Written by: Chefelf
Edited by: Jacques & Jen
The Emperor and His Stupid Cackling
The sane, competent, even smart Palpatine makes a rather quick transformation into the cackling idiot that we see in Return of the Jedi. Aside from his change in physical appearance (which, up until this movie, I was perfectly willing to accept had been caused by normal aging and lack of sunlight), he also turns into a caricature of pure evil. He stops thinking logically, he stops being smart. Instead, he only cackles while leaping around like a moron. This all ends with his climactic battle with Yoda, where they engage in another unconvincing lightsaber battle and end up tearing out the giant hovering Senate seats to throw them at each other. While this scene is ludicrous, to say the least, it makes me wish that things like this happened on Earth. How much cooler would this planet be if opposing political parties used telekinesis to tear apart the Senate building and throw chairs at each other? Government may suffer, but think of how much cooler it would be.
Yoda's Exile... Why?
After slipping and falling on his bum, Yoda contacts Bail Organa and jumps into his jalopy. Then he says, "Into exile, I must go. Failed, I have."
How so? Why must he go into exile? Why has he failed? All that has been witnessed onscreen to this point is Yoda and Sidious fighting a perfectly evenly matched battle. Sidous attempted to fry Yoda with Force lightning and Yoda repelled it, sending them both falling off of one of the Senate seats. Only when Yoda landed on the ground did he decide that it would be best to call it a day. So why must Yoda give up the fight and go into exile? It seems to go against Yoda's character that he would just give up after putting up such a good fight. I bet it would really piss Yoda off if Bail comforted him by saying, "Well, at least you gave it a good try, Master Yoda."
The Properties of Lava (Sweat? Battle + Lava = No sweat)
This battle ends up with Anakin and Obi-Wan riding hover-platforms mere feet over a lava flow. Now, I'm all for fantastic fantasy elements in movies (particularly Star Wars movies), but suspending disbelief at this point is beyond difficult. Given that lava is generally around 2000 degrees Fahrenheit (1093 degrees Celsius), I find it difficult to believe that Anakin and Obi-Wan not only have no problems battling without bursting into flames, but that they don't even break a sweat! You would think that the stress and exertion of combat alone would cause at least a few beads of sweat to form on their brows. Of course, the mysteries of the Force always allow for apologist excuses in any case. They were most likely using the secret Force climate-control technique to keep cool.
"From my point of view the Jedi are Evil"
While Anakin and Obi-Wan are surfing along the lava pools, Obi-Wan tells Anakin that he has failed him. Anakin responds by saying that he should have known that the Jedi were going to take over. Obi-Wan shouts to Anakin, "Palpatine is evil!" to which Anakin replies, "From my point of view, the Jedi are evil!"
Do evil people say things like that? Do good people say things like that? In an irrational combat where each is trying to kill the other, do people really talk about their points of view? Suddenly, this has become a well-mediated debate rather than a fight to the death. "Please try to see things my way, Obi-Wan! Walk a mile in my shoes! Please! Or I will have to kill you!"
The Higher Ground
In one of many scenes that seems like it should be referencing something from earlier in the movie, Obi-Wan tells Anakin not to jump up at him because he has the "higher ground." Apparently, Obi-Wan has a terrific advantage, being five feet above Anakin at this point. (The entire time Obi-Wan spent climbing up the melting arm of the station, ten feet above Anakin, apparently did not count for anything.) At any rate, Obi-Wan appears to be right because when Anakin chooses to use the stupidest possible attack Yoda's patented Sonic the Hedgehog flip attack - he comes up three limbs shorter than when he started and Obi-Wan is left looking down at his dismembered body.
When Anakin is Defeated
When Anakin is defeated, it is so gruesome and upsetting that it quickly crosses the line from sad to comical. He screams and shouts "I hate you!!" Spittle flies out of his mouth as he clutches at the ground, trying to pull himself up the ledge. Then, suddenly, he just bursts into flames. Apparently, being the same distance from the lava that he's been for the duration of this entire duel has finally caught up with him and causes his body to finally catch fire. Obi-Wan then summons all his Jedi reserve to resist saying, "Na na. Told ya so!"
