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The Empire Strikes Back takes everything that was great about its predecessor and cherishes it, while massively improving upon the flaws that it had. Much of the weak dialogue and directing that slightly detracted from the joy of A New Hope is gone, leaving The Empire Strikes Back as a very strong film, and a perfect sequel.
It have always been my favourite Star Wars film. It's just so filled with emotional and iconic moments that I find myself getting goosebumps every time I see it. It's just so great. It's storytelling and character development at its absolute finest. Even characters that just appears in a few scenes manages to leave a huge impression. Which is why Boba Fett is one of my favourite characters in any medium. I love The Empire Strikes Back.
There's not really that much left to say about the the very first Star Wars film. It might be a bit flawed due to George Lucas inability to direct actors and write proper dialogue, but for all of its flaws, everything is elevated to a level beyond awesome due to George Lucas amazing vision, simple story of good vs. evil, world building and its engaging characters.
The story and premise of Star Wars is actually very simple, but it's made so easy to fall in love with because of the fantastic storytelling and because we're constantly given reason to care for our heroes. This is a film that is so successful because it knows the importance of crafting characters that you can emotionally connect with in one way or another, and enjoy seeing them on the screen. Star Wars is fun entertainment in its purest form, and a terrific way to kick of and establish this wonderful universe. Then there's John Williams score. Which is just outstanding.
Most people seem to think that Return of the Jedi is a lot weaker than A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, due to increased silliness with the ewoks and some retreading of the plot from A New Hope with the second Death Star. But I don't have any issues with those things here. The ewoks are mostly just adorable, and the destruction of the Death Star is mostly just a scenery for the real drama, which is the moment that the whole original trilogy have been leading up to. The final confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader.
The original trilogy was ultimately about Luke's journey to be a hero, and about Vader's final redemption. This film couldn't have handled that any better, as every part in the Emperor's throne room is extremely powerful, with Luke unleashing his rage on Vader being the most powerful and the best scene in the whole franchise, and one of the greatest character moments in film history ever.
One side-note. Leia is freaking gorgeous in this film. Not only is she's incredibly sexy in her gold bikini, but throughout the rest of the entire film she's just insanely beautiful.
After the prequels trilogy, it was clearly important to bring Star Wars back to what it was. Just to kind of remind us of why we love Star Wars, and in doing so, J.J. Abrams have essentially remade A New Hope, at least if you look at the biggest brushes. Which is not necessarily a bad thing as it sort of let them put the biggest focus on the characters, new and old.
Because the thing that The Force Awakens really gets right is its characters. Not only is Harrison Ford really bringing it home as Han Solo, but every new member of the franchise is great. I absolutely adore Rey (is there anyone out there who doesn't have a crush on Daisy Ridley now?), and I think that her chemistry between Finn is amazing. They're instantly likeable, funny, charismatic and relateable. When things happen to them, you feel real emotion. So it manages to capture the essence of Star Wars. Fun and emotionally engaging characters in a massive space adventure.
I've also grown warm to Kylo Ren as the villain. He represents some sort of a change from what we usually see from most of your typical villains, and manages to distinguish himself enough from just being a Darth Vader clone.
Besides the characters, the film looks and sounds awesome. The visuals effects are amazing, and I love the fact that they've gone back to the visual style of the originals. The action is great, the pacing is fast and there's never a dull moment. It's also very funny. Probably the funniest Star Wars we've had. I was surprised by how many of the jokes actually landed. BB-8 in particular is comedic gold.
The Force Awakens is of course flawed. It does mimic a few too many plot points from the original trilogy for it to be put on the same shelf as the original three, and there's one very important scene that I feel could have been handled a lot better. One that didn't strike me with as much emotion as it should have done. There's also a scene in the middle that feels slightly out of place. But besides that, Star Wars is truly back. There are several other positive things I could (and should) have mentioned, but I'll settle on this. It did exactly what it should do, and because of that, it's great.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
This is first and foremost a very cool and well-made action film. The action sequences in this film are spectacular, and they are helped by Rogue One's gritter tone. It's a full-blown war film and it serves Star Wars well. Quality wise, it's as excellent as you would expect. The visuals are wonderful and the music is great, all though they've done some CGI trickery to "bring back" some of the cast from A New Hope and while the technology is impressive, it's not quite there yet. It's a little bit jarring. Besides that, everything looks and sounds great.
