Last night I attended the 7pm digital projection screening of Revenge of the Sith at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Midtown Manhattan. It's one of the few large and somewhat ornate movie houses left in the country. (Of course, it was knocked down and rebuilt in the 60's, so it's not the same as it was in its splendiferious original form, but it's got a very nice lobby and a very big screen.) If you haven't seen the movie and are planning to, you probably don't want to read the rest of this post.
As a summer blockbuster, the movie was alright. It has some sweet lightsaber duels, amazing special effects, and beautiful cinematography. As a Star Wars fan, though, it only left me angry. The script was atrocious. Lucas does not have a tin ear for dialogue. He is deaf. He couldn't possibly have any idea what his characters are saying. If he did, he would have demanded someone rewrite his screenplay. So the characters remained flat and the romance dialogue laughable. The editing was awkward at times too. Perhaps the worst offense was the contradictions inherent in Yoda's character, who we all remember from the first trilogy as being a zen master of sorts. He was the ultimate representation of mind over matter (as evidenced when he levitates the X-Wing in Empire). Now he's been reduced to a super-bouncey-ball with a 'tude. Vader is now Frankenstein's monster and 3PO and R2 are props. With the exception of Ian McDiarmid and Ewan McGregor, the acting in this movie is also pathetic. Padme might as well have been played by a piece of toast. It would have been just as believable a performance. Though, to her credit she was given the worst collection of lines I can recall hearing coming from a single character.
On the bright side, at least I understand why Anakin turned to the dark side. His motivation is almost believable, even if Christiensen's performance is not. The last exchange between him and Obi-wan was almost as stirring as Luke's and Vader's from Empire... until it was ruined with a the trite line, "Noooooooooo!" added to the script. As if we didn't know that Anakin/Vader was in anguish already.
Perhaps it was unrealistic to hope for a movie that redeemed the previous two pieces of schlock, but it didn't seem unfair.
The world seems intent on destroying my childhood and adolescence. First Weezer, and now George Lucas. Soon I'm sure I'll discover that pizza is actually a species of funghi that is now endangered due to my over-consumption of its deliciousness. I'll only have myself to blame for that one.