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May 19, 2005

Blog Review of Star Wars Episode III: "It Sucks"

Sigh. It's not like we didn't see this coming. Sort of.

Knowing that the first two were weak, I severely lowered my expectations for this one. I went in hoping for some eye candy, a passable script, and the HORRIFYINGLY TORTUROUS DEATH OF JAR JAR. All I came out with was the eye candy.

Someone needs to inform George Lucas (who I now officially despise) that special effects SUPPLEMENT a script, they don't replace it. You need good writing. All the big explosions, CG characters and lightsaber fights in the world aren't going to hide the fact that you have BAD DIALOGUE. Not to mention the ham fisted and completely unsubtle political commentary that absolutely welds the once-timeless fairy tale to the current political situation. Great job there George - you got your jackass political point across at the expense of the mystique of the series. Thanks for that.

Speaking of mystique... one of the things that made the original series cool was the fact that there were no (or very few) Jedi left. We knew they were cool; and we saw them doing some cool things. But Lucas was good at only giving out subtle cool stuff at first, and then escalating it, slowly, to really cool stuff, like Luke's acrobatic wire-fu lightsaber skills on Jabba's skiff.

For a kid, the hint of something cool is often more interesting than actually seeing something cool, because of course it's like waiting for presents on Christmas. What you hope your toys will be is always much better than what they turn out to be.

But this entire first series -- nevermind the fact that we know how it's going to end, and that everyone seems to just show up to quickly do the bullet-point action required of him to "set up" the already-made first trilogy -- has lots of Jedi. Doing lots of cool things. All of the time.

And I have to say I prefered the mystery better. As it's sometimes sexier to imagine someone naked than to actually see them naked.

There's no mystery here, no questions to be debated (like we all wondered-- could Yoda really fight, if he had to? -- that little question was asked endlessly by schoolboys when I was a kid; now we know the answer, and the answer turns out to be "Yes, but he looks ridiculous doing so," as we'd always supected he would). Lucas just dispenses of mystery -- and the Campbellian mythos, the deeper resonances he's always nattering on about -- and just throws a lot of stunts and lightsabers and stupid looking monsters at the screen.

I much preferred Luke's quest to be a Jedi, not knowing quite what a Jedi was, to seeing Jedi every three minutes, and even getting into the rather boring politics of the Jedi council.

Heart of Darkness made a point in its first few pages, which proved true for the book (and of course for Apocalypse Now as well): It's always the question that's more interesting than the answer, the mystery that's more compelling than the actual solution.

Maybe Lucas should have read less Campbell and more Conrad.

This is going to suck.

I was right to have a bad feeling about this.

Just Like Siskel & Ebert, Except Both Retards Update: "Someone" disagrees with Marc's review:

I saw it. Dude, this is way off.

My reaction to all the "political message/bad dialogue/bad acting" whinge posts...

There was dialogue in that movie!? Fight, fight (pause for breath/bad dialogue/bad acting), fight, Yoda moment, fight, fight, slaughter, fight, fight. Repeat. Anakin's turn is handled well. Then a very good ending.

People are getting worked up over, what, a total of 3 minutes of the movie? Wow.

Your mystery point is right, but unavoidable. This can't be the view-from-the-fringes underdog story of the original movies. Lots of fans still haven't come to grips with that.

Fair and balanced here, kids. Fair and balanced.

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posted by Ace at 01:11 PM

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