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Old 12-21-2015, 12:26 PM   #466
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1. The Empire Strikes Back
2. A New Hope/Revenge of the Sith (tie)
3. Attack of the Clones*
4. The Phantom Menace/The Force Awakens (tie)
5. Return of the Jedi



* I don't know if I would call this my "favorite", but I have more fun watching it over and over than the others.
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:40 PM   #467
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I'll go into more detail by saying that while I think A New Hope is pretty close to perfect, it doesn't delve as deep into the mythology as Empire does, which is why I put the latter at the top (which is how it seems to go with many SW fans). I think Revenge of the Sith, while having its share of problems, hits emotional and visual peaks that none of the other films can match, so it's very different from ANH but I put them at the same level.

With Clones, I love the grim atmosphere shown right from the beginning, and I'm really into everything that happens on Coruscant as well as Obi-Wan's visit to Kamino, both providing some of the saga's best action scenes and an atypical sense of mystery. The Anakin/Padme stuff on Naboo fares less better, but I do think there's a naturalism/rapport in their picnic scene (Portman has rarely been so lovely) that is enough to sell the relationship to me, and the stuff that happens back on Tatooine is shocking in terms of its brutality. In the last act, everything from the moment the couple is led out into the arena to be sacrificed is just pure fun for me (unfortunately preceded by the droid factory sequence, a frivolous low point of the saga). It really has everything that was hinted at and promised by the OT, including the nice homages to Edgar Rice Burroughs and Ray Harryhausen.

As for the other tie, I think The Phantom Menace has an abundance of imagination, and for someone who waited 15 years to see Jedis in their prime it really delivered on the action level. The impatience of Lucas's direction of actors and the dialogue they're saddled with as well as the overuse of Jar Jar really make it a mixed bag. The Force Awakens is a lot sturdier on the latter issue with a very strong ensemble and more natural dialogue, but it's very much lacking in the creativity department, as well as a failure to clearly orient the viewer in terms of what's going on, where people are, etc.

Return of the Jedi has neither creativity/originality (in the writing and directing departments) nor actors doing a good job. Mark Hamill even at his best is serviceable and only Ian McDiarmid makes a mark. Ford and Fisher are both out to lunch. The majority of the stuff in Jabba's Palace is an embarrassment (despite the impressive creation of Jabba himself), and the Death Star interior scenes and the superb effects in the space battle are really the only things saving this from being a complete and total piece of shit.
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:09 PM   #468
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazarus View Post

Return of the Jedi has neither creativity/originality (in the writing and directing departments) nor actors doing a good job. Mark Hamill even at his best is serviceable and only Ian McDiarmid makes a mark. Ford and Fisher are both out to lunch. The majority of the stuff in Jabba's Palace is an embarrassment (despite the impressive creation of Jabba himself), and the Death Star interior scenes and the superb effects in the space battle are really the only things saving this from being a complete and total piece of shit.
Totally disagree. Return Of The Jedi has the best acting of all the movies from Mark, Harrison and Carrie. By far the best action sequences and Chewbacca has his best parts in this movie out of all of them. The action at the Sarlacc pit is thrilling and fun. The Space Battle is the best of all the films, and while the ground battle part on Endor is probably 2nd place to the Hoth battle in Empire its not far behind at all. All around, I can't actually find anything to criticize except maybe a few seconds of the scenes with the Ewoks and Storm Troopers.

Return of the Jedi is easily Star Wars at its best and from the looks of it based on the Force Awakens, will never be topped!
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:22 PM   #469
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You're fucking deranged. Ford was so over it by that point and was begging Lucas to kill him off. Fisher was on meds and a zombie.

If you're having so much trouble finding fault, you can have a good read here. Taken from an old book:

1. EWOKS, EWOKS, EWOKS: One of the miracles of the Star Wars trilogy is that Lucas's bizarre and ever present fascination with little people didn't hurt the first two films. The Jawas were cool. But George had to push his luck. The Ewoks are not cool. Period. In circles of die-hard Star Wars fans, to say you hate the Ewoks is like saying you enjoy breathing air. The Ewoks are the primary example of many of the points on this list: their unapologetic cuddliness is uncharacteristic and unwelcome; they look fake; they engage in constant physical comedy; their teddy bear design is wholly uninteresting; they live in boring surroundings; several of the film's dumbest scenes revolve around them; they were originally supposed to have been Wookies; and they sing that damn song at the end (well, at least until the Special Edition). But aside from what we see on-screen, the Ewoks are miserable little creatures for a completely different reason: they are the single clearest example of Lucas's willingness to compromise the integrity of his trilogy in favor of merchandising dollars. How intensely were the Ewoks marketed? Consider this: Ewok is a household word, despite the fact that it's never once spoken in the film.

2. THE TONE IS INCONSISTENT: The Rebellion is in ruins, Darth Vader is Luke's father, and Han is frozen. Why Lucas decided to smother these ambitious plot elements under a load of feel-good clichés and textbook plot structure is anyone's guess (it's our theory that he was infected with the same mania that caused Spielberg to make Hook eight years later). Jedi never has any idea of what it's trying to be. Throughout, the mood and pacing is herky-jerked back and forth between dramatic and lighthearted. The scenes with Vader look and feel like they're taking place in a different film from those with our heroes, and no amount of special effects or nostalgia for Wars and Empire can make the pieces fit together. Lacking any consistent driving force (pun intended), Jedi is impossible to take seriously and has little to none of the mythic, transporting feel of its predecessors. We're always aware we're watching a big-budget movie.

3. THE LOOK IS ALL WRONG: After the second film, did the Empire celebrate its trouncing of the Rebellion by going through the galaxy with a big bottle of Windex? Everything in Jedi looks clean and polished, from the ships to the costumes to the backgrounds. One of the triumphs of the first two films was the fact that it was next to impossible to imagine they were filmed right here on Earth. In contrast, Jedi's sets look like sets. We can picture cameras, plywood, and the key grip eating a sandwich just out of the frame. Marquand never seems to know where to put the camera and is constrained by the space his scenes inhabit instead of inspired by it. In the end, it's surprising that Jedi doesn't have any cardboard tombstones falling over or a brief appearance by Vampira as the ghoul's wife.

4. IT'S JUST A BUNCH OF MUPPETS!: Admittedly, Wars had its share of fake-looking aliens in the Mos Eisley cantina scene, but many of them were genuinely innovative at the time (Hammerhead is still impressive) and none of them crossed the not-so-thin line between costume and (shudder) Muppet. Even Yoda in Empire was constructed, filmed, and voiced well enough that we never thought to look for the hand up his rear. Don't get us wrong -- we love Muppets, just not in the Star Wars universe. And Jedi's Gamorrean guards (only slightly less realistic than a Tor Johnson Halloween mask), Salacious Crumb (it's good to see the Great Gonzo is still getting work) and Max Rebo (the blue piano-playing elephant with the oft-visible wire controlling his trunk) are proof that you can take the Henson studio out of Sesame Street but you can't take Sesame Street out of the Henson studio. Will the Criterion Edition laser disc include the deleted footage of Statler and Waldorf cracking wise from the balcony?

5. PAINFUL LACK OF INNOVATION: When it comes to scavenging, Lucas could teach even the Jawas a thing or two. Jedi borrows from Wars on levels ranging from conceptual to minute. There's another opening scene with a Star Destroyer (though this time it isn't even permitted to finish its awesome crawl across the top of the screen). There's another Imperial stronghold to infiltrate and another energy beam to turn off. And of course, there's another Death Star to blow up for the film's climax (though at least the Emperor had enough brains to plug up that pesky exhaust port). Most of the creatures and droids seen on Tatooine in Wars make background appearances in Jabba's court -- even Greedo's alive and well! (Okay, maybe it's a different Rodian. They all look the same to us). Finally, little thought seems to have been given to developing or maturing any of the main characters in a realistic manner. Han and Threepio suffer most, coming across as catch-phrase-spouting caricatures of their previous selves.

6. WITTY BANTER: Note to writer Lawrence Kasdan: If you must fill your script with witty banter, at least try to make it, well, witty. With one or two exceptions, the humor in Wars and Empire was subtle, based around throwaway lines and the personality quirks of well-written characters. Jedi's overly contrived "humor" too often seems inspired by the setup-to-punch line wordplay found in a typical episode of Three's Company. In what is probably the film's single most painful moment, Solo requests Threepio to do a number of chores. After continually tapping him on the shoulder and preventing him from leaving to complete his duties, Solo quips, "Hurry up, will ya? I haven't got all day." Har-dee-har-har. Based on witticisms like that, it's amazing that Luke never rebuked the Emperor by stating "Up your nose with a rubber hose."

7. PHYSICAL COMEDY: This is a galactic rebellion, for heaven's sake! Yet an Ewok clocks himself with his own slingshot. Threepio's legs point skyward after he falls off the skiff into the sand. Countless adorable Muppets zanily cover their eyes or flip-duck off their perches when faced with tense situations. Worst of all, there are two solid instances where burps are used for cheap laughs. Burps! And where are the fart jokes? Well, maybe in the next film. Jedi is as good a parody of the trilogy as one could hope for; there was really no need for Mel Brooks to make Spaceballs.

