Open Letter, Thursday, May 19th, 2005
I saw Revenge of the Sith today. I’ll hold off on completely spoiling it for you, but if you don’t like movie reviews that contain the spoilers necessary for a spot of criticism, you may want to skip to here.
Still reading, eh? Either you’ve already seen the film, or you trust me not to spoil it too badly.
Great movie. It makes up for the first two, but after having seen it, I’m pretty sure that once we get the DVD (and we will) the first two will go unwatched by me forever and ever. I mean, I don’t need to waste time on them again, and the eye-candy alone in the third film totally supplants anything they had to offer.
The space battles in this film were easily the best out of all the Star Wars movies — the most dramatic, the most believable, and the most “holy CRAP there are a lot of ships up there.” Remember that scene in Return of The Jedi when the swarm of TIE fighters swoops in? Oh, and the rebel fleet squaring off against the Imperial fleet while the Death Star plays sniper?
That’s child’s play compared to the Republic and Separatist fleets duking it out in the skies above Coruscant. And that scene was the first 5 minutes of the film.
And Palpatine? Wow. Well played, Mister McDairmid.
And now, the cringe-bits, in order of cringe-y-ness.
- Yoda and his damnable, damning, thrice-be-damned philosophy of “no emotional attachment.” Remember his “fear leads to anger” BS in the first film? Well, he took it further by telling us (through Anakin) that we need to become detached to the point that we don’t care if we lose a loved one. Grrr…. I’ve ranted about Jedi philosophy before, but I’ll sum up my feelings again here: they all deserved to die. Their religion had become corrupted, and any good the Jedi had ever done for the Republic was long, long in the past. Let Anakin “bring balance to the force.” I’m fine with that. Why? Because listening to Yoda makes me CRINGE.
- So, you’ve fallen onto a giant heat-shield that is burning up as it floats down a river of lava… pull back, pull back, BAM! LAVA WATERFALL!! If any of you remember the deleted scenes from Episode I, there was a waterfall escape on Naboo that very rightfully ended up on the cutting-room floor. The lava waterfall was too cliché for me. CRINGE!
- Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… the voice of James Earl Jones in scuba gear. And upon learning of a particularly poignant bit of what he had wrought as Lord Vader, he puts his fists in the air, tips his head back, and says “NOOOOOOO!” The only thing saving that moment from my #2 slot for cringes was the fact that I’d never heard James Earl Jones in that cliché before. Still, I cringed.
So there’s my review. Should you see it? Absolutely. In theaters? Oh my, yes. Just don’t get caught up in thinking that Jedi philosophy works in the real world (it doesn’t) or that well-played petulance followed by some excellent “tortured brooding” makes Hayden Christensen a strong actor (it doesn’t).
Our attendance at the movie was sponsored by my friend Richard Bliss, who bought 100% of the tickets for the 10am show. The theater was full of old friends from Novell, most of whom didn’t recognize me without my beard. We spent almost an hour catching up before the movie started (I’m geeky enough to show up an hour ahead of schedule for a movie even though I know I not only have a ticket, but also a reserved “VIP row” seat), and I still didn’t get to talk to enough of my friends. Just before film began to roll, my first off-campus housing roommate from BYU popped down to see me. We hadn’t seen each other for a decade or more. He had no trouble recognizing me, though. Of all the people in that theater, he was one of two people who knew me from before I got the beard.
Sandra and I had lunch with another couple after the movie. The two of them were doing the exact same thing we were doing — ordering a big, three-item plate at Greasy Panda (or whatever that Mall chinese place is called this month) and then sharing it between the two of them. Ah, eating out on a budget! We had a great discussion about boring, real-world things like “how to find good health insurance,” and “the benefits of incorporating your small business.”
Sandra had to head home, and I was at the same end of town where my favorite Disc Golf course is, so I headed over to shoot nine holes. I’ll summarize: I had a few great drives, a whole bunch of crummy putts, and got overheated. It was HOT out there… and it was only 85. Somebody (me) has been spoiled by the wet spring here in Utah. I got home dehydrated and a little sunburnt in spite of putting sunscreen on my shiny top.
I stripped to my underwear (note: I’m at home, in my bedroom for this part of the story), splashed cold water on my face (I’d already imbibed at least 750ml of water), cranked up the ceiling fan, and lay down for a nap.
I awoke at 5:40, roughly two and a half hours after lying down. I dreamed of angry jedi and fields of lava. In retrospect, getting sunburnt after seeing that film may have been hard on my poor brain.