The definitive ranking of the ‘Star Wars’ movies

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”.

Perhaps the most iconic of all images in the Star Wars franchise is a double sunset that Luke Skywalker casually stares at on his home planet, Tatooine. Chris Curran and his son, Dwight, ordered costumes for this week’s premiere of Curran’s grandson will be seeing the seventh movie in the sci-fi series with them — a new generation joining a family tradition.

Jake Rudh, Transmission DJ, host of First Avenue’s Cantina Dance Party: “I was a bit too young to see the original showing of ‘Star Wars’ in theaters, but I definitely remember the next Halloween. Ward was seven and had never seen anything like it – he vividly remembers walking out of the Adelphi Cinema on O’Connell Street feeling he had briefly escaped his drab, dreary home town and journeyed to a parallel universe populated by dashing heroes and mesmerising villains.

Star Wars wasn’t the only—or even the first—science fiction story to hold habitable planets in binary star systems (a system where planets orbit two suns). With the 1977 release of George Lucas’ first film in the series, “Star Wars” imagery, characters and turns of phrase invaded society like a squadron of X-wing fighters bearing down on the Death Star. “The American culture was inundated.

Magrathea in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and Gallifrey, the home planet in Doctor Who, are both habitable planets that orbit a binary star system. But, in addition to being considerably older, there will be another major difference: on this occasion, he will be dressed, helmet to boot-heel, as one of the characters from the films.

I would send him an email at almost any hour asking some arcane question and I’d hit send and I’d hear “ding” and he’d already have responded with an answer. What you realize, by the way, in working on these movies is that even things that are canon, that are beloved and absolute to fans, are very much fluid and in flux.

His 5-year-old son, Tate, is ready. “He knows who R2-D2 is, who Darth Vader is,” said Stanford, 46, a vice president at Orlando Science Center. “In my house, ‘Star Wars’ is on the same level as Dr. The very first binary stars were discovered as early as the 17th century, immediately after Galileo improved the telescope and first pointed it skyward. Seuss and the Brothers Grimm.” Father-son bonding is a recurring theme; perhaps that’s to be expected as the revelation of hero Luke Skywalker’s parentage gave the series its most infamous plot twist. Even a cheap ‘n’ cheerful Stormtrooper uniform – Ward owns several – will set you back €1,000-€1,500 (the outfits are generally manufactured by specialists in the UK). Context. “ ‘Star Wars’ was always a boys’ thing,” Abrams, the Force behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” told “Good Morning America” last month. “I was really hoping this could be a movie that mothers could take their daughters to as well.” It’s true that “Star Wars” has been portrayed as a fanboy cult.

Princess Leia in ‘Jedi’ was where it all started.” Will Alexander, YA author, winner of the National Book Award: “ ‘Empire’ led to my first conversation about special effects. Yet die-hards do not baulk at these sums – though some will privately admit their families do not always share their enthusiasm. “There was nothing else like Star Wars when I was a kid,” says Jason Flood, another prominent Star Wars devotee, whose collection includes a life-size replica of Han Solo frozen in ice (sorry, carbonite) and a model Yoda that cost €600 to construct from scratch. “He’s about two-and-a-half-feet tall and fit in the back of my Nissan Micra when I got him, which was handy,” says Flood (38), who has parlayed his passion for Star Wars into a career and now runs the Dublin City Comics and Collectibles store on Bolton Street. “He is made from silicone and fibreglass and has fake hair and eyeballs. While I understood that Mark Hamill was an actor just pretending to be Luke Skywalker, I thought he had willingly volunteered to lose his hand for his art. Now 26 and back in Central Florida after a stint in the Marines, Dwight Curran is joining his father in dressing up as “Star Wars” characters for Thursday’s premiere. “We’re having a great time preparing for this,” said Chris Curran, 50, a service coordinator for a commercial air-conditioning company. “They were always involved in it together,” said dad Tim Douglass, 57, of Orlando.

I’m excited to see Rey (Daisy Ridley) pilot the Millennium Falcon, to find out how villainous Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) really is, to meet the mysterious ancient space pirate Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o). They are also at a point in life where they have sufficient disposable income to splurge without guilt on fibreglass blasters or laser-printed lightsabres, created to the exact specifications of the weapon Luke Skywalker wielded on screen. Just as women and girls make up about half of the comic book-loving population, they make up just as much of the sci-fi fandom, says Ashley Eckstein, the founder of Her Universe, a clothing brand catering to fangirls.

For the longest time, it was considered unlikely that during the formation of binary systems, the two stars would allow enough “heavy” material such as iron and rock to coalesce into planets. Ryan Douglass sported “Star Wars” pajamas made by his grandmother. “Star Wars” merchandisers “have been very smart over the years because they understand the generational effect,” said Jeff Fisher, co-owner of Gods & Monsters, a pop-culture collectibles store at Orlando’s Artegon Marketplace. “If kids get the toys, they are able to develop their own attachment through playing. You don’t need everything – there’s a balance to be struck between loving Star Wars and not being broke.” He’s right – only the super rich can afford to splurge on memorabilia from the original movies. Though I love that we all have access to movies on the devices in our pockets and I love that home screens are often better than theater 17 at the multiplex, I also feel like movies speak to a human desire, if not need, to congregate and to experience stories communally.

The toys play a huge role in keeping the flame alive.” Fisher, who considers a toy Boba Fett a childhood “friend,” hosted a “Star Wars” swap meet this summer and fills requests from adult collectors for specific items they played with as children. “Now I have an adult’s income,” he explained. These have soared in value across the decades, with a hairy headpiece belonging to Han Solo sidekick Chewbacca recently going for over €180,000 at auction.

