Film review: Star Wars
The Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi
I've just re-watched all three Star Wars films. The original versions, not the "Special Editions". These were the Laserdisc releases, transferred to DVD by a nice man.
Now, Mr. Juan Lemon says that I hate the three modern imposters because I'm watching childrens' films with jaded cynical adult eyes, whereas the originals, while also being childrens' films, are part of my childhood and so I forgive them. Having watched them again, I don't think he's right. The originals are much better films than the imposters full stop.
The scripts are better (even the slightly ropey second one); while lots of the dialogue is cheesy, true, it's well-delivered and is actually funny; the editing is first class; the acting is - well, it's acting, instead of people woodenly delivering their lines. I'm sure that the fact that there were people in the monkey-suits and actual sets instead of nothing but a green screen and the aliens would be CGIed in later has a lot to do with that. The models used for the space combat sequences remind us all how far CGI still has to go: the battle between the two fleets near the end of Return Of The Jedi has yet to be bettered by spotty oiks with expensive PCs. Most of all, the films all tell a reasonably coherent story and there is real character development.
That's not to say that the films are perfect, of course. All have their flaws. Star Wars is perhaps a little "bitty", The Empire Strikes Back, the weakest of the three, doesn't have a particularly satisfactory conclusion, and Return Of The Jedi has Ewoks (which were apparently going to be Wookies originally but were changed to make a somewhat dark film dealing with issues of good vs evil and redemption more kiddy-friendly). But they're still better than the later abominations, which seem to exist solely to show off Industrial Light and Magic's clever computer tech and to milk the toy market.
But now, I suppose, to be fair to the Abominations, I do have to watch them again. I'm not looking forward to that.