One year later, "Sith" still sucks *open spoilers*

I’ve watched this twice recently on cable. Like the first time, when I saw it in the theater, I always want it to be good.

It never is.

But, unlike “Phantom” or “Clones,” it has enough seeds of goodness in it to fool the viewer into thinking, “Somehow, this time it might just be better.”

I like lightsabers. I like the Emp’s character and his performance. The idea of being seduced to the Dark Side has infinite potential for interest.

Leave it to Lucas to pump it, pinch it, and flush it.

Another strangely beguiling thing about this film is that there are plenty of scenes that ought to be good, but which in fact are not good. And what’s even stranger is that repeated watching, although they disappoint every time, still do not convince one that they were not good.

Jedi vs. Dooku (still a rotten name). Short and dissatisfying.

Jedi (including Windu) vs. Palpatine. No, just a bunch of closeups, can’t really see how they’re fighting (a common problem). Force lighting and blowing Mace away are cool, however. (BTW, Jackson has no Jedi gravitas; what a poor choice.)

Emp vs. Yoda. Just doesn’t do it, can’t say why.

Obi Wan vs. Grievous. Again, the closeups–how is Obi Wan actually defending against those four lightsabers? The world will never know. All the iguana-riding and chasing and whatnot–yawn. (BTW, the patently electronic “voice” of the giant lizard may be the single most annoying sound effect created for a motion picture.)

Annikin vs. Obi Wan. This is a pretty decent fight, actually. You get to see them fighting! Too bad there’s a bunch of CGI nonsense going on around them. The right way to do was this: They’re fighting near a volcano, and there are dangerous lava flows around them. That’s it.

I put “I have the high ground” in the dumbth category.

Speaking of which, Sith is rotten with dumbth. I mean just stupid shit that should not have been in there but is, although plenty of it is carried over from the first two movies. Battle droids that can’t fight, aren’t menacing at all. Destroyer droids, which, in contrast, the Jedi can’t fight at all (hint: Build more of those). Ray shields that capture Jedi quite easily (hint: compress the shields, etc., to kill them on the spot. While you’re at it, shoot James Bond).

If the most dangerous thing you can do with the Force is pick someone up and throw him across the room, then why not just fight like that, and not bother with the ol’ sabers? E.g., Dooku comes close to killing Obi Wan without touching him, and Obi Wan later knocks out a bunch of fairly butch ‘n’ scary bots by bringing an air conditioner down on their heads. I can understand, as in “Empire,” Vader’s picking up shit and throwing it at Luke as a distraction, etc., but this is different!

Why does Annikin suddenly see that Palp is a Sith Lord in the chambers scene, whereas he didn’t catch on after being regaled with the story of Darth Plagueis? It don’t compute.

Frankly, there’s a heck of a lot of dumbth in the whole “save Padme” thing. It’s not really interesting to have Palp justing lying about shit, and the whole dream thing was embarrassingly stupid. Much better would be really dark premonitions about her dying in childbirth, whatever (not fuzzy dreams with 70s disco colors, c’mon!), and then Darth actually uses the Dark Side to bring her back to life. But now she, when she comes back, has those orange eyes–she’s Dark Side herself! And Annikin can’t stand it, so he kills her himself, which act finally pushes him over fully to the Dark Side. C’mon, that would be some cool shit! Anything would be better than what actually happened.

Anyhow, one year later. I’m still crying. Do you think anyone will remake the series in the next 20 years or so so that we can see it for real?

I feel your pain.

Try denial.

Eps I, II, and III never happened.

Also, there were no ewoks in Ep VI.

Haydn Christensen wasn’t a good enough actor to pull this off. He talks to Padme with the same monotone disaffection he might use to order a meal in a not particularly fashionable restaurant. His I hate you! near the end was his first seemingly-genuine emotion.

The scenes where the troopers obediently waste the Jedi were moderately cool, but the improbable inclusion of Chewbacca was not. And somehow James Earl Jones’ “…but she was alive! NOOOOO!” encourages more cringing than sympathy. Anakin doesn’t get corrupted by a personal failing - he just loves Padme too darn much! As with Greedo shooting first, Lucas seems afraid to let characters have any ambiguity - they have to be sickeningly good or cartoonishly evil.

Right, no Ewoks.

VI could have been great; as it is, it’s mediocre. The Emp coming personally to hasten Death Star construction is a great plot point, and the saber battle between Vader and Luke is the best in any of the films, IMO. Luke also going rather Dark Side to defeat Vader is also pretty cool.

Also most none of the ideas in the new series work. Clone Wars? The name implies that the Republic and Jedi would be fighting against the clones, not alongside them. That’s just stupid.

And so on.

That’s right, Brian, I forgot the part about Hayden totally sucking.

And you’re right about his turning to the Dark Side. I had always imagined that he was corrupted by fighting in the Clone Wars and slowly learning how he can use the Dark Side to his advantage to become a great warrior. Having Palpatine mentor him could have worked, too. BTW, the notion of the Sith Lords being only two at a time, etc., is total BS. The whole story of the Sith could have been worked in much more subtly and inventively.

Mega-missed mega-opportunities.

Oddly, my favorite scenes were the ones with no dialogue.

Well, not so odd.

I really refuse to fault any of the actors here for their poor performances. The dialogue’s hokey and unrealistic, and Lucas obvious doesn’t know how to handle actors that aren’t computer generated.

Some actors can work without direction. McGregor and McDiarmid both do the best with what they’ve got. Some can’t, like Portman, Jackson, and Christensen. But all of them have done so much better elsewhere that I have to believe that the problem is with Lucas.

I’ve been rewatching SWIII myself and I gotta say … I’m LOVING it!

