Monthly Archives: May 2005

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Revenge of the Sith — It didn’t suck…

If you were not one of the loyal (or crazy) Star Wars fans that managed to catch the movie at 12:01 this morning or sometime today, I am here to tell you that it was actually pretty good.

The title of this post I borrowed from Scott Kurtz of PVP who’s quick post about the movie was “it didn’t suck.”

I’ve seen it twice today, and I plan to try catch it at a DLP theater before too long.

What was good about it? This was the first of the new movies that felt like it could be on the same shelf with the original trilogy. If you don’t believe me, go watch Episode 1 before you see Sith, just to remind yourself about a) the story and b) just how bad Episode 1 was.

I don’t want to give much away about the story. I think Lucas handled the transformation of Anakin to Vader very well. The scenes where the emperor is finally revealed and all of his well laid plans are executed are some of the best and most tragic scenes ever seen in the Star Wars saga. The beginning and the end of the movie flow very well, keeping everyone engrossed in the action.

In fact, I was surprised to see how one scene in the trailers actually fit into the movie. I was worried about the scene in the trailer where Obi-Wan screams ‘You were the chosen one.’ It really bugged me for some reason, but after seeing it in the context of the completed film, it worked very well.

Ewan McGregor and Ian McDiarmid appear to be the most comfortable and appear to be having the most fun with their characters ( Obi Wan and Palpatine, respectively).

Oh, and Jar Jar (I will give this one away) doesn’t die, but he a) never speaks and b) is now only an extra that shows up in a couple of group shots. So, that’s a big plus.

Is the movie perfect? Of course not. It seems like the movie drags on in the middle while you wait for all of the pieces to fall into place. Once there, the pace is non-stop until nearly the end of the movie.

There is one confrontation that ends in a pretty lame way. And, as before, any scene with Anakin and Padme is pretty painful to watch. However, some of the scenes involving those two are a little better than the last film. I know Natalie Portman is an amazing actress. I’ve never seen Hayden Christiansen in anything else, so I’m not sure about him. I just don’t know why Lucas can’t get these scenes right.

And, although it’s cool to see the Vader suit again, it just feels out of place in this film. It’s primarily because the ‘older’ technology feels more advanced than anything in the original movies. It’s like showing us the light high tech armor that U.S. soldiers wear today and then trying to convince us that a guy in full plate mail is ‘newer’ technology.

One of the new characters, General Grievous, simply shows up. Plus, Lucas tries to convey everything that happened in the time between Episode II and III in the opening text of the film. If you want to learn more about the Clone Wars, you’ll have to pick up the Clone Wars animated series on DVD. You’d have to wait to catch the 3rd season on DVD or catch it in reruns on Cartoon Network. The 3rd season is probably the one to watch because it covers the events immediately before Episode III. In fact, the last episode of Clone Wars ends right where Episode III begins, which I thought was a nice way to integrate the two.

Overall, the movie is really good. The special effects continue to be more and more amazing. After seeing this one, it makes you wish Lucas could go back and spend some quality time with Episodes I & II and ‘fix’ them instead of trying to tweak the original trilogy again. After seeing Episode III, you can tell that Lucas had this one pretty well thought out, and that the other two movies only exist to set up the events for this one.

What about the nostalgia factor? What about the other movies ( 7, 8 & 9 )? This has been a journey that has taken 28 years to complete. We’ve waited that long to finally see how Anakin becomes Vader, the rise of the Empire, and the fall of the Jedi.

The saga has been part of Lucas’ life for at least that long. In this day and age, it’s hard to comprehend doing anything for 28 years ( hell, most marriages these days don’t last that long ). So, I really don’t blame Lucas for wanting to get away from it.

Sure, to a certain extent, it would be cool to see 7, 8 & 9 made, just because it would be an amazing cinematic feat that would not likely ever be repeated. But, at the same time, there are so many books out there already that cover what happens after Return of the Jedi that maybe there’s no point to making the movies.

It’s a little sad to see the last Star Wars movie, and I hope that Lucas will reconsider making the last three. At the very least, maybe he’ll turn then over to someone he trusts ( rumors have mentioned Spielberg doing them).

But, if this is truly the final one, then I think Episode III was a great way to end it.