The Sci-Fi Chronicles brings me to the final entry in the Prequel Trilogy, and arguably the strongest despite some troubling moments. While still suffering from the too clean, too digital, green-screen EVERYTHING, this one feels the closest to a Star Wars movie, and that opening sequence through the space battle over Coruscant is highly enjoyable (I love John Williams’ score throughout this portion), but for some corny dialogue and other things.
We are closing in on the end of the Clone Wars, which was bothersome, because that was always something I had wanted to see since I was a child and first heard of it, thank goodness for the television series. Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is finally tempted by the Dark Side of the Force, under the guidance of Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) as he worries over the fate of his wife, Amidala (Natalie Portman) and the outcome of her hidden pregnancy (the less said about that sequence at the end of the film, the better).
Palpatine has manipulated everything, and brings about the collapse of the Republic, the ruin of the Jedi, and instilling his rule as Emperor.
The highlight of the entire trilogy, for me, has been Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, he seems made for the role, but even his acting chops can’t save all the dialogue.
There are battles, confrontations, and cool moments (some absolutely horrid ones as well) and while there is a bridging of the new with the Original Trilogy, this one is still too computer generated and steeped in stilted dialogue to be completely believable.
While Anakin continues to fall to the Dark Side, Yoda (still wonderfully voiced by Frank Oz) is dispatched to the planet of Kashyyk to aid the Wookies against the Separatist’s droid army, and Kenobi goes in search of the villainous, robotic, General Grievous (voiced by Matthew Wood).
When Anakin falls, Palpatine springs his trap, and exterminates almost all the Jedi! The few survivors flee, and there is a New Hope on the horizon.
Just like the previous instalments, I was there opening day, taking it in multiple times to get my new Star Wars fix, and while I didn’t regret that, plot holes, and bad cinematic choices became more and more glaringly obvious.
But, I’ve always been blessed with the ability to engage my inner child, and he certainly has an amazing time with these films, and I loved the final confrontation between Kenobi and Anakin, no matter how flawed some of it was.
Now, of course, there will be Star Wars films every year, going on as far as we can see at the moment. The Dark Time of waiting is over, but will it have been worth it? (So far, my answer is YES!) Lucas has stepped aside, passing the torch to those who have grown up loving his films, and wanting to play in that galaxy, and now we get an annual fix.
That could be good and bad (I really hope they don’t cheap out on the movie posters either, there is a magic and escapism to the best Star Wars posters that go beyond the theatrical experience, so fingers crossed), but I’ll take it!
May the Force be with you!