Sunday, June 5, 2005

Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith

Spoilers for Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith"

To be rather brief: I thought this film was much better than I and II, but still not as good as the original trilogy, which I grew up with.

What I did like: I liked that the digital effects got better. I liked that they started to make the ships look used; they had texture to them, made them look more real. Still looked digital but it's progress, I guess. I also liked that the ships were degenerating into the ships of the original trilogy -- it was cool to see the predecessors to the Star Destroyer class ships, and the ships that will eventually evolve into Tie Fighters and X-Wings. It was so cool to see the familiar ship of Bail Organa - and what a shock when we suddenly got to go INSIDE. One of the last ships we see inside of is the FIRST ship we see inside of in Star Wars IV: A New Hope. What a blast from the past that was.

The only planet I really liked was the Wookie homeworld - that place was cool; I'd actually like to go there. It was cool to see the Storm Trooper forest uniforms - to see how ALL storm trooper uniforms evolved. Really shows how the Empire in the future makes everything uniform and sterile. Corouscant was impressive but too much to look at when you get up close. The shots of it from space are astounding, to see an entire planet made of city... scary.

What I did not like: The digital stuff was just still too shiny for me. Yoda was still too shiny, the ships were still too shiny, the worlds were still too shiny... Much better than the last two films, yes, but still not as good as if they'd built sets, ships, and puppets. I don't know if thats just because I grew up with the look of the originals, but I'm sticking to my opinion.

The dialoge was some of the most trite, cheesy, and ridiculous stuff I've heard in a long time, barring the last two Star Wars films. The scenes between Padme and Anakin were some of the MOST painful, particularly because I KNOW these people can act and I've seen them do so but to see them hobbled by such terrible dialogue and direction literally made me cringe and shift in my seat.

The story itself: I liked how they showed Anakins evolution; it just felt too rushed in a lot of ways. The entire storyline felt like it was on the right track but just didn't go the whole mile. Kaisa informed me that Anakins shift to the Dark Side WAS quick once Palpatine got to him after Anakin killed Mace Windu - that once you start down the Dark Path, the change is pretty swift. So I guess this all would of felt more natural if you KNEW that ahead of time, but most folks don't and it still felt rushed to me. It really sucks that this film suffered so badly because George Lucas was so hell bent on covering his ass with his pulp story obsession - it didnt feel like a pulp at ALL to me; so why couldn't he let the creation be what it was supposed to BE? It could of been a really strong film with a powerful story, but instead it was laughable. Watching it, I didn't know whether to take pity on the poor film or laugh at it and turn it away.

In a morbid way I did like when Anakin finally fell - when Obi Wan cut off his legs and arm and left him to burn and die. When you see everything Anakin went through in this film, you almost wish the original trilogy had showed more of Vader's side of things to further help with his vindication at the end to be more powerful. It really goes to show that he was doing the wrong things for the sort of right reasons and that really he wasn't an evil guy, just twisted. We see so many stories of good people going bad and somehow they seem so irredeemable becuase of that. We forget that equally, you can take utterly evil people and turn them to good, too. You have to forget about 'tainting'; that's seeing things from only a 'good' standpoint.

One other thing that bugged me: there also seemed to be two kinds of shots - full shots and tight medium shots. Especially during the light sabre fights - you were so close you couldn't see what they were doing. It didn't serve to pull me into the fights at ALL - it felt cramped and the entire time I kept wishing they'd pull out so I could see what was going on.

Did you catch...
The Millenium Falcon in the lower right corner near the beginning, showing some kind of spaceport on some well-lit planet?

The guy who played that one "storm trooper" with the dark hair, whom Palpatine contacted and had attack Obi Wan? The guy played Jengo Fett in the last two films.

At the very end, Vader and Palpatine were on the bridge of a star Destroyer looking at the construction of the first Death Star. They were accompanied by General Tarkin (who would become Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars IV: A New Hope). Here, however, he was played by Wayne Pygram, the guy who played Scorpius in "Farscape". (I missed that part - Kaisa caught it).