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The Beehive Asks: What’s the best ‘Star Wars’ movie (in honor of my “Empire” weekend)


I know I’m a geeky “Star Wars” fan, but I had the most fun over the weekend at the Golden State Film Festival, where I got to see, on the big screen, my favorite of the series “The Empire Strikes Back” with director Irvin Kershner.

Kershner introduced the movie, seemingly shocked that so many people would turn out on a Sunday night to see a 29-year-old movie. After the movie he answered questions from the audience for about 45 minutes, giving lots of little details about the movie.

His take on the movie franchise was charming, pointed (he didn’t really like the newer movies) and funny.

Five things that struck me from Kershner’s talk:

  1. Technology, aka CGI, has hindered movie making (putting an emphasis on the action instead of the story) and making movies feel and look more like video games.
  2. Most of ‘Empire’ was voiced over after the film was cut together because there was too much noise on the set.
  3. Only Kershner and actor Mark Hamill knew Darth Vader was Luke’s father on set; the other actors and crew heard fake lines.
  4. Kershner hated the original script and had it re-rewritten.
  5. Kershner considers the story a fairytale not sci-fi.

So, in honor of my fun “Empire” weekend, I thought we could play a little The Beehive Asks: What’s the best movie in the ‘Star Wars’ franchise?

Responses to "The Beehive Asks: What’s the best ‘Star Wars’ movie (in honor of my “Empire” weekend)"

AttyKendall says:

my favorites were Return of the King and Gotterdamerung.

Heather says:

I didn’t see these movies until I was in my 20s, so I don’t have the soft spot that a lot of people our age had for them.

But I guess if I had to see one again, I’d go with the first (fourth, I suppose) one. Is that the one where they’re in the garbage masher thingie? I choose the garbage masher one.

Wait — which is the one where Princess Leia tells Indiana Jones she loves him and he says, “I know.” I choose that one.

Bryan Harley says:


The Fresnan says:

Yes, “Empire” is the best overall film. “A New Hope” holds the best memories though (like waiting in lines that went around Festival Cinemas). “Revenge of the Sith” is third and underrated.

Thanks for this post, Kathy, I learned a couple things a didn’t know.

katbon says:

Ah Kathy, my new best friend! I’m a certified Star Wars geek, er fan, too. If I had to choose one, it would be Return of the Jedi with my favorite all time movie scene being the one where Darth Vader reveals he’s “Luke’s Faaather”. “Nooooooooooo!!!”. But how can a true fan just pick one movie. i have favorite scenes from all six movies. I especially love Obi-Wan Kenobi and his masterful use of the light saber in the prequels. Actually, there’s just too much to love! I think I need a fix.

Kathy says:

@The Fresnan: I agree, “Revenge of the Sith” is under rated. I love Obi-Wan in that movie and the whole turn to the dark side scene is really mesmerizing.

@katbon: The big reveal is what makes me love “Empire” so much. Plus, Leia sparring with Hans … that Nerf Herder line cracks me up every time.

cjl says:

I hate to be the person who corrects somebody… But the “Luke — I am your Father” scene is at the end of Emprire.

Empire has to be my fav too, but there were lots of cool things about ‘Jedi’ too… (Leia in her slave girl outfit, Jabba, The Rancor). If they had only left out those Ewoks… (and the subsequent Christmas special… OMG)

booey says:

It’s not even close “The Empire Strikes Back”
Revenge of the sith stunk I thought vader was suppose to hunt down the jedi instead their wiped out by stormtroopers the same ones that can’t beat ewoks!!! One of the biggest movie letdowns ever had to suffer through Menance and CloneWars and I get Jedi killed by stormtroopers!

blake says:

I dislike…was it the last one? Where Darth Vader gets his bad-guy suit? I whispered to my son next to me “I hope they don’t do that slow-motion thing where someone says “noooooooooooooooooo!” that happens in too many movies. and *ding* there it was.

I know what you mean about the computer stuff——–dude, analogue always rocks over digital!(laughs)

(p.s. sorry for the off-track complaining, but what’s with all the ads that pop up and cover the page?—-one of them didn’t even have an ‘x’ to ‘x’ it out.)

Jay Parks says:

Episode 4 (A New Hope) by a mile.

