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Thursday, May 19, 2005

"Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith"

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
"The saga is complete." So the tagline goes. Well, actually, it's the midpoint of the saga, right?

I watched "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" on opening night with my brother-in-law, cousin and their friends at Golden Village Grand. Sidenote: even though it was opening night, there had already been previous screenings: a charity premiere on Monday night, and the sneak preview on Wednesday night. So I felt kinda cheated about the whole "first screening" schtick.

Fortunately, no one was dressed in SW-related costume or carried SW-related toys.

We sat near the front, which kinda spoiled the experience for me, because there were a lot of close-up lightsaber battles, and it was really difficult to watch with all of the flashing lights. Overall, the movie was a nice change from the previous two outings. As expected, there was a lot more fighting, and the tone was darker, what with the hero's (Anakin Skywalker) descent into becoming the enemy (Darth Vader).

I missed seeing the Millenium Falcom near the beginning. Ah well.

The moment that I really liked was after Obi-Wan had slashed Vader's limbs. Obi-Wan: "You were my brother! I loved you!" Wow, I could feel his pain, especially after seeing the two of them goof off like best buds at the beginning of the show. It also makes their final confrontation in Episode IV more painful to watch.

But I'm sorry: Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader still doesn't come across as the most powerful Jedi/Sith ever, in spite of his so-called enhanced powers. And I really think that his growth from Episode III to Episode IV is disjointed, because in the later episode, there is nary a hint to the scale of his anger... which makes sense, because George Lucas had written Episode IV as a standalone movie since he wasn't sure how the public would take to his vision.

Episode IV is like the bastard child in his saga because of the original limitations in technology and public acceptance. Besides, few moviemakers -- or creative people in general -- accept their creations as 100% complete and accurate. I should know. It's all about the creative process: one can never be 100% satisfied with the first version. (That also explains why you need to upgrade your software constantly!) I've made a few videos that I wish I could go back and improve upon, whether because I've gained more experience or have newer tools to experiment with.

That's why sometimes I think that Lucas should remake Episode IV, and I won't fault him for it. After all, it's HIS saga and he should be allowed to tinker with it until he's 100% satisfied. (I recall reading somewhere that he's at 90% satisfied with it currently.) The fans can rant and rave for all they care, but I'd still accept Lucas' version anytime because I understand where he's coming from.

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I've been thinking about the title "Star Wars". Within the six movies, two major wars are fought: the Republic's war in Episodes I to III, and the Rebel-Empire war in Episodes IV to VI. Before the prequels, there is peace. After the sequels, there is also peace -- supposedly. If you don't read the books and comics that take place after the movies, there is peace. But if you do read them, then you know that the "wars" continue. Thus the title remains relevant, otherwise it'd have to be renamed "Star Peace" or "Star Truce".

"Star Wars" is one heckuva violent universe!

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