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Author Topic: Star Wars question
Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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My son and I are watching "Star Wars : Empire of Dreams" right now which is all about how the first 3 Star Wars movies got made. It got me wondering which of the movies is generally considered the best one and which is the overall fan favourite.

For me there is nothing to compare to the first Star Wars. I saw it in the theatre when it was released in 1977 and fell in love. I'm not sure if it's really the "best" one, and don't particularly care, it's certainly the only one I've gone to the trouble to see numerous times.

But I am curious if there is any clear cut "winner" in the Which Star Wars film is bestest department.

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asnakeny
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Among my Star Wars geek friends, Episode 5 is considered the best picture (in terms of screenplay & narrative), while Episode 4 is the funnest to watch by itself (and as you imply, the easiest to get non-geeks hooked on the franchise.)

Episode 6 is OK (Ewoks=yuck), Episode 1 is generally bad (Jar Jar is even more nauseating then Wicket), Episode 2 is dreadful, and Episode 3 is the best of the new series (but still not as good as 4 & 5).

Of course, YHD(hyperdrive)MV...

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Interesting. I'd rank the original three as (1) A New Hope (2) Return of the Jedi and (3) Empire Strikes Back. My son is shocked and is, as I type, trying to convince me that Empire Strikes Back isn't just the best Star Wars film but THE best sci/fi film ever made.

I've never seen the newer trilogy and have no plans to see them. Just cannot get enthused at all.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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I'd agree with asnakeny's assessment.

It is also interesting to note that, in general, the more control George Lucas had over a film, the worse that film is. Empire Strikes Back is good because *someone else* wrote most of it.

A clear-cut case of Stephen King syndrome (as also suffered by Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey, J.K. Rowling, and others.) May the good Lord preserve us from the consequences of our own triumphs.

Silas

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
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I liked all of them except Episode 3, which is the only one I never bothered to buy. Turned Padme into a complete wuss and totally let me down in the believable-fall-to-darkness department. I simply couldn't buy that with all the futuristic medical technology available in the Capital of the Whole Freakin' Galaxy that someone dying in childbirth was enough of a possibility to be Anakin's greatest fear.

Episode 5 was my favorite.

Nonny

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When there isn't anything else worth analyzing, we examine our collective navel. I found thirty-six cents in change in mine the other day. Let no one say that there is no profit in philosophy. -- Silas Sparkhammer

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1958Fury
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In the original trilogy, Episode 6 (RotJ) was my fave. But most of my friends like Episode 5 (ESB) best. It's very hard to judge the original trilogy objectively because I grew up with them. They're so integrated into my life, it's like judging oxygen.

Of the six, the only one I really have trouble sitting through is Episode 1. I like the pod racing and the final duel, but the rest of the movie is just boring. Episode 2 also has some slow parts (and some really bad acting), but I like the last 45 minutes or so a lot, so it kind of evens out.

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TwoGuyswithaHat
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[hijack]This is a question I've been mulling over for some time, talked about it with my friends yet we can never come to a proper resolution. When the time comes when you are to share this series with the next generation, how do you do it? Do you show the series chronologically? Episode 1-6? Show them in the order they were made Episode 4-6, 1-3? Ignore the first two and just show 3-6? Just show 4-6 and ignore 1-3?

If the future generations aren't exposed to Star Wars in just the right order, will it cause the movies to lose their lustre? Will vaccum cleaner attachments no longer be used as light sabres? Dare I say, could it cause the downfall of civilization as we know it, causing us all to revert back to the year 1869? Because if that's the case, I call dibs on inventing the lightbulb.[/hijack]

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
I liked all of them except Episode 3
I also thought the two big climactic duels that went on simultaneously that the entire film hinged on were stupid, as we knew how they would end as all the duellists survives to the later films...

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/Troberg

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Dog Friendly
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I'm going to get yelled at for this, but I think the best was Episode 4, "A New Hope", and they went steadily downhill from there. Then again, I quit watching them after "Phantom Menace". As I often say, he (Lucas) lost me with Jar Jar Binks.

Kilgore Trout

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Echinodermata Q. Taft
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I think it would be very close to unanimous that either episode 4 or 5 is the best, depending on taste. I, myself, favor episode 5 (The Empire Strikes Back) -- I think it's the best-written and most engaging of all of them; however, I know people who don't care for the cliffhanger ending, or the fact that it's generally more downbeat than episodes 4 and 6.

However, this could also be affected by timing -- episode 5 probably came out at the peak of my immersion in science fiction fandom in some ways (though I continued to be heavily involved for quite some time after that, and am still involved to some degree), and I have extremely fond memories of the time period -- going to see it in big groups at the Cinedrome in Orange County (preceded by the trailer for "The Blues Brothers," for which I also developed great affection) and dissecting it endlessly, arguing about who "the other" would turn out to be, and so on. "Star Wars" (episode 4) came out when I was still in high school, and I did love it; "Empire" came out while I was in college, and it seemed the franchise had matured as I had. This is why "Return of the Jedi" was such a disappointment; it seemed to be aimed at a lower level again -- more of a kid's movie than the second one.

As for the second trilogy (episodes 1-3), I saw them all, but that's about all I can say for them.

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Bug Muldoon
The "Was on Sale" Song


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4 was the best. 5 was technically better but lacked spark, 6 melted into a puddle of silly (and it didn't help they just recycled the plot of 4), 1 was terminally stupid, 2 was dull, loud and pointless, 3 had it's moments but still suffered from CGItis.

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trollface
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I get a lot of film magazines, and have done for years. Every year or two, one or another of them will have a reader-voted "best film ever" list, and The Empire Strikes Back will invariably do better than any of the others (although Star Wars is often not far behind). In fact, it's usually in the top 5 best films ever, and it's not unusual for it to win.

This has been the case for as long as I can remember, including long before the prequels were made.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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snapdragonfly
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I third asnakesny.

4 and 5 are awfully close.

1 2 and 3 were so terribly dissappointing because they did not have the classic trio - the naive young hero, the damsel, and the swashbuckling rouge. Who, in the case of 4 5, and 6, had such incredible chemistry together. Without that, all you have is effects.

Which was kinda the problem with 1 2 and 3. Too many characters, no real feeling between them, couldn't fall in love with any of them. Who didja love more, Han, Leia or Luke? That's hard, they were all adorable. Same question applied to the first half - hard to answer but for a totally different reason.

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(snurched because one of my nutbar family members is all about wolves and another one is all about dragons...)(with apologies to surfcitydogdad)

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AdmiralDinty
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I have to go with 4, since I find it the most enjoyable. You can tell that 5 is the better movie, but it always leaves me cold. I was never a big fan of 6. Not only were the Ewoks corney, but I found the creatures operating the fleet kind of corney too.

I saw 1 in the theatre, and while I was entertained, I knew it was a terrible movie. I've never been able to pay attention to 2, so by the end, I'm totally lost. As a result, I haven't bothered with 3 yet.

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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I actually like 1-3 better than 4-6. I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, nor even a seasoned sci-fi fantasy audience member, so perhaps my coming to the films as an outsider has something to do with this odd opinion.

In any case, I really enjoyed Ewan McGregor's and Natalie Portman's and Sam Jackson's performances. The CGI and battle scenes also blew me away. The clumsy love-story (true of all epics) was okay by me. And…uh…that’s it. Yepness and such and such.

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by I'mNotDedalus:
In any case, I really enjoyed Ewan McGregor's and Natalie Portman's and Sam Jackson's performances.

What performances? My sideboard out-performs them in those films, and I don't even own a sideboard.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I would like to see eps. 7-9 first before I make a judgement...

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Minstrel gone caroling
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I have a tin-foil hat theory that George Lucas drugged all his actors for the prequels. It's the only thing that can explain such wooden acting; we know these people can act; we've seen them in other things! But Lucas wanted the effects to get top billing, so he drugged the actors. [/tinfoil]

I like Episode 4 best. Episode 5 confused me when I first saw it (possibly because I was 3 at the time), but I grew to like it when I was older. And I also liked Episode 6, Ewoks and all. I guess I've always thought of them as kids' movies, which seems to be why I was less disappointed in the prequels than some of my friends were. But I do wish Qui-Gon would have been around in 2 and 3 as a blue ghost.

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1958Fury
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
quote:
Originally posted by I'mNotDedalus:
In any case, I really enjoyed Ewan McGregor's and Natalie Portman's and Sam Jackson's performances.

What performances? My sideboard out-performs them in those films, and I don't even own a sideboard.
Hey, don't dis Ewan. His young Obi-Wan was spot on. I really can't think of anything bad to say about it. He also did a great job of aging 10 years between 1 and 2.

Natalie Portman... I liked her in Episode 1. Okay, her robotic monotone as the queen was annoying, but it was part of the disguise. In 2 & 3, eh... Every scene she shared with Hayden Christensen dragged her down. Maybe that's all it was, maybe not.

Heh, Sam Jackson. After Episode 1, a friend of mine ranted about how much he hated Jackson's performance. He had what, 3 lines in that movie? Yeesh. But after Episode 2's "This party's over" line, I was inclined to agree. But I did like him in Ep 3.

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1958Fury
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by TwoGuyswithaHat:
[hijack]This is a question I've been mulling over for some time, talked about it with my friends yet we can never come to a proper resolution. When the time comes when you are to share this series with the next generation, how do you do it? Do you show the series chronologically? Episode 1-6? Show them in the order they were made Episode 4-6, 1-3? Ignore the first two and just show 3-6? Just show 4-6 and ignore 1-3?

If the future generations aren't exposed to Star Wars in just the right order, will it cause the movies to lose their lustre? Will vaccum cleaner attachments no longer be used as light sabres? Dare I say, could it cause the downfall of civilization as we know it, causing us all to revert back to the year 1869? Because if that's the case, I call dibs on inventing the lightbulb.[/hijack]

I saw Lucas speak at Celebration 2 in Indianapolis, and he said he wanted people to watch the six in order.

Personally, I'd like my children to be as surprised as I was at the end of Empire, so I'd advocate showing the original trilogy first, then classifying the prequels as optional viewing for those who want more background info.

However, seeing as how EVERYONE knows the secret at the end of Empire, even those who hate sci-fi and have never seen a SW film, I doubt it would be a surprise anyway. Doubtless the kids will have already heard it from their classmates.

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Greg of Winter
Xboxing Day


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I can't imagine anyone, who had never seen the series before, sitting down to watch Episode One first and at the end saying "There's five more? Bring 'em on!"

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Yleemjseg
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"Your friends on the forest moon will not succeed. A battalion of my best troops is down there waiting fo them, so unless they have to deal with teddy bears with sticks, my troops will put an end to the rebel attempt to defeat me. And really, what's the chance of that happening?"

I agree that Ewan Mcgregor was the best thing in the prequels. He's awesome. I'm not gay, but if i HAD to do a guy...

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magpie
Deck the Malls


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I'm surprised the amount of people who classify Star Wars as sci fi. Soylent Green, Bladerunner, Twelve Monkeys, these are all sci fi. Star Wars is fantasy, like a knight-saving-princess story in space. Star Wars is on my shelf right next to The Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

My order, from favorite to hated goes 6-4-5-3-2-1. Of course, I was a child when the originals came out so it seems to make sense that I would have a natural preference for the ewok one. I'm wondering had I seen them in a different order, at a different stage of life for the first time, if my preferences would be different.

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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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To answer TwoGuysWithAHat's question. I've recently had the opportunity to do this with a friend who's never seen any of them. And my answer to his question is his last suggestion: I told her to watch Star Wars, Empire and Jedi and to pretend the other three don't exist. I lent her the DVDs too. So far, she's loved Star Wars and Empire, but as I've packed up all my DVDs ready for my house move she's going to have to wait until after Christmas when I unpack again to watch Jedi.

Star Wars is my favourite, and I can't choose between Empire or Jedi. And I do not speak of the prequels, although just this once I'll make an exception, even though it causes me great pain.

I kind of wish I'd never seen them, they were so dreadful. As Nonny said, Padme just turned into a dreadful weepy girlie pile of crap (Princess Leia's mother was such a complete waste of space? BAH!) and I was so looking forward to seeing her kick ass. She was as I'd hoped in the first or the prequels, but after that? Rubbish. Darth Maul was the best thing about the first prequel, and look what happened to him - big mistake, could have made so much more of him. The "Descent into Darkness" of the third prequel was ridiculous, and I'd really rather forget the rolling in fields of flowers in the second abomination. ANd as for Binks... :shudder:

And I loathe the renaming as well. I refuse to call Star Wars "A New Hope" or "Episode IV", and I refuse to call Empire Episode V or Jedi Episode VI. Petty and pointless, I grant you, but it's the only thing I have [Wink]

So, in order of how much I like them: Star Wars first, Empire and Jedi joint second, then the first prequel, then the third prequel and at the bottom of the heap, the second prequel. I can't tell you how much I LOATHE that film.

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mags
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Consistently, from the first time I saw it in the theater (granted I was a toddler), I fall asleep at some point in watching Empire. When they re-released the redone versions in theaters when I was in college, I fell asleep in the middle of it. Whenever I watch the original 3 eps in a row on TV or video, I take a little nap during Empire.

It wasn't until I saw the re-release in the theater that I realized what a downer it is to watch Empire without immediately following it with Jedi. It is a needed bridge between Star Wars and ROTJ, but as an individual movie on its own merits, I don't really like it. I'm surprised to hear it's so consistently considered the best.

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by magpie:
I'm surprised the amount of people who classify Star Wars as sci fi. Soylent Green, Bladerunner, Twelve Monkeys, these are all sci fi. Star Wars is fantasy, like a knight-saving-princess story in space. Star Wars is on my shelf right next to The Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

It's both (don't get me started on pretentious film critics who label it a "Western". It's no such thing, and it features little of the iconography and none of the themes and symbolism of the Western. They should know better). You're right that it's a swords-and-sorcery fantasy (Wizards, swords, an evil overlord with a castle...). But it's certainly sci-fi. Science fiction is a genre that is defined mainly by it's iconography. If something features aliens, space-ships, advanced technology, etc. then it's sci-fi.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Echinodermata Q. Taft
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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The really correct classification of the Star Wars films is "Space Opera," but only to SF purists. [Smile] I agree I would classify them more as space fantasy than actual science fiction, but it's mostly quibbling.

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1958Fury
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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"Space fantasy" works for me, for the purists who insist that "science fiction" must use real scientific theories. But unless I want to explain the whole SF/fantasy debate to everyone I talk to, most of whom aren't the slightest bit interested in the topic, "sci-fi" works just fine.

So if I'm talking to a group of geeks, it's space fantasy. If I'm talking to my coworkers, it's sci-fi.

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LittleDuck
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quote:
Originally posted by Non-Aquatic Mouse:
I simply couldn't buy that with all the futuristic medical technology available in the Capital of the Whole Freakin' Galaxy that someone dying in childbirth was enough of a possibility to be Anakin's greatest fear.

Technically, they were "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away," which would really make it non-futuristic medical tech, though I wholeheartedly agree with you that it's ridiculous.

My preference, best to worsst: 546........321, no order necessary (for 3-1), they all sucked, JMO. First time I saw Ep. 1, the film literally broke partway through. we had to wait like fifteen minutes for it to be fixed. Afterwards, people were pissed and wanted compensation so what did the theater do? Gave passes to all. To see Episode 1. Again. I ended up bringing a friend's son and even he hated it.

So much fun in Lego Star Wars to repeatedly harn JarJar and hear him yell as he goes to pieces.

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Greg of Winter
Xboxing Day


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Oh, and I'd have to go with 4-5-3-6-2-1

ROTJ never did much for me. Han Solo & Chewbacca basically have nothing to do, Ewoks defeating an Imperial Legion, Mark Hamill looks very bizarre in the film (not to mention the Ted Koppel helmet-hair), and with Boba Fett going out like a punk, and I just never got into it.

After seeing the AT-AT assault on Hoth, a small raid on a forest base didn't exactly wow me.

I only put three ahead of it because it had some very good lightsaber duels.

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Meanwhile, at stately Wayne Manor...

Posts: 1316 | From: Oregon | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
callee
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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My ordering and rating would be as follows:

1) 9/10 Ep. 6 Return of the Jedi. I think it was (just barely) the best of the original 3. There are some bad scenes, but the final battle in the throne room between Luke and Vader - especially with that dark choral music - carries it through.

2) 8.9/10 Ep. 5 Empire Strikes Back. Best story line over all, Lando is kinda annoying actually, but I loved the darkness of this movie.

3) 8.8/10 Ep. 3 Revenge of the syth (sp?). The new story line is not the best, but the cinematography in this one was great, esp. the climactic lava-battle scene. It even gets me through Vader's howard dean moment.

4) 6/10 ep. 4 a new hope. I am sure this was mind blowing when it first came out, and I will admit that the opening shot was great, but overall this movie just has not aged well. The effects look cheesy, the plot line is slow, and I just grimace when Leah kisses Luke. Best thing to come out of this movie is the hours of fun mocking you can get out of the whiny power converters line.

5)3/10 ep. 2. clone wars. I can't even remember what happened in this movie. I saw it once, no desire to ever see it again, the only reason it gets 3 points is because natalie portman looked so stunning in it.

6) 1/10 ep. 1. phantom menace. darth maul looked like a bad halloween costume, I hate all commericals and movies that try to cash in the arn't-kids-cute card, and jar jar.

So, in short, 653421.

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a moment for old friends now estranged, victims of the flux of alliances and changing perceptions. There was something there once, and that something is worth honoring as well. - John Carroll

Posts: 3375 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Nick Theodorakis
We Three Blings


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For viewing order to a naive viewer, I would still recommend 4-5-6-1-2-3. Otherwise, I think that Vader's revelation to Luke ("I am your father!") in Ep. 5 would completely lose whatever impact it's supposed to have, as well as losing the mystery as to whether he is being truthful. Moreover, part of watching Ep 1-3 is to see how a cute little tow-headed moppet turns into the evil Darth Vader (which admittedly they didn't do a very good of, anyway).

As to my fave, I liked Ep 4 best, but will admit that Ep 5 is better.

Nick

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Dog Friendly
Carol of the Bills


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EQT: I quite agree with the term "Space Opera", though I have no real problem with "space fantasy". It's a lot closer to either genre than to genuine SF.

And as far as the dramatic twist of "A long time ago...", it might have been clever if Lucas had done anything with it, but he just gives us that line and then doesn't take it anywhere. OK, so this all happened long before humans were around, but creatures who look an awful lot like humans are running around with futuristic -- ok, ok, extremely primitive technology that lets them travel between stars, fire energy bolts, etc.

As far as Episode 5, "Empire", can anyone explain why the Imperials even needed AT-ATs that walk on legs? Wouldn't hovercraft be a smarter idea for crossing snowy, icy terrain? And, if they knew where the Rebel base was, why did they land so far away and then walk towards it?

And when you're done explaining all that, does anyone understand Lando Calrissian's betrayal and subsequent counter-betrayal? There may well be an explanation in the books somewhere, but I don't remember anything in the film (which I only saw once, thank you) to explain what he thought he was doing when he reversed his earlier betrayal. It was clear to me at the time that Lucas didn't care if the story made sense, as long as it was dramatic, and pushed the audience's emotional buttons. Nothing I saw in "Return" or "Menace" changed my mind on that score.

Then there's Ben Kenobi's line to Luke about Vader: "He betrayed and murdered your father". He later clarifies this by saying it was "true, from a certain perspective". How many of you would accept that from your sweetheart, doctor, or banker? Or from your children, those of you who are parents?

"True from a certain perspective"? I don't NFBSKing think so!

And it's such a pointless lie. What, exactly, does Kenobi gain by deceiving, or if you insist, manipulating Luke this way? Why not tell him the truth? Again, Lucas is more interested in jerking the audience around than in telling a coherent story.

Kilgore (I've got a bad feeling about this) Trout

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"Nobody ever got stoned and beat up his old lady" -- Spence, snapdragonfly's friend

Posts: 768 | From: North Hollywood, CA | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by 1958Fury:
"Space fantasy" works for me, for the purists who insist that "science fiction" must use real scientific theories.

It's true that there are people out there like that but, to put it bluntly, they're wrong. E. Q. Taft is right that it's space opera, but space opera is a subgenre of science fiction.

I'm reminded of an angry letter into a film magazine for putting Halloween into a list of "Best Horror Films" because it wasn't a horror film, it was a slasher film. "Slasher" is a subgenre within the umbrella of "horror". In the same way "space opera" is a subgenre within the umbrella of "science fiction".

From Wikipedia:

quote:
Science fiction (often called sci-fi or SF) is a popular genre of fiction in which the narrative world differs from our own present or historical reality in at least one significant way.[1] This difference may be technological, physical, historical, sociological, philosophical, metaphysical, etc, but not magical (see Fantasy). Exploring the consequences of such differences (asking "What if...?")[2] is the traditional purpose of science fiction, but there are also many science-fiction works in which an exotically alien setting is superimposed upon what would not otherwise be a science-fiction tale.
Now, I know that that's Wikipedia and all, but check out the cites for that paragraph: Heinlein, Cyril Kornbluth, Alfred Bester, Robert Bloch, and Brian Aldiss. Now, if anyone should know what is and what is not sci-fi, it should be that lot, no?

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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I'mNotDedalus
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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"Space Opera" as in "Soap Opera"? The classification makes sense. Space Works. As does soap.

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Posts: 1983 | From: Chicagoland, IL | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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