Viewpoint: Star Wars at the Dome Scott Wilkinson's Response to TJN's Review
Scott Wilkinson's Response to TJN's Review
Gee, Tom, I wish you wouldn't hold back so much. Tell us what you really think!
Actually, I felt compelled to respond to some of TJN's comments regarding the movie itself. If you read my report on the premier of Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, you know I didn't find the movie as objectionable as he did. Yes, the visual effects got way more attention than the plot, which is generally weak. And yes, the dialog is mostly cringe-worthy, and much of the acting is straight from the lumberyard (love that phraseology!). I didn't particularly like Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi, but I loved Ian McDiarmid's Palpatine/Darth Sidious, even (especially) when he took it completely over the top.
As far as Anakin's descent into the Dark Side is concerned, I was not bothered by his seemingly sudden turn. I saw him as a troubled, impatient soul full of youthful arrogance who imagined that he could use the Dark Side to do good (i.e., save his beloved Padmé)—a classic "the ends justify the means" scenario, which, as in all such movie plots, doesn't work out as planned. To me, it was no less believable than many other aspects of the movie, such as the whole idea of building an outpost on a molten planet or a droid (General Grievous) with a hacking cough.
Regarding the loyalty of the clone army, I had no problem at all with their sudden betrayal upon receiving Order 66 from Palpatine. After all, they had been commissioned—and no doubt programmed—by the senator who would be emperor, ostensibly to protect the Republic. But even then, Palpatine had an ulterior motive and secretly prepared the clone army to do his bidding when the time was right. The clones were completely brainwashed from the start, and thus had no human sense of loyalty in the first place. And their reversal was so surprising to the Jedi that they never had a chance, even with all their martial skills.
Finally, I must respectfully disagree with TJN that the movie has an obvious anti-Bush agenda. As I said in my report from the premier, I saw only one specific example of this: Anakin (the bad guy) says to Obi-Wan (the good guy), "You're either with me, or you're my enemy," an almost-direct quote from what is now called the Bush Doctrine. Of course, there's also the central plotline that runs through all six movies about a peaceful and just republic devolving into an evil empire, but this was established in the first Star Wars movie almost 30 years ago, so it could not have been devised to bash the current administration. It's certainly not George Lucas' fault that people recognize the parallels between his decades-old story and the more-recent imperialistic policies of Bush and his buddies. It seems to me that all the conservative squawking about the filmmaker's political motives is putting the cart before the horse. But hey, if the shoe fits. . .
'Nuff said. We've had our takes on the film; it's time to get yours. Send your letters for publication to email@example.com, and watch this space for what are sure to be some spirited responses.