June 01, 2005

Return of George Lucas

I just saw "Revenge of the Sith" and don't have a lot to say that hasn't already been said. However, a couple of bloggers have identified the elements of the movie that worked for me.
Chayyei Sarah wrote:

The thing that surprised me the most was how emotionally invested I'd become, by the second hour, in Anakin not turning to the Dark Side. It's a very good sign, in terms of the storytelling, that even though we all know that Anakin becomes Darth Vader...

Vodkapundit had a good overall summary of the movie:
Admittedly, my standards are low. As I've said here and many other places, I expect only three things out of a Star Wars movie. I want to see some cool stuff I've never seen before. I want to see some wicked lightsaber action. (Really, I just have a weakness for any kind of Hollywood sword fighting.) And I want to see some stuff blow up real good. Sith delivered on those counts, and then some.

He also talks about the effectiveness of a specifc segment of the movie:
The montage sequence when the Clone Troopers turned on their Jedi leaders was one of those, and one I haven't seen discussed much. It was brutal, heartbreaking, and effective. Watching warriors cut down by their comrades without warning or explanationů that was tough. Every one of those Jedi died with the same expression: Utter confusion. Is there a worse way to die?

My only quibble here is that some of the special effects seemed overdone. The cantina scene in "A New Hope" worked because, well, no one had really seen anything like that before. But odd looking aliens appearing incongruous in everyday situations don't elicit the same chuckle they once did after all those Star Wars, Star Trek and Men in Black movies.
There was a real story here and it was told well enough to maintain suspense where there was none. There was some real excitement here even if a little was overdone.
Continue to read possible spoilers ...

IIRC "The Return of the Jedi" was originally titled "The Revenge of the Jedi," but I can't figure out why. Watching the battle between Mace Windu and Palpatine recalls (or anticipates) the battle between Luke and Palpatine in RotJ. The parallelisms are remarkable and the reaction to each by Anakin/Vader is key. This just reinforces what my friends and I thought that the Jedi who returned was Anakin/Vader.
There were a number of lines that were uttered in "Revenge of the Sith" that were taken from other movies. There was "I've got a bad feeling about this." and then there was a line spoken by Anakin that just seemed off. It was used to show his growing arrogance. Maybe it's just not as convincing coming from Hayden Christenson as from James Earl Jones. Still it seemed a little off.
I remember years ago that a friend told me that Lucas had originally written 3 sets of trilogies, of which movies 4, 5, and 6 were the middle. From everything I've read "Revenge of the Sith" is the last movie he's making of the galaxy far, far away. So I guess 7, 8, and 9 will be Lucas's little secret.

Posted by SoccerDad at June 1, 2005 06:52 AM | TrackBack

we saw it on Sunday night at the Senator. Place was packed and cheering throughout the entire movie. Luckily, it didn't dissapoint (unlike episode 1 and 2). It was a bit violent/gory, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Posted by: peninah at June 1, 2005 08:42 AM

I had almost the exact same reaction as you and others did. I still can't put my finger on exactly what made #3 a totally different from the originals in terms of feeling. It just has a different vibe.

Posted by: Greg at June 2, 2005 03:56 PM

Fellow Star Wars fan here (who, like ChayyeiSarah, had to wait till after Lag Ba'omer to see it).

Yes, the movie was much, much better than episode II. Episode I was ok, but not really that good. I ended up seeing the movie twice in 24 hours, then made sure to watch episode IV right afterwards to see how they blended together (pretty good job!).

But why was I sitting in the theater muttering "hokey...so hokey" when Anakin went over to the Dark Side? Sheesh, they need better writers or something. Really not done that well. That is my only complaint about the movie. Otherwise, everything was awesome. I wasn't looking forward to the lightsaber fights, as they can get a bit boring, but these were fabulous! And you gotta love any time Yoda drops his stick and starts moving. GO YODA!

I've also heard that there were supposed to be episodes 7, 8 and 9. And, if you read the books, which unlike Star Trek books are all "approved" so that whatever they write about will be consistent and continue along a certain path that Lucas wants to stick to, you'll see that there is plenty more material for further movies. There's a whole series about a really nasty war with the Yuzhunta'r (I have no idea how to spell it), an atrocious alien species. The only problem is that I really, really, do not want to see one of these aliens on a screen. They are absolutely disgusting. And they kill off Chewbacca at one point.

OK... getting off track here. But I still have a faint hope of further movies. I did hear a rumor about Lucas having ideas about a prequel to Episode I...After all, where *did* Anakin come from?

Posted by: Devora at June 2, 2005 11:44 PM