Published at: May 11, 2005, 8:22 p.m. CST by staff
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
I come to praise STAR WARS... not to bury it.
I can’t believe I need to restate my history as a STAR WARS fan. I’ve written about it extensively here on the site over the years, yet for some reason, some people still want to categorize me as a “Lucas basher.” Hardly. George Lucas has always been, and will always be, one of the most profound influences on my creative identity, and I wouldn’t spend the energy writing about this franchise if it wasn’t close to my heart. I mean, the first contact I ever had with Harry online had to do with the SPECIAL EDITIONS. I still remember the raw emotion of seeing the first trailer for THE PHANTOM MENACE onscreen at the Village in Westwood. I still feel the sting of having been Banned From The Ranch. I’ve had complicated reactions to the prequel trilogy so far. I stand by my original review of EPISODE I, which was decidedly mixed. I also find that I’m pretty much feeling exactly the same about EPISODE II, which I enjoy. I don’t think it’s as good as any of the films from the original trilogy, but I think it’s pretty darn good. I will say that having now seen EPISODE III, I have no choice but to view the first two chapters of the trilogy in a new light. But then, isn’t that the point? We’ve finally gotten the final act in this six hour story, and it ties everything that comes before and that follows into one coherent piece in a way that marks Lucas as a genuine visionary. I understand completely that not everyone is going to like what he’s done in this film, but I think it works better than I could have even hoped, much less expected.
And, no, that doesn’t mean that I’m a “Lucas apologist,” either. As you’ll see after this film hits theaters, fans of this series don’t have a goddamn thing to apologize to anyone for.
There are three different ways I could review this: with the clinical detachment of a film viewer with no allegiance to the franchise, as a fan but without spoilers, and as a fan and with spoilers, and if I’m going to be completely honest, I have to break it down this way, because my reaction to the film is that complicated. Bear with me, and if you want, you can skip directly to the version of the review you want to read, or read all three in a row to get my full reaction, whatever works best for you: