Wednesday, 9 December 2009

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

This is my run down of the worst through to the best of the Star Wars films, the live-action ones that this. Enjoy!

6. The Revenge of the Sith (2005)

The pinnacle of the steaming pile of excrement that is the new trilogy of Star Wars films. The charm and excitement of the original series is all but gone at this point, replaced by awful dialogue, shocking performances and an over-reliance on CGI. Even the cool space battles and light saber duels have become boring at this point. There are a few gems within this dark pit of a film, such as the Galactic Empire being formed legitimately, mirroring the coming to power of the Nazi government in 1930s Germany. But for the most part, this is just the culmination of Hayden Christensen's horrific acting, George Lucas' now terrible directing, and hopefully the last time we ever see Jar Jar Binks in a live-action Star Wars film.

5. Attack of the Clones (2002)

Definitely the worst-named Star Wars film, and quite inaccurately named, as the clone troopers technically come to the 'defense' of the Jedi. This was the point when things really started to go downhill. The plot of this installment is shaky at best, and with the introduction of Mister Christensen to the saga, the acting becomes as wooden as a tree. At no point did I believe in, or care about Anakin Skywalker's love for Padme, not when the only way he could express it seemed to be by grimacing. The film's conclusion is decidedly anti-climatic. Although the desert battle between the clone troopers and the separatist forces is fairly epic, the light saber confrontation afterwards is a hum-drum affair, even with all of Yoda's pinwheeling and leaping about.

4. The Phantom Menace (1999)

By no means is this film on a par with any of the original trilogy, but it is definitely the best of the new films. While this part of the Star Wars canon does show that Lucas' skill as a director is either gone or no longer relevant, there are some elements that are in keeping with the feel of the series. The light saber battles at this point were very impressive and not repetitive, especially the 'duel of the fates' finale. Darth Maul, the devilish henchman of the emperor, is positive element, and in my opinion the best addition to the Star Wars universe from the new films. However, this film also contains the worst addition to the Star Wars universe; Jar-Jar Binks. Argh! Just thinking about him makes me angry! I don't think I need to go into detail.

3. A New Hope (1977)

A small disclaimer at this point. The three remaining films in the rundown are light-years ahead of the previous three, and it is extremely hard to rank one better than the other. But this is how I've judged it. I remember sitting in my auntie's house as a wide-eyed child, watching those golden letters scroll up the star-spotted screen as the majestic sound of John Williams' score thundered into my ears. I was amazed by the grandeur of Luke and Han's quest to save Princess Leia and destroy the Death Star. The childish bickering of R2D2 and C3PO added humour to tale, contrasted with characters such as the evil Grand Moff Tarkin and the towering monster of Darth Vader. Every time I see the x-wing fighters wheeling over ominous Death Star, I get the same fantastic feeling. Like I'm back in my childhood again. From this point on, I was hooked, a Star Wars fan to core.

2. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

This was a hard decision. Most people rank Empire as the best Star Wars film, and so I'm disagreeing with the majority by putting it second. But it is a supremely close second. This film contains possibly the most earth-shattering narrative twist ever seen in film history. It's so good I'm not going elaborate any further, on the slim chance that someone reading this may not have watched a Star Wars film yet. From the snowy plains of Hoth, through the swamps of Dagobah, and on to the cloud city of Bespin, the struggle of Luke, Han and Leia against the empire continues. It is worth noting that this installment of the series introduces one of the most memorable pieces of music in film history, the chilling 'The Imperial March'. New characters in form of the enigmatic bounty hunter Boba Fett, the quirky and tiny alien Jedi master Yoda and the slick businessman Lando Calrissian add new depth to the story and instantly become fan favourites.

1. Return of the Jedi (1983)

Here we are, at what I consider to be the best Star Wars film of the saga. Luke is on his way to becoming a Jedi, and the rebels have a plan to cripple the empire once and for all. But there's the little matter of freeing Han Solo from the clutches of the malicious slug-like crime-lord Jabba the Hutt. And then it's off to meet everyone's favourite deadly teddy bears on Endor. I guess the ewoks are probably the reason why Jedi is seen as a worse film than Empire, but look at it this way; they could be Gungans. The film's epic finale is what wins it for me. The three simultaneous battles, one amidst the trees of Endor, another above the planet in space, and the final one between the warriors light and dark in the emperor's throne room, make for a truly entertaining end to the saga. This is my favourite Star Wars film for sure. It ties up the story nicely, but has allowed for an amazing universe of fan fiction to be built upon it and carry on the legend.

And that's it for my rundown. It's fairly brief, but I think I'd bore you if I went any further. And trust me I could go on.

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