8. UNINTERESTING LOCALES: Wars and Empire took us to locales that many of us have never been to in real life, namely a vast desert, a run-down spaceport, an enormous space battle station, a planet of ice and snow, a dense, slithering swamp, and a floating cloud city. Jedi just rehashes what we've already seen (though Jedi's Tatooine looks significantly less exotic than it did in Wars, having been filmed in California instead of Tunisia), adding only one new biome: the woods (oh, so that's what trees look like). If this pattern continues, expect the next Star Wars film to be set on the mysterious planet of sidewalks and suburban ranch homes.

9. THE FOREST BATTLE ON ENDOR: If we wanted to see improbable jungle shenanigans, we'd have rented Battle for the Planet of the Apes. The myriad traps and offensive weapons constructed by the Ewoks (apparently over the course of one night) work with such predictable precision against the Imperials that the "battle" is little more than scene after predictable scene of sticks and stones taking out high-tech weaponry and forest-trained stormtroopers. Jedi may be a fantasy film, but the Ewoks' victory still flies in the face of all reason, logic, and precedent. It's a cute little war in which dozens of human stormtroopers are beaten to death and we're treated to only one dead Ewok. Happily, audiences have always responded to the stupidity of this imbalance: in screening after screening, the Ewok's groaning demise is typically met with more cheers and applause than the destruction of the Death Star.

10. SOLO: In Empire, Threepio states that the carbonite would keep Solo safe, provided he survived the freezing process. Safe, yes, but Threepio said nothing about the side effects. Namely, that people in carbon-freeze gain twenty pounds and take on the demeanor of Ward Cleaver on Quaaludes. Wars and Empire established Solo as a braggart, pirate, and all-around scoundrel. In Jedi, he's just a good-hearted, slack-jawed simp whose comments and actions are almost exclusively played for laughs. In not a single scene does Solo have the same acerbic edge he possessed in the previous films. Harrison Ford does nothing to help the situation (perhaps to his credit), acting with a boredom rarely paralleled as he kills time waiting for another Indiana Jones installment.

11. MUSIC: The soundtrack to Wars is an unquestioned classic. Empire's soundtrack gave us the trilogy's best piece of music: "The Imperial March." What does Jedi have to offer? Some playful Peter and the Wolf-esque Ewok tunes and Jabba's foam-and-latex band. The song "Lapti Nek' was translated into English for an MTV video, and we learned that "Lapti Nek" actually means "workin' out." That whole Flashdance craze was certainly popular back in 1983, but now it's just embarrassing. Jabba's band is a pale imitation of Wars' cantina musicians. The Muppets look fake, and the music they play is truly wretched. (Yet one of the scenes added to the Special Edition Jedi is another song by the band!) Even more insipid, though, is the Ewoks' celebratory "Yub-yub" number at the end (now cut from the Special Edition), which sounds suspiciously as if it's sung not by Ewoks but by humans. The theme to the Alien Nation TV show sounded more authentic.

12. THREEPIO: Threepio was bearable in Wars because he and Artoo played an integral role in the unfolding of the plot. He got on our nerves in Empire, but we could at least sympathize with the human characters, who were more or less stuck with him and expressed their irritation. In Jedi, Threepio's along by choice, and everyone just loves chuckling at the way he screws everything up. They decide to bring him along to Endor for no good reason, and we're all forced to endure another barrage of predictable outbursts highlighting the shiny droid's cowardice, ego, and annoying verbosity. Shut him up or shut him down!

13. OBI-WAN'S APPEARANCE TO LUKE: In case you missed the first two films, Obi-Wan Kenobi is supposed to be dead. In Wars and Empire, he made himself known to Luke through an occasional voice in the head or in a floating vision. In Jedi, all of Obi-Wan's street credibility as a wizened spiritual guide is thrown out the window when he appears on Dagobah and shuffles around like Fred G. Sanford in a coat of glow paint. Rather than floating in one place, he fades in twenty feet away and walks up to Luke, eventually resting his non-corporeal butt on a rock. The ensuing two-way conversation scrambles to tie up too many loose ends at once, made worse by the fact that the character saying it all shouldn't even be there on such a literal level. And unlike his similarly flawed Dagobah appearance in Empire, Obi-Wan never fades back into oblivion once his message is delivered in Jedi. For all we know, he and Luke could have spent hours hanging out and gossiping like housewives.

14. LUKE: We like Mark Hamill, really. But though he was perfectly cast as the wet-behind-the-ears student in the first two films, he simply lacks the dignity to pull off a believable Jedi Knight. To top things off, he has Aunt Beru's haircut from the first film. We forget, was Jedi released before or after the advent of the Supercuts salon chain?

15. SURPRISE! THEY'RE BROTHER AND SISTER: After Jedi came out, Lucas would routinely go on record stating that in his mind, Star Wars was always first and foremost a story about a brother and a sister. Does anybody really buy this? Wars and Empire both had sexually charged scenes that play significantly creepier when watched with the knowledge that Luke and Leia are siblings. It seems unlikely that Lucas would have included those scenes if he knew that one day people would be seeing them from such a different perspective. What seems likely, however, is that when Jedi came around, Lucas was grasping at straws, searching desperately for a plot revelation to equal Empire's classic father/son moment. Oh well -- even if Lucas is telling the truth (Yoda did, after all, say in Empire that there was "another"), the issue could have been handled in a less clumsy manner. Having Luke and Leia learn about their relationship through means other than spur-of-the-moment (albeit Force-guided) guesses would have been a start.

16. UNFORGIVABLE DIALOGUE: Threepio approaching Jabba's palace: "I have a bad feeling about this"; Han Solo, when confronted by Ewoks: "I have a bad feeling about this"; Leia, after releasing Solo from carbon freeze: "I gotta get you outta here"; Leia, after being freed from Jabba's chains: "We gotta get outta here"; Leia, after she and an Ewok are ambushed on Endor: "Let's get outta here." With dialogue like this, it seems Lucas finally put that "million monkeys at a million typewriters" theory to the test.

17. HORRIBLE EXPOSITION: "Artoo, look! It's Captain Solo -- and he's still in carbonite!" Lines like this are for those people who somehow missed the first two movies. Threepio is the main offender throughout, even going so far as to offer a long, Ewokese summary of the trilogy's plot thus far (with sound effects, no less). Of course, Lucas would probably say that scene was to show "the entrancing magic of storytelling." Call us cynical, but entrancing magic makes us want to puke.

18. JABBA THE MUPPET: Er -- Hutt. Jabba isn't all that scary. It seems Lucas became so enamored of his technology that he forgot humans are far more ominous than any shop-built alien life-form could ever hope to be. Remember Grand Moff Tarkin? Now there was a creepy villain. We're so busy trying to figure out where all the puppeteers were hiding beneath Jabba's frame that we're never able to accept him as a living, breathing character. And no matter how you cut it, his eyelids still look fake. If only they hadn't lost the phone number of that fat Irish guy who originally played him in that deleted Wars scene.

19. STUPID COINCIDENCES: "We have been without an interpreter since our master got angry with our last protocol droid and disintegrated him." Pan over to said droid being pulled apart in a machine, to allow for a startled reaction shot by Threepio. Numerous scenes like this further damage Jedi's ability to convince us this stuff is really happening. Jabba and his minions sit silently behind the Let's Make a Deal curtain, and the fact that the escape skiff just happens to have two magnetic retrieval devices to pluck the fallen droids out of the sand are further examples of this problem. None of these scenes needed to center around such ridiculous leaps in logic; more often than not they're simply indicative of lazy screenwriting or are inserted for excessive rim-shot-ready moments.

20. BOBA FETT'S DEATH: It's inexcusable that such an imposing figure as Boba Fett -- the one bounty hunter good enough to capture Solo -- flies clumsily to his death in the Sarlacc pit while screaming like Shemp from the Three Stooges. Any Star Wars geek worth his weight in trading cards will tell you that Boba Fett is the trilogy's most underused character. His brief but badass appearance in Empire had us all anxiously awaiting the next film, assuming his role would be greatly expanded by the events surrounding what we then thought would be an incredible escape by Han. Not only does Fett have nothing to do in Jedi, but in the ultimate indignity, he's killed off without ceremony or honor for no better reason than another damn burp joke. According to the novels and comics, Fett survived. But that's not what's implied in the film itself, and it doesn't make the scene any less shameful.

21. TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE POSTPRODUCTION LOOPING: In about half of Jedi's scenes, little attempt is made to match the dialogue with the characters' lip movements -- it's almost like watching a Mothra flick. If Lucas were smart, he'd blame this on the film's being dubbed from its original language. You know -- the one they spoke a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

22. SUBPAR SPECIAL EFFECTS: It's strange that the film that gave us sci-fi's most intricate and well-choreographed space battle to date also gave us so many effects that look just plain silly. The rancor aside (see below), consider Han's light-streaming release from the carbonite, the seemingly Magic Markered shadow under Jabba's sail barge, and the explosion of the shield generator on Endor (in which Han and his team, about twenty feet from the bunker, aren't affected in the slightest by an explosion that, from our viewpoint, engulfs several square miles of forest).

23. THE RANCOR EFFECTS: In quite probably the worst use of a blue screen in the history of big-budget film, the rancor looks so awful it deserves its own separate mention. Planning this sequence, the ILM team seems to have been inspired by old episodes of Lidsville, as the admittedly well-designed puppet appears at all times either flat or two-dimensional or surrounded by an unearthly glow. This is one effect we won't mind seeing cleaned up.

24. LEIA AND HAN'S RELATIONSHIP: It's A Galaxy Far, Far Away 90210! The subtle, repressed passion of Empire is simplified to high school relationship levels in Jedi. They kiss, they say "I love you," Han throws a hissy fit and gets jealous of Luke. The couple play off each other in such obvious ways that we're reminded of the Screenwriting 101 rule of "show, don't tell." Han and Leia never look or act like two adults in love -- and no amount of gushy language can cover up that fact.

25. CARRIE FISHER'S "ACTING": Han: "Who are you?" Leia: "Someone who loves you." When Carrie Fisher isn't staring vacantly into space, she's emoting to degrees previously seen only in Mexican soap operas. At least today she's cool enough to admit that she was zoned out on coke the entire time.

26. OBVIOUS MISSED OPPORTUNITIES: Putting aside the fact that the entire movie is a missed opportunity in the context of the trilogy, Jedi has specific missed opportunities too numerous to count within its own structure. These range from major (Lucas's throwaway admission that he had originally intended Endor to be a planet of Wookiees, and the fact that Lando doesn't die in the Death Star assault, as Jedi's original script dictated) to picayune (when the Alliance fleet suddenly realizes the Death Star's shield is still functional, it would have been nice to see one or two X-Wings crash into said shield and explode, having not had enough time to pull up).

[27. YODA: In Empire, Yoda was a sagacious sprite who brought to mind Gaelic legend. In Jedi, he's an annoying toad who sounds like Super Grover (thanks to Frank Oz's forgetting how to do the voice) and looks about as realistic as his Kenner action-figure likeness (thanks to bad, overlit cinematography; see point 3). Like the movie he's stuck in, Jedi's Yoda is lacking in wisdom and festering with cuteness. Get out your laser discs (okay, or your videotapes) and compare the two Yodas head-to-head. You'll be surprised.

28. THE OPENING TEXT CRAWL: Let's compare the opening text crawl in which we are given our first taste of each of the three films, shall we? Star Wars: "It is a period of civil war..." Empire: "It is a dark time for the Rebellion..." Jedi: "Luke Skywalker has returned to his home planet of Tatooine in an attempt to rescue his friend Han Solo from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. Charo guest stars." Okay, we threw in the part about Charo. But the point is, we're talking mythic tracts versus a blurb from TV Guide. The first sentence in Jedi centers around the word friend. Well, that's just peachy, but we much prefer the first two films' implications that we're about to see something a bit larger than a buddy picture.

29. IMPERIAL TECHNOLOGY: Imperial engineers should really figure out a way to keep their vehicles from blowing up so easily, both in space and on the ground. In Jedi, not only does a single crashed A-Wing take out an entire eight-kilometer Super Star Destroyer, but several scout walkers explode like Pintos whenever something taps them a little too hard. (True, the Imperial walkers in Empire could be tripped up a bit easily, but at least they didn't burst into fireballs until hit by Rebel blaster fire.) It seems strange that the Rebels even bothered procuring spaceships and blasters -- based on what Jedi shows us, the Empire could have been defeated with a couple of well-placed safety pins.

30. JABBA'S DROID TORTURE ROOM: First of all, torturing droids is stupid on a purely conceptual level, seeing as how they're machines and all. But what on earth was going through Lucas and Marquand's heads when they decided to play the scene in Jabba's droid room for laughs? Wars and Empire both have torture scenes. They're pretty unsettling. Know why? Because they're torture scenes, for Christ's sake! Torture's not supposed to be funny -- no one wants to laugh at a screaming power droid as a bad steam effect shoots out of its feet to simulate the application of intense heat. But to the makers of Jedi, there's nothing like a little humor at the expense of torture victims, even if they are mechanical. Following the release of Jedi, Amnesty International must have logged hundreds of reports of people flogging their waffle irons and blenders.

