Star Wars isn't that good, is it?

I saw Star Wars a few days back for the first time in several years. I never considred the film a masterpiece but it was a lot tackier than I remembered it. It would be unfair to comment on the special effects but the acting and and dialogue are fair game and they are quite bad. Only Alec Guiness gives a good perfomance. Several of the exchanges between Hamill,Ford and Fisher are excruciating and most of the Imperial sidekicks are awful as well. .

I think the last few years have raised the bar when it comes to acting and dialogue in blockbuster films. LOTR is excellent of course but even X-Men and Spiderman are better than Star Wars. In fact the recent Star Wars films , or at least AOTC, aren’t really that bad compared to the originals. It’s not so much that the Star Wars films have gotten worse but that some of the other blockbuster films have gotten better.

Having said all this I wouldn’t say the original is a bad film. The basic story and characters are still memorable ; it’s just that the scene-by-scene execution is often quite poor.

I totally agree. I think people who grew up with Star Wars are unable to see past the rather shoddy components (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I’m not a big fan of Star Wars and never have been…except for Star Tours at Disney World, love that ride.

I am part of the heathen heritics that never really liked Star Wars. I thought the first was OK, but had already seen most of it in Dune.

The right film at the right time.

Didn’t like “Citizen Kane” because it was in Black & white?

:smiley:

I grew up on Star Wars (was 10 in 1977) and agree: it was never a really good movie.

I loved it when I was 14, but it’s pretty thin stuff from my current perspective.

It was more revolutionary in its marketing strategy than in any artistic sense.

This newspaper’s Jonathan Rosenbaum did an interesting (if a bit meanspirited) examination:

I’m a fan, but I agree the acting was terrible. But I think Lucas was trying to make pulpy science fiction movies.

This really pisses me off now when critics review the new Star Wars movies. They (the critics) seem to think the original trilogy were all Oscar caliber movies or something!

I see no difference betwen Mark Hamill and Hayden Christensen’s acting. They are both whinny little biatches.

I’m a fan of all of the Star Wars movies, but for what they are: pulpy popcorn sci-fi movies. I just wish critics and reviewers would do the same!

My rant’s over…

MtM

RELEASE THE HOUNDS!!! :smiley:
Unfortunately I’ve seen it about 5,000 times and can’t really treat this subject objectively. OK, yeah, it ain’t no masterpiece, and Hamill ain’t no Olivier…but there never would be any newer better blockbusters without it.

It was a fun summer Sci Fi Space Opera and should be treated as such. Just not by me. :slight_smile:

Harlan Ellison wrote a fairly scathing review of Star Wars in the way-back-when… I remember agreeing with most of it when I first read it, and agreeing with pretty much all of it when I read it again a few years ago.

I forget many of the specifics, but the line that sticks me most is something like (paraphrasing from memory here): “There is something wrong with a movie that makes you care more about the robots that about the people in it.”

That line pretty much sums up the Star Wars experience for me. They’re fun movies to watch in the right frame of mind, and I loved them as a kid. I can never remember caring much about the characters in it, though.

Harrison Ford said it best:

“George [Lucas], you might be able to write this shit, but you sure as hell can’t say it,”

I’ve always said that the original Star Wars was well performed. The actors had far better energy (even if the characters were more caracatures) than in either of the prequels. It was also shot well, in my opinion, and I think the overall story was very solid. Personally, I think that it just looks all the worse compared to the amount of popularity it has… if it were more obscure, people would overall have a more neutral-positive opinion of it.

And, really, let’s admit it… those Star Destroyers look fuckin’ cool.

Alec Guinness hated Star Wars, and said so quite bluntly in his autobiography.

Walloon, if you don’t mind, could you or someone please elaborate on that? I’ve also heard that Carrey Fisher and Harrison Ford do not like talking about Star Wars, though Mark Hamill does (source: Kevin Smith’s commentary on Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back). Why don’t they like it; they were in it? And it’s probably what made them most famous.

Star Wars’ virtues and defects are pretty much the same for me as an adult as when I was a teenager: it’s shallow as hell but fun and exhilarating. I can still watch it and enjoy it.

I can no longer make it through E.T., on the other hand.

On a semi-related note, I just saw the Three Musketeers and the Four Musketeers again for the first time since they first came out, and I can report they are still as much fun as when I was a kid. Again, shallow as hell, but the photography is wonderful, there are some great gags and (for the time) great fight scenes.

Hamill LOVES it; it was the high point of his career, and his life. The rest of them went on to bigger and better things.

And of course he acts circles around the other guys in the original movie. I think Mark Hammill did a pretty good job as well, in that he actually seemed sincere. The rest of the actors were just hamming it up.

One should also point out that Lucas provided Alec Guinness, as well as some of the other actors, a permanent share of the profits the movie made… a fraction of a percent.

Guinness benefited from this. It meant he was able to spend the rest of his life doing pretty much the kind of work he thought was meaningful, as opposed to having to scrape on occasion because he needed money. The same is true of Mark Hammill.

Hell, if I had a fraction of a percent of all the money the movie made, I’m not sure I’d ever want to attend another cattle call audition again. Plainly, Harrison Ford felt a little differently. Then again, his double hits with “Star Wars” and “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” pretty much made sure he’d never have to.

As to the quality of the movie – well, first of all, it was never intended to be a classic for the ages. It was intended as good, pulpy fun.

The fact is, it went gorilla because there had never been anything like it before. Before Star Wars, everyone’s idea of “science fiction” had been either “Star Trek” or the postapocalypse scenario of the week, usually involving talking apes. And you’ll notice that the “Star Trek” movie never got off the ground until “Star Wars” went bughouse at the box office.

Is it “Citizen Kane?” No. But it’s pop culture, it’s pulp action fun, and it’s certainly culturally significant, both in and of itself, and for the horrors it wrought upon us in its exploration of the world of marketing…

One should also point out that Lucas provided Alec Guinness, as well as some of the other actors, a permanent share of the profits the movie made… a fraction of a percent.

Guinness benefited from this. It meant he was able to spend the rest of his life doing pretty much the kind of work he thought was meaningful, as opposed to having to scrape on occasion because he needed money. The same is true of Mark Hammill.

Hell, if I were an actor, and had a fraction of a percent of all the money the movie made, I’m not sure I’d ever want to attend another cattle call audition again. Plainly, Harrison Ford felt a little differently. Then again, his double hits with “Star Wars” and “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” pretty much made sure he’d never have to.

As to the quality of the movie – well, first of all, it was never intended to be a classic for the ages. It was intended as good, pulpy fun.

The fact is, it went gorilla because there had never been anything like it before. Before Star Wars, everyone’s idea of “science fiction” had been either “Star Trek” or the postapocalypse scenario of the week, usually involving talking apes. And you’ll notice that the “Star Trek” movie never got off the ground until “Star Wars” went bughouse at the box office.

Is it “Citizen Kane?” No. But it’s pop culture, it’s pulp action fun, and it’s certainly culturally significant, both in and of itself, and for the horrors it wrought upon us in its exploration of the world of marketing…

Certainly the move is no Godfather or Taxi Driver, IMO Jaws has held up better with age. I was still in the womb when it was released, so I don’t understand the culture at the time and how it tapped in so effectively. That said, I admire the pacing of the original. That movie flies by in what seems like about half an hour, though it imparts a great deal of information about the characters and their struggle. It does this using standard character archetypes, but it works. I think Han Solo was a very important character, as he was a hook into the movie for the audience. He was the one observing all the surrounding activity with a WTF? attitude which gave us a break from the Jedi mythology. That kind of character is sorely lacking in Eps. 1 & 2.