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I have now finally seen Episode III

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith doesn't come out in Japan until July 9 — possibly because, as some people have suggested, an earlier release date would have interfered with the Japanese school year.

At any rate, that meant I wasn't able to see the thing until I got into New York, and now I have. Given that Episode III has been the subject of some pretty hot and heavy debates here at Riding Sun, I feel it's only appropriate to offer my thoughts now that I've actually seen it, even though I am a good three weeks or so behind the curve.

For much of the first half, the movie was an unsettling melange of disjointed action and stultifying exposition. Toward the end, it made me feel like a tourist rushing through a new country, checking off the highlights in his travel guidebook as he goes. Anakin turning... check! Vader gets his mask... check! Luke and Leia born... check!

As has already been amply noted elsewhere, much of the acting and dialogue was exceptionally poor. Yet even beyond that, there was no sense of pacing or dramatic narrative — as in, say, a Raiders of the Lost Ark. Everything was just tossed in together. I still have no idea who those guys were attacking the Wookies on Kashyyk. And the opening shenanigans aboard Greivous's ship were so slapstick and jumbled as to completely sap any dramatic tension from those scenes. Yes, there were some cool effects, but even those quickly became oppressive to watch. In sum: bleargh.

In that context of anticlimax and disappointment, I find our earlier debates here to have been wholly irrelevant. Since Episode III (and, indeed, the entire prequel trilogy) is so manifestly not destined to become a cinema treasure for the ages, who cares what it says about Lucas's view of Bush? We might as well ask what Kangaroo Jack revealed about Jerry Bruckheimer's position on animal rights.




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