Star Wars (1977) REVISITED

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Part IV of VIII of My “Skywalker” Binge

Finally. Now, onto the great stuff. 

Believe it or not, there was a time when Star Wars movies could be wildly inventive, vibrant in the characters it created, and humble in its pacing. In 1977, Lucas had invented Star Wars: a movie made out of his sheer, heating passion for filmmaking, the unknown, and the quintessential hero’s journey tale. 

It’s absurd seeing how well the visuals and spectacular scope of the movie have held up. This is an essential example of a project that proves that practical effects will always stand the test of time when compared to computer-generated imagery. The painting-esc landscape shots, handmade set and vehicle models; these elements make Star Wars and Empire look perceptibly richer than any of the other entries in the saga. This is one of those motion pictures along with Empire, again, in which almost every shot could be framed as a beautiful portrait. Aaa, back in the days when many blockbuster filmmakers cared about making the entirety of a movie look memorable. 

John Williams score has had plenty of input by critics and fans alike already—it’s evidently an influential and imposing masterpiece of music. Lucas’s directing in this is surprisingly sharp and inventive. The editing is smooth and elegant and even the audiowork is pretty solid for its time. The costumes and props are cheesy perfection. Star Wars is truly a technical gem that reinforced the fantasy genre ingeniously. 

It’s always such a pleasure to watch this simple yet large-scaled space flick. Somehow, it never gets old, and even though on subsequent viewings, I do notice more and more flaws and gripes with the 42-year-old film, it’s still one of the greatest and easily one of the most important fantasy adventure films ever crafted. There’s just no way that the next entry could possibly be any better…

Verdict: A-

Star Wars Ranked

“Star Wars” is now available to stream on Disney+. 

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) REVISITED

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Part III of VIII of My “Skywalker” Binge

Wow, CGI drastically improved in the course of only three years. Thank! 

Just from observing the opening scene of Revenge of the Sith, it was clear that Lucasfilm studios and George Lucas’s devoted counterparts wanted to make a film that didn’t completely abandon the prequels contrasting vibes to the original saga, but that, at the very least, would primarily be a more mature and productive take for the Skywalker legacy. Hallelujah. 

So it would appear that the writing in Revenge of the Sith is regrettably iffy, the romantic dialogue is still horrid, most of the acting is questionable, the green screen effects remain to look blatantly obvious, the choreography is sometimes hilariously birdbrained, and Anakin’s progression into joining the dark side seems unearned and ludicrous. Now, with that being said, everything else about Revenge of the Sith is pretty solid—especially for an ORIGINAL Star Wars movie. The main factor that wins over my respect for this third prequel entry is the fact that its story is unparallel to anything of the original saga or its two previous predecessors. It stands so well on its own rights and legitimately adds something worthwhile to this elongated franchise.

The sequence where Anakin surgically becomes Darth Vader (minus the “NOOOO”) and Padme gives birth to Luke and Leia features some of, if not, the best editing in all of Star Wars history. It’s chilling. Order 66 will also go down as an absolutely iconic and quintessential moment in the Star Wars saga. Plus, good memes came out of that “high ground” battle. 

Revenge of the Sith I’d securely classify as one of those movies that had the potential to be something greater than expected, something spectacular. Be that may be the case, at least it’s “good.” And heavens knows I’d take “good” over The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones any-day.

Verdict: B-

Star Wars Ranked

“Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” is now available to stream on Disney+.

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

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Part II of VIII of My “Skywalker” Binge

Three years after the tragic catastrophe that was Episode I of the Skywalker saga, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clone came into play. The results? The prequel sequel manages to be just as excruciating as The Phantom Menace. Lucasfilm earned the paycheck of a lifetime due to Phantom, but had received some of the cruelest of critical responses; many fans had converted into non-carers for what was to come next, and the movie ultimately delivered no eye-catching promises in its mediocre trailer, yet, it still managed to be crappier than expected. Impressive, right? Not only does George Lucas’s second “F you” of a movie want to look like your 2000s PS2 video game so badly, but it also wants to be one of cinema’s most farcical romances of all-time. Jolly good.

The story at hand here undoubtedly has more potential than Episode I ever did. You can totally see what George Lucas wanted to accomplish with this narrative, but as one could obviously notice, it ensued in dreadful affairs. The benchmarks for a good origin story are certainly here; the execution of them, with no help from the infamously abysmal screenplay, however, are orchestrated foolishly.

The dialogue this time around is simply the WORST (minus the “death sticks” line), the green screen is sidesplittingly embarrassing, the acting is below amateur, the action sequences are beyond preposterous, the romance between Padme and Skywalker has statistically raised depression rates in Star Wars fans by 99.9%, and Hayden Christensen’s Anakin easily takes the cake for being the bitchiest bitch boy in all of Lucas’s everlasting galaxy. “Annoying” just took on a whole new definition thanks to this splendid movie. 

