I have just been revisiting the PT because I decided return to tackling them before trying TESB, ROTJ, or TFA. After watching them again I have to agree that ROTS is the most dramatic and is a great fast paced action film and tragedy. But I still feel that TPM got the universe right. Yes, we see the galaxy looking pretty good, but like fruit that is about to spoil, it looks good on the outside while hiding the rot on the inside. And the story goes where the characters are. The focus in the fall of the Republic so spending so much time on Coruscant makes sense.
I think one would argue though that the focus should not have been on the fall of the Republic, that should have merely been the backdrop to Anakin’s story. It isn’t quite in keeping with the other SW films to have galactic politics so far at the forefront of the story.
And I think the end of ROTS could use some editing to get back the surprise of Luke and Leia’s parentage. The end is great for a 4,5,6,1,2,3 viewing order, but sucks for the 1,2,3,4,5,6 viewing order. And no, I would never do a machete order.
Why preserve the parentage surprise if you don’t preserve the surprise that Anakin fell to the dark side? That’s at least half the shock of the reveal in ESB. I don’t think chronological viewing order works at all if you haven’t seen the films before.
But, probably too subtle.
I found out why the music for TPM is better. That was the last film John Williams scored an edit of the film. The following films have been more thematic scoring with the music edited in as needed. It does’t work in my opinion. I like the traditional way and I think it creates better music. That is not to say Williams’ talents have decreased one bit with age. His Rey theme is on of the best of the saga. But doing it piecemeal instead of with the film just doesn’t work. The music doesn’t fit as well. That is one reason I have never liked the score for 2001. It just doesn’t fit.
Even TPM’s suffered from some serious editing in the final third. AOTC and ROTS are both pretty rough, lot of recycled cues. It wasn’t the last time he did a proper SW score though. I think TLJ probably faced the least editing of any SW score since the original film (and it easily has the most scoring of any of them).
Also, 2001 doesn’t have a score, that’s a soundtrack. Lots of films have done that (90% of Tarantino’s work, for example), and I’d wager most would say 2001 is the best example of it. Cool it with the hot takes please.