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View Full Version : Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) reviews Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith


Count Alex's Losses
04-27-2005, 11:05 AM
"SITH" SPOILERS

You've been warned...

- "Revenge of the Sith" is, quite simply, ****ing awesome. This is the "Star Wars" prequel the haters have been bitching for since "Menace" came out, and if they don't cop to that when they finally see it, they're lying. As dark as "Empire" was, this movie goes a thousand times darker - from the triggering of Order 66 (which has all the Shock Troopers turning on the Jedi Knights they've been fighting beside throughout the Clone Wars and gunning them down), to the jaw-dropping Anakin/Obi Wan fight on Mustafar (where - after cutting his legs and arm off, Ben leaves Skywalker burning alive on the shores of a lava river, with Anakin spitting venomous sentiments at his departing mentor), this flick is so satisfyingly tragic, you'll think you're watching "Othello" or "Hamlet".

I saw a gorgeous digitally projected version of the flick, and lemme tell ya': this is a beautiful looking film. The opening space battle sequence is the best in any of the six "Star Wars" movies. Grievous and Kenobi's lightsaber duel is bad-ass, with Grievous rocking four sabers. The Clone Wars end rather early in the flick (about the halfway point), leaving the rest of the film to concentrate on Anakin's turn to the Dark Side, and the resulting slaughter of the Jedi.

Perfect example of how dark shit gets: remember the Younglings - the kid Jedis in training from "Clones"? As a result of Order 66, when Anakin invades the Jedi Temple with an army of Clone Troopers, he enters the Council room to find a gaggle of said younglings hiding behind the seats. They see Anakin and emerge, asking "What should we do, Master Anakin?" The query's met with a stone-cold Anakin firing up his lightsaber. The next time you see the kids, Yoda's sifting through their corpses on the floor.

Yes, it's just that dark - and rightfully so. This is the birth of Darth Vader we're talking about. The only comic moments in the flick are given to R2D2, and while good, they're all pretty few and far between; the order of the day is dark, dark, dark.

Ian McDiarmid and Ewan McGregor steal the show, but Hayden Christensen silences any naysayers who wrote him off as too whiney in "Clones". This is the flick that feels closest to Episodes 4, 5, and 6, because - for the first time since "Return of the Jedi" - there is a clear villain. And for all the shadow-play Palpatine has been upto in the last two flicks, his treachery is about as subtle as John Williams' score in "Sith." Whether he's slowly drawing Anakin toward the Dark Side during an opera/performance art piece with his promise of the Sith's power of life over death, or he's engaged in a balls-to-the-wall lightsaber duel in the Senate with Yoda, his "Little, green friend" (his words, not mine - which I kinda dug, because, interestingly, I think it's the first time anyone's acknowledged that Yoda is green in any of the "Star Wars" flicks), this is the Emperor's movie.

The last fifteen minutes dovetail nicely into Episode 4 (or just plain "Star Wars" for you non-geeks), and the movie is full of link-up moments as well.

- At flick's end, Threepio and Artoo are given to Captain Antilles (with the caveat that the Protocol's memory be wiped).

- The twins, natch, are split up. Leia heads to Alderann with Bail Organa, and Obi Wan hands Luke over to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru (indeed, the closing shot is Owen holding Luke while looking out over the setting suns of Tatooine - mimicking the shot of the adult Luke doing the same in "Star Wars", complete with callback cue from Williams).

- After he succumbs to the Dark Side, Anakin tries to convine Padme that he can overthrow Palpatine, and together, he and Padme can rule the galaxy as husband and wife.

- Vader and the Emperor stand beside a younger Grand Moff Tarkin on the bridge of a Star Destroyer, overlooking the earliest construction stage of the Death Star.

- Yoda telling Obi Wan that, as he heads to Tatooine to hand over Luke and go into exile, that he should spend his time learning to commune with those who've crossed over to the next stage of life, as Yoda maintains he's been doing with Qui Gon (and Ben will later do with both Luke and Yoda, in "Empire" and "Jedi").

- And, hands-down, the best link-up to "Star Wars" moment that I enjoyed the most: Bail Organa and Yoda stepping into the hallway of the Rebel Blockade Runner that opened "Star Wars". Unlike all the high-tech CGI wizardry of the rest of the prequel Trilogy, this is a low-tech looking set, right out of circa '77, and for some reason, it really captured my imagination. I mean, this is the same exact hallway in which we got our first look at Vader, oh so many years ago, and I appreciated the hell out of Mr. Lucas including it - because it really felt like a nod to the hardcores.

Look, this is a movie I was genetically predisposed to love. I remember being eight years old, and reading in "Starlog" that Darth Vader became the half-man/half-machine he was following a duel with Ben Kenobi that climaxed with Vader falling into molten lava. Now, twenty six years later, I finally got to see that long-promised battled - and it lived up to any expectation I still held. I was sad to see the flick end, but happy to know it's not the end of the "Star Wars" universe entirely (I've read stuff about a TV show...).

"Sith" doesn't happen; "Sith" rules.

SCTrojan
04-27-2005, 11:37 AM
Didn't read the spoiler warning, but no biggie. Sounds like a good flick, and if this review truly is written by Kevin Smith, then I can't wait to see it. Who wouldn't take Silent Bob's word for it?

Spicy McHaggis
04-27-2005, 11:45 AM
Sounds cool, I've been of the belief that it would be hard to **** this one up. I mean its the dark one where everyone dies. How can you kiddie-fy that?
Man I wish I could go see it now instead of sitting here in the library writing a paper. I'm not even supposed to be here today.

siberian khatru
04-27-2005, 11:52 AM
Cry "havoc!" and let slip the dogs of geekdom.

I must say, I'm stoked after reading that. I was 11 when I saw the first one, and I'd love to be able to recapture that sense of awe from "Star Wars."

BTW, is that really Kevin Smith? There's a lot of fake Kevin Smiths on the net. Is there a link to that? I LOVE Smith and his work (except for "Jersey Girl") and I respect the hell out of his SW opinion.

Brock
04-27-2005, 12:00 PM
Cry "havoc!" and let slip the dogs of geekdom.

I must say, I'm stoked after reading that. I was 11 when I saw the first one, and I'd love to be able to recapture that sense of awe from "Star Wars."

BTW, is that really Kevin Smith? There's a lot of fake Kevin Smiths on the net. Is there a link to that? I LOVE Smith and his work (except for "Jersey Girl") and I respect the hell out of his SW opinion.

Yeah, it's his.

http://viewaskew.com/news/sith/

Count Alex's Losses
04-27-2005, 12:04 PM
I'm not even supposed to be here today.

Nooooch!

Gravedigger
04-27-2005, 12:17 PM
I'm going to the midnight show.

Gaz
04-27-2005, 12:22 PM
I will go see it on the Big Screen, simply because I am a science fiction geek. But I am not as excited as I am for “Serenity” or “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

“Star Wars” was a breath of fresh air and “The Empire Strikes Back” was the best of them all. “Return of the Jedi” was a shameless rehash of “Star Wars” with animated teddy bears. “The Phantom Menace” was sheer drek. “Attack of the Clones” was better, but the wretched acting of Hayden Christensen pulled the film way down.

Beautiful eye candy. Stiff, stilted acting. Mediocre, predicable plots. Lackluster directing. Amazing CGI. Films that consistently fail to live up to the massive hype. That is what I have come to expect from Lucas.

For all that, though, I will buy my ticket and hope for the best. Maybe this is the “Empire” of the first [second?] trilogy.

xoxo~
Gaz
Planning to slap down his hard-earned coin again.

siberian khatru
04-27-2005, 12:24 PM
I will go see it on the Big Screen, simply because I am a science fiction geek. But I am not as excited as I am for “Serenity” or “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

“Star Wars” was a breath of fresh air and “The Empire Strikes Back” was the best of them all. “Return of the Jedi” was a shameless rehash of “Star Wars” with animated teddy bears. “The Phantom Menace” was sheer drek. “Attack of the Clones” was better, but the wretched acting of Hayden Christensen pulled the film way down.

Beautiful eye candy. Stiff, stilted acting. Mediocre, predicable plots. Lackluster directing. Amazing CGI. Films that consistently fail to live up to the massive hype. That is what I have come to expect from Lucas.

For all that, though, I will buy my ticket and hope for the best. Maybe this is the “Empire” of the first [second?] trilogy.

xoxo~
Gaz
Planning to slap down his hard-earned coin again.



I think Smith would agree with you on all that. So when he raves about "Sith," I get stoked.

Count Alex's Losses
04-27-2005, 12:25 PM
I'm going to the midnight show.

Bought my tickets online today. :D

Frazod
04-27-2005, 07:02 PM
- The twins, natch, are split up. Leia heads to Alderann with Bail Organa, and Obi Wan hands Luke over to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru (indeed, the closing shot is Owen holding Luke while looking out over the setting suns of Tatooine - mimicking the shot of the adult Luke doing the same in "Star Wars", complete with callback cue from Williams).


This is almost the exact ending I envisioned, except I imagined Luke crawling out of the compound by himself with a watchful Kenobi in the background. Still the effect is the same, and honestly, considering how dark the events of the film will be, stressing the survival of the children is pretty much the only way III can have anything even approximating a happy ending.

I'm definitely stoked. :thumb:

Count Alex's Losses
04-27-2005, 07:05 PM
- The twins, natch, are split up. Leia heads to Alderann with Bail Organa, and Obi Wan hands Luke over to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru (indeed, the closing shot is Owen holding Luke while looking out over the setting suns of Tatooine - mimicking the shot of the adult Luke doing the same in "Star Wars", complete with callback cue from Williams).


This is almost the exact ending I envisioned, except I imagined Luke crawling out of the compound by himself with a watchful Kenobi in the background. Still the effect is the same, and honestly, considering how dark the events of the film will be, stressing the survival of the children is pretty much the only way III can have anything even approximating a happy ending.

I'm definitely stoked. :thumb:

I've visualized the last shot of Episode III in my head for several years now. I'm so glad Lucas is going to show Obi-Wan dropping Luke off before he heads off into the Dune Sea. I'm sure I'll shed a tear (you should hear the music for this part, too. It's a perfect interweaving of The Force Theme with Luke's Theme).