Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Star Wars saga

Love them or hate them, there is no doubt that the Star Wars movies have had a real impact on both movies and pop culture. Not long ago, it was announced that all six movies were going to be re-released in theaters in 3-D. The only problem with this is... Actually, there are several problems with this, the most notable one being that 3-D has lost a lot of popularity in the US as of late. But no matter, people have always loved these movies and will continue to pay money to watch them on the big screen. So to commemorate this restoration, I've decided to review all six movies in sequential order.

The Phantom Menace- This one is probably my least favorite. I liked it when it first came out (I was 7 years old at the time) but I've noticed that it doesn't hold up as well over the years. For one thing, the dialogue is incredibly clunky and beyond bland, which causes quite a few members of the cast to turn in bland performances, Liam Neeson (one of my favorite actors) being one of them. On top of that, I can't shake this feeling that there are some things that were written in there purely for the purpose of marketing, most of all the podracing sequence. To be fair though, the podracing game for the N64 was pretty sick. And of course, the most hated part of this movie... or any movie... or any part of culture... or just humanity in general has to be the satanic Jar Jar Binks. I might have been able to forgive this movie if this character was just written or edited out entirely. Having said that, the movie isn't entirely bad. For one thing, this is the movie that has Darth Maul, one of the coolest characters in the entire saga. And from this character does come a pretty awesome lightsaber fight. But other than that, this movie is pretty forgettable. Unlike most of the other movies, I don't remember any good quotes or witty one liners.
Final grade: C-

Attack of the Clones- This one pretty much has all of the same problems as the first one. The dialogue is clunky yet again, the performances are bland, but it also has a few other things that it suffers from. One of them being that there is a romance that is not believable at all and feels incredibly forced. On top of that, Anakin Skywalker just seemed like a whiny little teenager that felt like he was the smartest person in any room he was in. And man did that just get annoying. The battles were cool, but again, I don't really remember anything about it, except for the ungodly uncomfortable dialogue.
FInal Grade: C-

Revenge of the Sith- This one was the closest that any of the prequels came to being a good movie. Again, the performances were really wooden, most of it is pretty forgettable, but on the plus side, the battles were pretty cool, and it was nice to see Darth Vader on the big screen. However, I do take issue with the fact that someone died by "Losing the will to live", it seems like such a cop out way to kill somebody off.
Final Grade: C+

A New Hope- This was when things started to get good. The dialogue was better, the characters were cool, and we actually gave a shit about what was going on. I love the character of Han Solo, and we got to see him blow a guy's brains out in the middle of a crowded bar, and we also got to see the classic trench run flying scene. Fun fact: Luke Skywalker's journey throughout the story has been referred to as being a prime example of a hero's journey.
Final Grade: A

The Empire Strikes Back- This one is my personal favorite. Everything that was cool about Hope was doubled in this movie. Vader is cooler, Han is cooler, Boba Fett got some screen time, we are introduced to Yoda, we actually learn more about that thing called "The Force", we meet the only black guy in the galaxy, and do I even need to bring up the battle of Hoth? Classic. Not to mention that this movie has one of the most famous revelations in all of cinematic history.
Final Grade: A+

Return of the Jedi- This one WOULD be my favorite except for one thing. For the most part, I love this movie, I love that we get to see the emperor, I love the final confrontation at the end of the movie, I love the redemption that one character has (again being one of the most famous moments in all of film). The only thing that I don't like about this movie is those fucking ewoks. I'm pretty sure that they were only made so that Lucas could make money off of selling teddy bear like toys out of these damn fur balls. Plus, I don't get how these guys were able to take on the emperor's finest legion of soldiers (he even says that they are his finest troops). For that reason, this movie suffers, but not that much, you still get emotionally involved in what is going on. The other thing that this movie suffers from is the fact that this one has had the most changes from original to DVD to blu-ray. For some unknown reason, George Lucas insists on changing and adding things to the original movies every time they are rereleased. He reasons that by changing things around and adding CGI characters to these movies, people will have the incentive to see them again. What George doesn't seem to get however is that we fans love the movies the way they are, they don't need anything added to them, we fell in love with them when we first saw them, and adding CGI monsters and unneeded lines will only serve to piss us off even more.
Final Grade: A-

So those are my thoughts on each of the installments of the Star Wars saga. And for those of you who are wondering what my order of favorites is, here you go: