Let’s start with ‘It was good.’ I enjoyed the movie. It ended right where I wanted it to end. It tied up nicely to lead into what we know to be true from the original trilogy. The battle scenes, particularly the lightsaber fights, were awesome. But…
Hold up. Need to do this. I’m about to ramble about the movie, and since I don’t censor myself, I might inadvertantly spoil something for you if you haven’t seen the film. So, if you are worried, stop reading now.
Again, there might be spoilers ahead, so stop if you don’t want to hear about the movie.
Third time… spoilers may be coming. That’s it, you read further, it’s your fault.
So, back to the ‘But…’ I think George Lucas messed up this movie. Like the two prior in this trilogy, there are a number of occasions where its appearant he couldn’t find a way to tell you important facts during the action, so he grinds the movie to a halt for a conversation, then puts it back in gear. Its moderately jarring when you think the movie is picking up speed, then it just stops again. Some of the early film is kinda boring, but the last 20-25 minutes of it are pretty damn good.
I enjoyed the special effects… however, and Jodi put this in to the right words for me, sometimes the special effects became the story, and that’s bad. In Empire, they ride Tuantuans (I’m sure some Star Wars geeks will correct me on the spelling, but I don’t care). They even wind up using one as a source of heat to survive the night cold. But at no point are we ever looking at the tuantuan… its Han riding the tuantuan, it Luke riding the tuantuan, its people handling the tuantuans. In Episode III, Obi Wan rides this lizard thing (which we never learn a name for) but it dominates the screen for 5 minutes in a crazy chase scene. Its so colorful and vibrant in its movements, the fact that Obi Wan is on its back is almost lost… we are watching a lizard run through and over the city, and sometimes we see something flail around on its back. Too much lizard, not enough Obi Wan, the scenes focus becomes the special effects, and in doing so becomes cool looking, but less thrilling. And this happens in a couple of places, the scenery upstaging the characters. Not good.
The lightsaber scenes rocked though.