As with all the prequels, I am of two minds with this film. There is a definite side of me that loved this film and without a doubt it’s the best of the prequels. There is the other side of that also has plenty of nits to pick and recognizes the familiar flaws (some really bad writing and acting). Overall my “enjoyed it” side wins out, but I also fell that a large part of that is the nostalgia. This film was as powerful as it was to me because of my fondness for the original trilogy. When taken for what it is, it’s place in the mythology and its purpose in the overall story it kicks ass. Taken alone and set aside as just a film, I think that I look a bit askance in its direction. There’s a definite dichotomy within me concerning this film as well as the other prequels (that being said, I am one of the few who actually liked the first two prequels despite the nits that I could pick with it).
I am very glad Lucas kept it dark and intense and didn’t cave to the groups complaining that this PG-13 rating ruined it as a “family” film or whatever.
I found it a bit slow to get going (well not necessarily “slow” since it was action right from the start, but not incredibly engaging right off) but the further it went on the more it sucked me in.
I decided today that one of the reasons the original trilogy is superior is that Lucas was not some revered “god” at that point and the actors were probably more free to ad lib or change up Lucas’s stilted writing to make it more natural. There’s a famous quote from Harrison Ford where he told George at some point while filming the first trilogy (paraphrased) “You can write this shit, but you can’t say it!” I have a feeling there’s probably far less freedom to tamper with “The Great Lucas’s” work these days.
That and I firmly believe that Lucas is a victim of buying into his own hype and getting totally lost and confused within his own mythology.
Don’t get the wrong impression though, by the end of the movie I was wide-eyed, jaw dropped, and teary-eyed just like the kid who saw “Empire Strikes Back” 16 times during its initial theatrical run, and the original trilogy countless times (in all its incarnations) since. Those movies are a huge part of who I am today, from my love of movie making to my many fond memories involving me, friends, and collections of Star Wars toys (and the painful memory of how, once I’d outgrown them, I took them all out to a friend’s piece of land in the country and we shot them all to pieces with guns not knowing how I would be kicking myself later on).
The force will be with me…always.
Now to just wait for the Super Mega VIP Deluxe Boxed Director’s Post-final cut Limited Top Secret Ultimate Platinum Jedi Master Edition.