’re a geek. 🙂

What are your thoughts on Star Wars? Which movie is your favorite? Who’s your favorite character?

20 Responses to Re-watch Review: Star Wars, Episodes I-VI

  1. Have you heard about the alternative order to watching Star Wars? Some guy came up with it and I can’t remember where I read about it online but you watch episode 4 – then 2 and 3 (skip 1 altogether) and then come back around to 5 and 6. I’ve heard it’s a fun an interesting way for the story to play out because you’re introduced to the world, then sort of flashback to Anakin and how he became what he did then circle back to see how that effects the later movies.

    I haven’t watched them in that order yet but I want to. It’s always fun to go back and rewatch something like Star Wars altogether and remember what you loved and rediscover things.

  2. Serious Star Wars fanboy here but also a Trekkie for mostly TOS. Great review of the films and RotJ is my favorite too. To me, test line in the Saga is “I am a Jedi, like my father before me.” when Luke resists the Emperor’s efforts to turn him.

    Best lightsaber fight is the Maul/Qui Gon/Obi Wan fight for sure, especially when Obi Wan gets released from the shield after Qui Gon falls.

    I have a lot of fun in the SW/ST debates that people have on the Internet but am a serious fan of both so I do it more for fun than to have a winner. Glad to see another wise enough to enjoy them both for their different strengths.

    Ewoks? Really? 😉


    • That line really hit me for the first time during this rewatch. It is a great line for sure.

      What’s wrong with Ewoks? They’re like teddy bears! 😀

      • Teddy bears to sell toys. Amazingly they stopped a technological empire with sticks and ropes. lol

        Lots of girls like the Ewoks though since they are cute. Guys can’t stand them.

        No matter what the reason, just being a SW fan is a good thing. 🙂

  3. I have two completely different orders in my head. Both top to bottom.

    Favorite: ROTS – Jedi – Empire – TPM – A New Hope – Clones
    Best Movies: Empire (darn close to perfect, I think, but not a FUN movie, per se) – ROTS – A New Hope – Jedi – TPM – Clones

    That make sense at all?

  4. The very best saber moment in the saga came in Episode I:

    Obi-Wan behind the force field wall. He just saw Qui Gonn fall. Maul is pacing there waiting for him. The emotions have built up in him waiting for the laser wall to open. Also Maul and him are both in peak fighting condition.

    When that wall is about to open and Obi Wan starts those little jumps psyching up I was just like “This is going to be awesome!” and then GO!

    This moment was the saving grace of Episode 1.

    (OK, I think I’m commenting all over this post now as Amy has me geeking out over here. Back to work) 🙂

    • I think a lot of people enjoy both and overlap, but some people act like there are “Trekkies” and then there are “Star Wars fans.”

    • Whoa, go you! One time my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I attempted to watch all three LOTR films (extended editions might I add!) in one day, but called it quits after The Two Towers. TOO MUCH SITTING!

  5. Are you not allowed to like both Star Wars and Star Trek??

    I only recently watched the original Star Wars movies, when the blue ray with all six movies came out. My husband loved watching them with me, since everything but Vader being Luke’s father (and Leia being his sister) was a surprise and he found it hilarious to watch my reactions.

    • Of course you are, but there seem to be some people out there who think you can’t be. The first time I noticed this was in the movie Fanboys, where Star Trek fans and Star Wars fans sort of “face off,” but of course the whole movie is just silly anyway.

      I think it’ll be fun to see my future kids react to the films one day!

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