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‘Star Wars’ Revisited: Prologue

Copyright Disney/Lucasfilm

Boy, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Short version: Right about the time I launched this blog last year, my life got very complicated and very busy. Combined with a sustained mental funk late in the year, any urge to write mostly vanished.

But things have turned around somewhat, and I finally have the time for a series I’ve had kicking around my mind for more than a year now: A personal re-evaluation of the “Star Wars” saga.

As I said in my inaugural post, “Star Wars” is my movie touchstone. While I had watched many movies before being exposed to “Star Wars,” it’s the series that began my deep love of movies, and I’ve returned to the movies many times over the years. This past October I wrote a piece analyzing the history of “Star Wars” fandom (one of the few things I wrote all last year), and that got me thinking again about rewatching the series in its entirety. The original plan was to do this ahead of “The Force Awakens” — yes, I was thinking about this project as far back as 2015 — but now I can include that entry as part of the series. I will not be including “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” as that movie is too recent for any sort of reappraisal and isn’t available for home viewing anyway.

So, here’s the plan: Starting on Monday, Jan. 9, I will watch one episode per day and post a blog that day. The tentative outline is to include a few thoughts prior to each viewing, then take notes as the movie plays before compiling everything into a running movie diary along with a postscript.

I will be watching the movies in the order of their theatrical release, meaning I’ll be starting with the original trilogy (“Star Wars”/”A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”) before circling back to the prequels (“The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith”) and then jumping ahead to Episode VII (“The Force Awakens”). Why start in the middle? For one, that’s the order in which I viewed the movies. More importantly, the prequels and “The Force Awakens” are all responses to the first three movies, including thematic, visual and dialogue callbacks. To fully appreciate and understand how the “Star Wars” franchise has evolved over time, you have to look at the movies as they came out, not in the order of series chronology

These posts are not going to be reviews of the movies, strictly speaking. This doesn’t mean there won’t be analysis and discussion of the films, rather that it will be couched in different terms. I don’t need to tell you whether or not to see the “Star Wars” movies; they’re some of the most beloved movies of all time. This is about looking back at “Star Wars” as a whole and how different elements of the movies affect me now versus how they affected me on first viewing.

That’s all for now (consider this the opening title crawl that sets the stage, complete with the necessary John Williams accompaniment). Join me on Monday as we start this trip back through the galaxy far, far away.