Monday, March 22, 2010

It is your destiny!

I promise to keep this short. James Maliszewski claims that Episode IV is the best part of the trilogy*, because:

A friend of mine once said that Star Wars is the only one of the series that didn't take place within the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars is the only one of the series that simply tells a story rather than telling a story about Star Wars. To varying degrees, all of the sequels and prequels exist, at least in part, to tell us more about the characters, places, and events of the original film.

And I agree. However, I must note that this assessment doesn't state anything new, it simply follows from the fact that Star Wars is the first film in the series ( which btw. wasn't planned until the movie turned out to be a huge success). As such it had to be a stand alone work of art, constructed around a closed story arc and with no lose ends sticking out.

James also writes:

Certainly there were lots of details established in the first film, but most of those details existed primarily to advance the story it was telling rather than to flesh out the setting of the story. It's the only film of the series that's like that, which probably explains why, even after years of interminable "expansions" to the original through movies, TV shows, comic books, novels, and other media, it still retains a freshness and vibrancy that the others lack.
I disagree!!! While it might be argued that, indeed the other two movies are a kind of an appendix to the first one, it's still The Empire Strikes Back, which holds the lead as (in my opinion at least) the best movie.

Why? Because it's probably the episode that has the most dramatic tension, as well as plot and character development. In fact, compared to the other two movies. it could be seen as not only being numerically and chronologically in the center, but also as the true culmination of the saga.

And I'm not even mentioning the multitude of cultural tropes and motifs which make that movie (and the whole trilogy) one of the most postmodern works in history of cinema.

Blah blah blah

Here is the real reason for this post.

*to me there will always be only 3 Star Wars movies


  1. I only acknowledge The Empire Strikes Back. :)

  2. Hmmm, it depends on how you define "best." You acknowledge that Empire is the best movie (which, btw, I agree 100%), and it seems that your first point is simply that Episode IV is the most "original." Well, that goes without saying, as the Star Wars universe didn't exist (outside of George Lucas' head) before Episode IV was made. That doesn't, however, mean that it wasn't a "story about Star Wars."

    After all, how can you separate the characters, etc. from the story of Episode IV, when the story is about said characters? The sequels/prequels may exist because Episode IV was successful, but they are not merely "appendices" to tell us "more" about the first story. Obviously they do tell us more about the characters, but they also have their own story arcs, character development, etc, and as you've pointed out, Empire succeeds at doing those things better (and even Jedi is more entertaining to watch, even if A New Hope is "superior" in a technical sense).