Tuesday, March 15, 2005

the Star Wars trailer

The newest "Revenge of the Sith" trailer is now available to all folks with Quicktime over at StarWars.com, if you're interested.

Over at the Supershadow fan site, Lucas has repeatedly said that he's incorporated ideas from the fans. He's resisted certain suggestions but has given in on other points. A major fan victory was hiring James Earl Jones to voice what is being called "Mechanical Vader," i.e., the armored Vader we know from the original trilogy. For the longest time, Lucas insisted that hiring Jones was simply too expensive-- and besides, why would this much younger Vader have anything like Jones's voice? But the fans insisted, and Lucas has since said that, yes, James Earl Jones will indeed be the voice of the Mechanical Vader.

The fans lost on three major counts, though:

1. Jar-jar doesn't die, mainly because Lucas delusionally claims that Jar-jar is well-liked by most fans and is his most brilliant comic creation. I still can't tell whether Lucas is privately snickering after saying this, but I get the creepy feeling that he's perfectly serious.

2. "Revenge of the Sith" will not be three hours long. Legions of fans begged for a long finale, but Lucas has balked, claiming that a longer movie would cost his studio far too much, and that the three-hour flick simply wasn't his style. One concession, though, is that Lucas has kept in a lot of violence, and if I'm not mistaken the movie will have a PG-13 rating-- finally a nod to fans like me who have wanted the prequel trilogy to be big, bad, and "Blade Runner"-dark from the beginning.

3. Most disappointing of all to diehard fans is this: there will be no Mechanical Vader combat scenes. When Vader fights Obi-wan Kenobi, it's as Hayden Christensen unmasked, not dressed up in the classic armor. Mechanical Vader will be visible only for a few moments of screen time. Mixing it up with displeased Star Wars geeks, Lucas argues that Mechanical Vader is simply too weak to do any fighting in this film; he's still healing from the grievous wounds received during the fight with Kenobi. Lucas does hold out a carrot, though: if the planned Star Wars TV series focuses on the Jedi Purge (i.e., that period during which the Emperor kills off all the Jedi and consolidates his power), we might have a chance to see Vader in action.

Fans wanted fights in "Revenge of the Sith," and that's what Lucas is giving them. "Revenge of the Sith" is essentially one huge fight scene, with some dialogue-y moments sprinkled in to move the plot forward.

Two major battles occur, one on the Wookie home planet of Kashyyyk, another in space above the capital planet Coruscant.

The main attraction, of course, will be the lightsaber fights. Here they are, in order (and almost all are visible, for a fraction of a second, in the newest preview):

1. Anakin and Kenobi vs. Dooku, which turns into merely Anakin vs. Dooku
2. Kenobi vs. General Grievous, a lightsaber-wielding biomechanoid non-Jedi
3. Mace Windu and several Jedi vs. Palpatine/Sidious, very quickly turning into just Palpatine/Sidious vs. Windu
4. Yoda vs. Palpatine/Sidious
and finally, the one everyone's waiting for:
5. Skywalker/Vader vs. Obi-wan Kenobi

Seven battles in a little over two hours. The large battles and more intimate saber fights range anywhere from about a minute in length to around twelve minutes, with the twelve-minute Kenobi-Vader duel apparently being the longest fight scene ever put on film.

Special effects aside, I give a ton of credit to fight choreographer Nick Gillard for his work on these films. I didn't like "Phantom Menace," nor was I all that wowed by "Attack of the Clones," but I enjoyed Gillard's imaginative fight choreography in those films. It'd be interesting to see what he could do without all those special effects in the way. In any case, "Sith" promises to bear the mark of Gillard all over it, so I plan to sit back and enjoy, even if the movie's plot stinks.

See you in line.


No comments: