Monday, May 23, 2005

A New Disturbance in the Force....


I have now seen the new "Star Wars" movie. Twice. (and I am actually willing to see it again.) Once on Thursday and once on Friday. The time on Friday was nice because it was in the afternoon, so the theatre was relatively empty with the exception of myself and those I was with, allowing me free reign to pepper the viewing with my [ego] fantastic wit [/ego]. I'll get the griping out of the way before lauding it.

My major problems with the movie:

1) I still have no explanation as to why R2-D2 can no longer fly.

2) So wait, you're telling me that Obi-Wan Kenobi was there for the delivery of both Luke and Leia, but he forgot that Leia was Luke's sister in Episode V? (He clearly knew who Leia was, as she sent him that famous "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!" message that we all know and love.) There's senile, and then there's senile.

3) Jar-Jar Binks lived and Mace Windu died.

4) The Lamaze droid at the end going "Ooobaaah, oooobaaaah." No special words or mantras to help ease the pain, please, just pump her with the drugs. Having spent a summer in a maternity ward (where I was present for a few deliveries) I have a certain amount of knowledge on this. Ladies, if I am wrong, and you really would prefer "ooobaah" to an epidural, I deeply apologize.

5) Jar-Jar Binks lived and Padme Amidala died.

6) The "romantic" dialogue. Shakespeare Lucas ain't, and Romeo and Juliet this wasn't. The biggest reason this was a problem for me is that Skywalker's betrayal of the Jedi and turning to the Dark Side is supposed to be driven by his forbidden love for her. An example would be:

Anakin: You're so beautiful
Padme: It's only because I'm so in love.
Anakin: No, its because I'm so in love with you.
Padme: So your love blinds you then?
Anakin: That's not what I meant.
Padme: No, probably not.

So begins the destruction of the Jedi order. And my intelligence.

7) While Mace Windu indeed did not "go out like some punk" as per Mr. Jackson's request, every other Jedi did. SPOILER:The lightsaber fight put up by the three Jedi with Windu as he tried to arrest Palpatine was pitiful at best, and with the exception of perhaps Master Voss, all of the others were dealt with in a way that is pretty pathetic if you consider that they are supposed to be in tune with the Force so that they can avoid getting shot in the back by a stormtrooper. I can only assume that they got their Jedi skills from the same place that teaches the Imperial forces how to shoot people.

8) The point at which Obi-Wan declares that "only the Sith deal in absolutes", [fantasy] at which point the irony police come in and arrest him for denouncing absolute statements using an absolute statement. [/fantasy]

9) Jar-Jar Binks lived and Count Dooku died.

10) That had to have been the most ridiculous opening crawl of all six movies.

I did like it though. It wasn't as good as the second one, but it was better than Episodes I and VI. For one thing, John Williams did not rest on his laurels quite so heavily as he did on the second one, although I thought the love theme from it was wonderful. Particularly enjoyable was the music for the final lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader.

There was also some pretty good acting. Ewan McGregor and Ian McDiarmid both did wonderful jobs. If what McGregor did wasn't Oscar caliber, then it was pretty close to it. I really loved the scene at the end where he laments Vader's crossing over to the Dark Side. Natalie Portman, sadly, got short changed, since the only lines she got to say, for the most part, were Lucas' dreadful imaginings of what romantic dialouge is. She did do the best she could with what she had, however, and was rewarded with one of the best lines in the whole movie: "So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause." Any faults in her character development I blame on the script, and not the actor. Hayden Christensen, however, has no such excuse. Let us all be thankful that by the end of it all he was covered from head to toe with Vaderwear, and no longer had any lines of his own (James Earl Jones came back for the voice of Vader.)

When the emperor said to Anakin "Good is a point of view, Anakin. And the Jedi point of view is not the only valid one." the first thing that came to my mind was Benedict's line about the "dictatorship of relativism." That's probably about as literal an example of that as you are going to get this side of Paradise. Also the follow up line to that:

Obi-Wan: Anakin, Chancellor Palpatine is evil.
Vader: Well from my point of view, the Jedi are evil.
Obi-Wan: Then you're lost!

Overall, a pretty entertaining flick. About two and a half hours in length, you may want to make a run to the bathroom either before the movie starts, or whenever a scene occurs where Anakin is getting all googley-eyed with Padme.

For further information, here is the review from Its PG-13, and a little dark, so you may want to be careful about how young the child is who sees this film. Particularly disturbing for many could include the assasination of the Jedi, and Darth Vader's (implied) slaying of the younglings and padawans at the Jedi temple.

+Ad Majorem Dei Gloram+
Anakin: You hesitate... the flaw of compassion.
Obi-Wan: It's not compassion. It's reverence for all life, including yours.


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