2005-05-30

SW3 Review

Well, joy. My SW3 review has been lost thanks to this malfunctioning computer. I'm seriously tempted to go back to paper and pencil.

In any case, as I said before my text was so rudely deleted, I'll go back and fold the tech comments into the Lesser Canon pages. But for some reason the only HTML editor that will work on this machine right now is Notepad. Call me lazy, but I have no desire to edit pages in Notepad anymore.

In any case, for the most part my review was positive, but there were some bothersome points. Here's the highlight reel:

1. The CGI was generally brilliant, though I did notice a few quirky spots. Windu boarding the gunship to go arrest Palpatine, for instance.

2. The music was fantastic.

3. Natalie Portman is damned hot. She's never looked better than she did in the scene before Anakin's dream. I could forgive the poor dialog just for the raw eye candy.

4. Lucas had confessed previously that the Jabba scenes from RoTJ were largely filler material. Here, we get the same thing again . . . what was the point of all that Kashyyk stuff? Why did we have to lose Mon Mothma and the start of the rebellion for that? Why cut Qui-Gon's lines for that? The whole thing was just pointless, and was kept in spite of things that would've been more meaningful.

4a. Grievous was similar, though not quite so bad . . . he at least served as post-Dooku badguy, not to mention proto-Vader (though he could've been designed better for such a role).

5. The original review was based on two main points. This is one:

At no point in the prequels have we seen intentional single-combat by the Jedi, and indeed they've usually gone out of their way to gang up on the Sith. They abandoned Padme who they were supposed to protect in Ep1, left her laying on the desert in Ep2, tag-teamed Dooku for the rematch in Ep3 while the guy they were rescuing was left imprisoned, sent four Jedi after a Sith Lord in Ep3, and so on. Yoda even left the battlefield to challenge Dooku after the latter wiped out two other Jedi in Ep2, and Yoda didn't even offer him a breather.

So why is it that with only two Jedi left and the fate of the galaxy in the balance, Yoda and Obi-Wan decide to split up? Why don't they both go after the big cheese and then take out the apprentice at your leisure? Obviously the notion of honorable single combat is lost on them . . . so why?

It's a huge logic hole in the film series.

6. I've lost all respect for Yoda. Oh, he was smooth against the clones at the entrance to the Jedi temple, but he ran from Palpatine like a scared little girl, even down to his cracking voice as he tells Bail to hurry.

At least in the book Stover implied that it was a strategic withdrawal, and based in part on Palpatine cheating by bringing in swarms of clones. That would've helped. But in the film, all we get is The Laughing Emperor who gets surprised every five seconds by Yoda, but who Yoda also runs from at the first opportunity. Then he complains about having failed, and says he must go into exile.

Well, that was his choice. Maybe he should've stuck around and tried to kill the Emperor instead of farting around spinning things in mid-air. It might've been different if Yoda had been seriously (or even visibly) wounded, but even if he was simply Force-exhausted that doesn't really excuse his bolting.

The fate of the galaxy depended on the two Jedi vs. Sith battles. For Yoda to leave the galaxy to the Sith? . . . sad.

7. Stover tries to paint Obi-Wan's departure in a similar vein, saying that Obi-Wan left Anakin because he saw the Emperor arriving. However, the film makes it clear that the Emperor did not arrive until much later . . . the sun angle changes entirely, for instance.

Obi-Wan simply left Anakin to die. I'm cool with that.

8. Here's the second major point from the original writing of this:

There's a big characterization problem in the film. While I understand Anakin being fixated on Padme . . . who wouldn't be? . . . nowhere in the canon do we get any explanation for his leap from there to the Jedi being evil and Palpatine being trustworthy. Oh, sure, he was troubled by them ordering him to watch Palpatine. Well, Palpatine did then reveal himself to be a Sith Lord, didn't he? He had been deceiving Anakin for the past 13 years, hadn't he? He had just been playing helpless in Force-releasable restraints while Anakin killed his apprentice, hadn't he? He does mislead Anakin into believing he already knows how to save people from death, doesn't he?

I can understand Anakin not being able to do the full measure of the math, here, and not realizing the full extent of how he and the galaxy had been played by Palpatine. But as far as can be found in the canon, Anakin doesn't even try. He just goes Sith, starts killing kids, and spouts "power of the Dark Side" nonsense, apparently as an excuse for his Padme fixation.

9. Speaking of nonsense, what in the hell was Obi-Wan yapping about before the fight? "Only a Sith deals in absolutes"? . . . The hell?

In the novel, Stover expands on this with Obi-Wan saying truth isn't black and white. He then contradicts himself by saying Padme needs medical attention. Sorry, bub, that's a statement based on fact . . . you can't have it both ways.

Anakin might not have had a basis for saying the Jedi are evil, but they certainly aren't the exact opposite of evil, either. A self-appointed theocratic oligarchy that espouses ideals of detached selflessness and rejects objective truth in favor of subjective relativism does not have the moral high ground.

Worse yet, Mr. Point-of-View who is willing to lie to Luke about his father gets on to that same father when he says the Jedi are evil from his point of view. "Well, then, you are lost!" he cries. Lost? Lost from what? Surely Obi-Wan isn't trying to say that Anakin is lost from the truth? Truth is an absolute. And Obi-Wan can't even call Anakin lost from the Jedi point-of-view, because if all is non-absolute point-of-view then what the hell makes Obi-Wan's any better than Anakin's?

And, of course, there is Obi-Wan's claim that Palpatine is evil. Evil? Evil as a concept that cannot exist in an anti-absolute, anti-objectivist mindset, where everything is the same shade of gray. To call someone evil is awfully black-and-white for a subjectivist.

Even Palpatine uses subjectivism when trying to cloud Anakin's mind. "Good is a point of view", he said.

Well, good to see the Jedi and Sith in agreement.

There is no "true" or "false" in such a worldview . . . there is only "neither". In the real world, however, some things are true, some are false, and some things can be both. There is black and there is white . . . there are also many, many shades of gray.

To deny the existence of either the extremes or the middle is foolish.

19 comments:

  1. Well, you gave Nemesis a B+

    Based on this, I am interested to see what you give RotS

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  2. A- . . . but I'm generous in both cases. As much as I didn't like the Kashyyk meanderings, I loathed the whole whatever-planet-where-they-found-B4 (Kolarus III?) thing.

    Funny that the two suffered the same problem. And RoTS had the Generations crash of the front half of the ship (with a 'droid on the bridge) and an Insurrection! ;)

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  3. I see what you mean.

    Let's just hope that, whenever the next Trek movie is released, Captains Berman and Braga aren't on the bridge. Especially after what they did to These Are the Voyages...

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  4. Now why did you have to go and mention that? :)

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  5. Haha, sorry...

    To be honest, I reckon you should review all the movies for both franchises and put the utter bullsh*t that Wong calls a review on his site to shame...

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  6. Yeah I totally agree with griddles. Wong is an ass and any review you'll do will be a lot better than his.

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  7. I've been getting some rather lame and derogatory comments about this blog from the Wong supporters at my College. Unfortunately, they're the kind who waste their time in front of Wong's Nemesis "review" and laugh their shallow minds out.

    Please, G2k, show these fools what a REAL movie review is from a Vs and viewer's perspective!

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  8. I don't find Wong's reviews educational, or the slightest bit true, but they are good for a laugh, somthing this debate dosent see very often....

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  9. While there is a bit of lowbrow humour in his work, you can HARDLY call that article a review.

    A review is somethingthat analyses a movie based on plot, acting, the theme etc. not a bunch of pics pasted onto a page with Wong's good-for-nothing opinion beneath them!

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  10. No need to get Viscious! But one of the defintions for review is "To examine with an eye to criticism or correction", and that is exactly what he did, just with some humor, again somthing we dont see in this debate very often.

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  11. wong's nemesis review is anti-trek biassed and not to mention crappy

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  12. My point exactly, thanks sparhawk

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  13. Geez, and whenever it anti-wars, its ok? I think a few people need a reality check, especially sparhawk and griddles. Of course it is going to be biased, its a debate! I'm surprised people havent brought this up before. if you want somthing non-biased, get into stamp collecting!

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  14. I'd rather go for G2k's method of reviewing, thanks. Wong's 'review' does nothing that G2k's proper review does.

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  15. cameron have you ever been to wong's forum vs debate. No one there even tries to debate, they are just trying to convince everyone that SW is superior to trek in every way, which is ridiculous.

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  16. Ok, well, i'll agree with you sparkawk, but then again, the people on this site (the fans i'm talking about) really do the same thing, only with trek. They try to convince everyone that trek beats wars, maybe not to the same extent as the vs. forum on sd.net, but they still do!

    And as for the review, G2K's is proper, and well documented, but if you look on sd.net, it states that it is not a review, but a synopsis! It was just for laughs i'd say.

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  17. Cheap laughs in some eyes, no doubt.

