George Lucas’ 'Star Wars' first came out on May 25, 1977, and inarguably became the most influential sci-fi saga of all time. Ten years after 'Revenge of the Sith', millions of 'Star Wars' die- hard fans are counting days until the release of the insanely anticipated 'Episode 7: The Force Awakens' (if you live in the States, it’s 135 days). In honor of the masterpieces, here’s the ranking of all six episodes.
6. 'Episode One: A Phantom Menace'
'A Phantom Menace' is exactly like 30% dark chocolate. It’s all sweet and tempting, until you take a bite. Then you miss all the glory of the 80% kind. That’s how badly George Lucas let us down. The movie was extremely dull and disappointing, with lots of politics, and not- so- many lightsaber duels that we need to see. Most featured characters sounded like they were reading off the script, thus killed all emotions and excitement.
Despite all that, we did get to know C-3PO’s origin, and see podracers in action on Tatooine.The best part about Episode 1 is definitely Darth Maul, Darth Sidious’ protege. He owns the only dual lightsaber in the Star Wars universe, which automatically makes him a total badass. Now, just imagine all the couches you can chop at once with a double- bladed lightsaber.
5. 'Episode Two: Attack of the Clones'
'Attack of the Clones' is as boring and sad as 'A Phantom Menace'. Hayden Christensen’s acting was downright horrible, as he failed to portray the young, conflicted Darth Vader miserably. His voice was more annoying than Miley Cyrus rapping, and his face showed no emotions whatsoever. The chemistry between Anakin and Padme (Natalie Portman) was also non- existent.
The good stuff only came at the near end, when we got to see the clones and Jedi in action on Geonosis. Oh, and let’s never not mention the epic duel between Yoda and Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). Don’t you judge him by his size. Overall, there was more action going on, but Attack of the Clones was still incredibly cold and unsatisfactory.
4. 'Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith'
'Revenge of the Sith' is the best out of the three prequels, as it marks the change in Anakin Skywalker. The prequel opened nicely when Anakin executed Count Dooku, inflamed by the thirst for power. Although effects and technology improved the visuals, Lucas’ dialogues did not free the audience from extreme frustration. Everyone sounded excruciatingly bored in the first three quarters, and Padme’s lines were cheesier than 'The Fault in Our Stars'. In addition, Mace Windu’s (Samuel L. Jackson) purple lightsaber was far more impressive than his death. Very distressing.
On the bright side (or should I say the Dark Side), I love the last 30 minutes of the movie. Anakin fully devoted himself to evil, and adopted the name Darth Vader. As for Yoda, he displayed more emotions than most characters in Revenge of the Sith. Admit it, you teared up a little at “Failed, I have.”
Obi- Wan Kenobi and Vader’s lightsaber duel on the lava- filled planet Mustafar was another high point of this episode, especially when Obi- Wan took his student’s legs and left him writhing painfully in burning lava (I’m scared of how much satisfaction I got from seeing someone in so much agony). At the end, the shot of Darth Vader breathing out of his newly- assembled mask was exceedingly stunning, and we could (finally) connect the prequels with the original trilogy.
3. 'Episode Six: Return of the Jedi'
'Return of the Jedi' is not a bad movie, but it surely lacks the wow factor.
In the first half, we reunited with Luke Skywalker, by then already a skilled Jedi, at Jabba the Hutt’s palace where he fought bravely to save his friends’ lives. Luke was no longer a rookie in the field, which made his character more complex and edgy. We didn’t get to see much of Han Solo in the beginning, as he was frozen in carbonite. After 'The Empire Strikes Back', Harrison Ford wanted his character killed off, because his interest in the role was fading. Instead, George Lucas and the screenwriters chose to freeze him in carbonite, before eventually persuading Ford to return for the finale (phew).
When the crew (except Luke) went to the forest moon of Endor to deactivate Death Star’s planetary shield, they encountered the Ewoks who later on helped them defeat Imperial forces, in order for other Rebels to destroy Death Star 2.0. We can all agree Ewoks were cute and cuddly, but their victory on Endor against the Empire certainly raised eyebrows.
In the end, 'Return of the Jedi' isn’t the most brilliant, mind- blowing movie, but it’s surely something fun to watch, and closes the trilogy nicely.
2. 'Episode Four: A New Hope'
'A New Hope' will forever hold a special place in my heart. It is the first Star Wars movie, introducing us to the quick- witted Han Solo, fearless Leia Organza, adorable R2-D2, adventurous Luke Skywalker and many more. 'A New Hope' offers us an entire universe to explore and dream about. Who wouldn’t want a laser sword? Who wouldn’t dream of sitting in an X-Wing’s cockpit? Who wouldn’t want to fly the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca? Heck, when I’m 35, I’d still fight my brother with an imaginary lightsaber.
Although the simple story of good versus bad is predictable, nothing unnecessary could be picked out, and the old school effects made A New Hope so much better than the prequels with CGI. Overall, everything about this movie is iconic, from the opening crawl to the epic original soundtrack. George Lucas made one hell of a movie, and set the bar very, very high.
1. 'Episode Five: Empire Strikes Back'
Holy Moly! 'The Empire Strikes Back' is magnificent. It’s dark, poignant, and full of originality. In every shot, there’s always something to gape at. Droids, aliens, spacecrafts, you name it. Lucas created a universe so realistic and detailed that you feel obliged to pay attention to everything onscreen. The director clearly handled the pressure well after A New Hope and produced something even more breath- taking. Well, it is “Do or do not, there is no try.”
This movie’s climactic point, where the relationship between Luke Skywalker is without a doubt one of the greatest twists in cinematic history. Even if someone’ve never watched Star Wars, they’d know the famous reference.
In conclusion, 'The Empire Strikes Back' went above and beyond. The acting was terrific, the imagery and cinematography was incredible, the storyline was strong and the big reveal was a highly intelligent move. Everything and everyone in Episode 5 deserve first place.
With the upcoming release of The Force Awakens in December, let’s all hope they don’t screw this one up like they did with the prequels. May the force be with the cast and crew.