Give Me Those Star Wars 37: Find Your Joy… in Sequels?!?!?!

One year after the Star Wars sequel trilogy concluded, Give Me Those Star Wars is back with a brand new, somewhat fresh-eyed look at the first five movies of the Disney era. That's right, Ryan Daly and Omar Uddin revisit THE FORCE AWAKENS, ROGUE ONE, THE LAST JEDI, SOLO, and THE RISE OF SKYWALKER with the aim of spotlighting what's good, even great about these five additions to the legendary saga. You heard that right! And after finding their joy, Ryan and Omar rank all eleven movies Star Wars movies, and provide their Top 5 favorite entries in various categories.

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21 responses to “Give Me Those Star Wars 37: Find Your Joy… in Sequels?!?!?!

  1. So the main idea to take away from this show is “turn off your brain and you’ll like these movies?”

    I can do that. I love Highlander.

    There’s something to like in most of these films. Personally, I wish Lord and Miller had been allowed to go Lord and Miller on the Solo film.

    And Ryan’s idea of having Rogue 1 be about Leia is a gem.

    Highlander is still better, though.

  2. MY RANKINGS (really, this is the only list that matters):
    1. ESB – A+ – gets no better. Real character development. The best direction. Never dragged. Ends like life: incomplete and sad.
    2. Star Wars (OG) – A – Han shot first. Drags at the end. So much ADR… SO SO much ADR…. Also, wasted story real estate on the lightsaber, which never pays off in this movie.
    3. TFA – B+ – Nice remix/redux. Doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s like a nice wooly sweater. Rey and Kylo Ben make this thing work.
    4. The Last Jedi – B- -So much bloated fat in this mess of a movie, but the high points are really good. And i love that Kylo Ren wanted to burn it all down – that’s how I feel!
    5. Solo – B- It’s like a McDonald’s burger. It’s fine. It’s not the best thing on the menu, but whatever, it’s there.
    6. Rogue One – C – I mean, it’s a movie. It has 3 acts. There are people in it. It happened.
    7. Return of the Jedi – D – Only the Luke stuff is worthwhile. And it really is a mess (and a miss!)
    8. The Rise of Skywalker – F – What a shitstorm. Spent so much time undoing its previous installment it leaves no room for anything good.
    9. Phantom Menace – F – stilted; bad acting; bloated; kills off the only promising new character in the new trilogy. What’s the central problem? Taxes, right?
    10 – Revenge of the Sith – F -all the ingredients of a very strong, emotional story. Instead, its baker doesn’t know how to work an oven and we get a mess of a meal.
    11. Attack of the Clones – F – To quote Dale in King of the Hill, “Nobody cares, Bill.” Zero investment in these characters or their stories. Only Obi-Wan PI was interesting, and that dies off quickly.

  3. Great discussion, and I’m glad Ryan is a better place as a Star Wars fan. As I said the last time Omar was on, I don’t get all the hate for the sequels. My biggest criticism of them comes down to Lucasfilm top brass, probably laying this at Kathleen Kennedy, for NOT having a plan mapped out for the three films. I think a little Fiege-esuqe planning and desire to follow through would have left a lot of folks with a better taste for these. But I really enjoy the series overall. And I’m glad to see Ryan likes Solo. My family walked out of that film really pleased with it. I agree it’s a more well-rounded film than the sequels, not as many highs, but not as many lows. Just entertaining and fun.

