Sith Happens

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I should really know better than to post a negative review of a Star Wars film on the internet, yet here I go…

It’s not that I believe Revenge of the Sith is a disaster, or even a dud; I just don’t think that it lives up to all the fanboy hype.

Granted, my Sith experience was tainted by two things:

  1. A trio of fourteen year-olds sitting behind me who gushed so much (and so loudly) over every cinematic twist and turn that they might as well have been masturbating.
  2. A sound bite I heard on the news from somebody exiting the theatre, quoted as saying “it’s totally worth it for the last scene alone”…. Huh? The movie I saw ended with Luke Skywalker’s adopted parents gazing thoughtfully at that double sunrise deal on Tattoine.

In fact, what made the film an ultimately tedious experience for me was the massive checklist of events that had to be covered in order to facilitate the original trilogy of films. Some things, like Anakin Skywalker’s physical transformation into Darth Vader, were quite compelling. Others, like C3PO’s memory being conveniently wiped, were indicative of what I’d call lazy writing.

Of the “new” trilogy I liked Attack of the Clones the most. I hated Jar Jar in The Phantom Menace as much as anyone else, and was saddened that Liam Neeson’s character would ultimately be irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. But episode two had one of my favourite scenes—the assembly of the massive clone army provided equal doses of foreshadowing and mystery… What exactly would make all these good guys change sides, anyway?

That question was answered in Revenge of the Sith, but only adequately. And I say it’s because of bad acting and worse dialogue. Seasoned pros like Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor managed to rise above it; for Hayden Christensen, not so much. In fact I couldn’t wait for the guy to get his Darth Vader Mask on so I wouldn’t have to endure another wooden expression

In an effort to temper the holy flame war that’s sure to follow in the comments below, I’ll be the first to admit that producing a trilogy of films, redoing them and then going back and producing another trilogy of prequels is an astonishing accomplishment in film-making. All I’m really saying here is that if Mr. Lucas held as much respect for his actors and dialogue as he does his models and effects, his Star Wars films would be that much better.

Maybe something to keep in mind for episodes seven, eight and nine?

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About Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?
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5 Responses to Sith Happens

  1. Cross-posted to Blogcritics.org:

    http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/05/22/212432.php

    The fanboys will likely descend on me there…

  2. Ed Miller says:

    AC:
    I saw the movie on the weekend, and I found the first half so boring, despite the great opening, that I welcomed the moviegoer with the laser pointer who kept planting a red dot on Anakin’s forehead as a welcome diversion. I have never seen such horrid dialogue scenes as this since Armageddon or Pearl Harbour.
    Once the movie decided to get up off the couch in the second half, I was much releived that Lucas didn’t write in a minority government situation into the Senate scene.
    It’s well worth seeing on the big screen becuase the ILM CGI has caught up to its competition. If I see it again, I’m taking a walkman for the talking parts….

    Ed

  3. Jenn says:

    I’ve seen it twice. Once with my parents, which meant that I was explaining the whole (and far superior) Clone Wars to them since they asked incessant questions, and once with my brother so I could actually watch the film. It was exactly what I expected, so I am satisfied.

    I think the DVD will actually be pretty good since a lot of the scenes they cut were of things I wanted to see; like discussing the future rebellion and more about Qui-Gon.

    The only point where I disagree with you, AC, was that I thought Portman was brutal and Christianson was adequate. I was also disappointed that James Earl Jones had altered his usual Vader style in order to better match Hayden’s syntax. I had a hard time believing it was actually him doing the voice the first time through. The second time I found myself feverently wishing he’d say ANYTHING other that “Noooooooo!!!”, but it was not to be. Alas.

  4. Maybe it’s the “babe” factor makes either the Christiansen or Portman performance easier on the palate, depending on what turns your particular crank.

    If I remember correctly, Ms. Cutter isn’t a fan of my favourite female video game reviewer on TechTV, either…

    😉

  5. Jenn says:

    Re: “babe” factor – Ha, no. I’ve played through ALL the Star Wars Ep. III games lately for a freelance project and the voice acting for the home console version was *supposedly* done by the cast. It was brutal. Worse than that, it wouldn’t stop! Every time they swung a lightsaber they made some repetitive quip. After playing through the same game on different consoles and hearing those quotes over and over and over and over, the movie was Shakespearean in comparison. I also found it really funny that the Lego Star Wars game had the most spoilers (done entirely in lego, of course).

    Continuing with the thread hijack: If I did bash Morgan Webb in the past (or were we talking about someone else?), I take most of it back. I was unable to go to E3 this year and they did a pretty good job. Morgan and Adam especially impressed me with their live coverage comments. The thing that had annoyed the heck outta me with X-Play was Morgan’s Shatner-esque delivery, but it seems to have gotten better and I actually like the show now ^_^

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