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Judge Joel Pearce's Blog

Judge Joel Pearce • Location: Waterloo, ON Canada
• Member since: March 2004
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More Sith Thoughts...
May 20th, 2005 8:18PM

I know that you don't really need anyone else talking about this film now, but everyone else is doing it.

I liked Episode III. It's not as good as any of the films in the original trilogy, but it's a long way from teeth-gratingly bad, which places it above the first two prequels. I liked the space battle at the beginning, and the rescue of Palpatine. Then, it got back into the two things that have mired the prequel trilogy: love and politics. The relationship between Anakin and Padme is still total crap, and the political maneuvering of the senate/council is still boring as hell. The second half was a lot stronger, with several great action sequences. I liked the lava fight, and the overall darker tone.

There were serious problems. Only Ian McDiarmid, Christopher Lee and (sometimes) Ewen McGregor are really able to handle this dialogue. From everyone else, especially our young friend Anakin and Sam Jackson, the lines just sound ridiculous. There's no getting around the fact that this is a poorly written script.

I think I've figured out one of the reasons that the prequels don't work as well as the OT. In serial adventure entertainment, the fun comes from not knowing what will come next. The fact that Darth Vader is Luke's father comes as a surprise. The fact that Luke and Leia are siblings is a surprise. Everything is a new world in the original trilogy, and it's exciting to experience it for the first time.

In the prequels, everything is leading up to what we have already seen. Palpatine's betrayal has been coming for four hours now. Even those who hadn't seen the OT could see it coming. We know that Anakin will become evil, that the Jedi Council will be destroyed, that Yoda and Obi Wan will not die. Even the small things all lead up to the original films. If Chewbacca was important in these films, it would be a pleasant surprise to see him in episode IV. He isn't, though, so seeing him here is only important because we already know he will become important (and apparantly change/forget a lot between now and then). The Star Wars films do not (and should not) have the resonance required to work when we already know what to expect. When every detail is important in retrospect, that's fun. When every detail is important because it needs to configure itself to what we already know is coming, the curtain comes up and we see the wizard at work.

It sure did look nice, though.


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