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I agree with Poe that this movie was unambitious but I don't think thats a bad thing. If Star Wars kept putting up movies with these huge stakes and all about "hope" and sacrifice and all those big things I think it would eventually collapse upon itself. Look at their amount of movies in pre production, they are going to start putting out multiple movies a year. They need some to just be nice and fun but still good movies. That's what this is. Movies like this are going to be the norm in some way. Which is okay by me. This movie felt alot like a first Marvel movie. INtroduce some characters, have a nice fun story. Not trying to hit a HR, trying to lace a double. I think they accomplished that.
This movie felt a lot like a first Marvel movie.
I was thinking of the first Cap movie when I was watching it, which shouldn't be taken as an insult because it's one of my favourites. Not perfect, but having a certain charm, and movie moments that I live for like Tommy Lee Jones interrogating Toby Jones.
1. Empire Strikes Back
2. Return of the Jedi
3. A New Hope
4. The Force Awakens
5. Revenge of the Sith
6. Rogue One
7. The Phantom Menace
8. The Last Jedi
9. Attack of the Clones
1. Return of the Jedi (+1)
2. Empire Strikes Back (-1, last time I was ranking best, this time I ranked favorite I guess)
3. A New Hope
4. Revenge of the Sith (+1)
5. Solo (NEW)
6. Rogue One
7. The Phantom Menace
8. The Force Awakens (-4, I just really don't love it. "It's fine" is the only way I ever describe it)
9. The Last Jedi (-1, I think it's a good move. Minus some crap. I just really don't like what they did. Them's the breaks)
10. Attack of the Clones (always last)
It's kinda funny that this thread popped back up here. Since I got Solo on blu ray I had been slowly writing a longer list to put here. I had just finished it when I saw that this thread was back at the top of the board.
Anyway here goes:
10-The Phantom Menace
I remember in 1999 with this movie on the verge of coming out. I was 21 years old, I had just finished the school year and several of my friends were graduating. It was just a week of partying and fun, one I still remember to this day. Then bam right in the middle of it a god damn Star Wars movie was coming out. Seriously a friggin Star Wars movie! Incredible. I had gone a week earlier and waited on a line for hours to make sure I got tickets to that opening midnight showing. That's another thing, what movie opens at midnight because fans don't even wanna wait til the next day? It was insane. It's become a normal thing since and even morphed into 7 PM “preview screenings” but in 1999 I don't remember it ever happening before. At that point my life couldn't be more fun and I was seeing a movie I had wanted to see my whole life. It was exciting times.
So myself and several friends go to see the movie, the fanfare starts, the Lucasfilm logo, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....” This was Star Wars, it was happening. This was real. The movie started and went by in a blur. It was hard to process really. My friends and I left the theater and you'd think we'd leave and excitedly be yelling and screaming about the parts of the movie we all loved. That wasn't the case. Everyone was quiet. It was just hard to process. So I did what I have done for every episodic Star Wars movie since and saw it again the very next day. I could now at least form an opinion on it. I liked it, but it didn't change my life. It didn't awe me. I really didn't know if it was just that I was an adult now or if the movie just wasn't as good. As time has gone on I've come to realize it's a little bit of both.
As the years have rolled by and nearly two decades have passed since the release I've come to form more concrete opinions on the movie. People get into some of the basic flaws like poor dialogue, not so great performances, Jar Jar Binks. Those are all valid, don't get me wrong. But none of those reasons are why this movie is last on my list. The movie just feels to go on, the characters never feel in jeopardy. The Jedi are so competent that the battle droids never seem a threat. It feels as if Obi Wan and Qui Gon could cut through the battle droids they are fighting and a thousand more without breaking a sweat. The same applies on Tatooine, Lucas tries to make them feel in danger by sending Maul to get them. Still the Queen has 2 Jedi with her and a whole slew of pilots and security. Maul has done nothing in the movie to show himself as powerful or a good fighter up to this point. It's as if we are just supposed to accept that this guy is a badass.
In the end the movie has a pretty damn sweet lightsaber battle and a few fun ominous stuff about Anakin. I'll never get the hatred some people have for this movie, or the prequels or I guess any Star Wars movie since 1983. For me the movie still represents a fun time of my life. On the verge of adulthood having something so important from my childhood pop back up. Although I don't love the movie like I do some other Star Wars movies it will always have a fond place in my heart for all the fun and excitement I had with my friends in the lead up to it. Also for the lesson it taught me. They are just movies, enjoy them, thats what they are for.
