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Immersion and Star Wars movies

Submitted by Joel on Mon, 12/18/2017 - 16:02

People enjoy movies for very different reasons, just like any other form of art or storytelling. Personally, I enjoy being immersed in a story, so I feel like I'm a part of it. The drawback, though, is when I'm snapped out of the movie, whether it be because of something in the movie or something in the environment (like someone talking or kicking the seat behind me), my enjoyment of the movie really suffers. Obviously, this is much worse when it's the movie itself making me realize that I'm sitting in a chair and not sitting in an X-Wing. 

When it comes to Star Wars movies, I rate them based on how immersed I get while watching the movie. Here is my ranking as of watching The Last Jedi:Star-Wars-memes Yoda.jpg

  1. Empire Strikes Back (Ep5)
  2. A New Hope (Ep4)
  3. Rogue One (R1)
  4. Return of the Jedi (Ep6)
  5. The Last Jedi (Ep8)
  6. The Force Awakens (Ep7)
  7. Attack of the Clones (Ep2)
  8. Revenge of the Sith (Ep3)
  9. The Phantom Menace (Ep1)


This ranking, though, doesn't do justice to my real opinions on the Star Wars movies. With just looking at the rankings, one can't fully understand how much I like Empire and dislike Phantom Menace. So, I will give my ratings for each movie from -10 to +10. Why such a ranking system? I don't care for ambiguity when it comes to rating things. Having a 0 as 'average' makes things very clear as compared to, say, a five-star system. Can I give zero stars to a movie I hate, or does it start at 1? Who knows?! IT'S ANARCHY!!!!

Ahem. So, my ratings for the Star Wars movies are as follows:

  1. Empire Strikes Back (9)
  2. A New Hope (9)
  3. Rogue One (8)
  4. Return of the Jedi (4)
  5. The Last Jedi (3)
  6. The Force Awakens (2)
  7. Attack of the Clones (-5)
  8. Revenge of the Sith (-5)
  9. The Phantom Menace (-8)

Star-Wars-memes Hate.jpgSo, now I'm guessing I've already made about 90% of the people reading this mad at me, which is fine... because as I said, we all like movies for different reasons. To me, there are not many scenes that pull me out of Ep4, Ep5, or R1. Sadly, there are more scenes since the other movies were released, but I'll get to that later. First, I want to talk about what pulls me out of a movie. It could be mistakes in shooting, like the stormtrooper hitting his head on a door. It might be something I don't find logical, which I realize is subjective, but an example would be Han and Luke being so close to Leia on the Death Star. Finally, there is the issue of internal consistency problems. Again, this can be subjective, but an example is that Leia notices Luke's small stormtrooper size, but other stormtroopers don't notice. 

These can be small irritants or big looming errors. The bigger the issue, the more it pulls me out and the less I like the movie. A stormtrooper hitting his head I actually enjoy, but it does take me out of the movie for a second. Sometimes movies intentionally pull you out, like during the opening scrawl. It can be a useful addition to a story, and immersion really doesn't start until after the opening scrawl in the Star Wars movies, so I don't count it against them.

Bethany and I are currently planning to watch all of the Star Wars movies and discuss them. We might even post the discussion on YouTube. That will likely refresh my memory on what pulls me out of the movies, so I might write more about this in the future. Until then, here are some quick annoyances from the movies:

