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Who could've come up with a better ending?
This is the MOST character driven film of the Star Wars saga. George said he wanted an emotional ending between Luke and his father and with the Emperor in the mix that is exactly what we got.
The beginning of the film and another reviewer said serves mainly to reunite the main characters and tie up any loose ands regarding Jabba the Hutt and Han's 'previous' life. The tension really starts building up in the 2nd half of return of the Jedi and its completely unmissable! The effects are still stunning and hold up today. The simultaneous three way battle at the end (Luke/Lando/Han and Leia) is brilliantly done. The cutting between scenes is very appropriately done to alleviate and create tension at the right times making the ending that much more dramatic. Now as for the ewoks..some people don't seem to understand they are for comic relief...the battle between Luke/Vader/Emperor is so tense our poor little nerves can't take it and we NEED the comic relief provided by some of the scenes in that battle. And the fact that primitive simplistic ewoks defeat the technological over complicated Empire is very appropriate: reason overcomes technology...a statement on 20th century life.
Back to the lightsabre battle. The action isn't as fast or breath taking even as in the Empire Strikes back. But that is good because it doesn't take focus away from the emotional centre of the story. That scene in the Death Srat is more, talking, goading and tension, rather than action which is appropriate. The Emperor's death is poetic justice at its most subliminal. How can anyone not grin as he falls down the shaft...well either grin or just reel back in shock that Ani has FINALLY done it...fulfilled the prophecy. This is why the links with the prequel trilogy are important. When Vader dies and we see him burning on the funeral pyre it is sombre yet surprisingly not too sad. This is because it fits; he is at peace and has come to his natural end. It was similar with Padme's death in Return of the Sith; she had had enough of life, she died at peace knowing she had brought new life into the galaxy and that there was good left in Anakin; for this reason her death was more sombre than sad per se. It is fitting that the deaths of Anakin and Padme are thus juxtaposed and linked.
The ending...what is it but happy...the happiest and most uplifting of all the Star Wars films. It is really a complete and finished ending to a magnificent saga of films. I get choked up every time I see it. Reliving the many previous hours of emotions and what the Star Wars galaxy and I have gone through to get to that point.
Absolutely brilliant sum it up? Thank you George, thank you for changing the world.
The one that got us hooked
Along with Revenge of the Sith this is the fastest film in the trilogy. It builds on what we see of the Star Wars universe in the original film and probably got most of us firmly hooked to Star Wars for the rest of our lives.
There are no faults in this film; it does everything perfectly. I'm writing this having assumed most of the people reading have seen it, so I won't go into describing its magnificence as you can likely see that for yourselves. Suffice to say, it continued the magnificent trend of Star Wars films in the 80s and it still holds the flag up high today as a true contender for one of the greatest films of all time. Yet for me it is more important as a piece in the tapestry of the Star Wars Saga.
It is as important as and as good as all the other Star Wars films to me. It is the darker middle act of the original trilogy allowing for that ecstatic ending in Return of the Jedi; it is the penultimate act of all 6 Star Wars films, again, the darker mood before the happy ending. It continues developing the story and characters we have become enamoured with and it does it SO well. As I said it is flawless which is why I have little less to say; the effects hold up to scrutiny today as does everything else. This is truly an immortal god in the world of films.
Star Wars (1977)
The one that started it all
If any film has a claim to the greatest film of all time it is surely this. It spawned probably the greatest movie saga to ever grace the big screen...STAR WARS! It invigorated what was basically a dying film industry; it opened the door for countless more sci-fi and fantasy films that have been ambitiously created over the years. Peter Jackson himself said that he was inspired to taking on a task as large as Lord of the Rings after seeing how George Lucas had dealt with Star Wars. More immediate inspirations would be Alien and the Star Trek Movie; sci-fi successes inspired by Star Wars. But moreover it is the ultimate cult classic; it influenced the lives of an entire generation in 1977 and when it was re-released in 1997 it did a similar job, as I am part of that generation. It is not only a critical part of the film industry and critical part of western society. I truly believe that an epic like Star Wars is good for the world in every way. It symbolises hope or a NEW HOPE as the case may be. It is a modern fairy tale that delivers all the right messages. Or if you're just in it for the entertainment then there's isn't anything to complain about there either.
What is brilliant about it now of course is how it fits into the brilliant Hexilogy that is Star Wars...seamlessly I might add. It picks up right off where Return of the Sith lets off and continues those magnificent adventure. Surely ones first reaction after Return of the Sith would be to immediately re-watch Star Wars. But despite its integral part of the Star Wars Saga, what makes this film stand out of all six for me is how it stands on its own. Even though I wasn't alive then I really sense how it captured the mood of the time that '77 feeling. I love it.
You can watch this film and see it as part of the bigger picture in which case you get that extra depth from it; but you can also watch it as if you are a little kid back when you first saw it and it was the only film you ever watched. Thats the beauty of this film...thats why its the one and only Star Wars.
An Epic in every sense...and more
Truly ground breaking in every sense, a technological marvel and cinematic treat for all true movie and Star Wars fans. This wraps up the Saga perfectly; bridging TPM and AOTC with the original trilogy. I didn't feel any little nagging sensations at the end or feel that there were any loose ends.
The story is brilliant it is fast paced action style reckoning more back to the first original two Star Wars films. Extreemely flashy and visually stunning...need anymore be said? But more importantly substance to back it up. McDiarmind gave his best acting out of all the Star Wars films here, Jackson was perfect, Oz was as ever brilliant and Hayden was really good too managing to encapsulate the fall to the dark side through his character as well as I could imagine any actor doing it whilst maintaining a sense of innocence, almost. The plot is intense if nothing else; there is not one moment to be missed. While lacklustre is a word used to describe the previous two prequels by some questionable critics; anyone who applies that word to this film is clearly in denial. (And missing out on a treat by not opening their minds). Also if all you felt that was lacking from the previous two films was more action; then this film will also definitely satisfy.
The emotional centre of this film lies with Anakin. We feel for the characters such as Padme, Yoda Mace and Obi-Wan to some extent. I don't now how he did it but somehow Lucas contrates all out emotions towards Anakin. He IS the film..this is his pivotal turn to the darkside. Anyless would be injustice. When he lies there on the bank burned and scarred we feel an extreeme sense of pathos yet at the same feel a sense of perverse justice mixed with a feeling of loss. Coupled with the extermination of the Jedi this is definitely one of the more emotional and darker films. Anyone who CAN'T feel some sort of sadness...is inhuman.
Naturally like all the prequels this has a different feel to the original trilogy what with it having different actors and being made in the digital era. But more importantly because the events of this film are set in the heart of Galaxy at Coruscant primarily and it is about the implosion of the Republic due to the Sith along with Anakin's fall. But by the end as we move to the outskirts of the Galaxy and see the Empire really taking shape and see Alderaan and Luke on Tatooine we really begin to get that old trilogy feel; that of a rebellion attacking the Empire from the outside. It is there and it is beginning. I felt by the end the gap had been perfectly bridged despite a chronological difference of 19 years.
Absolutely unmissable. The pivotal chapter in all six films indicating the fall of the Jedi and switch between Republic to Empire; which has been gradually taking place in the previous two prequels. The hexilogy is finally completed and it fits together seamlessly. It doesn't carry the nostalgia that many feel for the OT but it is as good a story and arguably more important to the great Opus that is Star Wars. We can look out for the reoccurring themes and nuances and enjoy an intriguing story over and over now all six are complete.
Star Wars is very interpretative and opens the imagination to an entirely new universe which is what I love about the films. ALL the characters are unforgettable unique and pleasurable. The tension in the latter lightsabre battles is incredible. Even the Sidious vs.Windu one between two perhaps less principle characters elicited such emotions from us. It really is a treat and I cannot emphasis how much of an unmissable film and perfect end to the trilogy this is.
Star Wars heats up!!!
