Written by: Chefelf
Edited by: Jacques & Jen
War! What Is It Good For
The opening crawl for Revenge of the Sith stays true to the Star Wars style by being pretty dreadful. The first paragraph is as follows:
War! The Republic is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord, Count Dooku. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere.
I won't bore you with the remaining two paragraphs as I feel that the first paragraph sets the tone nicely enough. There are heroes on both sides. Who exactly are the heroes on the other side? Count Dooku? Nute Gunray? Presumably the other side's hero was that battle droid that said "Roger, roger!"
Prior to seeing this movie, I felt that the battle in Return of the Jedi was the greatest space battle ever put to film. After seeing Revenge of the Sith, that fact has not changed. The thing that made the battle in Return of the Jedi better was that even though it was extremely fast-paced, it could be followed. There were only a few types of ships and the viewer was more than capable of knowing, at any point, who was who.
The space battle that opens Revenge of the Sith is impressive but meaningless. It's like watching a swarm of bumblebees simultaneously masturbate while singing "We Are The Champions" - impressive, but nonsensical.
X-Wing Precursors (Two Wings Are Better Than Three)
Like so many ships in the prequel trilogy, the tri-wings make you wonder why they decided to downgrade these ships to the X-wing form we see in the original trilogy. Perhaps this was some sort of money-saving move. Perhaps they found four wings to be more efficient than six. At any rate, it seems to be that Lucas's vision of the prequels and his vision of the original trilogy are like two southern magnet ends that, no matter how hard you try, you can't get to touch. Here is another perfectly good opportunity to introduce something that we'd recognize and connect with the original movies, and it is completely thrown away. Why even have anything be the same? Why not just cast a green Danny Devito as Yoda?
R2 Fights the Buzz Droids
When a buzz droid makes it onto Anakin's ship, it attempts to attack R2-D2 and disable the bravest little droid in the galaxy. R2, being the feisty droid that he is, isn't about to stand idly by while this happens. So he brings out his famous Ewok-zapper and decides to go droido a droido against the buzz droid. After a few unsuccessful zaps, Obi-Wan actually chirps in and tells R2 to "go for the center eye." We all know Lucas has lifted plot elements from Kurosawa, classic mythology and elsewhere, but I was rather surprised to see this particular plot point taken directly from the Nintendo game Starfox 64.
Peppy: "Zap the center eye, Fox!"
R2 Leaps Out of Ship
When the Jedi crash-land on Grievous's ship, Artoo jumps out of Anakin's fighter like some sort of droid acrobat. What's worse is that this happens again, later in the film. I am certainly interested to know what it is between Episode III and Episode IV that made Artoo lose his agility and special powers. Presumably, he also had the ability to fly out of the ship if he had so chosen! In Episode IV, they require a complex arrangement of cranes and suction pumps to insert and remove their R2 units from their ships. Perhaps this is part of the technological dark ages that typically follow the beginning of an empire. You know, those kind of dark ages.
When Obi-Wan and Anakin crash-land on the General's ship, R2-D2 finds the chancellor's "signal." It is unclear exactly what signal the chancellor is emitting that helps Obi-Wan and Anakin follow him. Could it be that, like Anakin, Chancellor Palpatine was a slave? If that is the case, why didn't they simply threaten to activate that chip in his head and make his head go "Boom!" (the separatists, that is, not the Jedi. For the Jedi to do that would just be stupid.)
R2 Cell Phone
As Obi-Wan and Anakin are going to rescue the chancellor, Obi-Wan gives Artoo his cell phone. This gives Obi-Wan the ability to be one of those annoying cell phone users who utilize the walkie-talkie feature to communicate obsessively. This constant noise alerts the super battle droids to R2-D2, and Artoo is forced to hide amongst some miscellaneous cylinders and muffle the phone inside his chest plate because, apparently, the communication device is not equipped with an "off" feature. After all, in turning off the phone, you would also be turning off the potential for so many HILARIOUS droid antics! What a shame it is that R2-D2 and his cell phone do not come standard with a volume control feature, like, say, my answering machine does. Then again, my answering machine does not have rocket boosters, so there ya go.
The Phantom Menace introduced us to the battle droid, the Trade Federation's primary mode of killing its opponents. Attack of the Clones brought us the super battle droid, basically a battle droid with no neck and blasters built into its wrists. Revenge of the Sith brings us a closer look at the super battle droid, particularly the stupidity thereof. While two super battle droids are examining the crashed Jedi starfighters nearby, R2-D2 tries to hide. One of the droids overhears Artoo's cell phone and the two droids have the following exchange:
SUPER BATTLE DROID 1: What that?
SUPER BATTLE DROID 2: Get to back to work. That nothin'.
Giving droids personalities is something George Lucas is quite fond of. However, it is unusual that he would choose to give droids called "Super Battle Droids" the personalities of complete morons. Aside from the ridiculousness of their voices, they aren't even speaking properly. I am already skeptical of the reasoning behind programming audible language capabilities into battle droids. Purposely programming them so that they don't speak properly seems like an unnecessary frill when you are concerned with winning a war. Maybe adding extra guns would be more beneficial than having them act like thugs from the 1920s.
General Grievous was one of my biggest problems with Episode III before seeing the movie, and after seeing it that hasn't changed. Pictures of General Grievous led me to believe that he was a hell-demon of pure evil. Two seconds after seeing him onscreen in the theater showed that he was just a big, dumb idiot.
Nearly any possible potential fear of Grievous is eliminated as soon as he doubles over to begin hacking and wheezing. It is already relatively difficult to be scared of a robot with emphysema, but any remaining potential for fear is removed when he begins talking and it becomes clear that his voice is simply Triumph the Insult Comic Dog doing an impression of Watto from The Phantom Menace.
To further weaken Grievous's character, he is a tremendous coward: a scheming, double-crossing bad guy who would be better suited as the nemesis of a cartoon rabbit than the Jedi order.
It is also worthy of noting how bizarre it is that Grievous coughs as much as he does, considering he doesn't appear to have any lungs.
R2-D2 Kicks Ass
It started out with Artoo zapping a vulture droid, but it doesn't take long before they turn R2-D2 into Jean-Claude friggin' Van Damme!
In the docking bay of Grievous's ship, R2 gets bullied by two super battle droids. R2 doesn't sweat it and decides that he's had it up to here with being a regular astromech droid. In Attack of the Clones, R2 decided he was tired of not being able to fly and just took off with mystery jets that came out of nowhere. In Revenge of the Sith, Artoo extends a hose to shoot out some sort of crude oil all over a super battle droid. Both droids begin slipping in the "blood" and Artoo ignites his mystery jets which starts a blaze that broils the two droids alive. This, of course, met with thunderous applause in the theater, which was apparently populated almost entirely with simpletons.
In regards to R2-D2 flying, the only thing that seems to make sense is this: Maybe R2 could fly because he believed in himself. But after the rise of the Empire, he lost his faith that magical things are possible.
Back to Chefelf's Main Star Wars Page
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Episode I (78 Reasons to Hate!)
Episode II (64+ Reasons to Hate!)
Episode III (91 Reasons to Hate!)
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