by Kieran Healy on May 22, 2005

So I picked up the original Star Wars trilogy — or, at least, the re-masticated DVD version, “Greedo shoots first”: and all that — mostly out of curiosity. I hadn’t watched the first two in years and I’d never seen _Return of the Jedi_. I watched most of _The Empire Strikes Back_, which was pretty good, and ended up fast-forwarding through most of ROTJ. My God. Whole chunks of it were simply unwatchable. Just appalling. It’s notable that the first three films share almost all of the faults of the second three, right down to dubiously ethnic alien sidekicks. (Who the hell came up with Lando’s co-pilot, for instance?) This lends credence to the generational-imprint theory of their popularity. These negatives are offset by the freshness of _Star Wars_, the decent dramatic pacing of _Empire_, and the humor of both. But it’s hard not to think that what’s holding the whole edifice together are a couple of good characters (Vader, Yoda, maybe Solo) and some of the design elements: the fighters and ships, the lightsabers, the droids and a few other things. It certainly ain’t the leads, the dialogue, the direction, or the plots.

_Update_: On the other hand, were it not for Lucas we wouldn’t have things “like this”:

_Update 2_: OK, that last clip goes on a bit too long and there’s no real punchline. Try “this one”: instead. Teh funny.