Ranking Star Wars Films

…………………………………………………………………………………….

Ranking Star Wars Films

Star Wars is a very uneven franchise. For every truly great movie, we get just an okay one. The prequel trilogy is for the most part not great, the original trilogy is very good, but somewhat overrated and the new trilogy is surprisingly good. This is my personal list so here are a couple of surprises. Even though some entries here are mediocre, most are quite good and overall it is an overhyped, but entertaining and interesting franchise which grows on me with every subsequent viewing. So without further ado, here are all the SW films so far ranked from worst to best:

 

10. The Clone Wars

Yes, the only animated film in the franchise gets the worst spot which is pretty unanimous ranking for almost everyone. It isn’t a horrible film as it has a very cool villain and some fun action scenes, but still the action is overwhelming and the film is very mediocre in all of these departments – writing, acting, characterization and script. Its animation is its worst aspect though as the human faces look absolutely horrible.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie Review

 

9. Attack of the Clones

Again this one also has some good aspects such as that lightsaber duel between Yoda and Dooku which is excellent and the special effects are reliably terrific, but it is easily the worst live-action Star Wars film of all time as here we get to spend the most time with Anakin/Hayden Christensen. His performance is awful, but the dialogue is the worst here as it is laughably bad plus his romance with Padme is so terrible.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

 

8. The Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace definitely has a bunch of excellent sequences with the highlights being the thrilling pod race sequence and the duel between the two Jedi and Darth Maul is beautifully choreographed. But Jar-Jar Binks sucks all life out of this film as he truly is one atrocious and very annoying creation. The film is endearing, but overly childish and with pretty mediocre humor as well.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

 

7. Rogue One

Some of the action in Rogue One is excellent, the first half is quite fun and the acting is very good. However, even though it is very well made, it is easily the most overrated Star Wars movie which is basically just an action war film with non-stop spectacle and rarely anything more than that. For those who like that, it must be great. But for me, it was rather dull plus I found the character development pretty mediocre and thus the emotional scenes left me in the cold.

Image result for rogue one gif

 

6. The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens definitely is a very familiar film and a rehash of ‘A New Hope’. It relies too much on nostalgia and is implausible in some plot points. But there is no denying how well made it is and how wonderfully traditional in its thrills it is. I like all of the new characters quite a bit, the action is excellent, the effects are great too and the film is a lot of fun to watch. It is old-fashioned for better and for worse.

Image result for force awakens gif

 

5. Revenge of the Sith

Revenge of the Sith is plagued by once again terrible dialogue and weak action, but this is infinitely better than the previous two entries in the prequel trilogy and it’s easily the most underrated Star Wars film of them all. There is something operatic and epic in its story of good guy gone bad, there is something spectacular in its beautifully realized action scenes and of course the entire third act is so emotional and just powerful in all the right ways. It succeeds as such a good, affecting prequel to the original trilogy that it renders its two predecessors entirely pointless.

 

4. Return of the Jedi

Return of the Jedi is, along with ‘The Phantom Menace’, the most childish entry in this entire franchise. Some of it is wonderfully childlike, but some of it is still too childish and thus feeling too different from its predecessors. But the Ewoks are still very endearing, I really liked the action here and of course that third act is emotionally rewarding and immensely powerful.

Image result for return of the jedi gif

 

3. A New Hope

A New Hope is where this whole phenomenon started and it has everything I like and dislike about Star Wars in it. The characters are iconic and excellent, I loved their interactions, the humor is terrific and most of the action is memorable. Of course Darth Vader steals the show as such an iconic villain that he is. But still the action is so overwhelming here that some of it, especially the third act, was rather boring to me. And I am just not a fan of aerial fights as I am more of a lightsaber duel guy.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

 

2. The Last Jedi

This placement might seem controversial to many people, but I don’t care as The Last Jedi is such a terrific, hugely misunderstood film. It is uneven at times and it has its small flaws, but the story is so great that it renders those flaws unimportant. I loved Snoke, Ray and especially Rose who is such a wonderful new addition to this roster of characters. But the movie is great because it finally gives us something new and doesn’t just rehash old ideas like its predecessor. A lot of the things and status quo were changed here and I appreciated its boldness so much. Rian Johnson is the one responsible for the greatness of this film in my opinion.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

 

1. The Empire Strikes Back

And the number one goes to The Empire Strikes Back which is a very cliched, but obvious choice as no other Star Wars film can possibly compare to its greatness. It is the first truly serious Star Wars film which eventually influenced the film above. It features excellent dialogue and a willingness to go into dramatic instead of action-oriented territory. Its twist is great, but those calmer scenes with Yoda are the highlights as he is such a fantastic character. I loved the action, I loved the scenes with Leia and Han and I admired the film for being less childish and more mature and slower paced. It isn’t just the best Star Wars movie, but it’s also one of the finest blockbusters as well as sequels of all time.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

Share

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie Review

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a 2008 animated sci-fi action film which is the only animated entry in the franchise. It is also the weakest one.

………………………………………………….

Master Kenobi, always chasing after Skywalker. How predictable.

Anakin leaves quite a mess, which always leads me to you, Ventress

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie Review

………………………………………………….

I really did not care for this film although I have to say that it is far from the levels of worst proclaimed by most critics and audiences. Certainly it is mediocre, but never truly bad and of course far from horrible. But still it remains the weakest Star Wars film right in the alley of ‘Attack of the Clones’.

So it follows Anakin who gets himself a Padawan named Ahsoka. The two must help Jabba the Hutt’s son in the ongoing titular war. So let’s first state those rare positives here. I liked the interactions between Ahsoka and Anakin even though they are boring. And I really liked the villain Asajj Ventress. She is badass, powerful and all the lightsaber duels with her were the highlights of the film.

But the rest of the action is entirely forgettable and not to mention overwhelming. The movie is frenetic in pacing and filled with action scene after action scene to the point where it became very exhausting and incredibly dull to watch.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Obi-Wan is okay, but Anakin’s story here does not match the rest of the prequels and he is portrayed as overly good and thus this entire film is one big, sugar-coated lie. Count Dooku is very good, but Yoda and Mace Windu as well as all of the others are underutilized. But I liked Jabba’s son and he was endearing. As for Ahsoka, I do realize that she is an important character, but here she came off as rather unappealing, dull and just your regular, boring protagonist with no personality whatsoever.

The voice acting here is quite weak. I have to commend the actors on doing the voices that are so similar to the actual actors from the prequel trilogy, but still the performances lack any emotion to them and are so flat.

And that brings me to the movie’s worst aspect – its animation. Wow, does this film look bad. Certainly the backgrounds are okay, but the character design and the animation of the humans is simply horrible as they look like robots and they move and talk in such a robot-like, puppet manner that threw me off completely. Rarely have I seen worse animation than this one.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie Review

………………………………………………….

So The Clone Wars not horrible, but the dialogue is overly simplistic, the script is pretty weak and the overall film is of TV quality which is obvious as these act as four initial episodes of a future show. It shows and they made a mistake for putting it in the theaters.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars has a very good villain and some memorable action sequences, but most of the action is still boring and highly overwhelming. The script is quite weak, the characterization is slight and the dialogue is rather simplistic. But its worst offender is its animation which is okay in backgrounds, but absolutely horrible in humans who look and act like robots. It isn’t a terrible film, but it is very mediocre.

My Rating – 2.5

Share

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)

…………………………………………………

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is a 2005 space opera film directed by George Lucas and starring Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor. It is the best Star Wars prequel by a mile.

………………………………………………….

You were the chosen one!

It was said that you would

destroy the Sith, not join them!

Bring balance to the force…

not leave it in darkness!

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Movie Review

………………………………………………….

I really liked this film, quite a lot actually and that I did not expect. This is finally a prequel Star Wars film which we deserved as it does everything a prequel should do – it sets up ‘A New Hope’ stupendously well with the entire third act being incredibly emotionally rewarding.

The duel between Yoda and Palpatine is simply fantastic and of course the duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan is amazing and emotionally devastating. It is a long, but worthy fight which is unforgettable in the Star Wars lore. Obi-Wan’s final lines are simply devastating to hear and that scene is immensely powerful.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Movie Review

………………………………………………….

I also really liked the birth of Leia and Luke as well as the creation of Darth Vader. Another highlight includes the fight between Obi-Wan and General Grievous. That was a lot of fun. All of the scenes with Anakin being manipulated by Palpatine are of course superb.

I do not understand why George Lucas did not put at least some of this storyline into ‘The Phantom Menace’ and ‘Attack of the Clones’. This movie is so good, but also rushed and just stuffed with too many important plot points and some of those should have been put in the first two films which are by comparison almost unnecessary to watch how pointless they are whereas this one is incredibly important in its story. That was a huge mistake and Lucas is the only one to blame for such a pure structure of this trilogy.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Hayden Christensen is still not good, but much better than before. Anakin is definitely overly naive and easily influenced, but still his story is so powerful and emotionally devastating. It felt like some grand tragedy of yesteryear. Padme is still boring, but Mace Windu is very good and tragic. Count Dooku is disposed of too quickly, but Grievous is a very memorable, creepy villain.

The robots take little screen time thankfully and Jar-Jar is almost not here at all. That is why the film is so serious tonally and I loved that. Yoda is of course phenomenal and I loved his every single line of dialogue. And of course the highlight is Palpatine or Darth Sidius who is such a powerful villain who was excellent and mysterious in the original trilogy, but is well utilized and explored here which is also interesting. His quest for power and his entire story is so well written. He is an immensely powerful villain and although Ian McDiarmid’s performance is at times borderline cartoony, it still fits the character properly.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Revenge of the Sith has too much action for sure. It needed more calmer scenes. But the action is still excellent for the most part which is why I enjoyed watching this film a lot. It is actually the most rewatchable of all Star Wars films as it’s just so much fun. The dialogue is as weak as I’d come to expect from Lucas and this great script needed much better dialogue. The film is very well shot and with great effects (except that unfortunately dated lava at the end). It is a powerful culmination of this story overall and a very underrated film in its own right.

Revenge of the Sith again has clunky dialogue and it has way too much story and a highly important story at that. I do not understand why George Lucas stuffed all of this greatness into one film and left the first two films ultimately pointless and unnecessary in the bigger scope of things. But there is no denying how powerful this film is and how emotionally rewarding that third act is. Its story is important, grandiose and so well realized and the highlights include all of the scenes between Palpatine and Anakin, the ending, the Yoda-Darth Sidius duel and of course the duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan which is not only cool, but also very tragic. It is the most fun and rewatchable Star Wars film of them all and easily the best of the prequel trilogy.

My Rating – 4

Share

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones is a 2002 space opera film directed by George Lucas and starring Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman. It is the worst entry in the entire series.

………………………………………………….

I don’t like sand.

It’s coarse and rough and irritating

and it gets everywhere

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Yes, I really did not like this one. ‘The Phantom Menace’ has a couple of truly great scenes, but this one doesn’t even have those. It is certainly less insufferable and less childish with a thankfully reduced screen time for Jar Jar, but the other introduced elements are worse than its predecessor’s aspects quite a lot.

I am talking about the overwhelming action and the romance. The action is fun in the lightsaber duel and some other scenes, but for the most part it was dull as it is basically a war film with the clones fighting the Jedi. Those scenes bored me and the film is definitely overlong and dragging quite a bit.

But oh boy does the romance suck and carry this entire film down significantly. This has to be the worst romance ever put on film. The relationship between Padme and Anakin is boring and uninteresting. The two actors lack chemistry and their performances are terrible. Their lines of dialogue are awful and all of their scenes are basically giant detours with no purpose whatsoever other than to make you laugh how ridiculous they are.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Attack of the Clones is an honorable, but failed experiment. And what I mean by that is that the film tries to give us Anakin’s troubles with his temperament and we are meant to witness his shift to the dark side. It is thematically an interesting film and it does that shift really subtly and in an anti-cartoony manner. However, because the dialogue is so horrible across the board and the execution is so bad, those scenes that should have been dramatic and emotional are the worst ones here which is just unfortunate.

Natalie Portman gave one of her worst performances here. She is usually a very good actress, but here she is mediocre. But Hayden Christensen is just awful and he gave such a horrible, undeniably atrocious performance in an essential role that he single-handedly destroyed this entire film. I do think that he was cast in this role for looks alone as he has no acting talent whatsoever.

Obi-Wan Kenobi should have been used more here and Mace Windu is solid, but somewhat forgettable. The robots are quite amusing in some scenes, but mostly unnecessary. Palpatine and Count Dooku are excellent villains and again they should have been used in more scenes. Yoda is also reliably great. The fight between Yoda and Dooku remains the only truly good scene in this film as it is a great fight and easily the highlight of this otherwise unexciting film.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Attack of the Clones has reliably terrific special effects and also some of the scenes featured excellent imagery and planet scenery. The score and the sound effects are both pretty good too. This script I think was good in its initial stages and it had potential as certainly its intentions were excellent, but the execution is so bad that it rendered the entire affair dead in tracks. The dialogue is some of the worst that I have ever heard in a film. That’s why it’s the worst film in the entire franchise.

Attack of the Clones looks great, the duel between Yoda and Count Dooku is excellent and the film had very good intentions, but the execution is so bad that it rendered the entire film mediocre. Rarely have I heard worse dialogue than this one as many lines spoken here are ridiculous and even hilarious. The action scenes are overwhelming, the film is too long and the romance between Padme and Anakin is so bland and all their scenes together are terrible. Hayden Christensen is simply an atrocious actor and he single-handedly destroyed this entire film. It is undoubtedly the worst entry in the entire franchise.

My Rating – 2.5

Share

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is a 1999 space opera film directed by George Lucas and starring Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor among others. It is a first film in the prequel trilogy.

………………………………………………….

Mom, you said that the biggest problem

in the universe is no one helps each other

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Now I found this film to be okay and passable. Certainly not very good, but definitely far from bad as many do say. That is too harsh a statement as this film has a couple of standout scenes in it and those help it a lot. But nonetheless, most of it was a bore to me.

So it is a prequel set 32 years before ‘A New Hope’ and here we follow Anakin Skywalker as a kid and young Obi-Wan Kenobi with his master. Those two interested me as they were important. However, the other subplots are entirely unnecessary: either downright silly in the case of Jar Jar or downright tedious in the case of Padme. The one is too ridiculously childish and the politics was so pointless and not sophisticated at all but rather dull.

So let’s talk about the characters. Some are pretty good, but some are definitely weak. I really liked Qui-Gon Jinn. He is an excellent, caring and memorable Jedi master and I loved his relationship with Obi-Wan. Liam Neeson gave the best performance in the movie for sure. Obi-Wan is also excellent and I really enjoyed Ewan McGregor in this role, actually much more so than Alec Guinness before him.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Padme is bad, I never really liked her and her affection toward a kid basically is rather odd. And she is just a boring, underdeveloped character. Anakin is fine, but Jake Lloyd is so terrible in the role that he really hurt the entire character. I loved Palpatine and I wanted more from him and the same goes for Darth Maul who is underutilized, but so cool and a badass villain.

The robots are entirely forgettable here. Yoda is great of course, but he is better off as a puppet. And of course what is there yet to say that hasn’t been said before – Jar Jar Binks is such a horrible creation. Not only is he never funny or endearing at all in any shape or form, but he is also oddly designed and his effect is the only one I did not like in the film. I really disliked his entire species and he ruined this entire trilogy unfortunately.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The Phantom Menace is definitely gorgeously shot and with absolutely amazing, groundbreaking for 1999 special effects. They are indisputably mesmerizing. I loved the visuals and I loved the score, but the action was overwhelming and mostly dull and not particularly exciting and of course the script is weak and overly complicated with a particularly mediocre dialogue and most importantly awful humor.

The Phantom Menace has a lot of those insufferable, stupid “humorous” scenes and a lot of boring politics in it. It is a quasi-sophisticated film and never truly clever at all. However, as I said above, it has two absolutely brilliant sequences and those are worth giving the movie a shot alone.

The pod race sequence is simply fantastic – beautifully shot and executed with terrific, exhilarating action and the film is long, but never dull owing to how fun it is. And of course the duel between the two Jedi and Darth Maul is one of the best lightsaber duels in the history of Star Wars – beautifully choreographed almost like a dance, so cool and ending in such an emotional, powerful way.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The Phantom Menace is far from a great Star Wars film, but it isn’t terrible either as it has its particularly strong elements. It is an okay film which could have been much better had it not been for overwhelming action, mediocre dialogue, some weak performances and bad humor. Jar Jar Binks is a horrible creation and he ruined this movie plus the politics is unbearably boring and unnecessary. But the special effects are absolutely amazing, Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson are great as Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon and the film has two simply fantastic sequences that it’s worth watching just for them alone: the pod race sequence is brilliantly executed and a lot of fun and the lightsaber duel between the two Jedi and Darth Maul is so cool and beautifully choreographed.

My Rating – 3

Share

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)

Image result for return of the jedi gif

…………………………………………………

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is a 1983 epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand and starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. It is a good, but flawed conclusion to the original trilogy.

………………………………………………….

You underestimate the power of the Dark Side.

If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Certainly both ‘A New Hope’ and especially ‘Empire Strikes Back’ are better than this film as they are more serious. This one concludes the story quite well, but not well enough and a lot of problems plague it. Let’s first talk about the positive things. I loved the entire third act of course. It was great seeing Luke’s struggle, Emperor Palpatine got his menacing moment to shine there and definitely the highlight was the ending.

Darth Vader proved that he is still good inside and saved Luke and killed the Emperor. The face unmasking sequence is incredible, the emotion is definitely felt and it surely is the most defining moment of any Star Wars film. I loved it as it was highly emotionally rewarding. The celebration scenes at the end were beautiful as well.

Another thing that I loved was Leia’s storyline. Luke learning that she is her brother, then her coping with it and Han being funny about it – that was all great stuff and I wanted more drama like that honestly.

But unfortunately what we got was a children’s film if you discount the aforementioned stuff. And there is nothing wrong with a family film and I love those, but in this instance it was odd as the first two films were more serious and focused on humans and this one focused on creatures and childish aspects. It just felt like a different film in the same trilogy.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi Movie Review

………………………………………………….

I disliked that the first act went on for too long. Jabba the Hutt is memorable and the various creatures there are fun, but those scenes were silly and campy and just way too extended. They grinded the film to a halt and just when it started.

