Kudos, is the word I’ll say to George Lucas for this good presentation to what is the last of the trilogy of the world’s most famous space saga. After the second installment I almost gave up on the franchise and many do share the same sentiments as it was more of a Bollywood love storyish movie than anything else. Many people I’ve asked said they’d never saw the second but many of those that said this acknowledge that they will go for the third installment. Maybe because it gives some finality to the series or that it is just the beginning for the next trilogy, view it either way but people don’t want to miss out this Summer Blockbuster hit. For many it is a culmination of those long years since the 1980s to finally be able to see movie history’s most famous and identifiable villain ascend into power.
My appetite was whetted by the Clone Wars mini clips shown on Cartoon Network, it gave a great presentation of the story line, building up from the disastrous second movie with a solid storyline, great artwork and absolute villains. The trailer for episode 3 didn’t disappoint either and sated my appetite further to go and catch the release as soon as possible. Laura and I took the midnight show the previous night and the place was playing to a full house. It seems everyone in Kota Kinabalu was there, wherever we sat we saw familiar faces that came to watch even if it was three hours and tomorrow they would have to work.
The movie continues from the Clone Wars where Chancellor Palpatine was abducted by General Grevious and Obi Wan with Anakin going to the rescue amidst a beautiful battle scene in space. The Republic’s war has been going on continuously and the Chancellor has held on to power even past his term through emergency power by the senate, stirring the ire of the Jedi council who figures the Republic is turning into a dictatorship. The droids and robots were all a bit cutesy this time being the comic relief where Jar Jar Binks was in the past but it was done in great taste. The movie’s theme throughout was a dark tale, showing the transformation of Anakin and his seduction to the Dark Side by Darth Sidious (aka Chancellor Palpatine).
Through guile and temptation and playing up Anakin’s youthful naivety and fear for a premonition of Padme’s death he sought the power over life and death that Sidious offered. With the Chancellor’s manipulation and supposed friendship with Anakin, he soon finds himself appointed to the Jedi Council only to be denied the rank of Master Jedi, the only one there with such a predicament. Thus was sown the seed that would eventually lead to his downfall, as Sidious poisons him against the Jedi and shaping him to become his new apprentice. The pace of the movie was okay, it dragged a bit in the beginning as the focus was on the love relationship between Anakin and Padme Amidala as well as the news that she was pregnant.
The transformation of Anakin is stark, not only facially but also mentally and emotionally as we can see to what great lengths he went to fulfill his new role, casting aside so easily all the teachings from the past, bowing before Sidious and saying “Master”. It sends chills through your spines as you watch and endures every shred of moral fiber being torn from him and he enters a kind of delusional power mad craze. With a PG 13 rating expect a lot of violence as the movie is especially brutal with intense light saber battles, flaming bodies, explosions and deaths. Though bloody there were few major large battle scenes but more personal fights as compared to the other episodes. Especially poignant moments include the light saber battle between Anakin and his Master on planet Mustafa, the betrayal of the clone armies in killing the Jedi Council and lastly the transformation of Anakin into the half man half machine Darth Vader. Watch out for Yoda as he is as lovable as he was in the previous movie with his fighting prowess. Also look out for the Wookies to see someone familiar.
How did the audience react when the ending credits were rolling in? They clapped and cheered, and another note; people were acting on their best behaviour for once, no ringing phones, no loud talking, no babies wailing and no general cacophony that usually irritates the hell out of you when you’re trying to watch a movie, in short everyone was glued to the screen giving further conviction on the movie’s ability to hold your interest. Go see it, you won’t be disappointed, it is a fitting in to George Lucas’s space adventure and one that will leave you satisfied that the franchise has matured. The fall of Anakin, the rise of Vader, the ascend of the Sith and the downfall of the Jedi leads on with the scene of both Leia and Luke being sent to their foster homes and ushers in a New Hope for the rebels.
A last note, I still believe that newcomers to the trilogies should watch episode IV to VI first as the impact of memorable scenes such as Darth Vader telling Luke, “Luke, I am your father” and the announcement that Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker were Twins would have lost their impact if the movies were watched in sequence.