31. USE OF EARTH SLANG AND POP CULTURE: We were almost willing to forgive the fact that an Ewok exclaims "Yahoo," or that Threepio uses the supposedly Ewokese word boom, until we saw the abominable scene where an Ewok swings from a vine and lets out a note-for-note copy of Tarzan's famous yell. Have we mentioned that we hate the Ewoks?

32. JEDI AFTERLIFE: The Jedi apparently have a lot in common with the Catholics. You can screw up your entire life, strangle scores of people, and oversee the construction of a planet-destroying battle station, but as long as you repent with your last breath, you get to party with Yoda and Ben in the netherworld. Speaking of that, Yoda seems to have gotten the short end of the afterlife stick -- why does Anakin's ghost get to regrow his hair and get all spiffed up and nice looking, while Yoda, who managed to resist the dark side all his nine-hundred-plus years, still looks like a crumpled old salamander?

33. UNREALISTIC, BORING FIGHT SEQUENCES: Why stage an elaborate hand-to-hand fight with a scout trooper when you can just have Solo use the old "shoulder tap" trick? Or when you can throw a duffel bag at an Imperial guard and he'll backflip over a railing and into the shield generator's energy core? Not since Charlton Heston took out a gorilla bare-handed have we been asked to swallow such nonsense.

34. STORMTROOPERS HAVE BECOME WUSSES: "Look out -- teddy bear creatures! And they've got primitive handmade weapons! Let's forget our years of intense military training, put down our high-tech weaponry, and run away!"

35. VADER'S REAL FACE: You know, Darth, that scar will never heal unless you stop scratching it. But enough with the clever bon mots -- it should have been David Prowse under that helmet. Period. He deserved at least that much, and probably would have been willing to shave his head. Sebastian Whatsisname [Shaw] delivers an acceptable acting job (actually, one of Jedi's only acceptable acting jobs), but that pudgy head just doesn't match up with the body we see on Vader throughout the rest of the trilogy.

36. BAD EDITING: It seems that the folks at Supercuts were hired by Lucasfilm not only to style the actors' coils but to hack and splice the film as well. That Jedi has problems with its editing is largely a subjective opinion and hard to quantify, but we base our belief on the fact that certain scenes just plain lack the punch and pacing we know they could and should have had (though whether this is the director's fault or the editor's isn't always clear).

37. THE ALIEN LANGUAGES ARE POORLY PRESENTED: Bib Fortuna repeatedly lapses from Huttese into English for no apparent reason, and we learn from Leia's bounty hunter alter ego that at least one translation of "Thirty thousand, no less" is "Yoto. Yoto." Huh? And while we're on the subject, if Threepio is Jabba's translator, why does he translate what others are saying into English rather than Huttese? The precedent is there to employ subtitles, but they're only rarely used to suggest some iota of realism.

38. INCONSISTENCY WITHIN THE ESTABLISHED UNIVERSE: It can always be argued that the Star Wars universe contains a wide array of peoples and languages. Still, it strikes us as sloppy that codes on Jedi's computer screens are in alien gobbledygook language, while the tractor beam controls in Wars were in English. And speaking of English, almost all the Imperials in Wars and Empire have an English accent. Jedi doesn't continue this trend -- unfortunately, because as everyone knows, the British are inherently terrifying.

39. YODA'S DEATH SEQUENCE: Yoda says, "Soon will I rest. Yes, forever sleep." Less than four minutes later -- bam! He's a goner. And what does Luke do while his beloved master lies choking and gasping for his final breaths? Well, he just sort of sits there like a doofus and watches him writhe in pain. Not that dialing 911 is an option on Dagobah, but a simple, "Hey, Master -- you okay?" would have been a nice gesture.

40. THE ALLIANCE BRIEFING: In Wars, the briefing before the attack on the Death Star had the feel of a serious military operation. In Jedi, the briefing is a forum for witty repartee, attended by chuckling, smirking buddies and a medical droid who has no business being there other than to fill a vacant seat. It's no wonder the Rebels got their asses kicked in Empire if this is how their top military leaders conduct themselves when the galaxy is at stake. Eventually, Luke barges in unannounced and the "meeting" breaks up with all the parliamentary procedure of porno night at the Elks Club.