This was probably the first time in my life I wasn't hugely excited for a Star Wars movie. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to see it and was looking forward to it. I wasn't seeing it out of some sort of duty as a fan. It just wasn't the same. I mentioned in TPM section the friends I had in college who I saw it with. Well for the most part those are still most of my best friends. I actually drove a couple hours to see AOTC and ROTS with a couple of them for midnight showings. Now although we are older now and don't go that far out of our way to see the movies together there has always been a massive amount of excitement between us leading up to the movies. Texting each other from our seats in the theater before the movie started, stuff like that. This wasn't present here. I was seeing the movie alone and none of my friends were seeing it that first night. I guess none of this is surprising based on the box office performance of the movie.
Now this was the Star Wars movie I had never asked for or really wanted. In a way though there is a freedom that comes along with that. If I didn't like the movie, so what? This wasn;t an earlier part of a story that I desperately wanted to/needed to like so that I'd want to see the next one. Nor was it the climax to a trilogy I had spent far too much time watching, discussing, thinking about. It was just a movie, if I didn't like it, no big deal.
The thing is I did like it. Now that I have it on blu ray and have watched it a couple times I can really just say that it's a fun, fast past action movie with fun characters and some good humor. It's just a good movie.
8-Attack of the Clones
The Phantom Menace taught me that these are just movies to not get too invested in them and just enjoy them. Ofcourse I hadn't truly learned the lesson. Now I liked TPM but it didn't blow me away. Being the optimistic fan I am though I didn't let that get me down. Instead I thought “ok, we got little kid Anakin out of the way this is where the Clone Wars start, this is where it gets GOOD!” I remember going into the theater and thinking “cmon, let this be the one that lives up to the OT.”
The movie starts with an assassination attempt, which is probably the least exciting assassination attempt possible. Then kinda settles in with some fairly pedestrian scenes. Then though there is another assassination attempt and a chase through Coruscant. I loved this stuff! It was exciting and fun and a different kind of action scene we'd never seen in Star Wars before. I remember thinking that it was better than anything in TPM other than the lightsaber duel at the end. I'm guessing we were 20 minutes in at the end of that chase sequence and I was a very happy fan.
However then it gets mired right back down. Anakin and Padme get sent to hide in what may be the worst romance ever on screen. It actually is hard to watch, nearly impossible. It;s not bad in the sense of “this isn't the best part of the movie” it's bad in that it is just bad. Obi Wan gets sent on a detective mission which is by far the better half of the movie but still not exactly Empire Strikes Back quality. The movie was plagued by all the same problems of TPM in terms of basic stuff like dialogue and performance.
A funny thing happened then though, the movie got exctiting. Starting with the Obi Wan vs Jango Fett fight. Some of this may be out of order but it basically goes from the Obi Wan-Jango fight to their fight in the asteroids to Anakin hunting down and killing the sand people to his confession to Padme about it, to Obi Wan's SOS message where he gets captured to Palpatine being given emergency powers to Anakin and Padme arriving on Geonosis and their adventures on the assembly line then all the stuff in the arena which works as one long sequence but also as several different sequences from the monsters attacking our heroes to the Jedi showing up for the arena battle. Then the Clones showing up for that battle which spills outside the arena to the lightsaber battle. It;s just exciting and fun and fast paced.
Now the movie still has it's flaws through all of this. We have Padme telling Anakin that she “truly deeply” loves him which is seemingly out of nowhere. Still though this movie in it's 2nd half has something going for it that I don't think TPM ever has which is the movie seeming to be driven forward by the events taking place rather than just going from event to event because it has to. The movie is exciting in its 2nd half. I know all the flaws, I get all the flaws and I'd never defend those flaws. Still though I enjoy the hell out of this movie every time I watch it.
7-Return of the Jedi
When I was a kid this was my favorite Star Wars movie, I don't really know when that stopped being the case exactly but it did. I remember loving the Jabba stuff so much and just the size and scale of the final space battle. And ofcourse all the stuff in the Throne Room. I had a sweet lunch box and theromos with Wicket and Artoo. I loved it. As time has gone on though my love for this one has waned. Maybe I'm too critical of it like I often accuse prequel or sequel haters of being, I don't know. I still love the movie, just not as much as the ones above it on the list, obviously.
