I was Eleven years old when the first Star Wars movie came out and I think I saw it upwards of 40 times in the theater during the summer of 1977. I was able to go to the movies by myself (well, with friends but you get my meaning) so I discovered it completely by accident when my friendsand I were sitting under a tree reading comic books. One of the guys, Dave, mentioned this STAR WARS thing that had just come out. He was a big fan of Star Trek so we all dismissed it as being a Star Trek ripoff but eventually we came around and we loved it.
Three years later the sequel came out and many have argued that THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK was even better than the first one. I don't think it is, but it's close.
I have friends today, grown men and women, who are obsessed with STAR WARS to this day. I myself am not-- I'm no longer Eleven years old. If that sounds harsh it's meant to because I re-watched these first two movies over the Memorial Day weekend. Up until recently Memorial Day weekend was the time of year Star Wars would come out. Now Disney is putting out 2 of these things a year-- although the returns on SOLO: WHATEVER ITS SUBTITLED Episode 6 is underperforming expectations so we may see a scaling back of new ones.
Anyway, I rewatched the first two movies in the series and I came to realize 2 things I never noticed before;
1- STAR WARS is better than THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. It tells a complete story, because when they made it they had no idea there would be any sequels. It's a straight adventure story right out of comic book level writings of the period. I'm not saying EMPIRE is bad, hell I ROOT for Darth Vader for cryin' out loud. It's more like I'd give STAR WARS a solid 8.0 while EMPIRE gets a 7.5.
The biggest mistake they made with EMPIRE (besides connecting Luke to Vader in a silly Hollywood fashion) was they made Darth Vader a psycho. He kills his OWN men. I get what they're saying-- he's menacing. He almost kills a fellow Empire Officer in the first one, but Peter Cushing stops him. Vader as head honcho isn't as good as Vader as Number Two. The Emperor is also pretty stupid.
2- The movies are vastly over-rated. The dialogue is clunky and the acting varies from excellent (Cushing and Obi Wan Kenobi as played by Alec Guiness) to overly hammy (Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher) to kind of weak (Mark Hammill).
I remember my mom telling me in the Fall of '77 that she read an article that the most popular haircut kids were getting now was "The Luke" which made me laugh because Luke, in my mind, was a whiney loser, Han was so much cooler and Darth Vader was cooler than Han.
So I'd rank STAR WARS as #1 and EMPIRE as #2. If you don't like that Empire ends on a cliffhanger watch the first fifteen minutes of RETURN OF THE JEDI and then turn it off because there's NO NEED to go any further.
The rest of the movies are not worth mentioning. I've not seen the last few-- I stopped with FORCE AWAKENS which was an idiotic retread of the first Star Wars movie with forced diversity and a total lack of logic (you can't just get behind the wheel of the Falcon and fly it like Han Solo-- never mind not even noticing this ship is sitting in a junk yard next to your house).