May 24, 2005

Admiral Akwelches: Bidding Adieu

I have seen it twice. I have cried twice. I will see it again.

Episode III has completed me in many ways, and I still want more. I could have sat there for hours upon hours because Star Wars is not just a movie for some of us; it is a lifeline to characters living in a story that has and will always effect us. I would love to see the daily lives of these characters because they are vivid lives that hold so much weight. Of course some may interpret that as me wanting to see Padme in the shower, or some other such nonsense, and that is offensive! I would never ever take advantages such as that. I mean, uh, I'm married.

Back to the movie. As the Emperor stated, this was a visually stunning masterpiece that has advanced cinematic technology. Now, let me say for everyone to hear: my favorite movie is _Lawrence of Arabia_. I believe David Lean had one of the only great eyes in cinema history. In my expert opinion (Welches School of Personal Opinion, class of '88), I do not think his ability has been matched, nor will it ever be because of CG innovations. I applaud Lucas for his ability, his vision, and his endeavors in that field, but hold to the old school style Epics. In the commentary of _LoA_, Spielberg makes an interesting comment; paraphrased, he said: _LoA_ could not be made today because of the extreme costs in paying all of the extras. And that is what I love about Lean and the epics of old: real people. With this all said, I am still able to get by the CG stuff in order to enjoy a story that has captivated my entire life.

Lucas has a terrific eye. We as the audience have felt that he owed us, to include all the old technology or visuals from the prior episodes because that is what we were used to, because that is how we enjoyed the films then. He was and is the cutting edge, that is what he does best. I do not believe it is our place to tell him how his story should look and what should happen. Yes, some scenes would definitely be more enjoyable had Lucas not touched them, especially several scenes that have people talking. But, it's his story, life marches on.

An aspect that really makes the movie for me is the interaction between Anakin and Palpatine. There is a very strong father/son relationship established, and I think that speaks volumes to Anakin's transfer (I will refrain from referencing the other two films because I want to focus solely on Episode III as it's own entity, if possible). When Palpatine is being held captive, Obi-Won is concerned with formalities, by bowing before the Chancellor, while Anakin walks right up and inquires as to Palpatine's condition. Even in the end, when Darth Vader is burned and alone on the embankment, the Emperor walks over and kneels down next to him, placing his hand on Darth's head. Just those two scenes allow me to believe the full transfer of Anakin into Darth Vader because of the intimacy that exists between the two villains.

Padme was beautiful, though she was hotter in the preceding films. One of the greatest moments in my life was watching, for the first time, the bad-ass rat/bobcat rip his claws into her while tearing away at the tight, white suit she wore so sinfully. But, she can't run worth crap (watch the scene after she falls from the Clone Cruiser, when she's talking with the Stormtrooper about helping Anakin and Obi-Won). I felt a little cheated with her character. She was such a strong, devout Senator in Episode II and even stronger in Episode I as the queen. But, in Episode III, she seems to be a patient, humble, pregnant wife, waiting for her husband to come home everyday from killing younglings (which was said too often). She did discuss the end of liberty, but that wasn't enough for me.

The emotion was heightened for me, to the point of tears, when John Williams' music is teamed with the assassinations of all the Jedi's. That short, destructive, and inevitable scene was probably the best in the entire movie for me. And that's all I have to say about that.

With the culmination of the campout and Episode III, I have gone through several emotions and most of them are of fondness and loss. I am upset this is over. Part of me wonders if they will do Episodes VII-IX, and part of me does not want them to. This has been such an emotional ride, with Anakin/Vader being the only true focal point of said ride, and I am not sure how those Episodes would fare. Of course I'd see them, and probably campout for them, but I wonder if the nostalgia would be the same.

Some have asked me what my order of the films is, now that the saga is complete and the story is over. I would say, as most educated in the film would, that _Empire Strikes Back_ is the finest of all, followed by _Return of the Jedi_, _Revenge of the Sith_, _A New Hope_, _Attack of the Clones_, and _The Phantom Menace_. Yes, I put Episode III as my third favorite film. I think it has the emotional and visual expertise to hold that slot. It met my expectations in most ways.

I have missed being at Big Newport, seeing the folks who were brought together by this wonderful story, these folks I will not see for sometime. Withdrawals is not overstating some of the emotions. Life will press on and we will prevail. So, these are my final thoughts. Thanks to all the contributors of this blog and to all of you who read it. I'm sure we never thought we'd get so many hits, and I hope all the folks have enjoyed our posts. This has been a journey of love, friendship and, now, finality. I will continue to believe in the magic of this story and I hope you can do the same.

The Force will be with you, always.