After many years, I was finally able to convince my sister, who just turned 18, to sit down and watch all the Star Wars movies for the first time. Over the course of several nights, we watched all six films in chronological order. I thought it would be an interesting experiement to see how someone would react to the films in this order rather than the original trilogy then prequel order. I've decided to present my findings here.
I showed her the official DVD versions of each film. No original theatricals. The only excepting being that I showed her Star Wars Revisited instead of the regular special edition. After we finished Return of the Jedi I went back and showed her the Greedo shoots first scene and the Jabba scene from the Special Edition and I showed her the Lapti Nek scene and original ending for Return of the Jedi.
She was largely indifferent to Episode 1. She giggled a few times at some of Jar Jar's antics but she wanted to slap little kid Anakin.
During Episode II, she said she was ready to throw up during all the love scenes between Anakin and Padme. She did really enjoy the action scenes and thought Yoda was sooooo cute when he busted out his little lightsaber. She found 3PO's antics at the end funny.
She really enjoyed Episode III although she really hated General Grievous and was extremely happy when he died. She reacted with a really strong "Oh No!" when Anakin pulled out his lightsaber on the younglings. She proceeded to call him a "poopie head" the rest of the movie. She complained that the movie took way too long to end. She reacted very emotionally to Anakin turning on Padme at the end. At the end I asked her when she figured out Palpatine was Darth Sidous. It was during the opera scene. Also, during the Wookie battle she loudly proclaimed that she wanted one.
A New Hope didn't go as well I had hoped. She didn't dislike it but her reaction wasn't as strong as it had been for Episode III. When all was said and done, she said that the felt Episode IV should have been more deep considering how much more deep some of the others had been plot wise.
For most of Empire Strikes Back she was quite. However, a few interesting comments came out of her mouth. During one scene where Vader had done something particularly evil, she made the comment that she sort of felt bad for the guy. While Leia was running around Cloud City shooting stormtroopers, she commented that Leia was a much better shot than her mother. She reacted with genuine shock when Lando opened the door to reveal Vader sitting at the table waiting for our heroes. Then, later on when they are walking down the hall and Lando presses a few buttons on his wrist control thingy she asked if he was doing something good or something traitorous. Dispite having scene Episode 2, she asked me who that guy was when Boba Fett came on screen. During the love scenes between Han and Leia she commented that this is how they should have done the love scenes with Anakin and Padme and that they weren't vomit inducing.
During the entire second half of Return of the Jedi, she couldn't stop talked about how much she loved the Ewoks and immediately wanted to go out to Toys-R-Us afterwards and get an Ewok plush. As the film started, she genuenly believed that Luke was going to fall to the dark side at the end and take Vader's place. Throughout the movie, she repeated shouted at the TV every time the Emperor talked. Her complaint was that his mouth moved freaky when he talked. When Han badgers Leia about what she and Luke were just talking about, she called him a dumb ass. While Palpatine is electroshocking Luke, she started calling out to the screen, yelling at Vader to hurry up and help him and then when he finally does she then says "Awww, hims hurt." When ghost Anakin pops up at the end, she got excited that he was back to being "pretty Anakin."
Next, her reactions to the bits and pieces I showed her.
-Greedo Shoots First - when I first showed it to her, she couldn't tell anything was different. When I pointed it out to her she commented that it was better the other way but wasn't really that big a deal.
-CGI Jabba - she hated this scene commenting that it looked completely fake, more so than any other CGI in the rest of the films. He main complaint was with how close Han seemed to be walking next to him. She did admit that she liked being able to see him move around though.
-Lapti Nek - She liked Jedi Rocks better because she said the sequence was more lively and amusing and enjoyed what she called "the outerspace version of Destiny's Child."
-Original Jedi Ending - She liked the original song better than the new one but she admitted that it was a close call. She preferred young Anakin because she said he was prettier and it made more sense that he would revert back to the way he looked before he turned evil.
For her final thoughts, she said she liked The Empire Strikes Back the best. Return of the Jedi was a close 2nd mainly because she really liked the Ewoks. Revenge of the Sith was her 3rd favorite. She did not assign a ranking for The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, or A New Hope.
It was a very interesting couple of nights to say the least. Watching the Saga with someone who has never scene them is always refreshing for the viewing experience. I found myself apreciating things I hadn't appreciated for a while and poking fun at things that had long since started going over my head.
One of the other boards on here talks about how we need to keep the prequels away from the younger generation to keep them from tainting the minds of those that haven't yet scene the original trilogy. As if viewing the evil prequels will somehow retroactively male the original trilogy bad. After this experience, I really don't think that's the case and while we all might have differing opinions about which films are better than others, I still think the future of fandom is in safe hands.
"George, we hate you for making more Star Wars movies. Please make more Star Wars movies."