Having absolutely no experience with Star Wars other than familiarity with the icon phrase “Luke I am your father” spoken by the most well-known villain in the galaxy: Darth Vader, YouTuber VivReacts dives deep into the Star Wars universe and watches the films for the very first time. Created by film legend George Lucas, Star Wars took off to stardom in 1977 with the release of its first film and would continue to entertain, excite and inspire generations of fans to this day. As suggested by other viewers, she watches the films in release order and is intrigued to learn more about this new world.
Is there a Star Wars guide to all the different species that exist in this world?
Beginning the series with Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), the YouTuber takes notes of all the different types of characters and species that are being introduced to the universe. They all look so different, have different sounding names and it's hard to keep track of who is who and what is what, says the YouTuber, who wonders if there is some sort of guide book listing the inhabitants of this new universe.
With the introduction of our main heroes Luke (Mark Hamill), Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han (Harrison Ford), VivReacts instantly finds herself rooting for these characters. She loves Leia’s strong and independent persona when she takes matters into her own hands as the trio find themselves trapped by the storm troopers: “Yes Princess Leia, I love her!” The YouTuber enjoys the brotherly relationship between Luke and Han when they are seen bickering and having almost a competitive attitude towards each other as they are also fighting for the attention of Leia.
They’re like brothers, they just bicker all the time.
When Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones) is introduced the YouTuber immediately is intrigued by the character and is shocked and surprised by how powerful he is after the scene where he is able to choke an imperial officer without laying one finger on him. What made him go to the dark side? What’s his backstory? During the duel scene between Obi-Wan (Alec Guinness) and Darth Vader, the YouTuber prepares herself in anticipation for what she predicts will be a tragic outcome with the death of Obi-Wan.
Oh shoot here we go, I’m excited. But also scared because I think he’s going to die.
Ultimately, with this film as the introduction to the franchise, VivReacts finds herself with much more unanswered questions regarding the story premise and which characters belonged to which side of the good and evil spectrum.
I did find it a bit confusing. They didn’t really quite explain everything, especially since I know absolutely nothing … but all in all it was pretty good.
Moving on to the next film Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), the YouTuber hopes to see more characters “using the force” and showing what types of powers and abilities a Jedi can possess. In the beginning scene where Luke is captured by a snow monster and uses the force to grab his lightsaber and cut off the creature’s arm, she gets excited to see more Jedi action on screen.
Is he going to use the force… oh hell yeah that’s so cool!
The YouTuber takes note of Vader’s theme music, which she says really sets the mood and tone of the character bringing a whole new dimension to him. She also has a “Whoa!” reaction to seeing the back of Vader’s naked head noticing what looks like burn marks and scars right before he puts on his head mask.
Kind of creepy, but cute at the same time, says the VivReacts of her first impressions of Yoda, who she immediately recognized because Yoda has been a pop culture icon for decades. The YouTuber really enjoys watching Luke go through Jedi training, learning about his new abilities and powers and at one point becomes nervous and scared for Luke when he is supposedly facing Darth Vader in a training test.
Is this a test? Did he find him? Wait Yoda said he didn’t need weapons so this has to be a vision, hallucination, a test?
At the end of this “test” it is revealed that Luke’s head is actually the face behind the Darth Vader helmet and the YouTuber begins to question if it was possible that Luke saw a part of himself in Vader or the possibility of joining Vader in the dark side. By now she is already aware of the evil that is Darth Vader and is not surprised by his actions when he decides to go back on his word when making a deal to capture the trio.
Why do you keep thinking he’s going to honor the deal and not just do as he pleases?
In the scene where the two Jedi’s actually come face to face with each other, the YouTuber is left anxious and excited for the light saber fight. However, when she sees Luke being manipulated by Vader’s words to try and entice him to join the dark side, she immediately becomes worried that Luke might start to lose control.
Stay zen, stay calm.
