Saturday, May 21, 2005

Revenge of the Sith

Yes, I am one of those people. Those Star Wars freaks. Not your convention-attending freak, mind you. But Star Wars is in my blood. And I saw Revenge last night. It's, by far, the best of the prequels.

The movie has incredible Jedi-fighting sequences -- they alone are worth the price of admission. On the other hand, the movie isn't very shocking or surprising. It simply fills in some of the blanks that you know have gotta be filled.

A couple of disappointments about Revenge and Star Wars in general: (1) The prequels, and specifically Revenge, have the seed of powerful story in it, but they never deliver. Anakin's life is a great, but underdeveloped, tragedy. I am never quite able to connect with him emotionally. Not enough time, I suppose. Maybe just bad writing, acting, or directing. (2) Only one of the trilogies will have the "oh-my-gosh factor." For instance, if you watch Episodes 4-6 first, then the surprises within the storyline of Revenge (Anakin's betrayal, Padme's death, the Jedis' destruction, the revelation of Sidious) are made irrelevant. And if you watch Episodes 1-3 first, the surprises within the storyline of Empire and Jedi (Vader being Luke's father, Leia his sister) are made irrelevant. (Hey, give me a break. I already admitted to being a freak.)

But I grew up with Star Wars. I first saw it when I was six years old, maybe half a dozen times in the theater. The movies have brought me both pleasure and disappointment. Far more pleasure, however, than disappointment. There will probably always be a boy within me who thinks it would be sweet to be a Jedi. And though people have made better movies and written better stories, that's not a such a bad accomplishment for Mr. Lucas.

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