Wednesday, December 21, 2005

STAR WARS dvd geek stuff

Since I had a fellow STAR WARS fan (and friend) from out of town visit me the other day, I finally seized the excuse to sit down and watch the STAR WARS III: REVENGE OF THE SITH DVD. Neither of us had seen the extras, so it was a good opportunity to escape the holiday crowds and enjoy a night at the (home) movies.

Aside from the film itself, my favorite part of the DVD was the deleted scenes. After all, who, out of the legions of SW fans, didn’t want to see Yoda landing on Dagobah? It was such a short clip, but it was sweet, although I understand the reason it wasn’t included in the final cut (Lucas wanted to stick with the ending thread of showing where the twins ended up instead of where all the characters in general ended up.). I can also hang with Lucas’ decision to leave out an action sequence near the beginning of the film in which a Jedi (Shaak Ti) is slain; however, I feel that the interaction between Obi-Wan and Anakin in this scene gave far more insight to their battle bonds than any other. We see both Jedi using hand-to-face signals in a cocky—and almost flippant—way of communicating with each other. Here, they truly do seem to have that brotherhood the entire plot depends on.

There was a grouping of three scenes that I really wish had been left in SITH, though, because these short bursts of illumination would’ve done so much for Padme’s character. In the final cut, it seems as if the formerly take-action senator has turned into a lady in waiting, wandering around her apartment and waiting for Anakin to show up. But in these deleted scenes, we see her meeting with fellow senators (including Bail Organa [Jimmy Smits], who could’ve used more quality screen time, too). This is the all-important start of the rebellion, with Mon Monthma in a cameo, and it rounds out Padme’s character so much more. It just goes to show you how desperate Lucas must’ve been to trim the film because, for a lot of people I know, Padme’s character was a disappointment in this movie. This subplot would’ve gone a long way in developing her.

Still, in the end, this is a proper send off to the prequels. The ending five minutes pack a huge punch—especially when Anakin gets locked into the body of Darth Vader for the rest of his existence. It’s a viscerally tragic image that preys upon any sense of claustrophobia I have. To me, that moment is akin to being buried in a one-way-mirrored grave where no one seems to realize you’re halfway dead beneath the ground. It’s one of my favorite SW scenes, among many, and I’d watch a million “Hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo”s to get to it.

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