So How Was It!?!
The very first Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) came out when I was the wee age of -2 months. I can't say that I really grew up in my early years being blasted with Star Wars stuff, but I began to realize the films around the time that Episode Six: Return of the Jedi was released. From there, Star Wars was a magical place for me. Honestly, who can say they didn't want to be a Jedi (not just Luke) or Princess Leia? Hell, I would've even been fine with being Han Solo! But I digress (that's fun to say, I think).
I really became a fan of Star Wars again in high school when I began reading the Expanded Universe (new stories that went beyond, or in between, the movies). It was then that the hooks were in place. So much so that when Episode One: The Phantom Menace came out, Meelah and I went and camped out for the premiere. Nerds? Yup.
The Star Wars fan base is large, if you were unaware, and I'd say that most fans tend to favor the original trilogy (Episodes Four, Five and Six) when compared to the prequel trilogy (Episodes One, Two and Three). I'm in that camp, mainly because the original movies did a fantastic job of taking you to a different place for two hours.
And now, finally the circle is complete. Last night (err, early this morning) I saw Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith, and here's what I thought:
Please Note: The following does contain spoiler information, proceed with caution! You've been warned.
From the very beginning of the movie you can tell that it's different than the first two Episodes. Something feels different. It could be the camera angles or movement, but something is different. You're plunged into a gigantic space battle, but the focus is on Obi-Wan and Anakin, fitting if you ask me, as they are two major focal points in this film. The movie rarely slowed down, but also, there weren't any major surprises (did we need them?).
So how was it?
It's a good movie. It's better than the first two films – which I should say out front that I enjoyed those films. No, they weren't the originals, that would be very hard mojo to grasp again, but they told a story. Often times the story was maybe too convenient, but Lucas was connecting gaps.
So really, how was it?
I liked it, a lot. There were some things that stood out as bad, but overall I really liked it.
What stood out as bad?
- Very poor set up on most of the Anakin/Padme scenes. People are often not just sitting in a room silently and then have huge epochs of dialogue spill out. It felt forced and unnatural.
- The whole Mace Windu/Anakin relationship, or lack there-of. Again, the dialogue here was very weak. Mace and Anakin have NEVER got along and I thought there would be more of a story to tell in this movie. That wasn't the case. I also thought that Anakin would be the one who ended up killing Mace in a giant duel, not Palpatine. That would have been a stronger tie-in to Anakin's fall.
- Speaking of Anakin's fall... I wanted to see more darkness. Here's a kid, the Chosen One, who's been teetering for years. In TPM they told him he was too young and afraid. In AOTC they reprimanded him for using the Force too much. And now, after he's been battle tested and proven, he's still treated like a kid. He had anger, that's for sure. He killed a LOT of people in this movie, making his way down Dark Side Lane. But, although it was touching when he was going after the younglings, I wanted to see him be darker to them. I wanted to see him take out good Jedi, not just the kids. I wanted the pure evil that has been festering for years.
- Anakin's power wasn't really unleashed until he was in the mask. He's been touted as this monster Force guy for decades now. I wanted to see him throw lava at Obi-Wan or something extremely grand, not just more fancy saber-fighting. Imagine him falling into the lava pit but creating a Force bubble around himself for protection, surely he could do that. We really never get to see Vader do things like Palpatine or Dooku.
- The wookies. This wasn't a very needed portion of the movie. It served as an explanation of how the Empire took them into slavery. Nothing more.
- Here's the worst part of the movie... the five-minute tying up of loose ends. You take Leia. You take Luke. I'm outti to Dagobah. Oh, Qui-Gon's back. And erase that droid's memory. What!?! That's it? No explanation of Dagobah? No explanation of Leia's memories of her mom? No explanations of why Qui-Gon is back or how the spirits of Jedi come back? Some things are okay to gloss over, but others aren't. I understand that some elements didn't make it into the movie, so maybe the DVD will fix that.
But... you liked it, right?
Good golly, yes.
What was good, then?
- The effects: While they're still not up to the point that Lord of the Rings was at AND the fact that Lucas relies on them way too much... the effects in this film were much better than before.
- The easter eggs: Millenium Falcon towards the beginning, General Grevious' cough (from The Clone Wars: Season Two, not really an egg, but just good continuity - hat tip Carpio), A young Grand Moff Tarkin, Leia's ship, etc.
- Aside from what I said up above, this movie WAS dark.
- Anakin's turn: You could really feel the back and forth in Anakin. Palpatine did one hell of a setup and I kept thinking that Anakin wasn't going to do it. They did a great job on this one.
- The evolution of ships and how they tie into the original trilogy.
- Special Gem #1: Obi-Wan doesn't sense Anakin when he jumped back into the elevator. He turned with his light saber ready to strike and says "Oh, it's you." Obi-Wan already couldn't sense his friend. A nice sign of darkness hiding.
- Special Gem #2: Anakin couldn't sense his Force-strong kid(s). Just like a Sith, only focusing on himself.
- Special Gem #3: Anakin nearly choking Padme to death. Very powerful.
- Special Gem #4: The whole Anakin/Obi-Wan dialogue at the end, damn that was good. Really, really good.
No doubt people, this movie is good. I give it a solid B/B+. Let me know what you think.
+ original post date: May 19, 2005 04:15 PM
+ categories: Movies, Star Wars