Friday, May 20, 2005

Episode III Obligatory Commentary

Episode III Obligatory Commentary

One obvious interpretation is that Hayden Christensen is reprising his role as defrocked New Republic journalist Stephen Glass from his 2003 film Shattered Glass.  As he turns to the dark side of journalistic practice, you can almost hear the lines from the first movie transposed into the Star Wars universe:

“Are you mad at me?”

“I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Anyone want to run with this?

The other thing I kept noticing was how often it seemed like Lucas was borrowing the visual and cinematic cues of the other most recent successful trilogy, Lord of the Rings.  Can we have a dual-identity Gollum monologue within?  Check.  Can we have a dramatic scene that intercuts rapidly between the death of one hero and the moral indifference of another?  Check.  Can we have the climactic finale take place on a cliff of molten lava?  Check.  Memo to Peter Jackson:  George owes you some royalties, or at least a nod of appreciation.

I did like the Boris Karloff Frankenstein step however, when Darth first steps out of his medical gurney and into his new persona in the black suit.  That was a nice touch.

And still, for an old fart (i.e., above 21) like myself, I have to admit that I cried at the very end—when baby Luke is handed over to a young Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, and that classic music comes up.  Not for the cheesy predictability of this inevitable moment, but because despite itself, the scene transported me right back to that very own moment, at age nine, when I first saw Luke Skywalker look out over the twin sunset to wonder what the future held for him.  As a movie, it seemed about what I expected, another Lucas special-effects experience of more is less.  But as a vehicle for cultural or personal time-travel, boy, it’s a beauty.

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