Thursday, March 06, 2008

Star Wars. The Best and Worst

Best Movie

Star Wars
without a doubt. As close as you can get to a perfect movie.
The Empire Strikes Back
The epic becomes well, epic
Revenge of the Sith
and moves from epic to operatic
Attack of the Clones
the move to operatic, with some missteps
Return of the Jedi
made for kids, way too cute
The Phantom Menace
made for idiots, way too dumb

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Movie
That's a tough one. I'm torn between "Return of the Jedi", with its Ewoks, bad overdubbing, and Harrison Ford's appalling acting, or "The Phantom Menace" with its poor pacing, dull characters and JarJar Binks. I'm afraid I must go with "The Phantom Menace". A trade dispute? Fart jokes? Whoopee!

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Scene
"Revenge of the Sith", Darth Vader's reaction to the news of Padmé's death, a cliched "Noooo!". Awful. Terrible. It made me laugh, not the reaction they'd hoped for I think - Runner up - "Attack of the Clones" Anakin rides the space cows to impress Padmé (this was a contender for Worst SFX). Didn't anyone turn to George and say "You have to be fucking kidding..." No, I guess not.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Good guy
Yoda. Rest my case I do.

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Good Guy
Other than JarJar? - Qui-Gon Jinn. The man is a slightly unprincipled idiot. Perhaps Lucas knows this and kills him off for it. Face it, the man's choices get them in all sorts of trouble, and he does use a child to raise money and further their cause. Obi Wan learned this lesson well.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Villain
Other than Darth?...General Grievous, if only for his fighting skills. On this point, Darth Mull would have to be a close second. Both are disposed of far too quickly. Nod to the Senator/Supreme Chancellor/Emperor as well.

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Villain
The Trade Federation. These hand wringing nobodies are Star War's wimpiest villains (See Worst Accent). Even their droid army can't hit shit (see Worst Robot).

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Babe
"Return of the Jedi". Slave Leia. Not much to choose from really, is there?

I have a bad feeling about this
Scariest Babe
"The Phantom Menace" Padmé, Queen of the Vampire Women. She's looking at you Anakin.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Robot
R2D2. He has attitude, although this was overdone in "Attack of the Clones". Flying indeed. Yeah, I know C-3PO has attitude as well, but he became JarJar's understudy (also see "Attack of the Clones"). Runner up - Jabba the Hutt's TT-8L Gatekeeper Droid. How rude.

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Robot
"The Phantom Menace" The Droid Army. Dogfaced clowns who can't hit a thing. Roger roger. Runner up - "Revenge of the Sith" the birthing droids. "She's dying, opps sorrryyy"

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst SFX
"Return of the Jedi" The Rancor. Matte lines a mile wide (sorta fixed in the Special Editions). This scene does provide the pretense for Star War's only nude scene...

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Cinematic moment
"Revenge of the Sith" silent (music with no dialog) montage between Anakin and Padmé. Lucas can do it sometimes.

I have a bad feeling about this
Darkest Moment
"Star Wars" The death of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. Nasty. - "Revenge of the Sith" - The killing of the younglings at the Jedi Temple.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Minor Character
"Return of the Jedi" General Akbar. It's a Trap! No one can withstand eyes of this magnitude. Runner up "The Empire Strikes Back" Admiral Piett.

I have a bad feeling about this
Most Annoying Character
Oh gee let me see... The first film's humour was sparse and controlled. By 1999, the part of the annoying sidekick had grown, and Jar Jar is in this tradition. He is also remarkably ill conceived and irritating. Didn't anyone turn to George and say "You have to be fucking kidding..." Oh right, I asked that already. Runner up - "Star Wars". Luke whining about power converters, and those bloody Ewoks (Return of the Jedi)..Leia would be here but she is no longer viewed as a "bitch", in 1977 the most common word used to describe her.

I have a bad feeling about this
Creepiest Plot Element
The Anakin/Padimai romance, especially the early period (later it just gets unbelievable). Runner up - Luke/Leia, brother/sister. No matter what Lucas claims, "Star Wars" gives no hint of their actually relationship but in fact gives quite the opposite impression..ewww.

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Acting
"The Phantom Menace" the kids gathered around Anikan's speeder. Cheap shot I know, knocking kid's acting, sooo - Runner up - "Return of the Jedi" Harrison Ford is awful. "Proper?"

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Plot arc
Anakin/Darth Vader. I mean, wtf. Any clear eyed observer would have locked Anakin up early as a dangerous psychotic. The Jedi though keep going on about "The Prophecy", so their eyes are closed. But what's up with Padmé? Didn't she get out much? He just seems to go too far too quickly.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Space Battle
Opening of "Revenge of the Sith". The sequence owes something to "Starship Troopers" (which itself owes something to..etc), but on a much larger scale.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Land Battle
"Attack of the Clones", The Battle of Geonosis. Very digital but great to watch. Runner up - "The Empire Strikes Back" The Battle of Hoth. Very analog but great to watch.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Space Chase
"The Empire Strikes Back" - The Falcon chased through the asteroids. I might be wrong, but it is the first use of camera shake in an SX shot.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Ground Chase
"Attack of the Clones*" Chasing the Bounty Hunter. Runner up - Speeder chase from "Return of the Jedi". The race in "The Phantom Menace" is warmed over Nascar but fits comfortably into the IQ range of its target audience.

