Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Appreciation: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

A contribution to the Edward Copeland-called Star Wars blogathon.

By Ryland Walker Knight

The third act is a killer. The third act resounds in a way no previous Star Wars film had since Vader goated Luke from hiding inside the Emperor's chamber within Return of the Jedi's all-over climax. The best moments in Star Wars, for me, are those naked emotional crises. Those, and, of course, the spectacular spectacles. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith has both of those in spades. And not just in the third act. The whole film is a visual wonder: from the you-gotta-be-kidding-me opening shot that still gets me giddy to the Yoda-Palpatine Imperial Senate throwdown to General Greivous's four-armed attack to (fuck it) a bunch of Wookies raging against machines to (fuck it) the dissolves in Anakin's dream sequences to (hell yes) the engulfing lava showdown and Ewan McGregor's pure-hurt pleas in that third act climax. And the whole film operates on affect effecting characters, characters' choices, camera angles, silly dialogue, audience involvement. You have to buy into the film for this part to work; for some, this proves too difficult because of the silly dialogue and the sorta-kinda spotty acting of said silly dialogue and the odd pacing and the typical silly sci-fi plotting choices. I understand this stance. But I cannot hold it. I love Star Wars. And for a final chapter in "the saga" this son of a bitch of a film is just what I want -- and just what Star Wars needed. Plus, if Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith had subtitles, English-speaking audiences would be much quicker to accept it, to buy into it, to (fuck it/hell yes) love it.

[For the rest of the essay, click here, to read it at The House Next Door. For the full blogathon listing, at host site Edward Copeland on Film, click here.]