Monday, June 17, 2024

Ranking the Skywalker Saga of Star Wars.

December 12, 2020 by  
Filed under News, TV/Film/Movies

( Star Wars is a long-running space opera that I didn’t fully appreciate until high school. It was this franchise that was extremely popular, always on movie weekends, and just always around…just like Star Trek, actually.

So, I’m going to rank the current trilogies or the “Skywalker Saga”. Let’s see where your favorite falls.

3. The Original Trilogy (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi)

My first Star Wars film was The Empire Strikes Back. Note, this was way before on demand streaming or illicit downloading. When a Star Wars film was aired on TV, that was what you got. I just hope you knew that the movie was part of a trilogy of films.

You’d think “Everyone knows there are three movies in the first Star Wars trilogy.” However, TV Guide, the Prevue channel, and local TV logs told you nothing. You simply stumbled upon a cool, dated sci-fi movie.

I like the original trilogy to Final Fantasy I through V—as well as XI, XII, and XIV. Those games were Final Fantasy in it’s purest form of high fantasy instead of sci-fi, sci-fantasy, and cyberpunk. In Star Wars’ case, it was straight up adventure and space battles with the backdrop of an intergalactic war while telling a young hero’s journey.

That sounds like a mouthful but in reality, the writing in the late 70s and early 80s didn’t match the deepness of what was presented. We still got an exciting trifecta of films that could move you had the climatic moments or make you laugh but Lucas has established a world that warranted so much more explanation and could’ve gone in many directions.

And the franchise did thanks to later writers who saw that there was a lot more to work with. I will say that I acknowledge that the original trilogy was a product of film writing at the time.

It was also a product of a time when we still had to use our imaginations when it came to some popular media such as The Legend of Zelda games or Judas Priest albums. It was particularly deep or flashy writing but it allowed fans to exercise their imagination and really discuss what was next.

This trilogy also established tropes that would be revisited in the prequels and the sequels such as tragic heroes, redemption, and fallen mentors among others.


2. The Sequels (The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, Rise of Skywalker)

Star Wars should have a foothold in every decade. Whether it’s TV, film, or comics…like Star Trek. The Sequel Trilogy—or act three—was a Star Wars for a new generation of fans. It had some of the adventure of the original as well as the themes of heroism, complicated family ties, and redemption but came in with the focus on storytelling and world building of the obvious number one entry.

When The Force Awakens was announced I was stoked. As mentioned before, Star Wars is a franchise that had enough material for future writers to build on while not really giving them a direction.

It was more like “This is what’s going on at this point in the timeline, what can you do with it?” J.J Abrams and Rian Johnson came in and said “We’re finishing the saga.” Which was in the original plan, Lucas intended the franchise to run for nine films. Or should we say nine main films?

At any rate, the introduction of new characters and the aim of telling the story of several young heroes and pushing the franchise as well as the timeline gets a thumbs up from me. It’s not old head Star Wars but old heads can enjoy it.

1. The Prequels (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith)

Now, the prequels used to get some flak. When The Phantom Menace was released in 1999, there were diehard SW fans who didn’t care for it. Years later, there are still fans who don’t like the prequels. Most of them happen to be those fans who saw the film 20 years earlier.

However, I loved the prequels. Attack of the Clones was the first Star Wars film I saw in the theater and it looked larger than when I went to a marathon showing of the original trilogy years later. The special effects, the sound, everything was just larger.

How can I not mention the fight scenes in the prequels?! These three films introduced Darth Maul and the double-ended lightsaber in one film, Grievous in another, and gave us Darth Vader’s origin story. Yeah, we had to sit through a racing scene in The Phantom Menace but Clones and Sith were dope films.

Seeing Anakin Skywalker go from curious youngling to somewhat rebellious to outright traitorous was an awesome and sad journey. This young Jedi with infinite potential becomes one of the bad ass villains of all cinema.

The prequels modernized the franchise and vastly expanded the lore and universe of the franchise. We got an understanding of the politics and what caused the conflict here. This kind of thing would’ve been better for TV pace-wise but for lovers of lore, this was it.

It simply came at the right time. Film technology had improved a ton from 1983. Fight choreography and the ability to do all the acrobatics had improved from that time as well. This wasn’t the dramatic but basic fight from the originals.

The award for most influence on its franchise goes to the prequels. Hell, without the prequels, Star Wars media would’ve been stuck at some dope comics from Marvel, some great novels, and a lot of mediocre cartoon spin-offs and video games.

Imagine a world without the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated stuff alone. You’re looking at a dormant franchise with wasted merchandising and spin-off potential.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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