2005-05-20 : All is forgiven, George.
For the non-nerds, let the eye-rolling and exasperated sighing commence. For the rest of us, I've just walked in from Star Wars.
Wow. What a ride !
The Puzzler and I decided to go along, and it didn't turn out difficult to get tickets to – clearly Camden's not the big cinema of choice for release-day crowds. I imagine the Odeon at Leicester Square would've been absolutely chockas though.
As with any release-day crowd, the mood was pretty good, although both Dan and I were surprised when some of the punters started clapping at the certification board slide (i.e. stating that the film was a 12A certificate)… Anyway, I knew it was going to be fun when the usual Star Wars opening graphic came up.
Amid the revered silence, some guy piped up quite audibly with “Oh no, I've already seen this one!”.
So to sum up in a few words that won't make me sound like a total anorak, I really enjoyed it ! It really nicely tied everything together – even down to the funky 70's looking haircut the ship's captain had that C-3PO and R2D2 were handed over to (incidentally, if Rob Bryan's reading this – OK, you were right about R2D2… I bow before your majestic knowledge and insight). And there were some absolute kickass lightsaber fights in there! Sure there were plenty of little things you could pick on, but it absolutely blew episodes 1 and 2 out of the water as far as not-being-stupid goes, and really when talking about a fairly fanciful good-vs-evil story set in space, you're not exactly expecting Oscar winning performances or dialogue.
It was one of those films where you already know how it's gonna end, too – a bit like Titanic. Amazing amount of foreshadowing for episodes 4,5 & 6 going on, even to the point where I thought they'd captured some excellent angles of Hayden Christensen's face that made him resemble Mark Hamill!
That's probably one of the most overwhelming things from first viewing I'd say – there's so much about what you're seeing that's familiar from the original trilogy. The shape of the spaceships is developing, so you can see elements of Star Destroyers and TIE fighters evolving. John Williams' score floats around and weaves in (or sometimes just clubs you over the head with) themes from the original soundtracks, adding to the sense of familiarity during the resolution stage of the film. And the masking up of Darth Vader – I swear, a shiver ran through that cinema as an armada of twenty/thirtysomethings witnessed the genesis of an icon of their past.
At this stage I'd say another trip to see it would be in order – partially to see it again with a less excited-kid point of view, but also because our seats were what you might call “less than adequate”… we were better off than everyone on our right hand side, however the experience somewhat reminded me of looking at Hans Holbein's “The Ambassadors” painting (I don't know why I bothered mentioning that, cos I sure can't be bothered explaining it – you can read about it on the internet if you're interested…).
Yep, so in summary, cool film. Lots of fun.