Monday, November 5, 2007

Revenge of the Sith

By Guest Reviewer Alan Trehern [And Updated by Alan Trehern! © 2013]

I know it has been a long time since my review of Attack of the Clones, but as I said in previous articles, the 30 year anniversary of the STAR WARS trilogy is throughout 2007, so I'm still in boundaries. (And if you ever question me again, there's no telling what may happen. I'll kill you and your brother.) (Yikes! I like this guy! - Trehern, 2013)

Speaking of revenge, in Episode III, directed by Lucas and released in 2005, we see the apex of the new trilogy, or those taking place before the old trilogy (Yeah, the "prequel trilogy," nutsack. - Trehern, 2013). It has been two years since the marriage of Anakin and Padmé, and Clone War is raging across the galaxy. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine has grown even more powerful within the Republic, and it seems that he will not relinquish that power anytime soon. A strange character by the name of General Grievous makes his appearance, bringing up the topic of underdeveloped characters (again!). Another character, Count Dooku, who had some potential (not alot), is killed off within the first 15 minutes, but alas the inane acting of Obi-Wan and Anakin stays constant. I'm sure many of you have seen this film, as it was the highest grossing movie of 2005 (maybe?), so I'll skip the plotline and focus more on possible problems and refinement of the bridge between the two trilogies.

Lucas has a knack for creating outrageous and innovative characters, I'll give him that much, but he goes through them like sticky notes. While there are many memorable characters in the old trilogy, the new trilogy (Episodes I, II and III) lack this most necessary of attributes. Minor and secondary characters hold the entire picture together, taking you into subplots and such, giving you a feel of how expansive the universe really is. The most important subplot that SHOULD have appeared in the film was the formation of the Rebel Alliance under the tyrannical Republic (soon to be Empire). According to the story, Padmé Amidala helped lead the group, with such rebels as Mon Mothma, Bale Organa (Princess Leia's adoptive father from Alderaan) and Admiral Ackbar (famed front man for Admiral Ackbar Cereal). However, due to time constraints and editing, Lucas approved the deletion of every scene concerning the formation of the Rebellion. Doing such a thing almost eliminated a crucial element from the old trilogy. 

Other characters that were featured in the film, for seconds it seemed, were General Grievous, who we know nothing about from the film. According to sources, he was an alien who grew ill and used technology to keep him alive, a precursor experiment to the work done on Vader.

I even felt that Mace Windu's legacy in the trilogy was short-lived. He was barely featured, but somehow his presence was crucial in the turning of Skywalker. I can't feel bad for the death of a character if he was hardly featured (i.e. the death of Qui-Gon).

"Writing Backwards (TM)"
This idea of undeveloped characters brings me to my film-scripting theory called writing backwards. If I was in charge of authoring the new trilogy, I would have watched the old ones (again) and then start to write the new story backwards, starting from the first minutes of A New Hope and ending at the beginning of Episode I. With this in mind, as you establish characters toward the end of their trilogy career, you develop them starting out important, and then writing how they arrived to be so. For instance, Darth Maul could have served as the Emperor's apprentice through the entire three films, taking him from Episode III as the powerful and regal warrior, such as Darth Vader was, enforcing the law and killing off the Jedi. In Episode II, he continues to prove himself in battle to earn Sidious' approval (Palpatine in disguise) and in Episode I he is the silent and obedient apprentice he was portrayed as. Done and done.
Courtesy of Somebody...

"Writing Backwards" would also solve the problem of the story of the Rebel Alliance. Maybe Darth Maul was killed in Episode II, and Anakin turned to the dark side then, creating Darth Vader a movie early, and filling in the almost 20 year gap between A New Hope and Revenge of the Sith. Episode III could also have answered such questions as "How did Han Solo drop that smuggling order?", "How did Han win the Millenium Falcon from Lando?", "How did Grand Moff Tarkin rise to power?", and "Was every single Jedi really killed?" In my opinion, Episode III presented more questions than answers, and as to the still enigmatic saga, it still has holes and missing pieces.

The Clone Wars and Pre-Episode IV Legends

In all my years of Star Wars research, I've come across some strange legends and myths created about the Star Wars universe, many written by authors of the expanded universe. For instance, I was not expecting the Clone Wars to be robots versus the clones of one guy (who just happened to be Boba Fett's father). No, originally, in my mind and many others', the Clone Wars were the Jedi fighting out-of-control clones of everybody: soldiers, Jedi and rulers alike. It was believed that Palpatine had multiple clones of himself at his disposal to protect him. The Mandolorians also played a crucial role, and their armor was somehow pivotal in the war (hence Boba Fett's, who was the product of the war).

Another legend speaks of Yoda as a Jedi Master from centuries ago, and that he had been on Dagobah for centuries, not just decades. However, he did train Jedi on the planet, perhaps even a young Obi-Wan, who should have been trained by Yoda only, giving a more emotional tie to the characters of Kenobi, Yoda, Anakin and Luke.
So I guess that's it for the trilogy of Episode I, II and III. I hope you enjoyed it, because I disregard these events when reviewing the old trilogy, for the reasons listed above. So tune in soon for A New Hope installment, where it all started. 

Safe journey, space fans...


Ben Pearson said...

Very informative. I'm looking forward to more Star Wars reviews from the biggest Star Wars nerd I know.

tee breezy said...

I'd prefer "guru" to "nerd", ben. I mean, you called ME about your star wars inquiries, I didn't force it on you.

Megan said...

Grievous didn't fall ill and chose to be put into his "armor", I guess you'd call it. I won't type down the whole plot here, as it's waaay too long, but go to Wikipedia or Wookiepedia and read the General's story. It's worth your time, especially if you enjoyed what little Lucas showed of this chracter in the film.