Star Wars Review Teaser

This review will serve as the teaser to what will follow. Reviews of each Star Wars film, from 1977’s Star Wars to ’83’s Jedi, then 1999’s Phantom Menace to 05’s Revenge. For now, here are a few words on the saga and the creator…

Here is the story of how a once good man becomes lost. It’s no great mystery how one becomes lost. He gets older, he understands more each year of his life about mortality, he sees the world getting smaller and begins to see the people around him start to die.

 

The success of Star Wars can be found in the humanity of the story. The first film, with its galactic anarchy was still, at heart, about a boy, who takes his first step into a larger world. You feel every large battle through the heart of Luke Skywalker. You get every laugh from C-3PO and R2-D2. You learn everything you need to learn from the wise Obi-Wan Kenobi. And Han Solo lends a real world weight to a film of otherwise fantastical proportions.

 

George Lucas was a self proclaimed student of Joseph Campbell. The hero’s journey is the driving force behind the archetypes that fill the Star Wars population. That is until the Phantom Menace, a vile and lazy hashing of the character’s back stories. This film’s plot exists solely for introducing characters, which is what first acts are for, but this film is lost. It’s lost in the desire to set up politics and practical reasons for characters to meet only to, later, chalk it up to destiny anyway. There is no hero’s journey here, there is just a couple of Jedi traveling through the galaxy and pickin’ up some kid. This kid does not step into the larger world, he is taken along for the ride.

 

Attack of the Clones was more action and romance for the sake of action and romance. Anakin and Padme fall in love in this movie because that’s what’s supposed to happen. What are lost are the details. Anakin’s love for this woman is the reason for his eventual turn to the dark side. He’s fallen in love and become attached even though he’s been forbidden. His greater sense of mortality and the death of his mother makes him fear for Padme’s life and makes his quest for the power to save her becomes more and more his obsession.

 

There are all the makings of a great story here, but what comes across on the screen, though entertaining and satisfying, are images of a director and writer lost.

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~ by fumikaelson on June 23, 2005.

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