Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Feelicks, Feb 19, 2013.
RotJ > TPM + AotC + RotS
I never understood the hate. I have always liked RoTJ far better than Empire. In my opinion, it is the best of the saga. The Jabba's palace scene is great sci-fi adventure fun. The Yoda death scene and final battle between Luke and Vader are the best scenes in the entire saga in my opinion. There is so much emotion wrapped up in the final scenes with the Luke, Vader, and Palpatine battle and dialogue, even more-so than the end of ROTS. The assault on the second death star is even more exciting than the first.
The arguments about characterization are silly. Did we really want Luke to remain an immature, whiny young man the whole series? It's called character development. And also with Han, I enjoy the way he has matured since we first saw him in ANH.
The ewoks.... yeah, I understand that it's unrealistic. But they're so darn cute, and it's fantasy so I could really care less if it makes sense that the ewoks were able to defeat the Empire's best troops. It's the classic underdog story.
And Vader's redemption. So well played out. How could you have a more perfect ending to the saga?
TPM > ROTS > ESB > > AOTC > > > > ANH > > > ROTJ
Considering the originals alone, there would be no Star Wars without "Star Wars: A New Hope" so, in my opinion, that carries a lot of weight. It was a very good story and very linear. Then Empire came along and was totally awesome and personally my favorite. The separate Skywalker and Solo storylines were both equally intriguing, dark and edgy. Both kept me on the edge of my seat as they eventually intersected in the finale. So it has always been my opinion that ESB dethroned ANH, so to speak, and became #1 for how strong of a movie it was over the original.
Then ROTJ came along. Now don't get me wrong, I love ROTJ, but the combination of the Jabba barge muppets and the Ewoks didn't do much for me. I didn't love them nor hate them. They were necessary in telling the story that was written and I enjoying watching that story. But, at the end of the day, ROTJ just never carried that same punch that ESB did to dethrone the previous movie(s) and because of that, one may consider it weak.
With that said, while it may be considered the weakest of the originals, it's still stronger than any one the prequels. My ranking is 5, 4, 6, 3, 1, 2.
Mostly because of the Ewoks in my opinion.....In ROTJ we began to see hints of GL's new "kid friendly" themes that became just overwhelming in the PT. Although if the dialogue had been for kids older than 6 years old, the PT would have been much better. I still think ROTJ is the 3rd best of the 6.. ESB is 1st, ANH 2nd for me.
Because it's uneven. It has some great parts but some poor ones. Endor is all pretty bad IMO. The climax was amazing when it focused on the space battle & the throne room. When it switches to Endor it drags the film right down. This was the first time Lucas cut between 3 storylines during the climax. In ANH it was 90% the Battle of Yavin & a few reaction shots of Leia & 3PO or Tarkin. That was awesome. In ESB there were 2: Vader vs Luke & the escape from Bespin. In Jedi unfortunately he chose to go for 3 & IMO it didn't work. I believe this was start of his "more & bigger is better" approach that would come back to haunt the prequels. With more than 2 concurrent climatic sequences you're obviously more likely to get 1 weak section & that's what we got with Endor. In TPM he took it to a ridiculous level, 4 intercut sequences! (space battle, Gungan battle, Queen fighting & escape, Darth Maul fight). That was crap (IMO).
Another comparative point of weakness with Jedi is Han Solo. He had a dumbed down role & Ford seemed bored throughout. Nowhere near the spark he had in the previous 2 movies.
It's positives far outweigh the negatives however & I think it's a very good film. Behind the other two though, IMO
IMHO, ROTJ had massive shoes to fill. It was the sequel to the Empire Strikes Back and the conclusion to the whole story. Hype and expectations, I guess. It's becoming an old story nowadays.
People still can't stand the Ewoks, but I love the explanation of a technologically inferior force overcoming the superior might of a hardened military force. That's actually happened in real life war, more than once, hasn't it? I used to think of that when I was a kid, before I ever saw that explanation on some Wars documentary I got later on. So what if they weren't Wookies and made into small bears to appeal to the kids. Lucas knew what toys would sell. You ever tried to get your hands on a Chief Chirpa these days? He ain't cheap! : )
I tend to think the climactic 3-way battle was expertly handled in the editing room. Endor, Throne Room, Space Battle, it all came together so damn well. It was so huge - it was the first time I had seen anything like that. IMO, that climax, for sheer scale alone, really hasn't been topped since.
