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Episode IX Star Wars binge part 7 - film rankings

Cafeman

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I am done watching the films in story-chronological order!  Here is my ranking of the 8 Skywalker films and 2 side story films, which I'm sure nobody will agree with: 


Ep5 > Ep4 > Ep6 > Ep7 >  RO > Ep8 > Ep3 > Solo > Ep1 >  Ep2. 


Breaking it down a bit: 


Ep5 > Ep4 > Ep6  -  because the OT films are the best of all them. Unbeatable.   Ep6 ROTJ is an 8.5/10 film, not quite up there with Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back - both of which are 10/10 excellent films.  

 
Next I list Ep7 The Force Awakens which I rate as an 8.5/10 film overall.  Despite mirroring Ep4: A New Hope story points: a desert planet with a force sensitive new person,  and a cantina scene, and a new planet-killing "Death Star" type of weapon,  a new "Empire" and a new "Emperor" , and even a trench scene ... despite what it looks like when written down, I think JJ Abrams and crew did a nice job bringing back the SW feel and making it all seem familiar, but not really the same story at all.  Plus we got to see Han, Leia, and briefly Luke 30 years after ROTJ!   John Williams introduce new themes here, including Rey's theme which I love.    Ep7 TFA is the best of the not-OT films. 


Next I listed Rogue One. I like the film, I'd rate it 8/10. It has an awesome final battle, the first Darth Vader scenes since 1983 ROTJ, and reanimated Tarkin which I greatly enjoyed.   I can't rank it too high, since without the OT already existing, Rogue One wouldn't be so great to me.    It fits right into the OT feel, it adds to the Death Star / Rebels story, it fleshes out Vader and the ruthless Grand Moff Tarkin too.  Its a great and fresh film. 


Next I listed Ep8 The Last Jedi. I like the film, I'd give it 7.5/10 overall, but I get bored with the Finn/Rose scenes, and I don't like how the film uses Holdo and killed off Ackbar.    I don't mind Snoke getting killed, I never really liked that character anyway.    Poe and Finn seem less interesting than they were in TFA!   Maybe the film is just too long and should have had some parts cut or edited. 

 

Next I listed Ep3 Revenge of the Sith,  a 7.5/10 film to me. It is packed with combat scenes, and even shows Kashyyk and the wookies.  Although it doesn't connect with me like the OT does, it does have scenes we never got before , mostly Palpatine vs just about everybody individually, even Yoda.   I love watching Ian McDiarmid chewing up his scenes. 

 

Next I listed Solo.  I enjoy the film, and it has young Han, Chewie, the Falcon, and a fantastic version of young Lando Calrissian!  I would rate it 7.5/10 overall. But despite Han and Chewie and even Lando,  this film feels the least like a Star Wars film to me.  Especially with Woody Harrelson and The Vision and that G.ame-of-Thrones actress in it.    So I didn't rank it that high on my SW list.  Fun to watch, but not memorable to me. 

Next I listed Ep1 The Phantom Menace.  Like Ep7 about 15 years later, TPM brought back the familiarity of SW in a decent way, starting with 2 Jedi and lightsabers.    Darth Maul is the best not-Vader Sith who ever could have been imagined!  His athleticism and attacks , and appearance, are a treat to watch while the swelling music of Duel of the Fates is playing.  Other superb characters are Liam Neeson as Qui-Gonn and introducing Ewan McGregor  as young Obi-Wan .   I liked seeing Tatooine and Jabba again, and the Pod Racing sequence is thrilling.      I'd rate TPM 7/10 as a film. 


Finally,  Ep2 Attack of the Clones (easily the worst of all them), perhaps a  6/10 film.   AotC has some enjoyable scenes like all SW films,  but a lot of bad scenes that weigh the film down; usually as soon as Anakin and Padme start talking, I click the Fast Forward button until the next scene appears, making it a much more enjoyable movie.  

