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Saga Evaluate each film in 4 sentences or less and rate/10

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Han Burgundy, Feb 27, 2013.

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  1. Han Burgundy

    Han Burgundy Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 28, 2013
    Here's something rather beautiful I've noticed in my short time posting on these boards: Everybody has a different perspective on the Star Wars saga because everyone has their own unique likes and dislikes about each Star Wars film.

    I think that's a big part of the reason why so many threads tend to turn into debates on the merits of the prequels: Its difficult to carry a discussion on a specific topic when everyone in said discussion has fundamentally different views on the broader issue. Not to get political, but it would be like if a left-leaning Democrat ran in the Republican primaries.

    Like I said, I think a variety of viewpoints is an awesome trait for any fandom to have. So this thread can be the place where you lay it all down, to set the record straight, if you will.

    In broad strokes, tell us where you stand on each Star Wars film. Evaluate each in 4 sentences or less (you can cheat a bit using commas but don't make it too obvious), and rate them out of 10.

    I'll start:

    TPM: 7/10

    Like many, this is my least liked in the saga. So many of the little moments and humor just don't work for me, and I feel like the story is too small in scale to feel like it has much effect on the greater saga. The score stays high for the sheer boldness of George to not do what audiences expected from another Star Wars film. Everything from the art design to the music is so incredibly different from the OT, and I love that.

    AOTC: 7.5/10

    I used to think this film was leaps and bounds better than TPM, and in some ways it is, but as I've grown older I rate them closer and closer together. The dialogue and character development leaves something to be desired, especially in regards to the romance, and the switch to digital cinematography (with an abundance of awful slow-zooms) was made too soon, in my opinion. But this film has a special place in my heart because it has probably the best action in the entire saga. The amount of times I watched the battle of Geonosis as a ten year old is mind boggling.

    ROTS: 8.5/10

    I love this movie. The imagery surrounding the fall of the republic, the strong elements of Greek Tragedy in the plot, the heart-wrenching score, great stuff. This film benefits from the best pacing of the prequels, like watching a steadily approaching trainwreck that you can't take your eyes off of. Some points are docked off, for a few glaring flaws however, such as momentarily banal dialouge, the Vader "Nooooo" and that we didn't get to know the Jedi Knights well enough to care that much when they all died (Williams completely carries Order 66).

    ANH: 9.5/10

    It's the movie that changed movies. A classic story, unforgettable characters, and one of the most intense action finales in film history. Sure, it may seem light on substance in comparison to its successors, but who cares? It's the introduction to this crazy awesome world George Lucas created, and he takes you for one hell of a ride.

    ESB: 9.5/10

    It's the little things that make this my favorite episode. Little character moments like the camera lingering on Leia clutching Luke when he's rescued from Bespin, Lando's look of shame as Han is lowered into the freezer, sense of genuine terror as you see the huge, black figure of Darth Vader hurl lightsaber swings at his own son. I feel like this, along with ANH, is the only Star Wars film that's really trying to be a good movie in its own right, apart from any preconceived standards set by the mere fact that its a Star Wars film. Also, gorgeous cinematography is gorgeous.

    ROTJ: 8.5/10

    Contains some moments of absolute cinematic perfection (Luke rage-fighting Vader, the falcon racing through the innards of the Death Star) along with some less than stellar moments. The Ewoks are cute and hilarious, but having them defeat an imperial squadron with sticks and rocks kinda kills the "epic finale" tone that I wanted this film to have. I get the sense that Lucas and Kasdan weren't sure what to do with Han and Leia in this episode, although I still enjoyed watching them. I love the closing moments, especially the way the special edition ending wraps up the entire saga, set to John Williams euphoric celebration theme.

    Your turn!
    Feelicks and DowClimber like this.
  2. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 3, 2013
    TPM: I think this is, in general, an underrated film. There's certainly bad parts: the podrace goes on too long, Jar Jar is not as bad as people think but still highly irritating, some of the casting choices are pretty questionable, and it makes a very poor introduction to the Saga. But there's a lot of good parts too: the distinct visual style when compared to the OT, Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon , and what's probably the best climax of the PT (even marred by Jar Jar slapstick as it is). It could have used a hefty rewrite, but I still have lots of fun rewatching it, which is more than I can say for AOTC.

    AOTC: Easily the worst of the films in my opinion. I honestly think the only part that works is the opening car chase, which is a neat set piece not previously seen in Star Wars that also does a good job of establishing Anakin and Obi-Wan's relationship. Everything else fails: the love story is possibly badly-written (it does not come across as a healthy relationship, but I'm honestly unsure whether it was ever supposed to) and certainly badly acted; the mystery is confusing and ultimately doesn't actually go anywhere; and the climactic battle, while exciting at points, is marred by insufficient focus on the protagonists instead of faceless hordes of special effects, and the almost unwatchable C-3P0 bits. I did like the lightsaber duel's early stages, which are visually interesting and nicely simplistic after TPM, but screaming-leaping-Yoda is just ridiculous.

    ROTS: Overall consensus has this as the best of the PT, and I agree with that. However, the overall quality makes the misfires such as Vader's "NOOO" and some very bad dialogue much more jarring then in TPM and AOTC. Also problematic are the basically pointless character of General Grievous, and the fact that the climactic duel, dramatic as the circumstances are, probably goes over the top in a few places. It's a good film - something I'm not sure I'd say for its predecessors - but it's frustrating how close it comes to being a great one.

    ANH: I really have nothing bad to say about this film. Even though there are some sequences that might not quite work objectively, it's taken on nothing less than a truly mythic quality against which nitpicking is futile. Over 35 years later, still a masterpiece.

