warning: this post contains spoilers and probably a hundred spelling/gramatical errors. Also it's not very funny. Humor will some day come to this blog I promise.
Well, it's over. The Star Wars series is over. Balance has been restored to the force. Only two Jedi and two Sith remain. The Empire has formed and the Rebellion can't be far behind. Anakin is evil. Dooku is dead. Luke and Leia are alive.
More importantly, the saga is complete. The whole story has been told. The loose ends are all tied. I am satisfied.
*****Skip below if you only want a review******
I'm a huge Star Wars fan. I may not know the movies backwards and forwards but I enjoy the heck out of them every time I watch them. I love the story and the character, the exotic locals and intense battle scenes. I love how the original three show the battle between good and evil on an epic, galaxy wide scale. I love how the new three tell the same story on the equally epic scale of a single human scale.
I wasn't born a Star Wars fan. My parents weren't huge fans and I really didn't know anything about it until I was in the later part of grade school. My best friend, Ryan Loveland, was one of those kids born to watch Star Wars. He would tell me about the movies and did so with such an enthusiasm that I couldn't help but want to learn more.
We'd watch Star Wars together a few times, he'd tell me a few of those random facts that only Star Wars fans seem to know or care about. When we got older the trilogy was released again in theaters. We weren't again to see Empire, but enjoyed the A New Hope and Jedi.
My junior year in high school a buzz was starting. The prequels were coming. I was there opening night. Not with Ryan this time, but with Jessica, my first girlfriend. She was as big a fan as I was. It was her idea to watch it that night, no matter how late we would have to stay up. By the time school got out that night the line had already wrapped around the theater. Fortunately she had some friends near the front who were able to get us tickets for the 12:01 a.m. showing.
I still remember that night. Pocatello's geekiest were out in full force. There were people of all ages dressed as characters new and old. Little kids dress as Obi-wan and Darth Maul would duel for our entertainment. People brought TV's to watch the old movies and play new Star Wars based games. Occasionally people driving be would yell something about how geeky we were. We never cared. Those that were with us were more than those that were against us. For the first time in my life I realized just how many fans there were. I haven't felt alone in my fandom since.
I even wrote a song about waiting in line that night.*
When Episode Two came out I was in Australia. I was fortunate enough not to be exposed to very much marketing for it. Had I been I would probably have been very distracted.
In anticipation of the third one, I've been trying to get my girlfriend, Sally, to appreciated the story. She's from China and had never seen them before. I still don't think she understand how one movie could have effected this country as much as Star Wars has. Of course, I'm not sure any of us understand that either.
Despite (and probably partially because of) my promptings, Sally didn't really like the first two. Looking back I think I did her a disservice by showing Menace first. She never appreciated the characters. She really didn't want to go with us today, but I'd already bought her a ticket so she reluctantly agreed to come.
*****Begin spoiler-filled review*****
I loved it. It wasn't perfect, but it was a heck of a lot closer than I honestly expected it to be. From the intense rescue of Palpatine from General Greivious to the final seen where Owen adopts Luke and looks of into those same two setting suns, it was great.
My biggest problem with the movie was not with the movie itself but rather with the fact that I had to sit in the second row. The movie movies way too fast across the giant screen for a some one that close to follow. Why do theaters even put those rows in? Nobody sits in them if they can help it.
On the whole the movie was much better. The dialog was crisper and more realistic. The acting was much better (except for Ewan McGregor who was always good, except for the fact Jess had a huge crush on him after Menace). The battles were on a larger, more epic scale but still left plenty of time for the one on one light saber battles that made the movie.
A couple point in the movie really stood out to me.
First, the relationships Anakin had with others, namely Amadala and Obi-wan. The Clone Wars did much to mature and develop our young friend. He no longer come across as whining or spoiled, but rather as a real person. You actually feel for him for the first part of the movie, you know, before he starts slicing up little kids.
The battle between Obi-wan and Grievious. In the other movies, people always talk about how powerful a Jedi Obi-wan is. Never the less, you really didn't get that impression from the first two episodes. When he fights the general, though, he is a really tough mother. Grievious is literally a killing machine but Obi-wan does more than hold his own, but aggressively chases down and destroys him.
To me this battle shows a comparison between the old and the new. The Jedi uses a sword and rides a large lizard after a cybernetic creature that rides a slick giant wheel type speeder thing. Even though in the end, Obi-wan has to use a blaster to kill Grievious, it seems to me that there's no school like the old school.
This theme is carried one to Obi-wan's battle with Anakin. Even though Anakin has a slight advantage through out the fight, his pride ends up being his down fall. Obi-wan seizes the high ground and is able to use his greater wisdom and tatics to slice his former padawan.
John Williams did amazing music. I never notice the music in movies but this was just amazing.
There were a boat load of wookies. I would have like more, but I would always like more wookies.
There were a few things I would like to have seen differently. Mace Windu fights much like any other Jedi rather than the master of the Dark Side approaching style of vapaad that his is in the books.
In the final scene Obi-wan and Anakin should have had differently colored light sabers.
The much promised explanation of why some Jedi disappear when they die but others all Sith don't was missing.
Beyond this extremely minor things, it was a great movie. I couldn't have hoped for it to be better. I'm completely satisfied with how the epic ended. I feel like a part a my life has ended, similarly to how I felt when I graduated or came home from my mission.
My props and great appreciation go out to Mr. Lucas for giving us these great movies. For making me believe in the Force.
Now stop reading this and go see the movie.