Daily Archives: September 18, 2011

Star Wars Blu-Ray Viewing Order Poll Results and Impressions

The Blu-Ray edition of the Star Wars saga has been released.

Amazon.com did not fail me.  They discs arrived Friday afternoon.

Much Star Wars viewing has occurred at our house since.

First, I want to post the results of the poll I put up.  117 votes on the issue.

Results - Click For Full Size

Release order, or IV, V, VI, I, II, III was the winner eventually, though none of the choices got a clear majority.  In fact, at one point, there was a four way tie between the top four choices, and episode order (I to VI) was winning for a while.

The “Other” responses were as follows:

  • Don’t support the barbarian
  • 4,5,6 and then 3
  • Ep 2, Clone Wars seasons, Ep 4, Ep 5, extras
  • VI, V, IV, III, II, I
  • don’t buy it, “IT’S A TRAP!”
  • 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6
  • Wouldn’t watch it if you paid me
  • This order: IV, V, I, II, III, VI
  • 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3       [isn’t that release order?]
  • Watch everything but Episode I. It added nothing useful
  • Watch discovery channel
  • continue hatred of Ewoks and burn those discs…
  • 4,5,1,2,3,6

At our house, I was just about ready to watch in release order, starting with IV (I had it in the PS3 and ready to go), when I decided to ask my daughter how we should watch the series.  If I was planning to dominate our one TV for 14 hours over the weekend, I figured I needed to do a little coalition building.  She wanted episode order.  And so that was how we went, episodes I-VI in that order.

My daughter actually likes episode I a lot, while the original three, VI, V, and VI do not thrill her.  Kids!

We got through all six episodes, starting on Friday night.  Actually, I got through all six, though my wife sat through four and a half, including all of VI, V, and VI.  My daughter watched about two and a half.

Observations on watching the whole series in one go

All of the episodes looked very, very good on the new TV and in Blu-Ray.  Episodes I-III were especially detailed, which is to be expected I suppose.  The battle scene at the opening of episode III looked amazing.

I finally hooked up the digital optical cable from the PS3 to the sound system, so the sound was excellent… once I figured out I had to take off the tiny plastic caps on the tips of the cable.  Seriously, it ought to mention that on the box.  I had to Google to figure out why the cable wouldn’t fit initially and eventually I found the answer.

The one downside of the sound, on our system, was that, while very clear, the sound track and the effects tended to come through much louder than dialog.  That doesn’t bother me much… I watched episode III by myself and the house resonated with the explosions in the opening battle… but some people in our house kept asking for the sound to be turned up or down depending on what was going on.

The packaging is good.  The discs come in a small book that holds all 9 in about the space that two normal DVD or Blu-ray cases would take.  While there is very little written material included with the set, except for a small booklet that lists what is on each disc, the page in which each disc is stored has unique, episode specific artwork.  The page holding the booklet has one of those “everybody who was anybody” drawings.  You can play the “can you name them all?” game with it.

a blatant copyright violation by me

There are some odd continuity issues between episodes III and V.  Obi-wan refers to Yoda as his teacher, when it was Qui-gon in the prequels.  Also, Obi-wan doesn’t seem to know about Leia when he speaks with Yoda, though he was there when they were born and split up to be sent into hiding.

In another change up to everybody’s favorite controversial scene, Han and Greedo now shoot almost simultaneously.  It was certainly too quick for Han to have seen Greedo shoot first.  Not sure if that makes things much better, but maybe a little.

Nobody’s acting was really as bad as I remembered it.  Even Hayden Christensen.  His acting is wooden and over-wrought, but he is playing a young, insecure, angry Jedi, so I can give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he follows the Stanislavski school of method acting.

Jango Fett might be the sharpest looking bounty hunter in the whole series.  And he was supposed to be rich as well, having been well paid for the whole clone thing.  But what happened with Boba Fett?  Did the empire impound his father’s fortune?  Did he squander it?  Because compared to his father, he looks like he picked up his outfit from a bounty hunter thrift store.

I had forgotten how Ewan McGregor’s hairstyle changes in each episode.  He goes from a Jedi recruit cut, to a Glam-rock Jedi, to an “as close as we could get him to Alec Guinness” cut over episodes I-III.

In episode III, when Palpatine declares the empire, he calls it “The First Galactic Empire.”  Doesn’t that imply it is going to fail at some point and be replaced?  Is he a realist?  If he had been a programmer, would he have called it the Zero-th Galactic Empire?

And while we’re on episode III, Anakin tells Mace Windu that Palpatine is a sith lord around noon, then goes off and has an emotional, cross town scene with Padme when it is clearly night.  Then, after that, Windu shows up to take the Emperor into custody, with Anakin showing up a couple of minutes after that fight starts.  What the heck was Master Windu doing all afternoon?  Getting a warrant for Palpatine’s arrest?

The Skywalker family tree is still silly.

What does Anakin do on father’s day?

Darth Vader saying, “Noooo!” in episode VI was a mistake, if only because it was dubbed in at a much higher sound level than the rest of the dialog in the movie.

The fact that ewoks now blink in the movie thanks to CGI did not move me any closer to liking them.

Something that has bugged me since I saw episode VI in the theater nearly thirty years ago:  Does it seem like the emperor would have been a lot more likely to get things to go his way if he would have just shut the hell up rather than goading Luke all the time?  I realize that arrogance was his weakness (so said Luke), but it seemed like every word out of his mouth was designed to get Luke to do the opposite of what he wanted.

Finally, what is it with round windows in the Star Wars universe?

Anyway, it all looked very good on our TV.  I am happy with the purchase.