After years and years of waiting I've finally seen Revenge Of The Sith, and my initial reaction is that it is fantastic - far superior to Episodes I and II, and a worthy lead-in to Episode IV. It's shockingly violent - this really isn't something you should take younglings to, unless you think they'll be fine with watching multiple dismemberment, people being burnt alive and death in childbirth. Oh how little Annie has grown up …
The prequel trilogy has come under a lot of criticism, but I think only now that it's complete can we fairly appraise it. Here, for your pleasure, are a couple of lists:
Highlights of the new trilogy
- Darth Maul's death – and the little spray of blood. I remember when I first saw that I thought that tiny detail was a bit too gorey for the kids in the audience, which seems ridiculous now given how much of a bloodbath Episode III is.
- The pod race. Yes George is just trying to sell computer games, but it's still brilliant.
- Yoda lighting up. When I saw this at the cinema the entire audience applauded. It's a shame he then turns into a green Sonic the Hedgehog …
- The seismic explosion things in the asteroid belt in Episode II. Probably the best sound effect after light sabres and TIE fighters.
- The ooh look isn't that the Death star over there bit at the end of Episode II, and then actually seeing it under construction at the end of Episode III. One question though - how come it takes twenty years to finish that Death Star but they get the other one operational within a couple of years?
- Boba Fett holding up his dad's helmet. Ooooooh.
- Maul's double-ender. It's just a shame we all knew about it before we saw the film. Stupid toys ruining it for everyone …
- The speeder chase through Coruscant. Whompwhompwhompwhomp …
- R2 not getting his memory wiped. He knows everything!
- R4's death. The most emotional bit of the trilogy by far.
- The whole opening sequence of Episode III – wow.
Low-points of the new trilogy
- Anakin having disturbing dream about his mother.
- Anakin made C3P0? What? How can a future dark lord of the sith make a droid so shockingly camp? In fact, tying in too many of the characters (Chewbacca, Boba, etc.) from Episodes IV-VI into this one has meant that the galaxy seems a lot smaller.
- R2D2 can fly. No no no. Although his little action sequence at the beginning of Episode III is rather cool.
- Wasting Terence Stamp. Actually gets voted out of the trilogy. He should've been a Jedi or Sith – he'd have been pretty good as Dooku.
- Midichlorians. Oh right, so the force is all about science, not spiritualism. Great.
- We meet Anakin (or "Annie" – who thought that was a good idea?) too young. He should have been the same age as Luke when we meet him in Episode IV, and then they could?ve had the whiney teenage bit over and done with by the end of Episode I.
- Palpatine's make-up. He just looks like a dirty old man with elephantitis.
- The Binks
- The rather dodgy racism that runs throughout – ooh look at those nasty jews/Japanese sorts.
- Trade blockades? Taxation? Senates? Do we really care about this stuff?
- The lack of an outsider – no Han or Luke-type character made it all rather po-faced. George replaced the humour with slapstick – computer generated slapstick at that. One of the pivotal battles leading to the creation of the Empire is neither the time or the place for a bunch of Howard Lloyd tributes.
Well at last it's all over - the Star Wars saga is complete. For now at least. Lucas is planning a Young Indiana Jones-style TV series set between Episodes III and IV, and an expansion of the Clone Wars cartoon series. Plus I'm sure he'll continue to make further adjustments to the films each time they're rereleased.