Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Star Wars, No. 6

That's how I count the films. It's not the episode III, it's the goddam sixth Star Wars movie.

I saw "Revenge of the Sith" (I just wonder how stupid George Lucas can really be to have named his movie that, or "tath") on Monday night. I was of course disappointed, but at the same time I wasn't, because the fourth and fifth films were so bad. Let me rephrase this: I was entertained, but bored at the same time.

You know, the acting and writing are appallingly bad. If it hadn't been George Lucas, no one would have given the writer any money to make his script into a movie. I just can't believe how naïve Lucas can be in his depiction of love. The romantic scenes are like from a 12-year old's diary (and they are probably better written at that!). The stupidest stuff in the Star Wars films has certainly come out of Lucas's pen, not any other writer's (ewoks, Jar Jar Binks etc.).

At the same time, there is still the same magic that draws me to the original film and "Empire Strikes Back" (and if I could watch it without the ewoks, "Return of the Jedi"). I can't point out exactly what it is. Maybe it's just the little kid in me who first got to know the story through the graphic novel version (can I call it a graphic novel?). I saw "Empire Strikes Back" first and only then I saw the original film. (I've seen it six or seven times since. I don't count myself a fan in the real sense of the word.)

But I don't like to think that there's this nostalgic kid in me who just wants to get out and like all the bad films. Maybe there really is some force in Lucas's universe and the stuff he's created that attracts me. At the same time, I'm the first to announce, for example, that the Jedi religion is dangerous in its naïve beliefs in the ultimate power of the individual, even though it presents itself like some Eastern religion.

What the heck? Why can't I just admit that I liked the action and special effects? There are just so many incredibly bad elements in the film I want to shout at Lucas: Get off behind the camera! Get someone else to direct! (There would've been lots of better directors to do this. Just think of what Irvin Kershner did with "Empire Strikes Back". And Lawrence Kasdan. Why didn't Lucas hire him to do at least a draft for a screenplay? You damn cheapskate!)

I mean, how can someone make actors like Ewan McGregor and Samuel Jackson to act so badly?! McGregor also looks like some Finnish wino in his stupid beard (and totally unlike Obi-wan Kenobi!). How can someone with that story fail to deliver a film that doesn't resemble Shakespeare in the least?

The biggest problem was that you knew all the time what was going to happen. You knew that Obi-wan won't die, you knew that Luke and Leia will be taken to foster homes, etc. And you knew that Anakin will be Darth Vader. There's never real suspense in any of the events. The ending with all the storylines taken together is no real cinema, it's just someone pointing out what happened next.

What bugs me is that Lucas hasn't realized that if the events in the three latest films really take place, everyone would still be talking about Palpatine or the chancellor, not just the Emperor. Just think if Hitler had changed his name to Kaiser I, don't you think they would still be talking about Hitler?

And what happens to the technology and architecture? The first three films look rather grim and gritty compared to the art deco fantasies of the new film, and the technology seems to have dragged backwards. Yet you should think that they still exist and that the technology would've advanced during the peace. Well, maybe that's what Lucas is trying to tell us: don't trust war mongers. (Which is a good political message, I admit.)

Yet with all this under me (and probably many more complaints) I kind of liked the film. I would've continued watching other Star Wars films if they had started showing one right after I went to pee and came back. Maybe I'll have to read some of those spin-off books and play the videogame and read the comics version once again. Hey, I realize now that they published all of the Al Williamson scripted comics in Finnish a year ago and I haven't read them!


Wow! That was quite a complaint. I hope it's not too confusing.

I'll be away for three days. We are off at Vammala's old book days with my father selling books. It's my dad's business that he has taken up full time now that he's retired. Wish us luck and many happy buyers!

The mystery item I was talking about will be revealed next Sunday when I get back and start blogging again.

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