Stephen Speicher

Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge of the Sith (2005)

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148 posts in this topic

I saw this movie at 12:45 a.m. and stayed in line for quite some time to do so B).

Regardless, I will not be giving away spoilers, and will not be giving a final rating (I'll wait until Sunday to do so after I see it again).

I will be giving first impressions.

This movie is much better than the first two. In fact, oddly enough, this movie made me realize that what I didn't like about the first two was needed and intentional (the child-like feel and the ‘humor’ as opposed to the serious Star Wars ala A New Hope).

The philosophy is a bit jumbled at times, but overall a great and inspiring message.

The graphics are to-die-for! It's that simple...I was amazed at what George Lucas was able to do. It looked FANTASTIC!

The only real thing that hampered the movie was the acting, which was not first class. Being that this movie dealt with amazingly powerful and deep emotions, I would have rather seen an actor who could have portrayed that. But the acting wasn't horrible enough to ruin the movie as a whole.

So overall, I would give this at first an 8-and suggest that all go see it :).

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I saw this movie at 12:45 a.m. and stayed in line for quite some time to do so B).

We saw the 12:01am show. What a really nice group of people. Star Wars fans are great. Lots of people in costume.

The only real thing that hampered the movie was the acting, which was not first class.  Being that this movie dealt with amazingly powerful and deep emotions, I would have rather seen an actor who could have portrayed that.

Who in particular are you referring to? I thought Anakin, Palpatine, and Padme were all terrific. The first two, especially, did a fine job of communicating some complex and powerful emotions.

I'm disappointed that Lucas will not be doing the final three episodes as he originally planned, but seeing this last film brings us nicely to the original 1977 Star Wars film, so there is a sense of completeness in that.

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I've been hearing in the news that some are interpreting this movie as an attack on Bush. For those who have seen the movie, I'm interested in hearing if there is any plausibility to this theory.

Here's one example of this in the news: click here.

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I've been hearing in the news that some are interpreting this movie as an attack on Bush.  For those who have seen the movie, I'm interested in hearing if there is any plausibility to this theory.

None that I can see.

Here's one example of this in the news: click here.

I think they have stretched a point beyond the elastic limit.

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We saw the 12:01am show. What a really nice group of people. Star Wars fans are great. Lots of people in costume.

I also saw a 12:01am showing. It is really fun making the viewing of a film an "event". I was looking forward to seeing the movie all day yesterday, I felt like a child on Chistmas Eve.

Who in particular are you referring to? I thought Anakin, Palpatine, and Padme were all terrific. The first two, especially, did a fine job of communicating some complex and powerful emotions.

I thought the acting was fine. The dialogue was a little weak in places, but not enough to take away from the film as a whole.

I'm disappointed that Lucas will not be doing the final three episodes as he originally planned, but seeing this last film brings us nicely to the original 1977 Star Wars film, so there is a sense of completeness in that.

As soon as I walked out of the theatre I wanted to go pop Episode IV in my DVD player. Then I remembered I only own it on VHS and no longer have a VCR B). After seeing the end of Episode III, I really want to rewatch the initial interaction between Obi Wan/Luke in SW and Yoda/Luke in ESB.

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I'm disappointed that Lucas will not be doing the final three episodes as he originally planned...

I just read an interview (not half an hour ago) with Lucas in which he said that he never intended to do nine movies and that that story was invented by the media. I can't find an online version of the interview, but it was in a local entertainment tabloid called Merge (online at www.mergedigital.com).

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I just read an interview (not half an hour ago) with Lucas in which he said that he never intended to do nine movies and that that story was invented by the media. I can't find an online version of the interview, but it was in a local entertainment tabloid called Merge (online at www.mergedigital.com).

I could have sworn that my VHS copies of the original trilogy feature an interview with Lucas in which he himself says that he conceived nine parts to the story. More fully, I recall that he said that he originally planned just ONE film, but that the story was so epic that he split it up into nine parts. Of course, that split would not imply that he intended to make a film out of every part.

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I'm disappointed that Lucas will not be doing the final three episodes as he originally planned...

I just read an interview (not half an hour ago) with Lucas in which he said that he never intended to do nine movies and that that story was invented by the media. I can't find an online version of the interview, but it was in a local entertainment tabloid called Merge (online at www.mergedigital.com).

Sorry, regardless of what is now reported, it is a fact that Lucas officially stated early on that more episodes than currently made were planned. In fact, in a 1978 issue of Lucas' own Fan Club newsletter, I read that Star Wars was the first of twelve episodes that Lucas' new company planned to make. Then in 1979, when Lucas released Star Wars to the theaters again, the "Episode IV" was added to the title, and in 1980, when The Empire Strikes Back was released, in Lucas' Bantha Tracks, the renamed fan club newletter, I read that Lucas now planned nine episodes, three trilogies. This was straight from Lucas, in his own source. If we still have the old issues around, I could probably dig up the quotes.

