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The Chronological Star Wars – A Year-Long Critical Reappraisal — Page 2

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+1 for ROTS as best and TPM as worst prequels.

Oh, wait… hahaha, it’s funny how most people not from this forum that I’ve talked to about this seem to agree that ROTS is the best of the bunch and TPM the worst.

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I’d hazard a guess that most people view ROTS as having more ‘Star Wars stuff we wanted to see’ in it than the other prequels (Vader, Rise of the Empire, Anakin’s seduction to the Dark Side, Anakin and Obi-wan’s friendship), and so by proxy it becomes the best of the prequels.

I fall into the camp of liking TPM the most, simply because it is dissimilar enough from the OT to be its own thing.

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I personally think ROTS is the best prequel and AOTC is the worst prequel.

This is my current ranking of the main saga movies, best to worst:

  1. The Empire Strikes Back
    One of the best movies of all time. Almost every aspect of it is amazing.

  2. Star Wars
    A great movie, although it’s not as good as Empire.

  3. Return of the Jedi
    A good story that was unfortunately mixed with burp jokes and teddy bears.

  4. The Last Jedi
    A mixed bag. Some parts are great, some parts are terrible.

  5. Revenge of the Sith
    Less boring than the other two prequels, although the acting and dialogue are still bad.

  6. The Force Awakens
    A derivative corporate product that only exists to make fans nostalgic.

  7. The Phantom Menace
    The good elements of the movie are overshadowed by the boring story and bland acting.

  8. Attack of the Clones
    Almost unwatchable. The story is boring, the acting is bland and the dialogue is awful.

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DavidMDaut said:

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.

I’ve really been enjoying this series, but was surprised you didn’t talk about the Opera scene. Isn’t it…decent?

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StarkillerAG said:

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.

No hate - but seriously, the cinematography is just so… TV- and/or low-budget-movie-stylish… Most key personnel were recruited with minimal experience and not close to enough knowledge of steering one of the most anticipated movies of all time. David Tattersall was approx 36-37 yrs when he was brought on board - having done the Young Indie-tv-show, Radioland Murders (like many more of the crew) and Con Air. And then stayed on for Episode II and III. Ouch!

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jajje said:

the cinematography is just so… TV- and/or low-budget-movie-stylish…

I don’t really know what you’re talking about. The prequels look like big budget Hollywood movies to me. There are some amazing shots in the prequels that you’re completely overlooking.

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No, I’m not overlooking anything - some amazing shots over three movies is not the same as great cinematography throughout the PT. A Hollywood budget can be spent on many different departments - George Lucas decided not to splash out enough money when recruiting the crew. Just imagine what someone like Janusz Kamiński could have done with Star Wars. Now, the discussion actually centered on David’s reviews and the subjective view is kind of unnecessary - since we already know that the PT received no general appraisal for the cinematography.

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jajje said:

some amazing shots over three movies is not the same as great cinematography throughout the PT.

I didn’t mean that the entire trilogy has great cinematography, most of it is just average. I’m sorry for not making that clear enough.

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timdiggerm said:

I’ve really been enjoying this series, but was surprised you didn’t talk about the Opera scene. Isn’t it…decent?

Had to narrow my focus a bit on this one since I was already knocking on the door of 3,000 words just focussing on three major moments from the film. The opera scene is pretty good – one of the better scenes in the movie, certainly. I didn’t get to talk much about Ian McDiarmid, but it’s clear he’s having so much fun, and all the better he’s not buried under a stupid-looking makeup prosthetic at this point. I think the direction of the scene is a bit flat (like nearly all of the rest of the movie), but since the scene is carried by McDiarmid monologuing, it generally works.

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Omni said:

+1 for ROTS as best and TPM as worst prequels.

Oh, wait… hahaha, it’s funny how most people not from this forum that I’ve talked to about this seem to agree that ROTS is the best of the bunch and TPM the worst.

I think that’s because ROTS has all the stuff that should have been spread out across all three films.
It’s the stuff we were all excited to see in this trilogy. So, even though it’s all silly, corny, contrived and shoe-horned in, it’s what we originally showed up to see in 1999. It’s all just done quick, dirty, very poorly and crammed into one film. And this makes it the worst for me.
TPM at least looks like a movie and has some spirit to it. It’s also terrible though.

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ray_afraid said:

TPM has that look, but the other two look so cheap.

That’s probably because TPM was filmed on 35mm and the other two prequels were filmed digitally.

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ray_afraid said:

Omni said:

+1 for ROTS as best and TPM as worst prequels.

Oh, wait… hahaha, it’s funny how most people not from this forum that I’ve talked to about this seem to agree that ROTS is the best of the bunch and TPM the worst.

I think that’s because ROTS has all the stuff that should have been spread out across all three films.
It’s the stuff we were all excited to see in this trilogy. So, even though it’s all silly, corny, contrived and shoe-horned in, it’s what we originally showed up to see in 1999. It’s all just done quick, dirty, very poorly and crammed into one film. And this makes it the worst for me.
TPM at least looks like a movie and has some spirit to it. It’s also terrible though.

Yep, all of this. Though I do still think ROTS is better than the horrendous mess that is AOTC.

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I can say that TPM does look and feel like a movie, if a boring one at times. It has a little of that feeling that older classic film productions used to.
The other two feel video gamey to me, and it can’t just be 35mm vs ‘Cool For The Time But Probably Not The Best Choice For A Highly Anticipated Blockbuster Super Duper Digital Camera.’

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The cinematography is also the set-up and execution of the shots and it’s extremely bland and simply boring throughout the PT. The quality of the actual picture might influence the viewing experience, but it most certainly shouldn’t exclude a riveting and/or entertaining end product. But yeah, we ended up getting almost made-for-TV- or straight-to-DVD-movies because that was way cheaper for the production.

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Before The Force Awakens came out, I marathoned the prequels with a friend who hadn’t seen any of them since the theater (he waited in line with me for Phantom Menace on opening day). I’d seen fan edits of them since, but not the theatrical versions.

Watching them back to back for the first time, I realized the only reason why I think Revenge of the Sith is the best is because it’s the only one that has clear villains established early on (Grevious and Palpatine), and it’s the only one where you can pause it halfway through and describe the plot concisely (TPM is all over the place until the last act, and AotC still doesn’t have any real villain, and we’re already two movies into what is supposed to be a classic space-opera).

I don’t think RotS is very good, but it comes the closest to feeling like an actual movie. There’s a couple scenes and shots that feel like they were taken from a better movie.

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Back again with another entry, this time on Solo: A Star Wars Story. This one isn’t the worst Star Wars film, but it’s maybe the most frustrating. A work that is more Easter egg hunt than movie; a tremendously directed film where empty fan service eclipses story and character development.

Read it here.

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I enjoyed reading the Solo entry, and while I didn’t agree with some of your viewpoints in there, they did get me thinking about it and other alternative points of view and how other fans arrived at them. I look forward to your next piece(they are very well written and laid out) and reading more of your older articles on there as well.

Thanks 😃

Tighten Up and then turn it all the way up to 11!

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Now that we’ve made it through the prequels and Solo, I’m back in cartoon mode until (checks calendar) October. I know that doesn’t carry as much interest as the films do around here, but I thought I’d share my piece on Star Wars Rebels’ first season either way.

After Lucas left, the future of Star Wars was uncertain. Still dealing with the fallout from a decade backlash against the prequels, the series needed a renewed statement of intent. Star Wars Rebels became just that, appealing to nostalgia for the original films while at once working to unite Lucas’s two trilogies into an inseparable whole and lay the ground work for the future of Star Wars stories.

This show is one that means a lot to me, and as such this is probably the most sentimental this series is going to get. Anyway, you can read it here if you’re into that. Enjoy!

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Damn, that was a great article, man. It’s your best one yet, I think. I absolutely love your the positivity and passion you have for Rebels.

Even though I kept up with Rebels as new episodes premiered, I believe a part of me felt that it was just a way to get my Star Wars fix until the next film came out, but you reminded me how much there is to love about that show.