Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Firstly, I'm going to come right out and say it, I liked Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker. I can hear the collective groans of a world of Star Wars fans but let me explain. I thought he was quite impressive as a fledgling Jedi, despite the horrific lines that he was forced to deliver. (Your skin...is so...smooth...) Ugh. The first scene with the young Anakin and Senator Palpatine was so poignant as he stood by his side (exactly as David Prouse would eventually do in Return of the Jedi) that it sent shivers down my spine. His performance was nuanced when it wasn't hamfisted and I appreciated that he could glower convincingly (although his pout was inexcusible). So truthfully, I suspected that he was just an unfortunate actor that was stuck with a lousy script and a director who concentrated more on getting performances from his actors that were “faster and more intense” than actually getting them to act convicingly well. Poor Christensen had a bad rep and it was (I suspected before going to watch Revenge of the Sith) going to get worse.

He does turn the corner, in my opinion, in Sith. He owns Anakin Skywalker and the performance that he gives is truly tres magnifique...aside from the occasional leftover pout and the clunky lines. (No help there especially since George W. Bu...uhm...Darth Lucas is at the helm both scriptwise and as director) The main plotline in the story, Anakin's fall to the dark side, is both convincing and heart wrenching and the final battle (in this trilogy) between Obi Wan and Anakin is painful and poignant to watch.

Now, all that said...how was the movie?

I've taken all the time in the world to put this down. Was my mind clouded by the fact that for the first time in this milenium, we have a Star Wars movie that is not bad beyind all reason? Was it a matter of relativity that Episode II was so bad that anything after was just lifted to the realm of ESB just if it didn't suck? Did George “I am your father” Lucas pull the Jedi mind trick on me?

I think it was none of the three. It was a good movie, one that actually seemed to fit into the Star Wars canon the way that the previous two didn't. That said, it was not a great movie, but a good Star Wars one. (If that doesn't make sense to you, you're not a big enough Star Wars fan) Not quite A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back but it was better than Return of the Jedi.

Clunky line of the movie (thankfully these are quite few and far between): “You're so beautiful.” “It's because I'm in love.” “No, it's because I love you.”

It's not Shakespeare. But then again, Star Wars never was. Despite the corny script (which all Star Wars movies suffered from) the actors played their parts very well. Natalie Portman, thankfully, was delegated far into the background, thus forcing George “Harlequin Romance” Lucas to insert some sense of restraint into his “love scenes”. Ewan Macgregor IS Obi Wan Kenobi and it seems like he's so much more comfortable in the role now than he ever was. McDiarmid? Well, he starts out very well...a snake in the grass that is both seductive and deceitful. He's the bad guy you love to hate and yet you can't help but like him. Unfortunately, when he shows his true colours, that all goes down the “faster, more intense” toilet and he just becomes a tragically comic baddy. (Sans handlebar moustache)

(For all ye Anti-Bush fans out there, there's a ton of allegory in there so watch for it.)

Overall, an all star effort despite George “Hack” Lucas' efforts to the contrary and as previously mentioned, the movie has indeed risen beyond its creator. Watching Episode III was like meeting a long reunion, something that holds no surprises, yet holds enough emotional resonance to knock your socks off.

The saga is now complete.


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