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Dark Side Story May 20

Star Wars – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is better than Episodes I and II. It was dark (although lighter, in the sense of being more fun, than it’s immediate predecessors). It succeeded in rounding off Darth Vader’s life story with a pretty satisfactory ending.

The lead actors were improved, although still a little deficient, and the script was similarly better – there were even one or two good lines. Ian McDiarmid was excellent again, right up until he became deformed, at which he turned into the hammiest man in Hamburg.

Little things bothered me. It really takes 18 years to build a Death Star? So the one in Jedi was already being built during A New Hope? The Qui-Gon Jin bit at the end – what was the point? To explain Yoda’s and Obi-Wan’s ghostly appearances in the original trilogy? And how can you discover the secret of immortality after you’re dead? What a coincidence that Yoda should know Chewbacca. I also found the close-up space battles at the beginning initial exciting but soon very hard to follow, and some other scenes seemed a bit too obviously to be using CGI for human characters.

Oh, and Padme’s death made little sense either. She is supposed to have lost her reason to live just at the moment her children are born. <Yoda>A very strange mother that makes her.</Yoda> Why not just give her proper injuries?

These (and other) niggles were offset by the good points. The spaceships are clearly evolving into the familiar craft we later see, and Leia’s ship from Episode IV makes an appearance. R2D2 gets some good sequences at the beginning and Yoda gets some good lightsabre battles. The highlight, though, is not a setpiece battle but Palpatine’s talk with Anakin in the auditorium, recounting (not explicitly) the story of his own Sith master.

I couldn’t not recommend this film – it is, after all, part of one of the greatest film series of all time – but despite endless computer graphic and an emotionally charged story, it still can’t quite take the new trilogy to the level of the original three.

4 Responses

  1. Did Ian McDiarmid’s performance in the opera scene (where he recounts the story of his master) not remind you of Paul Eddington in Yes Minister. Maybe I’m just obsessed but the way he talks of the Jedi machination’s definitely rang Jim Hacker bells.
    (I need to get out more)

  2. 2

    Actually, yes, and I’d forgotten, but I remember sitting there and thinking exactly the same thing. I was half-expecting him to put his hands on his labels on look, statesmanlike, into the distance.

  3. 3

    I felt there were many lovely scenese, but as a whole it did not win for me. Mainly I felt too little too late. Such as the idea of Obi-Wan thinking of Anakin as a brother, or that II and III just seem like bookends to the animated series “Clone Wars”. That it feels like there’s a film in between III and IV. And who cares if the Chancellor gets kidnapped? Still highlights for me was noticing that Vader got his cape before he caught his life saving breathing mask, and The Simpson’s like “Noooooo!!!!!” The last words of the trilogy go to 3PO “Oh No” Indeed! Okay, so I’m joking here, but I got so much fun. Bits I thought were divine and perhaps the most beuatiful scene of all six films: Anakin and Padme on opposite sides of Corruscent, making a choice, cutting off Wind’s hand (and effectively killing him)and in horror at what he had done, but then the scene fails to run with the confused emotion.

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