But I did like the Ewoks, I have to say. Again they are too silly and childish plus it was of course unrealistic that they managed to beat the superior enemies, but there is no denying how cute and endearing they are. I loved their forest houses, weapons, sounds that they made and their designs. Excellent characters for kids.

Lando is forgettable and Boba Fett remains the most ridiculously overrated SW character for me. I liked Leia here quite a bit and Han was also likable. The two are a great couple. C-3PO and R2-D2 actually got a couple of very funny scenes. Luke is fine, but again Mark Hamill’s performance leaves a lot to be desired.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi Movie Review

………………………………………………….

I loved everything about the Emperor. He is very menacing and his voice and manner of speech are superb. Yoda’s scene was heartbreaking and poetic. Darth Vader’s storyline is of course iconic and the scene where they put Anakin’s ghost from the prequels made my day. Such a great choice.

Return of the Jedi definitely has overwhelming action, but some of it is highly memorable including the entire last battle between Luke and Vader as well as Emperor. But the air battles went on for too long. The humor is quite solid and the effects are once again excellent and the puppets looked great. This surely is a puppet feature in the vein of Muppets which was weird to witness, but fun.

Return of the Jedi is a good, but flawed conclusion to the original trilogy. Leia’s storyline is good, Emperor Palpatine is a fantastic villain and of course Darth Vader’s story is iconic. The entire final battle and the face unmasking scene are amazing. The film is pretty much a creature feature – very fun, endearing and great for children, but thus it felt like a different film when compared to the previous two. I liked the Ewoks and the droids quite a bit here, but they took too much screen time from the humans nonetheless.

My Rating – 4

Share

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a 2017 epic space opera film directed by Rian Johnson and starring Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill. It is one of the finest Star Wars films in my opinion.

………………………………………………….

Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to.

That’s the only way to become what you are meant to be

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Yes, I have to say that, when all is said and done, this is probably my second favorite Star Wars film, just after the unbeatable ‘Empire Strikes Back’. It has its flaws which are actually quite big and I will talk about them all later, but what it does right, it does that remarkably well and we have to appreciate that finally we got a different Star Wars film. It is easy to see why non-fans would find this one better than hardcore fans though.

Let’s first talk about the plot. Yes, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is obviously the influence here when it comes to the overall template and the structure of the film. You have your action in the first and third act, but you get slow and moving, serious drama in the second act. That bothered me, but not too much as ‘Empire’ is my favorite SW film and thus I liked this story as well. And also this film does a lot of the things differently which is why it is such an obvious improvement over ‘The Force Awakens’ which was a much bigger and emptier rehash of ‘A New Hope’.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The first scene or two bored me with too much action, but I loved the action in the third act and I respected that this film had different, wilder and ultimately more realistic lightsaber duels. But of course the highlight is the entire island storyline with Luke and Rey. I loved it. It was serious, emotional, game-changing and very commendable indeed.

But I also liked the villains for the most part, Poe Dameron and Leia’s arc was also quite good and I ended up really enjoying Finn’s storyline. I do understand why some would object to it as it clearly is some sort of a detour, but it is a lovely detour with two charming characters and a wonderful adventure.

The film has a bunch of interesting themes and it explores them quite well. Not only the religious aspects with the force and the blurring of bad and good guys but also the whole new angle to this universe with a villain which doesn’t belong in any previously established fraction and Rey not having famous parents. Definitely this one changed the game for future entries in the franchise. But I also loved that it touched on some serious themes such as self-sacrifice, honor, cowardice during war, war profiting and even animal cruelty. A very sophisticated script this it.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Let’s talk about each character and there is a lot to talk about in this section. Let’s start with Rey. She is definitely less powerful in this entry and whereas she was too strong before, she is now almost too weak and static. But I still ended up loving her story as well as her interesting and weird relationship with Kylo Ren.

Luke is excellent. Whereas Daisy Ridley’s performance was uneven (often weak, but also often very strong), Mark Hamill delivered his best performance yet as Luke Skywalker and this is his defining moment as a character who was very bland before, but is terrific and very complex here. I loved his last scene – quite poetic in its nature.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Leia should have been funnier, but she is as elegant and as wonderful as usual and Carrie Fisher gave her last performance here and at least she did wonderfully and was quite likable. Captain Phasma is much more memorable this time around and I loved her fight. Admiral Holdo was excellent and her death definitely left a big impression on me. A very powerful scene.

DJ is entirely forgettable and unnecessary here. The same should be said for the old guard of cutesy characters as C-3PO and Chewbacca are entirely unnecessary here. But I loved that Yoda appeared as he is my favorite Star Wars character and he was wonderful here. BB8 is forgettable, but those Porgs are much better than I expected them to be and I loved the use of practical effects on them.

