For the moment, The New York Times has put up an archive of coverage of the Star Wars films, from the first Vincent Canby review of A New Hope (May 26, 1977) to now. My favorite moment comes in Janet Maslin’s review of The Empire Strikes Back (written 25 years ago today!):
If George Lucas makes good on his promise to turn Star Wars into a parade of nine films and spend several years on the making of each of them, we may all be pretty long in the tooth before this story gets told.
Good Lord. Nine?! Sith was fun, but really … we’re quite sure Lucas is done with this now, right?
UPDATE: I clearly was not paying enough attention. The Washington Post has a much nicer archive. (Although they do need to do a better job of copy-editing the old articles.)
CAPSULE REVIEW: Everyone’s pretty much agreed that it’s a very fun film with awful dialogue, and I’m no different. Some would call it the apotheosis of epic; I’m going to stick with fun film. While I’m impressed by the scope of Lucas’ story and how well it tied together, the writing and acting pretty much disqualifies this from the category of great cinema. It’s a wonderful spectacle, though.