Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Feelicks, Feb 19, 2013.
Boring? No. Just correct.
Mod edit: No personal attacks
I thought Jackson was good as Mace, and he requested a purple lightsaber, he was originally just going to have either a blue or geen one like the rest of the Jedi. Lucas needlessly bent over backwards for Jackson, if he was really the meanie alot of people claim him to be he would just told Jackson TS. As for TESB being the best is subjective, it was always my least favorite of the SW films and I prefer TPM over it, but that is just my opinion. I always thought TESB had pacing problems, just kind of drags in the middle, the Han/ Leia romance being very corny, and that stupid space slug scene.
I think a big reason ROTJ is considered the weakest is due to online groupthink.
A fan community is usually more particular than the general public. Until my own sojourn through the Internet, I assumed everyone loved The Temple of Doom and Tim Burton's Batman. Such was not the case.
Although my own appraisal is largely negative, observation informs me that ROTJ is every bit as popular with audiences as its two predecessors. It's embraced as a rewarding thrill ride, and several characters have become iconic (e.g., Jabba, Slave Leia, the Ewoks, the Emperor...to a lesser degree). And if the PT has failed to be as thoroughly absorbed, I suspect it has more to do with fantasy film oversaturation (e.g., LOTR, Harry Potter, the Marvel adaptations) than with mass Internet discontent. (Although AOTC may be a bit too insular for its own good...)
I can't believe I'm about to defend the Gungans but they actually did serve a purpose in TPM. The Gungans were there to draw the droid army away from Theed Palace so Padme and the Jedi's could get in the palace. But they are still 10x worse than the Ewoks. At least the Ewoks are cute and deadly. Gungans are ugly and stupid.
I do like ROTJ. It's my third or fourth favorite (it competes with ROTS). There's not a thing about it that I would change. The Ewoks are awesome, I like the Death Star II (although an Imperial City planet would have been cool), and Jabba's palace was fun.
I love ROTJ, the Jabba's palace scenes were a great way to open the movie and nicely re-introduced all the characters again as they tried to rescue Han. And it made sense that the Empire would rebuild another, more powerful Death Star as the first one did a good enough job (until Luke stepped in and used the force to destroy the original!!). And we finally got to meet the most evil man in the galaxy and the only man Vader's wary of.
Even the Ewoks didn't annoy me as much as I thought they would when I first saw them, while cute and cuddly, they were there to show that with co-operation, good planning and a lot of courage, the underdog can triumph against all the odds.
And as for the end space battle.......watched on a big screen 30 years later still takes my breath away, the model work that went into that sequence still astounds me now as it did back then and puts all these new CGI'd movies to shame. Combined with the fall of Palpatine, Vader's acceptance that his son was right all along and the Endor ground battle makes this a more than satisfying conclusion to the Star Wars saga.
So, I wouldn't say that it's the weakest film, I think it can stand proud beside Empire and Hope as part of a story that still transforms me back into the wide eyed 12 year old I was when I first watched it. (but Lucas, stop with the tinkering now, it was fine as it was!!!)
I don't understand why some people don't like it much compared to ANH & ESB. It's probably my favorite of the OT.
This is just my personal opinion, but I think seeing as though it was the final act of the trilogy maybe some fans were expecting more drama and sacrifice. Sure you had the Luke/Vader/Emperor showdown which was brilliant. But from the tone that had been set in ESB, ROTJ wasn't of the same mould. I for one thought a some of heroes should have been sacrificed (Han, Chewy and Lando?) A bittersweet victory you know. Leaving the 2 twins to face the future. But there you go it didnt happen.
ROTJ has a great climax and payoff after the six movies that lead up to it (or even just the OT's setup), but I feel it drags in parts. The stuff with Luke, Vader and the Emperor is gold, but I feel ROTS's action scenes are better executed, and perhaps more climactic than ROTJ can be. The drama of Luke's confrontation of Vader and the Emperor is quite a satisfying end to the saga (eg... "You are unwise to lower your defences!", "If you will not turn to the darkside, then perhaps she will!", "Young fool, only now, at the end do you understand."), but the intercut Endor scenes are too long IMO. Also, am I the only one who doesn't like the way Luke swings his saber around on Jabba's sail barge? It doesn't seem realistic the way his saber connects with his foes, ROTS improved on this apsect of the fight scenes tenfold.
Yeah, because the way they swing their lightsabers in ROTS is totally realistic...
I know what you mean, some of the duels could have had better connected saber blows when compared to the OT, but take the Seperatist slaughter for example. It seems much more like the saber is actually connecting with it's taget compared to the ROTJ sail barge stuff.
I agree with you man, personally ROTJ is my favorite of the Original Trilogy.
