May 17, 2005

Where does the name Vader come from, anyhow?

Let's make this my one pre-relese post about the latest Star Wars movie. The first two movies were generally disappointing, as the acting left a lot to be desired, especially from Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen. Anakin in particular was wooden and had little personality. He came off the way a 10 year old acts when he doesn't get his way. You'd expect more out of the Chosen One. Portman was mostly blah. She didn't bring much to the table, but she didn't take anything away, either. The Jedis did a pretty good job, as you can't really go wrong with Sam Jackson, and people have been waiting more than 20 years to see Yoda in action. Part of the disappointment could be that, like the finale of Seinfeld, no movie could have lived up to the hype.

The main problem with the first two movies was that George Lucas probably should have delegated more of the control. Instead, he was in charge and fell in love with CGI almost to the exclusion of good storytelling. I say almost, because the movies were entertaining and I don't feel cheated out of my money for having seen them. The setup in the first trilogy made it difficult to totally ruin things, as there was a complexity that required explanation in the newer trilogy.

Perhaps another point that made the movies disappointing is that no matter what happened, everyone knew how it was going to end. Anakin becomes Darth Vader and all but kills off the rest of the Jedi (perhaps all but Obi Wan and Yoda?). This final movie has the kicker of finally getting to the transformation of Chosen Once to asthmatic and tying up a lot of loose ends in the story that the viewer is dropped in the middle of in A New Hope. Much has been made of this final movie being the first of the series to have a PG-13 rating. I suppose this was inevitable, with all the darkness of Jedi extermination and transforming from mostly man to mostly machine. Keeping it kid friendly probably would have made for a worse movie.

I'll hold back anything else until I see the movie. I'm hopeful that it rises to the level of the first trilogy and doesn't sink the level of the second.


Anonymous said...

When listing the things wrong with the first two, you forgot two of the most glaring things:

1. The cheesy half hour long love scenes which included such great dialouge as:
"When I'm around you, my mind is no longer my own."
"I'm in agony. The closer I get to you, the worse it gets. The thought of not being with you- I can't breath. I'm haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me. My heart is beating... hoping that kiss will not become a scar. You are in my very soul, tormenting me... what can I do?"
(compliments of

2. Jar Jar Binks.... in general.


Andy said...

I figured the cheesy dialogue falls under the category of lousy acting, especially in the case of that no talent hack Christensen. As for Jar Jar...everyone knows he's the worst thing to ever happen to the franchise, so I felt I could leave it out.

Jimmy said...

The scary thing is that there is someone out there memorizing lines from Star Wars. Though I'd stick with the orginal three presonally. Let's hope III concludes the saga adequately.