"Revenge" Is Just Too Sweet
From Star Wars Episode IV: A
'For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians
of peace and justice in the
Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.' - Obi-Wan Kenobi
'A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he
turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi
knights. He betrayed and murdered your father.' - Obi-Wan Kenobi
From Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi:
father... was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. He ceased to be
Anakin Skywalker and BECAME Darth Vader.' - Obi-Wan Kenobi
'Anakin was a good friend. When I first knew him, your father was
already a great pilot, but I was amazed how strongly the Force was
with him. I took it upon myself to train him as a Jedi. I
thought that I could instruct him just as well as Yoda. I was wrong.
He is more machine now than man; twisted and evil.' - Obi-Wan Kenobi
From Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith:
'You are strong and wise, Anakin, and I am very proud of you. I have
trained you since you were a small boy. I have taught you everything I
know. And you have become a far greater Jedi than I could ever hope to
be, and you have saved my life more times than I can remember.' -
'Twisted by the dark side, young Skywalker has become. The boy you
trained, gone he is . . . Consumed by Darth Vader.' - Yoda
'You were the Chosen One! It was said that you would, destroy the
Sith, not join them. It was you who would bring balance to the Force,
not leave it in Darkness. You were my brother, Anakin.' - Obi-Wan
Star Wars as a pop-culture.
I once heard an English teacher stating there are seven-type stories
that is repeated over and over through out the generations of story
telling. Before movies became such a mass media, books filled the
imagination. Some were fiction. Some were not. But one thing was for
certain, the stories that provided the human condition always
prevailed. Whether it be "The Iliad", "Bible", "Hamlet", or even
today's standards like "Lord of the Rings" or "Star Wars", and "Harry
Potter". People is always seduced by great story-telling. Fiction -
non-fiction. It does not matter. If people can relate through the
concept of the human condition, people will be seduced by it. And the
seduction is expanded if it is told sexy enough.
Star Wars may provide complex settings, subtle events, and even
allegoric characters - it's a pretty good simplistic story. The
of self-discovery. That's pretty much where it all leads into. All the
minor-sub plots are important, but not as bold as the main plot-point.
It truly is hard to imagine life without Star Wars. Star Wars did not
invent fantasy story telling. It did not invent movies. It just
enhanced it. Because truthfully, the story is no different than the
story of Lord of the Rings. Same basic plot and principles are there.
Same characteristics and settings. Even the title-parts are similar:
A NEW HOPE
FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
THE TWO TOWERS
RETURN OF THE JEDI
RETURN OF THE KING
So why is Star Wars so popular? The misc-en-scene/visuals. Since 1977
and Star Wars, thanks to Sir Lucas - ILM, THX surround sound, better
visual effects for films, and other neat tidbits were formed. You
don't have to be a fan to know Star Wars certainly made a impact in
filmmaking, and film-watching for that matter. I mean - if there was
no Star Wars, would you think home theater systems would be so
popular? So while the debate may stand, Star Wars did not create
movies (like "The Beatles"/music debate), it certainly enhanced it.
BEFORE the prequels.
There was a time before the special editions and the prequels. Star
Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi was all loved and
endeared for many people, for many years. Before DVDs, VHS' was the
market. Exactly ten years ago - the Star Wars trilogy was released for
the first time in THX surround sound. The Star Wars buzz and mania was
there again - and right in the middle of my child-hood. And the talk
of the famous Anakin/Obi-Wan duel grew more rapid among fans. Many
speculations on what exactly came about that back-story. And while
indeed, there were prequels/spin-off's, and sequel stories
novel-formed that gave depth to the Star Wars mythology - one thing
that was always vague, the beginning of the empire and the duel
between Anakin and Obi-Wan.
The Special Editions...what was he thinking?!?
1997 marked the 20th anniversary of the first Star Wars. And ideally,
"director's cut" was in the works. So Lucas was at work - and
the films with enhanced mumbo-jumbo mish-mash, and added some inserts
here and there. They were iffy all right. I accepted them - but also
held the "original" set in my heart. Many people pondered, WHY? In the
scheme of things, was it to cash-in more money? Or was Lucas really
creating the first stages of this massive saga that was only
The "Phantom Menace".
1999 came and went. Menace was a huge film, just on how it was the
Star Wars film in a very long time. But it also failed on many
expectations. Jar-Jar annoyed a lot of people, which I thought was
unfair. It was just another comical side-character, like the Ewokes or
Chewie. And it was a bit kiddy for what it was worth. Well - seeing as
though it's a story about a kid name Anakin, it would only be assumed
would be geared for kids.
