Richard Tocci

Richard Tocci
Just when you thought it was safe, I show up...


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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Revenge of the Sith

Recently I got into a conversation on Facebook about certain sci-fi and fantasy movies. The subject moved from Indiana Jones to Star Wars.

(Just to clarify things, the Crystal Skull, while entertaining, seemed a bit of a departure from the previous three movies -- The MacGuffin was a little too odd for my taste, the action was a bit sub-par and a little unbelievable, but I enjoyed the movie anyway)

In 1999 when Episode 1 was released, I felt it laid a great framework for the remaining parts of the so-called Prequels. The opening scene displayed Jedi powers not seen in such detail -- Jedi Speed, uses of a lightsaber such as deflecting energy beams and cutting through blast doors, and the fear of some of the invading forces that a pair of Jedi were even on board, displayed the true nature of the Jedi we had never seen before. It also helped that actors like Liam Neison and Ewan MacGregor played the title roles, and played them very well.

But as the Prequel Trilogy pregressed to the 2nd episode, I felt the choice of Hayden Christensen was not a good idea as Anakin Skywalker. Later, I decided it was a good choice, because he played the whiny father of Luke Skywalker well enough to be believable. By the time Revenge of the Sith came out, I was happy to see the Trilogies bridged, but at the same time, I found myself wanting more.

Revenge of the Sith was NOT enough for me. Scenes were deleted that led to the Rebellion and Yoda's landing on Daghoba, and I think they should have been included. While the scenes kept in the final movie were packed with action, I wanted more -- LOTS more. Here is a list of items I really needed to see done better than they were:

  • The battle between Yoda and the Emperor -- if Yoda and the Emperor were so powerful, why didn't they flat out destroy the Senate? That room should have been torn to pieces after that battle, with Yoda escaping, as he did, but barely, and nearly costing him his life. I mean, come on, I wanted to see all of those Senate flying pods flung all over the place, with Yoda Force-throwing others and then POW! -- midair destruction. Force lightning flying every time the Emperor had a free hand. The lightsaber fight was quite good, and that saved that scene, but I wanted to see Clash of the Titans, I wanted Neo and Smith, I wanted Frank Miller's Batman vs. Superman from "The Dark Knight Returns", but in the Star Wars Universe.
  • The battle between the Emperor and Mace Windu -- Mace Windu, apart from Yoda, was the most skilled lightsaber duelist in the galaxy. He was fighting the Dark Lord of the Sith, and I felt like it went too slowly. From what I've read, Ian McDiarmid wound up wanting to do some of the fight scenes himself, but it needed to be more fast paced, more brutal, and I was jipped of that.
  • The Cutdown of Anakin Skywalker -- "Don't do it -- I have the high ground"...what the hell kind of line was that? Why didn't Anakin just go after him, in anger, on the ground, and then Obi-Wan Kenobi could just cut him down right there, not in the air, and then let him burn. I liked the emotion Ewan showed in that scene, but it was almost too little, too late.
  • The Dialog -- couldn't SOMEone edit the damn script after Lucas wrote it, and made the dialog a little better?
  • Yoda communing with Qui-Gon Jinn -- At the end of Episode I, Qui-Gon Jinn, the maverick Jedi Master to Obi-Wan Kenobi, was killed by Darth Maul, the apprentice to the Sith Lord. Qui-Gon is mentioned briefly in Episode II, and then at the very end of Episode III by Yoda when he tells Kenobi he has more training for him to do. There was a short scene in Episode II where Yoda was meditating, and one can clearly hear Qui-Gon's voice. This should have been expanded, even if only for a few minutes per movie. I would have tied to two Trilogies together better.
Now, this is just my opinion on the subject, and I was not entirely disappointed. I still love Star Wars -- I just think it could have been done a little better than it was.


Penni Domikis said...

So I haven't checked blogs in awhile but Wow... this is the nerdiest rant yet. But I bet there are hundreds of blogs out there dedicated to such involved nerdom. I was in love with the first three movies as a kid and as excited as I was for the new ones to come out... they didn't hve those same dreamy special effects I fell in love with as a kid and I just couldn't get into them. What does that say about me?

Unknown said...

It says you are a purist. Wanna play 1st Edition D&D?