I've been waiting for this film ever since... 1995, probably, when some older guy in my Boy Scout troop told me that the plots for the sequel trilogy were all given away if you read the books, and it was about the resurrection of the Emperor. In retrospect, I think he mistook the references in Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Academy trilogy to the Dark Empire comics as being to the events of a sequel trilogy yet to be made whose events would slot in there. I guess he didn't read the comics, just the novels.
yes, that's a web site, apparently
So to celebrate, I'll be ranking the Star Wars films from worst to best. And for lack of a better metric, by this I mean, "How Much Do I Want To Rewatch It?"
The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)riffed), the least of any Star Wars movie, and I never want to see it again, not really. Like, literally everything about this movie is terrible right from its astonishingly tension-free opening space battle all the way to its astonishingly tension-free final lightsaber duel. Two best friends are trying to kill each other, and you don't care at all as they zip around on lava surfboards. Characters you don't care about fly between planets you don't know what they are for arbitrary reasons up until the whole thing ends for some reason. Meanwhile, Ewan McGregor has clearly given up trying, Ian McDiarmid has lost all his acting talent, I have no idea who Bail Organa is, and Natalie Portman is given nothing better to do than say things like, "Anakin, gosh, sometimes when you murder children, it makes me want to have sex with you slightly less. Please don't. Oh, you're going to anyway? That's all right then."
Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984) and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)
Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)The Trade Federation guys are awesome. Ewan McGregor is still trying. BRIAN BLESSED is in it. Natalie Portman is actually given something interesting to do: she's still a badass warrior queen. "Duel of the Fates" is great music, and it underscores the only good lightsaber battle in the prequels. The Naboo design aesthetic is pretty great, especially that N-1 fighter. Jake Lloyd is better than Hayden Christensen. The lady who plays Shmi is actually pretty good. I mean, it's not all roses: yes, Jar-Jar Binks is kind of terrible, and yes, the final space battle is awful, and yes, midi-chlorians are dumb, and yes, the podrace is too long. But just listen to McDiarmid smarm up his every line.
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)have never had a problem with the Ewoks. Indeed, every time I relisten to my Episode VI soundtrack, I get mad that George Lucas not only expunged the "yub nub" song from the film, he expunged it from the ostensibly "complete" soundtrack to boot!
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars (1977)fun > serious any day.) This is what a space adventure film should be like. A wacky group of disparate personalities forced by circumstances to work together to save the universe. What could not be infinitely enjoyable about that? This is an action-adventure film that does everything right from start to finish, from that amazing overhead shot of the attacking Star Destroyer to the rousing strains of the medal ceremony. (Indeed, my wife and I used the music of that scene when we processed into our wedding reception.) It's got the best score of all the Star Wars films, the best hijinks, and the trench run is still one of the tensest scenes in all cinema. Plus Alec Guinness is in it. I don't know how George Lucas lost it in the subsequent twenty years, but he sure as hell had it here.
If you've really been paying attention, though, you'll realize there's a problem here. Removing the non-"Episode" films and giving them approximate scores, we get this chart:
I guess what I'm saying is that I hope Episode VII bucks this trend.