Monday, May 23, 2005

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

The Force ends with a BIG BANG! Oh... and Yoda rules!


In one of the scenes toward the end of this movie, Yoda (voice of Frank Oz) mouths, what is now, my favorite piece of dialog in the whole prequel trilogy. The situation is a high stakes lightsaber duel between Yoda and the evil Sith Lord, Darth Sidious who says something like "...the Sith will rule the galaxy once again!". Back comes Yoda: "Not if anything I have to say ABOUT IT". And then he does his stuff!!

Doesn't sound like much, admittedly, but by the time he takes to get to "...about it" I had a horrible thought that, maybe, Yoda had actually been defeated (not killed) by Sidious. I breathed a sigh of relief when he said that, while people around me jumped in joy and applauded for who is definitely their favorite character in this movie.

Revenge of the Sith is irrevocably Yoda-powered, however else George Lucas might have wanted it to be. He's the person everyone's rooting for; you yearn to see him in every scene with his 'Zen-master' attitude and his carefully crucified English. This CGI creation out-acts everyone around him, possibly with the exception of Ewan McGregor, as Obi-Wan Kenobi, who along with Yoda manages to bring about a certain dignity to the whole movie.

Also in this movie, Lucas continues the destruction of Natalie Portman's character, Padme, who, of course, is the secret wife of Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). Gone is the strong willed Queen Amidalla from The Phantom Menace. Instead we have a woman who ends up blubbering in pretty much every scene... (I would, too, if I had to say the dialogue she does while watching Christensen try to act). Sadly, the dialogue and the acting take the sheen away from what is undoubtedly the best of the prequels.

The story, for anyone who's been asleep/comatose/dead for the past few years, charts the transformation of Jedi Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader, the evil Sith Lord who torments our heroes in the original Star Wars trilogy. Anakin's temptations are a result of some malicious manipulation by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) who's character seems vaguely Bush-like in his dealings. Lucas does a great job in bringing the story full circle to Episode IV. In fact, this is probably the most plot driven of all the six movies - it strides purposefully towards it inevitable conclusion, throwing a few nice suprises on the way without punching too many holes into the overall plot bubble.

The special effects, as expected, are awesome. And as always, there are a slew of new characters and species, including a brief period spent with Chewbacca and the Wookies. There is a sensational new villain, the alliteratively named General Grievous, who outdoes Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace with a quadra-lightsaber configuration. And the final showdown between Anakin and Obi-Wan in "Mount Doom"-like surroundings acts as a fitting finale to lightsaber battles as we know it!

At the end of the day, this movie works because it makes you want to watch the original trilogy again. Its evocative closing shot (I'm not giving it away!) makes your heart heavy and brings a lump to your throat. To quote the cliche of cliches: It is the end of an era!

PS: Wanted to end with a Yoda-ism but couldn't think of any!


Blogger sumant said...

ennada enga escape for so long...what happened to ur movie watching spree..?Or have u taken some wild west trip?

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Santosh Sankar said...

Actually, didn't watch too many movies after Star Wars... till the next weekend, atleast, when I watched three!! Just posting something now...

8:08 AM  

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