For me this is one of those which-child-is-your-favorite kinds of questions. I would say Empire for its weight, richness and well-roundedness. I would say A New Hope for its iconic resonance. I would say Return for the Ewoks (actually, while most of my friends hate the Ewoks, I always liked them, thus giving punch to Lucas’ claim that kids like Jar Jar). If I had to pick one film to watch right now, I’d say Empire. I think that Empire was the pinnacle of space opera sci-fi in which all the elements came together: writing (both in character and plot), effects, production design and on and on. But I still would hedge before dubbing it my favorite, mainly because I am so fascinated by what went into making the first Star Wars possible: the innovation, the determination, the vision. For me the process is as admirable (and sometimes moreso) than the product. So as much as I’d like to play devil’s advocate to Josh’s rabid fanboy devotion, I have to side with him: A New Hope gets my vote.
New Hope is my favorite. When I was a kid, I liked Empire the best, because I also liked the Empire better than the Rebellion (the Empire had cooler uniforms and no girls on their team). But as I’ve gotten older (and gotten over the whole Little Rascals He-Man Woman Haters Club thing), my opinions have changed and, now, it’s not even close. New Hope is my favorite. It was new and it was old. It took archetypal stories and archetypal characters and made them into something people had never seen before. It was fun, imaginative, and exciting. And it was gutsy. Make no mistake; the sequels do an excellent job of expanding the universe, heightening the drama, and finishing the story. But even without such essentials as Yoda, the Imperial March, Vader’s big reveal, and (of course) Boba Fett, Episode IV: A New Hope has everything I could ever want in a Star Wars movie.
So what about YOU? What’s YOUR favorite Star Wars movie?