So we had a really odd idea over the holidays -- something that we actually executed. Along with the RandBall Better Half, who conceived of this plan, we watched all six Star Wars movies (thanks to co-worker Kenny C for loaning us the films). Now, both of us went into this excursion with basic but rather limited Star Wars knowledge. Yes, the author of this blog had never seen -- or at least didn't remember seeing -- The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi or two of the three newer films. So we had a pretty clean slate when it comes to assessment.
We asked for guidance from the force (or Twitter) about whether to watch them in "release" order or "story" order -- i.e., watch the new ones or the old ones first. We ended up opting for story order, meaning we watched the newer releases (episodes 1-3) first.
And we watched all six between 11 a.m. on Christmas and 3 p.m. on the 26th. As such, here are your unofficial -- and CONTROVERSIAL, we imagine -- rankings of all six Star Wars movies. These are not straight-up reviews. We are going mostly on gut, enjoyment and movie-making prowess. OK, here we go, in ascending order (worst to best):
6. Star Wars, Episode 4 (aka the original Star Wars): Folks, sorry if you are nostalgic for this movie. But it is easily the worst of the six. Don't tell us Jar Jar Binks ruined this or that. This movie went nowhere, had awful dialogue and couldn't decide which characters it really wanted to develop.
5. Star Wars, Episode 1 (The Phantom Menace): OK, Jar Jar Binks is awful. There was way too much of him in this movie. The pod racing scene is outstanding. And young Anakin Skywalker is awesome. But much of it is convoluted. We can see why this was such a letdown for so many people.
4. Star Wars, Episode 2 (Attack of the Clones): Again, somewhat convoluted. Better fighting scenes. And still far more entertaining than the original Star Wars.
3. Star Wars, Episode 5 (The Empire Strikes Back): A very solid film, where the most dynamic character BY FAR in the entire series (Han Solo) starts to carry scenes.
2. Star Wars, Episode 3 (Revenge of the Sith): We had seen this one already, and seeing it again only confirmed that it is easily the best of the new releases and was in the serious running for best overall. It had the inherent advantage of tying up a lot of loose ends that led into the stories most people already knew, but it was executed very well.
1. Star Wars, Episode 6 (Return of the Jedi): The story was really hitting its stride, with the battle between the light and the dark side. This also has the best ending of all six movies.
Obviously this has nothing to do with sports, and we will soon return you to your regularly scheduled blog content. But, if you are interested, please offer thoughts in the comments.