Review: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Yes, people already gathered that I was disappointed, but I needed to write down (or rant) a few more thoughts. Take what I write with a grain of salt. I didn't like Willow very much either.

I loved the original Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back; I felt a little burned by the lazy Return of the Jedi; and I thought the prequels were more advertising for Industrial Light and Magic than they were movies. Many people have postulated that George Lucas has lost the fire in his belly for directing. I don't think so. I think George Lucas loves art directing in terms of special effects.

But Episodes I, II and III were not just art, they were movies about people and I think all of us that watched Ep III Saturday night were disappointed because the people were two-dimensional, unsurprising and driven to their conclusions by fate. (Recall that the musical theme of the big fights in the prequels was titled “Duel of the Fates.”) Where's a character as compelling as any in the original trilogy? Obi-Wan, perhaps, Palpatine, sure, but who else?

To me, the difference between fate and free will is the difference between fantasy and science fiction. When Anakin was fated to be a Jedi by blood in Episode I it was no different to me than any of the three billion Disney Princess stories: you're born into greatness, you don't earn it. This clashes with my world view. I was far happier with the Atlas Shrugged undertones of The Incredibles than the great train wreck of Darth Vader's life.

Prophecy, destiny, the will to power and noble blood run through the Jedi in these stories, and it makes them into snotty, arrogant blue bloods. They deserved Darth Vader bringing them into balance by wiping them out. The only things truly interesting in this series were the Emperor's back-story and the magnificent fighting of a real martial artist in the first prequel.

This movie had excellent special effects, but all my criticisms from May 20th still hold. A commenter to that post said that it had a time-proven plot that appealed to kids. What plot is that? Evil sometimes wins because good is stupid? Fall in love and destroy the universe? I think kids would prefer a lecture on Aristotle's four virtues (prudence, justice, courage and temperance) than see this treatment of essentially the same material.

At least now we know that people who get wrinkles are drawing on the dark side of the force.

Do the prequels change the original trilogy for me? Perhaps a little, but not in a positive way. Sure, plot holes were sewn up handily as Episode III progressed, but what happened to little things, like R2D2's thrusters? How does Darth Vader know he's Luke's father but doesn't recognize his own droids, one of which he built himself and the other which kept his fighter working all the time? How does he not recognize Leia's hairstyle as a retro look his own wife sported for at least a minute of screen time, and therefore surmise that someone with such an odd sense of style had to be his daughter?

The mysteries of the original series are now horribly disfigured. Now we no longer wonder if Yoda could kick butt if he wanted to. Now we instead wonder what's going on in Chewbacca's mind as he knows a heck of a lot more than he is saying.

I was neither happy nor unhappy with this movie. I'm not going to go see it again in the theater. I probably will buy the DVD when it comes out. I suspect that if Lucas wanted to make some money, he could completely redo the original special effects in digital. Those stories, in their original form, are far more interesting than these last three.

Josh Poulson

Posted Monday, May 23 2005 03:56 PM

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There are 3 comments on this entry.

Very impressive. I liked the movie more than you did, but have to say I liked your arguement. I never thought of Vader recognizing the droids (although the hairstyle comment is pushing it - if Padme had once wore a beehive, would Flo from Alice automatically be his daughter?).
If you're interested, I have a review on my site; it includes a link to a Sith article by Orson Scott Card that you might enjoy.



Posted Tuesday, May 24 2005 04:42 AM


Posted Tuesday, May 24 2005 04:52 AM

There were extremely excellent and the best scenes in the movie "Revenge of the Sith".
Good originality and great imagination, great story in this movie!
Here's Photo gallery for Hayden Christensen(Anakin) of this movie.
I love Star Wars series the most!


Posted Saturday, Jul 16 2005 06:36 PM

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