I have noticed how Han Solo lost the edge he had in ANH and ESB. He still had some smart*ss things to say, though. I like to think he grew up from the rough-edged loner and decided to fight alongside his lady - that wasn't really SAID in the film, but I didn't think you'd have to see that scene.
Personally, it is my favourite of the saga for its dramatic themes (redemption, good conquering evil, etc) and the ultimate end of The Empire. It was a fantastic conclusive movie to the saga.
Personal favourite. On an objective level, ESB is the best one made.
People make it seem like the Ewoks strolled in and steam rolled the Stormtroopers. Truth is they were more of a surprise than anything, a nice distraction for the Empire to deal with. Throughout it all they managed to deal some heavy blows of their own.
Once Chewy and a few of the Ewoks took control of the at-st it was all over for the empire. Gave Han and Leia the chance to regroup.
Honestly, like others have said, ROTJ is far from terrible IMO and I don't even put the blame on Jabba muppets (especially the pre-SE ones) nor the Ewoks, it is rather some of the weaker uses and performances by our main characters, mostly Leia and Han. I still thoroughly enjoy the Jabba stuff (again, not the SE version) find it nice and "faux exotic", complete with sadistic killing and odd interspecies-relationship overtones. As well as our heroes coming to work together as the team they've slowly evolved into (and gave me the sense they'd been getting to know each other better between ESB and ROTJ).
The ewoks, as others have said, though cute, do seem to take the Empire by surprise just long enough to give our heroes an advantage. It isn't like the Ewoks waged a ten year war against the Empire, they just kind of distracted them while the bunker got blowed up!
I really just don't like Han's phoning it in and Leia's diminished role...as well as the lame "sister" reveal. It added almost nothing except during the duel when it makes Luke go ballistic on Vader. But if Leia had accompanied him to confront Vader and then been injured causing him to go nuts, that might have been at least stronger.
But I agree, I find the overall package stronger and more coherent than anything the PT offered me. But I'll admit that's in part because I liked those characters better and it was a continuation of the two arguably better films that came before. So it had that going for it from the start.
I love Return of the Jedi.
People who hate on Ewoks miss the point entirely. Star Wars is a fairy tale that just happens to have a sci-fi backdrop. Of course the little bears are going to beat the evil Empire!
Jedi has always been my favorite.
I think a lot of it has to do with that this film wasn't at all intended to be a stand alone film and it came after a film that wasn't intended to be a stand alone film at all. By this point Star Wars was so huge with an ensemble cast that it just jumps right into things. You really can't effectively watch it without having seen the films before it. So on its own ROTJ and all 3 prequels for that matter really just aren't as good.
I love Return of the Jedi, and I never got why some people like the prequels so much. I was watching TESB last night, and one thing I noticed was how little shot-reverse shot was used. It gives it a much more emotional factor.
Now knowing the entire story, i actually like it better than ANH. RotJ is my 3rd fav of the saga behind ESB and RotS.
Not in this galaxy or in one far, far, away could ROTJ be classed as the weakest film in the entire saga. The PM and AOTC pale in comparison and even though ROTS is a far better movie and a step in the right direction it still hasn't won me over in the battle between the two.
ROTJ was the closing chapter of the story so was never going to have the twists and turns that ESB did, it couldn't as it would have left to many loose ends to be tied up and that surely wasn't the intention of Mr. Lucas. People always bang on to me about the Jabba scene being to long but it did bring us Jabba and the classic (in my opinion) Amanaman so it was worth every second it was on screen and for those who don't like the addition of the new song and dance scenes in the special edition I have a great new way to by pass them...don't watch that version?
Also I know the Ewoks get a hard time for being the ones who over throw the Empire and even though they provide a great diversion on Endor they aren't the ones who blew up the generator and to the best of my knowledge aren't flying any of the ships that attack the second Death Star so maybe lumping the whole demise of the superior Empire is a bit much and not really a cause to down grade the whole movie.
I like the Jabba scenes, with the exception of that horrible musical number they put in the SE.
its truly abysmal isn't it .
ESB is the weakest film, followed by ROTJ. The ewoks and SECOND death star killed it man
@ Rex - quote "ESB is the weakest......"
