Star Wars

Star Wars is the third highest-grossing movie series ever. James Bond is second, but I haven’t seen many James Bond movies lately so I won’t comment on them at the moment.

In the future when I watch Star Wars I will be watching the original trilogy and forgetting about the prequel trilogy.

John Williams’ music for all six movies is brilliant. I especially like “Duel of the Fates,” “Anakin’s Theme,” the second part of “The Sith Spacecraft; The Droid Battle,” “Across the Stars (Love Theme),” “Cantina Band,” “The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme),” “Yoda’s Theme,” and “Luke and Leia.”

Spoiler alert: I’m assuming you’ve seen these movies.

{1.5/5} Episode I: The Phantom Menace

I was stunned at how many people liked this movie — it’s just not a good movie. It seemed like it was a bunch of “this would be cool” sequences thrown together. What’s with Jar Jar Binks, midi-chlorians, Anakin built C3PO, virgin birth? None of those things make sense. The best part of the movie is the music — John Williams’ amazing score deserved a better movie.

{2/5} Episode II: Attack of the Clones

This one was better than Episode I — the story was more interesting. We saw some interesting planets and some interesting aliens. I especially liked the tall thin aliens on the planet with the clones. But the dialogue is still frequently horrible. And since when can R2D2 fly? My favourite scene in the prequel trilogy is Obi-Wan doing the Jedi mind trick on the guy trying to sell him death sticks.

Although I wouldn’t be able to tell it from this movie, I know that Natalie Portman (Padmé) is a good actor. In fact, she’s a great one as demonstrated in movies such as Leon and V For Vendetta. Is Hayden Christensen (Anakin) a good actor? I have no idea. I’m certainly not going to be jumping at other chances to see him.

{0.5/5} Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Because Episode II was better than Episode I, I had some hope that Episode III would be even better. Not even close — this is the worst movie I’ve ever seen in the theatre. It was boring and pointless — everything that happened you knew was going to happen. There was nothing interesting, nothing surprising. The one thing that this movie needed more than anything was that Anakin’s transition to the dark side had to be believable. It wasn’t — one minute he’s a Jedi and the next he’s murdering kids. My favourite character in Episode I was Qui-Gon, and my favourite character in Episode II was Padmé. But there’s no one to cheer for here — even Yoda isn’t himself. The movie didn’t grab me at all.

The only way that you might — might — rate this movie better than horrible is if you hadn’t seen the original trilogy and didn’t know what was going to happen.

{3.5/5} Episode IV: A New Hope

The movie first known as Star Wars — even though I hadn’t seen it many times it was very familiar when I watched it recently. It’s a pretty straightforward story. I can’t imagine watching it dozens of times — that’s something that baffles me. Watching Luke and Han save Princess Leia is fun. Watching Luke shoot the exhaust port that blows up the Death Star — that seems a bit silly now.

It now seems like no one else could have played the iconic characters of Luke (Mark Hamill), Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han (Harrison Ford). The casting of James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader was inspired.

I probably would have given this movie a higher rating the first time I saw it, but this rating reflects my second or third viewing.

{4.5/5} Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

The best of the original trilogy — more characterization. There are great scenes between Leia and Han (“Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder”) and between Luke and Yoda (“You must unlearn what you have learned”).

{4/5} Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

More interesting than Episode IV but not quite as good as Episode V. The opening scenes at Jabba the Hutt’s palace are great — once we get to Endor, the story is a bit more problematic.

{4/5} Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina edited by by Kevin J. Anderson

This is an anthology of stories about all the different characters in the Mos Eisley Cantina scene in Episode IV (where Obi-Wan and Luke find Han and Chewbacca). Each story is about a different one of the aliens shown in that scene, and the stories occasionally interconnect. As with any anthology, some stories are better than others. But it’s a good book — if you’re a fan of Star Wars you’ll like it.

I started reading Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn but it wasn’t grabbing me and I moved on.

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 4th, 2012 at 11:49 am and is filed under Reviews of books, Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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