Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I don’t know how you could watch the prequels and pick anyone other than Obi-Wan Kenobi as the coolest guy in the galaxy. I also appreciate that it undercuts the Jedi a bit. They are powerful and try to do some good, but they mess up a lot. I really dig the psychological battles and manipulation in this one. Great stuff. While Christensen is not a good actor, I buy into his tortured melodrama because I believe in Darth Vader’s arc. You’ll forgive a lot if the story is worth believing in. Would have loved more of that. Meanwhile, who the hell is General Grievous? (Know what’s cooler than two light sabers? Four light sabers!) Yeesh. Better than the other two prequels, I think, and a good way to close things out.
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. One of my major complaints of the prequels is that everything looks so nice, and nothing really feels lived in. Very true in this one. I like that we get to hang out with Obi-Wan so much, doing private eye stuff, chasing down assassins. Overstuffed and scattered, though, and there’s just no way that Anakin & Padme fall in love. Teen Anakin is a nightmare. While I don’t see him in that relationship, I can start to feel for him here, just tragicomically buffeted by his emotions, absolutely at their mercy. The soundtrack is in peak form here, too.
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Maybe it’s just that time has washed away the hurt and shattered expectations of 1999, but my thoughts after a second viewing:
If I learned anything from STAR WARS it’s to let go of hate and stuff and I realized episode 1 is kinda campy and charming on second watch?
The story is blah, the writing and acting is blah. But yet, I don’t regret watching it again. I love how every setting is packed with goofy species and local details, every cityscape is full of air traffic. If there is any saving grace, it is the soundtrack – the best part of all of the prequels.
THX 1138. Part of me wishes that George Lucas had continued to make weird films. But then we wouldn’t have The Empire Strikes Back, so… I don’t think the characters are great–you root for them more as symbols–but the mechanics are fun. I love the claustrophobic close-ups, the dead interiors. The chase was surprisingly good for a debut, in this era. And those confessional booths! This one is certainly better than other flight-from-dystopia films like Logan’s Run, but not quite up there with Brazil.