Star Wars: Rogue One

James and I went to the cinema today, our first and only time this year, to see this fantastic film.

The theatre was nowhere near full, although it was the 1:20 pm session. The audience, as usual for Japan, was quiet throughout, although I did hear the older couple next to me make a stiffled “hehe” once or twice. Also normal for Japanese audiences, most people sat in their seats until the end credits had finished and the lights went on (as James and I did).

Anyway, it was a stupendously good film, all the right buttons were pushed, and there were references and characters from the first films everywhere to look out for, including hearing but not seeing the little toaster droid that Chewbacca scared away in Episode 4. The CG of Peter Cushing was a bit jarring as it was obvious, but there are still limits on how lifelike CG is these days, so no biggie, and it was still pretty well done. It had James fooled. Same for Carrie Fisher, although I thought that they didn’t really need to show her face.

James and I concluded that this was better than Episode 7. The story was completely original and didn’t lean on nostalgia like Episode 7 did just a little too much. It also had a good balance of action and suspense, although maybe there could have been a few more lighter moments. There were a few plot holes here and there.

All of the actors were perfect, no complaints there, with some good characters, and K-2 is a worthy addition to the comic-relief-o-bots.

Earlier in the year there were reports that 40% of the film was being reshot, and the tone of the film was being changed. They obviously got it right, but it makes you wonder what it was like the first time around.

There were a few new types of Stormtrooper in this including the Deathtroopers who were pretty mean dudes.

deathtrooper

I did wonder though why they included them as we never saw them in Episodes 4 to 6, but who cares? They were bad-ass!

Definitely one of my most fave films of the year.

Date watched: December 18th
Score: 9/10
Film count 2016: 198

rogue-one

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

James and I went to the cinema last December to see this, and we of course enjoyed it. Last night I decided to watch it again, mostly because I am a Star Wars fan, but also to see how it holds up.

It was just as enjoyable this time around as it was the first time. It was fun to watch, had some great actions scenes, excellent new cast, and it clears away the bad taste that episodes I, II, and III left behind. I still had the same criticisms, namely that it was just a clone of the first film with a few bits from episodes V and VI thrown in as well.

I noticed a lot more this time around, references here and there to the original trilogy, little things going on in the background, and after reading various sites (such as this one) about their take on various aspects of the story, some things made more sense.

Where to rank it though? That is the question. For me episode IV and V are pretty much equal, maybe V is slightly ahead. Next would probably be episode VII, then the ruinous Ewokked horror of episode VI, followed by III, then the the equally terrible I and II (they did though have some memorable scenes).

I am looking forward to Rogue One, my apprehensions of that one disappeared after I saw the official trailer a few days ago, it looks fab.

Date watched: August 14th
Score: 8.5/10
Film count 2016: 130

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

James and I decided to continue our Star Wars film watching rotation. We watched Return of the Jedi a few months ago, so the next to watch was this one.

Just as bad as always, no changes there. Jar-Jar Binks is so annoying, the script illogical, the acting wooden, and there was just too much comedy relief going on.

I consider this the worst of the whole lot, so the worst is over until we complete the other five films.

Date watched: September 26th
Score: 4/10
Film count 2015: 127

Return of the Jedi

James and I watched this today. We have watched the superior trilogy twice now, and will start watching the inferior trology soon.

Damn Ewoks.

Date watched: June 28th
Score (not including Ewoks): 7.5/10
Score (including Ewoks): 3/10
Film count 2015: 86

This is funny, especially the Stormtroopers…

The Empire Strikes Back

James and I continued our Star Wars watching today.

Just as good as ever, and probably my fave of all the Star Wars films.

There were quite a few plot holes here and there, and some of the dialogue was rather weak or silly, but all can be forgiven because there is just so much good stuff in this. Darth Vader was aces in this, and C3-P0 was at his funny best. I did find Luke’s whining and impetuous behaviour when he was doing his Jedi training with Yoda very annoying.

Date watched: May 31st
Score: 10/10
Film count 2015: 74

Star Wars IV

I have no idea how many times I have seen this, probably close to twenty. James and I watched this together and he thinks it is his third.

Never tire of this film or The Empire Strikes Back.

Don Cheadle was not in this film unfortunately.

Date watched: May 17th
Score: 10/10
Film count 2015: 70

Star Wars II – Attack of the Clones

George Lucas must have listened to criticism of Episode I, and made a better film this time around.

Gone, mostly, is the silly humour. No more bumbling battle droids, and Jar-Jar Binks is now a serious and respectable politician which is a bit too much of a stretch really. The characters are less wooden too, but still not as good as Luke, Leia, and Han. As it should be, the comedy relief came mostly from C3-P0 and R2-D2, who were just as funny as ever.

The story was better, less political rubbish and more action, and the final battle scene was stupendous. I am not sure using Dr Ropata as Jengo Fett was a good idea, the Kiwi accent jars a bit, although Dr Ropata did a pretty good job I suppose. I was wondering what Boba Fett is up to these days, he seems to be doing alright in America.

I was reading that Rena Owen did the voice for one of those long-necked creatures that were making the clones.

All in all, not bad, certainly better than Episode I.

Date watched: March 2nd
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2013: 34