The upside to it all - gave perceptive to the Jedi order before all
destroyed, effects were top notch, and it was a first-parter to the
"Attack" the Clones.
When I first saw this movie, was on the movie screen. And ideally - I
was in awe. Than, as I watched it on DVD - noticed all the annoying
flaws (and there were many.) But within story, it kept in line. Yes,
acting wasn't that great. But come on - a movie about a teen Anakin
Skywalker PRE-DARTH VADAR. Teens are in fact over-the-top, whiny, and
usually fall into deep love scenarios that leave in disarray of
love-sickness. Despite Lucas' difficulty of mastering romance (and
goes back to his American Graffiti days, since he had a hard time
it's suppose to be awkward and uneven. With a critique eye, is Romeo
Juliet any more just? It's all angst. And this was the beginning of
infamous "Clone War", which was mentioned in the first "original"
What the hell is he thinking, though?
Many critics, fans, and goers has a problem with the first two
Even with the release of "Revenge", many reviews repeats itself with
same complaints about the first two films. Ideally - Lucas blinded us
all with the force. We looked at these two films so separately that we
forgot the BIGGER picture. The DARTH VADAR story. The first film shows
him as a kid, and GEARED FOR KIDS. The second one presents a weak teen
soap opera, geared mostly for teens basically. So with the third one,
rated PG-13 with some real good violence, geared for a more mature
audience - it's a nice line of growing up. And the problem with what
people are doing - they are truly missing the bigger picture, which is
the story of "DARTH". It's almost like Smallville, people criticizes
right away, they miss the whole entire thing. And that's what Lucas
locked inside his mind all this time. He used the prequel trilogy as
references for writing the original trilogy - and than going back as
fooled all of us. Might as well call this film "REVENGE OF THE LUCAS!"
This film certainly is the ending chapter of the prequel trilogy, but
is also the bridge that takes us to the beloved trilogy. As a
stand-alone film, it certainly stands strong. I already knew what was
going down. Hell - I read the plot overview, detailed script review,
the actual script itself. So I spoiled myself before even watching the
film. I decorated my LJ with Star Wars goodies, and I really got into
the whole Star Wars mood (the only thing I didn't do was buy a dozen
tickets for opening weekend, and dressed up as a Jedi to the show -
sorry, I am not that crazy of a fan!) I pretty much knew the whole
entire movie as I was watching it, and already knew the flaws as
majority of the reviews states the same exact thing.
Seeing it visually, really captivates you. It's obvious it does not
pretty. But to see it on the screen, real epic in its own right. It's
almost like watching Return of the King. Familiar with the story through
the books, we all know what happens. But to see the emotional build-up
unfold and than have it right in front of your very ends. From the
Anakin transformation to the dark side, the killings of Jedi's, and
birth of Luke/Leia - it did give me Goosebumps.
Many critics say Anakin's turn was too short. The movie is about 2
and 20-something minutes. One thing is certain about movies, can never
please those pesky little critics (and that says a lot, since I am a
prospering one at best.) I recalled critics complained about how
of the King was too damn long. Which do you want? A long movie...or a
short one? I will overlook how silly he turned too quickly. Because
quite simply, the subtle is the concept of seduction. And how quickly
can seduction be occurred? The lust and controlling of it - takes
seconds in some aspects.
The writing was a bit flat. I have a theory. Had Lucas have people
contribute more to the writing, as he had with Empire and Jedi -
probably would be better prequel movies overall.
The Obi-Wan/Anakin duel was very satisfying. This was the duel of all
duels right here. Was fairly long. Was very intense BEYOND. And
Lucas' excellent direction, it was felt how emotional it was. It
felt like the duel in Empire Strikes Back.
The problem, however - and this is a critical note from me, the
friendship between Anakin and Obi-Wan isn't really done well. In the
first film, Obi-Wan basically refused any remote friendship toward
Anakin. In the second film, Obi-Wan pretty much remarked all straight
through how arrogant Anakin is. And while there are buddy-buddy
in this third film, it still seems a bit more like their long-time
acquaintances rather than "blood-brothers." I guess we have to view
spin-off books that fill the holes and depth to their supposed
friendship. Just something that didn't set with me.
But that still does not ruin the kick-ass duel. The setting upon a
planet made it so much more thrilling.
During the duel, another duel occurs planets away with the Emperor and
Yoda. It's hard to say which duel is better. I guess I am the only
person that thought the Yoda duel in "Clones" was a bit silly looking.
This WAS NOT! But it did seem a bit short. And like many reviews
Yoda walks away from a fight he could've easily put more effort in.
come as it may, satisfying to the bone.
One thing Lucas does well since Return of the Jedi is to jump from
to scene, or sub-plot to sub-plot. Lucas mentions that style many
through his commentary tracks off the Star Wars DVDs. For the first
ever, it really does look slick how he does it - almost like a living
inter-acting comic book. And with the subject matter of the story -
very appropriate to have that style of filmmaking.
The last ten minutes or so really connects the entire saga together
almost perfectly. With the "birth" of Darth, this was the sequence in
which I can understand where the PG-13 fits in. Real graphic as we see
crippled and burnt (crisped) Anakin. And as the sequence goes on - it
gives me real Goosebumps. Now - it's revealed how Anakin becomes
And it works well. On a sad note, it does have a Frankenstein feel to
- with the eerie "NOOO" screams from Darth. But really - what is the
difference between this or any other villain, for that matter? I mean
I saw the same exact scene with the Doc Ock in Spiderman 2. So I wasn't
completely cringing over that. What I was cringing over, the scenes
with Padme at the end.
The birth of Leia and Luke does happen - it is both well done and not
well done, I would say. I guess my biggest pet-peeve was something I
dreading. Yes - Padme does die. Tragic - fits the tone of the story -
and is well done enough to be sad (and also connects with "Menace",
which is sweet. However, how does that "just" with something that was
revealed in Return of the Jedi?:
Princess Leia: Luke, what's wrong?
Luke: Leia, do you remember your mother? Your real mother?
Princess Leia: Just a little bit. She died when I was very young.
Luke: What do you remember?
Princess Leia: Just... images really. Feelings.
Luke: Tell me.
Princess Leia: She was... very beautiful. Kind, but sad. Why are you
asking me this?
Luke: I have no memory of my mother. I never knew her.
Ideally - it is speculated that she has power of the force to remember
such things like that. But nonetheless, it is a tiny little continuity
Overall - Revenge felt like a Star Wars film. Moreover, felt like the
original Star Wars movie.
The saga as a whole.
Many people thought the Star Wars saga was about Luke Skywalker. I've
heard it was really enough the two droids - since they are in it the
entire series. But Lucas says, it's Anakin's story. Rise, fall, fall,
rise. Indeed, Anakin Skywalker is the certainly the central character,
as it rings around him. With the iffy special editions - as well as
prequel(s), it was within questioned what Lucas was up to. He fooled
all! And now looking at it as a whole, it's amazing what he came up
with. These are the space version of Lord of the Rings. Why does it
succeed? The story is pretty much the same - but it is so well done
original-thought out early on that as it does loses its charm through
minor moments - the whole entire story really sticks. And I must say,
the cinematic achievement these films has made. AMAZING what they can
But a price has been made. While we now have a six-part saga and all,
the original- original saga that started it all is lost somewhere in
heaven. And its unfortunate kids of today have no memories I had as a
kid when I only had three films to explore. But Lucas really has given
us a six-part epic in space. That's quite an achievement.
Something a critic by the name Garth Franklin of darkhorizons.com,
that I think, sums up the entire Star Wars saga.
"...the problem with this franchise more than any other series is that
everyone comes into this with different preconceptions. More than any
other SF tale, the 'Wars' movies inspire a level of unconditional love
or bitterness amongst reviewers. The former (the lovers) deliberately
ignore the giant flaws they would take other films to task on, the
latter (the haters) over exaggerate the problems which they would
otherwise ignore in other movies this Summer.
These are popcorn movies and so the bigger a fan you are, the
your level of enjoyment or loathing will be. As a sci-fi fan who
likes "A New Hope", loves "Empire", enjoys "Jedi", hated "Phantom" and
tolerated "Clones" I found I enjoyed "Sith". It certainly doesn't
validate the first two prequels, but it's the only one of the trilogy
that actually works as both a good Summer movie and a solid sci-fi
in its own right. It's a shame that just as the "Star Wars" universe
finally getting interesting again, it has to go away."
What does suck - is the hope of at least one last trilogy from Lucas
with Star Wars. Trilogy of trilogies, if you will. But on the other
- with the two failed basically, fluff in his hands - you won't find a
better ending than "REVENGE OF THE SITH!"
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