So after being asked for the 1500th time in 3 days, I took my boys to see the latest Star Wars movie. WARNING: There are minor spoilers in the rest of this post, so if that sort of thing annoys you, please stop reading now.
On a whole it was a satisfying tale. Virtually every aspect of Episode IV was set up and all the loose ends were tied nicely. The only major plot hole was at the end. You see the unmistakable frame of the Death Star being constructed as Darth Vader and the Emperor look on. Unfortunately, Luke was born just hours before that, so apparently the Death Star takes about 18 years to build. Maybe they outsourced the construction to save costs?
The kids were also bummed that Han Solo wasn’t shown. I did explain that he would only be a kid now, but given that they shoe-horned Chewbacca into the story via a completely irrelevant sub-plot, they are probably right. Han should have at least made a cameo. And I really hope there was an actual Wookie story that wound up on the cutting room floor. It would make the DVD worth seeing.
I also could have done without the massacre of the “younglings”. There was ample opportunity for the emerging Sith to show how evil he is becoming without slaughtering children. It was a disingenuous and unnecessary plot device. It seems out of character for Lucas, and given how many children will see this film, is minimally in bad taste. Fortunately, the actual murders occur off-camera. But still, there was little need to convince the audience that Darth Vader was a really bad guy.
On the flip, the action was first-rate. There were great space ship effects, and a couple of memorable fight scenes, but honestly I think the art of the light saber dual reached it’s acme in Episode II, so this kind of came off as more of the same.
This is obviously a must-see movie for anyone who’s sat through the first five. And it’s money well spent just to see the tale all the way through to the middle. On it’s own though, it’s hardly great cinema.