    ESB: Of the entire Star Wars Saga, this is probably the most character-driven film, and in many ways the strongest. I do have some reservations, though, about the way in which it moves away from the original adventure-serial tone of Star Wars - I don't necessarily think every series has to "grow up", and I think it's ultimately the source point for the excessively GRIMDARK turn the Expanded Universe has taken in recent years. But this should not be taken as a major fault - whatever my thematic oppositions to ESB's darkening of the story are, I freely admit that it pulled off this oft-unsuccessful tonal change remarkably well. And decades, spoilers, and innumerable parodies later, "I am your father" remains remains among the greatest twists of all time.

    ROTJ: It's focused a little more tightly on the specific story of Luke then the first two films, and I think this has mixed results: while the parts focusing on him, Vader, and the Emperor are generally very good, the rest of the cast is left with no clear character arc and often feel a little superfluous (it doesn't help that Ford and Fisher, in particular, really phoned this one in). And while I've always really enjoyed the very first scene where Vader arrives at the Death Star, the subsequent Jabba's Palace sequence - though not as bad as some people think - is marred by some pointless filler material and the fact that Luke's plan does not actually make any sense. Still, I think it's overall a great conclusion to the OT, and I'd like to take the opportunity to go on record as saying that I have no real problem with the Ewoks. In fact, the Battle of Endor as a whole may be one of my favorite climaxes in films, not just Star Wars.

    I have a hard time putting numbers to subjective opinions, so I think I'll pass on that part.
    Feelicks, DowClimber and starmin76 like this.
  3. DowClimber

    DowClimber Jedi Padawan

    Jan 26, 2013
    ANH: On the surface, a film unlike any that had been seen before. Structurally, though, the simplicity of the plot and the classic archetypes of the characters make it succeed as a timeless work of modern fantasy. The visuals and music create such obvious imagery of good and evil that you can't help but love a world where right and wrong are so clearly defined, and the bickering relationships of the main characters make them very easy to relate to and love. In an era where filmmakers went for darkness and realism, George Lucas dared to return to a classic adventure tale, and this original creation is near the pinnacle of movie-making.

    ESB: An acquired taste, it was my least favorite as a child but has definitely become my favorite of the saga. Exactly what a sequel should be, it takes the characters from the first and throws them into the fire, deepening the conflict and allowing us to learn more about the characters and the universe. While Han and Leia are on the run and Luke removes himself from battle to train, this slowing of the action allows us to delve more deeply into the characters as well as the nature of the force. If the first movie was black and white, this one is grey, constantly introducing elements that blur the distinctions between right and wrong: Luke must choose between training and saving his friends, Boba Fett fights for money and not a cause, Leia likes "nice men" but falls for the bad boy, Lando is a good guy in a bad situation, and Darth Vader reveals the twist that introduces depth to the villain and darkness to the hero.
    10/10 (I cheated a little with that last sentence...)

    ROTJ: Brighter and more colorful than the last, this movie eases off the darkness and brings back a lot of the humor and lightheartedness from the first one. A step down from the last movie, but to me, it's undoubtedly a perfectly satisfying conclusion to the greatest movie trilogy of all time. The Jabba sequence at the beginning very much feels like "the gang's back together and going on one last fun adventure before they get back to business" (although the fun adventure involves murdering an entire skiff of creatures in the desert). I get the feeling that Lucas played it a bit safe here by wrapping things up so neatly, however Luke confronting Vader and the Emperor is one of the most important sequences of the entire saga and Vader's story arc concludes in a powerful, unexpected, and satisfying way.

    TPM: Following the greatest trilogy of all time after almost two decades of build up, this movie was bound to disappoint some - but still could have been better than it was and probably would have benefitted from a couple more rewrites. This movie has all the pieces in place to be very good, but ultimately was not executed as well as it should have been; to me, the characters are a bit too stale for me to really connect to, as much as I want to. Still, the visuals of this film are incredible to watch and John Williams delivers another fantastic score and Lucas gives us a side of the Star Wars universe we've never seen before, capped off with an awesome lightsaber duel. Darth Maul epitomizes this film - he looks fantastic and we all were so excited to see who he was and he showed us things we had never seen in a Star Wars movie before, but his character was underdeveloped and a bit disappointing; despite terrible backlash from fans, though, it's still entertaining and has great aspects that are harder to pull out.

    AOTC: It's great to have the Obi-Wan/Anakin relationship featured so prominently and, again, this film presents stunning visuals and new elements that have never been seen before in Star Wars. The Clone Wars explode onto the screen at the end of this movie in spectacular fashion, giving us 30 - 40 minutes of continuous action that is fun to watch over and over again. However, Anakin's character is pretty unstable and makes it hard to relate to. The film really hinges on you caring for the romance between Anakin and Padme which, to me, seems a bit fake and rushed (although John Williams' score does everything you can to provide the emotion) and the film really falters under the weight of this to me.

    ROTS: Despite a lukewarm reaction to the last two, I was still incredibly excited for this movie and my excitement paid off. ROTS gives some of the best action in the Star Wars saga. The film centers around enormous tragedies and this gives it the sheer scale to make it both exciting and emotional. Though aspects of it (like Anakin's sudden conversion to the dark side or Padme's broken heart) do bother me, ultimately this movie bridges the gap between the prequels and the original trilogy in a way that makes me overlook the quibbles I have with it. I will always continue to rewatch Anakin's physical transformation into Darth Vader and the recreation of the binary sunset was a bittersweet final shot - it was gratifying to have the saga completed and sad that this would be the last Star Wars film I would ever see (little did I know...).

    I was always an OT purist and didn't really care for the PT after I and II, but in the past few years I've really grown to appreciate the PT and I'm glad it exists to round out the Star Wars saga, even if I do still think the OT is better.
    Feelicks and Vthuil like this.
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