I first saw Episode IV: A New Hope in theaters as a new release (yes, I’m that old). I had not seen the prequels, I, II and III, until now. After thoroughly researching the optimal viewing order, I watched IV, V, II, III and VI in rapid succession. I have not seen Episode I as from what I’ve read, it’s both unnecessary to the storyline and a plainly bad movie.
- The story is a timeless one of greed, power & Machiavellian ruthlessness.
- Placing it in another galaxy of advanced species is the one twist that makes it unique. It would be easy to dismiss the entire affair had it been a terrestrial Earth-bound story.
- The dialogue is sophomoric at best, and often cringeworthy.
- The acting is bland and deadpan, with only a few strong moments by supporting actors.
- Episode III is the strongest of the VI, although it’s also the most violent featuring treachery and betrayal, and almost countless occasions of callous and cold blooded murder.
- Leia’s memories of her birth mother in Episode VI violate the storyline as her birth mother died shortly after delivering her in Episode III.
- The Emperor could clearly have killed Luke Skywalker instantly once he had determined that he could not be turned. Instead, the prolonged tasering made the finale predictable.
- The ineptness and outright buffoonery of the Stormtroopers throughout the epic was unfortunate, but being defeated by teddy bears with rocks and sticks on Endor was humiliating.
- The concept of the Jedi knight.
- The use of hyperdrive to acknowledge the vastness of space and the impossibility of space travel without conquering the speed of light.
- R2D2 and C-3PO (although they tried to make C-3PO a stand up comic in Episode III, which almost ruined that film).
- The surprise ending of Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, with the revelation of Vadar and Luke’s relationship.
- Jabba the Hutt.
- A second Death Star as the Empire’s choice of weapon to stop the rebellion. It reeks of a lack of creativity.
- Some of the lifeforms were absurdly muppetish.
- Han Solo’s ridiculous high-school-boy-age crush on the Princess. I can only assume his recovery from carbon freezing contributed to the moronic displays of pouting featured in Return of the Jedi.
- While tapping into the Universe’s “force” is a workable premise, the seeming immortality of Obi Wan Kenobi stretches credulity to the point of ridicule.
Overall, I give it 3 bags of popcorn out of a possible 5. It’s enjoyable with moments of grandeur, but falls short of the epic greatness an interstellar civil war story could have risen too. Had the comic book feel been toned down a bit, and a more serious script been presented with less attempts at campy humor, it could have been a series that adults would watch more than once.