Thursday, May 19, 2005

25 Hours Straight

My friend Monty and I got our hands on 2 tickets for this morning's 12:01 am showing of the much awaited Star Wars Episode III. This meant that my day, that started at 4:00 am May 18th, didn't end until 5:00 am of the 19th. Twenty-five straight hours of being awake (including going to work, exercising, sailing, all the normal things I would do on Wednesday) all for this movie release.

The film, taken for what is was: one-sixth of a larger story, was fantastic. It featured epic battles, tense duels, the fear and pain of loss, and one gaping hole in continuity.

The costumes, and I'm really talking about gowns here because that's a point that Star Wars has famously done well, were wonderful. While the character of Padmé was not as prominent in this film, her maternity gowns were sweeping and feminine, flowing and delicate. She did have a very impractical nightgown (it featured off the shoulder strands of pearls as sleeves, not good for sleeping on) and wore quite a lot of dark colors, no doubt to try to hide her pregnancy.

The music, with the exception of the traditional opening and battle themes, left something to be desired for me. John Williams' usually stirring background strings seemed out of place through most of the non-action scenes.

While I'm not going to go into details scene by scene, I will elaborate on two of the pre-release rumors. *SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW!*

It was said that we would learn the event that caused Chewbacca's Life Debt to Han Solo. If that was in the film, I missed it. Chewbacca and the Wookies were briefly featured, but it seems that Han Solo is the only character of the original trilogy who gets not even a cameo in any of the prequels. There's still hope for the added scenes on the DVD.

For those of you who heard that Padmé dies, you heard right. This brings me back to the aforementioned gap in continuity. The Senator dies less than a minute after her twins are born (Luke is older by about 20 seconds). In ROTJ, Luke is asking Leia about her 'real mother.' If Leia, being seconds old, remembers her mother as "very beautiful, kind, but sad," why is it that Luke, who had more exposure to his mother, "has no memory" of her? It just isn't the same if Leia is remembering Bail Organa's wife.

All in all, it was wonderful. I think I liked it better than the other two prequel films (which is saying something, I liked Episode I a lot and Episode II barely). It did end rather quickly, as if Lucas thought 2 and a half hours was long enough for a film (though we all know it's not too much to expect an audience to sit through 3+ hours of movie: consider the Peter Jackson syndrome). One more thing; the power of the characters reflecting on their relationships with each other was lacking. I think this is largely due to the lack of chemistry in Episode II when these relationships were building, but that's another film.

Go see it, and then join me for the 6 movie marathon!