We already know this is going to be a movie where evil wins. Anakin Skywalker is about to be entombed in the Vader suit not long after finally becoming handsome. The cherubic child and the gangly teen have been replaced by a dashing Jim Morrison. Obi Wan has even conceded defeat in the handsomeness competition, sporting a fresh new hipster do. And Padme has lots of new outfits.
The three of them travel to many stylish interiors with breathtaking views of Coruscant, and emote. In between that are some elaborate CGI fight scenes. We finally get to see the wookiee planet, Kashyyk, and they’re having their own private Omaha Beach as the Clone War grinds to a halt. The Clone War, in fact, lasted from the end of last movie until the beginning of this one, and in fact it was just a little part of the Sith long game, which comes to evil fruition here.
This installment plays like a wicked fever dream, with acres of plot holes that have to do with all of these powerful psychics keeping secrets from each other. All the touchstones to episode four are poignant and sad. Oh look, there’s Owen and Beru, standing in the spot where they’ll eventually die. Wow, Alderaan was a beautiful planet in addition to being a peaceful planet, pity. Hey, Yoda and Chewie are old friends – too bad Luke never mentions “by the way, I know this cool wookiee” during his time on Dagobah, thus preventing the old pals from reuinting before Yoda becomes one with the Force. Awww, there’s Padme naming the twins with her dying breath -- “bye kids, I’m going to check out for medically unknown reasons, have fun with your evil sithlord dad.” I guess discovering she was working for the bad guy all along was more than she could handle.
R2 and C3PO are enjoying a blissful interlude together, shortly before falling into the hands of Captain Wedge Antilles, at which point C3PO’s memory is wiped, and R2 appears to be gleeful about this development.
This movie is a lot like the last Harry Potter movie, in that it contains lots of dark brooding shots of attractive young people while gothy music plays. I can’t wait until that looks dated.
The Prequel Trilogy, in Summary
This is the story of some assholes who live in a marvelous world. Doing their best to mess it up, every chance they get. Cults! Dirty politics! Things that go boom! A chosen one is born, fathered by the very essence of plot complications, with the specific destiny of complicating the plot beyond all imagining. Does so, in spades.
Meanwhile, we get background glimpses of a marvelous world full of spaceships and aliens and opera with giant floating bubbles and vertical-climbing lizard mounts and droids that fight other droids. A world teeming with other people, many of whom almost certainly have more interesting stories than this pack of assholes running around trying to complicate everyones’ plots.
I probably wouldn’t have become an obsessive Star Warsian if the prequels had come out first. I don’t really like any of these people, although they are attractive and well spoken (except for Jarx2). Their characters are set firmly in jello. Anakin goes from being a streetwise kid from Tattooine to a gullible rube that gets played by Windu and Palpatine and Padme and Obi Wan, and then they all get vexed because he’s so easily played. Obi Wan is a suave ninja at times, then at other times he gets fussy because Anakin drives too fast. Padme is the voice of righteousness and reason, except for when she decides to hop in a spaceship and go somewhere because the plot isn't complicating fast enough.
I'm ready for the original trilogy. Where even the robots and spaceships have personality.