41. PARADOXICAL LESSONS IN THE FORCE: Yoda says the only way Luke can become a Jedi is to face Vader. Minutes later, he says it's unfortunate that Luke rushes to face Vader. This is in addition to Yoda's assertion in Empire that if Luke faces Vader, he'll become an agent of evil. So he needs to face Vader to become a Jedi, but he can't face Vader or else he'll become a slave to the dark side. This is a paradox on a par with the one Kirk used to confuse and blow up Nomad.

42. VADER'S NOT-SO-SPECIAL SHUTTLE: When we first saw Vader's shuttle with its clean lines and sleek, triwing design, it seemed a fitting vessel to transport a leader of his stature. But later we find out that apparently every Imperial shuttle -- even the ones that transport supplies to work sites -- looks just like Vader's. One explanation: after Vader damaged that fancy bent-wing TIE fighter they gave him in Wars, he lost his special-ship privileges. The more likely explanation: someone at Lucasfilm was too lazy or cheap just to design and build a model for a different style of shuttlecraft.

43. SLOPPY CONTINUITY ERRORS: In quick cuts between two different views of a character, it's a good bet that his or her expression and/or stance will be jarringly inconsistent. Check out Bib Fortuna in the scene where Jabba refers to the newly defrosted Solo as bantha fodder. Our favorite slip, however, is the star field behind the Emperor's throne, which in every shot consists of the same group of stars crawling slowly toward the left of the screen.

44. THAT SCENE WITH THE EWOK ON THE SPEEDER BIKE: This scene doesn't really exemplify any of the larger points in this article, but we hate it so much that we couldn't just ignore it. If Jedi weren't so darned cutesy, that Ewok would have been splattered into tree pizza and we'd have been a lot happier. Have we mentioned we hate Ewoks?

45. GENERALLY DUMB DIALOGUE: Vader, upon seeing that Luke has constructed a lightsaber: "Your skills are complete. Indeed, you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen." (Wait a second -- all because he read a Time/Life book on electronics and soldered together some transistors? Does this mean Tim Allen is a Jedi?) Yoda, near death, to Luke: "Remember: a Jedi's strength flows from the Force." (That's more of a first-day lesson, isn't it, Yoda? Something tells us that Luke had that particular bit of wisdom written on a Post-it note and stuck to his W-Wing cockpit long ago.)

46. ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Sure, Admiral Ackbar looks neat, but he's quite the wishy-washy leader, judging from how Lando continually questions, ignores, and overrides his orders. Dumbest of all (though never actually mentioned in the film), Admiral Ackbar's fishlike race is called the Mon Calamari. Ha, ha, ha! (The joke isn't quite so funny when you realize that there are more fish people in Jedi than there are black people or female people.)

47. DUMB RESOLUTION OF PROBLEMS: The most pathetic example of facile problem solving is the "secret back door" on the shield generator base, which means our team won't have to be bothered with devising an interesting way to break in. Luckily for them, the base is apparently staffed by the one garrison in the Empire commanded by Colonel Klink.

48. ARTOO: Of all the main characters, Artoo is the only one who isn't handled in a totally embarrassing fashion, but there are still some inconsistencies in the presentation of his personality. He's supposed to be the brave, assured one to Threepio's sissy-boy, but in a couple of scenes he whimsically shakes and shivers with fear like Scooby-Doo. Is he into this whole Rebellion thing or not?

49. THE WIZARD OF OZ HOMAGE AT JABBA'S FRONT DOOR: Anyone who's ever seen MGM's seminal musical fantasy experiences more than a little déjà vu when Threepio knocks on Jabba's door and asks the whimsical attendant to admit him to the Emerald City -- er, rusty palace. Had there been a precedent of scene-specific homage in Wars or Empire, we might have been more forgiving on this point, but the scene as presented in jedi sticks out and degrades the overall integrity of the mythos established in the first two films. (Sure, Wars mimicked Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress almost scene for scene, but only socially maladapted film geeks noticed that.)

50. THE SARLACC PIT AS FREUD'S VAGINA DENTATA: Come on, like it never occurred to you
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:14 PM   #470
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The Force Awakens is a lot sturdier on the latter issue with a very strong ensemble and more natural dialogue, but it's very much lacking in the creativity department, as well as a failure to clearly orient the viewer in terms of what's going on, where people are, etc.
Agreed, I had that thought in the theater. There were narrative threads and wonky spatial relationships that felt like TFA had gone through a number of rounds of cuts/edits/reshoots and ended up dropping quietly important supporting details. They're lucky that there's a large enough corona of side material for Star Wars to pick up the slack, but that's not a credit to the movie itself. (The first time Leia and Rey meet....is hugging each other at the end? Oh.)

also, I'm happy we found bizarro-laz, with an equally strong and potent love for ROTJ.
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:30 PM   #471
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I only remembered Jakku being mentioned. No clue what the other planets are called as I don't think any characters mentioned them, or in a clear fashion.

