Attention Star Wars Fundamentalists: The TRUE Trilogy on DVD.

aksaC

Sex'n Swordplay
My brother is excited about these, but all these versions and the prequels have really tainted my love of the series. I feel so jaded when I watch them now.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
So, ala Machete Order, I've been thinking about an optimum order to view, or, as importantly, not view, the Star Wars films. We'll just call it Griffith Order™ here. The goal is to put the Star Wars movies together in an organic, streamlined order that presents facets of the whole series but serves each's strengths... and minimizes the weak links. Put another way, it gives you the big picture while saving you from watching all the crap. Or, is least likely to make you go, "Why the Hell am I even watching these anyway?" To that end, the five worst, most useless or mediocre have been excised completely. Let's get started with the first three:

Star Wars
The Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi

No tricky stuff here, the original theatrical trilogy is first and foremost, everything flowed from there, as it should and so it is here. It's why we're even bothering to give the others a look. The simplest form of this list is just watch these and ignore the rest like The Holiday Special and Ewok TV movies before them. Unlike Machete Order, which reincorporates the prequels within the framework of the original trilogy to purportedly create parallel journeys for Luke & Anakin before wrapping up both in Jedi, I think it's crucial that whatever order you put the rest in that the OT stays together and first, introducing us to everything and so whatever comes after plays off them. For instance, Vader's regretful turn in RotJ even before he actually turns sets up the portrayal of Anakin in RotS, or the introduction of the Emperor when he's actually creepy and foreboding before we see his past life as a CGI cartoon character. Everything is at its best in the OT and so it should always be the first impression (and everyone should check out Project 4K77 and it's sister projects 4K80 and 4K83). Speaking of needing help making a good impression, next up:

Revenge of the Sith
Rogue One


Let's call this the Prequel Duology. It's tempting to stick Solo in-between those to create a replacement prequel trilogy, but it's so unnecessary, off-putting, and mediocre in its own right you might as well watch AotC than Disney's own answer to the prequels. So, Revenge of the Sith is the weakest movie of the bunch, and gives us the prequel backstory we really didn't need but is probably the most watchable of the prequels because at least it does some shit, albeit not very well. I also think it works better coming off of, paralleling and paying off things setup in RotJ. If anything, I feel like the lingering effect of Jedi, good (Luke/Vader) and bad (Endor/Ewoks), can only help ameliorate RotS' own shortcomings. There's a lot of revisionist history trying to buoy this film, but while it's still not good, placed between RotJ and Rogue One at least the decline isn't so pronounced as coming off two other awful movies and purportedly acting as precursor to three all-time classics.

Next is Rogue One, which really doesn't need to be included but adds a modern, grounded and not altogether embarrassing vibe to cleanse the palette and reestablish the classic Star Wars 1977 aesthetic and follow Vader after RotS. It's kind of a perfect transition to the sequels in this way, and does what they don't and, at least thematically, establishes the stakes of a rebellion trying to resist an overwhelming force, plus, while I wouldn't place it's viewing order ahead of ANH, putting it before a remake of ANH is the next best thing (it even foreshadows TLJ's hyperspace tracking =). By the time you finish you're definitely missing Han, Luke & Leia, whom we see again in the end before flashing WAY forward again. Which bring us to:

The Force Awakens
The Last Jedi


The Sequel... Dyad! =) TFA & TLJ basically combine the known parts of Lucas' Episode VII treatment with recycled EU material and whatever JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson and the Lucasfilm Story Group had to say about Star Wars as fans making meta-movies about it. TFA is an almost too pitch perfect revival and TLJ pretty much wraps up the existing plot, new and old, for all intents and purposes. We complete the circle with Luke, and the potential implications of whatever loose threads remain are probably more interesting than any note left to play. Rey & Ren are the new school of force adepts representing opposing sides or perhaps points on a smaller spectrum than before. Ending on the stinger of Luke's legend and the force sensitive stable boy holding the lit up broom is about as poetic a thematic ending to Star Wars as Disney is likely to ever achieve, especially based on their track record since that film, their big screen prospects going forward, and the fact they never want this shit to end anyway. Once again that order is:

Star Wars
The Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi
Revenge of the Sith
Rogue One
The Force Awakens

The Last Jedi

Well, that's it, I'd say the main strengths of this are keeping the OT intact, minimizing prequel material to only the most relevant part, and the best of what Disney's had to offer. The weaknesses are that after the OT it's obviously pretty ragged, and doesn't have the potential narrative benefits of Machete Order, but that depends on how much value you think can be extracted from the prequels anyway (the biggest flaw of any viewing order including them is just that: including them). What would you rather watch though, AotC or Rogue One (or neither)? I like the idea of minimizing the Anakin/Vader lameness and restablishing his badassery before introducing Ren, but YMMV. The point is, the best of every era is included, including the worst era, but hopefully in a more palatable package.
 