I love ROTJ. It was the one I most remember seeing at the cinema. But nostalgia doesn't quite paper over the way I perceive it as I've got older. ESB still holds all the weight,I could watch that now and have no bones to pick with it at all. Absolute CLASS. Same with ANH. I often wonder with Jedi what could've been (in particular the ending) But that's just me.
You are welcome to your opinion, I really think it actually is pretty cool talking to people who have a whole different perception of Star Wars (in terms of likes/dislikes/etc.). I really appreciate each film for what it is. For example, my favorite SW film is Revenge of the Sith. But I still think Empire, and the rest, are great films. I just enjoy what ROTS had to offer a bit more (it being the only one I saw in theatres definitely helps as well).
I love all three original movies, I can see why Return of the Jedi can be considered the weakest of the three when compared next to A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. At times I used to think the Jabba's Palace part of the movie was drawn out too long and the Endor stuff on the planet was boring compared to what was going on in space. But nowadays there have been times I have considered it my favorite, largely due to the confrontation between Luke and Vader/The Emperor being the greatest moment of the entire saga. Or my favorite moment, I love Luke in ROTJ.
I still say it is mostly the great internet hive mind telling the fans to think that way.
Well, do bear in mind that the Jedi in ROTS have been training with sabers for most of their lives, whereas Luke's had, what, at maximum maybe six months or so of practical instruction on proper Djem So form? As they said in the Tag and Bink comics: "What kind of lightsaber style is that? He's just waving it around like a Wampa!"
True. I do understand that we are seeing the Jedi and Sith in their prime in the PT, but even Luke's duel with Vader in ESB seems more consistent than some of ROTJ's fights. Very different styles in these two films. Don't get me wrong, ROTJ earns it's place in the saga, and like much of the OT is more of a standalone film than the prequels. The final confrontation between Luke, Vader, and the Emperor is dramatic, and there is real tension there (like the moment I previously mentioned where Vader states "You are unwise to lower your defences!" and "You underestimate the power of the darkside. If you will not be turned, then you will meet your destiny!"). Hard to put in words, but there is a lot of weight to what's proceeding, Luke's battle of wills with the Emperor, hesitation to fight Vader aggressively, his struggle to return Vader to the light, and the desperation as Luke finally goes all out on Vader and momentarily gives into his anger. It's powerful stuff. It was always a satisfying sign off to the OT, and IMO ROTS has added so much more context and rhyming. Anakin killing Dooku with Dooku's own saber, while maybe an obvious nod to, and inversion of, ROTJ, does wonders for the moment where Luke spares Vader's life at the end of the finale. It is both subtle and exaggerated... of course we know killing an unarmed prisoner is not the Jedi way, but the real impact of this scene is nothing without ROTJ. There is also the fact that Anakin's dual path is symbolised by a red and blue saber, one belonging to him, one belonging to the man he is about to kill. Luke, however, throws his saber away in defiance of the Emperor, and rejects of his father's path. As I said, it's subtle and obvious at the same time. ROTJ certainly does wonders for the prequels. Just for the record, ESB and ROTS are my faves of the films, so I am obviously a little biased
It signaled the moment when Lucas decided to try to make cute characters in order to appeal to very young children so more toy$ could be sold. He went running full steam ahead into The Phantom Menace with that mindset. Ewoks and Gungans. I'll admit I was a young boy when I saw ROTJ in theaters and I begged for the Ewok Village toy thing and got it for Christmas. It was a great day.
As one those that is old enough to have seen RotJ when it first opened I remember very clearly what I thought then and how that has changed over time and how other peoples views have changed. Sure anekdotal evidence but enough for me. And this was long before I have ever heard of the internet.
After initial viewing I ranked the SW film thus: Star Wars, RotJ and then ESB. Many of my friends and family thought the same.
However after a couple of years I rewatched the films and RotJ had not aged as well as the others and many of the qualities of ESB that I was too young to pick up on, now became more noticeable
So then the rank changed to: Star Wars, ESB and RotJ last. And again many of those at school thought much the same way.
The less than stellar performances from Harrison and Carrie were noticeable, the rehashed material got old faster. Some bits were and still are great, like Marks performance and many of his scenes with Vader/the emperor. But the films feels more uneven.
Why the change? Possibly at first RotJ was the final movie, it answered the questions we had spent three years thinking of. Luke finally became a Jedi, the good guys finally won and the empire got soundly defeated. So it was happier than ESB and you felt a bigger elation at the end.
But after those feelings of joy and seeing the end fades away and you look at it as just a film, then you notice some of those things I mentioned.
As I said, I was not the only one who felt this way, some of my friends thought that the film had a little too many "muppets", their words. That it was more jokey and less serious. Some said that RotJ was just a comedy, again their words.
Then I didn't see them again until the THX Widescreen VHS versions came out. By then I was at University but some in my corridor were SciFi/Fantasy/Horror film buffs and we all watched them. Afterwards the overall feeling was that Star Wars was still the best, with Empire a close second but Jedi was less good. We all liked it but not as much as the other two.
Finally, as I was really into SW then and still is, I did read all of the reviews I could get my hands on. And these were of course reviews in newspapers or TV. And overall, based on what I read back in the day. Star Wars got very good reviews, on average 4/5 stars. Not that many five star reviews but very few outright slams either. ESB was more mixed, some three star reviews but now also some five star reviews. But the average had dropped a little. With RotJ the average dropped even more and I don't remember any five star raves and there were now more poor reviews. Of course overall the film was recieved very well.
So in closing, the "overall" ranking of the three OT films have been fairly similar for a long while now. With Star Wars and ESB at the top and with RotJ some ways further down. I remember when I first found Imdb and their list of the top 250 films. And there the same order can be found there and it hasn't changed much over the last 15+ years. To add to that, the 1997 SE rereleases, Star Wars did by far the most, then ESb and RotJ last.
Of course everyone is free to enjoy the films as much as they like and this is doesn't PROVE that one film is better than the other. But I think you can say that the general feeling that RotJ is the least good of the OT has been around for a long while. And I think it has nothing at all to do with group think or anything like that, it is peoples honest opinion.
Bye for now.
The Ewoks didn't look the slightest bit like live beings. For all of the complaints about CGI, I can't think of a worse character in any SW movie than them. It wasn't just that they reminded you of a teddy bear as character, they actually looked liked a teddy bear right off the Toys R Us shelf.
That, and it suffered by comparison to 2 of the greatest movies of our time before it. Still a classic, but I would rate it behind ROTS.
Didn't Han even have a line where he picks one of them up and says "Just what I've always wanted"?
I feel as if the Jedi backlash is just more a product of the changing times and tastes, and ages, amongst some of the more, umm..."committed" fanbase. When I grew up in the 80's and early 90's Jedi was a ton of fans' absolute favorite Star Wars. I don't recall anybody, not my peers, older kids, or parents, ripping on Return of the Jedi at all. I'm certainly not saying everybody loved it, but I don't recall encountering haters and naysayers back then in my own life. It wasn't until tastes started to shift to darker fare, with films like Tim Burton's Batman becoming all the rage, that The Empire Strikes Back began to be heralded as the undisputed crown jewel of the franchise, and Jedi it's bastard step child follow up. As the 90's progressed, and the internet sprung up, more and more displeasure with Jedi began to become apparent.
It's also a case of a vocal minority. The first time I encountered people really railing against this film was on the internet. That's still the case today. I mostly see ROTJ being ripped apart among some very vocal fans on the rare occasion I can stomach a visit to one of the message boards.There is no great ROTJ hate, or even disappointment, that I've ever detected among casual viewers in "real" life. I think most people just take the original Star Wars trilogy in as a whole, and consider all three films about even. It's only when I read the meanderings of diehard fans that I see people picking this film apart, wildly overemphasizing it's minor flaws, and grossly understating it's many strengths. By the time you get through debating with some people you'd think Return of the Jedi was basically Species, or Transformers 3.
At the end of the day do I believe it's the best made Star Wars film? No, but it is my personal favorite. And I do absolutely believe people tend to count it considerably below Empire and Hope as films, and it just is not. Pound for pound Jedi is just the most thrilling, and fun, of the lot for me. It has the highest replay value. And that is ultimately why I watch, and love, Star Wars. It's not for the obsession over detail, or pretending the series has some greater truth, or incredible depth; it's for the sheer enjoyment. And to this day no film I've ever watched thrills me, and makes me feel like a kid again, as much as Jedi does.
As far as the best made Star Wars film? I still think that honor lies with the 1977 original.
This is only my humble opinion (as is my whole post) so don't take offense, but I can't agree. I think Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Lawrence Fishbourne or maybe even Forest Whitaker would have made a better "black Jedi" than Jackson. A Jedi Master is so far out of what his best performances are. In Quentin Tarantino's work, Samuel is amazing in the roles he acts. He's a terrific actor, and I will admit he pulled Windu off. But I can't agree that he was the best choice for that kind of role.
This is one of the areas where I think Lucas could have corrected some key errors; Director's who work with the same actors know how to get better performances out of those actors. Lucas had done a decent amount of directing since Return of the Jedi, such as Indiana Jones. Other than Ford since it would be silly, I think he should have re-cast some of those actors into the roles for the PT instead of casting new ones he had not personal experience with. I feel strongly about this, because actors who have worked with the same director before know how to tweak dialogue with a director and get into the role the director wants them in. Because most of the actors in the PT had not worked with Lucas very much at all prior to the PT, he could have gotten better performances by going back to familiar actors.
Maybe even casting some of the Nazis the first Indiana Jones Trilogy into the roles of Republic Bureaucrats would be a neat way to foreshadow what would later be seen by many as a metaphor for the very dark place that was essentially WWII in space.