After seeing Episode VII, we rewatched the previous films. Some thoughts...
There may be spoilers for Episodes I through VI below! ...but none for Episode VII.
Episode V: I would say that the conventional wisdom about this movie is this: Lucas’ weaknesses are writing and directing. Being able to afford to hire better writers and a better director makes Empire a better movie.
In the past I have cited this as the best of the series or vacillated between it and Episode IV. This time around, though—as I said before—I think IV is better than V.
The timeline seems off. Either the Falcon spends way too much time running from the empire, or Luke spends much too little time on Dagobah.
If you’re going to have hyperdrive to deal with the problem of interstellar travel, then you can’t have slower-than-light interstellar travel. If the first movie had glossed over interstellar travel, that would’ve been fine, but it didn’t. This movie not only embraces hyperdrive by making it a plot point, it also misses the implication. It would’ve been plausibility-stretching enough for Bespin to be close enough to Hoth (perhaps in the same system), but throwing the Anoat system in there as well... sigh
This viewing, Han came off as creepy to me rather than whatever the intention was.
I’m not sure if this was true before, but this time, I was constantly seeing that Yoda is a muppet. The scenes on Dagobah felt like a muppet movie. For good or ill. Probably both.
The first time I saw this movie, I assumed Vader lied. This time around, it feels like the entire movie is aimed towards that reveal. Like there’s no way it could be a lie.
When Yoda gives the reasons for why he won’t train Luke, he reminded me of a rabbi who turns a convert away three times. This scene isn’t really about whether he will train Luke. How could he not? Rather, this is a lesson for Luke.
If you take the things Yoda and Obiwan tell Luke at face value, they end up being very wrong. But they’re not stating facts. They’re expressing their fears. Yoda himself tells us in another movie that, “Fear is the path to the dark side.” Interesting that, in this scene, Yoda and Obiwan are afraid, and Luke isn’t.