Four or five nights ago, we came across Revenge of the Sith (Episode 3– or is that 6?– of the Star Wars saga) on HBO. We all watched it and a good time was had by one and all. Then, Will decided that we need to watch the next three (or is that the first three?), which we have (all three, that is) on video. As I type this, the Ewoks are doing their stupid little song and dance routine at the end of Return of the Jedi. It’s been an interesting viewing experience since it’s been a while since I’ve seen all of these films. A few thoughts:
- I still think the same thing that I’ve thought for years: The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the lot. Of course, I’m biased because this movie came out at a time (1980) where nothing was available on video (certainly not like now) and so me and my friends went and saw this in the theater like 25 times.
- The original
Star Wars— oh, excuse me, Episode 4, A New Hope– is a close second, and, if you want to be all sentimental about it, I suppose you could argue it’s the best one. It’s interesting the extent to which this is a “B” movie compared to the rest of them though.
- Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith, is a darn good movie and a solid #3 in the series for me. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the first two episodes (that is, movies # 4 and #5), but I still feel comfortable in ranking Return of the Jedi if for no other reason the awful AWFUL Ewok song at the end of it all. I am certain that music will haunt my dreams tonight.
- Thing #1 I hadn’t noticed before: besides the obvious improvements in special effects technology, the biggest difference for me between the first one and the last one is the light saber battles. While the fights in the newer ones are great, the big light saber “show down” in the original Star Wars is completely lame, as if they just handed the actors a couple of sticks and said “okay, don’t hurt each other out there.”
- Thing #2 I hadn’t noticed before: R2D2 (who is really the star of the series since he’s the only “character” who witnesses the whole thing and who doesn’t have his memory erased– sorry C3PO) is the ultimate computer hacker. Plug him into anything and he gets the answer/the job done.
- And, of course, I kept wanting to hear Bill Murray’s “Star Wars song,” and to see (maybe) The Star Wars Holiday Special. (Least you think this YouTube video is a goof, read this review of the 1978 TV show).
So, may the force be with you. Or whatever.
Two things I forgot to mention before that I’ll mention now:
First, Annette (who, truth be told, is almost as geeky as me and Will about these things) pointed out that the newer prequel movies come after the successes of movies full of really REALLY elaborate martial arts scenes like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. So they couldn’t very well just hand two actors sticks and say go at it.
Second, Will and I spend a fair amount of time correcting the inconsistencies between the original three and the new three prequels. For example, “Obi Wan wasn’t trained by Yoda! He was trained by Qui-Gon Jinn. Duh!” Annette loved this.