Thursday, June 28, 2018

Star Wars ranked

On Rotten Tomatoes all of the movies in the Star Wars saga have an aggregate critics and aggregate audience score. I'll tell you what it is for each and then add my own.  In order from most recent to least:

Solo: Critics--71 Audiences--65 Mine: 75
The problems this movie had weren't as bad as all that. Mostly, it was a pretty decent movie that got caught up in the flak from The Last Jedi.  Both aggregate scores are a bit underrated.
The Last Jedi: Critics--91 Audiences--46 Mine: 10
About the only credit I can give to this movie is in some aspects of the visual design. It's a complete and total dumpster fire. Plot structure, characters, chemistry, I mean everything was a caricature of a bad movie. Just awful.
Rogue One: Critics--85 Audiences--87 Mine: 70
While mostly pretty good, this movie isn't THAT great. The cipher of a main protagonist is a big part of it, some weak plot structure (especially regarding how and why the main character is even involved at all) and a downer of a plot make this competent and capable... But nowhere near the main trilogy in terms of rewatchability or even just plain charisma as movie in general.
The Force Awakens: Critics--93 Audiences--87 Mine: 25
Its just really not very good and the scores are way overrated. The plot is recycled from two prior movies in the series. The villain is a very cheap imitation of Vader with none of his screen presence. The good guys are boring. Han Solo and Leia were deliberately ruined just to spite the fans. And worst of all, SJW preachiness has already appeared in a fairly big way.
Revenge of the Sith: Critics--79 Audiences--65 Mine: 40
Here, a common theme unites all of the prequel trilogy entries: the problems with the movie are issues of craftsmanship. The movies COULD be good if only someone had done a rather thorough once over on the dialogue. If editing and directing had improved the pacing. If they'd been better cast. If the characters had chemistry. If some dumb ideas, especially about Anakin's character had been dropped or modified. 
Not saying the plots were great... but they were serviceable enough if a much higher level of craftsmanship overall had been applied.
Attack of the Clones: Critics--66 Audiences--56 Mine: 40
Same as above, mostly. I'm not sure which of these is the worst but I'm going to say that the first of the prequels is the best just because of Qui-gon Jinn and Darth Maul.
The Phantom Menace: Critics--55 Audiences--59 Mine: 50

Return of the Jedi: Critics--80 Audiences--94 Mine: 80
Odd--I'm right where the critics are albeit for different reasons. It's satisfying enough although the seeds of a lot of problems were already on display.  Not that most of us had the wit to perceive them without the benefit of hindsight. I certainly didn't right away. With the exception of Luke claiming he'd won by refusing to fight Vader and the emperor. Even as a kid I knew that was retarded.
The Empire Strikes Back: Critics--95 Audiences--97 Mine: 90
As time has gone on I've come to see this a somewhat overrated and what Lucas was trying to do as possibly antithetical to what he'd already done. 
Of course, most of the problems with this movie don't really start to manifest until later in the series. But here is where some of them get their start: sleazy, non-heroic, lying Jedi, boring exposition about a philosophy that has all of the depth of a fortune cookie, etc. But... it's easy to forgive a lot of that because of the many things the movie did right.
Star Wars (I refuse to use the much later added subtitle): Critics--93 Audiences--96 Mine: 98
Sure, it looks a little aged now. And there's a minor plot hole or two. But this movie is otherwise EXACTLY what space opera is supposed to be all about.
EDIT: Let's add a few more entries that also have Rotten Tomatoes scores:

Star Wars Rebels (TV Show): Single score: 100 Mine: 35
A poor follow-up to The Clone Wars marred mostly by characters who aren't very charismatic and who you don't really want to watch or care about.  I don't know where the 100% score came from, but it's grossly over-rated.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV Show): Single score: 95 Mine: 75
A pretty good show.  When it's really on its game, it's excellent.  When it's really off, it's occasionally dreary, preachy and aggravating.  And sometimes it's just fine, without being great or terrible.  But it's a good deal more good than bad, and is a great example of what Star Wars, had it followed an arc suggested from the first movie, might actually have been more like.  Along with Knights of the Old Republic, the relatively high quality of this show went a long way towards rehabilitating the brand after the disappointments that were the prequel movies.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (the theatrical release movie that served as a pilot for the show): Critics--18 Audience--38 Mine: 65
I have no idea why this is so badly bashed in the ratings.  It's really not that bad.  If you look at it as if it were a three or four episode arc in the show, it'd be up there among the better ones, and yet the show has an incredibly high score and this does not.  Why?  I don't get it, unless it has something to do with expectations of a show on in the Cartoon Network vs. a theatrical release movie. 

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