Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith at Hoyts, Broadway

I actually saw Revenge of the Sith over a week ago, but I have been flat out updating fencing websites (Challenge Australia, Commonwealth Fencing Federation and NSW Fencing Federation), as well as preparing Circular 2 for the Australian Universities Fencing Championships, so I haven’t had time to write it up.

To do this film justice, it was better than Episode I and Episode II. And the special effects were great. But the story just … wasn’t. I felt utterly unconvinced by Anakin’s slide into the Dark Side – and, to be honest, I didn’t really care. He seemed more like a sulky little boy, stamping his foot because he couldn’t have cake and chocolate, than like a grown man struggling with conflicting emotions and loyalties. I honestly think George Lucas just doesn’t get tragedy – doesn’t understand what it is that makes, for example, Macbeth a great play. Like I and II, this film took itself far more seriously than the original trilogy, but I didn’t feel there was any real substance behind its ponderousness.

Episode I was just generally awful, and Episode II, while it had some good bits, also had some positively nausea-inducing scenes. This one, though, was funny – right up there with Mission: Impossible II in the number of times I had to stifle laughter at scenes that were meant to be taken Seriously. (The trailer for Alexander had much the same effect, although it didn’t inspire me to actually see the movie.)

A few other random general comments (which do contain spoilers):

  • With all the amazing technology, why don’t they do ultrasounds at any point in a pregnancy?
  • Why don’t the terrifyingly high walkways and balconies have guard rails? Has nobody ever accidentally stepped off the edge?
  • Given that a replacement Death Star was built between the end of Star Wars and the start of Jedi, and since the first one was well underway at the end of this film, why did it take so long to finish it?
  • It’s a pity there was no Han Solo cameo. I have no idea how much older than Luke and Leia he is, but there has to be at least 5 – 10 years (Harrison Ford is apparently about 9 years older than Mark Hamill, and 14 years older than Carrie Fisher). So surely a 10 year old Han could have had a brief appearance somewhere.
  • I think between them, Obi Wan and Mace Windu completely mishandled Anakin, and they are partly to blame for his failure to see through Palpatine’s transparent attempts to manipulate him.
  • And what was Obi Wan thinking of, to just walk away and leave Anakin dying slowly in agony? Surely if he cared for him, he could have made it a quick finish – or at least, stayed with him to the end. Or, if he thought Anakin was irretrievably gone to the Dark Side, he should have killed him. But to just walk away and leave him is either incredibly callous, or totally stupid – or both.
  • Why did they wipe Threepio’s memory (for no readily explained reason) but not bother with Artoo? Maybe it means that those beeps are actually just random noise, and he can’t really communicate with anyone (so it therefore doesn’t matter what he knows).

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