Okay, so, we saw Revenge of the Sith last night. I don't know the last time I was in a sold-out theater. The manager (or some other Important Guy in a Red Shirt) actually came in to ask everyone to scoot together, since there would be no empty seats.
And my little friend over here? Saw him in the food court before the movie. (Forgive the crappy picture, it's from my camera phone. Yeah, I was in spy mode. I'm a dork.) Actually, he didn't look bad - it's a very nice costume, which he'd obviously put quite a bit of work into (and knee high leather boots make anyone look good, especially as he was tall enough to pull it off). Quite honestly, on someone with a better haircut and clearer skin, it would have been sexy as hell (um, did I just say that out loud?) I'm obviously a geek as well as a dork. But still, it's a bit over the top, and we didn't see anyone else in costume (they were probably all there at the midnight showing on Thursday).
So, the actual movie... good, but not great. Plot details are given away here, so consider yourself warned.
- Samuel L. Jackson. Gotta love him. However, it's impossible for me to watch him in anything without expecting him to break into his Jules character from Pulp Fiction. "Do I look like a bitch, Chancellor Palpatine?"
- The special effects. Very, very nice. Yoda was beautifully animated. Still bothers me that he sounds so much like Fozzy the Bear, though. Ah, Yoda. Contagious your way of speaking is. Continually did I use it on the way home. Annoyed my husband must have been.
- The explanation of why Annakin turned to the dark side. Believable, and yet ironic (dude, don't you know a deal with the devil always comes back to bite you in the ass?)
- I never noticed it before, but Hayden Christensen really does resemble a young Mark Hamill. A nice touch. Another nice touch was playing "Leia's Theme" from the original Star Wars movies when showing the infant Leia with her new family.
The not great:
- The movie, though it clocked in at 2+ hours, needed to be at least 20 minutes longer. The major emotional moments seemed very rushed. When Annakin decides to become evil, it takes him about two minutes to go from "I can't do this" to "What have I done?" And again, when his wife and best friend realize what he has done, they go from "No, this couldn't be true" to "You're evil, gotta go" in a heartbeat. And when Annakin/Vader realizes what he has done to Padme. They really needed to experience some shock and grief. They expressed almost none of that. And sadly, I don't think Lucas can write that kind of dialog.
- Hayden Christensen's acting was just as wooden as in the previous movie. Everything is delivered in a monotone.
- The opening sequence, where Obi-Wan and Annakin rescue the Chancellor, seems to have been lifted from a 70s cop movie. It was a bunch of silly banter - "Oh, you only saved my life 9 times, that one time on Planet X doesn't count." Feh.
- And a few nitpicky details. Why ask Annakin to spy on the Chancellor when you can just view the security hologram and see everything he does in 3-D? If you want to hide Luke from his father, why place him with his aunt and uncle? Why does Yoda refer to what's his name (Liam Neeson's character - Quai Dong? Mah Jong? Mao Tse Tung?) coming back from the dead at the end of the movie?
Basically, the movie (and the whole new trilogy) cannot help but pale in comparison to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Both are classic tales of good vs. evil, but Star Wars layers on a convoluted and boring political subplot. Both have breathtaking special effects and kickass swordfights, but Star Wars seems to rest on that, while LOTR has the emotional highs and lows that SW is lacking.
It wasn't a bad movie at all. It just could have been so much better. When I left each LOTR movie, I was saying "Wow. That was great. Okay, I might have done this or that differently, but that was great." But each Star Wars movie left me saying "That was good, but they really should have done this or that." But then, I'm a huge LOTR fan, so of course I'm going to say that. :-)
Bottom line, as our beloved Jules would say... "Are we happy, Vincent?" Yes, we're happy. We could have been happier, but we're happy.
Ah, and there's my little friend again. I wonder if he was happy?