Skywalker Saga Rewatch Complete. Go See IX!


The Rise of Skywalker, the end of the Skywalker saga, is almost upon us. It's just over a month away. So I find myself wanting to look back before it's over.

I count myself a member of the old school Star Wars generation. I was fifteen years old in the summer of 1977. I don't remember exactly what day my brothers, my father, and I queued outside the Cine Capri theater in Phoenix, but it was definitely during the first week of release, and it was definitely hot outside. The lines were longer than any movie I've seen before or since. The Cine Capri was a HUGE theater, 800 seats, purpose built to show 70mm CinemaScope films. Star Wars played there for over a year - a longer run than any other theater. I would eventually use my newspaper route money to see Star Wars several more times at that theater.

And then, and then, and then... and here we are.

I happened on some website I have now forgotten that offered up a modified Machete order for watching all the Star Wars movies. There are a total of ten, including Solo and Rogue One, so watching two per week starting Nov 13 will complete the series the weekend before The Rise of Skywalker premieres.

So here's the schedule I'll be using, and I invite any interested Goodjers to join in. Maybe we can have a little fun dissecting the movies as we go. Please refrain from throwing Ewok spleens.

Wed. Nov. 13 - Solo: A Star Wars Story
Sat. Nov. 16 - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Wed. Nov. 20 - Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope
Sat. Nov. 23 - Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back


Wed. Nov. 27 - Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace
Sat. Nov. 30 - Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones
Wed. Dec. 4 - Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith


Sat. Dec. 7 - Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi
Wed. Dec. 11 - Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens
Sat. Dec. 14 - Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi

Thursday, Dec. 19 - Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker

May the force be with you.

Conveniently, if you are a Disney+ subscriber, all of the above except Solo (and Ep. IX of course) will be streamable starting Nov 12 (in the US at least).

I was just going to watch them all on consecutive nights leading up to when I go see the last one, but your idea sounds less insanity inducing.

My boy is seven and has yet to experience a galaxy, far, far, away. I'm going to be using Disney Plus for a similar play through but plan on skipping Solo and Rogue One.

BadKen wrote:

Please refrain from throwing Ewok spleens.

I mean, you're the one who elected not to include The Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: Battle for Endor, but if you don't want a complete experience, that's your prerogative.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
BadKen wrote:

Please refrain from throwing Ewok spleens.

I mean, you're the one who elected not to include The Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: Battle for Endor, but if you don't want a complete experience, that's your prerogative.

Let's not forget the Star Wars holiday special. If you really want to get your kids started off on the right foot with Star Wars, make sure they they see that one 1st: Bea Arthur as the bartender, Art Carney, a coked up Han Solo, and a singing Princess Leia will make them lifelong fans!

This is a great idea! I'll try to watch at the same time and post my thoughts - I also realize my son hasn't seen all the prequels so this will be a good chance.

Regarding the Star Wars holiday special, a few words of warning from Fanboy Flicks:

Let’s git watchin!

Current film: Solo (2018)

Nominated for Visual Effects Oscar.

Director: Ron Howard
Writers: Jonathan Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan
Produced by: Simon Emanuel, Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur
Score: John Powell
DP: Bradford Young
Editor: Pietro Scalia
Production Design: Neal Lamont
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamu, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany, et. al.

Next up, Thursday: Rogue One

Ugh prequels. Maybe I'll just start a week later and skip that.

Still debating when and how to introduce my daughter but I have a few years to decide.

Protip: to help get through the bad movies from Force Awakens onward, turn on the audio description track for the visually impaired. The voice-over artist, Martin Billany, is an acquaintance of mine, and he does a fantastic job. Hearing this serious British baritone describe Luke drinking green milk is an experience everyone should have.

Stele wrote:

Ugh prequels. Maybe I'll just start a week later and skip that.

Still debating when and how to introduce my daughter but I have a few years to decide.

Double check the order, because the Lucas prequels are a couple weeks away.

Unless you’re talking about the “Star Wars Stories”, in which case, carry on.

I meant skipping Nov 27-Dec 4. So in my head that was start a week late and then be back on track for RotJ.

But I guess I could start now and just take that week off instead. Just don't think episode 1-3 is going to bring me any holiday cheer.

Unless I very much misrecall, Machete order does not include episode 1, as there is nothing that happens in it that is particularly relevant to the rest of the series.

EDIT: even if Machete order does not remove 1, Chumpy order sure as heck does.

Yes official machete dropped ep 1.

Not sure how to fit Rogue One in now though. Direct prequel to ANH but I just can't imagine introducing someone to Star Wars and showing it first. It doesn't even have a crawl.

Gotta go with ANH first and work in RO later somehow

How about:

* Star Wars
* The Empire Strikes Back
* Return of the Jedi (fast-forward through any scene with an Ewok in it)

That's what I did as a kid and it seemed to work fine.


Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Unless I very much misrecall, Machete order does not include episode 1, as there is nothing that happens in it that is particularly relevant to the rest of the series.

EDIT: even if Machete order does not remove 1, Chumpy order sure as heck does. ;)

That's why I wrote "modified Machete order." I want to watch everything before the last thing, so I'm not skipping it. It's been years since I saw it anyways, and I'll probably never watch it again.

I watched Solo tonight at the home of a friend who has a 4K HDR TV, and cowabunga. I really want a 4K HDR TV now, though I could never in a million years afford one.

I like Solo quite a lot. Mostly because it has the same playful feeling I remember from the original trilogy. There are a ton of little throwaway gags, for example, I had forgotten the Clint Howard cameo at the robot cage match. Solo has all the ingredients of a ripping yarn: pirates, fighting, fencing, revenge, true love...

Something I noticed particularly because of the amazing TV was the amazing way the DP used color in several sequences in the movie. Right at the start, the screen was almost entirely this icky yellowish brown color, and then when it moved inside, everything was blue. Despite the intense monochrome of the scenes, there were points of color, a white light here, a red glowing thing there, to give the viewer a contrasty reference for the rest of the frame. Several sequences were treated in this almost black-and-white style of shooting in which light and shadow were everything. When the heist sequence arrived on the snow planet, once again it was treated very monochrome (except for Chewie...).

The movie got a lot of grief at release for filling in too many details we didn't really need to know about, but none of that bothered me. I was thrilled by the whole escape from Kessel. The imagery of the cosmic beast and the Maw were striking, and the action was tense throughout. And yeah, the movie was full of callbacks, but I enjoy the fanservice.

Solo hit all the marks I believe a Star Wars movie wants to hit. Lots of action, crazy aliens, scenery chewing evildoers, the zany L3 freeing robots bit (you know, for the kids), black and white morality, all there. The only things I could find fault with were 1) Emilia Clarke's portrayal of Qi'ra (I wanted much less ruth in her ruthlessness) and 2) the exposition-laden scenes with Enfys. I wanted to see more of Enfys in action, because the whole rebel-pretending-to-be-marauder thing fascinates me.

Thumbs up for Solo. Aw who am I kidding, they're all likely to get thumbs up. Well, maybe not all the prequels.

I am going to be doing pretty much the same thing, but on a more aggressive schedule. I am going to watch a movie a day leading up to Episode IX. I am including the two Ewok movies in that list too. Not sure the order yet.

I liked Solo myself.

I got about half of my Solo rewatch in yesterday (my third watch of it) that I hope to wrap up tonight.

Biggest hot take so far: Alden Ehrenreich turns in an understated, underappreciated, and high-quality portrayal of Solo (cue the Movies With Mikey out-credits sequence).

In general, my personal goal for this rewatch (mainly with regard to the prequels, since those are the only ones I actively dislike) is just to be willing to accept each movie on its own terms (as opposed to what I might have wanted from it). No hate watching or pontificating on, "Well, what they should have done was . . . ." I hope to come away from each seeing what's valuable in them. (:eyes Attack of the Clones warily:)

More on Solo after I finish rewatching.

I mean the prequels have some nice lightsaber fights.

A little too nice.

Well yeah... "I have the high ground"

Han and Chewie are slobs. Look at how beautiful the interior of the Falcon was when they got it from Lando compared to when Luke and company set foot on it some years later.

Solo gets better every time I watch it, especially as I fill myself in on bits of lore about Darth Maul. The bit with Enfys Nest was basically starting the Rebellion was pretty cool. Well, helping to start.

Woody Harrelson fit into the movie so well it almost makes up for Benicio del Toro's horrific turn as DJ. Woody just looks so sleazy that you can easily believe he's only ever out to save his own neck, making the turn at the end believable.

I think I was indifferent about Solo the first time I saw it because I was told it was basically a heist film, but it's really not because it's missing a lot of elements of heist films. Once I got over that, repeated viewings have been more enjoyable. Of course, I've also had to "get over" the directing on the film which was serviceable but didn't add anything to the film. The grime wasn't grimy enough or something. It's the same off feeling I get when I watch his Dan Brown films. Like, this could be better if it wasn't so typical. Everything is good enough. Nothing is great.

