I have been waiting for the new Star Wars movie for years. Growing up the Star Wars story was my favorite, and it continues to hold a special place in my heart. Last week my roommate and I decided that in order to get ready for the new movie we needed to re-watch the older films. I have provided links to The Nerdist re-watch reviews as well which I found very entertaing even if I do not agree whole-heartedly with some of the criticism.
We decided to watch the films starting with Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Although The Phantom Menace received harsh reviews from the Star Wars fan community when it first came out, there are still some really good parts to the film. I enjoyed how George Lucas mirrored Episode 4 with a lot of the scenes. The ending certainly provided me with a bit of nostalgia for the older films. Another thing that I enjoyed were the lightsaber battles. It is important to remember that before that scene we had never seen a battle with 2 healthy masters of lightsaber technique. The movie did feel a little long, but all in all I enjoyed it and I am happy that it is a part of the series.
Re-watching Episode 2: Attack of the Clones was difficult. There are simply not enough redeeming qualities to say that it is a good movie. There is too much computer generated imagery (CGI), and the acting is somewhat horrible. The romantic scenes in particular are atrocious and forced. I agree with the writer of the Nerdist review in most respects with his assessment of Episode 2 except in his criticism of Yoda. I enjoyed watching Yoda fight. When I finished this film I felt relieved, but excited for the next movie.
Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith is one of my favorite movies. Unlike the other two prequels, I always feel a strong connection to the characters when I watch Episode 3. Natalie Portman in particular does a great job as Padme. The movie is appropriately dark and leads us right into the original trilogy story lines.
The main thing that stood out to me while I was re-watching Episode 4: A New Hope was how funny some of the dialogue was. My roommate and I were laughing pretty hard at some of the banter going on between the droids. I didn´t think that I was going to enjoy this installment so much, but I really did. Other than the comedy though, the movie was still cheesy and dated. The nerdist reviewer has a better opinion of this one than I do.
I think that during this re-watch I most enjoyed Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back. Return of the Jedi is my favorite, but this time around Episode 5 takes the cake. I liked watching Luke train, and how wise Yoda looked. The ending was also enthralling leaving me unable to wait to watch the next film. The battle between Darth Vader and Luke also reminded me that Luke still has a long ways to go to completing his training at that point.
This time around I did not enjoy Episode 6: Return of the Jedi as much as I remembered. The movie felt a little long. I did fully enjoy the last lightsaber battle and Darth Vader turning on his master. It was tragic watching Luke try to save his father as he died in his arms. Watching the conclusion to this chapter of the story has always left me wondering what would happen next, and with the start of the new trilogy I received some answers.