Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Blog Post Of The Sith

So I went and saw Episode Three tonight of the Star Wars series. I'd been looking forward to this for years and years. See I often rooted for Vader and company back when they were forced to lose to teddy bears and schizophrenic blonde poster boys who listened to voices in their heads. I always thought the empire got a raw deal, especially in Return of the Jedi when all those innocent construction workers got blown up on the new Death Star. The empire was providing jobs, putting food on the plates of its people, and maintaining order. For that reason I just couldn't get behind the selfish rebellion and because, well, they were a bunch of lucky dorks for the most part.

That's why when the new trilogy was announced ten years ago or so, I quickly did the math and figured out that Episode Three had to be the high point for the empire. Darth Vader had to be kicking ass and taking wussy rebellion names in Episode Three for Episode Four to open the way it does. Couldn't wait to see it.

And does it live up to my own personal hype machine? Well, yes and no. Sure Yoda and Co. get their Jedi butts handed to them, but you don't really get to see the Darth Vader we know and love until the end. You don't see him in the jet black deep sea diving suit carving up rebel scum from one end of the galaxy to the other. Sure you get to see how he winds up in that suit, but little beyond that. Disappointing if you ask me. Oh, and they never explain how he goes from his just out of puberty voice to the deep bass of "This is CNN."

There were some plus sides. The guy playing Anakin did a much better acting job this time around. His performance in Episode Two makes me cringe everytime he throws a temper tantrum. In this flick, he's a little better, though probably won't be getting the label of the next DeNiro anytime soon. The action scenes are also the best of any of the series. A little confusing at times, though. I kept wondering if some of the more elaborate battle scenes will make more sense on the small screen in a few months.

Big minus: a couple of the romantic/tender scenes almost put me in a sugar coma. Didn't help that some folks in the audience broke out in giggles at crucial moments, like when Padme tells him she's pregnant. But Jesus Christ, Lucas, can't you write a heartfelt scene that doesn't send movie-goers stumbling to the toilet to vomit?

All that said, it wasn't a bad movie. Easily better than Episodes One and Two combined. Much better than Return of the Jedi, too. Just not quite sure if it makes a dent in the first two movies to come out back in 1977 and 1980. What those had going for them were characters you cared about. They reminded you of people you know, or even yourself. The ones in Episode Three remind me of caricatures of characters you've seen a million times with all the charisma a bunch of digital special effects can muster -- which ain't much.

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