Monday, May 23, 2005

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith 

Oh look, it's a wee little puppet lord!

(Caution, some mild spoilers ahead, but nothing specific.)

This was my thought when the newly Vaderized Anakin took his first tentative steps from the operating table and tried out his various artificial parts.

Then when he had his little moment of rage over the Emperor's bad news, I switched to thoughts of "Who's a little Sith Lord?" I swear, it was Gachnar revisited.

I did enjoy this final installment of the Star Wars saga, but I just felt like between this and the previous one they didn't allow us to see enough of Anakin's transition from good little boy to the man ready to become the Dark Lord. The entire time we've seen young adult Anakin he's been petulant, self-pitying ("It's not FAIR!"), impulsive, jealous, envious and frankly, rather stupid. I know, I know, the Sith Lord preyed upon his inner turmoil and slowly won him over, but we didn't really get to see the slow winning over - just the final chapter.

I think it didn't help that Hayden Christensen didn't project a very large range. When it came time to be intense, either in love or in hate, he did a good job. But in everything else he was just flat and rather lazy sounding. Like it was just too much effort to speak. Ah well.

As for everyone else - bravo! Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman (although they could have written a little more depth into her character), Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits (why does he not get more featured work? He's fabulous!), and Ian McDiarmid were great. Smit's Senator Bail Organa was like the Swashbuckling Senator of the Republic, with his own little Junior Jedi companion.

Great job providing the storyline for the change from Republic to Empire, and completing the tale of the stormtroopers that was started in Attack of the Clones.

And Yoda! And Chewbacca! Whee!

Good use of visuals and soundtrack to evoke the original.

Bottom line: I enjoyed it, and will probably see it again on the big screen. Then I'll get the original three on DVD to see how well this backstory fits into the original. It doesn't pack the same wallop as the original, but it was a suitable final chapter to set up the appearance of Luke, Leia, Han, and company.

But there may be more on the small screen horizon. I see from George Lucas' IMDB profile that he has two as yet untitled Star Wars series announced for 2006. "Untitled Star Wars Series" is speculated to feature new characters and take place between Episodes III and IV. "Untitled Clone Wars Series" is described as "Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and other Jedi knights fight the Army of the Republic." According to an MTV article, The Clone Wars series is to be a 30-minute animated series, while the Star Wars project is live action. I'll skip the cartoon, but I might check out the live action show, if it gets to the point of being picked up by a network and put onto next year's schedule. Sci-Fi Channel, anyone?

Reality Check: The Girl volunteered to go see it, but really doesn't dig the sci-fi genre. "How many light sabre fights can you watch?"

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:59 PM