As far as the characters goes, Rogue One does slightly suffer from a few too many undeveloped ones. Felicity Jones is compelling in the lead role and Ben Mendelsohn is terrific as the villain. Besides them, most of them are rather one dimensional (all though, not without their moments.) I've read that a lot of people say that this essentially just a very good fan film, which is a statement that I will agree with. It takes everything that we like about Star Wars. Everything that we find cool and badass, and puts it into one package while serving us a story that's not really necessary, but fascinating nonetheless. It's all cool and extremely entertaining, but occasionally the film does shove a bit too much fan service down our throats.
Rogue One manages to slightly balance on the line of being both a fresh addition to the Star Wars and a safe entry of the same old stuff. It's a great film that I thoroughly enjoyed and one that I will watch again many times (if not only for the third act, which is amazing), but I do hope that future Star Wars films gives us more new things, and not just the same things recycled.
It's been two years since I saw the prequel trilogy, so I'm not that much against it as most people seem to be. I do appreciate that George Lucas tried to do something new and original with the, and despite all of his shortcomings, he has still directed some film that are mostly visually pleasant (despite all the CGI) with a few cool moments in them.
Anyways. Revenge of the Sith is easily the best of them. It might be because the story naturally got a lot darker, meaning that there wouldn't be too much room for some of Lucas childish humour, but the result is nonetheless a solid film. The romance between Anakin and Padmé is slightly cringe-worthy. Hayden Christensen's performance, while not being as awful as it is in Attack of the Clones, is still not on the level he should be to deliver that forceful performance this role need in this film. His decision to join the dark side is also a bit clumsily written, and while I do buy his basic motivation, there are nuances there that doesn't work very well, and it sort of diminishes the coolnes of Darth Vader. It is also hampered by weak dialogue, absent directing, dull performances and that it tries to connect too many things to the original trilogy.
I do like the ultimate confrontation between Anakin and Obi-Wan. The whole trilogy have leaded up towards it, and while the fight scene certainly is a bit overlong and ridiculous in its overkill of CGI spectacle, there's still a hefty amount of emotion to be found in it. The film is generally full of moments that I remember as being pretty cool. I like the scene-chewing that Palpatine does throughout the entire film.
My rating for this film is probably a bit higher than what it should be, and while there's only one half star between Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens I feel it's necessary to point out that there is a huge leap in quality from Revenge of the Sith to The Force Awakens. The Force Awakens is a much, much better film. But as I've got no plans to re-watch the prequel trilogy any time soon, I'm sticking with the rating I gave it upon revisiting it two years ago.
Attack of the Clones improves upon a few of the weaknesses in , but it is still plagued by many of the same things, while adding one massive cardinal sin to it. The romance between Anakin and Padmé is horrible. It first and foremost shows George Lucas limitations as a writer and director. While he's great at creating an universe, dialogue has never been his strongest asset. This is painfully obvious in Attack of the Clones whenever Anakin tries to express his feelings. It's all made worse by the fact that Hayden Christensen delivers one of the worst performances ever in a film of this caliber. Awful acting combined with bad writing is rarely a good mix. Add to that the chemistry between him and Natalie Portman is basically non-existent, and you've got yourself a huge mess. At least Portman is very hot in this film. Her midriff is just... wow.
There are however enough moments in it for me pass it along as fine entertainment. The action and spectacle is possible a bit drawn out, but as a fireworks show it works pretty well. I do like the slight mystery that Obi-Wan has to uncover as well. It's a welcome distraction from the romance. Again, the rating would probably go do down if I saw it again, but not intending on doing that.
The Phantom Menace can be easily brought down to a 1/10 film if you were to simply dissect it like Red Letter Media did, and if I were to see it again I'm really not sure how I would rate it. But as it is now, I think it's okey. It's an okey film. It does have its fair share of cool moments. The whole Darth Maul fight is a stand-out scene from the whole franchise, and John Williams score during that part is amazing. I also think that the actual pod racing is gripping, despite the things leading up to it is a bit dull.
The problem with The Phantom Menace is mostly two things. If you look behind the obligatory comments about bad acting, writing and directing. The problem is that Lucas was too ambitious for his own good and don't realize his limitations, and that he felt the need to explain absolutely everything. He just tries to grasp over so much that it turns into an absolute mess, and seeing as he is very limited when it comes to writing and directing, he doesn't make it work. The last part of the film is trying to balance four different stories. It's an ambitious task, but he is quite simply not up for it. The result is that there are only portions that are entertaining. The pacing is uneven. Lucas is at his best when he is restrained to telling smaller stories with a limited set of characters, like he does in A New Hope.
Ranking the Star Wars films in a best to worst order. I am not including the animated stuff.
6 votesFilm Franchises Ranked (7 lists)
list by Bml93
Published 2 years, 10 months ago
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