Hot Take Corner: The Original ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy Is Only Pretty Good

As of this writing, I have not seen The Rise of Skywalker. I will. I’ve seen every Star Wars movie. It’d be weird if I wrote for this site if I hadn’t. I’m already recoiling a bit at the takes coming out, even though I will be trying to avoid them. Spoilers are no friend of mine. The commentary around Star Wars is a bit aggravating, especially around the new movies. There’s some weird, toxic nonsense going on. Well let me wade right into it. You know what the three best Star Wars movies are? The Last Jedi, The Force Awakens, and Rogue One.

Yes, those are all new movies from the last decade. If I tell you that the prequels are bad, that’s not going to ruffle many feathers, even if the kind of people who reflexively hate the new movies have started to defend them. What about the original trilogy, though? Call it a hot take if you must, but I think the first three Star Wars movies are merely pretty good.

Hey, it is what it is. The plotting is fine. Sure, they seemed to decide on some stuff as they went along. Like, were Luke and Leia always going to be related? If so, why tease the romance in A New Hope? Some of the characters are fun. Some are goofy. The Ewoks are cheesy. However, the movies are pretty exciting, they look solid if I allow for special effects to fade (though that all got “fixed” by George Lucas down the line), and it’s all eminently watchable.

It’s not perfect, though. The acting is spotty. Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill became better actors, but they were not good actors back then, especially in the first one. Alec Guinness has an Oscar, but he was checked out. Harrison Ford was still pretty early in his career, too. They can be wooden. The dialogue is clunky at times. The movies of the 2010s have better actors. They look better. They have better directors working on them. The storytelling is probably pretty much on par. It’s the rest of the stuff that works better.

A New Hope is pretty good. Empire Strikes Back is a bit better. Return of the Jedi is the cheesiest of the bunch but it’s fine. None of them are great. None of them are classics. I’d rather watch Finn and Rey than Luke and Leia. The original Star Wars trilogy is sacred to some. To me, they’re just pretty good films.

Chris Morgan
Author: Chris Morgan

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About Chris Morgan

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