Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Star Wars: Episode III

I, the culturally deprived homeschooler, saw Star Wars: Episode III for the first time on Sunday. (Yeah, not much of a Christmas movie, but hey...) I was thoroughly terrified and disturbed. It was one of the scariest and most unsettling movies I have ever seen; scarier and more disturbing than LOTR, Harry Potter, any other Star Wars, Munich, or Crash; and almost as scary as Mystic River, though definitely not as disturbing.

It's just that Anakin’s path to redemption is so clouded; and in Episode III, you totally despair of any hope for him. The Star Wars saga as a whole is probably the most powerful story of redemption that I have ever seen in a movie, but in III, you despair, because even though you know how it turns out, there seems to be no hope. I mean (sorry for any spoilers, if the other 0.0034% of America that didn't see it is reading this), when he killed the kids, I was in shock. Jen can testify to this: when he was walking up to the Temple, I was like "what is he doing?" And then when he walks into the room with the kids I said, "no way. He's not...no way…" I have never seen anything like that, in that respect. And after that, it didn’t get any better. Only when Padme said (in a clich├ęd sort of way) “there is still good in him,” I remembered that he is redeemed and forgiven in the end.

I did like Episode III—a lot. It reminded me that Star Wars isn’t just some over-rated, computer-generated, sci-fi epic, but a story of love and redemption.

You could call it “The Prodigal Father.”

23 comments:

John said...

I must admit, I am surprised. :-)

It's so sad that most people never grasp the meaning behind the Star Wars story because it really is fantastic. The problem is that most of the public will never see past special effects and lightsaber duels. But you're right, it really is an incredible story of redemption (even if the prequels kind of mess up the political side of the story).

I really like how the vices that led to his fall were actually corrupted feelings of love which led to greed and jealousy (shadows of pride). He attempts to gain control over life and death to become "like God". In the process he betrays his own nature and becomes a twisted, evil, mechanical monster. But even then there is still a glimmer of hope. That hope, however, cannot be realized without something from the outside to change his soul and move it towards good: a sacrifice. It is not until Luke, his son, is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of his father that Anakin's paternal love rises out from the ashes of his seemingly destroyed soul and in turn performs a redeeming act of self sacrifice.

But anyway it's a great story and that's just taking it a little deeper than "ooh cool space ships and explosions!".

Did you see Munich, Sarah?

John said...

Nevermind, I just read your brother's review. I think I may go see that tomorrow with a friend of mine...

riskitall said...

Amen to all of what Sarah and John have said.
Ok, a question. (I have trouble grasping the full meaning of a movie sometimes.) So, when Darth Vader, in episodes 4, 5, and 6, is trying to find Luke and capture him, is that a good thing? Like, he wants to see him and he's curious and serching in his heart? Or is this a twisted and utterly confusing idea that I have come up with? Star Wars really is a beautiful story line if you can look past the technology/actors/sometimes bad acting/ and see the real truth behind it.

seacb said...

Darth Vader wants to see Luke because he wants to bring him to the dark side, right? But still, he (Vader) wants to see him. He knows that his son is good, and though he wants to corrupt that good, it doesn't matter in the end, because that good has overcome his own evil.

I should be careful so that I don't turn Star Wars into some sort of theology lesson, but when a movie becomes a 'classic,' it's not because of the explosions and duels, but because of the story and what it means to the audience.

Great comments, thanks!

John said...

Anything can be a theology lesson

seacb said...

I just don't want to elevate it above Jesus.

John said...

hehe, that would be a bad idea, yes. ;-)

JB said...

Says the Star Wars fan:

Technically, Vader doesn't know that Luke is his son until Episode 5, when the emperor tells him. (He can't know in Episode 4, because he's just seen Luke for the first time, remember "The Force is strong with this one.")

So I think that when Vader wants to capture Luke in Episode 5, he really does have an evil intention, because, besides the fact that Episode 5 is when the empire is at its strongest, Vader is following his emperor's will in the matter. It isn't until his own son refuses him and jumps off the bridge (remember the thoughtful pause Vader takes before he walks away?) that perhaps he realizes that the Dark side isn't all it's cracked up to be.

So I think episode 6 is when Vader actually might have a good intention behind trying to capture Luke.

