Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Circle Is Now Complete!

Some of us were recounting the most memorable movie-going experiences of our lives last night as we sat in the theatre, waiting. A few hours later Revenge of the Sith was added to that list.

The cast and creator of the now complete Star Wars Saga: (L to R) Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, George Lucas, Natalie Portman, Yoda, Darth Vader, R2-D2, C-3PO, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits, Jar Jar Binks, Christopher Lee, Liam Neeson, Pernilla August, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, General Grievous, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Chewbacca, Mark Hamill

This isn't a real review of the film. Most of you have probably already decided whether you'll be seeing this film or not. I'm not here to convince or dissuade (though, I'd love for everyone to see the film and have the experience I did). For me to write a completely objective review of Revenge of the Sith would almost be impossible. The Star Wars Saga has had such an important role in my life: in friendships, with my brothers, in shaping my love of filmmaking, inspiring my imagination. It's really hard to explain to people how much it has meant to me as a story. It is one of the defining myths of my life. To see it come full circle, and now to realize that it is finished is at once both undeniably exciting, and at the same time full of a kind of sadness as well. This will be the last Star Wars film, and while their will always be more books, comics, video games and even a rumoured television show, it is the films that really define the series and for me this is the fulfillment of the saga.

As far as a film, Sith doesn't dissapoint. And I've already seen it twice on this, the opening day. It's far and away the most action packed of the Star Wars films, drawing you into the action right off the start. We get to see Anakin and Obi Wan at their prime, acting as a team. We see why Anakin is "the best starpilot in the galaxy" and how Anakin really was to Obi Wan "a good friend." Sith is also easily the darkest of the six films. There is some undeniably dark imagery in the film. Even though we know Anakin's fate, as a fan who allowed myself to be drawn into the film, I dreaded his transformation, willing him to stay the path of the light rather than face the inevitable devastation to come.

In the end, the legacy of Sith, besides the obvious emotional importance as the last of the films, is that it will forever alter how we view the original trilogy. When we listen to Obi Wan recounting the tale of Anakin Skywalker to Anakin's son, we know what he's talking about. When we see the back of Vader's scarred head in Empire, we know how it came about. There is more poignancy to certain scenes, and more weight to the redemption story in the end.

In the end, the experience of Sith on opening night was one of highs and lows. I'm not ashamed to say that a few tears were shed at moments, as Anakin faces his terrible destiny. I trembled with excitement knowing I would see the lightsaber battle between best friends that I had waited my entire life to see. If a film can move me like that, that's a mighty feat indeed. Star Wars has been the most meaningful story to me in my life, and the circle is now complete.


At 2:07 a.m., Blogger Dean Ziegler said...

(I may spoil things for people here).
I can totally relate Anders. Star Wars has become an integral part of my upbringing. As sad as it is, there is no movie that consistently makes me weepy like Return of the Jedi. For me, Im so emotionally evolved with everything from that series.
I really enjoyed the new one, but inevitalby it just made me think of the originals. As I was watching the new movie I kept thinking of old lines from the first series, like Obi-wan's "he's more machine now than man". I remember sitting in my basement as a 10 year old reading about Anakin Skywalker being trown into a lava pit. I've already lived through that scene a million times in my head. So for me, watching the new movies is as much about nostogia as a regular movie watching experience.

At 5:30 p.m., Blogger cait said...

I know! When Darth Vader goes, "it is too late for me, son" in Jedi I always get a bit choked up--I really liked the new one (more than I thought I would) because it captured what made the old ones great (the silliness, the larger themes) but was also a really modern film in that it had very good CGI--Yoda floored me with how mobile he was (though I do have a lot of affection for the old muppet . . . )


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