About 10 years ago I decided to watch episodes I-VI in one day. I wrote about it here. It was an interesting experience and nice to finally see all 6 movies back to back. But in less than a year I would learn that Disney bought Star Wars and planned to make episodes VII to IX. Well, I thought, I guess I’m due another Star Wars marathon in a few years when it’s all done. And here we are. Not only do we have 3 more movies in the now named “Skywalker Saga” but we also have spin off movies, TV shows and animations. All of these things put a different spin on what’s come before. I can’t watch Vader and Obi Wan’s fight without thinking about their other encounter in the Obi Wan show. I can’t think of the Death Star without thinking of ‘Rogue One’ and ‘Andor’. I can’t view Boba Fett as just a bounty hunter now that we’ve had the ‘Book of Boba Fett’ series. It’s mad to think of how much Star Wars content has been made in these past few years. Most of it has enriched and fleshed out the universe. Some has detracted from it.
So how to prepare for a 9 movie marathon in one sitting? It’s a lot tougher than last time. 6 movies was a breeze compared to 9. The running time of episodes I-IX is 20 hours and 39 minutes. That leaves little room for much else. Taking breaks or having a meal in between movies is not really recommended because it’s pretty much a race to the end. A 20 minute meal here, a 10 minute walk there and you could end up with another hour or two added to the already long viewing time. Your best chance is to skip the end credits of each movie, eat while watching the films and generally don’t dawdle. You’re also going to need to do this on a day when you have zero obligations that day or the next because you’ll be tired as hell. I did it on New Years day. I didn’t have to go out anywhere or meet anyone, didn’t have to work. My time was totally dedicated to watching the films.
I’ve already reviewed each of the films so I’ll just go with my impressions of the trilogies here. Episodes IV-VI are obviously the most satisfying. I think episodes I-III aren’t bad either. Whatever faults you have with the first 6 movies can be pushed aside when you take the trilogies into account. They both tell complete stories from start to end. There are no unanswered questions, characters have complete arcs from start to finish, they deliver on the story they started to tell. But watching the sequel trilogy against the prequel and original trilogy and you really start to see the flaws in the sequels. The inconsistency in the storytelling, the rushed quality of the films, the lack of direction and sense of where all this is going to end. Those nagging questions such as, where did Luke’s blue light saber come from? Where did all those Star Destroyers come from? The missed opportunities to see Luke, Han and Leia on screen together “How much trouble are we in?” “Same as usual”. “That bad huh?”. It seemed impossible to mess up, yet Disney dropped the ball and honestly, it all hinges on ‘The Last Jedi‘. ‘The Force Awakens’ has it’s faults on further rewatches but it built momentum which ‘The Last Jedi’ drove into a wall. ‘The Rise of Skywalker‘ was left picking up the pieces but wasn’t successful at continuing on from ‘The Last Jedi’. ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ also creates problems for itself by creating new questions and introducing/reintroducing more characters. There just wasn’t time to be doing new stuff when we got to this point.
Some random thoughts while watching each trilogy.
The prequels in high def 4K look gorgeous and the green/blue screen feel is remarkedly reduced. You also have to take your hat off to the worlds created by George Lucas and the world building he did. The sequel trilogies don’t come close to the gigantic imaginative level that George brought with episodes I-VI.
Obi Wan is perhaps the most skilled fighter in all of Star Wars, taking the movies and various television series into account. He’s a fighter that grows in skill and can be quite cunning. For example, in episode III when he has “the high ground” against Anakin and he knows what Anakin is going to do and cuts him into pieces for doing so. How did he know? because he pulled the exact same move on Darth Maul to defeat him in episode I. In his rematch with Maul in the animated series ‘Star Wars Rebels’ he defeats Maul again when Maul tries to use the same move against him that he had used against Qui Gon.
Vader in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is a massive badass. Unworried about flying into asteroid fields, killing his own men left right and center. This film really cemented the character for generations to come.
Since Palpatine was responsible for creating Snoke and being the voices inside Kylo Ren’s head then couldn’t it also be possible he had somehow clouded Luke’s mind also and drove him to the point of almost taking out his Nephew?
Boba Fett’s voice in the original trilogy still feels off to me. Temuera Morrison should redub it one more time now that he has a firm grip on the character.
The sequel trilogy that I always imagined would have had Luke, Leia and Han still together after ‘Return of the Jedi’. Not torn apart by time and circumstance (or by lets face it, Ben Solo). They’d still be on the Millennium Falcon. Peace would still exist after all they had done to achieve it. At least give them that time. They deserved it. Then the next story of the next generation of characters would start. The sequel trilogy comes across as almost depressing with the way things have turned out and the way things are going over the three films.
Who really was the chosen one?
So do I recommend watching episodes I-IX back to back? Not really. If you are going to do it I’d still stick to an episode I-VI marathon or even go smaller, do I-III one day IV-Vi another day. I think ‘Rogue One’ and ‘A New Hope’ is a fun and satisfying back to back watch. But 20+ hours is hard. You might as well get some sleep in between trilogies and at least be more awake at the end.
Favorite Quote: “RAWRGWAWGGR” – Chewie