    1. Star Wars: I gotta go with the gee whiz fun of this one, even though I acknowledge ESB is probably the better film. I have flipped my ranking here accordingly.
    2. The Empire Strikes Back: One of the best sequels ever made, hands down. And perhaps superior to the original.
    3. The Force Awakens: This movie made my kids huge Star Wars fans, and it’s something we got to enjoy together, and for that I will always have a real soft spot for it.
    4. Solo: Like I said, just a fun film!
    5. The Rise of Skywalker: I don’t think Star Wars ever really cared much about logic, and Palpatine coming back doesn’t bother me at all. He’s a super villain! It’s what they do. Rey’s reveal as his granddaughter is no more hokey than Lucas doubling down and making Leia another Skywalker.
    6. Return of the Jedi: I like this one quite a bit. It feels a bit flat in places, but it feels like a good ending. Love all the Luke sequences!
    7. The Last Jedi: I have mixed feelings on this one. I admire it for being bold and taking chances. And I don’t hold Luke’s characterization against Johnson. What else was he supposed to do with it. But it is a bit of a buzzkill after FA.
    8. Rogue One: I really need to rewatch this one. I enjoyed it, but I agree with Ryan, the characters didn’t make a dent with me, really. I liked the droid more than the humans. CGI Cushing was too much for this Hammer fan. I know his voice, face and mannerisms too well. Took me out. Great end, though!
    9. Revenge of the Sith: I still think this is the best of the prequels. I was into the Anakin/Obi Wan fight, and thought it was done well, myself. Palpatine is great until he becomes the Wicked Witch of the West too.
    10. The Phantom Menace: The Duel of the Fates saves this one.
    11. Attack of the Clones: I have a hard time remembering much of this film. I think that says a lot.

    I’m totally down for a Leia Disney + series or movie. Millie Bobby Brown would be perfect.


      1. Yes. I’d only add that allowing multiple auteurs to drive the story (in different directions) was unwise. A trilogy driven by a single auteur might have worked.

  4. Enjoyed your discussion of the sequel era movies, and found myself agreeing with a lot of the points you both made about each movie. Here’s my own brief run down of them.

    Force Awakens: I don’t dislike the prequel movies as much as many fans of the original trilogy do, but I do believe Force Awakens breathed new life into the franchise. I particularly enjoyed the chemistry between our new heroes.

    Rogue One: Enjoyed this one as a call back to the days of Rebel Alliance vs Empire, which filled my imagination for much of my childhood. It was good to see Red and Gold Leader again.

    Last Jedi: My second favorite Star Wars movie next to Empire. Maybe it’s because of where I’m at in my own life now (i.e., former Jedi Master living in self-imposed exile), but Luke’s story arc in this film really speaks to me.

    Solo: A fun space adventure. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    Rise of Skywalker: The first time I’ve ever considered walking out of a theater in the middle of a movie. The second time I watched it, I was able to “turn off my brain” and enjoy the movie for what it was.

    Finally, my idea for a series based on a sequel era character would be one about Lor San Tekka, set during the time of the Empire. The series would follow his adventures as he explored the galaxy and sought out the lost secrets of the Jedi.

      1. I admit to having a real fascination with the character, despite his limited screen time. I keep hoping he’ll be featured in a comic book or novel.

  5. Great mini episode guys. Perhaps you could do a deeper dive later?

    I could hear the cables creeping on Ryan’s suspension of negativity when he discussed TLJ.

    My order (the correct order) is:

    1. Star Wars
    2. ESB
    3. Rogue One
    4. RotJ
    5. Force Awakens
    6. Solo
    7. TLJ
    8. Whatever the last one was called
    9. Attack of the Clones
    10. Phantom Menace
    11. Revenge of the Shit

    TLJ has some of the greatest SW moments and some of the worst. And I like every Luke bit in it if you’re thinking that’s my problem.

    When are we getting GIVE ME THOSE TREMORS?

  6. the only sequence I’d add as an honorable mention (because it wasn’t part of the film franchise) was that new fan made Obi-Wan vs Darth Vader lightsaber battle for Ep. 4. With the Vader sequence at the end of “Rogue One”, I can’t watch “A New Hope” anymore without inserting that fan-filmed fight! So no, it wouldn’t qualify for this list per se, but damn it’s a good watch!

      1. Thanks, Neil. I’d heard of this fan film, but never tracked it down before. I loved it, and my daughter felt it greatly improved upon the original.

        On a related note, I think a Top 10 Star Wars Fan Films episode of GMTSW would be interesting.

  7. Can you believe this is my first time listening to this show? I had grown tired of Star Wars in recent years, especially after the way the fandom had become completely toxic and podcasters I used to enjoy listening to either dropped talking about it altogether or did nothing but complain about Kathleen Kennedy. So this was not only a breath of fresh air, I now want to go back and listen to the others.

