Recently I checked out Star Wars I – VI from my friendly neighborhood library. I thought I’d brush up on the series as preparation for the December release of The Force Awakens. Since it’s been awhile since I watched the movies, I noticed things that I’m almost ashamed to admit I’d never noticed before.
I’ve also recently come across a fan theory claiming that Jar-Jar is actually the Phantom Menace. You should read the post, which sounds ridiculous but strangely appealing; I’ll be keeping it in mind as I watch the final movie. And now, without further ado, my comments on Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith.
- Scrolling text. Again.
Dummmmm dummmmmm, dada dadummmm dummmmm…
- I’ve got to ask, what do the Sith want revenge for? I know they were originally Jedis that studied the Dark Side in secret, because it was forbidden knowledge; that’s a lesson for the Jedis. But what exactly are they mad about?
- The Republic is crumbling under Separatist attacks, blah-de blah-de blah, and surprise! General Grievous had kidnapped Palpatine from the Republic capital. Hmmm…
- Two Jedis are trying to rescue Palpatine. Gee, I wonder who they could be?
- It’s freaky seeing the clones without their helmets. I mean, they’re wearing helmets, but you can see their identical faces. Weird.
- “Flying is for droids.”
Funny how Obi-Wan just wants droids to do all the jobs he dislikes. I’m still rooting for a future movie: Star Wars: Revenge of the Droids.
- I never realized R2 was so mobile until I saw him jump from the ship during the battle scene!
- “I sense a trap.”
Why do the prequels keep starting with Obi-Wan and another Jedi walking into a trap?
- “You stupid little astro droid.”
R2 never gets any respect. I feel like he’s the Rodney Dangerfield of droids.
- R2 just roasted those two bigger droids! He’s so cool!
- Palpatine: “Get help. You’re no match for him. He’s a Sith Lord.”
Obi-Wan: “Chancellor Palpatine, Sith Lords are our speciality.”
–as, apparently, is arrogance. Ah, the irony is so thick, you could cut it with a light saber.
- And again, two Jedi against one Sith. Maybe they do have a reason for revenge.
- Anakin: “My powers have doubled since the last time we met, Count.”
So it’s like three Jedi to one Sith?
- Dooku: “Good. Twice the pride, double the fall.”
Is it bad that my first thought was, “Nice one, Dooku.” I’m kind of rooting for him.
- Whoa, Dooku is throwing Obi-Wan all over, force-grabbing platforms, and hurling them. He’s AWESOME.
- Palpatine: “Good, Anakin. Good. Kill him. Kill him now.”
Dooku looks pretty shocked there. I don’t know why. Did he really expect for Palpatine to protect him?
- And Anakin kills the unarmed Dooku. What an ass.
- Palpatine: “Leave him (Obi-Wan), or we’ll never make it.”
Anakin: “His fate will be the same as ours.”
Obi-Wan was unconscious, or he would have caught on. But seriously, Anakin, how did you not catch on to Palpatine long ago? You’re so stupid.
- “Did I miss something?”
Oh, Obi-Wan. If you only knew…
- And now, once again they are captured by an enemy, and once again R2 saves them! OK, the Jedi helped a little, but still… R2 literally shocked the bad guys, then freed the Jedis hands so they could fight!
- “We lost something.”
“Not to worry. We are still flying half a ship.”
That famous British knack for understatement…
- And the ship destroys an entire tower when it crashes. Luckily, there were no important people in there.
- Wait, Jar-Jar is hanging out with Senators and the Jedi council? He’s thick with Palpatine… That theory is ridiculous, but also looks pretty valid to me.
- And Padme shows up with Leia hair buns.
- Anakin says it’s wonderful she’s pregnant, but he looks like he just pooped his Jedi robes.
- Sith Lord: “Soon I will have a new apprentice: one far younger and more powerful.”
You know, the whole foreshadowing thing really doesn’t work well in prequels. We know who you mean, Palpa- I mean, Sith Lord guy.
- Padme: “So love has blinded you.”
Anakin: “That’s not exactly what I meant.”
Padme: “But it’s probably true.”
Now, that’s better foreshadowing. Stupid, but better.