 

I guess I really don't like the Prequel Trilogy films as much as the other ones.   One of the reasons is that George Lucas relied on CGI too much and you can see it.  Another reason is the dialogue is often bad. I think Lucas has great ideas, but it seems he wasn't the best director, perhaps?   In hindsight, I think only 2 PT films were needed.  Or, we could have gotten to know the other Jedi a bit more over the course of the 3 films before they are all wiped out. Or, Darth Maul could have, you know, NOT been killed off so quickly?  Well, I have to watch Episode IX and then re-evaluate the PT against the entire Sequel Trilogy. 


Next up on my Episode IX Star Wars binge:  more video-games, and The Mandalorian to watch! 
 

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Are you sick of Star Wars yet? Clone Wars, Rebels, and Resistance await! Since you ranked everything 6/10 or higher, I think you're officially a fan. 
 

I've only watched all of Rebels, which is very kiddie, but has an original trilogy feeling and art to match. Looks like a combo of Ralph McQuarrie paintings and a Kenner toy catalog. Consistently solid. 
 

Clone Wars is episodic, you can jump around a fair amount from arc to arc (I've yet to see all of the clone buddy stories; they're probably better than I'm thinking they would be). Some of it is very trippy. Much of it is very bland. 
 

Resistance is serialized but short. I've begun it but haven't followed through. It's ...fine. Very "Big Hero 6." Looks good, well acted, made for nine-year-olds. 

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I binged The Clone Wars before Ep7 came out. I skipped some eps and a few early arcs; there is a lot of content there. I saw most of Rebels. I might have missed some at the end. I remember Ahsoka showed up again, as well as Lando and even Obi-wan Kenobi. There were minor  references to Rebels in Rogue One.    Never saw the Resistance show.  I'll check out some of it on Disney+ eventually, but for now the only show I want to see is Mandalorian! I'm waiting for more han 2 eps to be available before I subscribe. 

 

I'm anxious to play some Star Wars games now.  Im not sick of SW but I'm done with the films for a while. :)

 

 

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The early DOS games are sublime, Dark Forces and TIE Fighter in particular. make sure you play X-Wing before you touch TIE Fighter, because it's hard to go back from the much more refined design. 
 

I also like Shadows of the Empire quite a lot for what it is. There's a train level early in Star Wars Uncharted, I mean Jedi Fallen Order that takes it to 3000. 
 

The Amiga port of the Star Wars Arcade game is quite nice. I suspect the Atari ST port is very similar if you swing that way. I liked the Mac version THIRTY YEARS AGO and only just now have my very own mini Star Wars Arcade home machine, 35 years later. 

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I don't know why, but I love seeing people's orderings of the Star Wars films!  Just about everyone has a different list!  Thanks for sharing yours, Cafeman!

 

Mine isn't wildly different, but I do enjoy Revenge of the Sith and Solo more than most people, and Force Awakens less than others....

 

Ep5 > Ep4 > Ep6 > Ep3 > Solo > Ep8 > RO > Ep7 > Ep1 >  Ep2

 

Some thoughts: (skipping over praise for the OT and criticism of the first two prequel movies, I have nothing new to say there.)

 

Episode 3 does a surprisingly good job of fixing the flaws of Episodes One and Two.  Anakin is largely likable and heroic, if clearly flawed, through the first part of the movie, which is so important to what needs to come later in the film.  I wish so much we had seen that kind of characterization for him in AOTC.  And the music, the action scenes, and the all the new worlds we see are top-notch Star Wars.  (JJ and Rian could really have taken some notes on creative world building from this film!)  Yeah, the clunky dialogue (though much improved from TPM and AOTC) and a few problematic scenes hold it back from OT greatness, but I feel it still does Star Wars better than any of the other films.

 

Solo is just so damn fun, and gives my all time favorite character a moment in the spotlight.  And I just generally enjoy the hell out space outlaw stories, so I'm really biased in favor of this one.

 

No need to get into The Last Jedi here, my take is very similar to Cafeman's.