Lucas was always very clear with giving us the names of places, either in the opening crawl or upon arrival. Tatooine, Hoth, Bespin, Dagobah, Naboo, Coruscant. Mustafar, Kamino, etc. I shouldn't have to read supplemental materials to know what the hell happened.
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Old 12-21-2015, 04:47 PM   #472
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Boba Fett's death in ROTJ is as jarring and incompetently staged as anything in the prequels and that's saying something. I was shocked seeing that as an adult and not in a good way. I also think the ending (especially the alternative version) is fucking embarrassing. The look of the film is too kiddie and leans heavily on the Creature Shop. It just doesn't hasn't aged as well as the rest of the OT.

I maintain that, despite its flaws (most of which I think are fairly objective and agreed upon), The Force Awakens is the closest thing to a flawless Star Wars movie since Empire. That said, it's the conservative nature of the film that turns some fans off, so perhaps "flawless" isn't such a compliment. The lack of exposition was certainly a response to the hand-holding that we received in the prequels. A LOT of fans hated that. Perhaps they went too far in the opposite direction with TFA. I personally did not mind being a little lost in the first movie of a trilogy. In the long run, it will hold up better than having information spoonfed to me, but I can understand why it would be frustrating for now.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:00 PM   #473
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I'll take the alternative ending of Jedi. While not executed perfectly, I think a galaxy-wide celebration fits better than a dance with the Ewoks around the bonfire, especially when you consider it the end of a 6-part story.

And I'll also take Hayden Christiensen's Force ghost over the old man. At least Anakin ONCE looked like that. He never looked like the old guy because his face was burned when he was in his early 20s. People think it's crazy that The Force would make someone young again, but it's even more preposterous that it would give someone retroactive plastic surgery.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:03 PM   #474
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You're fucking deranged. Ford was so over it by that point and was begging Lucas to kill him off. Fisher was on meds and a zombie.

What the fuck is wrong with you? Can't the guy have an opinion without someone calling them deranged because they disagree...Wow.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:13 PM   #475
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I'll take the alternative ending of Jedi. While not executed perfectly, I think a galaxy-wide celebration fits better than a dance with the Ewoks around the bonfire, especially when you consider it the end of a 6-part story.

And I'll also take Hayden Christiensen's Force ghost over the old man. At least Anakin ONCE looked like that. He never looked like the old guy because his face was burned when he was in his early 20s. People think it's crazy that The Force would make someone young again, but it's even more preposterous that it would give someone retroactive plastic surgery.
Agreed on the last bit, but I'll never forgive the alt ending for sneaking Jar Jar in there like we wouldn't notice.

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Old 12-21-2015, 05:17 PM   #476
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Just watched the movie this morning, in a packed theater, no less. Good movie, certainly not the best ever in this series. But i would put it over the three prequels... but that's just my opinion.

I guess the cat is out of the bag on a few things from glossing over some of the comments. Still
 
I would agree that the fate of a certain iconic character wasn't all that surprising, you could almost see it coming a mile away. It's still a pretty big deal given who the character is and was for this series. I am not sure i was ready for the emotional impact of that scene.


As for Kylo Ren, i am okay with his dark robes and mask, though i don't think he should have taken off his mask other than that one pivotal scene. He looks too much like a guy you would expect to see lining up to see this movie on opening night, dressed up as a jedi or something, having light saber duels with his buddies in line. He doesn't look
 
anything like the son of Han and Leia, not in my mind.


I will have to see this one again to have a fully formed opinion of it. There was some good lines and some funny moments, and then the old "i've got a bad feeling about this" stuff as well. Other than that, some of the plot lines are basically, same shit different movie. But it does take you places, which counts for something, and i did enjoy it as much as i thought i would.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:17 PM   #477
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Empire is still the best.

Awakens is better than all the prequels

Watch "A New Hope" again and tell me you don't want to off yourself with all of Luke's incessant whining. That's why his silence was Golden in VII, with that beautiful closing shot.

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Old 12-21-2015, 05:26 PM   #478
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Seeing it again tonight, this time in IMAX 3D. Let's go.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:38 PM   #479
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Empire is still the best.

Awakens is better than all the prequels


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Seeing it again tonight, this time in IMAX 3D. Let's go.
That's probably how i should have seen it...Enjoy
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:55 PM   #480
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Empire is still the best.
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