If you’re watching the original trilogy first, then after the Empire is destroyed and everyone is celebrating, Luke looks over at his mentors, Ben Kenobi and Yoda, and suddenly they are joined by… some random creepy looking teenager who needs a haircut. Placing Hayden Christensen in the ending of Jedi, since he’s not in ANY of the other films, turns an ending that should be celebratory into one that is confusing for the viewer. The fact that Christensen looks like he’s undressing someone with his eyes doesn’t help.
So neither order really works. What to do?
How can you ensure that a viewing keeps the Vader reveal a surprise, while introducing young Anakin before the end of Return of the Jedi?
Simple, watch them in this order: IV, V, I, II, III, VI.
George Lucas believes that Star Wars is the story of Anakin Skywalker, but it is not. The prequels, which establish his character, are so poor at being character-driven that, if the series is about Anakin, the entire series is a failure. Anakin is not a relatable character, Luke is.
This alternative order (which a commenter has pointed out is called Ernst Rister order) inserts the prequel trilogy into the middle, allowing the series to end on the sensible ending point (the destruction of the Empire) while still beginning with Luke’s journey.
Effectively, this order keeps the story Luke’s tale. Just when Luke is left with the burning question “how did my father become Darth Vader?” we take an extended flashback to explain exactly how. Once we understand how his father turned to the dark side, we go back to the main storyline and see how Luke is able to rescue him from it and salvage the good in him.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
SEARCH YOUR FEELINGS; YOU KNOW IT TO BE TRUE: Remember how we debated the proper order in which to watch the Star Wars films, generally agreeing on Release Order (IV-VI, then I-III) rather than Episode Order (I-VI)? Rod Hilton has a better idea:
Posted by Adam at 5:00 PM