Bill's Blog

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Revenge of the Sith II

Well, I was finally able to get out to see Sith this past weekend. George Lucas came through for me on this one. I won't say the movie was perfect (look below and I'll list some of the problems I had with it), but it was far and above better than the other two prequels. I will wait until I have the chance to watch it again to see where I rank it in with the original three.

Disclaimer: The theatre I saw Sith in probably hadn't been improved upon since before '77 when A New Hope (Ep. IV) came out. The picture wasn't that great, the sound system sucked and the seats were not comfortable.

Lucas did a great job in bridging the gap between the little boy in Ep. I and the monster we meet in the opening scenes of Ep. IV. You really see how he was manipulated and his reasons for choosing the path that he did. I would have liked to see maybe a little more of the internal struggle play out - especially towards the end of his transformation when he finds out that Padme is dead and that he is responsible. But the movie was already on the long side and adding more in probably would have been overkill. Maybe the DVD will have an extended scene or something.

Lucas also wrapped up a lot of other loose ends and introduced us to some characters that we meet later in the saga. Chewbacca makes an appearance, as does Wedge Antilles. Both are small roles in the film and make you think "small galaxy". The droids (C-3PO and R2-D2) are given over to Antilles as Obiwan goes into hiding. We find the droids in Antilles possession at the beginning of Ep. IV.

One of the issues that others have jumped on and I must agree is the dialog. Any dialog that isn't tied directly to an action scene seems forced. Especially the scenes between Anakin and Padme. Also, fresh dialog would have been nice. At one point, Padme tells Obiwan that she "can feel the good still in him" a direct copy from Luke saying the same thing in Return of the Jedi. I guess it may have been Lucas' way of saying "like mother, like son", but I think we could have done without it.

I also think the there were some camera problems. Too many of the light saber duels have close in shots where you can really only see the light sabers and not what is really going on. This may have more to do with the theatre and the quality of their equipment, but it happened too often to dismiss it without comment. The blades were too bright for the blackness of the rest of the screen. With all the special effects money they put into these movies, I really expected the duels to be flawless.

Even with the problems I mentioned, Sith is a great end to the Star Wars movies. That doesn't mean I think it's great that the Star Wars movies are coming to an end. I wish they would make a dozen more (though I'd prefer if Lucas write the plot, let someone else pen the screen play and direct). In particular, I would love to see movies made of Timothy Zahn's Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command). Excellent books if you are looking for a place to start in on the Star Wars beyond the movies universe.


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