Poe Dameron is okay, but still too cocky for me. As for Finn and Rose, as I said above, I really enjoyed their separate storyline and I bought them as a couple. They are wonderful together and so much fun. She is particularly strong and such a great new addition to this roster of characters. I loved her backstory and I just found her personality very appealing – she is heroic, but also grounded in reality and highly endearing.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Let’s get to the bad stuff now. What they did to Snoke infuriated me. But that is because he was such a perfect Star Wars villain here – incredibly strong, menacing, powerful and with another amazing performance from Andy Serkis and stunning VFX work. He is an undeniable force to be reckoned with and the fact that they threw that away was just unfortunate. That entire scene was a giant plot contrivance. And he remained too much of a mystery. I still do not care all too much for Kylo Ren. I get his complex character and intentions and his scenes with Rey were all stellar, but as a villain he actually bores me and that is why I am not too excited for the ninth movie which is too unfortunate as this one is pretty terrific. Adam Driver is simply phenomenal in the role though.

The Last Jedi is technically terrific. It isn’t too long as its story is excellent and very involving. I loved the slower pace and more sophisticated approach at storytelling and I also loved the dialogue. The score is just a rehash from previous SW scores, but the special effects are amazing and the use of locations and practical effects really added a lot to the viewing experience.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The acting is mostly very good and the humor is not too present, but surprisingly fantastic. General Hux is very funny and there are a lot of great lines here that honestly made me laugh quite a lot. But the tone is still pretty well handled and just right. And of course the direction from Rian Johnson is stellar and I do hope that he directs the next film and not J. J. Abrams as he did an infinitely better job.

With excellent action scenes, but most importantly a different approach with more sophisticated, moving and even authentic drama instead of just pure spectacle, The Last Jedi truly delivers. The film’s structure is familiar and the villain contrivance was just unfortunate and thus I ended up not being too excited for the next chapter, but most of the characters got their moment to shine and the highlights include Luke who got his best story yet, Snoke who is very menacing and Rose who is highly endearing. The use of intriguing locations and excellent practical effects added a lot of visual flair to the film whereas unexpectedly strong humor, great dialogue, clever themes and strong emotion all led to what is in my opinion the second best Star Wars film.

My Rating – 4.5

Share

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 science fiction fantasy film which is the second installment in this saga and easily the very best.

………………………………………………….

No. Try not.

Do… or do not.

There is no try

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

………………………………………………….

This is the pinnacle of all Star Wars. The only SW film which is truly great, at least in my opinion. Let’s first talk about the story. Certainly the film started off on a wrong foot as it was very much ‘A New Hope’ once again, but then it pretty quickly changed tone and went into a completely different territory.

It became much more mature, sophisticated and infinitely more involving in its second and third act. It also became a much better crafted, much more engaging adventure with some incredible high-spirited sequences such as the asteroid chase scene which is the finest action scene here. Lando is solid but not too memorable and Boba Fett is entirely forgettable and overrated, but the part with Han and Leia is still excellent and very well done.

But of course the highlight is Luke’s storyline. It is the greatest Jedi storyline so far and the one which is emotional and also stupendously well told with great dialogue. I loved that swamp planet and it was a perfect location for Luke’s training. And of course the fight with Vader is unforgettable, the twist remains great to this day and the ending is an excellent tease for the sequel. The film is very much a second, middle chapter and although some may have a problem with it, I really liked that it did not have a proper beginning and ending. It truly is the ultimate middle chapter in a trilogy.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Let’s talk about the characters. Most still remain problematic to me and overrated, but the character development is admittedly very good so it renders their likability unimportant. Luke Skywalker is much more memorable this time around, but I have a big problem with Mark Hamill’s performance here which required emotive acting and he just did not deliver as he has never been a great actor.

Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are terrific and surely Leia and Han Solo’s relationship is typical, but really well done nonetheless. They have great chemistry and dynamic together and they are certainly the best characters here. Well, the best after Darth Vader of course who is even more menacing this time around and his every scene is atmospheric and quite memorable.

Lando Calrissian was again not needed, but he is still a solid addition and I liked his friendship with Han. Boba Fett is such an overrated character who is underutilized and underdeveloped. He gets such a short screen time that I do not get why he is so beloved. And I am constantly annoyed with Chewbacca who only yelps and cries and never does anything else. He remains a stupid, pointless animal with a bad design and there’s nothing more to him.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The robots are much better. They are still added for children, but they work because the interactions between C3PO and R2-D2 are so strong and some are even priceless. A couple of their lines were so funny and they share such an endearing, funny relationship.

Of course Yoda is one of the standouts. The puppetry and voice acting from Frank Oz truly is magnificent here as Yoda looks very much alive and real. I love his way of speaking backwards and he truly is one of the most spiritual and mystical aspects in the entire franchise. Such a memorable, fascinating creation.

The Empire Strikes Back once again features that iconic score from the previous film and again it has amazing, breathtaking special effects. Not only the puppets are great, but the cities, the planets and especially the ships look so real and they have not aged a single day from its release. This was surely a big-budgeted affair and it paid off as it has a timeless look to it.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Movie Review

………………………………………………….

It runs for the perfect amount of runtime at two hours and only the first act is somewhat less involving, but the rest is spectacular entertainment. It is very well edited, acted, directed and above all featuring better themes and dialogue than the previous film. It is much better than the original in almost every way and much more entertaining and sophisticated.

The Empire Strikes Back has a somewhat less involving first act, but the rest is phenomenal entertainment. The film is much better than the original thanks to a more engaging, mature, darker and ultimately better approach at storytelling and thanks to the addition of Yoda who is a fantastic character. The score and special effects are once again brilliant, the action is much better executed and less overwhelming this time around and the dialogue and characterization are strong. The film is a perfect middle chapter in a trilogy with no apparent beginning or ending and I loved that structure. It is one of the best sequels of all time and undoubtedly the pinnacle of the Star Wars franchise.

My Rating – 4.5

Share

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope is a 1977 science fiction fantasy film directed by George Lucas and starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. It is the very first installment in the massively popular blockbuster franchise.

………………………………………………….

May the force be with you

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

………………………………………………….

So the story concerns the Rebel Alliance led by Princess Leia who attempts to destroy the Death Star. Luke Skywalker comes into the mix when he comes into contact with the droid who possesses some valuable information. The story is very good and interesting and it begins basically when ‘Rogue One’ ends. That film is a prequel to this particular story.

The storytelling is very good here. The film does not attempt to have any serious themes, message or deeper meaning or emotion and that is fine as it knows what it wants to do and it doesn’t stay away from that. However, the main problem with the entire film is the excessive amount of action employed.

That is why A New Hope is an enormous influence on future filmmaking for better and for worse. It just has way too much action. For example, the entire third act with the battle scenes in particular was just way too long and it honestly bored me pretty quickly. It also employed some detours when the three were on the ship and it definitely needed a tighter, more involving and less action oriented narrative and approach.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Let’s talk about these famous characters and actors. Luke Skywalker is as boring and as bland as most of these blockbuster heroes are. He is just a bland, tiresome entity and I dislike him quite a bit. That also stems from Mark Hamill’s very mediocre performance, at least in this movie he was very weak.

Han Solo and Princess Leia are much better and much more memorable. Certainly this was typecasting as Harrison Ford always plays these cocky, charismatic characters, but this was one of the first, before the Indiana Jones franchise and thus I like him more than Indy. He can be funny, but still too arrogant for my taste.

Leia definitely is underutilized here, but excellent. She is basically a Disney Princess in a way, especially now that Disney owns this franchise. I like her quite a bit as she is competent, action oriented and brave while still retaining her womanly attributes, beauty and royal behavior. The interactions between these three were quite strong and Carrie Fisher is great in her signature role.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Peter Cushing is solid as the villain and of course Darth Vader is iconic in terms of blockbuster villains and unforgettable and menacing in each one of his scenes. In my opinion this Obi-Wan Kenobi is not great because Alec Guinness obviously disliked being on the set, he did not understand the role and thus we got a very confused performance.

As for those cutesy characters, I still do think that they were just blatantly added for the appeal to the children everywhere, even in this first entry. Chewbacca is particularly forgettable and the worst costume effect of them all. C-3PO and R2-D2 are a fun couple with an interesting dynamic. The former is feminine and very talkative while the latter is cute and mute. They are definitely an interesting duo, but again overly utilized in too many scenes.

A New Hope has some of the best special effects of the older blockbusters, that goes without question. What they pulled off here was remarkable. The sets look great, the space battles and spaceships are awesome and so cool and of course the costumes and the practical effects are so detailed and carefully designed that they mostly aged remarkably well and they added realism to the picture that CGI is not capable of.

………………………………………………….

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Movie Review

………………………………………………….

That is why George Lucas should be respected for this film. He brought an entire new universe to the audience and they were captivated back then and still to this day. It is a mish-mash of older ideas, but an original mix nonetheless. It has way too much action and weak pacing, but one of the best scores in film history for sure as that iconic John Williams opening remains legendary and the rest of the pieces are pretty terrific themselves. It is a good first entry, but the second one is much better.

