Watching all six Star Wars movies simultaneously

Last updated 01/02/2006 2:23 PM EST

So on November 10, 2005, I finished setting this up, started watching it, discovered the Palpatine coincidence, and figured it was worth putting up a small web page about. I threw one together quickly, just explaining what it was and covering the first few minutes of the movies, and showed it to a few people in the TFN Fanfilms chatroom. One of them showed it to one of his friends, who didn't know it wasn't finished and submitted it to digg, which I'd never even heard of but apparently is wicked popular. I went to sleep, and when I woke up it was on the front page of digg and had had about 10,000 hits overnight. Then a bunch of other popular websites posted it too, and then another friend of mine submitted it to Slashdot and, well, there it is. So that was my 15 minutes of fame I guess. Wheeeeeee. Back to obscuredom now.

The videos are on CoralCDN, which seems to have problems with firewalls sometimes, so if you can't see them, that's probably why.

A preamble, because preamble is a cool word, and to respond to what are probably the most common reactions to this:

Yes, I'm an obsessed Star Wars fan. They're my favorite movies, all six of them, including the special editions, and I don't care what you think. No, I wasn't looking for any amazing insight, it's just fun and interesting (perhaps more interesting to people interested in film editing and storytelling than to others). People have been doing this with The Wizard of Oz and Dark Side of the Moon for a long time, and this makes way more sense than that.

I have done other things than this, many of which I've spent far more time on and I think are much more interesting. So, people who are making fun of me for wasting so much time on this: it only took a few days, and it's not my fault that this particular silly little quick fun experiment of mine is the one thing I've done that's become this popular. Also, I've made a few hundred dollars off the Google ads. So there.

I'm not going to release the whole thing, it'd put me on way too shaky legal ground. I might put together a tutorial on how to put it together yourself, but no doubt a lot of people can figure it out without my help anyway.

So all six movies are out on DVD now, and I said to myself: I have nothing better to do, and there are so many parallels between these movies as it is, it'd be fun to see how many interesting things line up with each other if I watch all six movies simultaneously.

I ripped the DVDs, and stuck them all together into one video file with Avisynth and VirtualDub, which took up a lot of space and time on my computer for a few days. My first impulse was to overlay them all on top of each other, the better (I thought) to compare them. Turns out, apart from a few bits, it was just ridiculously confusing to look at.

Yeah. So I just laid them out in a grid next to each other instead, like this.

I figured I might as well make a web page about this, just for the hell of it, and maybe somebody will find it interesting.

Obviously most of these are just funny and cool coincidences, and most of the rest are just due to similarities in the storytelling structure of the films. Some of them aren't really very interesting and I just put them there to fill space so that you can get a reasonably good impression of what the whole thing is like without actually having to watch all of it. Obviously I'm putting the parts that are most interesting to me here, but I'm also trying to put enough stuff from it up to let other people make their own opinions about it. Feel free to strongly disagree with me about which parts are interesting.