AOTC begins 10 years after TPM left off. There is a noticeable gap between the two but it doesn't feel like it needs bridging. This really emphasises TPM as a prelude as what is to come in this film.
I will start off by saying how intriguing the story is in this film. The pace is fast from the beginning after an explosion. The pace is taken off in parts but essentially the film maintains its momentum until the terrific climax. No-one does them bigger and better than George. After they leave Courscant the plot divulges into two story lines one with Obi-Wan doing his bit of detective work whilst Ani and Padme are making some discoveries about themselves and their close ones. Both plots are reunited as are all the Jedi in the climactic battle. Thrilling light sabre fights and an ending that raises more questions than answers. There is a certain feeling of mysticism all the way through this film that I felt; and found it very enjoyable. It is unique and different to all other Star Wars films in that here we get to see HOW and WHY the Star WARS began. It makes the wars in the next 4 films that much more meaningful that we no know how they came about. George's panache for story telling really comes to the forte here.
The effects are stunning...enough said. The acting is solid Obi-Wan becomes more like Alec Guiness' Obi-Wan in this one yet Mcgreggor adds his own touch; which I admit could be slightly annoying at times. Other notable performances from, Oz, McDiarmind, Jackson and of course Lee. Padme seems confused yet determined which suits her character down to the earth. Hayden however gets the 1st prize. He has been criticised for being a whiny Darth Vader. While many people forget his character is still on 20 in this film and in many ways very naive. I thought he played this well. He seems to have the turbulence of youth as well as volatility yet something far more dangerous lurking beneath. While perhaps not Oscar winning; solid mention worthy performances all round. And o yes C3PO and R2 provide the usual comic relief.
As a prequel I have no complaints everything was done to the letter. This is a different Star Wars film in that it shows the beginning of the Wars but by the end we're in full swing and the next four can't come on quick enough. It links the more introductory TPM with the rest of the saga more too I fell. Answering some vital questions. Does everything it needs to and is a good Star Wars film for bringing something different and a different feel to the trilogy making it that much more complete a package. We really begin to empathise with the characters in this film; I felt so much for Anakin when is mother died and even Yoda has me on the edge of my seat. Can he really keep that level up to beat Dooku i hope her survives for the others?!? Well of course; but a real connection is deepened hear I feel. We get to know Obi-Wan that much better in this film he almost starts to feel like a friend.
All in all a must see multiple viewings for all true star wars fans. UNmissable and it brings the Saga one step closer to completion.
Most underrated Star Wars movie...possibly movie ever!!!
When I read some of people's comments on Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace I was slightly dismayed.
It is true that it is more of a kid's film; but unless I recall incorrectly weren't the others? It has been criticised for its acting also; and whilst I appreciate the acting wasn't Oscar winning quality the principle cast members like McGreggor, Neeson, Portman, McDiarmind and even Jake Lloyd put in solid performances. I have seen a lot of movies and the acting is nowhere near the bottom in terms of quality.
But i think it is safe to say that most of the criticism has been levelled at Jar Jar Binks. The Comic relief is obvious; but I hear you say we have R2 and C3PO for that, true. But surely Jar Jar and the Gungans are meant to act as a comic counterpoint to the more tragic and sombre Naboo...lets face it we need the Gungans because a lot of the time the Naboo are just boring humans. Even Queen Amidala only has rare moments of character exposition when she talks to Ani and when she's off Naboo on Tatooine.
