Saturday, July 11, 2015

Revenge Reconsidered

I saw a tweet about Star Wars today and responded thusly:

The resulting discussion led me to re-watching Revenge of the Sith.  I haven't seen it in years, so I forgot how truly awful it is.  I guess I thought it was not bad because it was better than the other prequels, but damn it is bad.  The dialogue is awful, awful, awful.  The Anakin flitting back and forth between Palpatine and Jedi Council causes headaches, and I got lost counting how many different hairstyles Natalie Portman has in this movie.  It seems as if the rule is that she needs a different hairstyle in each and every scene.

I remembered that the action was good, which it kind of was.  Indeed, the action in the prequels is mostly good.  The start of Phantom Menace with Qui-jon and Obi Wan showing what real Jedi can do is just terrific, and the fight with Darth Maul at the end is very good.  In Clones, the stuff in the arena is quite good, so much so that the dialogue is not bad.  But then I realized watching RoS today that the action in the third movie is mostly ... dumb. 

  • the fight to save Palpatine at the start is undermined by the very fact that Palpatine staged all of this to manipulate Anakin.  I mean, Palpatine is seriously in danger unless he could bounce from a falling starship. 
  • Grievous is scary until he isn't.  Obi Wan literally disarms him one arm at a time.  How could this guy beat some many Jedi before this?  And he coughs?  Why does a droid have a lung condition or allergies?
  • Fighting on a volcanic planet?  Why are folks mining lava?  Why does Obi Wan maneuver himself further and further into the lava?  
 The other real problem with this movie is how it ends.  No, not just that Padme gives up on living just as she produces two kids that might just want a mother.  No, I mean, the last we see of the Emperor and Vader is their watching the Death Star being built.  It took 18 years or so to build the Death Star?  Who was their defense contractor?  Lockheed?

Anyhow, as we anticipate Star Wars VII with the latest stuff out of comic-con, people are thankful that George Lucas is not involved. Which is sad, since the original trilogy was his baby and was so very good. But the second trilogy was even more so, as he wrote and directed them, and boy did they suck.  I don't know if JJ Abrams can do better than the first trilogy, but I am fully confident that he can do better than the prequels (even if I am not a fan of his version of Star Trek).

I need to have some beer now to improve the bitter taste in my mouth.

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