Yeah, Star Wars should be called "The Prodigal Father". Otherwise, Episodes 1-3 are pretty much some of the worst movies ever made, except for the third act of Episode 3, which is very cool, but only because what happens in that third act is dictated by what has "already happened" in Episodes 4-6.

I should remake Star Wars someday.

John said...

Has anyone gone to see Kong yet?

Sporticus said...

Hey, remember Sarah, it's only a movie. I actually think the violence contributes to the corruption of Anakin, giving the audience a clear view into the struggles of his soul. He is more confused and twisted than he is pure evil.

As to the relationship of Vadar and Luke in 4, 5, and 6, Vadar, as John H. said, did not actually have a loving or paternal connection with Luke until after Luke said "Then my father is truly dead." in episode 6. Before that, even when Luke delivered himself to his father, Vadar either was not aware of Luke's existence, or he wanted Luke to join the dark side. Keep in mind that Vadar only revealed that he was Luke's father so as to attempt to bring Luke to him and draw him to the dark side.
Anyway, I think that I've said enough. haha
How was everyone's christmas?

Peace

John H. said...

Mine was great, Michael where have you been?

Sporticus said...

busy...haha..actually, I'm in KC visiting my family for Christmas and the new year. I just haven't had much time to post or comment.

Yeah, we had a great Christmas. The coolest thing I got was a Chicago Bears football hoodie. I got some goo goo doll cds and some other stuff.

I've seen the Godfather, Part I and part of Part II. Good movies. Brando does an awesome job in them.

Anyway, Happy New Year!!

John said...

I'm posting from the new laptop I got. :-)

Sporticus said...

cool! I'm glad you got it!

seacb said...

Hey Michael, I've noticed that whenever you comment, it's to disagree with me. ; ) Just kidding...it's great to hear from you! (congrats on the band name, by the way)

Christmas was great...I loved everything, especially seeing my relatives, because I probably won't see most of them until next Christmas (since I'll be in college and all).

Yeah, I really want a laptop, but I'll probably have to buy it myself...

Yeah, Brando rocks. Have any of you seen A Streetcar Named Desire? One of his first movies... I've never seen The Godfather all the way through, though I've read the book.

More pictures coming soon...

riskitall said...

Well, everyone is so smart about understanding movies! I like what my Star Wars nerd fan brother said about it though.
My Christmas was great, if anyone cares to know.

Have a happy new year everyone! Maybe in this new year, the world will change...

John said...

I was fixing the buy the thing for myself but my grandfather told me that he considered it something I should have before going off to school next year.

I remember seeing 'streetcar' and having to be convinced that it actually was Brando since he looks so young (I was accustomed to Vito Corleone hehe). Have you seen the old version of "Mutiny on the HMS Bounty" where he plays Mr. Christian? Very good...

Speaking of pictures Sarah, Christa was nice enough to mail me the cds of all the digital camera photos she got from the TAC admissions folks (since they accidentaly deleted the photos in her camera). Would like me to send you some of them? There are a whole bunch of great pictures here, like our section photo, and there are a bunch of pictures with you in them as well (all very good, don't worry). If you're interested let me know and I can email them to you or something...

Pax, John H.

seacb said...

Too bad I don't have a grandfather to do that for me...

The pictures would be awesome! Thanks!

Hey, I just got back from a regional CL School of Community in Atchison (KS) and I'll tell you all about it soon.

Happy New Year! (in 1hr 20min)

John said...

Just got back from Mass, happy New Year everybody!

Ok, I'll email you those pictures...

Pax, John H.

Deep Furrows said...

I just saw SW3 also!

The dualism of The Force fails to provide an adequate response to the contradictions of life.

Poor Anakin! He had to choose between passionless stoicism and the dictatorship of desires (a dictatorship that the Sith cultivated). What a comfort the beatitudes might have been to young Anakin: 'blessed are those who mourn, they shall be comforted"; etc.

Evil has its own sacrifices and ascetisms as Anakin discovered when he slaughtered the younglings. In turning evil, Anakin lost his true self to become Darth Vader.

seacb said...

Good to hear from you, Fred, as it was great to meet you on Saturday!

Thanks for the comment.

Brownthing said...

Ahh, TAC is gonna love you two...

John said...

who?