The stuff on Tatooine is mostly good but it just gets a bit repetitive after a while. There are just so many audiences with Jabba. We have Artoo and Threepios audience with him, then Leia when she is disguised, then Luke. It's just never ending. That's not really the issue though. The problem is it suffers from what a lot of third parts suffer from. It doesn't feel as if we are starting the story of this third movie, it feels simply like we are closing off the story/resolving the cliffhanger of the 2nd movie. This is mitigated somewhat by showing how Luke has become more powerful and confident by the start of ROTJ but still overall it feels like we are on Tatooine because we have to be to get Han, rather than for any purpose driving the story forward. Basically there are no stakes, we know that if any important characters are going to die they aren't going to at the hands of Jabba on Tatooine, it will be the result of later battles with the Empire.
After the Tatooine stuff the movie seems to just be putting the pieces in place for the final battle, almost killing time. Some cool stuff happens, the speeder bike chase is fun as hell. Overall though it feels like just making sure the movie is two hours long. When we get to the final battle though it's mostly worth it.
As anyone reading this knows the movie employs a three pronged climax. Let's start with the worst of the three, which is on the surface of Endor. It's a shame that Han and Leia are saddled with this. Im not an Ewok hater but the sheer overuse of them gets to me. We have a kickass Rebel tactical team down there and they are an afterthought. The Empire is kicking the good guys ass and then Chewie steals one walker and the whole battle turns? It;s just not that great, certainly not worthy of being part of the climax of the whole OT. The space battle is a different story. It's tremendously exciting and on a scale we had never seen before in Star Wars. It's not nearly as tense as the attack on the first Death Star but the scale nearly makes up for it. I remember being in awe of the visual of the Super Star Destroyer crashing into the surface of the Death Star. Just great stuff.
Then there is the Throne Room stuff. There isn't much to say other than it's just perfect. Everything about it. From the pitch perfect performance of the Emperor to the actual saber fighting itself to Luke throwing his lightsaber away. It's just as good as it gets.
In the end I still love this movie it just feels like it's a noticeable step down from ANH and ESB and not quite a worthy climax to those two classics.
So many people were disappointed by the prequels but in 2015 The Force Awakens brought nearly all of those people back into the Star Wars fold. Star Wars was back baby! And it was in this environment that Rogue One was released. The first standalone Star Wars movie was being backed by a whole lot of goodwill. There is so much about this movie I love. The scenes on Jedha are amazing and evoke almost like a modern spy movie set in the Middle East. I also loved the showing of the day to day opression of the Empire on that planet. The stuff on Edo starts to drag just a bit, but is by no means poor, and then obviously the final battle is just insane and in a lot of ways what the end of ROTJ should be.
My main issue is the main characters, they aren't bad in a sense, they just aren't memorable. Some of the secondary characters are much better like the droid and the blind guy. Plus I think Director Krennic is a pretty damn cool villain and different from other villains in Star Wars. He did a good job being a fun villain in a Star Wars movie that couldn't fall back on some guy dressed in black with a red light saber.
This movie has a nice edge that isn't present in most Star Wars movies. The use of the OT stuff works nearly perfect, from the footage of Red and Gold Leader to the use of CGI to bring back Tarking and young Leia, which I loved. The movie is just a great watch and the final 2 sequences with Vader and Leia are a near perfect.
However I'm a flat out sucker for Jedi and Sith and saber battles and The Force so a Star Wars movie that really doesn't have that stuff just can't quite measure up to the Star Wars movies that I really like and also have that stuff.
5-Revenge of the Sith
I'm a bigger prequel fan than most for sure but even at the end of AOTC I had the feeling of “most of the stuff I've always wanted to see hasn't happened yet.” So I kinda figured or hoped that it would all be in this movie. Most of it was. I made a topic here not too long ago about how ROTS could have been the entire prequels and I still feel that way. The opening sequence of the rescue of the Chancellor I think was better than anything we'd seen in the prequels up to that point, with the possible exception of the duel at the end of TPM. It had fun between Anakin and Obi Wan, Artoo creating havoc. Then ofcourse the stuff with Palpatine egging Anakin on against Dooku was stuff I think all Star Wars fans had wanted to see.
The movie then settles back down and some of the overall prequels problems arise, although not as bad as in the previous two movies. Padme basically becomes an incubator for the twins which again I think is a result of starting the prequels too early, it didn't leave time in ROTS to fully get into the early days of the Rebellion which is the storyline Padme obviously should have been meant for.
There are sequences here that kinda feel superfluous to the plot but again I feel this is a consequence of how the first two movies were plotted. Lucas is trying to show us the size of the Clone Wars by showing Yoda and the Wookies, by having Obi Wan on his mission with Grievous. However if the Clone Wars were in the 2nd movie he wouldn't have to do that here and could really focus on the final fall of Anakin.
