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Rank the Star Wars Movies (so far).

Hutch

Well-Known Member
with the Disney acquisition, Star Wars Rebels, The Clone Wars (movie), The Clone Wars (TV), and Star Wars Resistance are officially canon and "in" the universe.
Weren't those always canon? Specifically in the case of the Clone Wars?

It's also worth mentioning the 2003 2D miniseries Star Wars: Clone Wars. That was originally canon however Disney dismissed it from canon after the acquisition. Shame it's not official as it had some cool stuff, especially that sweet introduction of General Grevious.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Oh wow, I haven't been in here in a while, have I?

Anyway, the Rise of Skywalker. I saw it, and I liked it. Then I thought about it for some time, and the cracks started showing. And, well, the cracks are actually rather gaping in hindsight.

It was a spectacular movie. That it, it involved a lot of spectacle. It went from one action-filled scene to the next, never really taking the time to breathe or reflect on stuff, and I suspect that those reflections would have revealed how poorly the plot was strung together. It feels like it tried instead to be so flashy and noisy that people didn't notice the discrepancies while they were watching it, and banked on them not thinking it through afterwards.

So while I was watching Episode 9, I didn't think too much about it. But in hindsight, it's not a movie I'm in a hurry to see again. It's not a Trilogy I'm in a hurry to see again. Because, well, the whole thing kinda fell flat. Disney barged into the new trilogy without any sort of plan (beyond "let's make craploads of money!!!") and oh, it shows. It was a tug-of-war between two directors. The first film sets up a bunch of questions the second explicitly tells us aren't important, then the third film has to invent a new plot so it can end on a high note. Neither the good guys nor the bad guys are built up very well (with the exception of the lead goodie and the lead baddie). Who the heck are the First Order? I think Snoke will be remembered purely because he was so poorly pulled off:
Ep. 7: "Who's this mysterious, powerful Sith lord?"
Ep. 8: "Some dude in a bathrobe. And now he's dead."
Ep. 9: "Actually, he was just a random pawn for the big baddie, who has returned from the Original Trilogy without any explanation or foreshadowing whatsoever!"

Relying so heavily on Original Trilogy iconography robbed the Sequel Trilogy of an identity as well. Say whatever you want about the Prequels, but at least they had their own distinct visuals. Battle droids are instantly recognizable, the Clone Troopers clearly are a distant precursor to Stormtroopers, Darth Maul was the coolest bad guy ever (and killed off early enough not to receive any corny dialogue - let's face it, the way those movies were written, more screen time would not have done him a favour), Coruscant was an instantly recognizable and iconic location, and there wasn't a planet-killing superweapon in sight. But the Sequel Trilogy had the First Order command legions of Stormtroopers and TIE fighters operating from Star Destroyers, while rebel X-wings and the Millennium Falcon were battling them. Ground battles involve AT-AT variants. We saw all that in the original movies, what's new here? Apart from the slightly new paint job on the new iterations of the spaceships so they can be sold as separate toys? Something similar can be said about many of the characters: Luke, Leia, Han, Lando, Chewbacca, and suddenly the Emperor. Characters that received little build-up in the new movies because all that defined them had been said and done already. They came, said their lines, and then we learned their depressing fates. Well, most of them, at least. They probably reserved the rest for tie-in books, comics and video games. But if you want movies where these characters have arcs, well, watch the originals. The sequels don't add anything essential to any of their characters. Well, maybe except C-3PO. He finally got to see some action and play a role. That bit was well pulled off, at least.

But yeah, I don't see the sequel trilogy lasting very long in the public consciousness. It tried too hard to ride the iconography of the original movies, banking too heavily on nostalgia. The new and original things it did weren't very well pulled off. Rian Johnson tried to do something original, which might have been a good idea in principle but it was horribly timed. A lot of stuff was already set up and had to be discarded, and setting up new stuff in the middle of the trilogy gave no time for it to develop before the resolution. It would have been hard to pull off even if Johnson had directed Ep. 9 as well. You can't create a new beginning in the middle act of a three-act setup without having to rush to the end. And then Abrams wanted something different again, meaning that he had to squeeze three acts of an overarching story into one movie. Cue Palpatine Ex Machina, while other characters from the trilogy (most notably: Rose and Captain Phasma) were just tossed aside to make room for this plot. The untimely death of Carrie Fisher made the chaos complete, but the situation was pretty difficult after Episode 8 already.

Overall, the lack of planning is what defines this trilogy for me. Episode 7 was a little too focused on "Being Star Wars", as in, following the format of Episode IV, to set up a wider conflict. Episode 8 took things in a too radical direction by discarding most of what little setup there was. Episode 9 tried to undo all of that while wrapping up the trilogy, except there wasn't much to wrap up in the first place and so it had to pull something out of nowhere and then hurry to conclude it. Heck, the First Order was defeated in a montage, because the focus suddenly shifted to killing the Emperor, a character that had been well and truly dead until this very movie.

I made a post in the topic for the Rise of the Resistance ride about this too, because the lack of planning is evident. The ride presents General Hux and Kylo Ren as the big bad guys. By the time the ride could open, the last movie was out (and seen by everyone who would have an interest in the ride) and it portrayed Kylo Ren as ultimately a good guy, while Hux died betraying the First Order. The actual bad guys of the trilogy are nowhere to be seen on the ride, because they weren't even conceptualized when the ride was designed. And now Disney is stuck with a ride that somewhat poorly represents a trilogy without much staying power, and it's an attraction they've spent hundreds of millions of dollars on.

So to conclude: The whole trilogy was poorly planned and lacked overall direction. Episode 7 played it too safe, Episode 8 departed from the setup when it really shouldn't have, and Episode 9 had to struggle to make something coherent out of it all - and in my opinion, it failed. It was an impossible task. The previous two movies had made a gap that couldn't be bridged smoothly by a single movie. After Episode 8 they should have re-evaluated the idea of a trilogy. The biggest flaw of Episode 9 was being a single movie that had to wrap up a trilogy. It was a fundamental flaw whose result was, really, inevitable.


But hey, at least it seems like they have exhausted the material from the Original Trilogy by now. The next movies ought to be more original than this trilogy was, simply because they don't have many options left. It'll be interesting to see what happens. At any rate, I don't think Disney will be content with letting Episode 9 be the final word. Star Peace wouldn't sell merchandise.
 
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