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    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith [29]

    Movie Reviews
    So THAAAT is how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. It is all clear now. I take you back to May 1977 and this little bit of exposition.

    LUKE: You fought in the Clone Wars?

    BEN: Yes, I was once a Jedi Knight the same as your father.

    LUKE: I wish I'd known him.

    BEN: He was the best star-pilot in the galaxy, and a cunning warrior.
    I understand you've become quite a good pilot yourself. And he was a
    good friend. Which reminds me...

    BEN: I have something here for you. Your father wanted you to have
    this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn't allow it. He
    feared you might follow old Obi-Wan on some damned-fool idealistic
    crusade like your father did.

    LUKE: What is it?

    BEN: Your father?s lightsabre. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not
    as clumsy or as random as a blaster.

    Luke pushes a button on the handle. A long beam shoots out
    about four feet and flickers there. The light plays across the

    BEN: An elegant weapon for a more civilized time. For over a thousand
    generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice
    in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.

    LUKE: How did my father die?

    BEN: 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. Now the Jedi are all
    but extinct. Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force.

    LUKE: The Force?

    BEN: Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy
    field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us.
    It binds the galaxy together.

    There are several different reviewing mindsets at work here. I have to evaluate this movie on its own merits standing alone. It is the sequel to Star Wars Episode II ? Attack of the Clones. It is the third in a serial. It is the prequel to one of the greatest movies of all time. And, it is the prequel to the one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time. It closes the circle for a six movie Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Anakin Skywalker.

    Standing alone, the movie opens with one of the hugest space battles ever seen. The action is reminiscent of naval sailing ship gun battles at close range. The guns recoil through side gun ports to broadside enemy ships. Battle cannons drop spent cartridges on the deck. An explosion on deck results in flying sailors (and a noted Wilhelm scream). Amidst all this, Anakin demonstrates that he is once and for all, the finest star pilot in the galaxy. He saves Obi Wan?s hide (for the 9th or 10th time, depending upon whose point of view). Well, Obi Wan did have a bad feeling about all this as they flew in?

    Obi Wan and Anakin are trying to rescue the kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine. If I had never seen Return of the Jedi, and the Emperor?s throne room on the Death Star, I might not have experienced any Movie Davu. And in Episode VI, I would have then said, hey?. It?s the same. He was being held hostage on his own ship, In HIS OWN THRONE ROOM! Of course, it was all a farce. Anakin gets the best of Darth Tyranus/Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) in a lightsabre battle. In the pivotal moment for Anakin's descent into the Dark side, he holds Dooku at bay with two lightsabres. In his right hand is his own blue one. In his left is Dooku's red lightsabre. This illustrates the choice he is about to make. A nice scissors-style beheading follows at the Chancellor's urging. I wonder how many beheadings that makes for Christopher Lee. In Return of The King, he merely gets his throat slit as Saruman. Anakin knows he should bring Dooku to trial, but his own anger gets the best of him.

    Obi Wan and Anakin really are good friends. The movie establishes that. Obi Wan is pleased by how well Anakin is progressing. He also knows that Anakin is the Chosen one who will destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force. Anakin and Padme love each other. We really did not need Episodes I and II, episode III does a great job of establishing these characters. So when the bad comes, (and we ALL know it is coming), it is even harder to take.

    Chancellor Palpatine takes center stage in this movie, a place he does not again occupy until the climax of Episode VI. Lucas makes an excellent point that evil dictators do not come to power through sheer oppression and force of will. There has to be a buy-in from the lesser nobles or electorate. Evil dictators are welcomed into power by their subjects. Dictators rely on pettier loyal sub-dictators to enforce their will (Regional governors in the Empire).

    When Darth Vader gets his artificial legs, arms, and breath mask installed, I felt that we needed a Tesla coil in the background. Because the next scene resembles the Bride of Frankenstein. The operating table tilts up and all we needed was for Palpatine to go, "It's allliiiive, IT'S ALLLIIIIVE!" just like Gene Wilder from Young Frankenstein. Darth also gives a nice "long slow NOOOO" when he finds out Padme is dead. I would like a copy of that sound bite.

    Most importantly in this movie, we a have all learned an Important Jedi Safety Tip, in fact more important than avoiding fear and turning to the Dark Side. We now know that higher ground is a humongous advantage in a lightsabre duel. I expected Obi Wan to say, after performing a triple amputation, "What are you going to do? Bite my kneecaps off?"

    I feel an Oscar nomination in George's future. Possibly there will also be a best supporting actor nomination for Ian McDiarmid for his portrayal of Palpatine. He was over-the-top evil in Return of The Jedi, and now I see he has good reason. He is over the top evil because that is what is character is, pure evil. Naturally, it is over the top just because of the total absence of good. The rest of the acting worked well. I felt that the characters were exactly who they were supposed to be. I do not understand the criticism leveled at George Lucas about his screenwriting. Just because there are no contractions and no colloquialisms, that is bad screenwriting? It probably translates much easier into other languages. Yoda will most likely be the best understood character if he sentences on a verb ends.

    My biggest criticism is leveled at all those who whine that their childhood has been lost. They blame Episode I for that. I find that to be utter hogwash. I am of the opinion that their childhood was lost long ago, and they do not know who to blame for failing to appreciate these movies. It is like being on the outside looking in for these losers. Hey, it couldn't be the alcohol, failed relationship, or career futility could it? No, it has to be because George decided to build a CGI character with a Jamaican accent.

    By the way, am I the only one that said and the Lost Planet Airmen after Commander Cody was introduced? I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and will miss the pleasure that each one brought me the first time I saw it. {BB}

    See Excpectation 1

    See Excpectation 2

    Alternate Review 1
    Alternate Review 2
    Alternate Review 3
    Alternate Review 4

    Added: May 21st 2005
    Reviewer: BB
    29 Point Scale Score: 29    [29]

    Related Link (IMDB): IMDB
    Hits: 3689
    Language: english


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