    My rankings, btw? Well, keeping in mind that I hate ranking them to begin with …

    1 (tie). Star Wars/Empire
    3. Last Jedi
    4. Jedi
    5. Rogue One
    6. (tie) Solo/Sith
    8. Force Awakens
    9. Rise
    10 (tie). Phantom Menace/Clones

    Looking forward to more listening!

  8. I won’t go into my rankings or favorites because they pretty much line up with yours.

    The funny thing that occurred to me was the hard reaction that everyone had about Poe being a Spice Runner! Han Solo was a Spice Runner! That’s why he was in trouble with Jabba! He was running a shipment of Spice, He got caught by an Imperial cruiser and he dumped his shipment to avoid arrest! The money he owed Jabba was for the lost shipment.

    Another thing that bothered me was the Anakin killing younglings. There is no redemption for that! I know they were trying to show just how evil Anakin had become but when you show him walking calmly into a room full of little kids and igniting his lightsaber, Well I don’t care how many evil Sith Lords you throw down the shaft! you’re not going to be forgiven!I would have preferred seeing Anakin fighting grown Jedi, and after he kills someone like the Librarian (Jocasta Nu?) He finds a clone coming out of the room where the younglings were with a smoking blaster. Anakin rage kills the clone for destroying the younglings but another adult Jedi attacks him believing he has killed the younglings and he’s so busy fighting him that when someone else attacks him with a lightsaber after the fight is done, he lashes out blindly and cuts down a teenage padawan (the one Yoda finds.)

  9. This was so good, it didn’t seem like 3 hours. Well done. And I got name checked, which was nice. I agree entirely with Ryan about Rogue One, a great cover version but one that left me thinking it was time for me to move on from Star Wars as I wasn’t interested in constant nostalgia porn. And then, I’m in agreement with Omar – The Last Jedi made me a fan again. At last, Lucasfilm had cast off the slavish devotion to the past and was going boldly in a new direction.

    And then Rise Of Skywalker happened!

    Nice to see Solo getting some love though. It’s the one that most captures the golly-gee-whiz, pew pew, space opera of Star Wars since ‘77 and I’d totally be down with a Disney + follow up – even with the caveat that the evil empire is really Disney!

    Take care guys and don’t leave it so long until the next one.

  10. Fantastic episode. Lots of great discussion, and as with the VH show, Omar seems to be reading my mind most of the time.

    I’ve been a rabid Star Wars fan since about 1980, but I must admit that on balance I prefer the sequel trilogy to the original. Comes down to characters, really. I was a Han and Chewie kid, never really connected with Luke and wasn’t really interested in his journey. Rey, on the other hand, really spoke to me, partly as a dad of a daughter. But she just had a lot more nuance, and I found her instantly compelling – so despite being a long-term SW fan, this was the first time I was directly emotionally involved with the lead character, which it turns out makes a massive difference. Similarly, I found Kylo a much more engaging character than Vader ever was. And whenever Ridley and Driver were on screen together, any other grips I have about those movies just melt away. Absolute gold.

    Anyway. A list.

    1. Empire – Of course.
    2. Last Jedi – The most ambitious of all SW movies, and sometimes marred by an excess of intention. But the highs are astronomical. Everything from the moment Rey arrives on Snoke’s ship onwards is peak Star Wars for me, visually, thematically, dramatically. Absolutely love it.
    3. Rogue One – Love this one. Incredible cinematography, an intense, urgent story, great action and yes, all the feels.
    4. The Force Awakens – Yes, a retread of the original in some ways, but with more engaging characters. The storytelling is a strange combination of incredibly subtle and horribly on the nose, but the quieter moments some of my favourite scenes in the franchise. Plus the absolute best lightsaber duel in Star Wars.
    5. Star Wars – The original, a foundational movie experience in my life, and I adore it. But honestly, I find it hard to disentangle my nostalgia from how good it actually is. Perhaps it should be much higher. or maybe lower. No way of telling.
    6. Rise of Skywalker – Yes, it’s chaotic bollocks. But it’s entertaining chaotic bollocks and on a purely visual level, it looks amazing. Ridley and Driver carry much of this movie, even when the script doesn’t. I laughed, I cried, I cheered. I was along for the ride.
    7. Solo – An enjoyable romp, but marred by a serious case of prequelitis. Far too much annoying and superfluous back story, the naming of Han being the absolute worst example.
    8. Return of the Jedi – Some great moments in this, and I loved it as a kid, but it doesn’t hang together well these days.  
    9. Revenge of the Sith – Easily the best of the prequels, by some margin, but still pretty poor. The final lightsaber fight makes me want to chew glass.
    10. Attack of the Clones – Tawdry nonsense, but way better than Ep I. I enjoy the noir stuff and the Jango Fett fight.
    11. Phantom Menace – Absolutely dire. Gets worse every time I see it. Egregious, tedious, sluggish, awful. Bollocks to this movie.

