Saturday, May 21, 2005
The time has come to discuss Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.
Since it's still in its opening weekend of being sold out all over the place, I'll discuss it in the cut.
It's difficult to come up with a way to discuss this reasonably.
The simple answer to whether I liked it is, well, that I loved it. Really I did.
But my love for it is so tied up in the other five episodes that I'm not sure how to express my feelings for this one movie very well. Some of the pacing is off, a couple of performances were not that great - and I'm a big, big believer that the dialogue and acting for most of the Star Wars movies is exactly what it ought to be - that keep it from quite managing to be a great work of film in itself.
I'm also not sure how much my emotions at this being the last piece affects my feelings. I'm still going to have to live with this one a while.
First off, every review praises Ewan McGregor, but I don't even think that is enough. He brings a full emotional core and resonance to this movie that really brings it back to the strong character base of the first two movies. I think "I'm so sorry." may be the most moving line in the whole series.
The performance by Ian McDiarmid totally brings Palpatine into light and renders Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi completely unnecessary viewing. Hayden Christiansen comes into his own here, even having a decent amount of chemistry with Natalie Portman, who's pretty weak over, this time around. Sam Jackson's performance and Mace Windu's character seem to have found a common ground finally. Maybe they can CGI a new performance into the first two movies to match it.
This is also a great Yoda movie, second only, obviously, to Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. The CGI for the character is finally totally right and Frank Oz really is on his game for the voice.
The Order 66 sequence was harsh and powerful. Unlike many others, I was totally into General Grievous, although he mostly serves to prove my earlier point that each of these new villains is merely a small pawn in the larger game. In fact, I think the way he drew focus in the story even demonstrates overtly how true this is...
... which brings us to the main point. As I suspected, I think this movie will shine a light on the events of the first two prequels (and the original trilogy, to a lesser extent) that will ultimately make them richer and offer the chance for some people to re-examine them for the better.
The end with Darth Vader. I like the awkward walking and such. It was him coming to life, not him having been a cyborg for 20 years. It makes sense. I thought James Earl Jones' voice sounded much lower than it had in the original trilogy, though, which felt really off.
The ending was beautiful with the various musical references to the originals and all. It really left me with a good feeling.
Ultimately, though, all of us geeks went for the fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan. I mean, really, that's why we watched all three prequels really, let's be honest. Did it live up to it all? Fuck yes! There was so much action, but more importantly so much emotion and passion, it was just amazing and wonderful.
Yeah, I'm sure I'll have plenty of revelations and thoughts as the days go on, but I'm satisfied with how things wrapped up and look forward to how this will live on in my personal mythology.