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.