  11. What a fun (and mammoth) episode, gentlemen! I always enjoy hearing Omar talk about Star Wars and it’s great to hear that this episode made you feel better about the sequels, Ryan. To me, Star Wars is the epitome of finding your joy. I certainly don’t want to force anyone to enjoy Star Wars, but I’m sad when I hear the vitriol that some fans have with the movies. I agree with Omar; let’s keep this thing going! I’m definitely interested in seeing new movies but I think they would be best served if they weren’t done like the Marvel way of putting one or two movies out a year. I would be very happy if they stuck to a movie every 3-7 years. It would feel more special that way. Now, I understand, Disney bought Star Wars to make money and my plan does not help with that, but, that’s what I would like to see.

    I agree with Chris Franklin on Rise of Skywalker. Palpatine is a super-villain! The biggest in the galaxy! I know this gets pooped on a lot but I actually liked the Palpatine reveal. I understand it creates a problem with what just was told to us in the Last Jedi, but my jaw dropped when I first saw the Force lightning coming from Rey’s fingers and the reveal of her lineage made me have a huge grin on my face. I figured he was the one that put the clones into play for his grand plan so it seems likely he would have a back up plan for himself. In fact, it makes me wonder, maybe one of those clones was Rey’s grandfather and not the original Palpatine? Ooooh, I’ve got so many questions now……….

    I’m not going to try and change anyone’s mind, but the older I get, the more I’m really enjoying the prequels. Watching them with my kids and seeing the joy in their faces when they see Jar Jar or get they excited for the big battles in Revenge of the Sith is great. However, I do agree with what Omar said that if you have to rely on a cartoon series to make your movie better, it’s not a good movie…….. but having watched the cartoon, it does make it better! So I guess I’m one of those fans.

    Omar, I’ve never heard anyone make a comparison between David Lee Roth and Ewoks but I’m all for it! A little DOES go a long way!

    This was so fun and I would love to hear your take on the Mandalorian when season 2 is done. Until then, keep up the great work!

  12. I saw Star Wars in 1977 when I was Not Yet six Years Old. Darth Vader had an immediate impact on me. His entrance onto the Rebel ship was intimidating and powerful. He just strides right into the hallway and his presence is so menacing that one of his troopers who was checking on a fallen buddy immediately stands straight up at attention rather than suffer the consequences of appearing weak in front of his boss!
    Of course, even with James Earl jones voice sharing scenes with Prowse’s physical presence, there are scenes where Prowse gives Vader his menacing nature. When Vader and Leia face off after she’s been captured, you can really see the underlying rage Vader is feeling in his gestures as he calls her out as a part of the rebel alliance and a traitor. His backhand motion he makes when he yells take her away really sells the anger as much as the tone of Jones’ voice! (If he didn’t need her to find the rebel base, He’d probably have killed her in that very moment!) The most dominating scene in the original Star Wars though is when Tarkin is threatening Leia with the destruction of Alderaan and he makes her back up against the immovable wall that is Prowse and he grips he shoulder so she doesn’t move from that spot!
    A day or so after I got a Darth Vader Poster that hung on the wall above my bed for years!
    (I recently re-aquired a copy of it and again it’s hanging on my wall!)

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