Furthermore the movie has been criticised for being too light hearted in nature. After seeing all six it would be difficult to argue that it is the more serious one. But it was meant to be light hearted. When I watched the original trilogy for the 1st time in the cinema in 1997 I imagined what the Galaxy was like "before the dark times, before the Empire", and this was the only movie where I got to see that galaxy that had been. This movie was pivotal in setting the context of the mood of the Star Wars Galaxy; predominantly HAPPY yet mixed with political degradation and a far off shroud, barely visible, phantom like waiting to descend on all the Star Wars universe. This is ESSENTIAL as it makes the later fall into chaos all the more relevant. Light hearted and not too serious yes lacklustre..NO! Many people forget that it is part of a Hexilogy of films. The only film that stands on its own is The Original Star Wars...does that make it the best i don't know? This film is the first of 6 it is the introduction, setting the context for what is to come. I feel the problem is many people were expecting a film that jumped straight into the turmoil of war much like the Empire Strikes Back. How sadly they disappointed they were? This film like any other will attract good or bad comments from the critics and the ordinary movie going public..its the division of Star Wars fans that troubles me. How some fail to appreciate it is the larger piece of a puzzle is disturbing. The Star Wars Saga is artificially split into 6 parts. This is the first part. They are naturally adjusted to make individual films. This one is not as exciting as any of the others as it is the beginning the first journey of many..the Star Wars Galaxy is warming up. We will not get the tension we got when we saw Return of the Jedi; the emotional investment will not quite the same even with the characters we have already met such as Obi-Wan; this is because we are aware, despite having seen the original trilogy this is just he beginning. When I first watched A New Hope when Obi-Wan died I recall being more taken with where the body went and grinning at Luke's cheesy cry, than taking in the moment of death. now having seen all six especially the prequel trilogy leading up to Obi-Wan's death it means that much more to me as I now know the HISTORY.
The essential problem with TPM is that people were expecting a film as tense and exciting as the first three combined whereas what they got was more if a Luke-warm introduction. What, did you expect George to come out with all guns blazing?!? He's got to have a climax...the Saga if complete has got to start somewhere quieter if it indeed is going to have a climax. Any great Opus has a quiet beginning; the Lord of the Rings for those of you who have read it; has an incredibly slow start; Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. One of the most intense pieces of music ever has a very quiet slow start. Yes this is a film, and yes different rules apply; which is why it does stand on its own; at least as much as any of the others do. I didn't hear anyone complaining about the Empire Strikes back which has no beginning and simply picks up from where we left off and has no end either. Thats because you'd seen the first Star Wars a few years earlier. Well, now everyone has seen all 6 together I hope this one finally makes a little more sense.
But what is most important to me is that I first saw this movie when I was 13, the perfect age, and loved it. I still watch it now, and I still love it. Even more so in fact, knowing it is the first part of what is a great and unforgettable Saga.
Fully Booked (1995)
A good show!
What can i say? Nowhere near as good as live and kicking but seeing as I commented on that I thought I better had on this.
It had everything live and kicking had including the brilliant X-Men cartoon series the jewel in the crown of Fully Booked. However it lacked the chemistry and certain panache of Live and Kicking.
The presenters were nice and the Scottish theme was interesting. (As the studio was in Scotland) I'm very nostalgic about childhood at the moment and I have fond memories of Fully Booked. I remember each year I couldn't wait for Liva and Kicking to return though!
I'm sure those of us who were young at that time remember Saturday or was it Sunday mornings? and Fully Booked.
Live & Kicking (1993)
Best Saturday Morning T.V show ever
Without a doubt this show personified the weekends of my childhood. It was the 'only way to start the week end.' I remember when it started in 1993 I was 6. I followed it through the Golden Ages of Andi Peters (who can forget his emotional farewell) and Emma Forbes and then the era of Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston. Towards the end, the show lost its glow. Fully Booked, SMTV, Go and Live, the Saturady Show and Dic and Dom never reached the heights of entertainment that Live nd Kicking did for me and those of my age group.
Live and Kicking introduced me as a small child to the world of celebrity and marvel cartoons (X-men and Spiderman being the main reason I watched it). Truly children's T.V hasn't been the same since the 90's. I remember the childish comedy of comedy of Trev and Simon that amused me; as well as pointless yet amusing games like Snuffle the Truffle and music shows like hit, miss or maybe. Anyone remember Famous for Five minutes? This was the show that had everything; and the chemistry between the presenters was uncanny. Life has never been the same since...thank goodness it finished though or I don't think I'd have grown up!!!