I saw Solo twice in theaters (maybe three times). Mostly because I saw the opening show and then saw it with friends the following days. It does get better with extra showings and while there were some parts that were meh, overall I have enjoyed the Star Wars Stories more then many of the episodic movies. I would probably rank the movies

1. A New Hope
2. The Empire Strikes Back
3. The Force Awakens
4. Solo
5. Rogue One
6. Return of the Jedi
7. Revenge of the Sith
8. Attack of the Clones
9. The Phantom Menace
10. The Last Jedi

I am actually hopeful that the Mandalorian movie will be on par with the others. I was kind of disappointed after Solo was released that they put a hold on the stories series.

TLJ slots above EP 1 and 2 for me and it's like

All the others > TLJ >>>>>>>>>>>>> 1, 2

Wrapped up my rewatch of Solo. As noted above, this was my third watch, which is usually where my feelings about a movie tend to harden. First-watch takes, to me, are completely unreliable. Too much sensory input to process at once, and it's too easy to miss things or have preconceived expectations of what the film is going to be that wrongly influence what it's actually trying to do.

Generally, I agree with BadKen's take. This movie doesn't deserve the grief it gets. It's not the best of Star Wars by any stretch, but it's a fun ride, and I can't imagine being both a) a Star Wars fan and b) resentful of a decent, if by-the-numbers Han Solo origin story. Yeah, it answers questions I don't specifically need answered, but it takes nothing away from the character I came to know in the OT, and it adds to him a few ways. Some things I like:

- All of Alden Ehrenreich's little microexpressions that, to me, authentically evoke Han Solo. I find myself just watching him react when he's not the focal point of a shot, and to me, he's Han to a T. I think he took on an impossible, thankless job that was going to do nothing but get him criticized by the noxious, gate-keeping set (who fancy themselves some kind of OT faithful), and he does everything you could ask to do it justice. I'd love a Disney+ series with him having adventures.

- Han: "It's their planet. We're the hostiles."

- The scene with Han and Chewie talking about being free as they fly over the snow planet. (Something about the tenor of Chewie's voice right before Han answers, "Been a while for me too," rends me.)

- Rio: "Tell us about the girl, Han. Is she nice? Does she have sharp teeth?"

- Lando as the ultimate pansexual (Donald Glover is a treasure.)

- The first time Han enters the Falcon's cockpit, and the first time he and Chewie fly it together

- The use of classic OT themes during the chase through the maelstrom

- Just about all of the costuming and set pieces across the entire flick (visually, all the scenes/characters felt right for Star Wars; the pleasure yacht was a bit meh, but nothing Star Wars hasn't been before)

- Lando: "I hate you."

- Han gunning down Beckett and Beckett's admission "I woulda killed ya."

So yeah. There are plenty of times it's clumsy as sh*t, the whole coaxium thing does absolutely nothing for me, and, at points, it's goofy to a fault (I think there was a way to do L7's depiction well, and she is funny, but it used a real thing a bit too much for comic relief for my taste). But it's all fun, and it offers a cool light show with all the visual and aural trappings of a decent Star War. Good enough, and I'm glad it exists (though I'd kill to see the original vision for it from Lord and Miller).

I think the toughest thing for me with Alden Ehrenreich is that he doesn't sound like Han. He sounds more like Luke.

Okay, it’s time to start thinking about Rogue One (2016)!

This one as well as the rest, are available on Disney+. It will be a particular treat for me to see them in UHD HDR.

Nominated for Sound Mixing and Visual Effects Oscars.

Director: Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters - which I highly recommend)
Screenplay: Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy
Story: John Knoll and Gary Whitta
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy and a bunch of people (see IMDB)
Score: Michael Giacchino
DP: Greg Fraser
Editors: John Gilroy, Colin Goudy, Jabez Olssen
Production Design: Doug Chiang, Neil Lamont

Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Guy Henry, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, some sketchy CGI characters, et. al.

Next up, starting Monday: A New Hope!

Loved Rogue One. Thought the characters were some of the best they have created outside the main movie characters and the space battle was my favorite after the original movies. It was smaller in scope than the stuff in the prequels but it felt more exciting.

Yo Garion, here's your heist movie.

Rogue One is the best Star Wars anything since Empire.