Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Revenge of the Sith

Ramon and I, being the stodgy mofos we are, did not go and see Star Wars III the first, second or even third week after its opening. We most certainly did not wait in line for hours with a crowd full of Sand Persons wearing burlap robes and toilet paper tubes taped to their eye sockets or women with cinnamon buns on their ears crying "Don't just stand there - try and brace it with something!" to see the first showing at midnight. This is not a criticism of fans who like to dress up, by the way. I think they're great, and one of my favorite people on earth has lately confessed to having had a Yoda costume in her possession until recently, so that's all right then.

We did all that 7 or 8 years ago when the original 3 episodes were re-released to theaters. We and our college cronies played cards by the hour in the lines to get to the first showing, raising our fists to the sky and screaming through tears when the first chord of the theme song blasted our eardrums, ushering in the beloved yellow words. I dunno, maybe we blew our wad then.

Don't get me wrong. I'm no cranky genX-er bemoaning the fact that the original 3 were the only true Star Wars and the next 3 are not. I'm not savvy enough to bitch and moan about CG overkill and I didn't hate Jar-Jar Binks much at all (I did want to kill that dreadful child who played Anakin in The Phantom Menace - "Now this is pod racing!!!" - grrrr). You won't hear me screaming "Greedo shot first!!!" ever. The dialogue was a little more...regrettable in Episodes I and II than in the original 3, and I don't know if they picked Hayden Christensen to play yet another sulky, whiny Skywalker on purpose (he was perfect for it, as was Mark Hamill before him) or if it was just a fortuitous accident, but overall I enjoyed watching episodes I and II quite a lot. True, I'll never say that they give me the same feeling as the original 3, but that's to be expected. 16 years have passed between Return of the Jedi and Phantom Menace - technology's different, George Lucas, bless him, is different, and I'm 12 years older than the first time I saw the original 3 (I was 18. Strict parents. Don't ask). But to recap, I'm a huge fan of the orginal 3 and the newer 2 are a great pleasure to watch.

However. The third one is my favorite of the prequels. [Not of all 6 - don't press me to pick THE favorite of all of the Star Wars movies. My head would explode.] I loved the action, loved watching Yoda lay the smackdown on more than one person, Hayden Christensen got better the more evil he became, and Padme's hair and clothing were up to their usual standard. The biggest complaint I have about the movie was the fact that [begin feminist rant] Padme Amidala, despite having been one of Naboo's greatest and youngest queens, then a wise senator for...I don't know...years? Months? and being considerably older than Anakin spent almost all of the movie following her tortured young husband around with wifely concern furrowing her brow and saying insipid things like "tell me, Annie" and "I wish we were back on Naboo in the lake country, just the two of us" and "Obi-Wan will help us". No leadership, no wisdom, no independent thought. The only time you see her (if memory serves me) acting in any capacity other than pregant wife is in a brief Senate gathering where she gets one moderately good quote; "So this is how freedom dies. To thunderous applause." [OK. Feminist rant over.] But for the rest, oh, how I loved the wookies, loved watching the sad grandeur as the Jedi died one by one, loved as always the scenery and big, fast, sparkly ships. And I adored that enormous lizardy-thing that Obi-Wan rode whilst sniffing around for General Greivous on that one planet.

One question: is my timeline all screwed up? For some reason I thought that from the beginning of the Emperor's reign (when Luke Skywalker is 0 years old) to the beginning of the end of the Empire (when Luke's - what - 18 at the oldest?) maybe, MAYBE 18-20 years have passed. And yet Obi-Wan goes from being mid-thirties at the oldest to something like a 70-year-old man. Is this just a casting snafu? I mean, Alec Guinness was perfect for an older Obi-Wan and in my opinion Ewan McGregor was likewise perfect for Obi-Wan's younger self, so is that sort of inaccurate and the way things turned out and we're all OK with it (which I am, most certainly)? Or am I indeed grossly mistaken about peoples' ages? I know this question has probably been asked a million times on the Internet and apologize if I'm wearying the hide-bound fans, but any insight would be appreciated.

Anyway, that's my first take on Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars in general. As far as true fans go I'm woefully ignorant, I confess, and anyone who says "big, sparkly ships" in an Episode III review should in all fairness be shot, but I'm in love with Star Wars, all of it, so my place in geek heaven, albeit a humble one, is assured. I hope.


Blogger Aly H. said...

You know I was kidding about the Yoda costume, right?

I think the timeline thing is like this: Obi-Wan (McGregor) was around 20 when he and Qui-Gon found 8-year old Anakin in Ep1. By Ep3, Anakin is about 25 (ish?), which would make Obi-Wan 40-45, putting him near 60 when he meets Luke. I think Ewan just doesn't look as old as he was supposed to be.

And I still love you, even though you liked it. (If I cut off everyone who enjoyed this movie, I would be utterly friendless.)

6/15/2005 2:06 PM  
Blogger Morphea said...

You were not kidding about the Yoda costume. May god strike my sense of humor dead if I misunderstood you. OK, maybe I did. Sorry, folks, Aly never had a Yoda costume (I was a bit taken aback when you said that, I'll admit).

Thanks for working out the timeline for me. Um, if the production folks thought that by slicking Ewan's hair across his forehead (most unfortunate) they could make him look 45 they're killing me.

Thanks for loving me despite some dreadful shortcomings on my part (really liking Episodes I-III being the least of them). You're a true friend.


6/15/2005 2:40 PM  

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