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The Chronological Star Wars – A Year-Long Critical Reappraisal

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I moonlight as a film critic, and with Episode IX on the horizon for the end of the year, I thought it might be fun to embark on a personal project to re-watch and review every canonical Star Wars film and TV series in the twelve months leading up to the so-called final installment in the Skywalker Saga. If you’ll excuse a bit of shameless self-promotion, I thought some of you might find it interesting.

The first entry on The Phantom Menace is already up on my blog. Spoiler: it’s actually less about the film itself and more about the way the discourse surrounding the movie in the early days of the internet set an unfortunate precedent for online fandom that we’re still dealing with to this day. Yay movies!

In the coming weeks and months I’ll also be writing about the 9 remaining films as well as The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Star Wars Resistance and maybe a few extra surprises along the way.

Also, just for kicks, I wrote about some of the no-longer-canon Star Wars productions like The Holiday Special and the Ewoks and Droids cartoons as a sort of prelude to this series. You can read all of those here.

Anyway, I hope plugging my own stuff like this isn’t too crass. Hope at least some of you find it compelling.

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Nice retrospective review with some very salient points regarding the fandom and the unfortunate results of when things are taken too far in the name of movie criticism.

But yeah, a good read that I would recommend to others and I look forward to your other reviews throughout the year.

Val

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I agree with your points. I very much disliked Phantom. So much so that I passed on the other two. That said; I dislike what it did to fandom, Star Wars or otherwise, much more. I think it continues to haunt us.

Looking forward to the rest of your articles.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”

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I’ve only read the Holiday Special, Ewok and Droids, and Ewok films articles (so far) - though have found them really enjoyable and illuminating to read - especially as there is so little information and content around on Ewok and Droids cartoons.

Loving the cool layout and concise style too 😃

Looking forward to reading the Clone Wars and Phantom Menace articles up next - good luck in this chronological endeavour.
 

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here?
And say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

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Another very enjoyable read. Keep it comin’!

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DavidMDaut said:

Glad you’re enjoying these so far! The next entry is up now.

‪On paper, the Star Wars prequels were not terrible ideas, but they consistently missed the mark and failed to live up to their own lofty ambitions. Nowhere is that divide between intentions and execution clearer than in Attack of the Clones.

https://davidmdaut.com/2019/01/14/star-wars-attack-of-the-clones/‬

Enjoy!

For some reason I get “page not found” clicking the link but I can manually navigate to it via returning to your blog home page and entering it from there, which has the exact same address as above…weird.

Anyway, will check it out 😃

Val

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The address is https:// davidmdaut dot com/2019/01/14/star-wars-attack-of-the-clones/‬, but for some reason, it links to https:// davidmdaut dot com/2019/01/14/star-wars-attack-of-the-clones/%E2%80%AC , a web address that I’m pretty sure doesn’t exist.

edit: The problem appears to be with the originaltrilogy.com’s forum software.

The Bunny, The Bunny, woah, I love The Bunny

Possessed said:
Danfun, do you also love the soup and the bread, or just the bunny?

SilverWook said:
Use of the bunny outside off topic is getting out of hand.
When outside off topic, use a link to the bunny if you really feel the need to invoke it.
Warnings will be next if some restraint is not shown.

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Not bad the second review on Ep2, though it seems to ramble a fair bit which makes it unnecessarily longer than the first review. I also don’t agree with everything but again it has some nice points and food for thought.

Val

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Valheru_84 said:

though it seems to ramble a fair bit which makes it unnecessarily longer than the first

Well, I suppose that’s in keeping with the source material 😉

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Good articles well thought out look foward to your views on the rest, also your a brave man Dave for rewatching the prequals I tried taking them off my bluray shelf for a dust off just the other day…

too scarred/scared

“We Are What They Grow Beyond” - Yoda


My Prefered Saga Viewing Preference:
Ep. III - Revenge of the Sith Special Edition (StankPac Edit) * Rogue One - A Star Wars Story (Gareth Edwards Original Version)
Ep. IV - A New Hope Despecialized Edition (Harmy Edit) * Ep. V - Empire Strikes Back Revisited (Adywan Edit)
Ep. VI - Return of The Jedi Despecialized Edition (Harmy Edit) * Ep. VII - The Force Awakens Restructured (Hal 9000 Edit)
Ep. VIII - The Last Jedi Legendary (Hal 9000 Edit)

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The Chronological Star Wars is back with a look at the The Clone Wars and how, over the course of its first season, the show developed from just another Expanded Universe story into something that could begin to legitimately stand alongside the films.

