Thursday, May 19, 2005

  Episode III - The Return Of Some Sense

Yes, I saw the latest Star Wars installment. Yes, it was better than the last two. Yes it was quite good. Putting aside the documentary like slumber fest that was Phantom Menace and the Comedy Pie Fight that was Attack of the Clones, Return of the Sith almost makes me forgive Lucas for sitting through those two former atrocities. The effects were...great. The story was...there. The acting was...mostly good. The dialog was frequently less dreadful than it has been for episodes I and II. And best of all, Jar Jar makes but a single, stoic appearance looking suitably guilty for the havoc wrought by his single deciding vote in the Senate one movie ago.

While an astounding improvement in every way, Sith still managed to stir up some uncomfortable moments with clumsy dialogue. The first is an odd scene between Amidala and Anakin in which Anakin proclaims that Amidala is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Amidala tells Anakin he is simply blinded by love. The Abbot and Costello exchange that follows leaves you wondering who's on first and is it possible for somebody to be struck by another person's beauty if they were blind to begin with?

The second, and my favorite, is an exchange between Palpatine and Anakin in which the young Jedi is gently encouraged to try the 'Dark Side' of the force as an alternative to his more parochial education. Anakin considers this advice in spite of the fact that the alternative discipline is actually called 'The Dark Side'. It's not like Palpatine is asking him to try the Cold side of the Force or the Dark Chocolate side of the Force. It's called the 'Dark Side'. That's a fairly prosaic descriptor right there. Not much left to the imagination with that one. "So...are there any draw backs to this...'Dark Side'?" Heavens no my lad. Don't mind the yellow irises...

Still, all in all it was a hoot. True geeks will be gratified to see mechanical artifacts from West End Game's Imperial Handbook (the D6 system) fully realized for the silver screen. I was just happy to see Peter Mayhew back in costume. Also, this was the biggest thrill I've had since hearing James Earl Jones voice 'This is CNN...'

See Sith. Have fun.


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