The original trilogy was the best Star Wars trilogy, and here’s why.
By Charlene Badasie | Published
The Star Wars franchise has captured the hearts of audiences for decades. With three trilogies, a few spin-offs, and several television shows, including The Mandalorian, everyone has their favorite. But while there are arguments to be made for the prequel and sequel trilogies, the original trilogy stands out as the best Star Wars story.
One of the defining features of the original Star Wars trilogy was the revolutionary use of special effects. Released in the late 1970s and early 1980s, these movies broke new ground in visual storytelling. The use of models and miniatures also gave each film a unique visual style that set them apart from anything that had come before.
The iconic opening shot in A New Hope, which sees a massive spaceship pursue a smaller vessel, set the tone for the entire trilogy. And audiences were left stunned by the sheer spectacle. The story also introduced viewers to some of the most iconic characters in movie history. The unlikely hero Luke Skywalker, the resourceful Princess Leia, and the charming Han Solo helped make the original trilogy the best Star Wars story.
The menacing Darth Vader and the wise Jedi Master, Yoda, added to the story’s mythos. All these characters were expertly crafted, with well-defined personalities and motivations that still resonate with audiences. Most importantly, the original trilogy tells an epic story of good versus evil. Although this premise has existed in different forms throughout history, the original films brought it to life in a fresh and exciting way.
From Luke Skywalker’s humble beginnings on the desert planet of Tatooine to the epic space battles and confrontations with the evil Empire, the original trilogy remains unmatched. Additionally, legendary composer John Williams crafted a score that perfectly captures the story’s emotional impact. The opening theme, the haunting Imperial March, and the uplifting end title make the original the best Star Wars trilogy.
While the original Star Wars trilogy is widely regarded as a classic, the prequel trilogy – consisting of Episodes I, II, and III – is more divisive. One of the main criticisms is its weak storytelling. The overarching plot of the trilogy is the rise of the Sith and the fall of the Republic, but the execution is lacking. The pacing is often slow, and the dialogue is clunky and uninspired.
This is largely due to the prequels being burdened with setting up the story for the original trilogy. The prequels also relied too heavily on CGI and special effects, detracting from the story’s emotional impact. Additionally, the prequels failed to create characters that were as iconic as Luke, Leia, and Han, who elevated the original to the best Star Wars trilogy status.
In the prequels, most characters felt one-dimensional, while established characters were misused. In the original trilogy, Master Yoda and Darth Vader were shrouded in mystery, which added to their allure. By giving almost everyone a back story, their mysticism was erased. Swapping out the Yoda puppet for a CGI creation in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith undermined his role as a wise and powerful Jedi Master.
Consisting of Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, the Star Wars sequel trilogy has been controversial since its release. One of the main criticisms is its lead character, Rey, who is a pointless addition to the Skywalker saga. Unlike Luke, who had a clear character arc throughout the original trilogy, Rey remains static and underdeveloped, which is why the story can never be the best Star Wars offering.
She starts the trilogy as a powerful Jedi without any training and ends the trilogy in the same position. Her back story is never fully explained, which makes it difficult for audiences to connect with her character and invest in her journey. The contradictory storytelling surrounding her character is also very annoying.
In Episode VII, it is suggested that Rey’s parents are essential to the existing saga. But Episode VIII reveals that they were nobody of significance. This inconsistency undermines any investment in Rey’s character and makes it difficult to understand her motivations. Yet the story insists upon itself, forcing viewers to care about a girl who diminishes the Skywalker name by randomly taking it for herself.
While some may argue that she did so to renounce her evil bloodline as the granddaughter of Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious, the reasoning is just stupid. Luke didn’t abandon his lineage because his father was a Sith Lord. Instead, he helped his dad find redemption and gave the Skywalker name a new meaning, which made the original the best Star Wars trilogy.
While the Star Wars prequel trilogy did have a few bright spots, like the introduction of the villainous Darth Maul and the tragic Anakin Skywalker, the sequel series of films was a complete disaster. For all these reasons and a million more, the original trilogy will always be the best Star Wars story ever made.