For some time now, I’ve wanted to watch all of the Star Wars movies in a row. Due to the nature of the series, there are a couple of options for doing so. I could watch the movies in order of production (episodes four thru six, then episodes one thru three) or I could watch them in order of the actual storyline (episodes one thru six). I’m sure there are advantages in following the films in both ways. I decided to go the latter route, if for no other reason than I have a bias towards the higher-numbered episodes, so it’ll be more enjoyable to finish with those.
For those uninitiated in the history of the Star Wars film franchise, the first movie to be released is 1977’s Episode IV: A New Hope, often referred to simply as “Star Wars.” That film was followed by two sequels, Episode V: Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi. The “episode” part of the titles didn’t really become a prominent thing until the first prequel, Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in 1999. It’s worth mentioning this because during the heydays of episodes four thru six, the episode numbers were only briefly referenced in the opening crawls of each film. They were there to hint at a larger story arc, a nugget to be found by obsessive fans, many of whom returned to theaters multiple times to watch the movies over and over again.
After the blockbuster success of Star Wars episodes four thru six (hereafter referred to as “the original trilogy” for this series of reviews), it was automatically assumed that series creator George Lucas would immediately continue on with the franchise. Return Of The Jedi was released in 1983 and by that time, enough had been uncovered about Lucas’s wider plans for the series that it was understood he’d follow Jedi with the first of three prequels. What no one expected is that Lucas would take well over a decade to deliver Episode I.
Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in May of 1999...Read More