I watched the Star Wars trilogy today for the first time in two years, and something occurred to me. They are all flawed films.
Having grown up watching the original trilogy, I always viewed them as the perfect movies--they had aliens, Harrison Ford, and 'splosions. In fourth grade, with the special editions, I became a superfan--I collected it all: the books and the action figures; the magazines and the newspaper articles; the paper party plates and the underoos. I thought that there was nothing better than the original classics.
Looking back now, I can see that there are a number of plotholes that can be spotted. Some of the cinema is leading and just plain bad. Most of the effects held up over time, but the ones that didn't are distracting. Looking back at the original trilogy, the prequels are almost as consistent in quality. Sure, The Empire Strikes Back is better than either prequel (and is in fact the best movie ever made, with its only shortcomings related to effects), and the Jar Jar Binks factor knocks The Phantom Menace down a few notches, but really, it's pretty much par for the course.
In A New Hope, (yes, I've lowered myself to calling it something other than plain-old Star Wars), there are holes. Just offhand now, four hours after watching, I recall three things that just jumped out at me as I watched. Meanwhile, the special effects leave something to be desired. In every scene where a fighter explodes, the explosions are dull and grey. I don't need CGI explosions or gigantic ones, but a little color correction would have been nice. In several shots as TIE Fighters fly by, there are gigantic boxes visible around the ships, which could easily be removed with today's computer technology.
Empire is as close as the world will come to a perfect movie. Accept no substitutes. However, it fails to make it all the way to perfection with a few effects that don't stand up to the test of time. Jedi has Ewoks. 'Nuff said.
Every movie has something great that makes them stand out above every other movie of all time. A New Hope has the shot of the Millennium Falcon flying down to save Luke at the last second, bright sunlight shining behind it. Empire has the moment, among others, where Han responds to Leia's "I love you" with a nonchalant "I know." Jedi has Luke flipping out on Vader and hacking him down with the darkside to the moans of a male soloist in John Williams's score.
I feel I'll be ostracized by my geek friends for saying this, but bring on the new editions. I want more special effects fixes. I will buy new versions of these movies every year as long as they have four special effects fixes on them. Add three hundred and twenty seven new scenes with Jabba the Hutt in them. Bring it on, Lucas.
Just don't put Jar Jar Binks in there.