Archive for the ‘ROTS’ Category

Nick Gillard On Alternate “Dismemberment” Scene in ROTS

January 5, 2017

Prequels stunt coordinator Nick Gillard tells Australia’s Sci Fi Central on an alternate way he was going to have Anakin sliced and diced in ROTS:

Is ROTS Still The Darkest SW Film To Date?

December 21, 2016

Granted, “dark” is a descriptor and not unto itself an indicator of quality, but @prequelpositive says yes.

Order 66 is arguably the most devastating scene in this film, the music sets the tone as clips of the Clone Troopers turn against the Jedi and characters that we have gotten to know throughout the film are shot down by those they considered comrades and friends. This is made even more painful if you have watched The Clone Wars, in which many of these Jedi have side stories of their own.

Essay On ROTS

December 12, 2016

A Score To Settle is about music scores and this entry focuses on ROTS.  There’s a lot of great stuff here, check it out:

On the day it was released, I wound up seeing it twice – once in the early morning on my own and then again in the evening with friends. From the opening space battle to the visually poetic closing moments, I was riveted. As a first generation fan who caught each film from the classic trilogy in the theaters, I’d found myself fascinated on many levels by the era being presented in this second trilogy, the prequels. It was akin to watching a “period piece” of our own history, when mannerisms, dress and behaviors might differ to the present, such as Elizabethan dramas compared to present day. Not to everyone’s taste, but I was digging it. The world-building was imaginative and immersive, diving into other cultures and corners of the fictional galaxy previously unexplored or simply unknown. I plugged into the macro/micro level of parallel storytelling on display throughout, noting how over the course of the trilogy we witness both a democratic Republic and a compassionate Jedi Knight named Anakin Skywalker be manipulated and corrupted from the inside out, all by the same person, that being Chancellor Palpatine. Indeed, the fateful circumstances leading to Anakin’s downfall constitute the component to which I unexpectedly connected.

Terrific Version of “Battle of the Heroes”

December 12, 2016

Adam Adelsberger pointed out this video of a German orchestra performing “Battle of the Heroes” from ROTS.

ROTS & “Paradise Lost”

December 5, 2016

A reader passed along a link to this essay from a site called Clashing Sabers.net, “A Paradise Lost:  The Anatomy of a Fall.”  It focuses on Anakin’s fall in ROTS and compares it to John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”

Anakin as a representation of temptation also parallels Eve and Adam as Palpatine slithers into the role of the serpent. Eve is amazed by the serpent who speaks of their gifts being bestowed upon them by tasting the fruit from the tree of knowledge. The serpent further gains Eve’s trust by flattering her beauty.

Palpatine gains Anakin’s trust by constant flattery, encouraging him to take pride in his exceptional skills and convincing him that despite his youth he deserves a spot on the Jedi Council. When fear begins to take hold of Anakin, Palpatine offers his own fruit to the falling Jedi: salvation from death. Anakin’s pride and fear feed into each other as his pride and arrogance don’t allow him to concede to the possibility that he might not save Padme. When Eve goes to wander Paradise alone, Adam fears for her.

TPM In One GIF

November 12, 2016

For the generation on the go and with no time to watch a two-hour movie ;):

Update: Here are the gifs for AOTC and ROTS…

Cantina Cast Piece On ROTS

September 5, 2016

Cantina Cast’s Paul Depaola posted “Looking Back At ROTS”, a piece on the 2005 film and on Clone Wars:

Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, was released in May of 2005. For me, this was the most anticipated film of the prequel trilogy. From the first moment that I heard that the prequel films were going to happen back in 1994, I wanted to see the fight between Obi-wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. The “be all and end all” battle, where Anakin is forced into the Darth Vader suit, becoming more machine than man. So, by the time of the film’s release in 2005 I had been waiting nearly 11 years to see that climatic duel. Needless to say my anticipation of this film’s release was high.

Bright Lights Film Journal Article Says ROTS Might Be Lucas’s Best

August 29, 2016

Linda sent along a link to this article from Bright Lights Film Journal, which asserts that ROTS is George Lucas’s greatest artistic achievement:

Given the newly expansive potential afforded by digital technology, Lucas is no longer limited to simple filmic references. In Revenge of the Sith, he boldly visualizes his interests in classical mythology and literature; to be sure, the prequels recall the tragedies of Shakespeare, perhaps most evidently in Palpatine’s similarities to Othello’s Iago. However, Lucas digs deeper and further into the past when he depicts Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi duelling across the volcanic vistas of Mustafar. When discussing this scene, it is crucial to acknowledge Camille Paglia’s wonderful and laudatory piece in Glittering Images. Indeed, it is in this scene that the film’s awe-striking and unprecedented anachronism totally takes over: painting his images digitally, Lucas taps into our knowledge of Dante, of the legend of Faust, the Christian Hell and the Greek Hades, of the metaphoric burning of Icarus’s wings in the form of Anakin’s smoldering body. Appropriately, John Williams’s score moves further from Korngold-echoing whimsy with each successive prequel, and in Sith it acquires operatic overtones. Never one to divide “high” art from “low,” Lucas draws from every available well of visual representation to craft this uniquely digital genre entertainment, a film that is broadly drawn in its emotional strokes but rigorous in its cinematic grammar.

Go read this from someone who apparently really knows cinema and appreciates it.

Kind of Pro-PT Clickbait

August 1, 2016

Comicbook.com posted about a month ago (conveniently hidden during July 4 weekend) a listicle called “Five Moments We Still Love From The Star Wars Prequels.”  The things chosen during the slideshow are kind of obvious, there’s the usual laying down of cover fire, and there’s even an annoying typo that hasn’t been fixed, but it’s better than the usual.  Slightly.

Hey, it’s the middle of summer and things are slow…

Essay: “Old Things Become New”

June 30, 2016

Originally posted on matril’s LiveJournal page; I’ve edited the post down to the discussion about the prequels.

“Old Things Become New (Or Why The Prequels Make Everything Better)”

What I’m going to focus on here is what I love about the prequels: that they, in contrast, make watching the original trilogy even more enjoyable. I suppose here is where haters might suggest that their lesser quality makes the OT look so much better, but that’s not at all where I’m headed. I enjoy watching the prequels as a tragic tale in their own right, and I enjoy the original trilogy on its own. Putting them together, however, creates a richer, deeper, incredibly rewarding experience. Here’s why.

1. We see what was lost when the Empire took over. The galaxy of the OT is a harsh, constricted place in more ways than one. The aesthetics, the colors, the clothing and settings are stark, limited mostly to shades of black and white and brown. Everything is utilitarian, with only an occasional glimpse of beauty or color. Now I understand that this is something a lot of fans love about Star Wars, that it has a “lived-in” look, that there’s grit and dust and all that. But let’s just consider, honestly – is it somewhere you’d like to visit? Consider the settings – an unforgiving desert world, a planet of ice, a murky swamp, an armored space station whose only purpose is to deal out death. The only places that seem relatively hospitable are the jungles of Yavin IV and the forest moon of Endor, but those brief glimpses of lush green are in constant peril from the Empire’s incursions, representing the spark of life struggling to remain alight long enough for freedom to be regained.

But then we have the prequels. And they show us that the galaxy is gorgeous.

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I don’t just want to visit Naboo. I want to live there. I mean, look at that. Imagine what the Empire’s work must have done to that beauty, especially considering it was the Emperor’s native planet and its peaceful ways were always vulnerable to attack. It makes the tragedy all the more tangible, knowing what was lost – and the drive for victory all the more meaningful, seeing what the Rebels are fighting to restore.

The same is true for the costumes, the architecture, the indicators of high culture. This was a mighty Republic at the peak of its power; prosperous, affording great luxuries to many of its citizens…and of course, dangerously decadent and complacent, which is how they managed to lose it all to the corruptive influence of a Sith Lord. If the galaxy looked the same before or after the Republic’s fall, then what’s the big deal about its fall? The contrast is deliberate and powerful.

2. Familiar tropes are turned upside-down. The prequels contain many parallels to the OT, but always with some surprising alteration. Anakin’s age in Episode I, for one thing. Since Luke as introduced on the verge of manhood, we probably assumed Anakin would be as well. Instead, he’s a wide-eyed, innocent child. In addition to setting the stage for Anakin’s future struggles – early separation from his mother, clashes with the Council’s long-established methods of training – it also helps us better appreciate Luke’s journey, and how his different position grants him the opportunity to make up for his father’s failures.

Another thing we learned in the OT was to associate the stormtrooper look with the bad guy’s endless hordes of evil henchmen. They’re basically faceless automatons. And how do they show up in the prequels? As clones, programmed from birth to serve the Republic. They’re fighting on the side of the good guys. When the Republic becomes the Empire, as far as the clones know they just keep doing what they’ve always done. But we will never look at them quite the same way again. They’re not merely a simplistic manifestation of the Empire’s power; they’re physical proof of the Emperor’s heartless evil, as he happily produces score upon scores of living beings who have no choice but to fight and die for him and him alone. He treats them like battle droids. We know better. Also, the little fact that they’re basically Boba Fett’s little brothers is a fun tidbit I never would have imagined.

3. Every meeting/reunion becomes so much more poignant. When Luke sees the hologram of Leia, and later meets her in person on the Death Star, we mostly assumed he was struck by her beauty. After ROTJ, maybe we considered that they had some kind of twin-vibe going on. But it’s after Episode III that these moments become most powerful. We’ve seen their birth. We’ve seen the brief moments they were together as babies, and then watched them get taken away to their respective adoptive homes. Twenty long years later, seeing the children of Padmé and Anakin reunite is so satisfying. Just knowing who the twins’ mother was, her passion and courage and kindness, gives their characters fresh significance, seeing how much of her lives on in both of them. And let’s not forget that Luke’s first glimpse of his long-lost sister happens in the exact same room where Anakin confessed his dark vengeful actions to Padmé. That dingy old garage becomes a place of destiny.

Vader and Obi-Wan’s reunion is heartrending. You get a tantalizing glimpse of their backstory if you just watch Episode IV, but how much more powerful to see their relationship grow, then deteriorate after Anakin’s fall, culminating in the tragedy on Mustafar – and then to watch them meet on the Death Star. Just imagine what must be going through their minds, how fraught that moment is. You know they won’t both walk away from this one either, but this time it’s Obi-Wan who willingly sacrifices himself.

And consider how much more tragic to see Alderaan destroyed when we know more about Leia’s adoptive parents, particularly Bail. We see clearly how a man such as that would raise a passionate freedom fighter like Leia, and we share her anguish so much more deeply as her home is lost forever.

Meanwhile, it’s pretty darn entertaining to see Yoda show up in Episode V if you’ve seen him as a wise, respected leader of the Council….sure, he’s testing Luke, but I’m pretty sure he’s gone a bit loopy after all that time alone on Dagobah. The contrast is a lot of fun.

4. New details offer clarity, and a number of surprises. When Obi-Wan and Yoda’s bodies vanish and they become ghosts, it’s easy to assume that’s just a Jedi thing. The prequels reveal just how rare it is – and we see Qui-Gon’s influence extends long past any explicit mention of him. Blue ghosts are even more miraculous than we might have thought.

When Yoda says Luke is “too old” to begin training, it sounds like he might just be searching for excuses. Then Episode I told us that Anakin, at age nine, was too old. No wonder Yoda was so resistant to teaching an adult! But Luke’s success tells us that the former Council’s methods weren’t necessarily infallible after all.

5. The contrast of Anakin’s fall with Luke’s triumph is such a thing of beauty. Though Anakin’s ultimate decision to join the Dark Side is one that, I hope, we cannot sympathize with, there is much in his preceding struggles that is highly sympathetic. He misses his mother, and deeply regrets that he was too late to save her from death. He longs for a life with Padmé and fights to reconcile that with his allegiance to duty. He fears losing her as well. He’s overwhelmed by the prospect of fatherhood. He feels under-appreciated and resents the Council’s distrust of him, turning instead to the pleasant flattery of Palpatine. None of this excuses his fall, but it makes us recognize how perilous it must be to walk the path of a powerful Jedi.

So Luke’s path is equally uncertain. Considering Anakin’s fall arose from a fear of losing the ones he loved, imagine how terrified Obi-Wan and Yoda must be when Luke is gripped by those same fears, flying recklessly off to Cloud City to try to rescue his friends. And failing spectacularly. Vader, we realize, laid the trap for him precisely because he knew how powerful the fear of loss could be. He knew it would draw Luke to him like nothing else could, because that’s what happened to him. His claim to Luke in ROTJ that Dark Side is “the only way to save your friends” makes a lot more sense when we see how Palpatine lured Anakin to the dark.  And Luke’s refusal to give in to hate is glorious, shining a light so bright it casts away the shadow that has enveloped Anakin since his fall. Knowing the innocent child he used to be makes his return so much more poignant.

I’m sure there’s much, much more. I appreciate every detail more each time I watch the saga. At the end of it all, watching the prequels makes me even happier when I watch the originals afterwards.