The iconic lightsabre Luke Skywalker toted in the first Star Wars fetched €250,000 in 2008 – one shudders to imagine what it might be worth were it to go under the hammer today. In whatever format it is, whatever screening, whatever the best available version is, I would just argue that, if possible, to try to see it with a crowd. Chris Curran’s family attended a convention where they met “Star Wars” royalty: Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, the actors who play Luke and Princess-turned-General Leia Organa. So after looking for stuff to wear and coming up empty-handed, I started doing my research. “I went to Lucasfilm and said, ‘Hey, I am one of your actresses, and I would love to help design and promote female merchandise. The special effects artists working on the movies never imagined Star Wars would leave an enduring cultural imprint and their creations were not built to last.

When, for instance, I ask Flood how much it would cost to secure a monstrous Rancor model from Return Of The Jedi, he says the original may have long since corroded to nothing. “They used a lot of latex in the 80s and that would have disintegrated by now. The frame of the Rancor might still survive – but that’s about all.” “One problem is that you can’t always trace these items to guarantee they are what they are supposed to be,” he continues. “You have people claiming to be selling parts of Luke’s moisture evaporator.

Stars that are too close to each other will eventually either merge or have the more massive star consuming the other, disrupting the orbit and temperature of planets around them. In discussing the new themed area, Disney executives have alluded to Walt Disney’s oft-repeated sentiment of creating parks “where parents and children could have fun together.” “He’s going to experience [‘Star Wars’] in a way I never could as a child,” Stanford said of his son. “They’re going to put him right in the middle of it.” But that will be years away; for now, a movie premiere looms.

How do you confirm its originality?” Also muddying the picture is the entry into the market of professional collectors, snapping up Star Wars toys in the hope their value inflates. I would have wanted to hang out at Tosche Station, too.” Ward Sutton, cartoonist, “Sutton Impact”: “I would not stop bugging my parents to take me to this movie as soon as possible. The Douglass family has tickets for an all-day marathon of the previous six films before the big debut. “It’s important to me for him to share that experience with me, like I did with my father,” he said. Stanford is prepared, though, if his passion doesn’t resonate with Tate: “If it doesn’t, at least we’ll have a movie date every year or couple of years.” Odds are, Tate will become a fan. The appeal lies in the epic nature of the tale, said Full Sail’s Russell, with its archetypal heroes and hypocrites, buddies and baddies. “This is a story of people figuring out their identity.

Now the 34-year-old designs cute tees, dresses, hoodies and costumes featuring “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” Transformers, Doctor Who and Marvel, too. There’s already a tee featuring Phasma and a raglan with Rey front and center. “There have been fanboys who watched it with their mom, girlfriend or daughter and thanked me for doing this,” she says. “The fangirls who felt ignored and bullied can now step into the spotlight and say, yes, I like ‘Star Wars.’ For so long ‘Star Trek,’ Marvel and ‘Star Wars’ have been treated as boys’ properties. They won’t.” The majority of Irish Star Wars diehards are connected to the Emerald Garrison, a “legion” of home-grown Stormtroopers which performs at charity events and participates in the Invasion convention every year (the most recent, with guest appearances from original cast members, took place in Swords in October).

Spending thousands on Stormtrooper helmets and lightsabres may strike non-Star Wars fans as juvenile and unseemly – naturally, the aficionados do not see it that way at all. But now we need to debunk the myth by stepping forward and letting our voices be heard and celebrated.” We still have work to do, but things are changing.

When they dress up they aren’t just playing make-believe, they are staying true to the kids the used to be – and how can you put a price on that? “I’m going to be at the Cineworld event in my outfit, but I’m not going to the screening that night,” says Ward. “I’m taking my two sons the next day. There are tons of options for girls and women at Disney Store, Target, Lego, Kohl’s –– even Kay Jewelers is carrying “Star Wars”-inspired jewelry. “We were all looking at this situation and saying no, with ‘Star Wars’ we have to change this,” Kathleen Kennedy, producer and president of Lucasfilm, said at a recent summit. “We have to make sure that we create products that are … appealing to both boys and girls.” Sean Ishum, a lifelong “Star Wars” fan and south Kansas City father of 4-year-old quadruplets, says he’s happy to see more inclusion for girls. How can a guy running through the swamp with a muppet on his back compete with a guy who coolly says, ‘I know,’ in response to a declaration of love when he’s about to be frozen in carbonite?” Joan Vorderbruggen, artist, “Made Here” arts coordinator for Hennepin Theatre Trust: “When ‘Star Wars’ came out, I was pretty little with two older brothers who were huge sci-fi dorks. I remember being extremely annoyed at how much they loved it, so I decided I was against it and to this day dismiss it like the emotionally stunted 5-year-old I was. It was the first time I wanted to party down with musically talented aliens.” Michael Sanders, executive director of the Bakken Museum: “Within a couple of weeks of the original release in 1977, almost every game my friends and I played was “Star Wars”-related.

As long as the moons are within a certain radius from the planet where the planet’s gravitational influence is much higher than the stars’—called the Hill Sphere—a sufficiently massive planet can hold on to proportionately smaller moons. Snakes and scorpions remain under the sand to keep themselves cool; thorny devils absorb water into their skin, pyxie frogs hibernate during the summer; squirrels have bushy tails that give them shade anywhere they go; desert beetles condense mist from the air and ingest water…but these are all tiny creatures. Similarly, animals that would be found on our planet would have mechanisms to store water and fat that would enable them to survive a long duration without having to consume more.

On a Tatooine-like planet, the conditions would most likely be too harsh, and diversity too little, for an intelligent human-like species to evolve from unicellular life. Fans have been making pilgrimages here for decades, though the increased presence of the Islamic State network in recent times has put a damper on tourism.

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