Star Wars Episodes 4-6

Posted: September 29, 2011 by Micah in Movie Reviews

And here we go with a continuation of the blog I started on Monday! This time I’ll chronicle the original Star Wars trilogy! A story about an extremely whiny farm boy who grows up, works hard, doesn’t do drugs, and becomes an extremely whiny Jedi.

Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope

A New Hope and lots of red and orange flashlights!

A New Hope and lots of red and orange flashlights!

 The Star Wars saga’s first movie opens with a lot of words flying through space. Like pollution flies through LA or like good humor occasionally flies through this website. We then meet Princess Leia a Diplomat (Yes, a Princess and a Diplomat… and a Senator I think… man. What is this planet’s deal politically?) Anyway Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker from the first trilogy) captures her and because she’s a Princess/Senator/Diplomat (or a Prinsenomat as the cool kids call her) he blows up her stupid planet with a big death causing star shaped item that they call: The Death Star. Meanwhile, at the OK Corral… I mean on Tatooine (a small dusty planet with two suns and a strong resemblance to Kansas) we’re introduced to Luke Skywalker. He meets Obi-Wan Kenobi and they talk about some really boring things, stuff gets lit on fire, Luke hires Han Solo and a large mutant bear to take him off planet, and they rescue Princess Leia. Leia (in turn) is a spoiled brat, Luke wines, Chewbacca (the aforementioned bear) growls a lot, and Han Solo is awesome. Oh and the Death Star gets blowed up.

A New Hope is the first of the franchise and some would say the best. And really, it’s hard to argue with them. I’m going to do it anyway, mind you, but it will be hard. The great part about A New Hope is it gets to spend its time introducing us to some of the most famous (if not best written) characters in modern fiction. Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia, and Han Solo all get their humble beginnings right here in this movie. Sure the acting isn’t great (have I mentioned Luke Skywalkers whining?) and yeah the special effects aren’t as flashy or impressive as the ones today but the fact remains that a New Hope was something completely new, phenomenally interesting, and completely revolutionary. And who am I to throw sticks at it?

A 3 out of 5.

Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back

Darth Vader's boots were made for walkin'

Okay so after they blew up the Death Star it seems Luke and his Merry Men decided that the best course of action was to hide on what basically amounted to a giant ice cube covered in ice and left in the back of the freezer. Darth Vader, of course, tracks Luke down (cause if Luke got left on said ice planet it would be a pretty dumb movie) and invades the planet.

First though, Vader strangles someone. On his team. Cause he was bored. Anyway Luke and Leia and Han all escape but Han and Leia somehow manage to run into the entire Imperial Fleet, while Luke just sort of mosies off into the Star-set. Luke meets a tiny green Muppet named Yoda, Han gets captured and frozen into a block of black stuff that looks horrifyingly similar to the stuff I find when I clean my drains, and Luke gets his hand cut off before learning that Darth Vader is his dad and yelling “NOOOOOOOO! NOOO THAT’S NOT POSSIBLE” it what might be the single whiniest moment in the history of the world.

THIS is my favorite entry in the series. Sure it ends with Han encased in black goose-grease! Sure Luke gets his hand cut off and whines incessantly about the fact that his dad isn’t exactly the Pope. But the story is well put together, the characters (specifically Han, Yoda, and even Vader when he’s not strangling random people) are incredibly well put together and the ending is satisfying (if obviously unfinished).

A 4 out of 5. (Yes it has the same rating as Revenge of the Sith. It’s my favorite but not by that much and in the history of this website I’ve only given out three 5 out of 5’s. One to “Stranger than Fiction” (one of the best written movies I’ve ever watched). And the other two, to Chris Nolan’s two incredible concerto performances in Inception and Dark Knight. You really want to throw a Star Wars movie up in even the same neighborhood as those three movies?? I thought not.)

Star Wars Episode 6: Return of the Jedi

Emperor Palpatine and Yoda both have almost identical facial expressions... I'm a little weirded out.

Luke and Leia and the shag carpet masquerading as a live animal (Chewie) set off to rescue Han from Jabba the Hut. After doing this (and going through one of the funniest “I have absolutely no reason for doing this except that I want to attract more men by having this girl not wear much” moments in history) our heroes set out to destroy the Empire and kill the Evil Emperor who has once again begun construction on the Death Star (cause the first one worked so well). Luke tries to save his Father from the Dark Side, Han and Leia fall in love and kiss and things, and Koala bears become possessed by the Devil and start hitting things with sticks.

Return of the Jedi is something I struggle with. On the one hand I love the Darth Vader story and the way it ends and how in the end he redeems himself and becomes a blue ghost. Even the Han and Leia love story is decently well put together. The movie does jump around a lot though, and the presence of the Ewoks is enough to make me routinely skip large portions of it. Plus the ending scene just feels so… contrived??? That’s probably not the right word… hang on…

Okay, let’s say that I commission Leonardo Da Vinci to paint a portrait of me. This of course would not work…. cause he’s dead. So let’s say I commission Da Vinci to paint a portrait of me and raise him from the dead. After piecing his body back together if Da Vinci stood up and gave me a work of art made from hot glue and macaroni noodles I would be disappointed. Yes it would be “a Da Vinci”. And yes that is technically what I asked for. But I was expecting more. That’s how I feel at the end of Return of the Jedi: it’s the end of the movie, and it’s a happy ending. But I can’t help but get the feeling that I’m looking at hot glue and macaroni.

A 3 out of 5

*********************

So there you have it. The entire Star Wars Saga reviewed in two blogs or less. Of course I have still left one of the biggest Star Wars quandaries in existence still sitting out there. Which is better the old trilogy or the new trilogy?

Honestly I’m a bit torn. It’s hard to come up with a way to judge both films from an un-biased standpoint. I mean just look at the culture in which they were released. When episodes 4-6 came out they weren’t just good films they were revolutionary. No one had even tried to do anything as big as Star Wars before. Not ever. Sure Star Trek had started doing TV episodes but have you watched those? Yeah. NO ONE had tried anything nearly that big. It changed film forever. Changed what we wanted from our movie characters, special effects, and teddy bears.

I feel like when movies 1-3 came rolling out so much had been done with Sci-fi since the originals that they surprisingly found themselves behind the times. Yeah the effects were still awesome but the script and characters and acting (while roughly the same quality as before) was suddenly struggling to keep up with the competition.

Speaking of Star Trek let’s take the new movie for instance. Ya know who wrote the original Star Trek?? Yeah me either. Hang on… These guys Gene Roddenberry, Alan Dean Foster, and Harold Livingston. Ya know who directed the Original Star Trek?? Yeah me either. One sec… Robert Wise. That guy.

Now guess who wrote the new movie? Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman. And it was directed by JJ Abrams?

Noticing something there? It’s completely different people!!

George Lucas directed and wrote for every star wars movie. Granted he had help and differing writers and directing assistants for some of them but he was always at the helm. In a constantly changing industry Star Wars didn’t really change too much. And so movies that would have absolutely blown us away in the 70’s in the 90’s/2000’s didn’t really garner that much critical acclaim.

I guess therein is my answer to the question. I prefer the original series but for no other reason then that it was so new and so different for its time that it still has that feel to it. It’s intangible and easily disagreed with I suppose but there you have it. My opinion. Your opinion may very, or it may not. That is why, dear friends, it is your opinion.

 

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