Friday A/V Club: The Only Good Star Wars Sequel

No, it isn't The Empire Strikes Back.


OK, OK: So the ASCIImation version of Star Wars is pretty good too.
Simon Jansen

The Internet is abuzz with excited speculations about the next Star Wars movie. This is a little odd, given that pretty much every "next Star Wars movie" in history has been terrible.

I will grant the possibility that my sour feelings about The Empire Strikes Back are colored by 9-year-old Jesse's realization at the end that he would have to wait three years to see how the cliffhanger resolved itself. (When I was nine, three years lasted nearly seven years. Nowadays, of course, three years can pass in about a month.) But even if I accept the popular notion that Empire is pretty good, that still leaves a series of bloated turkeys that are about as entertaining as a 90-minute scrolling text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (Actually, that's pretty much what The Phantom Menace was, right? That and some sort of Rasta Elmo thing.) I'll make an exception for the Star Wars Christmas special, which is more entertaining than all the prequels put together, though not in any ways the creators intended. But beyond that…

No. There is one other exception, a single ray of light that shows it is possible to make a successful Star Wars sequel. In my head canon, it's the only one that exists. From January 1980, four months before The Empire struck theaters, I give you this:

(For past installments of the Friday A/V Club, go here. For another Star Wars/Muppets crossover, go here. For a more respectful take on Star Wars, talk to Suderman.)