I’ve recently dived into doing ”best of’ lists, so as I’ve explained, I’ve decided to do my top 20 SF films. This is my personal list, so feel free to disagree with it and of course, you’ll be horribly wrong.
At #11 it’s not one, not two, but three films (and some prequels I’m going to imagine didn’t happen), it’s the original Star Wars trilogy.
Right, let’s get one thing out the way. The prequels are crap. Really, really crap examples of how to make really, really bad films. There may be the odd scene that’s good, or even more shockingly some acting may break out at a few points in the three films but they’re pish, sheer and utter pish. They
Now that’s out the way let me tell you what you probably know which is that these three films are the defining moments of a lot of people’s childhoods. The first one used to be mine but over the years I’ve become less enamored of it due mainly to the almost cultish devotion of a number of it’s fans, but that aside these three films are the best examples of the sort of 1930’s style Space Opera you’ll see.
Star Wars (pffft to this A New Hope subtitle) is a simple fairy tale. The good guys are good, the baddies are bad. We cheer the goodies to victory and everyone leaves the cinema happy! The Empire Strikes Back fills out the simple story with angst, parental abuse, a lot of plot and the best film of the three not to mention a rare time when the sequel is better in a lot of ways to the original. By the time we get to Return of the Jedi, the series reaches a natural end with a series of climatic battles and sadly, Ewoks. Those bloody Ewoks….
Watched as a whole it’s a bloody great time. These are just fun films which are well made, enjoyable and although they’re essentially kids films (that’s going to make a few fans wet their knickers with rage) they can be enjoyed by everyone as these are simple films that never become simplistic. They were unspoiled wonders til the day The Phantom Menace hit our screens and it all went horribly wrong…
My favourite bit in all the films? The fight between Luke and Darth Vader at the end of Empire Strikes Back. It sums up the series message of hope and heroism against the face of evil and corruption. It’s also beautifully shot. Compare it with the dreary, endless fight at the end of the third prequel which goes on and on and on and on while saying nothing.
Right now these films are outside my top ten, but they might sneak back in someday……..
Next time, we go across the 8th dimension….