Saturday, May 21, 2005

The saga ends

At the end of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, everything wraps up nicely, making a decent bridge between episode III and IV. However, it's a surreal experience, to see the end of a saga complete itself in the middle.

So how was it? Prior to going to the show, everyone gave me one of two reviews. Either "Good, the first two were bad." or "Awesome, the first two sucked." Clearly the delta between good and bad and awesome and sucked or equal.

Personally, I enjoyed it -- or rather, parts of it. Unlike all other star-wars movies there seems to be a whole lot more story to tell: from Annakin's fall to the darkside and the dawning of Darth Vader, to the end of the clone wars and the death of the republic, not to mention the wrapping up of one trilogy and the segway to the next.

This bulk of multiple stories can't be told with action alone, so there's a whole lot of Lucas-style dialogue that has to find its way into two hours and twenty minutes. As result, I found it to be very fragmented -- only a few seconds of setup for a scene, some forced dialogue, followed by the traditional Star Wars "swipe" to the next story.

But it's done well, and clearly one of the lessons Lucas has learned since the last two films is the special effects are the vehicle, not the story. Revenge of the Sith uses the technology from the last two films transparently. There isn't a twenty minute Pod race, nor a pointless cgi character that doesn't seem like a ILM "show off". Yoda and General Grievous are done so well, you become absorbed by the complexities of their character rather than than their near-life-like representation.

All in all -- it may be Lucas's redemption for the Star Wars saga. I might even see it again.