The jaw dropping moments of shock and disbelief comes when Vader cuts off Luke’s hand and when he reveals to Luke in that famous phrase “Luke, I am your father,” VivReacts is left speechless. Despite being familiar with the phrase, she does not expect it to happen in that scene and now questions whether Obi-Wan or Yoda knew of this relationship and if they did, why they did not tell Luke.
A huge plot twist … Darth Vader is his father. I did not expect that. At least not in the second one. So why didn’t anybody tell him?
In Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), another plot twist is revealed. Luke and Leia are actually twins! Surprised and shocked by this new revelation, VivReacts seems little creeped out because there were a few times in the previous films where Luke and Leia had kissed.
What? They kissed! Bury your feelings for her. I mean granted he didn’t know, but knowing now must be pretty weird.
During their next encounter with each other, VivReacts is concerned and confused by Luke's calamity when he is around Vader, almost as if he is willing to join his father on the dark side. Why is Luke refusing to kill him? Why can’t Luke see the evil in him?
See I don’t know why he has so much compassion for Vader. It’s like I know he’s your father but he hasn’t done anything to show you that he likes you, that he wants to be in your life at all. He cut off your hand. So, I don’t understand why Luke feels that way for him.
However, after it is discovered that there is a small part of Vader that is still “good” the YouTuber changes her tone and begins to understand now that Luke was probably able to feel that light inside his father that was hidden beneath all the darkness clouding his judgement. She begins to question whether or not Darth Vader actually turned to the dark side on his own or if he was manipulated, persuaded and tricked by the Emperor and other unfortunate events that lead to the side of evil.
Looks like he feels conflict in him. So I’m thinking maybe he was tricked or forced to go to the dark side.”
The YouTuber also notes the CGI and graphics in the movie are not as bad as you would think for a film from the 1980’s. The fight scenes look “so epic!” Similar to the previous film, the musical score does a great job in creating an emotional tone and at one point had the YouTuber anxiously holding her hands at her heart waiting to see the outcome of the final confrontation between Luke and Vader.
This music oh my gosh I’m getting emotional. Oh my god this is amazing.
In the end, the YouTuber has fallen in love with all the characters and finds the last scene when Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin (the young Darth Vader) force ghost, a real tear-jerking moment. Excited to wrap up this first trilogy and learn more about the backstory of Darth Vader, VivReacts jumps into the next film in the franchise.
Right from the beginning, in Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), the YouTuber notices how well the film paints a vivid picture for each of the planets that are being introduced. The colors, the structures and the specific details used on each planet create a visually stunning scene.
You know they do a really good job at world building. Each planet is so different from each other.
Another element she notices is Natalie Portman’s character Queen Amidala. Or is she Padme the handmaiden: “wait I’m so confused why did they switch actresses?” In one scene Natalie Portman is Queen Amidala and then in another scene it looks like she’s played by a different actress.
See that’s not her again. Oh my god they look like twins what is happening, I swear it’s not. They keep switching. Does she not go out to talk to and meet with other people?
When Anakin (Jake Llyod) is introduced into the story, VivReacts is excited and sees his character as so full of hope and optimism: “I love him. He’s so cute!” It makes it especially heartbreaking when he has to leave his mother behind causing a super emotional reaction from the YouTuber.
Oh please don’t tell me this is the last time they’re going to see each other. I’ll be so upset.
This film goes deeper into the history of the Jedi and the YouTuber now has a better understanding of who these Jedi people are in relation to other humans and species in the Star Wars universe. In the scene where Qui-Gon (Liam Neeson) is discussing with a young Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) about Anakin’s midichlorian count, she has her “ah ha” moment in understanding the concept of the Jedi.
That’s so interesting. It’s literally in their cells. That’s how they can use the force and how they’re so one with it. So you can only be a jedi through genes. Like you can’t just randomly be a Jedi. Your parents and ancestors have to be one.
Fast-forward 10 years, in Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), the YouTuber is interested to see the development of the love/hate almost brotherly relationship between Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan and is surprised to see even though they have grown and matured, the dynamic between the two has stayed the same.
I feel like he’s questioning Obi-Wan just like Obi-Wan used to question Qui-Gon.
This film also introduced a love story between Anakin and Padme, which the YouTuber finds quite cute and sees Anakin as “such a little charmer.” She does note that many people in the comments of her video say the relationship between the two characters is awkward and does not translate as very genuine on screen, the YouTuber disagrees and feels she has seen other movies with much worse romantic chemistry between the characters and actors.
I really like them. I love their connection and their chemistry.
In a very tragic scene where Anakin goes to rescue his mother, the fatal outcome worries the YouTuber because of how fragile Anakin seems when it comes to the people that he loves: “Oh no. Stay calm please stay calm. Oh gosh. Oh my gosh.” She is left feeling both shocked and upset when Anakin no longer controls his rage and slaughters every single person in the village after his mother dies in his arms.
I mean he’s grieving right? Or is this, is he tapping into the dark side?
Excited to see more light saber fights, the duel with Yoda was a pleasant surprise to the YouTuber. He’s so fast and light on his feet, according to VivReacts who is rooting for Yoda and is engrossed in the epic battle featuring the Jedi legend.
Oh, two lightsabers, oh my gosh yes that looks so cool.
The music in this film also hits hard with the YouTuber. It is something she takes note of in almost all of the films and believes it makes a huge impact on each of the scenes and how the audiences react to them.
The music. Guys the music is amazing. Like there’s so much emotion in me right now because of the music.
Ultimately, the YouTuber gives this film alone a 10/10 rating, saying it is her favorite by far of the franchise. The visual imagery in setting up each scenery is beautiful, the development of the romance between Padme and Anakin and the establishment of the villains for the final movie are all well done, according to VivReacts.
In the final film of the second trilogy, Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), the YouTuber notes Anakin’s much older appearance and is disappointed in how easily he gives into taking the easy way out and slowly tapping into the dark forces. She enjoys the film's progression in presenting Anakin’s journey from hopeful young Jedi to vengeful and angry dark Sith. Through every dark and traumatizing event that has led him to this point, VivReacts feels for Anakin and can’t even imagine to understand his pain.
I like how he’s slowly progressing into the dark side. Into joining it because he’s been giving into anger and fear and killing so much. I like how it’s not just a once set thing that makes him go to the dark side. It’s been a slow progression.
And so it begins. When Senator Palpatine, who the YouTuber calls a “master manipulator”, has finally brought Anakin over to the dark side, she is shocked and disturbed when Anakin goes on a killing spree eliminating all the remaining Jedi including the young Jedi children.
No no no he’s not about to kill all these children … no no no he’s not about to kill these children, are you kidding?
One moment that brought the YouTuber to tears is the final scene between Anakin and Obi-Wan. Anakin who was already taken to the dark side is butchered and left for dead by his mentor Obi-Wan, who is heartbroken by the fact that his brother has chosen such a dark path.
Completely heartbreaking just to see Obi-Wan. Knowing that he raised him, he loved him, and he was his brother and having him fight him almost to the death basically was heart wrenching.
In the end the YouTuber feels this movie is definitely the most emotionally charged out of the series and is left with some unexpected plot twists that she doesn’t see coming. She notes Anakin’s character arc is well done and now has much more sympathy for the Darth Vader character, who deep down is a lost, destroyed, and troubled soul.
I did not expect to be broken and an emotional wreck after it. Definitely my favorite. It had such an emotional impact … they made us watch Anakin grow up, they made us watch Anakin have so much life and character to him, just to see him being corrupt and manipulated and broken in the end. Just blinded.
She is now invested into the Star Wars universe and feels the conclusion of the Darth Vader and Skywalker story is well executed. This leaves the YouTuber excited to eventually explore the franchise's final trilogy.
YouTuber VivReacts makes first impressions and reacts to movies and TV shows on her channel regularly.