 

Rogue One is good but it's so uneven... the first half moves so damn slowly, with the excursion to rescue/assassinate Jyn's father being particularly painful to re-watch.  And I'm not personally thrilled with it's darker take on the Rebel Alliance.  But once the team arrives on Scarif everything falls together and suddenly it all becomes amazing!

 

And finally, The Force Awakens.  I can't express enough how impressed I am with this new set of characters... they're well-written, well-acted, fun, funny, have great chemistry together, and are fully worthy of the Star Wars legacy.  And sure, I love seeing Han and Chewbacca back in action!  But so much of the story is a less impressive version of Episode IV.  The physics of Starkiller base are ridiculous even by Star Wars standards, and the casual way they figure out how to destroy it is just insulting compared to how difficult it was to learn how to attack the Death Stars.  The way the Falcon is constantly crashed into things with no ill effects just sets my teeth on edge every time.  I wish a moment or two had been taken to explain how Rey became so powerful so quickly.  R2 and 3PO are barely in the movie.  And I mourn the lost opportunity to unite the original trilogy team on last time.  I know the writing on this one was rushed to fit Disney's arbitrary Holiday 2015 deadline, but I really wish they had been given more time to get it exactly right.  

 

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I started to watch the Mandalorian (excellent!), and also tried out the animated Star Wars Resistance show.  I really don't think  I can enjoy the youth-skewed Resistance show. So far it is far less appealing than Clone Wars or Rebels. 

 

After a decade of Marvel MCU films monopolizing my interest, it is nice to do a film viewing palette cleanse with Star Wars shows. 

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I think your rankings are very good. I'd rate the films:

 

Ep4 > Ep5 > Ep6 > Ep8 > RO > Ep7 > Solo > Ep3 > Ep2 > The Star Wars Holiday Special > Ep1

 

There's a very large gap between Ep5 and Ep6 though. I never like ROTJ much. Rogue One only falls short because of the creepy CG Tarkin and Leia.

 

I'd put Ep8 over Ep7, because Ep7 was just too derivative of Ep4. Plus, JJ is just terrible at coming up with plot ideas that aren't phenomenally stupid (the sun-sucking super weapon of Starkiller base, all of the planets that needed to be destroyed were not only in the same star system as each other, but in the same system as the planet that Maz's Cantina happened to be on, and they were all within visual range of each other. But this shouldn't come as any surprise after the "red matter" and interstellar transporter backpacks of the Star Trek movies. I fear for Episode IX.)

 

Ep3 was disappointing in that it really missed an opportunity to make Anakin's turn to Darth Vader truly compelling. Instead it was just, "Now you're Darth Vader." "Okay, I'm going to murder a room full of kids." Plus the end of the lightsaber fight missed a huge opportunity for Anakin to show some remorse. It would've been better if Obi-Wan tried to save him after nearly killing him, but Anakin "forced" him away, realizing the mistakes he'd made, and deciding he'd be better off dead. But then the Emperor would show up to stop him, against his will. Also, it would've given Anakin a chance to give his lightsaber to Obi-Wan in order to pass it along to his son (therefore not turning Obi-Wan into a complete liar). Finally, they should have shown the Emperor killing Padme using the Force. That would've made more sense than her "just giving up". Swing and a miss, George. But the Clone Wars series really helped make Anakin a more compelling and ultimately tragic character. I'm looking forward to them concluding the series with the new episodes they're working on (even if it means subscribing to Disney+ for the duration).

 

Ep2 with "creepy Anakin" is pretty unwatchable. Ep1 is completely unwatchable.

 

I'd rank Ep5 second because:

  1. Star Wars (I still won't call it Episode IV) changed everything. I'd never seen anything like it before. It was the perfect movie for the age I was when it came out in the theaters.
  2. Some idiot ruined The Empire Strikes Back for me, so it didn't have the impact it otherwise would have. I'll admit it is a better film though.
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