Today’s article is a guest post by Pez Minotaur. You can check out his old LiveJournal here, but these days he just writes an article for the Big Bad Blog once every few months.
Today he looks at Star Wars. Pez’s opinions are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the blog.
I am a big fan of science fiction, and tend to enjoy most science fiction. I feel that statement is not redundant because we all know people who use being a fan of science fiction as an excuse to hate most science fiction. Whether or not science fiction is good or bad tends to have little effect on whether or not I enjoy it. Sometimes bad science fiction can be a lot of fun.
All that was a lead up to my next confession, I am a Star Wars fan. I can say unashamed that I enjoy watching all six Star Wars films, and yes there are six. We can’t exclude films from the franchise just because they disappointed us. For anyone reading this at home, whose blood pressure is going up after reading the starting of this paragraph, I have some homework for you. I did something similar to this on a ski vacation many years ago.
This is a warm up round. It is good to stretch before exercise. Also coincidentally this is also part of the NASA management training program. Seriously, Wikipedia said so.
Step two, now that you are warmed up, watch Star Wars Episodes I, II, and III, doing the same thing. Point out all the bad writing, bad science, and if you wish, bad acting. At this point if you wanted to you can start keeping some kind of score but it isn’t necessary.
Step three is the important part. Now that you have built up all this hostility watch Star Wars Episodes IV, V, and VI. You have to let yourself go and allow yourself to mock a childhood icon, but it won’t be hard because you prepared for it. Once you start pointing out all of the bad writing, bad acting, and bad science in them you will
realize two things. First they never were that great, they were good and fun to watch, but not worth of the esteem you held them too.
Second you will realize that when compared back to back the prequel trilogy isn’t that bad.
I do realize that I have just asked you to watch 8 movies, and if we assume an average of about 2 hours that is 16 hours. So you should break it up over a long weekend or something, but it is important to watch all 8 movies within a relatively short time span otherwise you lose your critical momentum.
Now everything I have said so far is not what I wanted to talk about. All of that was to set up how I quantifiably and dispassionately rated the Star Wars movies so I could answer a question.
Who was the coolest Jedi?
Here is how the ranking was arrived at. The first criterion is how many movies the character appears in, a number between 1 and 6. The second criterion is in how many of those appearances was the character cool, another number between 0 and the number of appearances. The number off cool appearances is divided by the total number of appearances to determine their cool percent. Then you take this list and put it into order twice. The first time based on the number of cool appearances, and then assign each character a rank. The second time based on the cool percent, and again assign each character a rank. Take these two ranks and added them together, a number theoretically between 2 and something much higher. Finally take your list of characters and rank them based on this sum to give you an accurately weighted list of how cool your favourite Jedi are. I did this and got this result.
The definitive number one was Obi Wan Kenobi. He was the only character in the franchise to have six appearances and always be cool.
Second place was a four way tie between, Yoda, Darth Vader, The Emperor, and Mace Windu. All very cool guys.
Third place is a tie between Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul. Also cool dudes, but lost points for only having one appearance in the series.
Fourth, fifth and sixth places are filled out with Count Dooku, Luke Skywalker, and Anakin Skywalker respectively. Now it is important to note I prepared this list twice. One time with Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader scored together, and a second time scoring them separately. I liked it a bit better scoring them separately, the alternative brings Vader down two spots and Anakin up two where they meet in fourth place. Also although Luke Skywalker does appear in Episode III he is a baby and cannot be judged and either being cool or not. Hence he is only credited with 3 appearances. However further analysis has revealed that if you do making his total appearances 4, he was still only cool once so his rank does not change.
Disagree that Episodes I-III are that good? That Episodes IV-VI are that bad? With the Jedi Cool Metric?
Let us know in the comments!