Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by kenobifan1999, Dec 29, 2012.
I guess I was alittle harsh on ROTJ, so let me explain. When compared to ANH & ESB, it is an inferior sequel that just doesn't stand up to the overall quality of the previous two. But if you take a step back, and look it as a typical hollywood sequel, its pretty darn good. ROTJ is very uneven as its got some great moments that rival anything from ANH & ESB, yet it has some flat moments that rival the flat moments from the PT. I still take it with a grain of salt and still love it, simply because most franchises start to dip at the 3rd movie for some reason? Superman III, Matrix Revolutions, The Godfather III, XMen:Last Stand, Spiderman 3, Back to the Future III, even Return of the King. So it is next to impossible for a franchise to keep churning out A+ type movies, as the quality has to eventually drop.
No, no, I completely agree with you! My only point there was that I rank RotJ above ANH because of its highs. ANH is certainly a more consistent quality film and is certainly filled with many great moments, but there isn't really any point in ANH that I think really matches the best moments of RotJ. Your point on the third films in a trilogy usually dipping in quality is a pretty accurate one, though I wouldn't include Return of the King personally.
Thats an interesting point, and it really goes to show how different perspectives are formed by watching the movies at different era's. Since you grew up with all 3 OT movies already in theaters, you were able to watch them in the perspective of a Trilogy, so the ANH was just part 1 of 3. When I saw ANH (or SW in 1977 as it was called then), it still has a huge effect on me simply because it was viewed as a standalone movie. When Luke blew up the deathstar in 1977 it was such a climatic ending and no one thought there would be sequels at the time. ANH still resonates with me probably cause I still view it as that standalone movie that isn't part of the 'Trilogy' or 'Saga' and that final trench run culminating in the destruction of the death star is still my favorite part of any SW movie (including Darth Vaders 'I am a your father').
Yours is a very interesting point as well, Carbon! My parents both remember when all 3 OT films came out in theaters, but neither one were ever really big fans of the series, so I've never really heard this sort of response before from anyone that had this perspective.
It kind of reminds me of growing up and watching each new Dark Knight film. I saw Batman Begins on its release day back in 2005 and fell in love with that movie, then the first midnight premiere I ever went to was The Dark Knight in 2008 and did so once again when The Dark Knight Rises came out last year. Although I did expect sequels to come after watching BB in '05, I do remember wondering over the years what was going to happen in the next Bat-film. Certainly a perspective my eventual children won't have whenever they get to see those films!
What's funny is that all my older brother's friends are only Star Wars 77 fans, and sort of roll their eyes that when I used to tell them I loved all 3 SW films back in the 80's. I saw ANH at 5 years old, so I was a kid throughout the run of the OT. My brothers friends were all in highschool/college when ESB and ROTJ came out, and they still argue with me today the 'I am your father' ruined the series, and then 'Luke and Leia being siblings' was so dumb that they would never watch a SW movie ever again. I remember them telling me in 1983 not to even bother with ROTJ because of those stupid ewoks, and thought that Vader taking off his mask was one of the most anti-climatic scenes in the history of movies. I was at a family party a few years ago and got in an argument with one of my older brothers friends about how great ESB was, and he said nothing was as good as the original. He would joke with me, "In my SW world, nobody is related to anyone!"
It really is a matter of perspective as to when you see any franchise, but I still feel lucky I grew up with the OT and experienced it at the age I did. I really can't explain how much it was a phenomenon from 77-83 it was, as there was just nothing like it back then.
Interesting... Lately I've wondered if films like TESB, RotJ or Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan would have been considered "classics" today if the Internet had been around back in the early 80's. With the revelations of Vader being Luke's father and Leia being his twin sister, along with Spock's "death" at the end of WoK, I can only imagine how many modern fans would rip such things to pieces online and then whatever opinion is the most vocal online ends up being considered the "norm" among the fans.