Severed Hand Count
Count Dooku: 2
General Grievous: 2
Mace Windu: 1
Anakin Skywalker: 1
"She has lost the will to live..."
Bail and Obi-Wan get Padme to the medics as soon as they can. The silly-looking medical droid explains that, medically, Padme is in perfect health, yet they are losing her anyway. For good reason, this seems to confuse Bail and Obi-Wan, who are surprised that she's dying. "We can't explain it," the medical droid says. "She has lost the will to live." Ah, great. So the mother of Luke and Leia dies of a broken heart. She has lost the will to live and, by this point in the saga, I have lost the will to care.
Crappy CGI Babies
In her grief, Padme finds just enough energy to neatly name the babies individually and then quietly expire. While Revenge of the Sith features some of the best CGI work in the prequel trilogy, it also feature the worst CGI, without question. That CGI is not used to simulate a strange-looking alien or exotic planet. Instead, the worst CGI in the movie is used to simulate Obi-Wan holding a baby! A doll would have looked better. Having Obi-Wan hold a real baby would have also done the trick. Even a German shepherd or an electric train would have looked better than the CGI monstrosities Obi-Wan dangles by Padme's head.
Not only were the CGI babies poorly done, but they used recycled footage. If you look closely, you will notice that the second baby is EXACTLY the same as the first! You would think, if they were going to duplicate CGI babies, they could have at least created one really awesome looking baby and duplicated that. Instead, they chose to duplicate and reuse the worst CGI baby footage ever created.
Let me be perfectly clear here. The babies are not created digitally: they are real babies. They are inserted digitally into the shot. It's only because this is the worst special effect shot in the movie that it gets mentioned. It looks terrible. I can't conceive of a possible reason that they wouldn't have simply had Ewan McGregor hold a real baby in these shots. The only possibility is this: perhaps Ewan McGregor is allergic to babies!
Holy Giant Babies!
I am a man and, as mandated by the Universal Man Law of 1983, I don't really care about childbirth that much. Sure, I'd like to have kids some day, but the process of childbirth, particularly of children that are not my own, does not interest me in the least.
That being said, I live with my girlfriend. And, as mandated by the Universal Woman Law of 1983, it is her obligation to care about and think about babies all the time. This means that I've seen no fewer than six hundred programs on the Discovery Health Channel and TLC about pregnancy, birth, problem births, difficult births, unusual births, odd births, funny births, childbirth bloopers, etc.
I have seen enough births to know that problem births, particularly those where the mother is in danger of dying, do not usually result in the most robust, healthy babies ever seen, particularly babies that are easily 12 pounds each. Padme's tidy little pregnant belly is unlikely to be hiding 24 pounds worth of baby under that little Native American garment she has on. Furthermore if she was smuggling two gigantic twins in her belly, it would be unlikely that she could have sprinted out to greet Anakin just moments earlier. It would be more likely that she'd be lying around moaning and complaining about when the "demonspawn" were going to come out of her.
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"Where is Padme? Is she safe? Is she all right?"
It's distressing to me that Vader's first words (in the classic Vader voice, anyhow) involve him asking if his wife is okay and if she is safe. I think it's mostly that unholy marriage between the Star Wars of my youth and the Star Wars of my late twenties, but hearing James Earl Jones's voice ask questions about Padme makes my ass ache.
Reasons to Hate Star Wars
Episode I (78 Reasons to Hate!)
Episode II (64+ Reasons to Hate!)
Episode III (91 Reasons to Hate!)
The Nitpicker's Guide to Star Wars
Episode IV: Special Edition (12 Nitpicks!)
Episode V: Special Edition (8 Nitpicks!)
Episode VI: Special Edition (17 Nitpicks!)