Written by: Chefelf
Edited by: Jacques & Jen
After suffering through the beginning of the movie with a coughing, wheezing cyborg, there is clearly a void in my heart that does not get filled until Darth Vader is sealed into his cybernetic suit and takes his first breath. For it is written in the ancient Sith temple of Exar Kun, "Wherever an asthmatic cyborg shall fall... another shall rise!"
I can't believe this. I simply can't. When Vader finds out the truth (which is actually a terrible lie told to him by Palpatine, depending on your point of view, I suppose) that he had killed Padme in his anger, he goes into a fit of rage and screams, "Noooooooo!" as the camera pulls away.
When are filmmakers going to learn that you should never, ever, under any circumstances, have a scene where the main character shouts "Nooooooooooo!" as the camera pulls back? People just keep doing it! It is, by far, the second worst thing any filmmaker can do to a movie, after having a character smile and/or wink at the camera.
Some people like the prequels, some people don't. I've come to terms with that. But no one can defend this moment. Anyone who thinks this scene was well done is just plain wrong. There's no matter of opinion, it's empirically bad.
"My wife and I will take the girl"
After Padme's death, Senator Organa, Yoda and Obi-Wan all sit around and decide what to do with Anakin and Padme's two children. After thirty-five seconds of good, contemplative consideration and debate, they reach a simple decision. Bail Organa, who's been nothing more than some background scenery before Episode III, decides to open up to Yoda and Obi-Wan by announcing that he and his wife have "always talked of adopting a baby girl."
It's a rather awkward moment, and it is clear from Obi-Wan's expression that he cares just as much about Bail and his wife's baby plans as he does about Bail himself. The only thing that could have saved this scene would have been Yoda saying, "Your life's story, we need not. The baby girl, you will have. Leave it at that, you should. Boring, your talking has become." I think the longer Yoda's talking continued, the better the scene would have been. Perhaps another movie (Episode III ½) could be made where Yoda continues to talk about how little he cares about Bail Organa done in the style of My Dinner With Andre.
Alternately, they could have made a movie in the style of Three Men and a Baby, perhaps called Two Jedi Masters, a Wooden Senator and Two Babies. This could chronicle the hilarious baby hijinks as three inpet "fathers" with no baby experience try to raise twins.
Let's take a look at the possibilities of Princess Leia, movie by movie. Shall we?
The Phantom Menace
In the first movie of the prequel trilogy, we met Luke and Leia's mother, Queen Amidala. As her name would imply, she was a queen. Moments after being introduced to her character, it was apparent that Princess Leia would be a princess because her mother was a queen. So, that was settled!
Attack of the Clones
Wait a minute! She was an elected queen? She's not a queen anymore? But that's stupid... queens aren't elected! We thought we had it all figured out. Furthermore, how is Princess Leia a princess? Oh well, I'm sure they'll explain it in the next movie...
Revenge of the Sith
So, when a senator adopts a baby girl on Alderaan, he reserves the right to call her a princess? Perhaps a better name for Leia in the original trilogy would have been Daddy's littlePrincess Leia.
Leia's Award-Winning Memory
One of the most obvious questions that comes up regarding the prequels and how they relate to the original movies is Leia's memory of her mother. In Return of the Jedi, Leia tells Luke that she only remembers images of her mother, that she was "very beautiful, but sad." The major question is this: how does Leia remember her mother if she was only alive together with her mother for a total of one minute? The answer to this may be: "Well, Leia is talking about her adoptive mother, so there!" The answer to that is, of course, that Luke says, "Tell me about your mother, your real mother."
Another shoddy apologist answer would be: "Well, Leia was an exceptional baby and because of the Force she remembered her mother." This is an even worse explanation, seeing that Luke was there at the time and was actually born first. Being born even a mere twenty seconds earlier than Leia means that he spent a considerable percentage more of his life with his mother than Leia did.
At this point, we can only assume that Princess Leia is just really, really stupid and is actually referring to photographs of her mother that Bail Organa showed her while they cruised around in his Ford convertible.
Padme's Death (Fighting the Prophecy)
When are people going to learn to stop fighting prophecies? I, for one, am getting mighty sick of it. How many more times must it happen that someone tries to fight a prophecy and ends up causing the very thing they're trying to prevent? I'm not mystified by this anymore. Sophocles may have had something pretty fresh in 450 B.C. when he wrote Oedipus, but the whole idea of trying to stop the prophecy but actually causing it to happen is a bit played out at this point. Sure, it's a classic motif (most of Star Wars is), but it makes you wonder why the Jedi are perceived as wise at all. Do any of them spend any time reading any of that stuff in their giant library?
Yoda's Training & Jedi Apparitions
Yoda lets Obi-Wan know that he has training for Obi-Wan while he's in solitude on Tatooine. Yoda has heard word from Qui-Gon Jinn and Qui-Gon has apparently "learned the path to immortality." This is, of course, an attempt to explain why everyone's favorite Jedi can always reappear as a Jedi apparition after their death.
The script and the novel both went into greater detail about how Qui-Gon Jinn communicated to Yoda and explained that he had learned a neat little trick about how to become "one with the Force" after death. It is a little difficult to swallow since Qui-Gon learned the secret of immortality after he died. But, I guess the
Force midi-chlorians move in mysterious ways.
Another interesting question raised by this plot element is how Darth Vader seems to learn the same skill. Was he Force-eavesdropping on Obi-Wan while he communed with Qui-Gon on Tatooine? Did the Emperor teach him this trick? If so, why didn't the Emperor crash the party that the dead Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin had on Endor at the end of Return of the Jedi? Perhaps we will see the Emperor in the newer edition of Return of the Jedi when the six-film DVD set is released. I would fully expect a climax of 20 additional minutes where the three dead Jedi fight the dead Emperor using lightsabers. How will it turn out? We'll have to wait and see.
In order to tie things up neatly, Bail Organa quickly hands off the droids, Threepio and Artoo, to Captain Antilles aboard the Tantive IV. Then, to explain why Threepio remembers none of this, he instructs Antilles to have Threepio's memory erased. Jimmy Smits also clearly smirks for the camera as he walks offscreen. Whether he is laughing at the cute little reference to Episode IV, or simply at Lucas's convenient little excuse for why Threepio doesn't remember anything, we'll never know. They don't ask for Artoo's memory to be erased, but apparently Artoo's is erased later, or he just doesn't care to fill in Threepio on what had previously happened.
It can be assumed that, at some point in the next twenty years, Bail Organa ordered the memories of others erased, including (but not limited to) Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Boba Fett.
Padme's Funeral & The Necklace
Early in the movie, Padme is wearing a necklace that looks suspiciously like the taboo idol that Greg Brady finds when the Brady Bunch goes to Hawaii. Certainly the intention of the Japor Snippet necklace was to bring good fortune, but the effects seem to be much more in line with the necklace that brought nothing but bad luck to the Brady family.
Both items can be found in the "Taboo From Naboo Line" available from Unfortunate Jewelry, Ltd.
While I appreciate Moff Tarkin's inclusion in Revenge of the Sith, it would have been interesting if he had any sort of function in the government or military before the final seconds of the movie. He just stands there, quietly saying, "Hello there. Remember me? See that out there? Yup. You guessed it. That's the Death Star. We're starting work on it right now. We guess it will take around twenty years to complete, but who knows!"
As Vader approaches Tarkin and Palpatine, Tarkin sort of sidles away the way a friend may react if his friend's girlfriend approached and they needed to be alone. "I'll just be over here, readjusting my calibrations on the calibration console if you need me."
The Death Star
It's worth noting that the Death Star's construction seems to be done a little differently than the previous construction effort we've seen in Return of the Jedi. Indeed, they have created some sort of metal skeleton to start with, whereas the Empire decided to just kind of make it up as they went along while building the second Death Star. Furthermore, the skeleton is being created from the shiniest metal ever seen. Such a shame that they're going to cover up that nice chrome finish with some dull, gray metal!
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Giving Away Luke
Obi-Wan touches down outside the Lars residence with Luke and hands him off to Beru. Beru just takes him, smiles and then turns her back on Obi-Wan, not saying a word. Had Obi-Wan called in advance? Did they know he was coming? Did they know who the baby was? Owen doesn't even have the decency to meet Obi-Wan, prefering to stand thirty feet away looking at the sunset. To add insult to injury, Owen dismisses Obi-Wan as a "crazy old man" twenty years later. Thanks for nothing, asshole!
Reasons to Hate Star Wars
Episode I (78 Reasons to Hate!)
Episode II (64+ Reasons to Hate!)
Episode III (91 Reasons to Hate!)
The Nitpicker's Guide to Star Wars
Episode IV: Special Edition (12 Nitpicks!)
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Episode VI: Special Edition (17 Nitpicks!)