All i can say is "WOW!!!!!!" No offense meant, but WOW! You truly actually think ESB is the weakest of the six?!?!!! I have never heard anyone say that except for Lucas himself at one point, but he so obviously only said it out of jealousy and animosity toward Irvin Kershner. It bothered Lucas that Irvin didn't want to work with him again after having made ESB the critical and every otherwise master piece that it was and may not have otherwise been had it not been for Kersh. It is arguably the best sequel ever made; and along with 'God Father 2' and 'Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan' it has the very rare distinction as one of the select few that surpassed it's predecessor. As a side note, Liam Neeson thought along the same lines as Kersh regarding TPM, that's why we didn't see him in RotS, and that why it's likely we'll never see Liam in another SW movie, which is sad because he was perfectly cast as Qui-Gon/a Jedi Master. I suspect the only way Disney will get Liam back for a cameo will be a nice chunk of change, and even then maybe not due to the man's integrity as an actor.
GL redeemed himself with RotS though, imo it is arguably the best of the entire saga alongside ESB imo. For me, it's difficult to choose between ESB and RotS as the best of the six. RotJ would be 3rd followed by ANH, but it's close. The only things i didn't like about RotJ were the Ewoks and the whole making Leia Luke's sister idea thing, i thought that was ridiculous and just plain bad.
I'm fairly certain that Leia was slated to be Luke's sister at least as early as Empire. "That boy is our last hope" "No. There is another"
Agree about the Ewoks though...
@ Scars - No, i don't think GL originally planned on Luke having a sibling at all at first. I believe that Lucas originally intended to introduce an entirely new force sensitive character in RotJ. He scrapped the idea however when he realized he didn't need or want to make a ST or any movies beyond RotJ (except for maybe the PT).
It's the worst film in the OT, but far from the worst of the series.
As far as being the worst in the original trilogy, it's really quite simple. The original might have been the most ground-breaking film in the latter half of the seventies. Without ANH, "fun cinema" could. possibly, no longer exist. The Empire Strikes Back had a dark tone, great characters and a thrilling story. The last one truly couldn't be anything but the worst of the three. Compare it to other trilogies and you'll notice (most of them) are the same way.
Three reasons why ROTJ is the weakest:
1. It is it is a repeat of the THESIS (ANH)...It should have been the synthesis of the two previous films.
Actually that sums it all up, but to continue...
a)...there should have never been a second Death Star that was EASIER to destroy. The hero is only great, if the problem he is trying to solve is much greater. Hitchcock said that, not me. Luke defeated this problem in ANH. TESB is so successful because it is the EXACT opposite, the antithesis, of its predecessor. There should have been a different threat than a second Death Star. I would have liked it to be the kaiburr crystal, but I'm wishful thinking, that posed a different, yet quite ominous threat. It could have been chemical weapons, anything else.
b)...there needed to be a sacrifice. Some important life lost in order to put a gravitas into the story. HF wanted Han dead. Although it's tough to see, he was right. It serves the story. Don't let sentimentality for your characters get in the way. Actually, sentimentality moves the viewer, and it would have been great. People want the movies to make them feel, that's all. Han Solo should have sacrificed himself...that was the HEART of the character. He didn't want to (selfish), then he joined the rebellion, then he died for that cause...full circle.
c)...I think the Ewoks were a kind of pandering. It was cheaper to do. I think Lucas was tired of the franchise at that point, having had the finance issues with the previous two films, going through a divorce, I understand all that. I think GL is a genius, I just think he ran out of gas and was a bit disillusioned with all the fame. Love you, George!
However, it should have been Wookies on Kashyykk (sp.?) fighting slavery through Rebellion support. It could have connected Chewie to the larger tale and made us care more about his character.
Now, I'm not saying that the whole think is tripe. I loved Jabba's Palace, toned down a bit perhaps. I liked the space battle, the speeder bikes and of course the duel. I have trouble with the Dagobah scenes and Yoda/Ben scenes. I found it hard to listen to Ben tell Luke that I lied to you because I have a different point of view. Kind of weak. As a writer I don't know how I would have told the story differently, but large theme should have been success with some failure.
The OT should have been story arched like this...ANH=SUCCESS - TESB=FAILURE - ROTJ= SUCCESS w/ some FAILURE OR LOSS***
***I know Vader/Anakin died, but it needed more than that to create the sense of loss I'm talking about. Watch 'Seven Samurai'. Vader was the main antagonist, then Emperor. We lost Anakin, but we never knew the character, so little loss there. IMO.
The Rebels should have conquered Coruscant.
Maybe have Leia join the battle against the Emperor and hash out differences with Vader.
Agreed. All the bad guys suddenly become weak.