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Star Wars Film Series

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Star Wars (1977-2005):  First of all, let me say that I am NOT a Star Wars geek.  I watch the movies very casually and don't find anything socially relevant or profound in these films.  I can't take them seriously because the characters and situations are just so darn silly, plus the occasional gaps of continuity just doesn't lend this series to believability.  But if you want something entertaining to see, and you have an imagination, these are fun.  On this page is a quick rundown of each movie with my own little musings.  This should be of benefit more to the "beginner" Star Wars fan than the serious follower.

    I don't think of these as superhero films.  At least not in the traditional sense.  Quite frankly, they are here because many people think of the Star Wars characters as superheroes, and I wanted to talk about these movies.  I guess we can consider those with special powers or unique abilities like the Jedi as superheroes.  And most of the characters do wear exotic costumes befitting of "real" superheroes.

    For people who do not know much about Star Wars, the entire film series is a six-part story.  The first film, made in 1977, was actually Part 4.  5 and 6 followed.  Then years later, when the filmmakers felt so inclined, Parts 1-3 were made.

Star Wars Movie RankingFrom best to worst.
Star Wars (1977)
Return of the Jedi (1983)
Star Wars Episode 1:  The Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars Episode 3:  Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Star Wars Episode 2:  Attack of the Clones (2002)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Star Wars Episode I:  The Phantom Menace (1999)
Cool things:
  1. We get to see Anakin Skywalker (future Darth Vader) as a cute, little kid.
  2. Jar-Jar Binks is a nice, funny character...cute in his own ugliness.
  3. It's filmed brighter than the next two movies and the overall tone is innocent and fun.

Overall Review:  This was a fun, interesting, and light-hearted way to explain how everything "Star Wars" started.

Star Wars Episode II:  Attack of the Clones (2002)

Cool things:
  1. When Anakin flips out and kills all the creatures who killed his mother.
Other remarks:

  1. What I think is tacky is that they had Tyranus cut off Anakin's right hand, just like Anakin (Darth) cut off Luke's hand in "The Empire Strikes Back" from 1980.  Too coincidental.  Kind of cool, though, if you don't take it seriously.  Then to top it all off, they had to give Anakin a metal hand, too, like Luke's metal hand.  What's the significance of the whole hand thing, anyway?  Is it supposed to be symbolic, or something?

Overall Review:  Fun, but filler, doesn't really accomplish anything in the saga.

Star Wars Episode III:  Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Cool things:
  1. We see what leads Anakin to becoming Darth Vader, and an explanation for the costume is given.
  2. Obi-Wan Kenobi is the major hero of this film and has now become a very cool character.
  3. Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus, the major villain of the last movie, is killed pretty quick into this movie.
  4. Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) has an unusually big part and is as much of a hero as Anakin or Obi-Wan.  He dies a spectacularly nasty death, too.
Other remarks:
  1. Absolutely no humor at all.  This was the most unusual of all the Star Wars films.  First of all, we weren't taken to any exciting, colorful landscapes of other worlds.  This mainly took place in the big cities.
  2. The way Anakin finally snapped, though...they made it come too quick.  He didn't just gradually lose it.  One moment he has a conscience, the next he turns into total jerk for the rest of the movie.  What I'd like to know is how did Darth Sidious come up with the name of Darth Vader for Anakin?  What's "Vader" supposed to mean or how is it significant?  "Hey, I think I'll call you Darth Vader" is pretty much how it comes across.
  3. Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus is killed pretty quick into the movie.  He's so dang unkillable in the last movie, and here Anakin kills him without much of a struggle.  It doesn't ring true of the Darth's skills, but it is interesting to see how quickly it's resolved.
  4. This Star Wars film is NOT FOR KIDS.  It's too violent and too intense.  Kind of psychologically disturbing, if you ask me.  Everything is just so darn serious all the time.  The best part is when they show how Anakin is made into the big, black armored Darth Vader and the fight scene that precedes it.
Overall Review:  Answers a lot of questions as to how Darth Vader begins, how Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa were separated at birth, how their mother dies, and how the Jedi became defunct.  But it's not an overly fun film for pleasureable escapism.  There's not a whole lot of joy in seeing this particular adventure.  It's a dark, depressing movie.

Star Wars Episode IV:  A New Hope (1977)

Cool things:
  1. The original "Star Wars" film and still the best!  It's so full of non-stop action and we're taken to all kinds of places.  The main characters are much fewer than in the other Star Wars movies.  I like this, because it's easier to keep track of them and we can get more attached to the heroes and villains.
  2. There's quite a bit of light comedy in this movie.  It's more of a feel-good thing.  Luke Skywalker is more like a real person in this one than in the next two movies.
  3. It's just one thing after another in this enjoyable, fast-paced film.  THIS is the definitive Star Wars movie.  A throw back to the days of old adventure movies, but done much better.
Other remarks:
  1. Is anyone else in agreement that Chewbacca is useless and as unexciting as dirt?
Overall Review:  I truly enjoy this "Star Wars" movie.  It does what it sets out to do.  The whole idea of "Star Wars" is that it was supposed to be a fun, silly, surrealistic fantasy adventure.  Somewhere along the lines the movie series would lose this quality.

Star Wars Episode V:  The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Cool things:
  1. The "I am your father, Luke." scene.  That's it.
Other remarks:
  1. I don't really like this Star Wars movie.  It's my least favorite of the six films made.  It drags, it's set in dark, dreary, unexciting places, and it's WAY too serious.  Nothing really new or interesting is added into the mix.  Luke is a lot more serious because he's been at this game for awhile now.  I guess I don't like that change in the character's personality.
Overall Review:  Doesn't really add much to the Star Wars saga.  It's just another adventure for Luke, and just to make everything seem relevant, we find out about Vader's and Luke's connection late in the film.  It's an excuse to watch "Return of the Jedi", and that's about it.

Star Wars Episode VI:  Return of the Jedi (1983)

Cool things:
  1. Jabba the Hutt
  2. The Ewoks
  3. Yoda
  4. Darth Vader kills the Emperor
  5. A happy ending!
Other remarks:
  1. I LOVE this Star Wars film.  Next to the original, this is my favorite.  The opening Jabba the Hutt sequence and all the crazy happenings and ESPECIALLY the cute little Ewoks...that's what makes movies like this fun.  Ewoks:  Who says aliens can't be cute and still fight?  I love them.
  2. Now, I didn't like how they switched Luke's personality from "Star Wars" to "Empire", but in this movie he is a completely new, cocky, but wise hero; like a superhero should be.  He's kind of funny in his cockiness.
  3. The showdown between Luke and Darth Vader is movie magic!  An exciting fight scene.  This is the very first time we saw Darth's boss, The Emperor (aka Darth Sidious), on film.  Sidious (Emperor) was in all Star Wars films except Parts 4 and 5.  And of all people to kill The Emperor, it was Darth Vader!  So I guess the prophecy of Anakin Skywalker saving mankind was true after all!
  4. Best of all, this movie gives us a happy ending!
Overall Review:  This final chapter in the saga takes care of business!  And it's every bit as entertaining as it should be.