Take TDKR for example; when I saw it in theaters last year, I loved it and it seemed plenty of others did too. A year later and I've run into a lot of debate on the film online and it seems like it's more and more often ranked now as the weakest entry in Nolan's Bat-trilogy. Was it because the film really was the weakest or was it just that the fans online that liked it the least were the most vocal on their opinions on it and held their ground on it the longest? Same thing is happening now with Man of Steel!
I think what the internet does is it keeps the 'negative' fans lingering around posting what they dislike about the movies, whereas in the pre-internet days people who didn't like the movies simply moved on because there was no forum to talk about them.
I'm really excited to see that RotS is in second place. Everybody always talks about how the prequel movies but, apparently, it had the second best movie of the entire series. I actually expected the rankings to be more so 5:4:3:6:1:2. Anyway, here's mine:
(1) Revenge of the Sith
(2) Return of the Jedi - anybody ever watch this and skip over any scene without Luke? Great to get a quick fix of Star Wars when you don't have the time to watch an entire movie.
(3) The Phantom Menace - mainly because it has my favorite character and the Duel of the Fates (music and battle) is great, minus two of the franchise's coolest characters being killed off in the first movie we see them in
(4) A New Hope
(5) The Empire Strikes Back - I feel like the older crowd has more of an attachment to this because they were actually surprised by the revelation about Darth Vader. Perhaps if it had been a surprise to me...
(6) Attack of the Clones
Like many others have said, just because it's at the end of the list doesn't make it a terrible movie. I just don't enjoy it as much as the ones above it. Except AotC... I really don't enjoy that one very much.
I think the impact of the internet in skewing opinion is a bit overstated sometimes. ROTJ was released way in advance of the internet and doesn't have the same classic status as its predecessors among many fans 30 years down the track. On the other hand, TESB wasn't overwhelmingly well received at the time of it's release, but has gained in reputation over the years. Sometimes the prevalent opinion is the prevalent opinion just because it's, well ... prevalent.
I think internet culture has glorified accentuating-the-negative - which, incidentally, I really really hate even with things I actually dislike - but otherwise I agree. Fans haven't really changed; it's just easier for the angry ones to make their opinions heard (and keep doing so long after everyone else has stopped caring).
From Best to Worst....
It's interesting how many people didn't like ESB when they were younger, but then came to appreciate it later. That's completely true for me, too. If asked to rank the trilogy in 1983, I would've said: ROTJ, ANH, ESB. I thought ESB was "kinda boring" when I was little, but when I rediscovered the trilogy right after high school, I found that ESB was actually the most engaging to me, and thought ROTJ was the weakest.
And personally, besides Episode III (which I actually enjoyed quite a bit), I'm not a fan of the prequels. But I hate when people try to imply that I don't like them because "the Internet told me not to." That's just silly. As ridiculous as saying I like ESB because I'm "supposed to." Trust me, in 1999, no one wanted to love the new "Star Wars" movie more than me. I even saw it several times in the theaters hoping beyond hope that TPM would grow on me. *sigh* It was not to be.
As for ESB? When I realized it had grown to be my favorite, I wasn't even *on* the Internet yet. And I suspect my newfound love for it had more to do with a budding crush on Han Solo, than anyone telling me it was "cool" to like it.
So I guess my rankings would be:
ROTJ/ROTS---on some days I rank one over the other, on others I switch back again. It really depends on my mood.
TPM.....although I really don't like either these movies much at all. Although both did have their moments. Not many, but they did have them. ;-)
My experience was much the same. For probably five years after the OT I would've picked ROTJ as number one. Then, for twenty or more years I would've gone with TESB. Now, after a few years of wavering between ANH and TESB, I'm going all the way back to the original as my favourite. I think it may have something to do with the impact that the PT has had on the saga as a whole. ANH, as it was made as a potential stand alone, still stands alone pretty well.