    Yes, G2k's reviews are proper and well documented. I'd go to him for info anytime over Wong, regardless what he's reviewing.

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  18. I'm here to respond to the review.
    in order of items posted.

    6. Yoda is old as hell. He probably realized that if he kept fighting Sidious clone would have come and he would have had to make an even harder retreat. Knowing that 2 highly force sensitive people were about to be born and preseving yourself for the day you could train them to defeat the sith makes more sense to me than trying to accomplish something you'll probably lose. Why not wait till 2 people, more powerful in the force than you are, are capable of deafeating the sith.

    8. Anakin already had problems with dealing with democracy and his own power hungriness. We know he thinks the senate is junk (AoTC scene on naboo with padame in fields of jumpy cow things). He has anger issues (raider camp in AoTC on tatooine). And that he lusts for more and more power. He knows he isn't the jedi he's supposed to be. He wants more. He probably realized after slicing off Windus hand "Aww hell. I'm now an accessory to murder of one of the leaders of my order. I just doomed the galaxy by not trying to help Windu kill palpatine. However palpatine can save padme, give me more power. Why not go full blown Sith?"

    He was probably in emotional denial or detachment already from chopping off Windus hand so going in and taking care of the jedi wasn't a problem.

    9. Jedi order isn't what it used to be. We know many Jedi have been bucking the authority of the council even withing the last couple of years (ie Qui-Gon and Dooku). They've become very close to the senate and the republic, not remaining as an autonomous force that allows for the peaceful flow of the force in the galaxy. Yes their ideology has become rather screwed up I agree. But Obi-Wan is probably referring to what the Jedi should believe. It's like a religion. There are a core set of beliefs, however the overall order is in a time of turmoil. They are digressing from this set of beliefs because of stress put on them.

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  19. I don't blame the Jedi for not fighting the Sith honorably, since the Sith are ruthless outlaws. However the Jedi aren't much better; Mace Windu tries to kill Palpatine while holding him helpless, claiming "he owns the court and the senate," and so Mace thinks it's ok to take the law into his own hands. If that's the case, then he's got no room to talk.

    Likewise, Obi-wan leaves Anakin a helpless tri-palegic, sitting ther to burn to death, doing nothing to help him or even put him out of his misery, when he could have easily taken him prisoner. Nothing honorable about that.

    As for when Obi-wan tells Anakin "Only a Sith deals in absolutes," this was in response to Anakin's statement "if you're not with me then you're my enemy," which was clearly a shamelessly gratuitous slam at George Bush's statement that "if you're not with us, you're against us" in reference to the war on terror. Note that the context was missing, i.e. Anakin wasn't talking about fighting ruthless terrorists-- but rather about JOINING them. As a result, Lucas fudged up the entire story-context just to make some dumb left-wing political comment comparing George Bush to Darth Vader. Jar-Jar Binks, maybe (even the NAME is similar), but calling Jor-Jor Bush a Sith-lord is a bit strong.

    I also thought the attempt at a "grand finale" to make "the ultimate battle fight" got a little ridiculous, when it got to the point that they were swinging on ropes while fighting with lightsabers, and while everything falling into the lava-pit. What's that Kang said about "only a fool fights in a burning house"?
    Guess these two should have listened to him-- but then again only a BIGGER fool brings a knife to the gunfight anyway.
    I guess we can chalk it all up to the wages of abiding by an order of mysticism. Oh well, live by the lightsaber, die by the lightsaber...
    But what's that Yoda said about "perhaps the prophecy could have been mis-read"? I think here we have the moral: while the Jedi thought he was the "chosen one," in reality Anakin was the "anti-christ" figure, brought out the Force by Palpatine's master, Darth Palagius (sp?) in order to usher in the downfall of the Jedi order.

    Likewise, Obi-wan was a lousy master, admitting in RotJ that he wasn't up to the task like Yoda; as you can see in AotC, he's always putting Anakin down, while Yoda is more patient with the younglings and padawans. As a result, Anakin turns into a bigger whiner than 3PO; meanwhile Palpatine shows him a lot more kindness and praise, so it's no wonder he wins Anakin's loyalty.

    Another point I don't understand at the end of RotJ, is why they show young Anakin in The Force, but not Qui-Gon? This doesn't make much sense, if Qui-gon was the one who taught the others.

    It also makes no sense that Anakin became one with the Force, if he never learned how; during the saber-duel on in ANH, Obi-wan tells Vader that "if my blade finds its mark you will simply cease to exist, but if you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can ever imagine." This wouldn't make sense the Force-afterlife depended on knowledge instead of morality.

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