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Walter

Administrator
Staff member
This thread is adorable :ganishka:
I'll just wait 10 years more to buy the super mega pack with every Star Wars thing ever made for $20.
What if I told you that you could GET IT ALL for the low low monthly price of $6.99? And we’ll toss in the Mando action figure play set!

how much value you think can be extracted from the prequels anyway (the biggest flaw of any viewing order including them is just that: including them)
But hang on, Griff... *crosses arms* Without TPM, we won’t have the critical Naboo trade war context for the later ramifications of the Room of Old People! What you’re doing is breaking the SACRED STANZAS of Lucas — these story sequences are like poetry, they rhyme.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
This thread is adorable :ganishka:
I was happy to bring it back. =) All these years later, 8 under Disney, and still no official theatrical versions released since those DVD "extras." Either Lucas put it in writing that they can't, but somehow didn't guarantee HIS sequels got made (which would make a twisted sort of sense =), or he really did destroy the original negatives with his "more monsters!" editions. That is so short sighted, not just from a perspective of historical preservation, but even to his ends of constantly updating it with the latest effects. If you're redoing totally outdated CGI you'd think you'd want to have a "blank" canvas to work with if necessary.

But hang on, Griff... *crosses arms* Without TPM, we won’t have the critical Naboo trade war context for the later ramifications of the Room of Old People! What you’re doing is breaking the SACRED STANZAS of Lucas — these story sequences are like poetry, they rhyme.
Sadly, that turned out to be more true than Lucas ever intended. Even he thought the sequels were full of redundant nostalgia retracing the steps of the trilogy, and this is the guy that made the prequels where Darth Vader built C-3PO and everyone is already connected somehow. Even TLJ, for all its purported subversiveness, is essentially following the framework and story beats of Empire, and TRoS is at its heart a bigger, fatter, much badder Return of the Jedi, Palpy and all (and even RotJ had the good sense not to introduce him until midway through the film)

Hahaha fuck, that post did not age well. :ganishka:
Other than the first two movies, nothing to do with Star Wars has aged well. Don't feel bad. =)
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
That is so short sighted, not just from a perspective of historical preservation, but even to his ends of constantly updating it with the latest effects. If you're redoing totally outdated CGI you'd think you'd want to have a "blank" canvas to work with if necessary.
Perhaps, but consider the mind of the person who would choose to update their movies post release in this fashion. Chalk it up to Lucas’ hubris. The confidence in that decision being right, the unwillingness to consider alternatives. OF COURSE, he’d want to edit the master, because this time it’s going to be right.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Perhaps, but consider the mind of the person who would choose to update their movies post release in this fashion. Chalk it up to Lucas’ hubris. The confidence in that decision being right, the unwillingness to consider alternatives. OF COURSE, he’d want to edit the master, because this time it’s going to be right.
Considering mine is the mind that made the stupid write-up above about how to watch that mind's films, and adjacent movies, I'm not sure I'm the best to consider. =)

I will say I've gone back and forth on that list versus the narrative ingenuity of Machete Order, but ultimately think I got it right. Machete Order theoretically has a better combined narrative, but that's making the best of an ultimately bad thing, the prequels and special editions, and which still commits the cardinal sin of undermining things from the original trilogy, such as the proper introduction of Palpatine, Leia's memory of Luke's and her mother, and the reveal of Darth Vader unmasked. There's no way I want to see Darth Vader in RotJ and imagine Hayden Christensen in there the whole time, so Sebastian Shaw (not of X-Men fame =) remains the man under the mask, as does RotJ remain the third film in the original, unadulterated trilogy. Then the flashback, the rebellion backstory and taste of prime Vader we never got, and then the best of a possible future.

Speaking of which, anybody following this stuff with the alleged JJ cut, and even more intriguing, Trevorrow's version of Episode IX, which not only looks better than TRoS, but like it could have been shockingly good!? I can't believe they fucked that up over fan backlash to TLJ or because the guy made a bad movie (maybe he's just an asshole to work with). Anyway, nothing we didn't know: suspect taste and motives over at Disney/Lucasfilm doesn't make for the best environment to continue this franchise with much vitality.
 
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My Dad bought the 1997 VHS Box Set with Vader on the outer cover and we used to watch those on weekends or during summer break. Where that VHS is today - I think my Mom chucked it with the rest of our VHS's. Sigh ...

This thread is damn cool, thanks for reviving it. Watching the series in that revised order ... man, dunno how I feel about skipping Episode I entirely because funny enough I recently watched the first hour of it out of pure laziness and boredom while scrolling through what other than The Mandalorian Disney+ had to offer. You can't deny it's visually fun like the opening sequence with the jedi or the cool Jedi fight in the end. But, I get how the Machete Order breaks down key plot points in their reasoning for the skippitydappitydoo.
 
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