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Friday, May 20, 2005
Star Wars III
I've masked the post in case anyone wants to avoid spoilers. Just highlight it to read it.
I haven't seen a movie in a theater in a while, and was pretty disgusted that a 12:00 show didn't start until 12:30. Seriously, 30 minutes of previews and stuff? Mix that in with having to get there early to not sit up front, and that's well over an hour of sitting before the movie even began.
I went in without having seen Episode II for about 3 years, which wasn't a good idea. I was trying to remember the subtleties of where the story was, but had to play it by ear. The text intro was brief and uninformitive.
The worst part of the movie was when Luke and Leia were born. Somehow Padme came up with names on the spot, even though she didn't know what sex she was having and especially not that it was twins. The scene was uncomforable due to bad acting, bad directing, bad writing, or a combination of the three. If it was done properly, it could have really set the stage for "A New Hope."
Maybe it is because the other two prequels were similar, but the special effects were basically just a background annoyance. Huge cities with lots of people and vehicles seem standard and don't add to the movie. More time should have been spent on the character and plot development. For example, what is Yoda's special relationship with the wookies other than he rides Chewbacca's back? How come some Windo can battle the emperor almost to the death but Yoda can't (or was that just a ruse?)? Why did Jimmy Smits take Leia? Where was Boba? Things like this are never explained, and there are no more movies to explain them. This, I think is the big failing of the latest trilogy. The first two movies set up all these things that were like "what's going to happen to link this to what I know happens in the future?" and then you thought you would find out in the next movie. This one should have answered all of those questions, but doesn't really do that at all. Anikan becomes Vader! Padme is the mother! Chancellor is the emperor! Already knew it. I wish there was something I could hand my hat on to say "damn, didn't see that coming." Maybe the scene in the Jedi chambers.
Everyone seems to be talking about how political the movie is. I agree that it is political, but doesn't really seem to mimic today's politics very much, at least in my estimation. FWIW, some see the dark side as today's Republican party, which is understandable given their control of the senate and executive branches. That would make the Democrats (or Al Queda?) the light side (I don't know if that's the opposite of the dark side - they never really give it a name).
I do see the Jedi Council as a Supreme Court run amok, deciding that they know what is better than the majority, or those the majority have elected (judicial activism is regardless of party). In Federalist #78, Hamilton said that the judiciary isn't powerful because they lack the sword. Here, the Jedi have the sword and definitely use it to impose their will on an unwilling majority.
What the movie does is make the viewer see both sides of the story and understand that perhaps neither is "evil." If that is the case and the light side is supposed to be those that the US is at war with, Lucas is sadly mistaken.
I came to think that I might like the dark side a little better. Luke always annoyed me. Han was a deadbeat debtor. However wrong or influenced the senate's decisions were, they reflected the will of a majority. I like Yoda, but he was really an ineffective leader, especially if he had the foresight he appeared to have.
Maybe the movie shows that the balance of power was incorrect and Vader did fulfill the prophecy. At one time, there were two dark force Jedis in seclusion and 100+ light force Jedis ruling the universe. After Vader, there were two of each (plus baby Luke). Is that good? Divestment of power from a central ruling body is, but this just shifted that power. If that's what this movie was supposed to be, then it wasn't explained or setup very well by the prequels.
All that said, there is something, perhaps engrained in our culture, that makes the heavy breathing and saber noises mixed with the distinctive music seem like something worth watching.
Posted by Gel 1:13 PM Post a Comment
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