Tag Archives: Revenge of the Sith

Rewatching Star Wars: A New Hope

We watched Star Wars last night, the DVD version. It’s been about four years since I last saw it. When Revenge of the Sith came out, we came home and immediately re-watched A New Hope, then caught the next two films over the following week or so.

It’s been long enough that memories have blurred, and some (but not all) of the revisions to the film don’t seem jarring anymore. (I had the same experience last month with the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, especially with the first two films.) Most of the scenes where they just wanted to do more dynamic shots, like the Millennium Falcon blasting its way out of Mos Eisley, not only blend in just fine, but really are improvements. As for Mos Eisley itself, I’m of two minds: On one hand, I liked the stark barrenness of the tiny frontier town presented in the original version. But at the same time, it does make more sense for a spaceport to be a bustling metropolis.

All the scenes with Obi-Wan, Luke, and the droids on Tattooine take on added significance after having seen just how Ben, Anakin, and Padme were connected to each other and to the droids a generation earlier.

As for additional scenes: I still think the Jabba the Hutt scene adds absolutely nothing to the film, and that if they really wanted to add it, they should have rewritten Jabba’s dialogue (an easy task) and/or edited it into something that wouldn’t simply re-hash the conversation with Greedo. The brief moment with Luke meeting Biggs, however, adds quite a bit.

At one point early in the film, I turned to Katie and said something to the effect of, “The next time they re-release this in theaters, I am absolutely going.” But the more I think about it, I’m not sure I’d want to, at least not immediately. The 1997 re-releases were great, and I saw each movie several times, but the audiences — especially the opening night audiences — were full of the hardcore fans who cheered whenever a character first appeared on screen. They were reacting to things outside the movie itself, actually distracting from it rather than enhancing the shared experience. Maybe waiting a week would cut down on that sort of thing.

Darth Burgers

You may recall that Burger King had a marketing tie-in with Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. You may also recall that the movie came out last May. It seems that the Dark Side continues to dominate the destiny of at least one Burger King franchise. This picture was taken today (January 1, 2006):

Half-inflated Darth Vader atop a Burger King restaurant.

OK, it may have deflated a bit, but 7-8 months is a bit long to keep an inflatable Darth Vader on your roof.

(10 points to the first person who identifies the reference in the title.)

Revenge of the Sith: Decisions That Almost Changed Everything

We went to see Revenge of the Sith again last night. Fourth weekend out, and the theater was still packed. (We were able to get tickets 15 minutes before showtime—or, rather, preview time—but it was pure luck that we managed to find a pair of seats that weren’t in the front three rows.)

And now, Decisions that could have changed everything.

  1. Obi-Wan: Certainly, I’ll take down General Grievous. But since he wiped the floor with me last time, I’d like some backup. Anakin, would you care to join me?
  2. Mace Windu: Palpatine is the Sith Lord? Great work, Anakin! I’m going to recommend you for full Jedi Masterhood next week for this! Hey, you’ve been working hard, why don’t you go celebrate and unwind. Here, I’ve got a pair of tickets to the Outer Rim… (I can’t take credit for this one.)
  3. Anakin: (after delivering the report on Grievous’ location to the Jedi Council) *keeps his mouth shut*
  4. Anakin: In my vision, Obi-Wan was trying to help you. You’re right, we should ask him for help.
  5. Obi-Wan: You know, Anakin has been spending a whole lot of time with Senator Amidala. And everyone’s wondering who the father of her child is. I wonder if she’s told him, I mean we were on Coruscant around the time that… oh, blast!
  6. Ki-Adi-Mundi: Relax, Skywalker, I was on the Council before they made me a master, too. Oh, wait, they wrote that out? Never mind.

Finally, some thoughts on viewing order. For a new viewer, I think watching the original trilogy first, then the prequel trilogy, probably works best dramatically. There’s so much in the prequels that has impact simply because you recognize elements from the original.
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The Star Wars Audience

I don’t know if it was the show time we picked or just a matter of who sits where in the theater (we were about halfway back), but the largest demographic group in the audience when we watched Revenge of the Sith was not teenage boys, thirty-something men, families with kids, or twenty-something couples, though there were plenty of all of those. It was teenage girls. And they weren’t tagging along with dates or with families. They were out with their friends on a Friday night, willing to pre-order tickets and wait in line for an hour, looking for people they knew and chatting on their cell phones during the interminable bad-music-and-advertisement pre-show.

This was hardly a geek-only audience. If anything shows that a sci-fi movie has hit the mainstream, it’s the presence of thirteen-year-old girls with Hello Kitty blankets in the audience.

Star Wars – Third time’s the charm

We went out to see Star Wars: Episode III last night. And for once, we weren’t disappointed. This is the kind of movie the last two should have been. There was a feeling of urgency throughout this movie that wasn’t present until the first battle of the clone army in Attack of the Clones. A lot of it does depend on having seen the original trilogy, particularly where Anakin/Luke parallels appear… but I have to say, the final shot was absolutely perfect.

We re-watched the previous two movies and the Clone Wars cartoon over the last few weeks, and having seen the entire trilogy, I look at it this way: Lucas gave us 4 hours and 20 minutes of prologue to Revenge of the Sith. That’s all Episodes I and II are: Palpatine setting up his dominoes and getting everything ready to trigger his ascension to Emperor and elimination of the Jedi.

We had already planned to pick up the original trilogy this week or next, and finish the entire series by the end of the month. On the way home I remarked, “You know, I’m not completely insane, so I won’t suggest watching Episode IV now.” Katie replied, “Actually, I was thinking about it.” We ended up watching Star Wars: A New Hope (second-worst title in the series, but it gets a pass since it was tacked on in re-release) starting at 11:00.

It’s strange. The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones didn’t really change my perspective on Darth Vader much, aside from wanting to add “Now this is pod racing!” to the Death Star trench. Having actually seen the transformation, I really do see Vader differently. Probably closer to the way Luke sees him in Return of the Jedi. Especially in the first movie, where Tarkin is pulling all the strings and Vader is more of an enforcer than a leader, he really seems like someone who is doing what he has to do, like Londo in Babylon 5. Katie said that he’s gotten used to power, and is unwilling to give it up.

One of the great things about the prequel trilogies is seeing the Jedi in their prime, at least as far as their martial arts are concerned. The climactic duel between Obi-Wan and Vader above the volcanoes of Mustafar is no exception. Unfortunately, going from this movie to the original makes the rematch on the Death Star look pathetic by comparison.

Oh, yes: Ewan McGregor is seriously channeling Alec Guinness in this movie.

On to spoilers. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Continue reading