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.

9 thoughts on “Star Wars Blu-Ray Viewing Order Poll Results and Impressions

  1. ScytheNoire

    In the third movie, Palpatine referenced that he could create life from the force. Thus, I thought it was in the story that Palpatine created Anakin through Shmi and The Force. So in a way, Palpatine would be Anakin’s father.

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  2. bhagpuss

    I note with interest that you and your wife watched all or most of the six films, whereas your daughter saw less than half of them.

    I do wonder sometimes how much genuine new interest there is in all these franchises, going all the way back to Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, and how much is just the same rolling demographic buying and re-buying stuff they already know (and own).

    Oh, and you don’t mention the extras. Who watched those?

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  3. smakendahed

    It was a Star Wars weekend here too. Though I did start off with Thor on Blu-ray with my youngest son watching with me (his jaw dropped when Thor started doing his thing).

    I then started into the first three episodes (1, 2 and 3). I had my oldest son watching those with me and he really enjoyed them. I watched the fourth one and noticed what you said here:

    “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. ”

    More so with that one than the previous three.

    I wasn’t keen about the added sounded to the Obi-wan scaring away the sand people, I still don’t like that Han dodged instead of shooting first and I’m not keen about Han stepping on Jabba’s… ‘tail’ in the hanger scene but overall it was still good.

    I also watched the extras (interviews and deleted scenes) for the first three.

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  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – My daughter is something of the anti-purist when it comes to Star Wars. Episode I is her favorite, followed by episode VI, while IV and V kind of bore her. (And she is sick of hearing about how mom and dad saw episode IV when they were kids at the big theater a couple miles down the road from us and how amazing it seemed back then.)

    But she is also now at an age where she has her own interests and the fact that daddy is doing something isn’t enough to get her to go along any more. So she was buried in Warriors books and lore while we were watching the movies.

    As for the extras, I decided that the first priority was to watch all the movies. Episode IV ended on Sunday just in time for my wife to switch over and start watching the Emmy Awards. (Downton Abby won big, which was nice, as we like the series.) So we never got to the extras. That will have to wait until next weekend I think.

    Another thing about watching the series in order, Yoda seriously became a grumpy old man by the time episode V rolled around. A bit of senile dementia is apparent as well.

    And midichlorians are still the dumbest thing George Lucas ever put in the series.

    @ScytheNoire – That is an interesting thought. But it is like a puzzle piece. Yes, one side of it fits nicely with another piece, but does it fit in with the other pieces around it? Darth Sidious creating life is possible, but why on Tatooine? And why with Shmi? And was the Jedi prophecy about the “chosen one” just BS? I’m not saying the theory is wrong, it just opens up more questions I cannot answer.

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  5. flosch

    For someone who doesn’t like episode VI, you seemed to have watched an awful lot of it. :P
    I tried to figure out what order you went with, skimming over the article and of course missing your statement (I’m a horribly inattentive reader on screen), and stumbled across “VI, V, VI” twice.

    Just thought I’d point that out, because I can’t say much about Star Wars otherwise. Where do I hand in my nerd badge?

    Like

  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @flosch – I have watched episode VI less times that V or VI, but certainly more times that I or III. We had HBO at one point when episode II was playing on cable, and ended up watching it a bunch of times just because it was on.

    More thoughts on the series.

    In my mind, I still have trouble drawing the line between episodes II and III at times. For example, I keep thinking that the Chuck Jones-like droid factory scene happened in episode III. I have no idea why.

    Also, does George want us to think hairstyles are passed on genetically? In episode III there is Padme wearing the exact same “two cinnamon buns” hair style that Leia wears in episode IV. This despite the fact that Leia never knew her mother (those have to be false memories in episode VI), was raised on another planet with different customs, and never demonstrates that she knows anything about her adoption or her mother’s planet of Naboo, world of bad accents and crazy hair styles. Why try and draw that connection?

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  7. Pingback: Star Wars: Episode III « The Movie Report

  8. Pingback: Disney Buys Lucasfilm, Plans New Torments for Star Wars Fans « The Ancient Gaming Noob

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