Revenge of the Prequels

Well, this is more like it. It’s far from perfect, but Revenge of the Sith is far and away the best of the three prequels.

And that is largely because it has a story that mostly makes sense, and isn’t too confusing. Sure, there are still plot holes, and flaws in the motivation; but overall it holds together pretty well.

Still not as well as any of the original trilogy, of course.

The biggest point that doesn’t work for me is that we don’t see why Anakin has any connection with Palpatine. He goes over to the latter far too easily. I don’t so much mean his falling to the Dark Side; that was on the cards at least since he murdered the Sandpeople in Clones. I mean the fact that Palpatine was suddenly asking him to spy on the Jedi Council, while the Council were equally-suddenly talking about his closeness to Palpatine. We had seen none of this.

I’ve been reading a lot about all this lately, and I gather that much is made clearer in the ancillary material: novels, comics, the Clone Wars series that was made around the same time. But even if that is so, it means the movies fail. A movie has to be able to stand on its own. You can’t expect the viewer to have read around the subject or watched spinoff series. You can just barely rely on them having seen the immediately-prior films.

Compare and contrast the Marvel Cinematic Universe, for example. You can watch The Avengers without having seen any of the prior films. Or enjoy Agents of SHIELD without having seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier, for example. If you have seen the related material then it enhances the whole. But any element can stand without the others.

The love story between Anakin and PadmΓ© remains unconvincing, and PadmΓ©’s death… well, I had gained the impression that she had died in childbirth, which seemed implausible in such a technologically-advanced society. In fact she died of a broken heart, or just gave up the ghost, or something. Which would be more plausible (if still not very) had she not just given birth. It seems more likely that a new mother would tend to fight for life to protect her babies. She died because the plot needed her to, in the end. If, as a creator, you have to do that kind of thing, you should at least find a more convincing way to do it.

Anyway, now I’ve seen all of the Star Wars movies, and I’m ready for The Force Awakens. Which is good, because I’ll be seeing it in about 30 hours.

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