Next, in order:

Empire Strikes Back
Revenge of the Sith
Phantom Menace
Return of the Jedi (Ewoks = boo)
Attack of the Clones

Cristobal says:

“A New Hope” is the best one in my book. The worst = “The Phantom Menace”.

DLR says:

The prequels don’t even count, if you ask me!

I’m in my mid-20s and saw the original Star Wars movies when I was about 5 or 6 years old, so it’s a major sentimentality thing.

My favorites are definitely the first two movies. Return of the Jedi is good too but I think it’s the corniest of the originals.

Have to agree that CGI seems to have taken away a bit from the quality of the newer star wars movies. However, I think it’s mostly just George Lucas losing his touch over the years and the original Star Wars movies being almost an accident in how good and popular they turned out.

Even the CGI stuff Lucas added to the originals was so corny and ridiculous. Some of the stuff he changed was SO bad.

Check out this site if you want to hate on the prequels, or if you just want a good laugh.

“78 Reasons To Hate Episode 1″

Mike Oz says:

In the words of the great Dante Hicks:

“Empire” had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader’s his father, Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that’s what life is, a series of down endings. All “Jedi” had was a bunch of Muppets.

Industrial Towel and Magic says:

the origional that came out first, (as in came out first, before they started backfilling and turning it into some huge thing…)
It has more charm, it moves better, and it really was a ‘portal view’ of something that was (at once) foreign and familar… (nicely balanced actually, unlike something like ‘Dune’ which you had to have a masters degree and go off your meds to really appreciate, (or simply be in art-school.)

I saw Star Wars in it’s first week or two back in the seventies, It really wasn’t ‘that’ huge, the theatre wasn’t too crowded, and was taken by a family friend (babysitter, actually) who was a huge Trekkie (one of the first.)
(She wore her hair as princess Leia for, like years after this movie… she was, um… hardcore.)
We thought it was cool, but didn’t think we had just witnessed history and a national religion taking taking place.

As much as I loved the first one?
I never have understood the endless ‘starwars-a-rama’ that happens since, and usually fall asleep, (or just wander out to stare at a shrub) when folks play them back to back to back to (yeesh.)

Fav. movie (not usually known) of the genre?

THX 1138 (the college version)
-way better than Logans Run, and is closer to 2001 / DeathRace / RollerBall.
–only not as gory.

Fav. Line:
‘…Somebody want to get this walking carpet out of my way…?’

‘…I’d rather kiss a wookie..’
‘…I can arrange that..’

Poor Chewie

Mew says:

Episodes IV, V, and VI all rule with a hardness, but V rules hardest of them all. I, II, and III, ehh not so much. Darth Maul coulda been a whole mess of awesomeness. Key word, coulda.

Brian B says:

Hands down for me is Return of the Jedi. The passing of Yoda, Luke’s transition into a true Jedi and Darth Vader’s compassion all make for a truly great movie.

Marietta says:

Episode IV for sure. I was so in llove with Luke. I watch it now and see that young Luke was such a whiner. Still “A New Hope” is the best, but I like them all.

Bino Escobar says:

My favorite is ESB. That one has a lot of my favorite scenes like Luke f’n up that wampa, Han slicing up the tauntaun, speeders trippin’ up @-@s, yoda’s senile intro, Lando having a white slave, Han’s smug A: to Leia before turning into an ice cube, and finally the silhouette lightsaber duel.

From the whole series, my favorite scene was in ROTJ when Han was jailed with Chewy . Chewy barks what’s happened in the last three years. Han, being burly* thawed, is having a hard time coming to grips with realty and is overwhelmed by all the info. I LMAO every time, because Han understands everything Chewy is saying, which really doesn’t sound like much.

I will have to agree Kershner, it’s just one big love story!

Hey, whatever happened to that movie Fanboys?

Kevin says:

From best to least best… sith, empire, clones, new hope, Jedi, menace. Sith was incredible! My favorite movie of all time! Jedi stunk… Weak and too convenient… menace was dull but I appreciate it more after watching episodes 2 & 3.

AngryPerson says:

Wow, thanks katbon for ruining the ending! I didn’t know Vader was Luke’s father! Jerk