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Redemtion in 30 Minutes: Star Wars Episode III

(warning: if you have been hiding in a hole for a while, the following may contain spoilers)
The second (or is that first?) Star Wars Trilogy had the potential of being something truly amazing. An epic with love, war, death and betrayal – what could possibly go wrong?

Well… the dialogue for one. The first two movies were jokes. And bad jokes at that, with the likes of Jar-Jar Binks. And the third movie appeared headed down that same path, with inane dialogue, pointless characters, terrible romantic scenes, stiff acting, and plot developments for the sake of… well, developing the plot towards where it had to be at the end of the movie, because of the movie that comes next. But with just moments left in the trilogy, things started to change. Somewhere after Anakin’s disappointingly quick descent to the Dark Side, the movie, perhaps due to its proximity (in movie-time) to the One that started it all, suddenly became powerful.

George Lucas is not a master of dialog, nor apparently of the little details that make actors, well, act. On the other hand, he is the apparent master of the dramatic battle and the climatic outburst of emotion leading to final victory – or defeat. And this is where Revenge of the Sith – after two not quite excruciating hours, finally – and truly – shined. The lava-world made a wonderful backdrop to what will likely be the capstone of a career.

Nevertheless, the biggest disappointment to me will never be Jar-Jar, nor will it be the clumsy romance. Rather, it will be that with a little help from others, Lucas could have made these movies into the masterpeices they were meant to be, and defined another generation of Sci-Fi with another Trilogy. And while I am by no means a master artist, I have a few ideas and suggestions on how it could have been done. First, this movie, every bit the best of the three prequels, really should have been two movies. The relationship between Anakin and Palpatine needed more time to develop – a lot more time. Anakin should have been slowly seduced by the dark side, not suddenly converted in a moment of weakness. The interplay between him and the Jedi council would have made wonderful movie material as he came to live a double life. And that given, Palpatine should have been much more… discreet. It would have been brilliant material as well to let Anakin come slowly to the realization, that his mentor was a Sith Lord. The new name – Darth Vader – should have only come after the suit. Up until that point, Anakin should have not really known what he was doing. That would have made a wonderful third movie. Then, all the material in the first half or three-quarters of this movie should have been the second movie. Jamming it all into the third movie ended up being neccesary, but it left me with the feeling that there was too much jumping around and not enough real explanation of important developments. That movie could still be called “attack of the clones” – only, the finals scenes of the second movie woudl become the opening scenes of my version, giving plenty of time to set up the third movie. Finally, my version of the first movie would combine most of what was in the first and second movies, getting rid of unneccesary baggage (such as Jar-Jar) to make room. Oh, I probably would have delayed Anakin’s and Padame’s marriage until some point early in the third movie as well, giving plenty of time to set up a real romantic theme in the second. And finally, I would have made Yoda jump around a lot less. I think that one of Yoda’s cool points is that he doesn’t use the force when he doesn’t have to. So jumping around needlessly is fun to watch, but really is out of character. So, thats how I’d change the timeline and plot – but even more importantly would be for Lucas to hire someone else to write the script. Using his ideas, certainly, but not his words. And especially not his diaglogue. Then, he should have hired someone else to direct; someone who knows how to get actors to act, for example. Not that it was terrible, just it wasn’t what it should have been. In short, I think Lucas would be much better as a “hands-on producer” than he is as the rennaisance man do-it-all of Sci-Fi film. Had this been the case, I think there would be a strong case for these movies to have gone down in history as some fo the greatest of all time, instead of living infamously in the shadow of their forerunners.

3 Responses to “Redemtion in 30 Minutes: Star Wars Episode III”

  1. Dan Moretti Says:

    I don’t think you’re giving it nearly enough credit! I thought the movie was great! Dialogue was blocky, making the love scenes really stupid… However, everything else was very well plotted. The rise of Anikan’s power to Darth Vader was rushed. However, it told the story very nicely, and completed the circle.

    As for Yoda jumping around, we know not of Yoda’s people. His race, being of small stature, would seem the type of race to employ quick catlike tactics, a sort of kung-fu to do their fighting. If they didn’t, Yoda wouldn’t have been much more easily overpowered. Although not to character, it also shows the immense power that Yoda truly has. If Yoda is going to fight, he decides he’s going to do it effectively for his body size. His quick motions are clear deffinitions of what the power of the force can truly do to an 800 year old 3 footer.

    I almost think its a symbol of the Rebellion. Lord Sidious calls him his “little green friend”. This is how he later comes to percieve the Rebellion, little, squashable, but overall completely underestimated. Yoda may be quite small, but goddamn he packs quite the punch, and he wants his enemies to know it.

  2. Dan Moretti Says:

    (Just like the Rebel Alliance)

  3. Ben McElroy Says:

    All I know is that the fights and the ending scenes in Episode III –what a contrast between the princess and Anakin – princess surrounded by loving friends, Anakin surrounded by “soulless” droids– made up for all my dashed hopes in the first two. But gosh darn it, I really liked Darth Maul! It would have been very interesting to see his character developed more. *Sigh*

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