Apparently, when Episode I was made, Lucas seems to have stepped back from his original plans, much to the dismay of many of us who followed his intentions from the beginning. I do not question what Lucas might be quoted as saying now, but I know what he said in the past. There are other confirming sources for this, other than his own official newletter, but I cannot give you the references. I recall reading about it in a Star Wars art book (officially released material) around the very early 1980s, and I recall a direct interview with him too. I might even have it on VHS. I'm also sure that quotes were given in popular magazines at the time. Even though it does nt quote Lucas directly, here is a portion of one report from a Time magazine article when Empire was released.

May. 19, 1980

The very first surprise in The Empire Strikes Back comes in the opening credits: the movie is identified as Episode V. Since it is the immediate sequel to the original Star Wars, that opus has been retitled Star Wars: Episode IV, raising a meteor shower of questions. The answers: Lucas has begun his space saga in the middle, and both pictures are the centerpieces of a projected nine-part series. The remaining movies, fore and aft, have not yet been laid out in detail, but Lucas has the framework, a kind of history of what happened in that galaxy long ago and far away.

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I have just returned from seeing the Movie and it was great to see how it all comes together.

To think of what it took to invision the whole process. First to start with episode IV, instead of episode I. So that we would all be shocked when Darth Vader says "Luke I am your father". What a mind to conceive of the whole epic.

I witnessed the first Star Wars, and fell in love with the Princess, now almost 30 years later to be watching it with my own children is awesome.

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I think its amazing Lucas had all the details planned from the start. I dont know if its added later - but the celebrations accompanying the Empire's defeat at the end of Episode VI show Naboo, as its depicted in the new films, with crowds cheering.

I saw the film yesterday - very impressed. There are a few niggly points I won't make until a spoiler thread is created (unless this is becoming a spoiler thread?). I was especially impressed with Palpatine's early performance.

I thought they closed the gap between the two films well - so much so I'm at a loss to think how there can be further, decent, sequels. I guess it would concern the creation of an academy by Luke, and the children of Han & Leia, but where on earth would the dark side come from again? Of course they could always make more prequels - or set another story from a different time in the Star Wars universe.

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On opening day, Thursday, May 19, 2005, Revenge of the Sith set a single day world record take of $50,013,859. Bruce Snyder, 20th Century Fox's head of distribution, was quoted by Box Office Mojo as saying: "When I consider it's a Thursday with kids in school, I'd figure it can't do that. I did not think we could do $50 million. I was thinking maybe we could catch up to Shrek 2 on Saturday. I'm as surprised as the rest of the world."

Read the entire Box Office Mojo story here. (Note that Box Office Mojo is a very successful online movie publication and box office tracking service founded and run by several Objectivists. It is a wonderful resource for those with an interest in movies. Highly recommended.)

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So, I just came back from seeing it.

For now, I just want to comment on this:

The only real thing that hampered the movie was the acting, which was not first class.  Being that this movie dealt with amazingly powerful and deep emotions, I would have rather seen an actor who could have portrayed that.  But the acting wasn't horrible enough to ruin the movie as a whole.

I have to say that this reaction is one of my pet peeves.

And I can't even blame the viewer for it. It makes sense that if you see actors acting badly, that the reason is a bad actor.

The truth is that there were, in fact, many wooden performances in this movie.

The deeper truth is that the cause of these wooden performances were a result of the writer and the director, in this case, the same person.

The writer failed the actors because the dialogue was breathtaking in its lifelessness. When it didn't serve a utilitarian purpose, such as groaningly obvious exposition, it attempted to convey some sort of emotional meaning, either through maddening Danielle Steel novel cliche ("Hold me as you did back on Naboo"), or by stating it baldly without any kind of subtext. I swear to you that Eleanora Duse or Lawrence Olivier could not make these words real.

But the real crime is the director's. If you're an actor, you're place your trust in the director to manage consistency in the performance. You trust that they'll care enough to shape your performance and integrate it with the overall vision of the movie. You trust, above all, that your director has your back and won't make you look bad.

When i saw the movie, I saw great actors giving heroic effort, trying valiantly to find the reality of their characters with a director who didn't know how to give it to them. Here's one small example. It's in the trailer, so I'm not giving anything away. There's a scene where Natalie Portman's Padme character bursts into tears, which in a good movie would be an emotional high point, the payoff to an earlier setup. In this movie, all we see are the tears. The director does not allow the actor to set up the result (the tears) with the cause (actually experiencing the loss of a value, as opposed to having someone explain what had just happened offstage.)

