In best Harry Knowles buffoon-speak:
DUDE, I caught a SPECIAL not-so-ADVANCE screening last night of the new STAR WARS movie…Sith happened, man, and SITH HAPPENED big-time! To put all of your FEARS to rest, the new EPISODE 3 is EVERYTHING you’ve been DREAMING about since you were FIVE YEARS OLD….in other words, you can finally put away the C-3PO bed-sheets and replace the DARTH VADER night-table lamp with something from POTTERY BARN because it FINALLY came to an END!! Wipe a tear away, it ended on one hell of a kick-ass NOTE.
Believe it or not, the guy who looks like an N-Sync reject minus the SEX APPEAL did indeed BECOME the Dark Lord of the SITH, Natalie “Spread my legs for Daddy” Portman gave BIRTH to twins (guess what she named them? Luke and LEIA, natch!), and that creepily FEY, limp-wristed Clifton Webb-esque Emperor the SHIT out of YODA dark lord guy really beats! (I wrote that in Yoda-talk!)
Needless to say, we can ALL breathe easy, A.O. Scott was RITE…it’s a masterPIECE.
Ok, I was going to just let that post go, and hope you would pick up on the sarcasm, which is admittedly laid on with a trowel…but I can’t let this one rest. I did indeed take in a Wednesday night sold-out screening of STAR WARS: EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH (ha!) last night. The film, which is basically wretched and unwatchable from the first scene to the last, would have been hilarious if not for the sick, twisted feeling of melancholy that burdened my heart as I realized that surrounding me were undoubtedly some people who have waited for this moment their whole stunted lives. Lucas’s treatment of his superfans, then, is contemptible. Obviously, I am not a STAR WARS fan, but yes I blah blah blah admit that EMPIRES STRIKES BACK is the best of the lot and yada yada flim flam floo who the fuck cares. However, to defend the last 3 pieces of trash specifically, by saying “They were always cartoonish” or “The actors were always cardboard” or “Space operas [ha!!!] are supposed to be grandiose and artificial,” is such an act of willfull self-denial that it almost makes me well up with tears for some of my peers’ lost childhoods.
Sad reality sinks in after about 30 seconds. The characters interact in a way that isn’t even Hanna Barbera-level. Sorry to rain on everyone’s “it’s better than the first one” parade, but the manner in which all these blue-screen nobodies relate to one another is about a million and half galaxies far far away from Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, and even the (yes, i said it) kind of underrated Mark Hamill. What those films lacked in forward propulsion and narrative thrust and general smarts they sometimes made up for with a fairly heavy dose of irony, reflected in the rather knowing characterizations (God I can’t believe I’m saying this….) of Leia or Han Solo. Like some detractors claim Lucas hasn’t reduced his series to the level of video game (video games at least require audience participation rather than addled acquiescence); by not deepening or furthering his characters’ fates or origins what he’s done is create legions of crap-watching drones who now equate “classical narrative” with this garbage. All the requisite moments are half-heartedly plugged in at the last minute, and Anakin’s transition to the dark lord master of the world is about as convincing as the Green Goblin’s “I’m mad I didn’t get a promotion so I’m gonna fly around on this surfboard and destroy the city” theatrics in the crappy Spider-Man.
Watching SITH, or the one with the line about sand being “coarse and hard and getting everywhere,” or the PHANTOM MENACE is like watching an episode of Transformers — without the sophistication. What these last three films have done is simply eradicate any lingering feelings I may have had that the first three films were made for anyone older than five years old; their “themes” of power, evil, democracy, honor, etc. are about as well-defined as anything you would find on Saturday morning ABC. I refuse to believe that George Lucas any longer has anything but contempt for his own series and the fans that have enabled (forced) him to continue to shit upon whatever pathetic legacy he had in the first place.