Thursday March 17, 2005

Revenge of the Sith Trailer

Last week, Lucasfilm released the trailer for the final Star Wars movie, Revenge of the Sith.  After watching it a few times, I'm really looking forward to seeing the movie—after The Phantom Menace (capsule review: pretty bad), and Attack of the Clones (capsule review: better, but still disappointing), RotS is his last chance to get it right, and I think he just might be on track.

The Trailer

First, my immediate impressions of the trailer, shot by shot—this part won't make sense unless you've seen the trailer, so go and watch it!  Afterwards, some additional comments.  I'm going to be speculating a bit about what's coming, and although I don't have any insider info or anything like that, if you want to go into the movie with no preconceptions, you should skip over the items marked [SPOILER SPECULATION].

  • Hmm...is that shuttlecraft damaged, or have they just not discovered vertical stabilizers yet?
  • Ian McDiarmid: "The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be...unnatural."  (Holy cats, that's the way to deliver a line—even better than, "Lord Vader...rise.")
    Hayden Christensen: "Is it possible to learn this power?"  (...and I'm yanked right out of my suspension of disbelief again.  Jeez, Hayden, just scowl angrily and don't speak, OK?)
  • Boy, I'll bet that guy in the fighter that blows up who gets thrown into space wishes Star Wars space helmets were actually pressure-tight...
  • [SPOILER SPECULATION]  Palpatine: "I need your help, son."  Let me repeat that: "I need your help, SON."  Is Lucas actually going to give us some payoff on that Virgin Shmi business back in The Phantom Menace?  I hope so.  Maybe it'll go like this: Palpy has secretly impregnated a bunch of women in the most remote and dangerous parts of the galaxy with clones of himself, and he's been waiting for the strongest clone to climb his way to the top.  Anakin's that clone, and so he gets to become Darth-apparent.  It could happen!  It's kind of symmetrical and it feeds into the original trilogy: masters and apprentices, fathers and sons.  On the other hand, it would mean that there might be half a dozen other Anakins floating around...
  • Mace Windu: "...but we do not grant you the rank of master."  Hmm, do the Jedi have a rank between Apprentice (Padawan) and Master?  Is Anakin just being refused a premature promotion from Knight to Master here, or are they making up a new special limbo just for him?  It really doesn't matter, I guess—I'm pretty sure he's going to be pissed about it either way.
  • Mmmm, Natalie Portman—er, wait a minute... [checks birth date on IMDb]  Oh, good, 1981—mmmm, Natalie Portman...
  • [SPOILER SPECULATION]  Hey, I think that's the throne from Return of the Jedi.  Does that mean that scene is set in the throne room of the original Death Star (that we never got to see)?
  • "You are under arrest, Chancellor."  Oh, jeez, Mace, don't poke at him like that.  He looks cranky.
  • "Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"  More well-played villainy from McDiarmid.  Note, by the way, how normal the skin and color of his face look here...just before he WIGS OUT!  (Red lightsaber!)  Listen to that howling noise he makes!
  • Oh, I forgot Jimmy Smits is in this movie.  He's who, Bail Organa?  Wait, didn't they change his name to Bail Antilles?  Ah, apparently not.  Whew!  I thought Lucas was going to contradict the Star Wars Radio Dramas—can't have that!
  • Ooooo, the planet with all the lava.  I've been waiting for the big lava pit scene since I first heard rumors about it, what, 25 years ago?  That's a lot of built-up expectations.
  • What's with that big rolling vehicle?  It looks like something out of The Forever People.  Or maybe...hey, does anybody else remember a weird cartoon from the early seventies that had a huge vehicle that was a single big wheel with the cockpit in the middle?
  • ...Hey!  A Wookiee!
  • [SPOILER SPECULATION]  See, now Sidious' face is looking all pasty and droopy, and he's in the black outfit.  What do you want to bet Palpatine and Sidious aren't the same guy, somehow?
  • Chewie!
  • The Tantive IV!
  • Tatooine...[sigh].  I guess there's no avoiding spending more time on Tatooine.  You know what makes The Empire Strikes Back the best of all the Star Wars movies?  No freakin' Tatooine!  [Hey, if you type "tattooine" into Google, it suggests "tatooine".  That's pretty slick.]
  • Obi-Wan: "Who could have done this?"  Gee, I don't know—do you know any angry, disgruntled Jedi who we've given lots of reasons to hate us, like taking him from his mother and leaving her behind to die in bondage?
  • Padme's crying!  That's the last straw, you whiny little bastard—you've made the pretty girl cry, so now we're going to have to dip your ass in the hot lava.
  • Oooo, Yoda's getting zapped by lightning.  Bet that stings.
  • [SPOILER SPECULATION]  "You were the chosen one!"  Yeah, and he's brought balance to the Force, just like he was supposed to: two Sith, a Master and an Apprentice, and two Jedi, a Master and an Apprentice.  I guess "balance" isn't all it's cracked up to be.
  • Sidious is Force-throwing flying saucers at Yoda, but it looks like Yoda is getting ready to gut him like a pasty, cackling fish!  Too bad we know it doesn't turn out that way...
  • And finally, at the end, we see Darth Vader.  I have to give this to Christensen: even in a suit of black leather and armor, he can still cross his arms in a way that looks pouty.  Bravo!

Additional comments

[More SPOILER SPECULATION from here on...]

It looks like the Jedi purge is going to be a major part of the movie, which is good news.  I'm glad to see it's going to happen on-screen—when I heard that Vader was in the movie, but only near the end, I was worried that this meant the whole movie was going to focus on Ani getting resentful of Obi, then Ani was going to get fried in the big duel just before the end, and then there'd be no time to see how the Jedi were destroyed...because that's what we've been waiting to see: all the loose ends tied up.  It looks like Lucas has found a way to fit it in.

Do you notice how the visual appearance of everything (ships, uniforms, etc.) is converging on the designs we know from 20 years ago?  This cleverly hammers home something we've slowly come to realize: the Jedi were on the wrong side of the Clone War.  It looks like the predecessors of the Rebels weren't the forces of the Republic—those are the forces that become the Empire.  It's the side of the Trade Federation, the bad guys from The Phantom Menace, that turns into the Rebels.  (This is less of a surprise if you've been watching the Clone Wars cartoon on TV, in which we've gotten to see General Kenobi leading clonetroopers into battle.)

We're also seeing in more detail just how Anakin gets under the Palpatine's thumb—the Jedi put him there, giving him mission that he perceives as treason.  That's another thing that's been dawning on us: Anakin goes bad not only because Palpatine ensnares and corrupts him, but also because the Jedi, including Yoda and Obi-Wan in particular, really screwed up.  I have to give Lucas credit—he is actually adding some depth to the later movies.  Of course, for every one good thing he adds, he's added two bad things (midichlorians and Jar-Jar, anyone?).

I have a nagging suspicion there's some big surprise in store for us.  Either Palpy's a clone of Sidious, or Ani's a clone of Palpy, or Obi-Wan ends up falling into the lava and becoming Vader while Anakin adopts his identity, or Jar-Jar is actually Luke and Leia's father, or Chewbacca is a Jedi, or something.  I can feel it.  Hmm, maybe Yoda is the Emperor's father...

Come to think of it, maybe Lucas has decided to show how independent-minded he is, and he's going to give the hardcore fanboys the finger by making the big climax be somehow all about midichlorians.  Maybe Anakin is so full of anger because he's been dosing himself with midichloroids, or maybe during the big fight Obi-Wan will spray Ani with antichlorians in order to neutralize his connection to the Force, or something.  Don't look at me like that.  Lucas is unpredictable!

Enough geeking out.  In closing, let's all bow our heads together and hope, hope, hope that Lucas manages to pull it out in Revenge of the Sith.  If this one turns out as good as the trailer, all is forgiven.

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Comments

Ahhh, I saw the trailer last week when it was first placed on the net and I must say that it got me pretty excited, especially after the two disappointments of Phantom and Clones. But I still feel that GL may once again let us down. A trailer is not a movie. Who remembers the trailers on video cassettes during the 80s? All those wonderful trailers to make you rent the movie and when you do...what a waste.

Oh well, we can hope and pray I suppose.

*sigh*

Posted by: Alistair at Mar 17, 2005 7:49:09 AM

There were extremely excellent and the best scenes in the movie "Revenge of the Sith".
Good originality and great imagination, great story in this movie!
Here's Photo gallery for Hayden Christensen(Anakin) of this movie. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0159789/photogallery-ss-0
I love Star Wars series the most!

Posted by: Creford at Jul 15, 2005 7:34:24 PM

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