I think ROTJ and ROTS are on an equal level. They both have very good bits and very bad bits.
For me AOTC ranks at the very bottom of the SW list. The most obsolete SW movie ever made to date. And it fails to deliver on the only two plot points it needs to deliver: the origin of the clone program (and I don't mean who actually makes them, but who ordered them and why) and the totally terrible love story that causes Anakin to fall.
Big, major uberphail there. Although it's one of the prettiest of the PT, these major storytelling flaws make it tumble all the way to the bottom for me. Compared to AOTC TPM begins to make sense.
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As much as I disagree with a lot of your statements in regards to SW, this is basically the exact same list I have.
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honestly, take off the nostalgia lenses for a sec... Star Wars as a franchise had its legacy cemented Empire Strikes Back, without that film, Star Wars would have been another Dune... had ESB been a failure, had the story not been up to standard then both films would be a lot less regarded and loved as they are today. Yes, I know Star Wars was huge when it first opened, kids and adults alike were on board and loving it...so it was for Avatar....both films introduced mind blowing spectacle that captured the imagination of the movie going world. The major difference with the two is that Star Wars had an great sequel with possibly the greatest twist in cinema history; that was what made the Star Wars franchise timeless, not the first one, looking back on it now with unbiased eyes A New Hope is bland, aged horribly, too much exposition, not enough visceral action and wooden acting by a lot of the cast save for Harrison Ford really. I respect it for breaking ground and creating this series that I love but other than that its not highly rated on its own merit for me at all.
It's not surprising that there are so many different opinions on the movies. It's not surprising that ESB, ROTJ and ROTS all seem to be high on most lists though. God, I can't wait till Thursday! Midnight tickets baby....
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