Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thoughts on Revenge of the Sith

“You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you!”

*grabs tissue* Ok, so I don’t cry anymore, but I DID the first few times I saw this movie. You all hopefully know I’m talking about Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and if you don’t, just stop reading now. You’ll be bored to tears with all my Star Wars babble.

So anyway, I just finished watching Revenge of the Sith (writing this post ahead of time, because in college time is precious, I write when I can) and I have to marvel at this movie sometimes. I mean, think about it. George wrote The Phantom Menace, and we ALL know how well that went… and then Attack of the Clones was significantly better (yes, yes, the acting was still a problem but we’ll look past that for now) and then suddenly here comes Revenge of the Sith, almost out of left field it was so spectacularly better than the first two of the prequel trilogy. Dare I say it’s almost up to standard with the original trilogy? I dare say that the only thing that keeps Revenge of the Sith from being as spectacular as A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back is the acting.

Sorry, Hayden and Natalie fans, but you have to admit this is not their best acting. Well, in Hayden’s case the scene where he’s all on fire probably IS his best acting I’ve ever seen, but I know Natalie can act. I’ve seen it, and I’m not a fan of her other movies. However, I’m willing to give credit where it’s due… she’s better than Hayden.

All bad acting aside, Revenge of the Sith is a really awesome movie!! Sure, it starts in typical cheesy George fashion, but I can tell you the point at which it becomes a real movie.

“Obi-Wan. May the Force be with you.”

“Good-bye, old friend. May the Force be with you.”

George, why don’t you just STAB me in the heart with a lightsaber while you’re at it?? I still remember sitting in the movie theater at midnight to watch Revenge of the Sith, and when they said that I went “Oh, shit, this is it, it’s all over.” And I was right. That’s the last friendly thing the two say to each other, and it’s subtle but it does the job so very well. That’s the point when it turns from a typical prequel Star Wars movie to a real Star Wars movie to match A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back (and anyone who wonders why I haven’t mentioned Return of the Jedi as a ‘real’ original trilogy movie should also just stop reading this now). I might even go so far as to say that the acting even improves slightly. I mean, come on, Hayden actually manages to cry when Mace Windu dies! I don’t really give a frak if they had to put damn eye drops in his eyes, at least it LOOKED good!

And don’t even get me started on the Darth Vader and Obi-Wan fight at the end of the movie. I’m not one to be big on special effects, but the choreography for this scene is the shit. Nick Gillard (is it sad that I don’t have to look up names for who was in charge of what with these movies?) had better have gotten an award for his work on this scene. Every time I watch it I’m in awe. Sure, Ewan and Hayden did their part by actually PERFORMING the damn thing, but the choreography is flawless. Absolutely flawless. Part of the reason I say this is because they start the fight and it seems that Obi-Wan is kind of getting his ass handed to him by Vader, but as it goes on instead of getting worse, he gets better! And sure obviously part of that is intended for the story and such, but characteristically it makes a TON of sense. Think about it; Obi-Wan told Yoda that he would rather get his ass kicked and chopped into tiny pieces by the Emperor rather than kill Anakin. So obviously that’s the mentality he’d still have when he goes into the fight. But as the fight goes on you can almost see Obi-Wan’s mind and thought process as he goes “Well, shit, man, Anakin’s not holding backat all!” But again, there’s that one turning point when Obi-Wan realizes something has to change.

“I have failed you, Anakin. I have failed you.”

“I should have known the Jedi were plotting to take over!”

“Anakin, Chancellor Palpatine is evil!”

“From my point of view the Jedi are evil!”

“Well then you are lost!

Again, there’s that turning point. Whatever little bit of doubt there was in Obi-Wan’s mind, now he knows it has to end. He has to kill Anakin. In the Mandalorian way of thinking it’s either kill or be killed. It’s not personal, it’s survival. And as much as the Jedi preach about control over emotions and everything, this is extremely emotional for Obi-Wan, and he’s lying if he ever says otherwise.
So, anyway, Obi-Wan has now realized it’s either him or Anakin, there’s no middle-ground for this fight, and then Anakin does something that the careful (or obsessive, it’s a very thin line and I lose it all the time) viewer has seen before in this fight: a jump flip over Obi-Wan. This is the second time Anakin does this in the fight, and you’ll notice that neither time did Obi-Wan ever swing for Anakin, although it’s clearly a very vulnerable move, and Anakin’s an overconfident moron with shit for brains for having done it more than once, especially in a fight against the person who trained him.

But Obi-Wan doesn’t swing. Instead, they fight for a few more seconds, and then:

“It’s over, Anakin! I have the high ground!”

“You underestimate my power!”

“Don’t try it.”

But does Anakin listen? Nooo, of course not! He jumps, but this time Obi-Wan knows he’s got him, and he swings, and…

Suddenly Anakin’s in four pieces on the ground. It’s a quick swing, but surprisingly effective, and if you ever feel like taking the time one day you can freeze-frame through the motion and see how amazingly easy it was for Obi-Wan to take Anakin out. Like I said, it’s a good move the first time, but it was the third time Anakin did it in the fight, and by then Obi-Wan had made up his mind that it was time to end it.

Sheer brilliance. I have no other words for it.

Yes, Revenge of the Sith has it’s little quirks, mostly the acting in my opinion, but overall I’m a pretty happy fan with this movie. In fact I watch it more than any of the other Star Wars movies except for The Empire Strikes Back, and that’s mostly because whenever it snows for the first time (even if it’s just a few flurries) I pop in the DVD and watch it, mostly just for the Hoth battle, but I can get into what I like about The Empire Strikes Back in another blog.

*Taken from my Echo Base Blog

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