Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 25 2005

Just got back from seeing the final Star Wars movi…

Just got back from seeing the final Star Wars movie. Yes, I’m surprised I took this long to see it, too. Anyway, my thoughts (spoilers follow):

On the whole I liked it. The movie was generally as good or better than Episode II, with more action and less whining, or at least less angsty whining, from Anakin. But it also felt clumsy in parts. The writing made me groan in places, as usual. The cg environments and ship chases were awe-inspiring, and the camera seemed to know where to end up in every shot.

George Lucas doesn’t seem to trust his audience very much. At the end, we had to be pounded over the head with the same shots from the old episodes, rather than something that would lead to them. The frame of the Death Star is almost completed? So it took like 20 years to finish? How much better would it have been to have Darth Vader and the Emperor standing on the deck of a star destroyer that looked like a more primitive version of the ones in the old film, with officers in a recognizable but not identical uniforms, looking on as a large, curved piece of metal, barely recognizable, is hauled past them to a field filled with similar pieces? The shot the way it is feels rushed and brushed over.

Obi-wan’s realization of Anakin’s treachery is likewise brushed over rather quickly. Would a slow dolly in be too much to ask? Or maybe just a linger on a close-up? People say Anakin’s turning to the dark side seemed rushed, but I didn’t feel that part was too bad. It could have been portrayed better, but the timing was about right; otherwise it would have turned into more whining, which I don’t need to see.

Speaking of whining I didn’t need to see, it would have been far more powerful if, upon hearing of Padme’s death, Darth Vader had just stood there, pipes crunching and falling apart around him. Then, a beat of silence, or maybe show him turning away. The “Noooo!” was too much and inappropriate. A greater effect would have been achieved, but who am I kidding? It’s Star Wars.

All in all, I was happy with the film. I would have done some things differently, but then again I’m just a punk indie filmmaker with hardly any credit, so what do I know?

Apart from what I thought of the movie, it was momentous, in that it is likely that it was the last time I will ever sit in a theater and watch a Star Wars movie for the first time. Six times I’ve done this in the nearly three decades since 1977, and this was the last. That, coupled with the end of Star Trek, makes it feel like the end of an era, though in truth perhaps that era ended a long time ago.

posted by Poagao at 5:19 pm  

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