A New Hope is an extremely influential blockbuster for better and for worse as it brought the wonder and epic majesty of space operas to the world but it also brought too much action which is in this film overwhelming. It also has some detours and the pacing is bad which is why its successor is so much better. But still the film features some great characters, that iconic, legendary score from John Williams and extraordinary special effects which mostly aged remarkably well. The beginning and the ending are the highlights, but most of the third act with that overlong battle bored me leading to a good, but far from great first entry.

My Rating – 4

Share

Rogue One (2016)

Image result for rogue one gif

…………………………………………………

Rogue One Movie Review

Rogue One is a 2016 science fiction action film directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna and Donnie Yen among others. It is the first film in the Star Wars anthology series and is overall very disappointing.

…………………………………………………

I’m one with the Force, and the Force is with me.

…………………………………………………

Rogue One Movie Review…………………………………………………

It follows Jyn Erso, the daughter of a man who designed the Death Star, and her quest to retrieve his plans for destroying it. Now, the story itself is the problem here as it is overly simplistic and of course it demanded so much action which we unfortunately got in abundance. The story is not only overly simplistic, but sometimes even quite weakly crafted and not to mention very slim as a whole. The action comes first in this movie and that was a big disappointment.

Now I really liked the first half of Rogue One. Actually, I loved it and I’ve had such a fun time watching it. It was not only entertaining, but also very well made, sometimes even funny and genuinely adventurous and involving. But that all changed in the second half which became everything but. Suddenly the story was sidetracked for action and it was non-stop action after action to the point that I became honestly very bored with the whole affair. It was overloud, overly bombastic and almost seeming like a video game. There is way too much war in it.

…………………………………………………

Rogue One Movie Review…………………………………………………

Let’s talk about the characters. As a team, I really liked them and in fact, they served great as a team and the dynamic was excellent. However, each of them fails individually as none of them feels like a well developed, real individual, but rather as shallow figure that serves to the story instead of the other way around.

Jyn Erso isn’t as annoying as she was in the trailer, but she was still quite weakly developed and forgettable. Her becoming a leader of the rebellion really wasn’t well handled and it felt rushed. Cassian had his moments, but was overall not memorable. Bodhi and Baze are both very underutilized and Saw Gerrera was very problematic. His relationship with Erso was important here as it was accentuated a lot, but here you have a great example of Hollywood failing at emotion. You have a scene with the two of them reuniting and crying and it was all supposed to be very emotional, but I was just never moved at all because I don’t know these people as the film failed to establish them as proper human beings and not just as toys that serve the story.

…………………………………………………

Rogue One Movie Review

…………………………………………………

The villains I found to be really good and some were quite menacing and strong. Vader was very well used in his two sequences and Erso’s father had some excellent moments too. But I was so disappointed with their treatment of Chirrut. Here they got a really cool, badass character and they just used his action skills in a couple of scenes and that’s it. Tremendously disappointing. Really the characterization is super weak here which is my major gripe with the movie and the reason why ‘The Force Awakens’ was a better film.

The acting is, on the other hand, very strong. This was obviously Political Correctness 101 as there isn’t a single white man in the team, but that didn’t bother me, it only bothered me that they were weak as characters. But the actors did a really good job. Felicity Jones is quite good, although her American accent isn’t the greatest and is sometimes noticeable. Mads Mikkelsen and Forest Whitaker sold their emotional scenes with very good performances and of course the presence of Donnie Yen is always welcome.

…………………………………………………

Rogue One Movie Review…………………………………………………

Donnie Yen is actually quite funny in this movie as is K-2SO. He is a very solid robot who is actually one of the series’ best – very funny and very likable. But unfortunately, only those two provided the humor and just rarely. The film was otherwise too serious. Now the action is overwhelming, but is actually very well executed undoubtedly. And of course the special effects are terrific. This is one of the year’s best looking movies and everything looks great from the scenery to the weapons to even the CGI of some of the characters. It was crazy to me that Tarkin was a giant effect and not a real person as the actor had died a long time ago. Really groundbreaking effects right there. The sound effects are too loud, but the score is really good and its theme that was repeated throughout was actually great.

The special effects are excellent, the score is terrific and the acting is very good in Rogue One as is its first half which is so great, sometimes even funny and genuinely entertaining and well made, but the second half is so weak with non-stop action after action that bored me to death. But the reason why ‘The Force Awakens’ was better lies in the characters as this movie has surprisingly weak character development and here you have a textbook example of where Hollywood usually fails – you have these big emotional scenes and you are supposed to be moved, but I just wasn’t as I don’t know these people as they aren’t developed as genuine human beings but rather as tools in service to the story. So disappointing.

My Rating – 3.5

…………………………………………………

Share