I definitely have my favorite movies as well, but it's funny that you mention it...I don't really find myself enjoying any of the movies more or less than the others. Even though I do have my favorites and least favorites, I just really enjoy watching any of them. I guess it's cause at the heart of it, they're all Star Wars movies to me. (Not implying anything about you by my post, just a realization I had)
I just Star Wars (ANH) last night and decided to watch it as I did in 1977 just as a standalone movie where nobody was related and it still works. I still contend its lower on the younger generations favorite lists because it works better as a standalone movie then part of the saga.
Yep, amongst other things.
1. Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith
2. Episode 6 - Return of the Jedi
3. Episode 5 - Empire Strikes Back
4. Episode 4 - A New Hope
5. Episode 2 - Attack of the Clones
6. Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace
For me, it's hard to rank my favorites and fairly easy to rank my least favorites. Keep in mind, my "the best" changes by the day. My number one spot probably does depend on what kind of mood I'm in.
This is going to pain me:
#1: Return of the Jedi
#2: The Empire Strikes Back
#3: A New Hope
#4: Revenge of the Sith
#5: The Phantom Menace
#6: Attack of the Clones
In the end, it comes down to which ones provide me with the most joy and entertainment. I like them all for different reasons, but some of them I like more than others.
Return of the Jedi has always been the one that I choose to watch above all others. I've probably seen it beginning to end nearly 60 times. The battle between Luke and Vader is simply the most thrilling conflict in the entire saga IMO. When good triumphs over evil and Vader returns to the light side, I smile. It gets the best emotion out of me: happiness and cheer. In my opinion, it's the most fulfilling movie, and thus my personal favorite.
The Empire Strikes Back is great, also, but for different reasons. While Return of the Jedi ends with a happy ending, Empire's cliffhanger and rather pessimistic ending ratchets up your feelings in a different manner. You're concerned for the characters and their well-being. You worry about Han because he's been frozen and taken off to Jabba. You feel bad for Luke because of his emotional conflict concerning his possible father being one of the most evil men in the galaxy. While there are funny moments in this film, most of them are a little darker in premise minus when they're screaming at Threepio. It's a great film. Maybe the best. But for me, it doesn't provide what Jedi does for what I look for in a film.
A New Hope is, of course, the original. It began all of the things that we love about Star Wars. It began all of the relationships between the characters, introduced The Force, and cemented Darth Vader as one of the most evil characters in history. This film will always hold a place in my heart. It's an A+ film that will be viewed for generations to come.
Revenge of the Sith is the darkest film in the entire saga. Which, of course, is what makes it good, but what also detracts from the film. It's truly sad what happens to the Jedi. Of course, it had to happen this way. The way Lucas draws parallels to the fall of the Roman republic make it appeal to the history geek in me.
The Phantom Menace seems to universally be the most hated film in the saga. This has always eluded me. While it's not a great film, it has its moments and is very entertaining. It is much, much better than...
Attack of the Clones. In my opinion, this is the only true inferior film in the saga. Often times, I find it boring. The bad acting from Hayden and Natalie makes me sick. The questions raised about Sifo-Dyas and why he ordered a clone army are completely dropped. I do like the battle on Geonosis, but everything before it is tiresome to me. Which I hate, because I do love mysteries and sometimes love stories. This could've been my favorite if it'd been executed the right way. Unfortunately, the film failed to deliver all that I wanted. I don't believe this is a bad movie. I do, however, think this is a bad Star Wars movie, and it is inferior to all of the others in my eyes.
3 and 4 are really close.
1. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
2. Episode IV: A New Hope (Though I believe the original is the best of all the films)
3. Episode V: Empire Strikes Back
4. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
5. Episode I: Phantom Menace
6. Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Favorite to least-favorite list:
The Phantom Menace
Revenge of the Sith
Attack of the Clones
The Empire Strikes Back
A New Hope
Return of the Jedi
Best to worst list (not to be used):
The Empire Strikes Back
A New Hope
Revenge of the Sith
Return of the Jedi
Attack of the Clones
The Phantom Menace