OK, it’s got the dumbth in places, gotta give ya that … but I am so IMPRESSED by Palpatine. That is one helluva Sith lord! He singlehandedly took over the frickin’ galaxy! Made monkeys out of all the Jedi, sneakin’ around under the very noses for years, corrupting the hell out of Anakin, even though way back when he was toddler Anakin, Yoda was sensing that Anakin could easily be corrupted by the Dark Side.

And then there was that whole Directive 66 (or whatever it was). Man, that was DEEP. Darth Sidious must have figured out way back when the clones were being ordered up in SWI that the Jedi were going to get control of the clone army and trust them, because that must be when he set that up. Man, he made Obi Wan his bitch! Hell, he made YODA his bitch! They were struttin’ around with clone armies and academies full of Jedi students and The One on their side, and the Republic on their side, and Sidious does the whole flip/convert/destroy thing and suddenly almost all the Jedi are toast!

I mean, I came away admiring Sidious, without in any way lessening my understanding of what an evil sumbitch he was. Really, this was HIS movie, and he really shone. Made everybody else look like mental midgets.

And other than that, the movie was frickin’ GORGEOUS. Really great art direction, imagery and CGI all blended together. Hell, I’d probably watch it even without that standout villainy by Darth Sidious. As it is, I liked it a LOT better then second time around. I wish so many of the lines hadn’t been written with a lead pencil, and your idea for converting Anakin to the dark side strikes me as much stronger than what Lucas came up with, but hey, it’s still not a bad film at all, IMHO.

I agree with Evil Captor about Palpatine. I especially love the fact that he’s this big, powerful Sith Lord, but he doesn’t use powers to get what he wants; just his ability to understand and manipulate people. He’s just as a good a politician as he is master over the force.

He handled it fine in the first three movies. All the interaction and dialog was extremely natural. In fact, watching Empire Strikes Back the other day, I was amazed at how Han and Luke, when talking about the technology of the Millenium Falcon, for instance, actually sounded like real pilots who realistically spoke in a casual way about the gritty details of the technology. And the banter between Han and Leia was priceless. People criticize the acting of the original movies but really it flows pretty well.

I don’t think Christiansen and Portman are good actors. I also think Lucas did a shitty job on the dialog in the new movies, too. I think he’s just lost his touch.

I agree with you there. For some reason when I saw those scenes, I immediately thought of the “Christening/Massacre of the Corleone’s Enemies” sequence at the end of The Godfather. I was kind of disappointed Lucas didn’t drop in a homage to his former mentor Coppola by having one of the Jedis murdered after being trapped in a revolving door or shot in the eye while resting on a table. :smiley:

Lucas only directed the first movie, where the acting was pretty horrible as well. He also had more help on the scripts (he didn’t write the screenplay for Empire at all). He was smart enough back then to know he was an idea and special effects guy, not someone who should be involved with dramatic performances.

Have you seen these actors in anything else? Portman’s among the finest in her generation, and Christiansen has done well elsewhere as well. They just need something good to say and someone competent to give them a clue as to how to say it.

I disagree that the acting in A New Hope was poor. Luke’s scenes with Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru - completely believable. Hammill played the role of a bored kid desperately trying to get away from his shitty home planet perfectly. All the scenes where he talks to 3P0 and R2 in his garage (“Sir Luke?” “No, just Luke.”) sounded extremely natural and not forced at all. His conversations with R2’s beeps and whirrs in his X-Wing sounded ingeniously as if he actually understood the robot’s noises and could talk to him as an actual companion. Han’s chemistry with Leia was excellent. Peter Cushing was astounding as the sinister bureaucratic Eichmann of the Empire, talking nonchalantly about obliterating an entire planet. There was a lot of good acting in that movie.

One of my friends pointed out that he does seem to be trying to emulate Darth Vader in the Original Trilogy. If you’ll recall, he tended to be rather flat and emotionless most of the time too, unless he was angry. That said, it didn’t make a LOT of sense for him to sound like he was all dead inside until after the Jedi Purge and Padme’s death. If their intent was for years of war to have worn him down, then they could have dropped in a line somewhere to that effect, but otherwise it just seems like either bad or misplaced acting.

Also, just re-creating the Baptism scene from The Godfather in a SW setting would have been highly amusing, intercutting shots of the Jedi getting killed off in various ways (one caught as a set of lift doors open (elevator), another in some type of airlock passage way (revolving door), etc. with Anakin’s christening scene :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t buy that the man who would later become Darth Vader was such a wuss as a youth. That’s the problem with Christensen’s acting AND the way the character of Anakin was portrayed in general. Darth Vader is a hard-assed, take-no-shit military commander. In a past life, he was a good man, but also a strong man. A headstrong, confident, and masculine man. This is what we are to assume after both watching the character of Vader in the original movies, and listening to Obi-Wan’s description of Anakin Skywalker. Even up until the very moment Anakin became Vader, he seemed like a boy, not a man.

I found Sith insidious in that it didn’t seem to suck at first; it was better than I expected. I’ll stick to that, actually, but there was a lot of crappiness that seems more apparent on reflection and later viewings. (“NOOOOOO!” doesn’t count; that was embarassing the first time.)

So many good ideas are coming out here I started a new thread about re-writing the prequels. Please participate! :smiley:

This comes from the absurdly young age Lucas felt he had to make these characters. If you have to start Anakin off at 9 years old (which I disagree with anyway), then why not fast-forward 15 or 20 years instead of 10. Anakin and Padme are just kids and it makes the whole “fall” of Vader seem like high school melodrama, unworthy of a galaxy-spanning mythology. Let Anakin have wisdom and life experience and still choose the Dark Side. Isn’t that more tragic?

Leaping from tree to tree! And singing…

I’m a Sith Lord and I’m okay
I sleep all night and I wheeze all day…

Sith was the best of the prequels…but that’s like being the brightest student on the short bus.