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Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Force Just Wasn't With Him

So last night, my soon-to-be brother-in-law and I went to a 12:01 AM screening of Episode III. And I have to say, not that I've had a little time to digest, I was both satisfied and a little disappointed. The action, as usual, was phenomenal. There were some memorable moments, images that will haunt me for a while (Anakin riding a droid over a lava flow is chief among them), but in the end, Lucas fell short of his ambitious vision.

SPOILER ALERT: Don't keep reading if you haven't seen the movie yet and/or want to be surprised.

For example, the scene where Mace Windu reflects Palpatine's Force lightning back onto him and "disfigures" him was just bad comedy. Especially the way Palpatine was acting. His new looks and snivelling attitude reminded me of Gollum from "Lord of the Rings." All he needed was a ring, a cave, and some dead fish. Granted, that could be an acting problem, but the fact that Lucas left it in and didn't try to fix it and make it dramatic instead of just plain silly, well, that's his fault.

Another example: Darth Vader waking up after being encased in the armor. I'm sorry, but that scene was so conry, you could have produced thirty gallons of ethanol from it! Especially when Vader stands alone and screams, "No!" I'm glad that Lucas included the final scene of Vader and the Emperor at the end of the movie. I wouldn't want my last memory of Vader in a Star Wars movie to be the quasi-dramatic scream.

Lucas also missed some prime story-telling opportunities that could have easily ratcheted up the drama as well. The sad part is, in one case, he tentatively started in a dramatic direction, but then backed off. I thought for sure that we were going to see the Jedi version of "Othello" at one point, with Anakin playing the lead role, Padme as Desdimona, Obi-Wan as Cassio, and Palpatine as Iago. Lucas almost went down that path at one point. Would that he did! It would have been so cool, and would have improved the so-called romantic subplot.

So I have a few suggestions for Mr. Lucas should he ever stumble on the Least Read Blog:

  • Stop directing human beings. The fact of the matter is, sir, you can't do that. You suck at it. Amidala and Anakin were as wooden in the movie as they were in other movies, but I doubt it's Christensen and Portman's fault. I've seen Portman in "Garden State," and I hear that Christensen does good work elsewhere too. Face facts, Mr. Lucas: you're better suited to putting together flashy CGI special effects. That's okay. You do a good job at it. Leave directing human beings to someone who can.
  • Stop writing (especially love scenes). I understand that you probably have some great ideas bouncing around in your skull. That's great. Outline them, and then give them to someone else to turn into a movie script. Face facts: you're just not that good, especially when it comes to romance scenes. Do what you did with the original Trilogy, especially Empire Strikes Back, and people will love your stories again.

Like I said, I doubt he'll ever show up and actually read them, but hey, it felt good to vent.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, this is Chris, the brother-in-law to be. I'm wondering two things:

1) Will anything (the aforementioned human acting scenes, in particular) be improved for the Special Edition DVD?
2) Will there be a blooper where, during her birthing/death scene, Padme whispers the name "Jar Jar"? I hate the floppy-eared Jurassic Park reject, but it would be hi-lar-i-ous!

Tristan said...

Georgie Boy needs to hop in a DeLorian, get up to 88 MPH, hit the flux capacitor, and remake these movies with someone else writing, someone else directing, and a whole new cast save Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon. Liam Neeson rocks in the new Batman film, by the way. Anyway, I have been nothing but sorely disappointed with these three films, and, while they had their definite great moments (hey, the actual martial arts in the lightsabre duels was a plus, right?), there are far too many things I just cannot find it in my heart to forgive Lucas for.