RELEASED 2005 RUNTIME 140 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION GEORGE LUCAS SCREENPLAY GEORGE LUCAS STARRING HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN, EWAN McGREGOR, IAN McDIARMID, FRANK OZ, SAMUEL L. JACKSON, CHRISTOPHER LEE, ANTHONY DANIELS, KENNY BAKER MUSIC JOHN WILLIAMS
This is the 3rd and final movie in the Star Wars Prequel saga and this is where we finally see Anakin turning to the dark side of the force and becoming Darth Vader. If you really think that’s a spoiler, please move the rock aside under which you have been living for the last 40 years 😛
The movie starts with the battle of Coruscant. The Separatists have invaded the planet Coruscant, which is the main capitol of the Republic and the Jedi Temple. They have kidnaped Senator Palpatine who is being held hostage amongst General Grevious’ command ship. Now it’s up to our two heroes Anakin and Obi Wan to infiltrate the ship and rescue Palpatine.
The premise/crawl text sound pretty awesome and yes, the movie starts out very promising… for about 5 minutes. Then we get hit by wonky humor and silly things all over again. I’m just saying, buzz droids, General Grevious and his silly cough, battle droids who talk like Mickey Mouse with voice distortion and more CGI in your face! At this point you know Lucas has completely lost his mojo.
But let’s start from the beginning. As I said, the start of the movie with a panning shot of the two Jedi fighters being piloted by Anakin and Obi Wan is pretty amazing. You get a scale of the battle and with the music it really draws you in. Of course it all looks like a video game, but you go with it for a few minutes, mainly because the dialogue between Anakin and Obi Wan works this time, yay, to an extend of course. Let’s not jump out of our seats yet 😉
But man, all this CGI… There are scenes that could have been made so much easier with real actors and backgrounds. I just can’t grasp it. Did Geroge really think that a Jedi jumping out of a cockpit with a flip can’t be done by a real actor? Instead it looks like… I don’t even know how to describe it, just see for yourself. The problem with all this CGI is, it makes everything look so uncanny. You ever heard of the term Uncanny Valley? Google it or ask any person who is involved with robotics, animatronics, animation or similar.
Furthermore, while I praise the dialogue improving at points, there still are scenes which are laughably bad, even some involving Palpatine which are hilariously over acted by Ian McDarmid. I don’t want to criticize Ian because he is an awesome actor. But it feels like at this point he just was like “Fuck it, these movies are so bad, at least I’m gonna have some fun with it. Let’s get drunk! …GEORGE, I’m ready. Action!”
Man, there is a scene involving a battle where he is cheering Anakin on as he was watching a sports game or something. Another is his turn into the Emperor we know from Return of the Jedi. OMG, please try to watch this scene with a straight face.
Then, there are problems with the script of course. The movie feels cramped as hell. On the one hand we have so many important scenes that don’t get enough screen time to really hit you where they are supposed to (Anakins turn to the dark side) and on the other hand we have entire sections of the movie that are sooooo unnecessary and don’t do anything for the story.
– Obi Wan chasing down General Grevious on Utapau. Totally unnecessary as the entire character of General Grevious. Please tell me what important things he does in the movie that actually matter.
– Yoda fighting alongside the Wookiees on Kashyykk. Talking about fan service with no substance…
Again, lack of focus! Btw. These two scenes are some of the worst cases of CGI I have ever seen. It looks soooo fucking fake, I just can’t take it anymore. George, please!
I feel like crying at this point with nobody to make me feel better about it. Sorry, but some of my video games look more real than that. It’s just ridiculous.
What else do we have? Oh, the relationship between Anakin and Obi Wan never gets explored. Didn’t Obi Wan in the first Star Wars say they used to be good friends? In Episode II they fight constantly with Anakin complaining about every single goddamn thing.
They barely have screen time together and when they have, well, they…
…battle each other with lightsabres
I must admit though, the last piece of dialogue by Obi Wan before he leaves Anakin for good (sounds funny, right?) was pretty fantastic. Finally, a scene that pulled on my heart strings. And overall Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan was pretty fantastic, even though the scenes he was in were mostly rubbish.
Another scene that I love love love is a scene involving Anakin and Palpatine in an opera house. Phenomenal scene! Btw. I think the Force Awakens will tie in right here. All I’m saying, Darth Plagueis!
Other positive things about the movie are, again, the music and sound effects. No surprises.
Ok, let’s get back down to earth.
Oh George… What have you done?! You were supposed to make everything better with this one, but instead you totally lost your mind. This movie was supposed to tie into the Classic Trilogy, but even the tie-ins are rushed and fall flat.
I’m just gonna list some more things here that bothered me about this movie and some about the entire Prequel Saga.
– Padme’s death: Makes no sense
– The birth of Luke and Leia: rushed – Darth Vader being “constructed”: rushed and laughably reminds me of the birth of Frankenstein. + Darth Vader’s “NOOOOOoooo”. You serious, George?!
– Yoda meeting Chewbacca: Oh, come on. Yes, you want to please the fans, but what did it do for the story?! It actually just made the universe smaller because it seems like everybody knows everyone.
– Count Dooku’s death: Too early in the movie. Totally wasted character.
– General Grevious: FUCK General Grevious! Not only is he brutally over-designed, but so cheesy and just annoyingly unnecessary. I have seen concept drawings of General Grevious that got rejected. Why? At least make him look good.
– Just the overall use of villains: Darth Maul should have been the main villain with Palpatine pulling the strings in the background as he did in the Classic Trilogy. Maul shouldn’t have died in the first place, but be there replacing Count Dooku’s and General Grevious’ parts.
– The Clone Wars in general: We never got a movie about the Clone Wars. We have seen the start and the end of them, but never the clone wars in their full swing. Episode II should have been the first film in the trilogy (with some changes of course) and Episode II should have been something else. And please don’t tell me that there is a TV show about the clone wars. Yes, it’s fantastic, but it’s not part of the movies.
So, what did we end up with? It’s a totally unfocused movie that finishes off one of the worst trilogies ever made. At this point it’s safe to say that the Star Wars Prequel Saga will go down in Cinema history as one of the biggest disappointments and a prime example that there is no guarantee a movie will be good just because it’s part of a beloved brand, even when the same creators, who made phenomenal products for the brand before, are involved.
Yes, I am sure that The Force Awakens will be good, but I am still a little nervous until I see it. At least always try to keep your expectations low. The Star Wars prequels taught me that the hard way.
Btw. I know some of you may find Episode III to be ok and I even heard rumors that some prefer it over Return Of The Jedi (for whatever crazy reason there is). Well, good for you…
…are you fucking out of your minds?!?!