Did I see Star Wars yet?
Ahem. Excuse me.
Did I see “Star Wars: Episode III
Wait– you’re saying you wanted to see Ian McDiarmid play both Palpatine and Anakin?
I guess it would have looked more true to how helmetless Vader appeared in RotJ, but…
The family has spent the last 3 nights watching the 3 originals-the digitized boxed set with the Lucas “improvements”. (As an artist, myself, I don’t fault him for that-it’s his work, after all.) My youngest turned to me in the middle of IV and exclaimed, “this is so exciting!” Mind you, these are the kids of the video game world- yet the action of these movies kept them on the edge of their seats. This would have been the case even without the revisions. While these movies aren’t from my childhood (I was 19 when IV came out)-it’s good to see that something from my “ancient past” can still grab the attention of this jaded and highly entertained generation!
They have now seen the series in proper chronological order and absolutely loved the “surprise” at the very end of the new “Return of the Jedi”. I hadn’t seen “The Empire Strikes Back” or “The Return of the Jedi” since their original theatre runs, and appreciated knowing the backstory this time around.
Star Wars is part of the modern American cultural vernacular. Everyone knows what a light saber is, and Darth Vader’s name has been on the lips for a generation. While they may not be high art–or even the best movies ever made, both the old and new sets are gorgeous to look at and exciting to watch. The Force is strong within them!
Juvenile diversions. When will the post-warriors grow up?
Juvenile diversion? Or Passion Play?
The descent of Anakin will go down as one of the best choreographed bits in the history of American cinema. Stephen alluded to Ian McDiarmid’s excellent turn as Palpatine. He first entices the young Jedi (bite of the apple?), then confuses him (evil is really good) and finally seduces him (only the dark side will save Padme).
Absolutely effing brilliant.
I really thought that III made up for the betrayal that was I and II. I only wish that they had not said that word, “midichlorians”. Hayden Christiansen’s acting was much better in this III. I do not fault the actors for their performances in any of the Star Wars movies – it was always the directing. It was never the acting or the directing that captured the audiences but the stories; and the special effects. A fine story was told.
–Juvenile diversions. When will the post-warriors grow up?–
What, you want us to turn into Olde Europeans?
What a non-sequitur, Sandy.
No, I simply wish the post war generations were as brilliant as they think they are.
Some random Star Wars thoughts…
When not-quite-yet-evil Anakin confesses to Mace Windu that he thinks Palpatine is a Sith, I really wanted Samuel L. Jackson to whip his head around and exclaim, “Say what?!?!?”
Among all the debate over the meaning of the now-famous “either you’re with me or you’re my enemy” exchange, no one seems to have noticed (although I haven’t had the inclination to wade through 400+ comments on other blogs) that earlier, anguished Padme exclaims, “This whole war is about a failure to communicate!” and pleads for a cease-fire and more diplomacy. Now, anyone in the audience with half a brain knows by now that the Good Guys are facing an implacable enemy who only uses diplomacy as a distaction to further his ends – could it be that what are seeing there is a subtle put-down of peacenik types? Or just another example of bad Lucasian writing in which he manages to undermine his own agenda? You decide!
American Mother, I was your age when SW came out and it was about the coolest SF film I’d seen up to that time. Sure, I love 2001, but it didn’t have things getting blowed up real good (thanks, Stephen!). I saw it in a theatre in Ithaca NY with my good friend and fellow SF enthusiast. We were sitting in the middle front row of a low balcony arrangement, so we were at the dead center of the movie screen, and we had no idea what to expect. Yoicks! From the Star Destroyer passing endlessly overhead to the battle over the surface of the Death Star, it was an amazingly wild ride…
J’ever notice how Obi-Wan seems to be able to sneak into the most improbable places? In SW, as an old man in flowing desert robes, he manages to sneak around in an aseptically clean battle station that seemingly doesn’t have a lot of places to hide. In Sith, he not only manages to sneak into the heart of General Grievous’s HQ, but he takes a large noisy lizard (whom I’ve nicknamed “Spot”) with him! The dude is amazing!
And speaking of amazing, what kind of friend leaves leaves his (admittedly former) friend on fire with three limbs traumatically amputated to die of shock? Much kinder to have told him off, then put him out of his misery…would have saved the Galaxy a lot of grief in the end, too…
“No, I simply wish the post war generations were as brilliant as they think they are.”
It is true, we have yet to come up with anything as brilliant as Soviet Communism, National Socialism, Italian Fascism…
What’s wrong Brett? Does all this drama for drama’s sake offend against some Trotskyist notion of what the arts are for? Just askin’
Stephen, you’re so right about the power of the scenes in which the clones turned on the Jedi. I had a catch in my throat throughout those scenes, which rivaled the final lightsaber battle for intensity and impact.
I remain pleased with Ep 3, appreciating it for what it is, and is not. That said, I finally figured out what had been annoying me about some major plot points.
Look, all you post-warriors, no matter what you say, George Lucas just ain’t no Gerry Anderson…
Saw the movie with a good, geek friend who loves playing villains– this guy can think of *evil* yet cool characters.
We both agree that 1) Pali has good taste in henchmen (You have not found his body? Then he is not dead! Keep searching!) and 2) there is no such thing as overkill. (So he’s got no legs and seems to have burned to death? Drop a pocket nuke on him– just in case. And be sure to cut the robot to tiny pieces, because cutting off the head doesn’t always work)
That said, I found it made more sense to just ignore the dialog that didn’t make sense. “Only the Sith deal in absolutes! Ignore that we’ve been talking about the Dark Side being absolutely bad!”
a question for all you star warriors: what up with annikin appearing glowing with the trinity at the end of RoJ? Some kind of Calvinist doesn’t-matter-if-you-blow-up-a-planet-as-long-as-you-are-the-elect thing? don’t get me wrong–3 out of the 6 movies are really pretty good and that’s a good record…
Marc, IMO Vader’s redemption in RoJ was way too easy. He needed to spend an eternity or two in the Jedi equivalent of Purgatory before he could show up all glow-y with Yoda and Obi-Wan.
But according to George Lucas, it doesn’t matter how many worlds you’ve destroyed, if you save your own son, you’re golden for all eternity!
“Pure, raw, screaming hatred
It’s funny, my teen felt that Anakin’s turn to the Darkside happened way too easy and fast- as many obviously do. Conversely, this young person (who enjoys “fragging the weak and hurtling the dead”) was extremely pleased with Anakin’s appearance with his fellow Jedi in the end-that it was absolutely the perfect ending…Yup, it was a pure shot at sentiment on Lucas’ part–but it brought a tear even to my eye (and the family will attest to the fact that I’m not taken to crying-and am sometimes referred to as “Darth Mom”.)
Maybe at this house we like that affirmation of redemption. No purgatory?-no problem!
Sith was laugh out loud bad.
The Jedi are the dumbest group of “Rangers” ever to exist. 10 feet away soldiers are taking phone calls ordering them to be killed and orders are given and they didn’t sense it?
And guns. Why not carry guns? Obi wan used one. Why rely on a light sabers?
And their killers slowly march up the steps and they can’t defend their headquarters??????
As much as I loved Star Wars, Sith was one of the dumber movies ever made. In fact, it is so dumb I don’t think I’ll be able to watch IV, V and VI any more without becoming ill.
Oh yeah. The “great” seduction scene:
“Wanna be a bad guy?”
I saw the movie the other day, and agree with some of the above analysis, and disagree with others. I enjoyed the movie, and (most of) the series, but won’t get too worked up about it one way or the other. However, I can’t help but chuckle at a sig line I saw someone use on another forum…
Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
Wow, you’ve really jumped off the deep end on this one.
Read the comparison of the prequels with Empire here; a decidedly more incisive review than “all the acting and dialogue sucked in all the movies, so it was cool to see stuff blow up” at this link; and this somewhat prescient preview of the movie.
Star Wars was not a popcorn movie like some XXX or Long Kiss Goodnight type of dross. It was more than that. The fact that Lucas has reduced your expectations to such a degree shows more about the decline of the franchise than anything else.
As the latest film reinforces, George Lucas has an unsettling fascination with the amputation of hands. One has to wonder whether he was perhaps chastised too severely as a child when caught masturbating.
Just saw the movie tonight (finally) and I actually did really enjoy it.
My main comment is – where were all the female Jedi? Why are women so woefully under-represented on the Jedi council? Is there some kind of Jedi glass ceiling or what? I mean, I thought they were supposed to be enlightened … whatever.
My main complaint was that here was Anakin, turning to the dark side for one, and only one reason, to save Padme. Now, in three seconds, Padme apparently deceives Anakin, and he kills her(Well, he chokes her and she never recovers, and dies after childbirth, face it, he killed her) Makes no sense at all!
Wow it was the longest 2 hour and 20 minutes of my life. And I can not buy that since we know how it ends it was a hard story to tell. We all knew how Return of the King ended and we were still amazed at how well it was done.
The conversion to the darkside just was ridiculous. Annakin was a whiny child, badly miscast.
Here is a nit I have to pick, if Yoda was not stong enough to beat Sidious, how in the hell was Luke going to kill Darth Vader then kill the emperor.
I saw the movie, I will buy the dvd but will ever see it again in a theater. Things blew up real good but the acting, pacing and dialogue were real bad
Glad you liked it. The whole Order 66 sequence and the ensuing tragedy has just stuck with me for days after the movie. Some thoughts (which I cross-posted ASV) after re-watching a bunch of Eps. I, II, IV and VI over the weekend and reflecting on III:
1. Yoda was either never a great warrior (“Wars not make one great”) or old and washed up: he can fight Dooku and Palpatine to a standstill, but the only people he kills are a couple of clones. He’s a teacher, not a fighter.
2. How lame is Obi-Wan in the EpII fight with Dooku? A couple of flesh wounds and the guy is helpless. Couldn’t he have used the force to make his lightsaber stab Dooku in the back when he’s fighting Yoda? It’s not like he hadn’t used a similar trick with Darth Maul.
3. Also, Obi-Wan gives up way too easily in IV. I know he’s beat down and aged beyond his years from two decades living alone in a cave in the desert, but he lets Vader kill him when he was still needed to train Luke and do battle for the Rebellion. I guess that was a needed diversion. But he also doesn’t try at all to talk Vader out of the Dark Side, when you’d think he could have made at least a token effort. In fact, as we see in VI, he’s so cynical about Vader that he tries to talk Luke out of appealing to Vader’s memories of the good man he was. (This is one of the ironies of the “absolutes” line – how quickly Obi-Wan gives up on Anakin as absolutely bad).
4. While we’re Obi-Wan bashing, why can Vader read Luke’s mind to know he has a sister, but Obi-Wan can’t figure out that Anakin has a wife?
5. On the merits of the fight itself, the Qui Gon/Obi Wan vs. Darth Maul fight in Ep I has to be the best of all the lightsaber battles.
6. It’s interesting that Palpatine, who was so smooth with Anakin, has by Ep VI abandoned all efforts at sly persuasion; with Luke all he does is try to get him angry.
7. Re-watch Obi-Wan during the scene in IV where he tells Luke about his father – I don’t know if Lucas told Alec Guiness to do this, but you can tell he’s being evasive (“I’ve never owned any droids”) and he keeps looking over at R2 with this “don’t blow my cover story on this” look, which makes perfect sense when you see that they don’t wipe R2′s memory at the end of III.
8. In fact, I’d forgotten how much R2 drives the plot even in IV – which makes sense, given his familiarity with Tattoine and the fact that he’s the only one who knows everything that’s going on.
9. The characters who would have recognized each other from III or earlier mostly don’t meet – Yoda never sees Chewie again, Vader barely encounters 3PO and sees even less of R2.
10. Isn’t it uncharacteristic of Anakin/Vader – who usually insists on doing everything himself – that he doesn’t personally go to Tattoine in IV to search for the droids? I mean, this is his home planet. Unless it’s too painful to go back.
11. After III, I’m more convinced that Han comes back at the end of IV because Chewie nags him to (recall: “what are you looking at?”). Han may be a mercenary, but we never see any evidence that Chewie isn’t a true believer. Recall that in IV, Obi-Wan hooks up in the bar with Chewie first, not Han (perhaps recalling that the Wookies were faithful allies who saved Yoda’s little green ass).
The last Star Wars movie was easily the worst of the six. I actually busted up in laughter when Vader broke out of his restraints at the end and did the stiff walk out of them. I actually expected him to the the SNL Frankenstein impression. “Fire BAAAD! Raaaahr!” They mind wiped the droid. I yearned for the same.
I agree with Steven but I agree even more with Rick. F-ing brilliant. Anakin’s fall was the payoff for this movie and for all the prequels and it doesn’t fail in either logic or pacing.
But first a word about the bad acting meme. Just exactly how are the actors supposed to express the detatched and dispassionate Jedi who are masters of their emotions? Most of the main characters are Jedi’s. When it comes time to finally emote, why shouldn’t it look awkward? This doesn’t absolve the love scenes between Anakin and Padme nor does it excuse the occaisonal bit of clunky dialouge, but its a pretty handy reminder for most of the film’s scenes.
Is Anakin’s fall too quick? Not if we remember just how long he has been struggling. The kid was born a slave and his Mom was used for sex by her masters and their clients. Wouldn’t that warp a person’s personality just a bit? And don’t forget that Anakin has already massacred a whole tribe of sand people in II in revenge for his mom’s death. That is very un-Jedi like behavior and what would it do to his mind to live alone with that knowledge any length of time while keeping up the pretense of being a Jedi hero? He is a former slave boy born without power or dignity, he becomes a Jedi which gives him just what he’s been missing, but he also seems to crave a normal existence and he falls in love and starts a family etc. Think of the conflict. He is torn between two things that he needs which are contradictory. He knows that he has failed to be a Jedi in every way and the Jedi sure don’t help him when for instance he goes to Yoda for his advice on his dreams and Yoda’s advice is to stop caring about whoever he cares about so much. Stop caring about his wife?
The Jedi do as much to lose Anakin as Palpatine does to gain him. And Anakins own demons have been wearing him down since childhood. He’s being torn in very direction. He finally gives up. Throws in the towel. How long is that supposed to take? By the time, he kills Mace, he has already murdered in two incidents. The kid just gives up. Its too much for him.
The fall is also logical. Take all that I have just said and enter someone who tells Anakin that the Jedi are wrong about everything. Palpatine tells Anakin that he can have everything he ever wanted. He doesn’t have to be a Jedi. The Sith are misunderstood. They are passionate like Anakin. They embrace both sides of the force etc. Palpatine makes it clear that he accepts Anakin just as he is. He doesn’t have unreasonable expectations of him. He convinces Anakin that some dirty work must be done in order to achieve good things like saving Padme and restoring peace.
How young is Anakin? Dont forget that. Try to put yourself at age 20 or so in a room with Palpatine. Now imagine that you are a freaking mess inside in spite of the act you put on. He tells you that you have to do a bit of dirty work to achieve all the good that you could possibly want. Suddenly, slaughtering the Jedi who never did you any favors anyway seems like a small price to pay.
He is a screwed up 20 something who gives up in an instant a fight he’s been fighting for most of his life. He’s a 20 something who is younger than that emotionally, more powerful than those who are older than him, and extremely frustrated and wounded by what he sees as rejection by them. He is petulant. He whines about unfairness. He screams “I hate you” at his brother/father figure who by his own admission has failed him and just cut his arms and legs.
How would you act? What would you say?
Why isn’t it logical for this completely screwed up kid to suddenly lash out at Padme when he thinks she has betrayed him? He has just gone to the Dark side for her. He’s killed kids for her. He is a bit wound up to say the least. He’s totally strung out. Then he thinks she has rejected him. She is horrified by what he did and revolted by him. Makes perfect sense to lash out.
Re: Final fight scene critiques seen here. Ok. If someone were to be exploiting a volcano, don’t you think they would have some kind of material that doesn’t melt? Why assume that its regular metal? People can get somewhat close to lava flows without bursting into flames. It’ll be way hot and you probably couldn’t take it for long but burst instantly into flames you probably wouldn’t. Anakin only catches fire when his clothing makes contact with the lava. Obi-wan doesn’t help Anakin because maybe he is in shock and going fast into denial? He has not only failed the kid he loved and thought of as a brother, but he has contributed to his mutilation. He runs off. Maybe someone here might have had the presence of mind to finish the kid off but its perfectly believable for a guy to just run away and put as much distance between the horror and him as possible.
I wonder how people expect a mature, articulate, stable and noble person to turn to the Dark Side. Just try and write it your way and then take a look at it Lucas’ way. You can’t get from Obi-wan to the Dark Side but you can easily get there if you start with a troubled pouting kid. Who else is going to go that route?
Has anyone here ever seen what troubled teenagers are capable of? I’m sure that you have. Why is it hard to believe in Anakin’s case? Where do people get the idea that his fall wouldn’t look like a talented troubled child self-destructing in the ugliest way careening from one side to the other without much warning?
How many people have lost everything trying to save it? My guess is probably a lot. The ruthlessness that it sometimes takes to hang on to your dreams ends up destroying them. A person who tells themself that they only have to do a bit of dirty work to get where they want to be and then they will quit is in for a big ugly disappointment.
This movie really made me think about that and it made me think about all the real souls that have been lost on this planet in much the same way. It tells the truth about it. It aint pretty. Those who give in to evil aren’t that damn sympathetic and they don’t make much sense to us who have it better. I think it is a mistake to expect unstable kid to act like a stable adult would.
I would recommend that everyone who didn’t like it to think about this stuff and then go see the movie again. I had many of the same problems with it the first time but on second viewing I realized that I had missed quite a bit. Viewing the movie a second time allowed me to concentrate on Anakin’s story and that’s when I got it. In spite of the movies flaws, I am in awe and I am no Star Wars geek. I really liked the original trilogy but I was never nuts about it after I grew up and I hated the first two movies of this trilogy. But III totally got to me and now the whole of the first trilogy has been completely transformed particularly “Empire” which was always my favorite. I’m thrilled.
Peggy – the way you describe the fall of Annakin is perfect, wish we had seen some of that in the first 2 movies. Instead we get Yipee and pod racing, an ernest little boy that wants to do good. In the second a petulant teenager. There is absolutely no real feeling that he chooses the dark side other than he is supposed to so we can set up movies 4-6. there should have been more interaction, more decision points to show the conflict. A good director could have made 1,2,3 and made them real, shown how the Jedi had become like the republic and ripe for take over from within. He should have made the movies darker from the beginning, more menacing. He doesn’t and the third movie was boring.
Two other responses.
I agree with whoever had the quibble with Padme dying of grief etc. No it didn’t make sense and no it didn’t match up with what Leia says in Jedi. That whole part is a do-over for me and my great disappointment with the film.
Someone else quibbled with the Death Star taking twenty years to build. It doesn’t look it on screen but it is supposed to be the size of a small moon! Its somewhat believable to think it would take 20 years to build it. Where we get a failure of logic is actually in Jedi where in the short interval between New Hope and Jedi, the Empire puts another one together to near completion. It makes more sense to take 20 years to me. But then we can’t have it all. The movies don’t match perfectly and maybe its too much to ask for everything to fit. In the important things they do fit together. I’m not a quibbler.
“He is a screwed up 20 something who gives up in an instant a fight he’s been fighting for most of his life. He’s a 20 something who is younger than that emotionally, more powerful than those who are older than him, and extremely frustrated and wounded by what he sees as rejection by them. He is petulant. He whines about unfairness. He screams “I hate you” at his brother/father figure who by his own admission has failed him and just cut his arms and legs.”
Peggy — This is a good analysis. The only problem I have is that it does not fit with the original trilogy. In the original, we were all told that Anakin was a great warrior, a hero, and a “good friend.”
This trilogy never showed that. He went from obnoxious kid to obnoxious teenager (not without reason I agree) to the dark side. It’s not as great a fall as I would have thought.
“3. Also, Obi-Wan gives up way too easily in IV. I know he’s beat down and aged beyond his years from two decades living alone in a cave in the desert, but he lets Vader kill him when he was still needed to train Luke and do battle for the Rebellion. I guess that was a needed diversion.”
I always took that as Obi Wan taking a dive so that he could come back in the spiritual sense in Empire and be more powerful than before (a twist on Gandalf the Gray/White). I think Ep. III confirms this with the mention of Qui Gon making contact with Yoda and Obi Wan.
But Amakin was those things as well. He kicked ass as a warrior. He was a good friend to Obi-wan until their falling out and he was without a doubt brave and heroic. Its like there were two people battling inside him and he finally exploded from the inner conflict.
Just because Anakin didn’t fulfill his potential doesn’t mean he didn’t have any of those qualities you describe. Those qualities were very real but never fully realized.
“The montage sequence when the Clone Troopers turned on their Jedi leaders was one of those, ”
That was my favorite scene in the movie because it was done so well. I found it very reminiscent of the Godfather scene in which all the mob bosses are gunned down.
I had to see this movie because a five year old in my home, who claims to be my son, demanded that I take him. He stopped calling me dad or daddy a few months back and now only refers to me only as Father, and asks repeatedly when I will turn into something like Darth Vader. Soon my son, very, very soon.
About the movie: I could live without the dime deep left coast attempt at keeping the film relevant. Heroes on both sides etc…? Please you’re embarrassing yourself. In 25 years when Iraq has been a functioning prosperous democracy for as long as anyone in Hollywood can remember Lucas will reissue a boxed DVD set with a different prologue and act like it was there all the time, sorta kinda like he did with Fredo vs. Han in the cantina. And the dialogue, I’ve seen AFLAC commercials with more convincing speech patterns Lucas should be arrested for allowing this drivel to be filmed.
“But Amakin was those things as well. He kicked ass as a warrior. He was a good friend to Obi-wan until their falling out and he was without a doubt brave and heroic. Its like there were two people battling inside him and he finally exploded from the inner conflict.”
He was a good fighter, but mostly he kicked asses that shouldn’t have been kicked, took things too far or fought improperly(and knew it). I still don’t see how he was ever someone Obi Wan could realistically describe as a good friend. It seemed to me he was always at best a pain in Obi Wan’s neck.
“Just because Anakin didn’t fulfill his potential doesn’t mean he didn’t have any of those qualities you describe. Those qualities were very real but never fully realized.”
I do agree with that. But I was expecting more good-man-gone-bad than tormented-man-with-unrealized-good-qualities-gone-bad.
Cthonic, you are reading too much into the film. Or maybe projecting into it what you want to see just so you can bitch about it.
Lucas himself said any political parallels in the book are more in tune with Vietnam than Iraq. He did, after all, create most of the story almost 30 years ago.
As for the two heroes thing – I don’t think that was put in there to keep relevant to the times at all. There ARE heroes on both sides, just as there are bad guys on both sides. The Jedi are not without their faults and the Sith are not alway intent on evil. In fact, I could find more ways in which the Jedi are bad for the galaxy than the Empire is, but I’ve made too much a geek of myself already.
I hear what you are saying but see (if you can find it) one thing that I said earlier.
I don’t think it would have been at all plausible for a good stable personality, say like Kenobi, to go bad. There has to be something tormented in a person in the first place for anything like a fall from grace to be believable. It wouldn’t be possible to turn someone as secure in themselves as Kenobi in spite of his failures and shortcomings. A guy like him doesnt quit even in the face of a disaster like Anakin. I agree a lot of people got a different impression from the earlier flicks including myself. I always thought Anakin was older when he turned myself. I always pictured him in his late thirties early fourties for some reason. But now I can see the logic. One terrible event doesnt turn someone bad like losing a loved one for example. It might make them do something bad but it doesnt change them. For someone to go bad they have to have suffered a great deal and struggled for a long time already and yes, possibly lack the maturity and perspective of someone older than Anakin was when he turned.
I had my own ideas about how things would turn out but when I was able to lay my ideas aside for a little while and just go along for the ride, I found that the idea on screen made more sense.
Villains on both sides, yes. I didn’t see any heroes fighting for the Trade Federation, just villains, droids and racist caricatures.
Anakin is to the Jedi what Bobby Fischer is to chess masters.
I assume the Death Star construction schedule was accelerated because they learned lessons from the first one, and perhaps had fewer financial and other constraints as the Empire was more mature. But don’t forget, the thing’s still only about half done in terms of mass.
I know this is very late in the discussion but wanted to add something to the conversation. Now this is not an original idea but something that I read a long time ago (and I’m sure most of you have come across it before too)about how Buddhist teachings influenced Lucas’ story. When I first watched the original Star Wars series, I was 5 or 6 years old so naturally, the experience was more visual than literary?. But now watching ROTS as a 30 year old, I have to say the experience was much deeper on several levels. One, having been raised a Buddhist, I got a big kick out of hearing Yoda spouting Buddhist teachings such as when he tells Anakin to let go of his fear of losing Padme which correlates to the Buddhist teaching of the impermanence of things (in short,one should not hold onto things in the physical world). I think another way to look at or analyze Anakin’s struggle is to think of it as his journey toward enlightenment and ultimately his failure to achieve enlightenment because he cannot let go of his fear, his anger, whatever that’s holding him to the physical world. Now contrast Anakin’s physical imprisonment in Darth Vader’s armor to Yoda’s comment about communicating with the spirit of a dead Jedi who did achieve enlightenment. Basically, I look at Yoda as a Buddhist monk who can kick ass. Anyway, I’m rambling right now so I’ll stop this long post. Just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
Maybe this is a better way to put it. Only a young tormented person could be persuaded by someone like Palpatine to change their whole philosophy and way of life like Anakin does. An older man might be forced by events to do something bad but would have more experience and greater perspective and would have more resources to right himself again. Anakin was wholly corrupted into Darth Vader. He didn’t just mess up in a moment of great emotional crisis. He became Palpatines disciple.