Check it out here.

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If you’ll indulge me in reviving a dead thread, I’ve finally made it through The Clone Wars and have another entry in this series examining one of the films. I figured more people around these parts might have interest in that.

This time I’m digging into the very worst Star Wars movie: Revenge of the Sith.

Also, if any of you are interested in my series of articles on The Clone Wars, you can find all of those right here.

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I’ve long thought AOTC was the worst, but YMMV. 😉

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I still think TFA is the worst of the bunch. I won’t change my mind and certainly not for switching in its place ROTS 😃

“I have to say that I felt George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before, and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters.” - James Cameron about Episode VII.

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SilverWook said:

I’ve long thought AOTC was the worst, but YMMV. 😉

They’re both pretty bad, but there are at least entire sequences I like in Clones. Sequences! There are barely entire scenes I like in Sith. This is the one that had the most it needed to get right, and it just falls flat at every single turn.

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I still inexplicably saw it in theaters three times. I really needed to get out of the house at the time though. And the upside was the third time at the bargain theater I discovered there was a screening of Raiders Of The Lost Ark later in the day, so I hung around and saw it on the big screen again for the first time since 1981! 😃

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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While the execution was lacking in many ways, at least Anakin was actually seduced by something ie Palpatine’s claim that a) he could save Padme and b) that the Jedi were uppity jerks who had sold Anakin short all these years. Luke’s so-called seduction to the Dark Side was merely being goaded into anger. Apparently, after losing his temper because Palpatine was killing all his friends, Luke would supposedly join the bad guys - even as the Rebels were being blown to smithereens.

With Anakin we at least see that he goes too far (in killing Windu) and feels he has to choose sides. I’m not saying the youngling fiasco makes sense, but at there is a sense of him actually having been manipulated. In Luke’s case, apparently one tantrum (however justified) will turn you into the devil.

Return of the Jedi ruined things waaaaay before the prequels showed up…

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Well, then I guess you kind of missed the whole point of the THREE movies in the OT… Luke being tempted by the dark side of the Force is supposed to be subtle, and failing to stay true to the Jedi way is not supposed to be as in-your-face as depicted in ROTS. I actually don’t know noone who went into the theaters for ROTJ without knowing a fair bit of the story from the first two movies.

Regarding the reviews I’m still astounded by David’s more or less first statement that TPM is NOT the worst one - cause simply it’s actually one of the worst movies of all time considering the resources and exceptional talent (both actors and crew) at hand for the executive production management. And then follows a lengthy explanation shifting focus from the decision-makers to circumstantial causes and elements.

The fans actually reacted to something. Not the other way around. There was no pro-active movement that had to fix anything. Claiming that the audience, the receivers of a piece of art, broke fandom is perhaps bold, but I actually would say the opposite. It’s the responsibility of the fans to steer the entertainment industry towards our needs instead of blindly following the commercial lead.

Trying to deny the essential foundations of praise for artistic work is to lack insight into basic human psychology - there will always be love and there will always be hate, the original Star Wars would never have been the universal success if it wasn’t for that same insanity of the fans. And David actually does explore this topic - but the conclusions are way off the mark.

Importantly though it’s a dangerous view of only black-and-white and that’s why one need to be able to like the person of George Lucas, despite his failures as a film-maker. Or the other way around. The choices of George Lucas was his to make and he’ll be held accountable forever, not the fans! Some dead horses actually need a couple of extra beatings as long as there are these kind of revisionist attempts.

Fox and Lucasfilm did make quite a few bucks of TPM, didn’t they? And yes, if you put a 9-year-old at the center of the biggest marketing campaign the movie world has ever seen I guess there might be some backlash. What if we as fans actually dared to question the motives instead of diverting the attention to ourselves?

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I moonlight as a film critic, and there’s no way I’m rewatching the prequels. Good luck out there.

Yub Nub for life

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I’ll probably get some hate for this, but I actually think the prequels are decent. The only real flaws are the bland acting and the lack of subtlety. The story, effects, and cinematography are all great. The prequels are objectively worse than the originals, but they’re not unwatchable like so many people claim.

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+1 for TPM as best and ROTS as worst prequels

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Important essay about OT and PT.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUPD1w78D5I

I can answer almost all questions anyone might have about the Sith from Star Wars Legends, and please do PM me for the bd25 DEED(Despecalised Editions), as I have this version, though I can’t answer technical questions about them. Do not go gentle into that good night, Though wise men at their end know dark is right, They
Do not go gentle into that good night.
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