Polter-Cow (spectralbovine) wrote,
Polter-Cow
spectralbovine

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Revenge of Revenge of the Sith

It's even better the second time around.

I noticed that when R2 spits oil at the droids, he's not just doing it for the fun of it. That oil is what lights on fire when he flame-jets away from him. He's a smart little droid.

Natalie Portman has really nice lips. I don't how I haven't really made note of this before now, but they struck me as very kissable.

I still think the movie is pretty well paced, if extremely linear. It feels like each scene sets up the scene after it. Anakin says, "I'm going to talk to Chancellor Palpatine." The next scene is...Anakin talking to Palpatine. Palpatine mentions the Jedi Council. The next scene is...the Jedi Council. I think it gives the illusion of snappy storytelling without actually being snappy storytelling.

John Williams is one of those composers who really likes to hear himself, huh? Does the score run throughout the entire movie? I don't think there's a second of silence. Sometimes it's really distracting, because the music is carrying so many more nuances than the dialogue and acting. It's like it's trying to tell you something, but you don't understand the language, so please shut up so I can concentrate on the English.

"Execute order 66." But not order 66...6.

Now, the eternal debate: does Anakin go too dark too fast? It didn't seem unbelievable to me this time either, and maybe I'm impressionable, but it still really works. Remember that Anakin is conflicted as all get out. He's having these feelings of ambition, but he knows they're wrong and bad. He's having dreams about Padme dying, just like he had dreams about his mother dying AND THEN SHE DID OMG. He's been taught by the Jedi, but now he feels betrayed by them because they won't give him the rank he feels he deserves. Anakin is but a living ganglion of irreconcilable antagonisms.

Anakin believes that the Jedi are selfless and the Sith derive their power from their passion, yet he doesn't seem to recognize that his Sith-like qualities have been brewing in him for years. He thirsts for more power; he is strongly attached to Padme; he's already murdered sand people in the name of his mother. This isn't a case of Anakin going too dark too fast, this is a matter of Anakin having all the dominos of darkness already set up and Palpatine knocking over the first one.

What happens to Anakin is—holy crap, I'm totally turning this into an identity issue—he discovers who he truly is, not who the Jedi have told him to be. It's that moment when he realizes, hold on a second...there's more. He's a teenager rebelling against his controlling parents. All Palpatine does is nudge him in the right direction, flicks a few switches, feeds the flames of suspicion.

After he pledges himself to Palpatine—and I love how long-winded he suddenly gets about saving Padme's life...now he and Anakin have to work together to discover this power, a process that seems like it might take too long for it to be useful for Padme—he goes off and kills some children. Which troubled some people. But Anakin is really fucked up. He killed a bunch of people who had nothing directly to do with his mother's death, and he felt no remorse. He killed Count Dooku because Palpatine said so, and he felt a little conflicted about it. But then Obi-Wan said that made him a hero. And then he attacked a Jedi Master to save Palpatine's life. After which Palpatine sends Mace into oblivion, a death for which Anakin is now partly responsible. And again, he's a bit conflicted. The guy is really having bizarre right/wrong issues, especially because not only has he killed people and felt a little weird about it, but he keeps doing it. It's like that mistake you can't help but make over and over and over, no matter how many times you learn your lesson. So when Palpatine says kill everyone, and that everyone includes children, he...does it. I don't think he revels in it, but it's sort of a rite of passage. It proves his worth to Palpatine, who can help him save Padme.

I didn't think the Anakin/Obi-Wan fight was spectacular the first time, but now I think it's pretty awesome. It starts off with both men swinging ridiculously fast, and I suddenly realized they have the same fighting style. That's the beauty of this mentor/pupil battle: they know each other's moves. The fight goes on through several terrains, and there's some Forceplay, and I also noticed something subtly fantastic.

Both their lightsabers are blue.

I can't verify this, but I'm betting every single lightsaber battle in the SW universe involves lightsabers of different colors. Except this one. This is blue vs. blue, and the moment you realize how extraordinary and unusual that is, the fight takes on so much more significance. Because Anakin is really fighting himself here, he's fighting his Jedi side.

And Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan is also fighting himself, he's fighting the student he tried to craft in his own image, and he failed.

So the "Duel of the Fates" theme is wholly appropriate, as Anakin's been ripped apart by the opposing sides' struggle for his soul.

Meanwhile, we've got green vs. red over here, and how awesome is it that Palpatine and Yoda, the strongest of each faction, duke it out in the middle of the Senate, the political center of the prequels? The Sith were covertly trying to gain control of the Senate, but the Jedi ostensibly had no interest in such matters. Or did they, and they just never made a play for it? Here you have Palpatine using Senate chairs as weapons, physically dismantling the room the way he's basically dismantled the democracy. It's all so metaphorically charged.

"You were the Chosen One!" Okay, that scene, with Obi-Wan and legless Anakin, this time, it registered on the Cry-O-Meter. My eyes were almost welling up. Almost. Because Obi-Wan tried so hard, he put his faith in him, he loved him, only to be betrayed. And he thinks Anakin is beyond hope, beyond help. It's just...shit, dude. Obi-Wan's entire world is falling apart here.

The helmet clicks into place. The very first deep breaths. Christ on a stick, dude. That shit resonates. That is the moment these prequels have been leading up to, and it's not like Lucas had to do anything special at all. A simple shot of a helmet coming down, sideways. A click. That iconic breathing. And it hits us. This is Darth fucking Vader.

Padme losing the will to live is still horrendously lame. But her final words are her belief that there's still good in him, good we won't see until Return of the Jedi.

Hooooly shit, Death Star. Which takes them like twenty years to build, and then when it gets blown up, they get another one up and running in like two weeks or something.

But I really need to watch the original trilogy again now, because how does the moral ambiguity of the Jedi and Sith of the prequels work with the absolute good vs. evil battle of the originals? I mean, I love that the Sith are only trying to bring about peace, but dude, naming your big weapon the fucking Death Star? Isn't helping your cause. Why build a weapon whose purpose is to vaporize entire planets if you're not the Big Bad Evil? Because in the original trilogy, Vader is pretty much the Big Bad Evil.

I guess I can deal, really, because I like my absolutes absolute, and I like my ambiguities ambiguous.

In conclusion, I find your lack of pants disturbing.
Tags: in conclusion, movies, natalie portman, star wars
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