But don't take my word for it. Look at the history of these actors. Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits, Christopher Lee. These are not bad actors, yet how is it that they enter the Star Wars universe and suddenly lose their humanity? It's not just having to act in front of a green screen. I recall a couple of movies with hobbits that were fairly real, emotionally.

It's not the actors' fault.

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But don't take my word for it. Look at the history of these actors. Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits, Christopher Lee. These are not bad actors, yet how is it that they enter the Star Wars universe and suddenly lose their humanity?

Interesting that you do not mention two of the four main characters, Hayden Christensen as Anakin and Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine. As I indicated earlier I thought their acting performances were just fine, as well as the performance of Portman. I can see what you mean in regard to Jackson -- one of most favorite actors -- and a few others, but I hardly see it as fatal a flaw in writing as you do.

It's not just having to act in front of a green screen. I recall a couple of movies with hobbits that were fairly real, emotionally.

Until the last half of the third film, the Rings trilogy left me completely flat, totally uninterested in the characters or the story. I've noticed that these films are the sort that you either love or hate, and other friends with whom I otherwise share such common judgments about films also parted with me when it came to my assessment of The Lord of the Rings.

It's not the actors' fault.

Never is. B)

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Just saw this movie, and really enjoyed it. The first half was just as previous two movies, intersting, fun, etc, but the second half was truly moving and very touching. Anakin's fall was very believable and made a lot of sense, meaning that the rationalizations were woven in so expertly that he was actually convincing me at the same time as he was convincing himself! And I love that, when the dark cloud that settles over a character is not trivialized but made as real as possible, in order to make it real to me why resistance to the influence would not be easy even for the best of us.

In short, it's an expertly woven moral tale, just like Kingdom of Heaven, and makes the six-ilogy so complete that I truly recommend it for all to see.

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I've been hearing in the news that some are interpreting this movie as an attack on Bush.  For those who have seen the movie, I'm interested in hearing if there is any plausibility to this theory.

Here's one example of this in the news: click here.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Be so kind to correct me, since I have only seen the trailer, but I can't see an attack on Bush from this movie. This trilogy starts by the senate enforcing a new tax, which leads to the trade-federations blockade. The republic is corrupt, much like UN is today, or like Rome was before it became an empire.

So far, one can say that the trilogy is anti-statist and anti-UN.

We see that where force is the means to deal with men, the worst and most evil tyrant wins, and the republic becomes the empire. It is their philosophy that destroys the republic; the siths has understood that it's philosophy that is their method to win. They must spread this philosophy, corrupting everybody.

Now, if Lucas had only managed to present the jedi as egoists, instead of altruists, Star Wars would have been a very good attack on the philosophy most people hold today, and a defence of Objectivism.

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We saw the 12:01am show. What a really nice group of people. Star Wars fans are great. Lots of people in costume.

Who in particular are you referring to? I thought Anakin, Palpatine, and Padme were all terrific. The first two, especially, did a fine job of communicating some complex and powerful emotions.

I'm disappointed that Lucas will not be doing the final three episodes as he originally planned, but seeing this last film brings us nicely to the original 1977 Star Wars film, so there is a sense of completeness in that.

I was thinking specifically about Anakin. However, as I said, I saw this movie with very little sleep. Regardless, I still loved it-and only thought the acting wasn't on par in a few scenes.

I will see it again this sunday and give my full evaluation B).

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None that I can see.

I think they have stretched a point beyond the elastic limit.

Then boy must that limit be elastic! In critic reviews, blogs, comments, conversations, etc., nearly everyone is mentioning the so-called "parallel" of the rise of the Galatic Empire with Dubya's allegedly fascistic machinations. No doubt they'll draw attention to those lines that supposedly suggest this and conclude that Yoda is Osama and Dubya is Darth Sidious. B):)

I can see what they mean though--provided one takes those lines out of the context of the entire series (in which it makes sense) and replaces that context with today's war (in which it serves as an "attack" on Bush's agenda).

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Be so kind to correct me, since I have only seen the trailer, but I can't see an attack on Bush from this movie. This trilogy starts by the senate enforcing a new tax, which leads to the trade-federations blockade. The republic is corrupt, much like UN is today, or like Rome was before it became an empire.

So far, one can say that the trilogy is anti-statist and anti-UN.

...

It is not at all anti-UN. It is in fact very pro-UN. Here are some quotes from the movie:

WARNING: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

(highlight to read)

Padme states "This war represents a failure to listen" and "Let diplomacy work," and "'So this is how liberty dies—to thunderous applause." Anakin states (in echoe of GWB) that "If you're not with me, then you're my enemy."

spoilers end

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I was thinking specifically about Anakin.

I do not mean to imply that the acting was great, but I thought it to be decent and to me the role of Anakin was one of the better performances. Hayden Christensen gave me a good sense of the inner conflicts Anakin was feeling.

However, as I said, I saw this movie with very little sleep.

We had little sleep after the movie, getting up at 5:30am after the 12:01 show. B)

Regardless, I still loved it-and only thought the acting wasn't on par in a few scenes.

I think Joel's comments on the acting were proably correct for portions of the movie, but most noticeable in Samuel L. Jackson. As someone remarked not too long ago, I would enjoy Samuel L. Jackson reading the telephone book. But not in this movie, and I can attribute that more to the points that Joel made than I am willing to attribute to Jackson.

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It is not at all anti-UN.  It is in fact very pro-UN.  Here are some quotes from the movie:

WARNING: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

(highlight to read)

Padme states "This war represents a failure to listen" and "Let diplomacy work," and "'So this is how liberty dies—to thunderous applause." Anakin states (in echoe of GWB) that "If you're not with me, then you're my enemy."

spoilers end

I do not understand how the last and the penultimate quote are taken as being "very pro-UN."

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I finally saw it. That was the longest week of my life.

*Spoilers*

The acting I thought was perfectly fine, and some of it was actually excellect (Ian McDiarmid, Christensen). It sewed up the two trilogies pretty tight, at least I can't think of any holes. The fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan was something I have imagined since I was seven or so years old. This passed my expectations. And Anakin's end was nightmarish. I loved it, and I love Lucas for making the whole series and telling this story.

The only flaw I experienced was the fault of the theater I went to. The sound stunk, and there were even skipped words in the dialogue. No matter, I'll probably see it another dozen times in a different theater in the coming weeks. Although I got a good object lesson on the importance of sound to a film.

I am now, however conflicted (and this is where you can probably stop reading, or I should stop typing, but maybe someone else here knows what I am saying). Because it is now over. I lived this dream, this story (which, I think is one of the best ever) for 28 of my 34 years, waiting for each installment like a hyper-active kid on Christmas Eve. From playing lightsaber duels as a kid (and constantly injured in the process) to pretending my bike had lightspeed (also replete with injuries). It was the direct influence on what I wanted to do with my life which is write science fiction. There will be nothing more to look foward to in this. And I find that very sad.

I'm not even going to attempt to write for the next month.

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Since previews of this movie first appeared, I've been silently whispering the following prayer to the gods of filmdom: please don't suck. please don't suck. please don't...

...too late.

I have to agree with Joel's review, as much as I wish it were otherwise.

This movie is all window dressing. It has all the parts that a Star Wars movie ought to have, but lacks the heart of the original three movies. It has neat special effects (though CGI and Surround Sound has become stock-in-trade), lots of battle sequences, betrayal, etc., etc. And yet it just doesn't work. It doesn't gel together as a whole.

There's no drama and no suspense. Part of the problem is everyone in the audience already knows the beginning and end, since it has to connect episodes 2 and 4. So the only potential for suspense is in the journey between those two points. Instead, Lucas provides just more rudimentary exposition to prepare the audience for the next movie.

The story and dialogue are horrible.

So much of the movie is taken up with fight scenes.

The "philosophy" expressed in this movie is clearly and obviously tacked on to present a political message.

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

Example: "Only the Sith deal in absolutes." Or the repeated note about Vader fighting for democracy, from his point of view. Please. What dictator EVER honestly thought that?

Anyway, I had hoped that this one would be worth the price of admission, but I didn't learn my lesson from the last two movies. Everything I love about the Star Wars universe comes from the first three movies. I can't think of a single good reason to have made the three new ones. If anything, they will weaken the drama and surprises of the second trilogy for viewers who watch the series for the first time in the order of the episodes. Who can forget hearing Vader reveal that he is Luke's father -- or that Luke and Leia are siblings? Those are great examples of dramatic surprise, twisting our assumptions about the characters 180 degrees, yet making it plausible. That is good writing, and that doesn't exist in episodes 1 though 3.

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I have to agree with Joel's review, as much as I wish it were otherwise.

Ed,

As far as I can tell, Joel did not review this movie. He defended its cast against the charge of "bad acting". A charge which Joel rightly redirected at George Lucas.

Joel's complete review, by his words as I remember them, has yet to be published on this forum.

That being said, I loved this movie!

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*Spoiler-ish*

I agree wtih Joel that there were a few awful lines in this movie; however I still very much enjoyed it and consider two points: a) these are childrens fantasy films technically and B) Jedi Knights aren't exactly the most emotive of people...I thought for a knight commited to a path of passive contemplation Samuel L Jackson's Mace Windu did a fantastic job of showing frustration with the Jedi orders failures and in his final fight as he falls into emotion when he decides to finish off you-know-who.

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