- Padme: “And if the council discovers you’re the father, you’ll be expelled-”
Maybe I’m being obtuse here, but so? I mean, I realize the Jedi family and community is important to him, but he’d still be friends with Obi-Wan, he’d have his wife and child, and he could still use the Force. What could they really do to him?
- Anakin: “Our baby will be a blessing.”
Babies. Plural. Where’s that midichlorian count now, hotshot?
- Why do Anakin and Yoda have to sit in the dark to discuss his dreams?
- I’m sorry, but Yoda telling Anakin to not miss or mourn the death of people he cares about is hardly compassionate. I understand what he means, but he could be a little more understanding.
- Windu: “You are on this Council, but we do not grant you the rank of Master.”
And Anakin’s angry. What a shocker. He’s appointed to instead of chosen by the Council–which they allowed–and he’s still pissed off.
- Oh, so Palpatine wants Anakin to report to him about the Council, and the Council wants him to spy on Palpatine. That doesn’t spell trouble.
- So the Council is asking Anakin to disobey the Jedi code. What a bunch of hypocrites.
- Obi-Wan: “With all due respect, Master, is he not the chosen one? Is he not to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force?”
But does the prophecy say “destroy the Sith?” I thought it was only about balance.
- Yoda: “A prophecy that misread could have been.”
If prophecies are so enigmatic, why pay attention to them at all? By the time they make any sense, it’s because they’ve come true.
- Wait, was that a Wookie wearing clothes? Does that mean Chewie is a nudist?
- Padme: “Have you ever considered that we may be on the wrong side?”
She’s normally such a sensible person; why’d she have to get mixed up with Anakin? It’s the only thing she’s stupid about!
- Wait, she asks Ani to suggest something to Palpatine, he gets mad, and suddenly she gets all lovey-dovey? Is she trying to use her feminine wiles?
- Now Palpatine is sitting in the darkened Senate, alone with Anakin, and they’re both wearing black robes. The color palate of this movie has slowly diminished as the movie’s progressed.
- Anakin: “The Jedi use their power for good.”
Palpatine: “Good is a point of view, Anakin.”
Again with the “point of view” crap!
- Palpatine: “The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way… including their quest for greater power.”
He’s not exactly wrong there. That’s why he’s so persuasive, because he’s not really lying. That, and Anakin is stupid.
- Darth Plagueis the Wise? Not like the name’s a clue or anything…
- Anakin: “Is it possible to learn this power (to save people from death)?”
Palpatine: “Not from a Jedi.”
Dum dum Dummmmmmm.
- Why do the holograms of the Jedi in the Council meeting still sit in the actual chairs at the actual meeting? Do they carry around identical chairs, just in case they might need to holographically meet the rest of the council?
- When Obi tells his apprentice Ani that he’s a better Jedi than him, why does it feel like he’s signing his own death warrant? Oh yeah, the legend of Darth Plagueis.
- “May the Force be with you.”
I alway want to follow this with And also with you…
I blame my Roman Catholic upbringing.
- Anakin: “I’m not the Jedi I should be. I want more. And I know I shouldn’t.”
There’s nothing wrong with desire! It’s attachment to those desires that bring suffering! I know that seems like splitting hairs, but it’s not. Everyone has desires; it’s part of being alive. It’s clinging to those desires that brings suffering. If Anakin remembered that his focus determines his reality, focusing on his coming child(ren) might ease his suffering at the loss of Padme.
- Is Obi-Wan riding a chicken-dragon?
- “It’s a volcanic planet. You will be safe there.”
Of course, whenever I think safety, I think volcanic planet.
- “General Kenobi, you are a bold one.”
I find it hard to believe they send their generals into so many solo conflicts.
- Grievous: “I have been trained in your Jedi arts by Count Dooku.”
Aaaand, here we go again. A trained B who trained C who trained the Big Bad Force-Wielding Wolf.
- Why doesn’t anyone in the prequels scream when they get a limb cut off?
- Windu: “I sense a plot to destroy the Jedi. The Dark Side of the Force surrounds the Chancellor.”
And yet, you just sent Anakin–the kid you think is too full of fear and anger and too close to the Chancellor– to talk to him alone.
- So if Palpatine doesn’t give up his emergency powers, the Jedi want to force him to leave, then take over the Senate.
- alpatine: “My mentor taught me everything about the Force. Even the nature of the Dark Side.”
