Sunday, May 29, 2005

Revenge of the Sith (no spoilers, not if you've seen the original movies)

Last night I saw the new Star Wars movie, finally. Yes, I made it until after Lag Ba'Omer! I'm so proud of myself!

There were two kids there in full Jedi costume. The tunic with the wide shoulder straps and wrap-around sash, the lightsaber hanging from the waist, the long brown robe . . . I was practically salivating, and definitely turning green with envy. One of them is supposed to be emailing me with the name of the website where he bought them. If he does, there is no question what I'll be wearing next Purim.

The movie. Definitely better than the last 2, particularly in the second hour. I won't go into details here about what parts I liked and which parts bothered me, because I have no time right now. In general, I was happy with the way things got wrapped up, though I have a few picky-picky complaints. I do feel that the story of why Anakin turns to the Dark Side is plausible, but needed to be fleshed out more. It seemed a bit abrupt, as if there were scenes missing that would have made his descent into evil more gradual and realistic. But overall I thought the plot worked well and I was generally pleased. I give the movie an A-.

The thing that surprised me the most was how emotionally invested I'd become, by the second hour, in Anakin not turning to the Dark Side. It's a very good sign, in terms of the storytelling, that even though we all know that Anakin becomes Darth Vader, I was still sitting there internally pleading "no, Anakin, please, don't do this. Don't do this. Please. Save yourself." It was like watching a movie about the Titanic and thinking "please, God, don't let the ship sink." I got lost in the suspense of it, even though technically there was no suspense, since we all know what happens. So, that was pretty cool.

Still, it is very upsetting to watch a character in whom we've become invested devolve into a twisted, selfish, really messed-up guy. This is not a happy movie, not at all. (And no, I really don't think that little kids should see it.) Absorbing, yes (most of the time). Thought-provoking, yes. And very depressing.

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