Star Wars... in order

As I mentioned last week, I'd never seen the original three Star Wars movies. You'll notice the past tense usage there and that is because it is no longer true. This post will contain spoilers if you haven't seen Star Wars.

On May 4th (an appropriate day if every there was one) I watched A New Hope. As Rob says in the comments to my previous post, it seemed to be made by a different person than the prequels. A New Hope was such an improvement. There was a good plot, there were characters that I cared about, there was good pacing and it seemed to be shot in real locations (too many scenes in the new films looked like they were on green screen). I loved the slow opening scenes in the desert that gave me chance to get to know the characters of R2D2, C3P0, Luke and Ben.

It wasn't all great though. Coming into the film with only knowledge of Episodes I, II,

and III, some of the lines of dialogue didn't quite seem to fit. I was watching a fairly recent edition and by far my biggest complaints are about the gratuitous CGI effects that were bolted on. There was lots of unconvincing CGI which seemed to be there purely because it could be added. I'd love to see a CGI-free version.

Tonight I watched The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. They also had great stories, introduced new characters well and were filmed well. The cinematography seemed much better too. I was pleasantly surprised by Darth Vader finally giving up on the dark side at the end of Return of the Jedi but given that I knew how Luke, Leia and Darth Vader were related, those dramaticrevelations were damp squibs.

The end of the series has left me with some questions. Why didn't Darth Vader disappear when he died? Obi Wan and Yoda did. If it was because he wasn't on the side of good, why did he show up as a shimmering blue ghost at the end? Even more strangely, why did he show up as his younger self? Luke had never seen him young so this was a bit odd.

There also seem to be some inconsistencies between the two sets of films. One example is that Leia told Luke that she remembered her 'real' mother? In Episode III she was taken away from her at child birth so that response seemed strange. Also, Darth Vader seemed a lot more subdued in IV and V than his character was in III. Had he mellowed with age? I cannot blame the older films for these inconsistencies; that blame is with the prequels.

To conclude, I really enjoyed the original three episodes of Star Wars. They were far, far better movies than the prequels. Of course, everyone else already knew that but I can confirm it from the perspective of watching the story in chronological order.

May the force be with you.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Saturday 09th May 2009 (23:19 BST) | Permalink
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