- Palpatine: “Anakin, if one is to understand the great mystery, one must study all its aspects: not just the dogmatic, narrow view of the Jedi.”
He’s got a point there.
- If you notice, Palpatine never lies to Anakin. You can’t make the same claim about the Jedi.
- “So uncivilized.”
So Obi-Wan kills Grievous gruesomely with a blaster gun, and he’s making snappy comments. How is death by lightsaber any more civilized? How is he? Aren’t Jedis supposed to value all life?
- Out of four Jedi, Palpatine dispatches three within the first ten seconds of the fight! Windu’s pretty tough to last so long.
- Palpatine: “No, no, no! You will die!”
Why is he suddenly screaming in a silly voice?
- Palpatine: “Don’t let him kill me!”
Um, dude. To stop getting hurt, all you need to do is stop trying to kill Windu with force-lightning. Of course, the real point is to make Anakin make a choice. So Palpatine chooses disfigurement in order to gain Anakin as an ally.
- And now Anakin looks like he needs some Pepto. Use of the Dark Side has been linked to constipation and IBS.
- Windu: “He’s too dangerous to be left alive.”
Hell, Windu, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you should have listened to Anakin. If you’d brought him to trial, Anakin wouldn’t have defended him. At least, not then.
- Damn, Windu loses a hand! What is it with everyone losing a hand?
- Anakin: “I will do whatever you ask.”
Palpatine (in creepy voice with glowing eyes and Bram Stoker’s Dracula makeup): “Goooooood!”
Anakin: “Just save Padme’s life. I can’t live without her.”
Well, that’s a Faustian bargain if I ever heard one. Palpatine actually looks like the Devil there.
- OK, so Palpatine has been intimating he’s Anakin’s only hope for saving Padme’s life, but then after murdering Windu, he casually mentions he doesn’t actually know how yet. But together he’s sure they’ll eventually figure it out. Convenient.
- Palpatine is now demonstrating how using the Dark Side gives you bad skin and asthma.
- “Henceforth, you shall be known as Darth Vader.”
So why are all the Sith named differently? Palpatine is Darth Sidious, right? Unless it’s Jar-Jar. And then there’s Darth Maul. Are they all aliases?
The Jedi seem to go by their given names. I’m wondering if it’s a reflection of their lifestyles: the Jedi own up to their actions publicly, while the Sith hide behind false names. Or maybe it’s simply that the Sith have been hidden, so the names are part of their secret identities. Since Darth Vader is a name given to Anakin by his Sith Master, it could also be a form of dominance–a way to show mastery over his apprentice. He sacrifices his identity to the service of his Sith Master.
- So Palpatine tells Anakin that the Jedi will murder all the Senators, Anakin believes him–Force knows why, and Anakin’s convinced to kill all the Jedi in the Temple. He’s told it’s to protect the Republic from the Jedi–who are enemies of the Republic, and in the same breath Palpatine says “Once more the Sith will rule the galaxy!”
How stupid is this kid?
In my opinion, this is the biggest problem with this movie. There needs to be more of everything here. It’s too sudden of a shift, and the logic is too skewed. I can understand Anakin, in a moment of passion, defending Palpatine and allowing Windu to die. But somehow believing that he’s protecting the Republic by murdering all the Jedi and setting up the Sith to rule the galaxy? I have a hard time believing even Anakin is that freakin’ dumb.
- “And we shall have peace.”
- Oh, so the clones are loyal to the Senate, even though the Jedi originally commissioned them. That’s how they turned against the Jedi, even though the Jedi commissioned the Clone Army. Palpatine is head of the Senate. So they didn’t switch sides; they were simply told the Jedi were now the enemies of the Republic.
- If feel sorry for Yoda when he senses everyone dying.
- Cute youngling with an equally cute lisp: “Master Skywalker, there are too many of them. What are we going to do?”
Yup, Anakin’s going to make a great father.
- Why is Padme crying when she sees the city burning? She was such a cool heroine in the first prequel, what the hell happened? She went from kicking butt to hiding in her room. In the earlier movie, same situation, she would have gone out, found out what happened, and joined the fight!
- Remember my comments about the color scheme earlier? Now, everyone is on a volcanic planet that looks like a literal hell.
