Ranking The STAR WARS Movies: Nine To Eight (The Pointless) - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Ranking The STAR WARS Movies: Nine To Eight (The Pointless)

Neither of these two Star Wars films are the chosen one.

This is the second of four articles ranking the eleven Star Wars cinematic offerings to date. I split the articles into four because, for me, there are four types of Star Wars films; the great (I'll go out of my way to watch again and again gleefully), the good (I'll happily watch and enjoy if on or, of course, part of a Star Wars marathon), the pointless (because they just are pointless), and the bad (I'd really rather not waste my time on these ever again) which we already covered in article one here.

Today it's the turn of the pointless Star Wars movies. I feel, from the outset, that this is likely going to upset some people, but what the hey!

Only two films feature in this category, and the opening image above gives away that one of them is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. If you're thinking the other is Solo: A Star Wars Story then you're wrong, and I'll leave you guessing to the other side of this...

9. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
"Episode IV, A NEW HOPE It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy…. "
That's the opening crawl from the original 1977 Star Wars. Never once in 39 years did I ever wonder exactly how those "Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR". Yet for some reason Disney felt that those 15 words was enough to hinge a $215 million production on.

This whole article deals with the pointless Star Wars films, and even the most ardent Rogue One fan would be hard pushed to argue that, in the grand scheme of the Star Wars saga, this movie is indeed pointless. Rogue One is also, initially, quite dull. It just doesn't grab you on opening, like just about every Star Wars film does. I mean, it gets going for sure, but it's just got a dull opening section. It really needed to grab you earlier on as, after all, we know what's happening at the end of the film. We know none of the Rebels appear in another Star Wars film, so we already know they're doomed before the credits, making it a pointless watch. That's not to say there aren't elements of the film which are not good. It has a great cast, a couple of great action scenes, and the scene with Darth Vader losing his Force shit is incredibly powerful.

But as well as being pointless, Rogue One includes the most horrendous use of CGI. So shockingly awful that it makes me wince at the sight.

Nope, I'm not referring to the resurrection of Peter Cushing and the CGI Grand Moff Tarkin, although that's clearly quite off and varies in quality, depending on the scene. It's especially off when he's actually moving as it just looks like something from Space Jam then. But it's not him I'm talking about. No, there is another. And I'll get to it in a minute, but first let's talk about George Lucas.

Is there a single person in the last 50 years who has done more to push the movie industry forward, technology wise, than George Walton Lucas Jr? I doubt there is. He founded Lucasfilm, LucasArts and Industrial Light & Magic. ILM is especially important, being at the forefront of technology for so long. They're the company that gave us the dinosaurs for Jurassic Park, and the original founder company of the animation studio Pixar. But that's not all - Unhappy with the way The Return of the Jedi was sounding, after he'd spent months mixing it in the studio, Lucas came up with his own sound division and the THX specifications. His Lucasfilm spin-off company, the Droid Works and Convergence Corporation, gave the industry EditDroid and the gift of non-linear film editing. Oh, and Lucas also worked with Sony to create a brand new video camera that revolutionised the film industry and ushered in the whole digital film era.

There are many more achievements I could mention, but the point is most people only know of George Lucas the director/writer/producer, the creator of Star Wars. Not everyone realises how much he has done, technolgy wise, for the industry as a whole. And yes, I know by the time Rogue One was produced Lucasfilm was in the four-fingered white-gloved hands of Disney, but really? With all that technology gifted to the world of film from George's various companies, not to mention all the other outlets advancing film tech, this was the best Disney could do...

My lord! It's even worse animated. A shockingly terrible realisation of Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia. She looks, at best, like some top of the range Japanese sex doll (so I'm told, a-hem). And sadly, as Fisher passed away in December 2016, this would've been the last she saw of herself on the big screen (obviously I realise it's not actually her, but you know what I'm getting at?). With all that technology at hand they really could've done this better. After all, Captain America: Civil War had de-aged Robert Downey Jr with far better results months earlier. I might be an over-reaction but just knowing this brief scene is coming up makes me not want to watch the film.

So, the reason Rogue One sits in ninth position on this list is it's pointless, slow to get going, and has terribly disappointing CGI in an era when it really could've and should've been better.

In eighth position, and also entirely pointless, it's...

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith
I am not a prequel hater. Not at all. I mean, as a whole they aren't as good as the Original Trilogy but I really enjoyed both the first two prequel movies (although my appreciation of the second has certainly waned - but we'll get to that soon enough), and on first viewing of Revenge of the Sith I was equally enamored. But in hindsight, lord isn't it entirely pointless?

Ever since Darth Vader muttered those infamous words in The Empire Strikes Back, proclaiming parentage to young Luke Skywalker, who among us didn't want to see the story of how Luke's dear old dad was seduced to the dark side? Was it really true? As the final frame played during Return of the Jedi, had Obi Wan really told Luke the truth? And how did old Ben hide Luke from the Sith Lord for so long? Why doesn't he remember owning a droid? Wait, what, she's his sister? How???? So many questions. Such a potentially epic tale. And yet so much potential was unfortunately squandered across the first two prequels, thanks to intergalactic trade disputes and bouncing Yodas, that come Episode III it was a by the numbers fall from grace without any surprises whatsoever. And it all happened in the last 20 minutes of a 6 hour trilogy. George just didn't give himself enough time to tell, what should've been, the main focus of the Prequels.

I mean, with all that said it could be argued that all the prequels are pointless. And, indeed, I'm quite sure many people would happily make that case. But at least the first two movies introduced new characters, developed others we only vaguely knew and created new, unheard of adventures for them. So despite how you feel about trade disputes and bouncing Yodas, at least it was something unheard of before.

So, to recap, going into Revenge of the Sith we knew Anakin would turn to the dark side, conditioned by the Emperor, and Obi Wan Kenobi would hide his children from him. That's what happened, pretty much, with no surprises or twists at all which could've given new meaning to long established Star Wars lore, and so it's a pointless watch as everything had been explained in dialogue 20 years previously.

Again, pointless but not entirely un-entertaining, I really love the opening sequence (the rescue of Palpatine), for example, but largely I think it justifiably sits the lower half of Star Wars film releases. Also, this film and Attack of the Clones suffer terribly from basically being put together in post-production, but I'll get to that another time.

Next time, we reach the largely good Star Wars movies.

1 comment:

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