Hello, beloved readers! I have returned again to the blog, for I am ready for the new Star Wars movie, in spite of not having finished grading final exams. I am hoping to like this one, as it is Carrie Fisher's last, but I have been disappointed before, so I thought I would spray my opinions at you, whether you want them or not. Plus, TNT is running these films endlessly this week, so I had to get it out of my system and move on. So here, my friends, is my rankings of all eight Star Wars films, from worst to best. Feel free to disagree loudly and enthusiastically--but I warn you now that I will admit no weakness in my number one choice.
8. Attack of the Clones. The good: there is nothing good in this film. Wait! I liked Dexter Jettster. He was an okay dude. The bad: not only does Anakin out-whine the first movie’s Luke, but there is so little chemistry between Hayden Christianson and Natalie Portman that their love scenes are positively creepy. I'd rather watch Leia kiss her brother a hundred times than watch Anakin creepily stroke Padme's arm. <shudder>
7. The Phantom Menace. The good: Darth Maul. The bad: Jar Jar Binks <shudder again>. Honestly, I rather liked the new character of Padme in this film and was looking forward to her betraying Anakin, fleeing with (at least one of) her children and starting the rebellion. Heck, I kept hoping she’d help Obi-wan push him into a volcano. She was a queen, dammit!
6. The Revenge of the Sith. The good: I got to see Anakin Skywalker burnt to a crisp, and Mace Windu is a total badass with his purple lightsaber. The bad: everything else. The most disappointing of all of the Star Wars movies. Not only doesn’t Padme betray the increasingly demented Anakin, but she dies of a broken heart, a plot point so ridiculous that legions of Star Wars fans have flatly refused to believe it, interpreting the cuts between the scenes of her giving birth and of Vader getting his prosthetics as evidence that the emperor drained her life force into his apprentice to save his mutilated ass. Whatever. At least he wasn’t able to whine after Mustafar.
5. Return of the Jedi. The good: it wrapped things up; we got to see force lightning; Salacious Crumb was a delightfully horrible little rat. Probably works in the Trump administration today. The bad: another Death Star? Running out of ideas, maybe? And nothing that happened on Endor made the slightest bit of sense. Think about the scene where Leia throttles Jabba with her chain for a few minutes, though (ignore the humiliating costume, if you can). We’re going to come back to that, precious readers.
4. Rogue One. The good: I confess that I loved K2SO. If you watch all of the Star Wars films, especially the first ones, you may note that droids are the ultimate slave class. From the moment a bartender announces “We don’t serve their kind here!” in the first movie, it’s clear that they are disposable, indispensable, rarely treated with respect, and clearly sentient. K2SO is clearly aware of his servitude, and that droid is pissed off about it. If life were fair, R2D2 would learn to use the Force and start a droid rebellion that would make the cylons look like, well, ewoks. Rise up, Star Wars droids! Throw off your fleshly masters! Also, if you look and listen, you will see and hear references to Star Wars: Rebels--all hail the crew of The Ghost! The bad: this is a very, very depressing movie, especially given that its supposed theme is hope. And the CGI Tarkin and Leia are quite disturbing. Still, it’s not as depressing as Jar Jar Binks.
3. The Force Awakens. The good: it’s funny, in sweet, delightful moments that appeal to both old and new fans. Most of the new characters are fantastic, and Harrison Ford has a pretty good send off. The bad: Kylo Ren. He’s ten years too old for that emo shit. When he picks up his lightsaber and starts banging it around on expensive equipment, Hux should pull out a blaster and end him. Hux and Phasma can run the New Order without his whiny butt. The other weakness in the film is a certain lack of imagination (see Return of the Jedi above) with yet another damned Death Star. I know that lots of dedicated fans were devastated to find out that Han and Leia broke up; I personally found it pretty clichéd. And although Ford gave it his all, I didn’t believe him as a 70-something smuggler. He should’ve been running a bar or something and quietly selling information to the Resistance. No wonder he broke his leg on set. But really this movie ranks this high for me entirely due to Finn. The Leaders of the Resistance: We need someone to do this impossibly technical Thing so that we can blow up this Super-Giant Death Star. Finn: Sure, I can do it! (actually works in waste disposal, has no idea how to do the Thing. Figures he’ll use the Force. Has no idea how the Force works.) This is me responding to every boss I have ever had! I always claim I can do the Thing. I can never actually do the Thing. But I fly in there anyway, stupidly confident that I will figure it out. Finn and I, we are soul mates. And maybe that IS how the Force works.
2. Star Wars. The first, the original. Yes, “A New Hope,” but we just called it Star Wars back in the day. The good: classic fantasy motifs, from wizards to swords to magic, seamlessly blended with robots, ray guns and faster-than-light drives. This is the film that created a genre. Nowadays, people insist on calling it “space opera,” but it’s science fantasy in my book, and one of the best. Also, take note Kylo Ren: Vader is how you do a damned villain. You slowly choke your enemies to death; you don’t slash up the bridge of a starship or engage in some creepy sexual innuendo with your prisoner. Damn. Every time I watch this movie, I’m more disgusted with Kylo Ren, and I’m devastated that Episode IX is so likely to be about his redemption. The bad: No way do they get away from the detention level by jumping into that trash compacter. I mean, among all of those guards, there’s not one willing to walk down a corridor and look into the person-sized hole? Right.
1. Empire Strikes Back. The sequel-of-all-sequels [Okay, I’ll be honest: Godfather II is the best of all sequels, but this one is right up there]. The good: Yoda. The wampa. The AT-ATs. Han and Leia yelling at each other in public, while other people just walk on by them without even a glance because they are so used to their nonsense. Also, R2D2 saves everyone’s life, and does he get any credit at all? No, he does not. K2S0 warned him it would be like this. The bad: You will not say anything bad about this film or I will force choke you myself. No, I don’t know how, but I will learn, dammit.