Shopping Maul said:
Wow, your post is so interesting because TESB is my favourite movie of all time (alongside Conan '82) so it’s really hard for me to step outside of my own inner echo-chamber here.
The only perspective I can offer is the one of having been there at the time. If you can picture a moment where there was only Star Wars itself - there was the awesome spectacle of this incredible movie with its robots and lightsabers and tie fighters and all that stuff - but there was no ‘Vader as father’, no Yoda, no Han and Leia romance, no Hoth or Asteroid field or Cloud City or Lando or Boba Fett or the Millennium Falcon doing 360 spins between Star Destroyers…
I mean Star Wars II could have just been Star Wars II - a new adventure in the same style as the first - but TESB changed everything. It had an edge and depth to it that we simply weren’t expecting. The rebels were decimated, Han got the girl (not Luke!), the bad guy was possibly the hero’s father, the Force was now this heavy space-Buddhism and Luke was really struggling with it and possibly risking his soul, Obi Wan had potentially lied to him, Han’s fate was uncertain, Luke had a potential replacement in the wings if he blew it…I mean it took these characters that we’d fallen in love with in '77 and put them through hell! It wasn’t joyless - there was humour and great lines and fussy robots - but it was heavy and gave the whole thing weight where it could’ve just been ‘the further adventures of…’.
There were the visuals and set pieces too - Hoth with its armoured Walkers, Dagobah with its weird vision-cave, Vader’s huge ship, Cloud City etc etc. It was just such an exciting and crazy next step for what had started out as basically a fun adventure.
I was 8 when I saw Star Wars and 11 when I saw TESB. I didn’t think about why I loved TESB, I just loved it. Looking at my respective ages there, it’s easy to see why I responded the way I did, just as it’s easy (now) to see why ROTJ didn’t quite work for me at age 14. That’s a big part of it of course, but as time has gone by I’ve really come to appreciate the artistry of TESB. Some movies from childhood don’t date so well, even if you still like them subjectively. Star Wars and TESB never diminished in my eyes. The older I get the more I appreciate the greatness of these films and really see just why they struck the chords in me that they did.
Of course we like what we like, and it’s absolutely fine to not like/love TESB! I’m curious to get your feelings on ROTJ and the prequels…
Believe it or not, when I was around 10 or so, Phantom Menace was my favorite of the films. This was all before I even knew that the first film was actually ANH, and even before I knew how much hate it got. When i was at my dad’s or one of mt mom’s friend’s houses, I would always ask for TPM to be turned on. And mind you, I’m currently in my late teenage years, so im part of the newer generation i guess.
After I heard about the original trilogy a few years into my teen years, I got interested and watched it with my best friend since he had a box set of the trilogy. We only had time for one of them, so he was happy with showing me ANH. I kept the Phantom Menace on a little bit of a high mindset though, and just a bit lower were Episodes 2 and 3.
I’m going to be honest, I got into a lot of other things after that, so Star Wars wasn’t the first thing to come to my mind, but I still watched ANH when there was an urge to. And if you’re still following along, that means ESB and ROTJ were the last to really be seen by me.
Ive seen ROTJ only a few times, as it’s my least viewed. So that’s probably another topic for another time when i try that one out again. So yeah, if anything, that probably makes this topic that much more interesting to you!