Monday, May 23, 2005

I Have a Bad Feeling About This...

Warning : Long geeky post about Star Wars

I feel a great disturbance in the Force.

I feel strangely anxious, like I forgot something or did something wrong without realizing it. I wrack my brain and could think of nothing real as such, however. Perhaps a spot of blogging with help remove this..... discomfort, this restlessness.

It's probably nothing. I sometimes get like this, especially in the morning. It should go away by lunch (I hope).

I expect to have a quiet day in the office today. It's a public holiday and there will be no one here but myself. I'm quite grateful for that.

I don't think I'm in any shape to deal with difficult callers today.

I had great fun last night as we watched Star Wars : Episode III Revenge of the Sith. There were 23 of us in the same group. We would've looked very impressive if we had gone ahead with that crazy idea of dressing up as storm troopers/scout troopers/clone troopers/commandos.

I'm rather saddened. It is the last Star Wars movie to be made. An end of an era. Another part of my childhood officially drawn to a close. A bittersweet experience.

The movie itself was as I expected. I was satisfied by it.

George Lucas once confessed that he isn't much of a writer when it came to scripts. He's right.

Let's get the cheesy dialogue out of the way first. Yes, there's lots of cheese here, predictably between Padme and Anakin. Prepare to gag as Padme talks about babies and lakes and gardens and other mushy stuff. Prepare to throw up when Anakin opens his mouth.

It wasn't all bad though. I thoroughly enjoyed Anakin's subtle "Oh shit !" look when he found out that Padme was pregnant.

There are many other instances of crap dialogue, but I'll need either a second screening or a transcript to quote them. Besides I'm sure many people haven't watched ROTS yet, so I think I should bring down the spoiler count.

The other disappointing thing is.... no Imperial March ! How could they not play the Imperial March !?

And now, on to the good.

1. Artoo. Who doesn't love the precocious astromech droid ? Is it even possible for me to add any more to the countless words of adoration that have been written about the dustbin on wheels ? No it is not possible.

In general, Artoo is cool. In ROTS, Artoo rocks. It says much about the acting in the movie when one of the most endearing characters is a droid with no meaningful lines.

Ok I may be a bit biased about Artoo. But it's my blog, so there. I also have this nagging feeling that the poor thing got downgraded or cannibalised for spares before he appeared again in The New Hope (Ep. IV).

2. Lightsabre fights. Lightsabres make Star Wars what it is. If not, then Star Wars would be just another space flick. Watching a Star Wars movie without lightsabres would be quite similar to watching porn without the sex, don't you agree ?

Swashbuckling movies with nobles, pirates and rogues have this magical romanticism about them. Ditto movies with lightsabre fights. In fact, I dare say if it weren't for lightsabres Star Wars would suck quite a bit.

Alongside cheesy dialogue and dustbinlike droids, ROTS is lightsabres galore. There's more lightsabres here than you could shake a lightsabre at. It's a lightsabre convention complete with missing limbs, decapitation and bad in-fight dialogue (with extra cheese). And Mace Windu and his BMF purple sabre ! And Yoda !! And the Emperor !!! And things like Force Push and Force Drain !!! And trachea crushing !!!! And...and.... I could go on.

Syuk said that he thought they used too many close-ups when shooting the sabre fights and I'm inclined to agree with him. It would've looked so much better if they had zoomed out a little bit more.

But whatever my misgivings are, the lightsabre duels are still awesome.

3. Ominous familiarity. The first two prequels didn't have much of any visual link with the original trilogy. They might as well have been stand alone movies. In ROTS, things start to get familiar.

The stormtroopers start to look like how they used to, albeit more colorful. In fact, I might actually like the colorful armour more than the plain, boring white ones in the original trilogy.

Starfighter designs got closer to the ones in the original. Precursors to familiar ships like TIE fighters, X-Wings and the Cygnus shuttle (for those who didn't know, the shuttle Tydirium in Return of the Jedi was of this type) make their debuts.

Starship-wise, the thing that really made the circle complete was the appearance of Bail Organa's ship, the Corelian Corvette Tantive IV. No, there is no mention of the name of the ship anywhere in the movies but that is what it's called.

It was quite the moment when I saw what was to be the very ship Leia would use twenty years later fly into frame. It was still fast, new and shiny too.

The creep inducing familiar thing is obviously Emperor Palpatine himself. He looks and sounds just like I remembered, except maybe more maniacal.

And the final direct link between ROTS and the original Episode IV is the contruction of a certain..... battlestation.

4. Vader. The reason why I (and many millions of others, I'm sure) was so looking forward to ROTS. He looks more menacing and less whiny with the suit on. My only gripe is that the suited Vader had too little screen time.

5. Other random goodness. Luke and Leia ! I love the scenes when they were delivered to their respective adoptive families. I especially like the scene when Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen were looking out towards the horizon while holding Luke. Luke's theme was playing in the back ground. This is my next favourite piece of Star Wars music after the theme and the Imperial March.

I thought the big space battle over Coruscant was brilliantly done. It was incredible.

Wookies ! Tarful !! (the Wookie leader). For those people who played Star Wars : Republic Commandos it's cool that we got to see Tarful again. I like wookies. But somehow I didn't really like Chewie being in this movie. He seemed out of place.

General Grievous. He got taken out way too soon. I thought he was great. He could've been made more dangerous. He should've had more screen time too. I'd rather watch and listen to Grievous cough than listen Padme and Anakin talk to each other.

Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi ! In The Phantom Menace, he wasn't very impressive. In Attack of the Clones, he was a little better but he struck me as rather anal retentive. In ROTS, Obi-Wan started acting more like the Ben Kenobi that I remember. He was consumate and professional. Ewan McGregor did a great job here.

Obi-Wan's pet lizard thingy was quite interesting as well.

Mace Windu ! Poor sucker got force-drained but he was good while he lasted. Heck, it's Samuel L. Jackson man. And purple lightsabre = badass.

Order 66. ROTS's "Oh nooo !!" moment. Big creep factor here. Watch and see what I mean.

Yoda ! Like Artoo, the best characters in the Star Wars universe are always the small ones (except Han Solo who obviously isn't small). But personally, I kinda like crazy Empire Strikes Back Yoda more than the more sane one here.

Obviously, I enjoyed ROTS immensely. Go and watch it now. So many things I wish to write, so many thoughts and questions.

But for now, I will end here.

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