- Volcanic planet. Their air-conditioning bill must be through the roof!
- Wait, Vader is sent to kill the- I thought they were allies with Palpatine?
- Yellow eyes on Anakin. That is not a good look.
- Padme: “So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.”
She can be eloquent.
- Yoda: “The boy you trained, gone he is–consumed by Darth Vader.”
So that’s where Obi-Wan got that line of crap?
- It feels wrong, but I really want Padme’s blue metal hair band. It’s so pretty!
- “Anakin is the father, isn’t he?”
Wait, I thought Obi-Wan was in on their little secret.
- Anakin keeps tilting his head down so he can look up with those bloodshot eyes. The Dark Side must be messing with his posture too.
- Anakin: “I am more powerful than the Chancellor. I can overthrow him, and together you and I can rule the galaxy.”
He’s really quite the nepotist, isn’t he?
- And Obi-Wan draws his lightsaber first. Anakin was spouting a lot of crap, but he turned away from Obi-Wan. He was unarmed, with his back to him. Again, the Jedi is the aggressor. Against a murdering psychopath, but the point still stands.
- Why is it so cool watching a little green muppet in a lightsaber duel?
- The Emperor’s evil laugh sounds like a little old lady’s cackle.
- Anakin and Obi-Wan are fighting about ten feet over lava, on a volcanic planet, with sparks and flames everywhere. Shouldn’t they be roasted alive by now–even if they aren’t actually touching the lava?
- “From my point of view, the Jedi are evil.”
There’s that damn point-of-view thing again.
- “You were the chosen one. It was said you would destroy the Sith, not join them!”
Again, I’m not sure that the prophecy said anything about destroying the Sith. Also, he already disabled him, cut off his legs…couldn’t he pull Anakin back up? Instead, he’s lecturing Anakin while the poor guy’s sliding towards lava, and then he watches him burn. Some monk…I mean, Jedi.
- “Medically, she’s completely healthy. For reasons I can’t explain, we are losing her.”
… “She has lost the will to live.”
This is the lamest thing ever.
- Nice juxtaposition of Anakin and Padme: Anakin screaming as the robots operate on him in a darkened room (again, why? don’t you need light to operate?), while Padme dies giving birth to twins in a bright room. He lives to become a Dark Lord that slaughters thousands, but she dies giving life.
Such an operatic ending. Vader breaking away from the table he was strapped to, the steam, the chorus harmonizing. I’ve got to admit, I like it.
- Obi-Wan: “I will take the child and watch over him.”
Yeah, fat lot of good you were at that, Obi.
- Yoda: “In your solitude on Tatooine, training I have for you.”… “An old friend has learned the path to immortality.”
If Vader overheard, I could picture him snapping his fingers and going, “Damnnnnn!”
I just realized, if Qui-gon was a Force ghost, he could have continued training Anakin. Obi-Wan continued to train Luke after he died. Why didn’t he do that?
- Padme looks like Sleeping Beauty at her funeral, and Jar-Jar is there again!
- It’s sort of fitting that we see a skeletal version of the Death Star, since we just saw a skeletal version of Anakin when he burned.
- So, is Senator Organa’s wife the mother that Leia remembers in the later/earlier movies?
- Really? Obi-Wan hands Beru little Luke, and they go to stand on that same hilltop and look at that same sunset on Tatooine. Lucas must love that shot, because he keeps doing it over and over, but it does bookend the series nicely.
It seems fitting that my last commentary should post exactly four weeks before the premiere of the new movie. If you’ve noticed something I’ve missed, please share it with me! I’m very interested in other people’s opinions and theories about the movies.
After this, my blog will become a bit more regular; I will return to posting my weekly Friday Flash stories–which I have missed! I may also begin posting tea reviews, since I’ve joined a lovely tea of the month club. Sometime in the next few weeks I also plan to promote the Refugees Welcome Anthology; 100% of the proceeds from this wonderful collection will go to charities that help the refugees in Europe. Though I do not have any stories in the collection, I was honored to help with some editing. Please consider giving a copy this holiday season to a reader in your life!
*My thanks to D Paul Angel for suggesting I create this post.
**Though I had originally thought I’d watch the series beginning with Episode I, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So my observations may change as I remember or misremember things from the prequels.