Revenge of the Sith - Thumbs Up

Went to see Revenge of the Sith last night out on the Island. It's a wonderful movie, of course, chock full of explosions, lightsabers and special effects galore. Some comments you probably won't find on other blogs... (Warning: Possible spoilers below the fold!) First of all, let me say that Padme Amidala is absolutely beautiful. Not Jenna Jameson sex fantasy beautiful, but classicly beautiful, as in what you think Arthur's Guenever must have looked like. There is, however, one scene that makes it apparent that there is such a thing as bad hair days in Lucas' Star Wars universe. You'll know the scene when you see it and think that Portman should go to Duane Reade and pick up a bottle of Frizz-Ease or something like that. Leia certainly had her bad hair in the original trilogy - she probably got it from her mom.

Jimmy Smits as Senator Bail Organa didn't have a huge part in Episode II, but he has a bigger role toward the end of Episode III. And he doesn't pull it off. You want to call him Senator Victor Siffuentes when you see him talking to Yoda and Obi-Wan about what should be done with the infant twins Luke and Leia.

Speaking of actors who didn't fit their roles, I thought Samuel L. Jackson did a great job in Episode II as Mace Windu, but somehow turned into Jules from Pulp Fiction in Episode III. I'm surprised he didn't say "I don't trust the muthafucka..." when discussing Anakin's role as Palpatine's representative on the Jedi council with Obi-Wan. I think he was trying to be too much of a badass.

I was a little disappointed in how quickly Count Dooku was dispensed with in Episode III. The dashing Sith badass who took on Obi-Wan, Anakin and Yoda in Episode II suddenly turns into a wussy when he is handily defeated by Anakin in Episode III. Seemed like Lucas was quick to usher him out the door early on.

Lightsabers are still cool. And there's tons of lightsaber action in Episode III - I venture to say more laser swordfights than any other episode. General Grievous comes after Obi-Wan with six of the damned things. More lightsabers means more flying limbs and decapitation - while Obi-Wan managed to hang on to all of his extremities this time around, Dooku lost both hands and his head, Anakin lost his remaining arm and both legs, Mace Windu lost both hands and countless Jedi scrubs lost various limbs in lightsaber battles throughout the movie. No gore, though - that might have threatened the PG-13 rating.

Thankfully, Jar Jar had no lines this time, which is, of course, just fine.

There's been a lot of talk about the movie paralleling the whole "War on Terror" thing. At risk of politicizing the movie, Darth Vader reminded me of some of my neocon friends - Not 100% evil, but acting before thinking (jumping to conclusions) and operating with some bad information. There's the infamous "with me or against me" line, which immediately made me think of Bush in the War on Terror. Padme delivers a line about freedom dying to a round of applause, which reminded me of the progressives. Then there's this evil emperor who twists the values of the Republic through a combination of tactics including controlling information, controlling the senate and having emergency powers during a crisis. Sound like anyone you know?

Speaking of Palpatine, I noticed that all the Sith Lords seem to have cool names - Darth Sidious sounds like it's based on the word "insidious" which certainly has evil connotations. "Darth Maul" makes sense - a maul is a medieval war hammer, plus a verb meaning "to beat" or "to mangle." "Darth Tyrannus" is pretty self-explanatory. But this begs the question - What the hell is a "Vader?" And is it me, or did Palpatine simply make that one up on the spot? One minute Anakin is kneeling before him and the next second, Palpatine is handing him a new name in the same fashion as Bluto Blutarsky handing out pledge names in the Delta Tau Chi frat house basement. Palpatine dubs him Vader with the same enhusiasm as if he had said "Anakin, your Delta Tau Chi name is...Darth Flounder!"

All in all, though, the movie was a blast. It tied up most of the loose ends and delivered something pretty close to continuous action and adventure. I'd go see it again, although next time I won't spend the $4.80 for the bladder-buster size Diet Pepsi in the Obi-Wan Kenobi commemorative cup.