On The Cusp of Rogue One

I’m going to Rogue One on Friday(my first theatrical movie since June…having a kid has RUINED movie going for me), so I’ll update this afterwards, but the internet is abuzz with reviews and Twitter is swamped with various “definitive” ranking of the Star Wars Entertainments. As always, lists like this are subjective, but hey, what is fandom if we can’t disagree(or agree) about how great Star Wars is. Here’s my hot take…
1. The Star Wars
I’ve always deferred to Empire as “the best” SW movie. Still true, but in relation to all SW movies, how can number one be anything else than number 4(wink). This started it all. It’s the reason we have Star Wars in 2016(and beyond). Without it, there would be no list. And, well, it’s great.
2. The Empire Strikes Back
Just the best. AND, with mild incest! Yoda’s intro as a crazy old muppet beats almost any other character in this series(I mean, Vader walking through that door in SW can’t be beat), only to have him pivot into the wise Jedi Master we love. Beautiful.
3. Return Of The Jedi
I don’t care that Han Solo has no reason to be alive at this point in SW, or that Ewoks manage to decimate the Imperial Troops. I definitely care about the satisfactory conclusion to Luke and Vader’s story. Watching him struggle against the Dark side both literally and figuratively is some of the best storytelling in the whole saga.
4. The Clone Wars
People seem to like these cartoons. I find them ok. Not my cup of tea. But, they aren’t offensive.
5. The Phantom Menace
Duel Of The Fates. The promise of what a “new Star Wars movie” could be in 1999 was fulfilled in this battle. The rest of the film is shit. Utter shit.
6. The Attack Of The Clones
Finding the good in the prequels is about identifying moments that can add up to enough to get some enjoyment out of these movies that have no REAL reason to exist. We didn’t need them, and looking back, we probably shouldn’t have wanted them. They are bad, the lot of them. The stink on this one is unavoidable.
7. The Force Awakens
Every decision going into this was made with marketing in mind. Not “good storytelling.” It’s rushed and slight…the hallmark of JJ Abrams films. Great while their in front of your face, but they fall apart under the slightest scrutiny. All McGuffin, no McStory.  Even with finally killing off Han. There’s little to no weight to it because we’ve been TOLD everything we need to SEE in order for it be emotionally effective. I hate this thing more each time I watch it, because the characters are a hoot. Those moments where the “new kids” get to shine are pretty good, and manage to give me hope for future SW movies, but I just wish they could have done something that hasn’t happened since 1977: tell a NEW Star Wars story. The hope still exists, but this stinker will be largely remembered for nothing more than how fast someone can actually use the Force.
8. The Ewok Adventure
My 4 year old self was terrified of the Gorax. It was an exciting adventure then. As an adult, I can’t get past the corn and made-for-tv-ness of it all.
9. Ewoks: Battle For Endor
The even more forgettable sequel to TEA, I can’t even remember what it’s about, but I do remember that it’s not as bad as what’s coming up….
10. The Holiday Special
Good luck finding a copy of this to see today. I think it’s more or less whole on YouTube, but hoo boy is it terrible.
11. Revenge Of The Sith
The whole movie is forced and broken. It casts the universes most bad-ass evildoer as a sad babyman who can’t handle his emotions.
Who also kills children.
Look, NO ONE needed to know that Anakin Skywalker was a baby killer. That’s information that RUINS the character of Darth Vader. Sure, he’s a BAD dude who kills people. But, by Jedi, he is redeemed.
Then you have to think about the kids he killed and you’re like, maybe Darth Vader isn’t redeemable? Which DESTROYS your enjoyment of that moment. Screw you, Lucas. Not my Vader. This movie is the antithetical culmination of this trilogy that Jedi was to The Original Trilogy. Only, instead of wrapping things up and bringing the story to a good conclusion, it makes you lose all hope that thing in the Star Wars universe would ever be ok again. Which, in a way, is it’s purpose, so it’s at least successful on that front, I guess.
So, what do you think? Will Rogue One be any good? What’s your list look like?
JB Written by:

Joshua has been an avid fan of movies since he first saw Indiana Jones escape that rolling boulder and resoundingly punch Nazis to death. Forever wrestling with the notion of "why" in movies, he believes there is such a thing as "A Perfect Film."