Monday, December 28, 2009

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Zippy, my eight year old, has been begging for quite some time to watch Episode III of Star Wars.  The other 5 get regular rotation at our house, but we have held off on III.  Zippy tends to scare easily in movies (He buried his face in my lap at some point during The Tale of Despereaux), and has nightmares, sometimes related to movies.  He says that at some point I told him he would have to wait until he's 8 1/2; maybe I did say that, I don't know.  In any case, he turned 8 1/2 this month, so we watched Revenge of the Sith together today.

I know Episodes I-III have been widely criticized, but I still enjoy them.  Episode III is a pleasure to watch, with its beautiful, detailed scenes, the amazing space battles, and some of the best light saber duels of any of the six films.  I can't begin to contemplate the size and talent of the teams of artist and programmers who put this together.  A bunch of people sitting in a room with computers is not as cool as a scruffy crew with models and cardboard on big tables (as in the making of the original Star Wars), but the visual results are stunning.

But even stunning visuals can't overcome the horror of Hayden Christensen's acting.  I know he is supposed to be contemptible, but I can hardly stand to watch him in this movie.  When he whines about being placed on the Jedi council without have been make a Jedi knight, I kept thinking of Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: "I want to be a Jedi knight now!"  And his sappy scenes with Padme are terrible. "I love you so much I can't live without you I'll join the Dark side to save you but not if I choke you first."  Dreadful.

So far, no nightmares for Zippy.  More than the intense parts, he liked the funny parts, particularly R2D2's interactions with the battle droids.  He immediately wanted to watch it again, and has declared that III is his favorite episode.  How can I argue with that?

Bottom line: 3 1/2 stars (It would be 4 if Christensen didn't raise bile in my throat.)

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