* thanks to Juice for pointing out an error here.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Lightsaber fight
"The Phantom Menace" The Jedi vs. the Sith. The film comes alive for those few moments. Runner up - "The Empire Strikes Back" Luke and Darth's final fight (of this film).

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Lightsaber fight
"Star Wars". I know, it looked fine in 1977, but really. Your powers are weak, old man. Parts of this sequence were in the running for Worst SFX.

I have a bad feeling about this
Most Operatic Moment
"Revenge of the Sith" Mace Windu breaks a window. The Emperor and Yoda's redecoration of the Senate chamber is a contender as well.

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Mismatch between old and new
Obi Wan and the droids. He doesn't remember haven't owned any droids? Did he have his memory erased too? (Uncle Owen has a similar memory lapse). Runner up - Leia's memory of her mother. Huh? The Midichlorians rank up high up the list of blunders.

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Accent
Our old friends the Trade Federation again. What were they thinking? I know I though of WWII Japanese villains. Honorabre gentremen excuse prease but we are brockading your pranet. Ah so.

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Dialog
"Attack of the Clones" Anakin, sand and where it can get to. Ewww. In fact anytime Lucas has his lovers chatting away to each other, it is too painful.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Ship
"Attack of the Clones" Senator Amidala's shuttle, the one the gets blow away at the beginning. Neo Deco. Great design.

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Ship
Tie Fighters. Look at it, you can't see to the side of you. Not much good in a fight. The Empire's strong point was never design. Two Death Stars blown up? Two? One I can understand.

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst SciFi moment
"Star Wars" Hans Solo: "I made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs." Say what? Even Obi Wan doesn't get it.

I have a bad feeling about this
Greatest Rip Off
Just the one? Coruscant. Direct steal from Issac Asimov's Foundation and its city planet Trantor ("Foundation" was heavily mined by Lucas). Parts of "Star Wars" are a bit Dune-ish as well. In the music department, a theme used in "Star Wars" has reminded me of one from "Star Trek" from the first time I heard it.

Recently the publishers of the Bible have threatened to sue Lucas over the virgin birth storyline.

I have a bad feeling about this
Most Wasted Opportunity
Mace Windu. He sits most of the time, nodding and agreeing with Yoda. He does get to kick some ass, but not enough. Runner up - Count Dooku could have been more, oh I don't know, Transilvanian, also how Bobafett meets his end (although this last may better fit under Worst Mismatch).

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst case of Lucas's love for Nazi themed imagery
The end of "Star Wars". The Rebels have been watching their Leni Riefenstahl, haven't they? It's a triumph if you will.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best case of Lucas's love for Nazi themed imagery
Darth Vader in "Star Wars". From the first second you see him, you know he's bad.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Special Edition addition
"The Empire Strikes Back" Cloud City. The additions really do add to the story and the film.

I have a bad feeling about this
Worst Special Edition addition
Guido shoots first. Hands down. Stupid move. Audiences howled with agreement at the original version. There's a reason George, get over it. It's only Guido. Others include the dance number at Jabba the Hutt's ("Return of the Jedi")., followed by Luke, Obi Wan and the droids arrival in Mos Eisley in "Star Wars". An unsuccessful layering of digital and real footage (Jabba's appearance in this film is also not entirely successful, no matter how many times they tried and fix it). Hayden Christensen's substitution at the end of "Return of the Jedi" is mildly disturbing.

I have a bad feeling about this
Best Surprise
Hans Solo's return at the end of "Star Wars" or Luke's father's actual identity. Shocking!


4 comments:

Juice said...

o.k. first of all, the so called, "best ground chase" with the bounty hunter you said it was in revenge of the sith. dude, REALLY?! come on, it was attack of the clones. wrong movie. remember? obi-wan jumped onto the droid and they chased the bounty hunter? that's what you were talking about right? then yeah, it's episode 2, not 3. and plus there's not even a bounty hunter in episode 3. IT WAS EPISODE 2. and plus episode 1 was waaay better than episode 2. and maul was definitely the best sith, come on. you know nothing about star wars.

protogenes said...

"and maul was definitely the best sith, come on. you know nothing about star wars."

I didn't have a category of "Best Sith". You know nothing about reading.

Elliot.exe said...

1. Empire strikes back
2. Return of the jedi
3. Star Wars (the one I like the most).
4. Revenge of the sith (best out of the prequels. The scene where they turn on the Jedi and kill them makes me cry every time.
5. Phantom menance..don't get me started.
6. Attack of the clones.

..And the other animated ones like clone wars go just go to hell.

Sarah Adrian said...

I came across this looking for something "Star Wars" to post to an old friend from grade school ("Star Wars: A New Hope" or what it's called in our house, the real "Star Wars" blew into our lives when we were 7). And while I found I had grown up when the prequels came along and thought Lucas was taking it too far "redoing" the orginial ones, overall it is so effing cool Han, Luke and the gang are still relevant...nicely done with this, and spot on with many!