May 23, 2005

Emperor Wandrey's Review and Reactions

The Saga is Complete!! I have so many feelings and thoughts to express and I want them to sound organized and consice. This post will be seperated into 2 sections - my review of Ep.3 and my overall reactions to the midnight show and the campout. Allow me to preface that by saying that I have seen the film three times now and plan on seeing it again and again and again....also there are detailed plot points and spoilers if you have not seen the movie.

Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith has placed the SW saga amoungst the greatest works of cinema. I'm talking Lord of the Rings, Godfather, Casablanca, Indiana Jones, etc. The original Star Wars trilogy has already established itself as having a "classic" status. Will this prequel trilogy garner the same status over time? I believe Revenge of the Sith has definitely put it in that direction. This movie has redeemed Ep. 1 & 2 and may very well be established as a better Star Wars movie than any in the original trilogy. Why do I make such a crazy statement?

I read, viewed, listened and took part in any and every RotS (Revenge of the Sith) information I could find. I was not afraid of spoilers becuase Star Wars is such a visual movie. "Visual I say" well what do I mean, I am not about to defend Lucas' ability to write dialogue or realistic romantic banter but these are visual stories meant to be seen and felt not read. Ep 1&2 had terrible dialogue but stunning and sensational visuals. Old trilogy (at the time of its release) had cheesy dialogue and mind - blowing effects. You have to take the small amount of bad to get the large amount of great. RotS delivers on both fronts - visually and verbally. Example of great dialogue- any scene with Palpatine toying and tempting Anakin. The way Ian McDiarmid's charming and vexing vocalization sublty uses Anakin's lust for control and fear of loss as the catalyst for his own grand plan is amazing. It's played out perfectly and to some it may seem that Anakin's turn in RotS is not believable enough but his turn began in AotC when he loses his mother and gives into his love for Padme. Those 2 events completely go against the Jedi teachings and start the spiral towards the dark side. All Palpatine had to do was give Anakin an alternative to the Jedi way and make it attractive. Visually this movie has finally blurred the line between real and CGI. It started with TPM, was progressed with the LOTR trilogy and now with RotS has been perfected. There was no time in the movie where I was like "Oh, that's CGI." My mind has fully allowed the CGI to be apart and sometimes the whole movie itself. Bravo Lucas.

This movie had 3 distinct acts to it - the opening space battle and Palpatine's rescue - this felt like a Star Wars movie. The following of Obi and Ani's fighters through the massive and detailed battle above Coruasant is breath-taking, R2D2 at his comedic best, Dooku in a brief but effective cameo, and Grievous and his guards look amazing. This is a great act that catches us up on what has happened in the Clone Wars and Obi and Ani's relationship. After the "happy landing" we have scene after scene of dialogue and set up. This act to me is the slowest and to non-Star Wars fans could be the worst part of the movie. You have your Lucas - filled cheese -

Anakin - "You are so beautiful"
Padme - "It's only because I am so in love with you.."
Anakin - "..No, it's because I am so in love with you!" Ughh!!

Harrison Ford put it well when he told Lucas while filming the original Star Wars - "George you can write this shit, but you sure can't say it!!"

There are a few scenes like this but they are not movie-killers. For the most part you get Palpatine's amazing scenes seducing Anakin and they are mesmerizing. McDiarmid practically steals the show. Once we get Obi-wan to face-off against Grievous and Mace off to arrest Palpatine/Sidous the next act begins and never looks back.

Act 3 is the official part of the whole Star Wars saga where the lights go out. The Dark Side takes over. The last 50 minutes of RotS is as good as any epic out there. It provides moments only equal to the end of Ep.5 - "Luke I am your father." There are moments that break your heart - the Clone/Storm troopers turning on the Jedi and shooting them in the back, while Yoda keels over because of the huge impact in the force it makes. Moments that shock you - Anakin and the younglings, Anakin and Padme on Mustafar. All of this is set to the amazing themes provided be John Williams. The final duel(s) are fast paced and riveting, I loved the small use of Duel of the Fates as well. The PG-13 rating is definately earned too and watching Anakin being dismembered and burned with his eyes yellowed with the dark side while screaming that he hates Obi-wan is the most intense moment of any SW movie. When you finally get to see Vader rise and Padme die it all sinks in - Vader is never going to be as strong as Luke, he may have if not for his greed and fear. He is now a puppet for the Emperor with nothing left to drive him except for his anger and sorrow. Finally when you hear Leia and Luke's theme with the binary sunset, your exhausted.

I think the Obi-wan's dialogue with Luke in Ep.4 is perfect in describing Vader/Anakin. It all makes perfect sense, before you always wondered about the great Clone Wars and this cunning warrior that he describes. You feel like Luke wondering about the Jedi Knights of past and how did the Empire come about. Now we know, when we watch Ep.4-6 we will have faces and back-stories to help understand the reasons for everything that takes place. For all the wooden acting and dialogue, the prequels have given us visuals and characters that will endure and live on with Luke, Han, and Lando!?! Thanks George for sticking to your vision and giving us one last ride(Rots). For connecting the dots and giving the world films that provide everything a movie is supposed to be - an escape from reality, characters that are memorable, and a range of feelings that you never forget.

Now that I have pledged my allegiance to Lord Lucas I still feel that sobering feeling I had on Thurs as I left Big Newport at 3:30 am. The campout and the last Star Wars midnight show are over. The banner was tore down for the last time -

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The characters that graced the campout and midnight show are gone as -

Good -

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Bad -

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and Ugly they were -

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I gave it my all, I don't regret anything I said(CONCEPTION at the CAMPOUT) or did. The 10 days spent with my closest friends and Star Wars geeks alike are burned in my memory forever. I have ticket stubs, photos, newspaper clippings, video footage, and ultimately the Star Wars movies themselves to always remind me of the amazing experience. My friendships will go on with most of the council and I'm sure we will continue to make many more memories - Star Wars or not. Thank you to Admiral Akwelches, Novi-wan, R2-E2, Jarhead Binks, Anakin Scottwalker, and Chewdumma for making this the greatest campout anywhere. Your individual friendships and times that we spent together are priceless.

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Until the 3-D versions come out - this is the Emperor signing off and May the Force be with you - always.