Off Campus

17 May 2005

Star Wars Episode III - special early review

Last November I had the good fortune of being invited to Skywalker Ranch to screen an early rough cut of the most anticipated movie in a generation. This movie had me speechless. Speechless with delight, and speechless because I had to promise not to publish anything until the movie actually opens. Six months down, 24 hours left to wait... I almost made it. Warning! Spoilers ahead.

Star Wars III, the Sith - Review of an early production print.... Nov. 19, 2004

Let me tell you that all the hype is peanuts compared to what happens. This movie is HUGE. EPIC. No. It's BIGGER than that. Being the last in a group of prequels I was shocked with how the plot developed.

Going in, we all knew that Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi would survive, and since Mace Windu wasn't in the original movies, that he was likely a goner. Since both Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn were killed in the first movie, we knew we wouldn't be seeing them at all, unless in a flash back or something.

I found the new musical format disconcerting at first, but like Rent, Grease or West Side story it really helped with the narration and served to move the plot along.

Yoda, you will be sad to hear, doesn't make it. I know you remember seeing him in the origional movies, but they are being re-edited to match the new story line on DVD. Though the scenes on Dagobah will be weird with Luke learning the force from nobody.

Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn are both accidentally resurrected during a freak lighthing storm that takes Obi-Wans life. His body lives, but with the eternal struggle of his Jedi Master, and a Sith Lord fighting in his mind. This clearly explains why he gives up his life to Vader in part IV.

Andrew Lloyd Webber takes over the reins for John Williams (who was busy writing and rewriting the score to the upcoming Indiana Jones installment), and is also adapting the series into a musical. Tatooine - A modern Phantom of the Empire meets Miss Siagaan-Naboo.

All in all Palpatine gives the most memorable, powerful performance, delivering the song "Now I lay you down to sleep." Destined to win the Oscar for best original song... It will make you cry, or turn to the dark side over the loss of your secret wife - giving up her life, so that she may be reincarnated as her daughter with bad hair. Clone wars'll have nothing on that.

Sweeping musical dance numbers, fantastic special effects, and just wait for part 3 and 1/2! Can you say Cliffhanger?