Monday, May 30, 2005

More Thoughts On Star Wars

For the second consecutive Saturday, I ventured forth to watch Revenge of the Sith. This time I took my young sons (ages 7 and 5), and warned them that parts of the movie were scary. After it was over, they informed me that it was not scary. So much for the hype. I may need at least one more big screen viewing before I can get everything off my chest about this film, but I'll give it a shot here anyway:

  • At both viewings, the audience laughed out loud exactly once: When Yoda walks into the Emperor's office and casually knocks down the red guards with the slightest gesture of his hands. The only explanation for the way this scene played out is that George Lucas is making up for the lack of comical scenes calling for C-3PO. The poor droid seemed out of place in this film.
  • He did have a good moment near the end, when Bail Organa asked Captain Antilles to erase Threepio's memory. My understanding is that this was done because C-3PO was a notorious blabbermouth who would likely have spilled the beans about Anakin being Darth Vader and revealed Princess Leia's true parentage. Why, then, was he (along with Artoo) a witness at the wedding of Anakin and Padme in Episode II? Did Anakin really think that he could trust this silly robot that he built when he was a child? When Anakin returns from the big rescue at the beginning of Episode III, he and Chancellor Palpatine are greeted by a large group of Galactic Senators. C-3PO comes out to greet R2-D2. What would have stopped Threepio from calling out, "Master Annie! Your wife, Miss Padme, who serves the planet Naboo as Senator Amidala, will be so happy to see you since she wants to surprise you with the news that she is pregnant with your child!" Think about that. It's just the kind of silly, stupid thing Threepio would say. Why trust him to know about your marriage?
  • When Padme does in fact tell Anakin that she is expecting, he hesitates with an unhappy look in his eyes before saying anything positive about this bit of news. I kept expecting him to say, "Swell. But let me ask you just two simple questions: How long have I been gone, and how long have you been pregnant?"
  • The Jedi are supposed to be able to sense one another's thoughts. How often have you heard someone in a Star Wars movie say, "Your thoughts betray you..."? Anakin was in love with a Senator; he was married to her, and he was sleeping with her. She was constantly on his mind. He was starting to have dreams about her. Why couldn't even Master Yoda and Master Windu sense that Anakin was so deeply involved in a forbidden relationship? Darth Sidious must have been doing some pretty big-time Dark Side force-clouding of the Jedi's perceptions to keep them from learning about Anakin's marriage.
  • Sidious had been plotting to turn Skywalker to the Dark Side ever since Anakin was a little boy. Staging his own kidnapping (as Chancellor Palpatine) was a bold move on the part of the Dark Lord. Was he supremely confident that he could survive the rescue attempt? Anakin nearly got himself, and Palpatine, and Obi-Wan Kenobi killed on General Grievous's doomed flagship just by trying to save their lives. Palpatine looked seriously terrified. He must have figured that if Skywalker could get him out of that mess, he was more than worthy of being chosen and the new Sith apprentice.
  • After escaping from his burning wreck of a ship, Grievous makes his way to a holographic communications console and immediately makes contact with Darth Sidious, who was either on hold with Grievous's receptionist for an indefinite period of time, or just happened to be sitting by the phone with his hood up when the General called. Does General Grievous know that this is the same individual whom he had recently kidnapped and held hostage? The movie never makes this clear. Grievous seems to know that Count Dooku and Darth Tyranus are the same man, but he never says anything to Darth Sidious like, "Sorry I spent the whole time trying to get my sorry metallic butt of the wrecked ship instead of saving you, my lord, but I had to keep up the pretense". Would he have been so cavalier about abandoning Palpatine if he knew that Palpatine was his boss? Hard to say. The Dark Side clouds all.
  • When the Jedi, with Palpatine, are trying to get back to Coruscant on whatever is left of the wrecked vessel, Anakin says, "Under the circumstances, I'd say the ability to pilot this thing is irrelevant." All he needed to do was land it safely. This is a chilling mirror image of something that one of the 9-11 highjackers allegedly said to his instructors at flight school, that he only wanted to learn how to fly an airplane, not land it.
  • Anakin's robotic right arm, during the post-nightmare trauma, makes more noise than C-3PO's entire body.
  • There are several young models, actresses and other women who have been given tiny bit parts in the last couple of Star Wars movies as Jedi, Senators, waitresses and whatnot. They go to all the conventions, pose for pictures with geeks, and are probably more in-demand because of their connections with Star Wars than for anything they have ever done before, or will ever do in future. As painful as it is to contemplate, I feel like I need to ask: How many times did you bimbos have to sleep with George Lucas before he put you in his movies?
  • I bet Anakin could have force choked Mace Windu and dropped his sorry bald head on the carpet before Windu could finish saying, "Take a seat, young Skywaaacckkkkkt..." Looks like you're short a Jedi Master, guys. Here I am.
  • Yoda climbs and rides Chewbacca's shoulders the same way that my kids ride mine. I thought that was funnier than Yoda dropping the red guards.
  • The Jedi in general come off as a bunch of morons in this movie. Why didn't Anakin question Palpatine's extensive knowledge of Sith lore and the Dark Side of the Force when they were watching the aquatic ballet? It's like the President of Syria sitting down and telling you where all of Saddam's WMDs are hidden, and your only response is something like, "I bet I could use some of those pathologies to create a cure for my wife's chronic illness". Pathetic. Annie is as dumb as the rest.
  • Speaking of which, Natalie Portman is just as goofy in character as she is in real life. "So this is how liberty dies..." Good grief. Maybe it's just pregnant Padme's hormones acting up.
  • When Obi-Wan lands on Utapau he speaks to Tion Meddon. There are a couple of attendants waiting behind Meddon. They do not have long ridged heads like he does. In fact, they look like the Remans from Star Trek: Nemesis. A crossover, or just coincidence? Since we saw ETs in the Senate in Episode I, and an ET once visited Earth, we know that Earth exists in the same universe if not the same galaxy as Star Wars. Any chance of seeing some Klingons around this place?
  • General Grievous does a lousy job wielding four light sabers against Kenobi. It's one thing to be trained in the Jedi arts; but knowledge of the Force is important, too. I do not believe that Grievous had such knowledge.
  • Mace Windu should never have been able to knock the light saber out of Palpatine's hand, or to deflect the blue lightning back at him, so easily. I know that George Lucas made a lot of concessions to Samuel L. Jackson to get him to play Mace Windu, but everything about the character is just another way for Lucas to kiss Jackson's butt. Windu should have his head cut off, not his arm. The Emperor could have bronzed the head and stuck it on a pole like a scarecrow. Much more useful, that way.
  • I wonder if anyone ever found Mace Windu's head? I rather envision a group of streetcleaner droids playing a game similar to the one in Afghanistan that uses the goat head.
Wow, there is lots more to comment on. Give me a few more days. Or minutes. I just don't want this to turn into an all-Star Wars blog.


michele said... You've given this more thought than me and that's saying something.

I do want to address your issue with Yoda not knowing what was on Anakin's mind - I think he did and he subtley let him know that in his lecture about attachments leading to greed and the dark side.

After seeing III three times, I have come to really loathe the Jedi.

Nicko McDave said...

Yoda spoke as though he knew more than he was letting on. So if he did know about Anakin's marriage, then he is an even bigger jerk than I thought. "Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose." Great advice. There was nothing wrong with their marriage, and Yoda is basically telling Anakin to dump Padme.

The Jedi did just as much to push Anakin to the Dark Side as Darth Sidious did, if not more.