I think the tragedy is heightened by how young he was. I just couldn’t shake that for about a week. So young. He had it all so it would seem to us. And this beautiful talented boy ends up horribly disfigured and left with nothing and lives a life of equally horrific isolation in that awful armor for the next twenty years. No wonder he turned so cruel.
But all of this is not to say that I suddenly think this was all Lucas’ doing. He did as much to try and screw it up as he did to make it work. I have to agree with Orson Scott Card on this. The story is what is brilliant. The ideas are what are brilliant and Lucas’s mistakes aren’t enough to derail the thrust of what is a great story maybe even one for the ages. It is a great story if its given a chance. There is alot in it to think about.
Personally, it has inspired me to begin again with an old story that I abandoned years ago. That is how much I took away from it. It blew my mind.
On the Leia’s memory of her mother question, I think that’s addressed at the end of episode III. Senator Bail Organa takes Leia to Alderan, to his wife, who, it’s revealed in the books, is Queen (making Leia a Princess, see?). The Queen dies while Leia is still young, the memories Leia is talking about are of the Queen of Alderan, not her real mother.
Peggy — You’re right of course, both about the level of immaturity and insecurity that would allow Anakin to turn to the dark side, and about the tragedy of this happening when he was so young and full of a different potential.
It’s a matter of balance, and for me, they did not show enough of the good potential for it to affect me as deeply as I had hoped when he turned to the dark side.
I don’t want to sound like a LOTR nut (especially since I never read the books just saw the movies), but if you look at Gollum, who just like Anakin, has a long struggle and a pivotal moment where he has to finally decide between good and bad, and you know he’s going to turn bad, that internal struggle is played out so well that when despair takes over and Smeagol no longer stands a chance, it just breaks your heart.
I think the missed opportunities were more glaring in Eps I and II. Those films should have had us rooting for Anakin in Ep. III and they really didn’t. The other problem is that both his goodness and his despair rely too much on love for Padme, and that story was so badly done that you can’t see this as a love that would cause someone to sell his soul.
I’m afraid I have overstated my objections. I really did like the movie, including the portrayal of Anakin’s descent. I just wanted to like it more.
There were other elements that were very well done, including the use of Yoda, the scenes of betrayal of the Jedi (as others have mentioned), the parallel despair scenes of Anakin and Padme at the very time of the births of their children (which should have signified hope to both), the last youngling fighting to the death, Anakin’s mutilation scene, . . .
I fell asleep during the early slow part. Did it put anyone else to sleep? I also don’t see much mention here of the difference between special effects using models and special effects using all computer generated graphics, but it’s been mentioned in reviews and I found the difference very noticeable. The original trio (I actually despised the 3rd one) felt more real because more models and miniatures were used; the computer effects in this one were horrible in spots and had the effect on me of repetitive synthesized music. BORING.
There’s been no chemistry or repartee in the new trio like that between Han and Leia, or Leia and Luke. Christiansen and Portman have zero chemistry or wit. Even Yoda did not seem himself.
The story was great, but I agree with Denise that Gollum’s struggle between good and evil was so much more satisfying than Anakin’s. I thought I was getting too old to enjoy SW with these most recent 3, but I was as enthused for LOTR as I was for the SW’s of ’77 – ’83. Lucas seems out of gas to me, and seems to have lost his grasp on the power of the struggle between good and evil. His moral equivalence dialogue was silly and made the characters sound trite and foolish.
For me, it was good, not great, and nothing about it makes me want to see it again. I have watched all LOTRs repeatedly and Empire at least 12 times. This one is ultimately a disappointment — though better than the last 2.
