I just finished watching Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. After seeing this film, I have searched my feelings. And, in doing such, I have come to the conclusion that I long expected I would: Disney’s Star Wars trilogy is better than George Lucas’s original trilogy.
I know, that’s a pretty hot take. And in saying it, I almost feel like I’ve come over to the dark side of the force. But, it’s ultimately true. And I say that as someone who really enjoyed the original Star Wars trilogy by George Lucas.
The following is my take on everything Star Wars. But first…
Throwing Shade On Star Wars Geeks
First, I want to throw shade on all the Star Wars Geeks who hated Disney’s Star Wars trilogy, especially those who hated The Last Jedi, yet saw The Rise Of Skywalker anyway. Such a love/hate relationship reminds me of the relationship that existed between Han Solo and Princess Leia in the original trilogy. Leia couldn’t stand Han for the longest time and hated his guts… but really, she loved him deep down inside all along, and her hatred was just an overlay for an underlying crush.
I don’t get people who get all geeked out over Star Wars. I hate to burst your bubble, but Star Wars isn’t this super deep movie series. If you want a super deep sci-fi series that has a lot of thought about it, please, go watch Star Trek. Star Wars is popcorn summer blockbuster. If you think too hard about it, you have come to the movie wrong mindset to begin with.
Star Wars as originally envisioned by George Lucas was meant to be a giant blockbuster to begin with. He wanted a movie that had the appeal of a cowboy western, but in space with wizards. To craft this vision, he used the religious theories of famed British scholar, Joseph Campbell, and psychologist Carl Jung, to build a sorta modern day sci-fi religion that would have mass appeal, as it tapped into something primal and religious in all of us. If you never understood the mass appeal Star Wars has had on our culture… now you know.
Flaws With The Original Star Wars Trilogy
First, the original Star Wars trilogy by George Lucas is highly reliant on the greatness of the second movie in that trilogy, Empire Strikes Back. The second movie essentially carried the grossly inferior first and third movies in that trilogy. And Empire Strikes Back is what Star Wars geeks ultimately remember when they look back, blinded by their nostalgia. And rightly so, Empire Strikes Back is the most important movie of the entire franchise.
Second, the acting and dialogue in the original Star Wars trilogy by George Lucas isn’t very good. Actually, in truth, most of it is pretty bad. Most actors in the trilogy were pretty flat and stoic like the entire time. C3PO delivered his lines with more passion than most the characters in that series. Harrison Ford was probably the only real actor in the entire original trilogy. Carrie Fisher did a half-way decent job, or at least in scenes when her and Harrison Ford’s sexual tension was high. Mark Hamill got better as time went on, but was still pretty bad. And dare I say it… but even James Earl Jones voiceover work was pretty sketch. Yeah, he had a booming voice that sounds amazing. But his line delivery was pretty weak.
Third, most of the fight scenes in the original trilogy are poorly choreographed. Granted, there were severe technological limitations in the 70’s and 80’s compared to today, but, if you watch the original films, especially the fight scene between Obi Wan and Darth Vader in The New Hope, you’ll see just how objectively bad they were. You can’t blame that entirely on technology.
Why Disney’s Star Wars Trilogy Was Better
First, all three movies in Disney’s Star Wars trilogy are about equal to each other. Even though I believe The Rise Of Skywalker was the best of the three films, there isn’t any particular film that the triology lives or dies upon. Each movie is strong in their own right. That’s not to say each film is perfect– each has their own flaws (I still don’t care for the entire Princess Leia floating through space scene in The Last Jedi) — but overall, each film in the franchise is strong as stand alone movies.
Second, the acting in Disney’s Star Wars trilogy is just far superior to George Lucas’s trilogy. Apart from Han Solo in the original series, I didn’t believe that any of the characters had much in the way of any feelings. Luke Skywalker never seemed to have very many feelings to search. Rey and Kylo Ren on the other hand? They delivered amazing performances that showed a complex range of visible emotion. Rey actually moved me to tears a couple times, especially in the final scene of The Rise Of Skywalker. The only emotions I knew Luke to have in the first trilogy was that of a whinny kid.
Third, the fight scenes in Disney’s Star Wars trilogy were far superior on every level. And not just because they have graphics and technology available to them today that George Lucas didn’t have in the 70’s. They were just better directed altogether, and actually resembled real fights with people actually trying to harm each other. The original trilogy seldom had such scenes, even with Darth Vader hacked off Luke’s hand.
However you feel about Disney’s Star Wars trilogy, I hope we can all agree on one thing…. the Star Wars prequels were pretty terrible. Am I right?