I will give this movie the benefit of the doubt though. Attack of the Clones is slightly more bearable than The Phantom Menace purely because the cartoonish tone of this prequel saga seems to have withered down increasingly. Plus, there’s less Jar Jar Binks; so there’s that. 

But, why does this movie low-key look visually like Dreamwork’s Robots? Especially that diner scene. LOL. 

Verdict: D

Star Wars Ranked

“Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” is now available to stream on Disney+.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) REVISITED

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Part I of VIII

Aaa, yes. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Hated by many, moderate to most, and loved by some. It’s the movie that continued this saga’s impressive downward spiral by turning out to be one of the grandest disasters in blockbuster history. I must admit, as a kid, I ravished this prequel. I really did—and I’m sure most who grew up with it did as well. But with the gain of around two decades, opinions began to change, thus creating my current stance on George Lucas’s The Phantom Menace: It’s not particularly…good. In fact, it’s borderline s***. 

There are some things I can fathom about The Phantom Menace: parts of the pod-racing sequence, the locations, (some of) the character designs, the EPIC lightsaber battle, and DUEL OF FATES (TAKE THAT NEW DISNEY STAR WARS TRILOGY SCORE). But… that’s about it. Yeah? Yeah. 

Story-wise, this movie has little going for it, and this further confirms why I firmly believe this prequel tale revolving around Anakin Skywalker could’ve been appropriately wrapped up into one movie (AKA, basically just Revenge of the Sith). Everything that happens in this movie is just plain…vanilla—especially when you compare it to the eccentrically colorful narratives of the original trilogy. Furthermore, as many have said, the acting is quite poor, the writing is unbearable, the humor is pathetic, the cartoonish tone is absolutely DISGRACEFUL, the special effects have held up worse than grocery milk, the cinematography is of the equivalent to a moldy potato, and the movie is just too damn lengthy. 

But hey, there’s no way the next Star Wars movie could possibly be any duller…

Verdict: D

Star Wars Ranked 

“Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” is now available to stream on Disney+.

May the 4th Be With You! Here’s a Review of Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

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Happy May the 4th!

In defiance of what I may think about the current, overrated state of Disney’s Star Wars tag-alongs, or George Lucas’ frustratingly half-and-half prequels, or even the outcome of the original trilogy’s solid yet, not-so-special concluding chapter, one factor revolving around Star Wars continues to remain the same for me: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is one of the greatest adventure films of all-time.

I like to view Episode V, or…II—but that’s beside the point—as a standalone. Sure it’s a sequel to an original, and a sequel to a prequel, and a predecessor to a sequel, and I guess a follow-up to a “unique” Holiday Special. Yet, it’s remarkably discrete compared to any of the other Star Wars seeds. Empire modified the way blockbuster drama was tackled—a design that can especially be observed in its flawless final twenty minutes—through a soap-opera-esc recipe, reconstructed how the pacing of a giant motion picture should be organized by, and proved that dopey science-fiction/fantasy flicks about humans and extraterrestrials, draped in fur cloths and rubber masks, mounting Tauntauns and spaceships, and wielding colorful laser swords at each other can umm…surprisingly, be taken seriously.

Look, I know that there has been plenty of acclaim said about Empire already. It’s a bloody masterpiece from beginning to end. It’s a movie that manages to make over two hours of screen-time feel like twenty-five minutes of pure adrenaline, mythological gold. It’s the freakin’ Godfather of whacky space flicks. It rocks my whole world! But remember, there is no such thing as too much praise. Only, too little praise.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go relive my childhood real quick by playing LEGO Star Wars the Complete Saga on the PS2/DS. Bye, bye. 

Verdict: A+

This Movie is a Part of My List: Ranking the Star Wars Movies From Best to Worst

“Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” is now available to buy on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu.

Quick-Thoughts: Solo: A Star Wars Story ★★½

So the Force Awakens was solid, Rogue One was decent, and the Last Jedi was mediocre. Where does Solo rank among these recent entries in the Star Wars saga? Well let’s just say, it continues the progressive downhill of Lucasfilms’ attempts to revive the Star Wars magic. It kills me to say Solo: A Star Wars Story⁠ ⁠was possibly the most hollow Star Wars movie yet. It has its entertaining moments, and a solid assemble of cast members, but you can’t help feel like Disney has fabricated a thoughtless cash grab stunt. (Verdict: C)

This Movie is a Part of My List: Ranking The Star Wars Movies From Best To Worst