So I’ve been having a Star Wars marathon, and I’ve had such a blast doing it I wanted to write a bit on it. I’ve kept mentioning it before, because I had mean to put this up over a month ago, but other entries got priority so here we are haha.
As a kid, I absolutely loved the original Star Wars trilogy—we had the trilogy on VHS and I’d watch all three, rewind them, and start over. I’m sure I’ve watched them dozens of time, and they were always some of my favorite movies to go back to.
That said, I hadn’t watched them in probably 5-10 years, nor had I ever read any novels (though I always meant to, and picked up the Thrawn Trilogy when I found them at a used book store, and bought Scoundrels when it was on sale on Amazon, always thinking I’d get super into them). And because of that, I sort of fell out of the fandom. I don’t know what it was, but I just wasn’t passionate about this universe, probably simply because I hadn’t “participated” in it for a while (i.e. watched any of the movies, etc.). But I still remembered how much I loved them as a kid, and was sort of sad that I fell out of it.
When The Force Awakens came out, I was excited, but not overly so, and when I finally did watch it I didn’t love it. It was fine, but not great to me (good characters but not a great plot), though it did make me interested in future stories with the new characters introduced.
But because I hadn’t loved it as much as I wanted to, I’ve always been meaning to go back and rewatch everything Star Wars, including Clone Wars and Rebels. I don’t remember what specifically made me do it recently, but I finally decided: I’d watch everything chronologically so I could really immerse myself in the universe and timeline.
And it was such a blast. I enjoyed the prequels a bit, loved the shows, and just overall loved getting re-immersed in the world.
Maybe I’ll go back and write full reviews of these at some point, but for now, here’s mini reviews for all the films/shows:
The Phantom Menace – I remembered this being my favorite of the prequels, and it still definitely is. Revenge is probably a better movie overall, but Darth Maul and Liam Neeson (and the lack of Hayden Christensen!) always made me love this movie as a kid (I actually liked the pod racing too, though it definitely wasn’t my favorite this time—just seemed pointless—but as a kid it was fun). I was so obsessed with Maul as a kid, and upon rewatching it he still remains an incredibly awesome character. I wish he would’ve had more to do, but the scenes he’s in are great. Not to mention the whole final fight scene with “Duel of the Fates,” etc.—there’s a lot of things wrong with this film, but that scene’s great.
Attack of the Clones – I didn’t remember this film hardly at all, and to be honest after watching it again, I still don’t really remember it, haha. By far the worst of the three, it really does seem to be a pointless film with nothing memorable. Just nothing stands out to me about it, and even the battle scenes didn’t interest me at all. Which is interesting to think, considering that, say, the fight between Obi-Wan and Vader in New Hope is pretty bad (even though I loved New Hope as a kid) whereas these “modern” fight scenes just have no impact.
Clone Wars TV Show – This was fantastic. I’m so, so sad I didn’t watch this earlier, as this completely elevates the entire prequel trilogy. I still don’t like Anakin, but at least he’s given much better treatment than in the prequels, and Ahsoka is a fantastic character. Seriously, she is just amazing and by far the best part of the show, but all of the characters are fun and interesting. I loved how they gave such personality to various Clones, etc., something the prequels never did. And Admiral Trench is such a fantastic villain—I hope he’s added more into the world or in the novels or something. So good.
The Revenge of the Sith – As I said, I guess technically this might be the best film, but it’s never been my favorite. Honestly, it always just felt like an extension of Attack of the Clones where nothing much memorable happens. Sure, Anakin becomes Darth Vader, but that transformation isn’t done all that well, and was never a good part of the film for me. Really the main good part of this movie is the fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan. Ewan McGregor is such an amazing actor, and never just phones it in even though he definitely could of—he keeps acting his heart out, and it definitely elevates the film.
Rebels TV Show – Also incredibly fantastic, and I absolutely love the main cast of characters. Also, Thrawn is incredible and it makes me wish even more to read the Thrawn trilogy soon. The storytelling is possibly the best part, as the show builds slowly without ever seeming slowly, following a close-knit group of characters and how they become rebels. In that way it almost seems Firefly-ish, and similarly has an incredible cast of characters (each of whom has their place and reason for being there)—not as good, no, but I do love all the characters, and again similarly it shows how a group living in close quarters can become a family through shared experiences. If you haven’t watched this show, watch it—it even introduces an awesome and fun new droid, Chopper.
Rogue One – So I hadn’t seen this until a couple months after it was released, again because my interest in Star Wars wasn’t incredibly high (though I was still excited for this movie, as it looked really good), but because of that I was able to watch it during my marathon where it chronologically took place, and it was amazing. I absolutely loved this film, and it might actually be in my top 3? Granted, I’ve only seen it once, but I thought it was just incredibly well-done. All of the characters are great and interesting, and I loved the way it was filmed more like a traditional war film than space opera, really highlighting the war aspect of Star Wars and giving real depth and weight to the characters. I definitely cannot wait to watch it again.
A New Hope – This is actually my least favorite of the original trilogy. It’s amazing, but I just like how things are elevated as the films go on, and the world grows. Also, you really see how blinded you are by childhood, as again, to mention the lightsaber fight, I had always thought the fight between Obi-Wan and Vader was amazing, but it’s actually pretty bland. Still, a great movie that started so much.
The Empire Strikes Back – Often regarded as the best, and definitely for good reason. As I kid I never liked the Dagobah scenes so I never held this movie in such high regard as it seemed slower/even a little boring to me. That said, rewatching it, those scenes are fantastic, and the whole movie is just really well-done just from a film/story point.
The Return of the Jedi – A bit of an unpopular opinion, I know, but this is my favorite of the original trilogy. As a kid I loved Luke in this film (where I hadn’t really previously), I thought the other characters were more interesting, the lightsaber battles were great, and I actually liked the Ewoks. Watching it as an adult, I don’t think it’s as good of a film as Empire, but I still just enjoy it slightly more.
The Force Awakens – So like I said, the first time I saw this it was just okay. Second time, I liked it a little more but still didn’t love it. This most recent time, however, I loved it. Maybe it was because I was on such a Star Wars high, but I had such an amazing time I watched it again the next day. There’s some issues with it, and it’s not the greatest story, but despite all that it was just really well-done, and I love all the characters. In short, I love it, but it’s not necessarily a great movie. I’m definitely excited for episode 8, though, and to see where the universe goes from here.
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This whole experience was utterly amazing, and I can definitely say I’ve reinvigorated my love. I loved the shows, the original trilogy was of course fantastic, and I even enjoyed rewatching the prequels. Not great movies, but the ideas behind them were interesting, and added to the experience.
And now I’m going to make my way through all of the New Canon books, also in chronological order (for the most part, at least. Might be a couple places I read them slightly out of order). As of right now I have full reviews of Dark Disciple and Ahsoka, which I plan to post soon, and I’m hoping to continue that for every one. I’m 4 novels in so far, and it’s a great experience.
Star Wars is amazing—definitely one of the best universes created, and I can’t wait to get even more into it.
(also that Last Jedi trailer, right? Cannot wait)