Main cast: Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Natalie Portman (Senator Padmé Amidala), Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker), Ian McDiarmid (Supreme Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious), Samuel L Jackson (Mace Windu), Jimmy Smits (Senator Bail Organa), and Frank Oz (Yoda)
Director: George Lucas
Hubby and I come up with various possible scenarios as to how the wimpy girly-boy Anakin Skywalker can end up looking like a walking metallic trash can with a name like Darth Vader. Since we try to keep our expectations as low as possible so as to not to be disappointed by this movie, here are some of the worst, most melodramatic scenarios we work out among ourselves:
1. Amidala dies in childbirth and Anakin goes crazy. And turns evil.
2. Anakin catches Yoda and Amidala going at it and goes crazy. And turns evil.
3. Anakin doesn't catch them at it but he discovers suspicious green hair stuck between Amidala's teeth. He goes crazy. And turns evil.
4. Anakin is spurned by Obi-Wan, who prefers the hunky hairy hunk Chewbacca, and turns crazy. And evil, of course.
5. Anakin remembers previously repressed memories of, er, "incidents" when he was a kid and sharing the bath with Uncle Palpatine. The trauma drives him crazy. And evil, don't forget that.
6. Anakin turns evil due to any of scenarios 2 to 5 above, tries to blow up the world, Amidala gives birth, asks Obi-Wan to hide the kids, and goes after Anakin herself. She dies trying to save the universe and Anakin becomes really crazy and evil after that.
Believe it or not, George Lucas actually outdoes hubby and I when it comes to the ridiculous reason as to why Anakin goes crazy and turns evil. You want to hear it? Here goes: Anakin has dreams of Amidala dying in childbirth and decides to join the Sith because Chancellor Palpatine, the actual Sith Lord himself, tells him that the Dark Force can get him to save Amidala. Never mind that these dreams may not come true - Anakin decides to turn evil because of love. As Yoda says, after all, if you can't let go of the ones you love, you will be led to darkness. How... thirteen-year old, this quaint premise! Forget character development, conflicted morals, or any actual effort - Mr Lucas decides to pull a stunt that will put the mawkishness of The Titanic and the pretentious melodramatic "All you need is love" sentiments of Steven Spielberg to shame.
In Revenge Of The Sith, viewers who care about plot logic and continuity should try very hard to overlook every single thing about this horrifically scripted movie. This movie is a testament that Mr Lucas must never ever be allowed to put any word on paper ever again unless it's a signed statement announcing that he will never write another movie again. Come to think of it, he shouldn't direct anymore, if the fact that his idea of "sinister confrontation" is having two people walk in circles while hissing cartoonishly at each other. "Good heavens, they are walking in a perfect circle!" hubby says in awe when we watch that scene where Anakin confronts Palpatine about him being the Dark Sith Lord, and adds, "Maybe they are standing on those revolving platforms!"
The dialogues are atrocious, which is to be expected since I have watched the previous two movies in this latest trilogy, but I must warn people that the short and thankfully brief "romantic scene" between Anakin and Padmé is more cringe-inducingly juvenile compared to any of their scenes in the previous movie. This is unfortunate because this grand love is supposed to motivate Anakin's descend into darkness. Alas, Padmé is reduced into a hopelessly weak and insipid creature who has not two functional brain cells to work together, a shocking far cry from the proactive gal in the previous movie. Therefore, Anakin's descend into darkness seems more like a desperate attempt to escape the insipid script Mr Lucas is writing that poor young fellow in rather than a "touching sacrifice" of some sort. I don't care if Mr Lucas is too chicken-poop to make Anakin evil for the sake of being evil, but if he's going to spoonfeed me that "he does it for love" drivel, the least he could do is to write a convincing love story to help me understand Anakin.
Everything else about the plot is a mess of stupid illogicalities. I love, especially, how the Jedi have a hologram visual of Anakin becoming Palpatine's apprentice the moment it happens but no one does anything or seems to know anything about this. Or even better, how Yoda tries to warn Obi-Wan Kenobi not to look at the hologram because he thinks that Obi-Wan's heart will break. Let's see - chaos is everywhere, the Jedi is in deep crap, and Yoda is concerned about Obi-Wan's heart. How sweet of him. And when Obi-Wan asks Yoda where Anakin is, Yoda knows but he tells Obi-Wan instead to look inside his heart and find out. Dude, the Jedis are DEAD, DYING, or WORSE, the least Yoda can do is to give a freaking straight answer to Obi-Wan! Instead, Yoda announces that everything is lost, asks Obi-Wan to do his dirty deeds for him, and then runs off to hide in some swamp lands where he will pass the time raping terrified Wookies while the world crumbles around him. What can I say? Yoda is the biggest piece of green crap in the galaxy.
Then again, the Jedi idiots deserve to lose. They are stupid. Anyone who asks Anakin, whom the Jedi suspect to be in cohorts with Palpatine, to spy on Palpatine for them, deserves to die. Anyone who call himself a Jedi Master but can get trashed badly by Anakin deserves to die. What are these Jedi Masters? Drop-outs from the Sith Academy?
I can go on and on for ages about more illogical nonsense in this movie, like how the Jedi Masters are actually kicking ass better when they are not using their light sabers or how stupid it is for Obi-Wan to ride a loud, honking lizard-horse creature and still can't be detected by the enemies, or how Obi-Wan falls into a deep lake and emerges from it completely dry, or how if Palpatine has already controlled the Republic, why does he have to wait so long to finish off the Jedi, or... or... ugh. I can wish that Mr Lucas will freaking show me why or how Anakin is supposedly the most powerful instead of just telling me non-stop about it.
But let's focus on the nice things about this movie. Believe it or not, Hayden Christensen acts his heart out in this movie, which is nice because everyone else around him is dialling in from a phone booth in the land of I Can't Wait For This Movie To Be Done With. While the script is a brain-gas fodder of someone who really shouldn't be writing it, Mr Christensen at least manages to give Anakin a bearing and even a pained air of desperation and confusion that ring real and therefore imbues the character some depths where the script completely fails to do so. ("And his reptilian eyes are fabulous! Why does he hide them under that ugly cloak?" hubby would like to add.) Oh, and the fact that he has bulked up and looks less like some androgynous crybaby boy here helps too.
Ian McDiarmid steals every scene he is in as the cartoonish yet compelling Chancellor Palpatine, but Mr Christensen manages to hold his own in his scenes with Mr McDiarmid. Also, Jar-Jar Binks does not speak in this movie. While I'd prefer to see Anakin in a Sith-rampage murdering Jar-Jar mercilessly, I'd take what I can get. Also, the final scenes of this movie make me feel nostalgic about the first trilogy - the horridly obvious final staring-at-sunrise scene notwithstanding. Those scenes and the feelings of goodwill they inspire in me wash away, temporarily at least, the bitterness I feel about Mr Lucas' absolutely, wretchedly inept character assassinations of the Jedi Academy, Padmé, Obi-Wan, and Yoda in this movie. And then I leave the theatre and sit down to write this review and all the bitterness resurfaces. May Mr Lucas wakes up one day and finds himself stuck with the head of Jar-Jar Binks!
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