24 May 2005

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...


I know that there is currently an abundance of coverage and hoopla over Star Wars lately but I feel like relating my own experience concerning Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. For those of you out there who haven't seen it yet and are planning to, please don't read any more of this as there are surely spoilers contained herein.


I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this movie! George Lucas has managed to create a movie that completely involved my senses. Of the "new" trilogy, this one is by far the best, and on many levels.

I found a review on Yahoo! movies that stated that Episodes I and II are basically one story combined and could have been shrunk into one film, and that Episode III suffered because of this. The reviewer thought that Anakin Skywalker's fall towards the dark side of the Force was too significant to be relegated to one film alone. I personally disagree. Episodes I and II are important to the Star Wars mythos because they paint a larger picture with which to frame the main storyline of the rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin. Sure, some may say that characters such as Qui-Gon Jinn, Jar Jar Binks, and Watto aren't a necessary part of the narrative in the long run, but how would the story have been without them? I particular, Qui-Gon mentors Obi Wan Kenobi, giving him the knowledge and experience that make him one of the many iconic characters of the Star Wars universe. Let's now go back to Episode III.

First off, and most obvious to anyone, the visual asthetic is stunning. Immediately after the opening credits the viewer is plunged into a fast-paced and exciting space battle as Obi Wan and Anakin try to rescue the abducted Chancellor Palpatine. Almost immediately I could tell a marked difference in visual quality and style compared to Episodes I and II. Clearly this movie has the best visual effects of the entire six-movie series. There are so many things going on in any given scene that it can become a little overwhelming to take in. Repeated viewings should reveal many visual cues and devices missed by the eyes the first time.

There are so many fight sequences in this movie that Lucas should have called it Episode III: The Lightsaber Chapter. I do understand that this movie takes place during the Clone Wars and there is abundant turmoil for all involved, but sometimes while watching this movie I felt I was witnessing a long chain of fight scenes and nothing more. However, in the context of the storyline every fight sequence is justified and unique in comparison to each other sequence. The duel between Anakin and Obi Wan is surely the most dramatic of the film and also signals the beginning of the end of the "new" trilogy.

The actual stroyline and dramatic arc of the film is of the best possible quality coming from the likes of George Lucas. We all know by now that Episodes I and II were criticized to death about the lack of emotional integrity portrayed by each character. I felt that Hayden Christiansen stepped up to the role and finally took command. His portrayal of Anakin is more mature and well-rounded and his final moments before donning the infamous black suit really couldn't have been acted any better. I felt genuine attatchment to these characters for the first time in the whole trilogy because I knew the fates of most of them. The final scene between Obi Wan and Anakin is really powerful and almost disturbing, yet it couldn't have been done any other way. It is widely known and explained in Episode IV that almost all of the Jedi are wiped out and that Padme Amidala dies in cildbirth. Knowing these facts beforehand made me feel sad for the characters. Every loose plot thread is nicely tied up and connected to the original trilogy.

Well, there you have it. I will most definitely be going to see this movie a couple more times before it leaves the theaters and if I think of anything else to contribute to this evaluation, you all will soon see it. Feel free to write your own opinions of the movie here. May the force be with you!

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