In the end this movie definitely has some issues but there is just so much stuff in here that I think I and all fans had wanted to see for so long that I love it. In May 2005 I felt the Star Wars saga was over and I was happy with the note it went out on.
4-The Force Awakens
Ofcourse the Star Wars saga was not over though! This movie from the start kinda felt right and from the start I just mean the early set reports and that very first teaser trailer over a year before its release. I remember seeing that first teaser and thinking “Daisey Ridley just looks like she belongs in Star Wars.”
This movie just in a lot of ways boiled Star Wars down to exactly why so many people love it, it then took that and injected it into our veins. The complaint that it was too much like Star Wars is valid, without a doubt, and before the movie came out it was something I would have hated. But it works, it just does. It's one of those movies where it's 2/3 of the way over yet somehow still feels like it just started.
I feel like I've written enough about this movie and it's sequel enough on this board over the past few years so I won't delve into some kind of full on review. I'll just say this: this movie looked like Star Wars and felt like Star Wars more than anything since at least 1983. For the most part it brought fans together and reminded the general movie going public that when it's really good Star Wars is better than any other major franchise. Maybe it was a cheat to stick overly close to the plot of the original movie but it worked. This movie is 1/3 reboot, 1/3remake, 1/3 it's own thing but 100% great.
3-The Last Jedi
I said in TFA write up that I felt I had talked about the movie so much recently and that goes triple for this one so instead of saying what I love about this movie, for the most part, I will actually say what disappointed me here.
TFA set me up to want to see this movie so badly, I mean the final shot with Luke who couldn't want to see what happened next? I can't speak for all fans but I know myself every time a new Star Wars movie comes out I hope “maybe this is the one”. Maybe it's the one that really stands shoulder to shoulder with ANH and ESB. Maybe it's the great one. All of the episodic movies have given me this hope. TPM the trailers looked so great that I really had that kinda hope. AOTC I thought “ok, we got past Anakin as a child, here we go!”. ROTS I had similar feelings “ok, well nearly everything I've dreamed of seeing for a couple decades is still to come, this has to be it!”. Then TFA the trailers were so great I just felt that it had a chance to really reach that kind of status.
TLJ though I was the most confident of this then the other movies. I don't know why I felt this way, I just did. I really felt that this was the movie that would just stand out and rise to the level of the very best Star Wars. It falls short. The thing is I feel the best parts of this movie truly do stand alongside those two classics. I really feel like the 2nd half of the movie, from when we leave Canto Bight on, is maybe the best extended part of any Star Wars movie.
This is what is frustrating to me in some ways, the movie was so close to achieving that true level of greatness. It's funny because in a lot of ways I feel like if you asked myself and someone like say Tank to just list what we liked and didn't like about the movie our lists would be extremely similar. Yet our overall feeling on the movie is very different.
But in the end although this movie has more parts of it I don't love than say TFA or Rogue One I really do feel that what it does well it does really, really well. I try to dwell on what I love more than what I don't and that's why this movie is here.
This is the first movie on this list that I can't remember seeing for the first time. It's just a part of my life. Asking me to say what I love about it is like asking what I love about Christmas. It's just awesome.
I do remember why I wanted to see this movie though. I went to visit my cousin who was the same age as me and he had about what seemed like a million action figures. I wanted the action figures myself, they were the best. So I actually had the toys before seeing the movie. This is why I always bristle when people say “that was only done to sell toys!!”. The toys are an important part of why these movies are so popular and if you don't think so you are nuts.
This movie has just been a part of my life for long and I just love it so much. Breaking it down for a review seems almost silly. Often imitated, never duplicated.
1-The Empire Strikes Back
I also don't remember the first time I saw this one either. I remember as a kid it was my least favorite, I guess the whole bad guys winning thing didn't really work for me as a six year old. Also it was the only one I had on VHS for a long time. My dad taped it off HBO and it was the only one of the three. I would always watch this when I was home sick from school. This is maybe another reason it was my least favorite, it didn't feel as special.
When I was thirteen or so my parents out of nowhere brought me home the entire OT on VHS and I guess this is probably when my true love of this movie began in some ways. Now I had all three movies, Jedi and especially Star Wars (which seemed to air less on TV or cable than the others for some reason) were not some special event I could almost never watch. They were all on even footing. I can't say when this became my favorite but it just did.
At the end of the day in a lot of ways this is the movie that makes Star Wars special. If this movie didn't exist or wasn't that great then Star Wars would be a great movie from 1977 that has had several sequels of varying quality over the decades. This is the great one, this is the rising tide that floats all the boats.