Monday, April 20, 2015

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 212: Watch the original three “Star Wars” movies back to back to back

The original “Star Wars” trilogy is one of the most iconic series of science fiction movies ever produced, and all three movies are still very popular among audiences of all ages. While I’d seen all three of these movies - “Episode IV: A New Hope,” “Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” and “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” – I couldn’t honestly say that I’d seen the full, theatrical versions. Up until this weekend, I’d only seen the edited for TV versions.

In June 2012, as part of my on-going “bucket list” project, I watched all three “Lord of the Rings” movies back to back to back, and that was a cool movie-watching experience. Later, I got to thinking about how neat it would be to do the same thing with the original three “Star Wars” movies, which is why I added that to my “bucket list” a couple of years ago. On Sunday, I finally took the time to sit down and watch all three of the “Star Wars” movies in order, and it was everything that I expected it to be, that is, a lot of fun.

My first challenge was to find copies of all three movies, but, as luck would have it, I found a relatively inexpensive three-pack containing DVDs of all three movies at Wal-Mart a few months ago. This three-pack sat on top of my desk at home for weeks and weeks, but I finally found enough time to watch them without interruption on Sunday. I put the first movie in around 11 a.m., and we watched all three in order without interruption for the six hours or so. The last movie ended a little after 5 p.m.

“Episode IV: A New Hope” is 121 minutes long, and “The Empire Strikes Back” is 124 minutes long. “Return of the Jedi” is the longest of the three movies with a run time of 132 minutes. In all, that’s six hours and 17 minutes. I have to admit that about half way through “Empire Strikes Back” I did get a little sleepy, but I fought through it.

How does a “Star Wars” marathon stack up against a “Lord of the Rings” marathon? In some ways, it’s better and worse. For one, the “Star Wars” marathon is shorter, especially if you’re watching the director’s cut of the “Lord of the Rings” films. I’d say they both have about the same amount of action, but there’s probably more bloodshed in the “Lord of the Rings.”

Special effects in both movies are also top notch, but since the “Lord of the Rings” movies are more recent, their special effects seem more up to date. I’d say the acting in both trilogies are about on the same level. If I had to watch one or the other over again, it’s a toss up. It would really depend on what kind of mood I’m in.

In the end, how many of you have ever watched the original three “Star Wars” movies back to back to back? What did you think about the experience? Which of the three movies is your personal favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.

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