Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Mark Hamill

Poll Results: Greatest Sequel of All-Time

After a month of debate, there were really only two movies that were ever in contention for the title of “Greatest Sequel of All-Time”, and over the last two weeks The Empire Strikes Back distanced itself from The Dark Knight to triumph as the Killing Time community’s pick as greatest sequel.

Joker, Heath Ledger, Batman, Christian Bale, The Dark Knight
The only film that gave Empire any competition was 2008’s The Dark Knight; Chris Nolan’s brilliant follow-up to Batman Begins.  Finishing in third place is the only sequel still to ever win the Academy Award for Best Picture: The Godfather Part II.  I thought it would be a three-way race between these films, but Godfather didn’t put up nearly the numbers I thought it might.  Empire was my vote as well.  The Star Wars Universe as we know it really began with the second film in the saga.  Taking a fairly simple, linear story like A New Hope and adding new locations, iconic characters, and perhaps the greatest plot twist of all-time, blew the possibilities for the space opera wide-open (something we’re still enjoying the benefits of this weekend as fans gather in London for the annual Star Wars Fan Celebration).

Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part II, Al Pacino

Though many people prefer the second act of The Godfather to the first, I prefer the original film, whereas there’s no arguing that Empire and The Dark Knight surpassed their predecessors.  That’s not to take anything away from Coppola’s crime epic.  It’s a brilliant film; one of the best of all-time, but it’s a sequel on par with the original while the top two finishers are exponentially better than their original film.  With three exceptions (no love for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Skyfall, or Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) every other nominated film received at least one vote.  I think the next two on my list would probably be Terminator 2 and Aliens (though voters would swap Aliens for Mad Max: Fury Road) to round out a top 5 list.  Thanks to everyone who voted, shame OH SHAME upon those who did not, and we’ll have a new poll up sometime next week!

One thought on “Poll Results: Greatest Sequel of All-Time”

  1. A great sequel makes you remember what you liked about the first movie, but doesn’t actually show it to you again. Instead, it tries to be as different from the original as it can possibly get away with.

    On the surface, Godfather II parallels the first one in a lot of ways. To cite just a few examples: both begin with a big outdoor party, while the head of the Corleone family holds meetings in a darkened room. Both plots are set in motion by an assassination attempt on the don, and in both cases it leads to Micheal going into exile. The third act of each film contains a montage of all of Micheal’s enemies getting whacked… in the first film this ends with Micheal killing his brother-in-law, while in the second one he kills his actual brother. Yet the two films are so different that they’re almost mirror images. In the first film you can almost overlook that the Corleones deal in crime and murder. Instead, the film can be viewed as the tale of a quintessentially American family, a family of immigrants, and we can relate to them without feeling too uncomfortable. But you can’t overlook the murdering in Godfather II. It’s a film about a legacy of evil, being passed down through a family line.

    I am astonished that Roland Emmerich did not have a single new creative spin on the Independence Day formula to offer us. I thought there was going to be something, anything, to hang onto, other than a bigger budget. Considering how much work it takes to make an elaborate film like ID2, you would think sitting down and hammering out some fresh ideas would be the easiest part of the endeavor.

    Not many sequels can be counted among the best films ever made, but the ones that do all forge their own identity.

    Liked by 1 person

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