Star Wars: down beats

Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

I usually take my daughter to see the big blockbuster movies, so today we went for Star Wars episode whatever.

We left not understanding really why the story couldn’t be made to work. It has lots of potential: mystery, love, the fall of republics. But the story just doesn’t work. The continuity problems are enormous and the awful acting is a hole that can’t be plugged (you can hire as many powerplayers as you want but they still need something to say). We couldn’t figure out why such inconsistent psychological decisions were made: why does Anakin (or whoever he is) become Darth Vader? Because he believes the dark side of the force will save his wife from a death he envisions in dreams. Or, because he wants to be in charge; or, because he suspects plots and betrayal by the Jedi. The second makes more sense than 1 or 3, but the writer couldn’t depend enough on simple ambition, greed, or pride, and so all of them end up seeming forced onto the character because there “has” to be a reason. Nothing seems natural in the story, much like the dramatic “and” tiresome backgrounds, cities of steel that go on forever without a hint of flower, garden, water, or human touch. That doesn’t make sense either. None of the characters are likeable and without much to say or do the acting is embarrassing.

Ultimately, A. Skywalker is a dimensionless character because he can’t figure out who he is. If he’s “dark” then why not grow that aspect in a dramatic way rather just “deciding” to be bad (which is what he does), then argue with the other Jedi, try to convince them that the darkside is the way to go. The model is Julius Caesar. The answers shouldn’t be obvious. But author is too bent on making things obvious.

For current SciFi at its dramatic best, I suggest the recent Battlestar Galactica, a risky revision of the old family favorite now gone edgy. One episode has more dramatic power than all the last five SW flicks.

Too bad. But it all comes down the “writing.” Good thing we got mid-day price.


2 responses to “Star Wars: down beats”

  1. Christopher says:

    Battlestar Galactica is THE SciFi to be watching these days. Star Wars was never known for it’s great dialogue but Lucas has become to enamored with the technology, believing that by going digital all the problems will be resolved.

    You can tell a story orally, written or visually. If it’s crap, it’s going to remain crap, no matter what the medium. Now with Lucas, it’s just high tech, super computer, digitally rendered, THX enhanced crap.

  2. Steve says:

    Ah, it’s good to see another appreciative BG fan out there.

    Coonce-Ewing always comes through.