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View Full Version : ANH is not that great as a standalone movie.



2-1B
05-26-2005, 01:37 AM
Last week I watched TPM on Monday, AOTC on Tuesday, and of course ROTS Wednesday at midnight, then a bunch more over the weekend. So, feeling down about the end of Star Wars, I figured what better remedy than to move along to Episode 4 ?

Don't get me wrong, I love it, but man did the second half of it ever feel flat last night. The opening stuff with the Tantive 4 was great as was the Tatooine stuff with Obi-Wan but once they get to the Death Star it started to feel bland. The dialogue with Vader and Obi-Wan was great but after Ben dies it goes downhill for me.

I think Mark Hammill is partly to blame, he's not very good in this one. He has his moments but it's not until ESB when he really gets going, he does a fantastic job in that picture and of course by ROTJ he does a great job of playing a confident Jedi.

I wasn't born until ANH was a year old so growing up I always took it in under the context of the whole trilogy. I have come to the realization that I don't like it that much as a stand alone. Had the film tanked and no sequels or prequels ever been made, I don't imagine myself even talking about ANH that much, compared to, say, Dawn of the Dead which was released in 1978. Yes I know that one is also part of a "trilogy" but it has no linked characters and barely even a linked plotline (many many ripoffs over the years) so I'm counting that as a standalone.

ANH is a cool movie but without the deeper layers added to it by the sequels and prequels I wouldn't be so caught up in it.

Thankfully after ANH I can move on to ESB which is what I'm watching right now, what a great film ! Yoda is back and we get Lando, come on ! :)

Beast
05-26-2005, 01:47 AM
I agree totally, Caesar. Frankly I think now that ANH is the weakest film of the Saga. Yes it's a good film, don't get me wrong. And I love it as much as I do the other five films. Just when you fairly compare all of them, it's the slowest paced. Lucas himself has acknowledged that fact. I'm ashamed to admit it, but it's the only film of the Saga that I routinely end up feeling restless of falling asleep during. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Jek Porky 2002
05-26-2005, 09:33 AM
I have to admit that I agree with Jar Jar!

I never really wanted to admit it, but I do feel the middle section of ANH is boring. The beginning is great, and the end space battle is ok, but the rest just seems very slow.

vader121
05-26-2005, 09:47 AM
Frankly I am surprised to be reading this. I disagree that ANH is the weakest of the saga. PM is by far the weakest in almost every aspect.

Each of the movies as it's boring or slow part. ANH has it's own with the trash compactor scene. That just bores me. In hindsight it does have the worst saber battle too as it's way short and is difficult to watch due to the very slow movements of Obiwan. However just about the rest of the movie is great.

JON9000
05-26-2005, 11:37 AM
Ep IV has a lot of incidental exposition, but I will take a movie that instantly gets you emotionally behind charismatic protagonists any day over one that shows you the behind of an eopie.

Just my two cents.

2-1B
05-27-2005, 01:13 AM
I rank ANH ahead of TPM. ANH is my 5th favorite of the 6 . . . I'm watching ROTJ right now and it's fantastic, I really enjoyed Ben's talk to Luke about his old man, very exciting since ROTS is so fresh in my head from the past week.

That's what I loved about ANH, too, the whole Obi-Wan/Anakin/Owen/Luke thing.

Oh yeah, not to mention Vader telling those TIE pilots to let Wedge go and stay on the leader, it totally reminded me of When Obi-Wan told him in the last movie to let the clones die because they were doing their job . . . had they gone off and taken out Wedge, they would have been doing Luke a favor. lol

Man, I love this saga !

stillakid
05-27-2005, 11:05 AM
Re: ANH is not that great as a standalone movie.


:confused: It's the only standalone Star Wars movie.

El Chuxter
05-27-2005, 11:36 AM
I'm with stilla on this one. You guys is smoking' crack. :D

DarthQuack
05-27-2005, 05:39 PM
I enjoyed watching ANH after ROTS and still enjoy it a lot.