Return of George Lucas
I just saw “Revenge of the Sith” and don’t have a lot to say that hasn’t already been said. However, a couple of bloggers have identified the elements of the movie that worked for me. Chayyei Sarah wrote:The thing that…
The one thing that grabbed me after Sith filled in the blanks was the way it enhances the climactic scene in Jedi where Darth Vader turns on the Emperor.
Palpatine seduced Anakin by playing on his love and fear for Padme and their child(ren), and then he cruelly sank the knife to the hilt by telling Vader that he killed them in his paranoid rage.
So you could assume that for the next 20 years much of Vader’s evil came out of his self-loathing belief that he had killed his own family.
Then Vader came to learn that Luke was his live son (and Leia was his live daughter), so that would carry with it the awful realization of the Emperor’s critical lie.
Rewatch the scene in Jedi where the Emperor blasted Luke with the lightning bolts, and Luke pleaded with his father for help. With the full backstory, now you can grasp the emotions that played through Vader as he silently watched his son being tortured, which caused him to turn and destroy the Emperor.
In fact, every scene in Jedi where the Emperor leads Vader in a discussion of Luke’s fate is now that much more loaded because of what was revealed in Sith.
I find the story arc that plays out in the novels set after the end of the last movie was better. Han and Leia have children. Luke matures and tries to become the Jedi teacher, having to reinvent the Jedi from scratch. The remnants of the Empire try to set up a valid civilization. The new Jedi fight the flaws that caused the original republic to fall and which never went away. The children becom the Jedi warriors. Luke marries (a former assassin who served Palpatine and becomes a Jedi) and has a child.
Of course that leads to the lines
“When will we be able to sleep through the night”.
“Judging by the Solo kids, in about twenty years”
Drama for drama’s sake, forsooth. Personal characterizations are not necessary; there is no need to take umbrage when our tastes differ.
Art is for many things, and while it may be long, life is short, and I find anything less than the best but a waste of time.
Star Wars is far from the best. That should not be a controversial statement.
And Perry, I’m as anti-communist as they come; your inference of Trotskyism from my comments is not called for.
Like many movies, this Sith is sloppy enough that you can interpret some of the movie how you will, even if it wasn’t the intention of the creator. In this case, the unconvincing love scenes between Annakin and Padme were perfect; Annakin didn’t love Padme, he was infatuated with her. Just look at his face when she announces she’s pregnant–he doesn’t want kids, he wants a mistress. And not just for the sex, but it’s one more way to stick it in the eye of the arrogant, incompetent, dogmatic Jedi Counsel. In the end, he cared about her as an object, not as an actual human being. It’s like a new version of Romeo and Juliet where Juliet grows up.
I’m surprised nobody else has touched on the “Anakin as Orpheus” angle yet. I blogged something about it about a week ago. I’m not going to post a link here because I don’t want to give the appearance of pimping, but if you’re interested, it’s on my site.
Also, I’m fairly shocked by the sheer number of folks who can’t spell “Anakin.” It’s only been a part of modern Western mythology for twenty years, after all.
Vodkapundit – All the News That’s Fit to Drink
“Also, I finally figured out why Hayden Christiansen’s line delivery was so %u2026off%u2026 in both movies he starred in. Listen closely, and you’ll realize he’s trying to imitate James Earl Jones….
Around The ‘Sphere
Links are from sites with varying viewpoints. Opinion expressed do not necessarily express the views of TMV or its co-bloggers.
If you liked what Sith does to Jedi wait til you see what it does to Empire.
I tripped out when I saw it recently for the first time in years. There is this one scene where the Emperor instructs Vader to find and kill Luke. Vader argues that Luke is “just a boy” and eventually argues that instead of being killed Luke should be persuaded to join the Dark Side. Its a twisted way to save the kids life but in the end its successful. You have to wonder at what Vader says later when he tries to tempt Luke with an offer to overthrow Palpatine and rule the galaxy as father and son. I won’t go into everything I took from this statement but the implications are very interesting indeed. Have fun!
I can’t wait to see New Hope again. I’ll bet the same thing happens in the fight between Ben and Vader.
A couple of good scenes do not a movie make. ROTS is Ishtar bad, Gigli bad. Imagine this movie made in 1977 without the CGI. Anybody want to believe there would have been a sequel of any sort? By all means enjoy it if I can, but I find nothing but great disappointment. Magnificent technical skill, but they are still molding crap.