Wednesday, May 18, 2005

"Revenge of the Sith" Overall Thoughts

I’ve seen it. Finally. In some ways I’ve waited my whole life for tonight. It’s the close to something I’ve grown up with my entire life. I was too young to wait in line in for any of the films. The only one from the original trilogy I saw in theatres was “Return of the Jedi”. (Until the 1997 re-releases) I mainly grew up with “Star Wars” at home, on worn-out video. Since the age of six, I have wanted to be a Jedi. To learn the ways of the force from Luke Skywalker. And now I’ve seen my last “Star Wars” film in theatres. “Revenge of the Sith” is something I’ve been looking forward to for three years now. Unlike most of my friends, I enjoyed “Attack of the Clones”. It was exactly what I wanted. So, I felt that it set up what I wanted in “Episode III”.

In 2002, I made the claim that “Episode III” would be my favorite of all the “Star Wars” films. After seeing the film, I think it’s the truth. “A New Hope” will always be special because it was the story that started the mythology, and I’m currently sitting and watching it while I write this, to see the connections made between the two films, and because I’m just feeling really nostalgic tonight. “Empire” was my favorite because of the multiple stories and the introduction of Yoda, Luke’s training, Vader’s attempts to convert Luke, their confrontation, it worked so well as a story. And “Return of the Jedi” just sealed everything for me, with Luke’s “real” battle with Vader. In my youth, the battle in the Throne Room was the best, because it was the first “real” Jedi fight scene. So, the original trilogy will always and forever hold special places in my heart for what they meant to me growing up. The re-releases in 1997 only expanded my love for the series, as I began collecting the re-release toys, figures, lightsabres, and anything else “Star Wars” related.

Then came the prequel trilogy. We had the story of Luke Skywalker, now it was time to develop his father, Anakin, and show his path towards the Dark Side of the force. “Episode I” was a disappointment to me, overall. In retrospect, I’ve changed some of my opinions and views of the film, but I felt it was too childish and lacked the layered and intelligent stories from the originals. It was eye candy, lots of blatant overuse of special effects that were not needed. That was something special about the original trilogy: what they accomplished with puppets and available resources. Not relying on the additions of computer enhancements. I still skip the pod race every single time. However, the redeeming factor is the lightsabres duel between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Darth Maul. Intense, raw, full of emotion, I loved it. Seeing Jedi in their prime, the intensity that they fight with and their skills were far superior to anything in the original trilogy. As I stated earlier, “Episode II” had what I wanted to see: Confusion, the obvious presence of the Dark Side, and their ability to cloud the Jedi and the creation of the Clone Army, the ability of Palpatine to manipulate as many people as he does. Unfortunately, the lightsabres duels were one of the downfalls to “Episode II”. The Obi-Wan-Anakin-Dooku fight was nothing even close to impressive, and the Yoda-Dooku fight just looked fake. It was enjoyable to see Yoda hold his own, but it just didn’t feel right. Again, the overuse of digital effects ruined parts of this film as well.

And now, the film I’ve been waiting for my entire life (from a certain point of view…). It’s everything I ever wanted. It makes many connections between the original trilogy and the prequels. It explains a great number of things, some things you have to pay close attention to in order to catch the quick reference/explanation, and others are more easily explained. There’s still some things that were not addressed, and that disappointed me, so I’ll probably end up reading the book soon, and hoping it details some aspects a little better.

I’m not going to give away a bunch of spoilers in this review, and it’s going to be pretty short for now. In a couple of days, after most people on the planet have seen the film, I’ll go into more details about the “nit-picky” things in the film. Overall, it’s amazing. The fight sequence between Anakin and Obi-Wan is the best fight I have ever seen on film. The speed, the fury, the emotion, the choreography, it’s all beyond what I ever could have expected. I saw brief glimpses of the fight during a special presentation at Celebration III, but they couldn’t do justice to the entire sequence.

The dialogue was much improved over the past two films. The storyline and plot are also noticeably improved. It appears Lucas was saving up everything for this film, and Thank God it was PG-13. I can’t imagine getting across the emotion and tone of the film, if it were cut down to PG. There were some good political comments made from time to time, that actually made sense, outside of the “Star Wars” Universe.

Since I said this wasn’t going to contain any spoilers, it makes it hard to currently discuss a great deal of the action and story, which is fine, because next week I’ll be talking for long hours about the film, and about how it all expands the mythology of the “Star Wars” Universe.

It was bittersweet as the credits began. The end was predictable and when I happened, I thought to myself “…no, this can’t be it…” And it’s not. Luckily, I can come home and put in “A New Hope” (like I did…) and reflect on the story I just watched. It’s amazing. It’s beautiful. It shows in great detail how one man can so easily fall, when pressure is applied from the right places. As much as I despise “Episode I”, lots of things relate back to eight-year-old Anakin, and it shows how and why he became the way he did. It’s an amazing journey to watch, however I’m pretty depressed that it will be the last “new” film in the series, that I will get to see on the big screen. Luckily, it satisfied me. And right now, my thought dwell on Obi-Wan. I plan to begin writing a piece based on my thoughts about my favorite character in the “Star Wars” Universe. I’ve been thinking about him a great deal over the past two weeks, but neglected to write anything, until after I viewed the final film. I can now take all my knowledge of him, over six films, and discuss the good and the bad of General Obi-Wan Kenobi. Who is truly a deep and complex character, with many flaws, which make him the most human character in the series.
More discussion about the film to come next week, when it won’t ruin anything for most people.

Bad news for the night, was the Pacers loss. Now facing elimination in Game 6 back here in Indy. Sadly, I might be at Reggie Miller's last home game of his career. It a perfect world, we could win Game 6 and then steal Game 7 back in Detroit, but the truth is that we're not playing well, and the Pistons are using that against us. Tonight we played like a bunch of guys who didn't care. No one hustled, no one tried, and no one took control of the game for us. Anthony Johnson started at the end of the second, but nothing more came out of it. Thursday night will be a true test. Let's hope they can survive. GO PACERS!

No comments: