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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Anakin Corleone

Having sat through Star Wars Episode III twice now (don't ask), I've had a little time to gather my thoughts on the film. I enjoyed it, but I don't think it accomplished what it was supposed to. It's not a bad film by any means. I think the artists that Lucas has surrounded himself with are the most talented and creative people in the industry. The atmosphere was incredible, particularly the night scenes on Coruscant. Although the generic city/beach/lava planets were less interesting than the brief glimpses we get of the truly alien worlds on which various nameless Jedi meet their demise. Here we see areas where it seems the artists were allowed to indulge themselves, possibly without much direction from Lucas, and I think that says something important about this trilogy.

Because beneath the incredible special effects, costumes, and John Williams soundtrack, is the story by Lucas, and it's not very good. These 3 movies were supposed to be about one thing: the metamorphosis of a good person into a bad person, and at the end of this third film, I still have no idea what turned Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader. I don't want to ruin the film for anyone who hasn't seen it, but the transition is very abrupt. One second he's questioning whether he made the wrong choice, trusted the wrong person, and the next he's swearing allegiance to the Emperor, someone whom he thought was good, but then found out was bad. Is it possible? I suppose. But it makes no sense in the way it was presented.

On the way home from the theater, my wife brought up The Godfather. I think she's right on with the analogy. George should have spent a few hours watching The Godfather prior to penning this trilogy. Because that's how this type of story is done.

Anakin is no different than Michael Corleone. Michael is a rebel, a free spirit, someone who distrusts and hates the system and vows never to become part of it. He wants an end to violence, corruption, dishonesty. And yet we watch over the course of the next 2 hours how he is unable to escape his destiny. In the end, he becomes more ruthless and violent than the father whose path he tried to avoid. And we, the audience, totally buy into it. We understand it. We are sad for Michael, sure, and we wish that we could have found an alternate path for him. But by the end of the movie, we are all convinced that his transformation was inevitable.

What disappoints me about Star Wars is that all of the extra characters, the misdirection, the impossible to follow political maneuvering and plot lines, could have been jettisoned for a believable story which would have had more impact and truly answered the question of how a good man can become evil. Sadly, Lucas could have used a little help from his old friend Coppola.

1 comment:

PsychoToddler said...

How disappointing. You are not the first one who has said this. Even so, I am still eager to see it. Perhaps if I go in not expecting to be wowed, I will end up loving it.
Stacey | Homepage | 05.29.05 - 11:10 pm | #

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Having survived watching the cleveland experience I expect this to be most enjoyable.
Jack | Homepage | 05.30.05 - 12:00 am | #

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What Cleveland experience would that be?
Stacey | Homepage | 05.30.05 - 2:57 am | #

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What Cleveland experience would that be?

The annual stampede for false teeth. I inadvertently got in the way of the festival and was almost trampled to death by mad clevelanders who are desperate for teeth.
Jack | Homepage | 05.30.05 - 1:45 pm | #

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Wow, good thing I missed that one! I'll be there in about 3 weeks. Any special events to look out for then, Jack?
psychotoddler | Homepage | 05.30.05 - 2:14 pm | #

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I learned things the hard way, so these days I just sit back, entertained and pretty amused by Jack and Stacey's interaction on their blogs AND everyone else's.

Shakespeare couldn't have said it any better: "All the world's A BLOG, and the men and women merely players..."
Pearl | Homepage | 05.30.05 - 3:17 pm | #

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You should be used to "false" everything, considering you live in the land of fake people and false body parts, Jack.

Psycho: I am so excited that you will be in Cleveland. Eat some great Contempo food, get some yummy pastries at Lax and Mandel and of course a bagel from Bialy's.
Stacey | Homepage | 05.30.05 - 10:37 pm | #

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Any special events to look out for then, Jack?

There is the annual culture festival in which the locals dredge the river and display the various rotten items pulled from its murky depths. That is a big one.

And the there is also the Hampshire Hog Heaven hoopla.

Ok, time to toss a salad or two.
Jack | Homepage | 05.31.05 - 3:23 am | #

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Can we get back to discussing Star Wars here? What post is this, anyway?

Anyway Jack, I'm sure you look radishing in your beard.
psychotoddler | Homepage | 05.31.05 - 9:48 am | #

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Yeah Jack, post a picture of the beard. I want to see it.
Stacey | Homepage | 05.31.05 - 1:12 pm | #

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Anyway Jack, I'm sure you look radishing in your beard.

I'll have to go back to my dressing room at the ranch and see what I can find.
Jack | Homepage | 05.31.05 - 3:45 pm | #

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Is that the Ranch in the Valley? I've heard it's hard to find.
psychotoddler | Homepage | 05.31.05 - 3:58 pm | #

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No! Wait! Awww come on!!

STAR WARS
STAR WARS
STAR WARS!!
psychotoddler | Homepage | 05.31.05 - 3:58 pm | #

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Lettuce avoid such bad puns.

Doctor Three Bean
Doctor Bean | Homepage | 06.01.05 - 1:04 am | #

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Ravaged by a cabbage.
Jack | Homepage | 06.01.05 - 7:04 pm | #