  • Episode 4
    • Ben talks about having never remembering owning a droid. This is an example of how the prequels damaged the integrity of the original trilogy.
    • Leia comments on Luke's height, but many troopers saw Luke and no one questioned it. It's minor, but it's something I notice.
    • The trooper bonks his head.
    • The Leia/Luke kiss - an example of how Episode 6 damages Ep4&5.
  • Episode 5
    • Leia/Luke kiss again. Lucas claims he always planned on them being siblings, but I find that hard to believe with scenes like this. I really believe 4&5 (and now Rogue 1) would be much better without any of the rest of the movies. 
    • Some people complain about Yoda, but not me. He's perfect in this movie.
  • Episode 6
    • I don't mind the concept of the Ewoks. But they defeat a better trained/equipped army. It's just silly.
    • Chewie's Tarzan yell.
    • Luke and Leia brother/sister. This was just so unnecessary and hurts 4&5. 
    • Another Death Star. Again, this wasn't necessary. 
    • The Emperor sets a trap, but gives out the actual way to destroy the new Death Star? Huh?
  • Episode 1Star-Wars-memes Jar Jar.jpg
    • Droids that Jedi can't defeat? They seriously have to run from just a few of them? 
    • Why do they split up in the hangar? It's a planetary invasion! What if one lands in Iowa and the other in Australia?! But 'luckily' they immediately find each other.
    • Jar Jar Binks. How did anyone think this was a good idea?
    • The planet core? As in going through the planet? Science says they would be crushed from the pressure.
    • What is the point of the blockade? Naboo is a lush planet with tons of resources. What could they possibly need from the Trade Federation?
    • The blockade is so easily avoided and R2 shouldn't even be in this movie.
    • Jar Jar is still on screen and is the worst character ever. 
    • Anakin as a child and Padme as a teen... eww. It's just so weird and creepy. Lucas has some issues. He looks like he's eight and she looks 20. 
    • Woah boy, I could probably go on forever on this. Every scene with Jar Jar is just awful. 
  • Episode 2
    • Anakin is creepy with Padme. Where's the chemistry? They're supposed to be falling in love.
    • Anakin is just an annoying character. Is he supposed to be the protagonist? How are Anakin and Obi-wan friends? He says in Ep4 that they were good friends. They sure don't appear that way.
    • What is this assassination plan? It's the worst plan ever! She has windows everywhere! Just shoot her!
    • How did Fett know they would catch the assassin there? Why didn't he kill the Jedi instead? They had no idea he was there and could have shot both of them.
    • I could go on and on...
  • Episode 3
    • I thought Obi-wan and Organa fought together in the Clone Wars! No they didn't!
    • The seduction of Anakin is just awful. He had a vision and doesn't want her to die so... kill everyone? 
    • How can Padme die?! Leia said she remembers her mother! (And there's no way she was talking about her adopted mother...)
    • Why would you wipe the memory of C3PO?! Oh, because he shouldn't have been in the movies in the first place cuz it makes no sense UNLESS you wipe his memory?! Awful
    • I could go on and on and on...
  • Episode 7
    • You have the person who had the map and you kill him instantly, then you get the other guy who had the map, but you capture him? And you can instantly get the info from him that the map is in a droid?! 
    • This is WAY too much like Episode 4.
    • Seriously, the map to Luke gets on the Falcon? This is unnecessary. Han should have been introduced in a much cooler way.
    • What victory did the rebels win at the end of Ep6? The First Order makes no sense after a successful rebellion. It's just still the Empire. And still the rebellion. This is a massively missed opportunity to have another aspect of Star Wars shown. At least the prequels were set in a different stage of Star Wars. This is just more of the same.
  • Rogue 1
    • Why the cameos? They're unnecessary. If they add to the movie, fine, but the criminals from Mos Eisley just walking by like that? 
    • There really isn't a lot that takes me out of this movie. It was pretty good!
  • Episode 8
    • The set up of the chase makes little sense. Pass them and flank them. 
    • The 'reach out' scene is just silly.
    • Those little cutesy animals that Chewie eats. Why are you sad that he's eating your friend? Weren't you sad when he caught him, killed him, ripped off the head and feathers, etc.? Now that he's about to take a bite, NOW you're sad? The whole scene was unnecessary, and in a movie this long, they needed to cut way more.
    • Ships that small don't have cloaking devices, from what I was told...
    • They CAN scan for cloaked ships and target them? Why not ALWAYS flip the switch that says, "Include cloaked ships"?


That's just a taste of what brings me out of the Star Wars movies. For me, I have a love of Star Wars based on what I find to be some of the best movies I've seen, Ep4&5 and now Rogue 1. So it pains me to have something so amazing and dear to me tarnished the way they are. So much time and money go into these movies, it just shocks me that no one speaks up about plot holes or silly jokes in a serious movie like this. Sure, they are just movies, so I shouldn't take them so seriously. What do you think? What is your ranking of the Star Wars movies?