Beast
05-27-2005, 06:23 PM
I'm with stilla on this one. You guys is smoking' crack. :D
Or maybe we just have... *GASP* A different opinion! *Gasp* :p

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

El Chuxter
05-27-2005, 06:33 PM
Heh heh. I'm just a-teasing.

But I really can't see where y'all are coming from.

All of the other movies (especially ROTS, ESB, and ROTJ) pick up in the middle of something or end with a cliffhanger. TPM and ANH are the only two that could possibly be taken on their own, and TPM is pretty weak if not seen as an intro to the other five movies.

In the greater context of the series, ANH also picks up in the middle and leaves things unresolved. But I think it stands quite well on its own, and not even ESB can claim that.

2-1B
05-28-2005, 04:13 AM
Jesus H. Christ, WHEN did I ever say that it is not a great standalone "Star Wars" movie ? :confused:

I said it's not a great standlone movie. Then I typed a period. ;)

Notice my use of Dawn of the Dead as a comparison, as in an example of an overall better standalone movie than Star Wars (sans episode number and ANH title).

If I had to choose between watching, say, Dawn of the Dead or Star Wars as a standalone movie with no knowledge of the other 5 films . . . I'd take Dawn over Star Wars. I've seen all the footage of people lined 'round the Mann's Chinese and I can't imagine being that hyped up over it without the added benefit of knowledge of the sequels and prequels.

Thanks for your time. :)

bigbarada
05-29-2005, 02:26 PM
I think 50% of Star Wars' success in 1977 had to do with timing. It premiered during a very unique time in American history and was totally unlike anything else in the theaters.

The other 50% obviously goes to the movie itself which is just incredibly well done.

As far as classic movies go, I think Star Wars (Ep4 for you youngins') is just as indispensible as Citizen Kane, Casablanca or The Godfather. Although I can't remember the last time I felt an overwhelming urge to watch any of those three movies.

As far as pure entertainment value goes I would pick Return of the Jedi as my favorite with the Special Edition of Empire Strikes Back as number two (the claustrophobic hallways of Bespin were too annoying in the original release of ESB). Star Wars would fall somewhere at the bottom of my top ten most entertaining movies list.

After that, honestly, Star Wars films fall off the list completely. Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings also fill out my top ten list.

The Overlord Returns
05-29-2005, 05:28 PM
Ep IV has a lot of incidental exposition, but I will take a movie that instantly gets you emotionally behind charismatic protagonists any day over one that shows you the behind of an eopie.

Just my two cents.


lol lol

Indeed, ANH is the only Standalone film in the series. Also, I would have to say as a stand alone movie, it works perfectly. Had there never been an ESB, and ROTJ or a prequel trilogy, I would still love watching "Star Wars" as it would truly be known.

JediTricks
05-29-2005, 07:35 PM
The original Star Wars came out in only 32 theaters, so it's not all that surprising that a great film like it would have huge lines around the block at Grauman's Chinese (I believe this was before Mann bought the place, but could be wrong), people would walk out of the film and get right back into line, and they waited because it was that good and they knew if they wanted to see it again, they had no other choices in the area (in the county in fact).

Star Wars isn't some overclocked, super-paced action film, it has a quick pace yet still gives the audience enough time to connect, but in the world that Star Wars has created, the ideas of "faster, more intense" have dominated the movie industry, especially after 1985 for some reason, and the action-film audience generally doesn't seem to want adventure in that same vein. Star Wars is a great standalone film because it is a mini-saga all its own, every 15 minutes something big in action or information happens just like a serial, and every 45 minutes or so those 3 "serials" form their mini-story and move the characters onto the part of the plot, by the end of the film the adventure has taken the audience halfway across the universe and from repairing droids to destroying the Death Star, with lots of big moments AND setbacks within the story. Star Wars also stands alone well because each of our characters is enough of an archetype that we don't need overblown introductions, we meet our heroes AND villains and get a sense of who they are by their garb, their surroundings, and their actions and reactions.

Bossk77
05-30-2005, 12:31 AM
Agreed......but i think that had there not been ESB or ROJ over time fans would have felt something was missing. We will never know though becuase history has already run its course. I am just grateful that EP 1 wasnt the first movie ever released. SW would have been doomed.

2-1B
05-30-2005, 01:12 AM
thank you bigB, JT, and Bossk for those posts. :) I don't seem to appreciate ANH as a standalone as much as you guys do but I respect your opinions. :)
I'm glad SOME people got the meaning of the thread. ;)

bigB since you mentioned The Godfather, that is one I had in mind as well. Of course I love GF2 as well (and parts of 3 :nerv: ) but the original Godfather is a much better film than Star Wars. In my opinion.

Veers
05-30-2005, 09:24 AM
I disagree. I think ANH is the second best next to Empire out of all the 6 movies. I love the opening scene, sandtroopers, dewbacks, cantina scene, death star scene, and the attack raid on the death star scene. We get to see Luke and Han in stromtrooper disguise. That was awesome. This movie is not the weakest link at all by any means. I think AOTC is the weakest link. :confused: :) :) :nerv: :)

stillakid
05-30-2005, 10:46 AM
If I had to choose between watching, say, Dawn of the Dead or Star Wars as a standalone movie with no knowledge of the other 5 films . . . I'd take Dawn over Star Wars. I've seen all the footage of people lined 'round the Mann's Chinese and I can't imagine being that hyped up over it without the added benefit of knowledge of the sequels and prequels.


Oh, I understood the point of the thread alright. I was just ribbin' ya. ;)

But aren't you my age? :confused: Mid thirties? Are you kidding about what you say above? That you can't understand how anyone would have stood in line without the knowledge of more movies coming? :confused: The original and best Star Wars film was an enigma. Movies at that time were mostly dark and bleak and the country was still licking it's wounds from Vietnam. Then two things happened. The first was Star Wars. It was unlike any movie ever seen before. As bad as the trailers look to us now, what was onscreen was revolutionary for the time. Who wouldn't wait for this? The sci fi fans of the time built the excitement and then word of mouth hit and kept this movie in theaters for over a year in some places. Granted, times have changed, but there's no way that the relatively weak stories of the Prequels could have commanded that kind of attention and long term exhibition.

The second thing that happened at that time was Saturday Night Fever. That movie, and specifically the soundtrack, caught everyone off guard. While it was busy capturing the desire for contemporary "fun," Star Wars captured the imaginations of a population tired of war and corrupt politics. As Big B stated, the timing couldn't have been more perfect. Perfect timing for a complete and entertaining standalone movie. :)

Which is why Empire hit so big. For as great as Star Wars was, the overwhelming surprise and excitement that there would be another was too much to contain. Had Star Wars just been a mediocre or "not good" film as some people are claiming, ESB wouldn't have been the big deal that it was and the audience would have dropped even further with ROTJ. And we wouldn't even be talking here about any Prequels some 25+ years later. It is because Star Wars was and still remains a great standalone movie that any of the rest of it, including "spinoffs" like Aliens for one, would be possible.

You might not like it, but it is empirically the greatest Star Wars film of all time and will remain that way even after the giddiness of superficial Prequelitis fades away. :classic:

2-1B
05-30-2005, 12:16 PM
mid-thirties ? No. :)

I said in the initial post that I was born the year after ANH and that means that for me "Star Wars" has always been The Trilogy.

I just turned 27.

bigbarada
05-30-2005, 01:01 PM
mid-thirties ? No. :)

I said in the initial post that I was born the year after ANH and that means that for me "Star Wars" has always been The Trilogy.

I just turned 27.

I was 4 years old in 1977 and I was still aware of the massive impact Star Wars would have on the world for the next three years. It was never panned by critics (at least not until it started breaking sales records) and was heralded by most as the best movie of the year.

If your public library has a section for old magazines, then you should check out the May and June 1977 issues of many of the magazines. Star Wars was such a "come from behind" smash hit that many magazines didn't even have reviews for it ready until June.

2-1B
05-31-2005, 02:18 AM
I'm very aware that it was a smash hit. :)

I'm glad it was, or else we wouldn't be hear on the web talking about 6 films in a saga, right ? :crazed: