I took Andrew to see Revenge of the Sith on Sunday. (Lesa had seen it while she was in Portland, and we figured it would be too much for Ethan.) Now, my opinion of the movie is not colored by the fact that I saw four cool previews – the Owen Wilson / Vince Vaughn Wedding Crashers (presumably also featuring Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller, as those four are contractually bound to appear in each other’s movies and you know, the scenes of them bouncing into beds with scantily clad women were probably more inappropriate for young audience members than anything in Revenge of the Sith); Steven Spielberg’s (We Only Took The Title From H.G. Wells And Nothing Else And We Took That Not Because Most People Coming To This Movie Know The Book Or A Previous Version Of The Movie But Because It’s A Cool Title) War of the Worlds, and while I would like this movie a lot more if it didn’t have Tom Cruise in it, it still looks pretty cool; Batman Begins, which there is no chance whatsoever I won’t see; and Fantastic Four, which I am cautiously optimistic on – wait, which I’m very optimistic on – cool, cool trailer. So I was in a good mood when Sith began.
I’m going to play the “Dweeze is old” card again. I saw Star Wars in its original run, back when it was just Star Wars and not Episode Four: A New Hope. Hell, I remember seeing the original trailer. (It? Was a very cheesy trailer.) You can’t truly appreciate what Star Wars was, what it meant, unless you were there at the time. You can’t know how different it was from all that came before without that context. You just can’t. The only comparable movie-going experience I’ve had in my lifetime was seeing The Matrix. Both movies set a new bar, and if subsequent sequels didn’t reach the same bar, or didn’t also set a new bar, well, that’s how it goes.
Now I’m not saying that the elements that make up Star Wars weren’t there before. They were. But something about the way they were put together made the movie so special. Empire and Jedi were able to continue that mixture, and both are films well worth watching. Menace and Clones, perhaps because they were so far removed from the original films, were not able to recapture that specialness. Oh, they have there moments – at least Menace does. But they don’t feel like valid heirs to Star Wars. Sith does. Sith lives in that universe, recaptures that magic, and is a worthy addition to the canon.