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Revenge of the Sith - Ten Years Later


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Hi. This thread doesn't have as much to do with the movie itself as it does the actual hype that surrounded it ten years ago, especially here on Nightly. Tonight, at the stroke of 12:01, I plan on watching the film on Blu-Ray just as I did on the big screen ten years ago at that exact time (minus the previews, obviously).

 

I will now share another Facebook blog with you. Sorry in advance for the formatting; I can't seem to fix it:

 

 

Tomorrow celebrates the ten-year anniversary of the premier of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. And today, the 18th, was a memorable day as I prepared to attend the midnight showing.

I was not around for any of the original Trilogy premiers (though I was technically alive, but not yet born, when my parents went to see Return of the Jedi in 1983). I did not get to go to the midnight premier of Episode I: The Phantom Menace as I was only fifteen years old and my parents did not want to stay out that late, neither was I allowed to go with any friends (my parents weren't "cool" like that). For Episode II: Attack of the Clones in 2002, I was old enough (eighteen) but, for reasons I can't remember, was still unable to attend the midnight premier (the fact that I didn't get my driver's license until I was nineteen probably had a lot to do with it).

Finally, in 2005, I bought my early ticket and was committed to going. It was the first--and, so far, only--midnight premier I had been to. I remember the day well: I had prepared for this day by cramming in as much of the Expanded Universe material leading up to the movie as I could, and had only finished the lead-in novel, Labyrinth of Evil, a few days before. I didn't have money for a costume, so I threw on my movie shirt and used one of my mother's makeup pencils to paint Anakin's scar over my right eye. It was the most minimal, low-budget costume ever, but hey, it was better than nothing. I think that scar was smeared by the end of the night.

I was going to go up around noon and wait in line all day, but my parents shamed me into going at 10:00 PM. I went completely by myself because I have no friends who share in my geekdom, although I did meet some rather cool people there who I sat in line with and talked to a bunch. They were a bit younger than me, but still cool. I remember they had a portable DVD player and were watching the other prequels while they waited. We sat together in the theater and watched the movie together, which was a lot of fun.

The theater experience was unlike anything before or since. It was almost like being at a sporting event at a stadium. The staff was peddling nachos, popcorn and drinks the same way they do at the games, which is not normal protocol at a movie theater.

The interior was a sea of glowing toy lightsabers. Every time somebody entered the theater in costume, we all cheered. The first was a guy in a high-quality Rebel pilot jumpsuit that looked straight out of The Empire Strikes Back. "It's a Rebel!" someone yelled. Everyone applauded and cheered as he went to his seat. The next were two little kids dressed as Jango and Boba Fett. Finally, the crowd went nuts as someone dressed as Darth Vader entered, even though the costume was rather cheap (the helmet was a KFC bucket with Vader's face painted on the front).

The movie itself was epic. We cheered at the 20th Century Fox fanfare and then maintained a brief, suspenseful silence as as that iconic sentence in green letters, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . ." appeared onscreen. Finally, we exploded in cheers as the Star Wars logo appeared, accompanied by John Williams' iconic score, and the yellow text began to scroll. We sat in silence for most of the film, intolerant of the slightest peep, though we did applaud at key points, like when Yoda Force-pushed Darth Sidious across the room. The crowd went nuts as the familiar mask and helmet were lowered onto the charred face of an immolated Darth Vader, and again as he took his first mechanical breath.

These scene outside theater after the movie was something to remember as well. As my new friends and I chatted, a gentleman from the Beaver County Times approached us and asked our opinions about the film. I gave him my thoughts, which made it into the paper (which I still have around here somewhere). We were literally the last ones to leave, our two cars being the only ones left in the lot (which I like to think proves that we were the biggest fans there that night). One of the theater workers had to pop outside and ask us to leave.

It was an experience of a lifetime. The Star Wars saga was now complete. As far as anyone knew at the time, and as was repeatedly confirmed by George Lucas, there would be no more movies. It was a bittersweet moment.

And now, of course, Lucas Film, newly acquired by the Walt Disney company, is bringing us the first of a new trilogy this Christmas: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. I have mixed feelings. As I'm sure any of you who read my posts know, I am not a fan of Disney's new Star Wars canon. As far as I'm concerned, we already know what happens after Return of the Jedi--Luke marries the beautiful Mara Jade, creates a new Jedi Academy on Yavin IV, has a son named Ben, helps defend the galaxy against an extragalactic invasion, is exiled and creates an uneasy alliance with a lost Sith tribe.

I'd be lying, however, if I said I was not the least bit excited.The truth be told, I am quite excited about new Star Wars movie experiences, even though I do not wish to delve into this new universe any more than that. So we'll see how it goes.

Happy Revenge of the Sith Day!

 

 

 

Here are the trailers and TV spots for nostalgia's sake:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/K0BWpIFZGDc

 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/a3Cdj3GpobM

 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Htqd-66SkL4

 

[edit: I changed the above embedded coding to links as embedding seems to be disabled here at Nightly. Why is this so?]

 

 

Here are a few TV spots from back in the day. I decided not to embed these:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K9UH4FdQaA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtS7m10ps1E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JpK1dKVMk8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uccc1KPJ9ZM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7cK6bh6bDY

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4r61i_star-wars-burger-king-darth-vader_news

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4r628_star-wars-vader-and-heidi-klum-targ_news

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I don't need that to feel old. I saw Ep IV in the theaters when it just said 'Star Wars' on the scroll and not Episode IV: A New Hope

This may only blow the mind of those of us that are old enough to have grown up with the OT... but the time between Return of the Jedi and Phantom Menace is equal to the time between The Phantom Menac

I can sympathize with Torch's position, and can even say that I feel that way myself in part. I think The Phantom Menace bore the Star Wars spirit most among the prequels, which eroded as they went on

This may only blow the mind of those of us that are old enough to have grown up with the OT... but the time between Return of the Jedi and Phantom Menace is equal to the time between The Phantom Menace to Force Awakens.

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It's funny you should mention that, because as of a few days ago (Tuesday or Wednesday of last week, I believe), the premier of The Phantom Menace in 1999 became closer to the premier of Return of the Jedi in 1983 than it is to the current date.

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I don't need that to feel old. I saw Ep IV in the theaters when it just said 'Star Wars' on the scroll and not Episode IV: A New Hope

I was 4 years old then. I didn't actually remember the story and what happened as much as I remembered the impression it had on me. The cold, hard feel of everything Imperial.

 

This thread is indeed making me feel old, mind you.

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I went to go see RotS with a group of friends after our last day of school (or maybe it was just one of the last days, it was definitely Friday the 20th though) my freshman year of high school. We had a half-day with finals in the morning and I think we all went to lunch then to the theatre.

 

I'm not 100% sure that was my first viewing but I don't remember the specifics of one before that if there was one.

 

I do kind of question my recollection though because no one would have been old enough to drive and I don't remember how we all got to and from without rides, since it would have been during the day/afternoon.

 

I thought the movie was pretty good. I don't remember what else I would have thought. I'll see if I can find a reaction thread I happened to post in.

 

The only really vivid memory of my reaction that I have was seeing the crawl. I remember getting goosebumps thinking about how that's the "last first time" I'd ever see that. I'm glad I was wrong!

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For interested parties, here is the "Official "I saw RotS"" thread. It is on page 83 of the SW forum. If you click on the number of replies it provides a list of people who posted in the thread (and how many times). Happy searching.

 

Here's my initial reaction

 

I saw the movie for the second time today and I loved it. I can not say that I fully understand what people dont understand about Anakins turn. Some of the things that got me were...

- Seeing "A long time ago... " and "STAR WARS" pop up on the screen, just because that is possibly the last time I will get to experience it for the first time if you know what I mean
- Also the music during Order 66 was awesome that sequence was one of the more griping moments of the film
- The dialogue during THE duel was just great, I liked how even though they were fighting to kill each other they still paused and were like "So, you still dont understand my point of view"

My only (minor) complaint was the "humor" of the droids. It just didnt seem to fit with the rest of the movie, it was funny but not necessary a lot like how Gimli was used for comic relief in Two Towers.

- Okay, so I had seen it twice by Saturday evening. That holds with my first viewing being with friends after school. Good memory. I don't remember seeing it a second time so soon though. Probably with my dad. I'll bet that's it.

- Hey! I remembered that bit about seeing the crawl really well! Good job, me!

- Okay Order 66 holds up pretty well. 14 year old Garrison has his shit together seems like.

- Okay maybe not. Did I really describe the dialogue at any point during the prequels as "just great?" It's honestly been years since I've seen RotS I think so I can't really remember the dialogue. I imagine it is far from great however.

- Yes, the droid humor was stupid. Always has been, always will be.

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I don't need that to feel old. I saw Ep IV in the theaters when it just said 'Star Wars' on the scroll and not Episode IV: A New Hope

I was 4 years old then. I didn't actually remember the story and what happened as much as I remembered the impression it had on me. The cold, hard feel of everything Imperial.

 

This thread is indeed making me feel old, mind you.

 

I was around 5. I remember being convinced Darth Vader was going to pop out of the trash can behind me and grab me. Scared to death. I think I watched the trash can more than I did the movie.

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I watched ROTS very recently and when the bluray set first came out. It has aged quite badly. I think that TPM has actually fared the best out of the PT even with Jar Jar and Jake Lloyd,

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It has aged quite badly. I think that TPM has actually fared the best out of the PT even with Jar Jar and Jake Lloyd,

With the exception of a few truly atrocious (half-finished?) effects in TPM, I couldn't agree more, though I actually liked both AotC and RotS better on first viewing (they just didn't hold up at all on repeat viewings, while TPM stayed... TPM).

 

Here's my initial impression, I have bolded the parts that still really stick in my craw:

 

I have to admit that I'm a little bit let down. I had pretty low expectations for TPM and AotC, so I was happy when the movies surpassed the low bar I had set for them. In this case, though, I came in hoping for something that at least came close to the magic of ANH and ESB, but it fell pretty far short.

 

That's not to say RotS isn't easily the best of the prequels -- it is -- but it is still lacking.

 

I thought it was telling that the best, most emotionally powerful scene that took place between Anakin and Padme occurred with no dialogue, while they were in separate rooms...

 

As far as Padme goes, I'm sorry, but I don't care how hot she is: she's a ****ty politician and little more than a baby incubator in this movie. She came off as so incredibly weak and naive to me that I lost pretty much all sympathy for her. The scene where she is brushing her own hair with an expression as insipid and soulless as a barbie doll on her face says it all. I wish her character had been written differently... and I wish Portman wasn't playing her.

 

With Anakin, it's even rougher. I wanted to feel more sympathy for him, but I just couldn't. He's either incredibly stupid or weak-willed to be able to so quickly turn on his friends, kill the younglings, strangle the wife, etc... it's hard to feel bad for somebody who could do what Anakin did. In Episodes IV-VI, it is easier, because he acts out so often against ensign-redshirt types (and so many of them are Imperial, you can't help but think they probably deserved it). By the time he screamed "NOOOOOOOO!", I felt that he had made his own suit, and he better sleep in it.

 

Yes, I realize Sidious has been working on him for years, but I don't think the movie portrayed well enough how deep the hooks were in Anakin.

 

Now -- what sucks about this to me is that aside from Ani and Padme, I ****ing LOVED this movie. I don't know how it is possible to make something so beautiful -- almost perfect at times -- yet place two dimbulbs in the middle as the centerpiece. Vexing, this is.

 

I loved just about every minute of Sidious, Obi, Yoda, etc... and the secondary goodies and baddies, like Dooku, Grevious, R2, and 3PO were wonderful, also.

 

The actions sequences were amazing, too. I feel like I have an appreciate of only about 20% of what was going on, because of how busy everything was. I can't wait to see this movie again to catch more of that.

 

I also can't help but give major props to the CGI, which I was worried about. Sure, you can still tell it is there most of the time, and ocassionally, it even sticks out like a sore thumb, but compared with Episode I and II, the CGI here is almost seamless. I have a huge amount of respect for the effects department!

 

All in all, I'd have to give this movie a B+. It's easily the best of the prequels, and will probably end up being my third favorite SW movie. Except for THE MAIN CHARACTER'S TURN AND HIS WIFE, this was almost perfect as far as I'm concerned.

 

It may seem weird that the only SW movie I've ever been disappointed over is ranked in the top half of the flicks, but that is only due to the hopes I had for it. Twice the pride, double the fall...

I think it is interesting I said I could only catch 20% of the action, because when I saw it again, the fact that there was often so much "stuff" going on made the action feel almost like white noise, and actually ended up sapping the excitement for me. And the CGI (which was much improved) was definitely not seamless after the 2nd or 3rd viewing.

 

Overall, still sorely disappointed in how Padme was written and how Anakin's turn was handled, and love Ian McDiarmid. Action sequences and CGI are less of an issue, 'cause I don't expect movies that avoid models and practical effects to look amazing a decade later.

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Me? I've already answered that question. :p

 

I'm gonna have a hard time with Luke not being married or having kids. But I can learn to deal with it if the movie's good. Luke turning to the dark side is something I wouldn't be able to handle no matter what.

 

 

(Or a Boba Fett anthology film)

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I saw it when I found a DVD of it at a sibling's flat when I went to babysit his kids; I had lost interest in the PT by then, and watching it didn't change my mind (I thought Palpy's full-on Sith makeup was hilarious; he looked like a testicle)

 

Going on about whether the effects are still good or not is irrelevant when a movie fails in so many basic areas; the most damning bit of the Plinkett review of RoTS is when it uses the Vader-in-his-meditation-chamber scene from TESB to show how GL just couldn't be bothered to film non-action scenes that were interesting to look at

 

I don't have massively high hopes for VII (I thought both of the Trek reboot movies were "good enough" instead of amazing), but it's definitely not going to be boring

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That damn Palpatine makeup. What possessed who to think that looked remotely good. It may be my single biggest cringe moment every time I see the movie. The crappy dialogue and story parts are easy to expect. Palpatine's makeup shocks me every time.

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I really created this thread, not for the purposes of discussing the movie's strengths and weaknesses, but for sharing memories surrounding that experience ten years ago. But if that's the direction the thread is going in now, that's fine. I'll join in.

 

I hated Sidious' makeup as well. It was almost as bad as the Yoda puppet from The Phantom Menace.

Speaking of Yoda, I have to admit that the CGI Yoda has grown on me. I would rather it were done with practical effects, but now I can't watch The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi without feeling that even the original Yoda puppet looks a bit goofy, particularly in the eyes. Yet, the CGI Yoda fails to come off as believable many times, particularly in the scene with Anakin in his darkened quarters. If I had it my way, I would have a Yoda puppet with some CGI animations done on the face to help with realism and better help the puppet emote.

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Yeah, that would have been the way to go-- best effect for the best affect. Puppets with CG enhancements for close ups, cgi models for stunts and long shots.

 

ROTS for me was a mixed bag. I had felt so burned by QOTC and TPM I was scared to go see it. All the leaked photos and concept art seemed really OT and that excited me, but I just knew it was going to be bad.

 

I actually didn't see it in theaters because I was so disenchanted. One of the few times in my life I resorted to bootlegs, Rock sent me a burned DVD. It was fine and good too considering that since my kid was only a month or so old at the time there was no way we were making it out.

 

I remember the opening battle being awesome.I was genuinely excited-- that remains one of the coolest space battles ever. And then the "banter" started and it just started to feel forced. Grevious came on screen and while conceptually he was cool,, I saw it coming a mile away that Obi_Wan would have a pointless task yet again. Lucas clearly had no idea what to do with Obi-Wan in the entire PT aside from his final duel with Anakin.

 

ROTS remained a mixed bag for me. For me, it was the best of the PT and delivered on a lot of things the OT promised, which I had been waiting for. But at the end of the day the suck outweighed the not-suck and to this day I've only seen it a few times, compared say to the ESB which I've seen at least 60 times.

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