Everybody everywhere I've looked is still ranking Empire over Force Awakens, however, many are ranking it just behind Empire. I watched Empire right before going to the theater last night. It's not better! It's 35 years old and yes that matters! I'm 34 now, but as a youngling I wore a storm trooper helmet to my Grandfather's funeral (I thought he was sleeping) and mimicked Darth Vader's breathing all day when spoken to, so don't think I'm not a huge understanding fan of the original trilogy. All I'm saying is, if you are ranking a movie made this year right behind a movie made over 3 decades ago, the benefits of modern movie making ought to nudge the new comer into first place alone.
To frame it another way, imagine that this latest installment was made by George Lucas just 5 or 10 years after Return of the Jedi, would you easily deem it the top film in the series then?
If you are ranking Empire behind Force Awakens what is your basis? An epic reveal does not a better film make. Many of the best elements from the original trilogy are in the new film, but done in a fresh supped-up way, with new interesting characters and developments in the saga. I realized at two different points during the film that my jaw hurt from me unknowingly clenching it whilst being enthralled by the storytelling.
The acting this go around is superior to Empire. In fact, the only acting I've seen complained about came from Carrie Fisher who did seem to have lost a step. The directing of the new film is arguably better too, but again that may just be a result of modern film making techniques and budget. It certainly looks 100% better! It's very-highly realistic in both its use of practical effects and CGI. Hell, it might as well have been real aliens and space ships as far as I could tell the vast majority of the time.
First people bitched that the prequels were too different from the originals, now they are complaining that new one is too much like the old ones. Spoiler Alert! Entertainment Weekly writer Chris Nashawaty complains that the "more lethal Death Star and the Rebels' plan to blow it up is pretty much cribbed from the same playbook they used back in 1977." Watch the video "Everything Wrong With Return of the Jedi" below and you decide which film rehashes the 1977 formula more and in a less original way! Not to mention the new film makes a funny joke about how there has to be some way to blow the thing up in reference to the uber Death Star. The Star Wars is too much like Star Wars argument is silly and Kevin Smith addresses it in his excellent review. You got what you asked for... now just admit it already... THE BEST STAR WARS MOVIE EVER!
Thank you J.J. Abrams and God bless you George Lucas! Yes, without Lucas this film wouldn't have existed so he gets credit for it too, but Empire should not win because of this either.
Everything Wrong With The Empire Strikes Back by B4BollywoodMovies
Honest Trailers - Star Wars by ScreenJunkies