I was at the theater last night to see the new Twilight movie. Yes, that’s right…Twilight. More on that tomorrow. While I was there, I noticed a poster for an upcoming release: Star Wars Episode I in 3D. Here’s the trailer.
Over the next few years, the plan is for the theatrical release of all six Star Wars movies in 3D. A lot of people will look at this as yet another pathetic money grab by George Lucas. I have no doubt that it is at some level. But I’m also somewhat interested. Corniness and bad acting aside, Star Wars at its best is a lot of fun. I enjoyed seeing the original trilogy re-released to theaters during my high school years, and I think a new generation just might too.
I’ve heard some griping about the fact that there are releasing them in numerical order (I, II, III, etc.) rather than chronological order (IV, V, VI, I, etc.). I don’t mind. As a matter of fact, I’m one of the few people my age that actually LIKE Episode I.
- Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. It’s hard not to choose this one. It has long been held to be the best of them, and it has a lot to commend it. Family intrigue, romance, war, mysticism, humor, and sorrow. It plays like an epic drama, and only leaves you wanting more.
- Episode IV: A New Hope. The sine qua non. A good movie that helps us take “a step into a much larger world.” Earnest, playful, and occasionally mournful. Seeing Luke Sykwalker yearn to escape his twin-sunned planet with his theme music swelling in the background speaks to the hearts of youth the world over.
- Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith. Confession time. I love the emperor. Though, yes, evil, I think he’s amazingly awesome as a character. All of Star Wars fanhood had been waiting for him to finally make his move…and when he does in this film the battles that ensue are as epic as they are tragic. Obi-Wan is another favorite, and he remains strong throughout the film. There are flaws here, most notably the strange business with General Grievous and the continually bizarre and stilted romance between Anakin and Padme. And then, of course, “I have the high ground.” Give me a break.
- Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi. My previous favorite, probably because of the presence of the emperor. He’s a hoot. A great conclusion to the first trilogy and fitting sendoff for our heroes. The redemption of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker is a powerful moment. Lucas did get a little too kid-friendly with those darned Ewoks, but even that has a charm all its own.
- Episode I: The Phantom Menace. I like this movie. Is it a little too “kiddish?” Yes. Is its plot setup a little Byzantine? Yes. Is Jar-Jar Binks the worst creation in all of cinema? Meesa thinks so. But in its freshness, fun, light-hearted spirit, and adventure the film wins me over. In contrast to the black and grey world of the original trilogy, this new film introduces us to a world alive with color and Jedi and everything good…”before the dark times…before the Empire.”
- Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The only real dog on this list. I’ve only seen it once, and like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, that was enough for me. All the flaws of the other films seem condensed here: bad acting, bad writing, overly complex story, lack of the emperor, etc. I admit that the film may be better than I remember it, but I can’t see it moving up more than one spot on this list. Yoda’s fighting skills? I’m still not sure what I think about all that. Lucas had the chance with this film to redeem fans’ disappointment with him over Episode I . Instead he confirmed their worst fears: the magic had left the room. At least Obi-Wan had a big role.