Since I have no idea when I’m actually going to get to see Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, I’m directing you now to John Scalzi’s review. Not only is Scalzi’s review as well-written and entertaining as the rest of his posts on The Whatever, but he’s recently done loads of research about SF movies in general as part of a book he’s been working on, so he’s well able to place the prequel trilogy in a greater context. And, based on my viewing of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, I know we’re coming from roughly the same critical camp when he says things like:
George Lucas should not have been allowed near the business end of a script or a camera for any of these last three films, nor any other film in the future until the end of time. In Entertainment Weekly, Lucas says that he asked both Spielberg and Ron Howard to pick up the directing chores for him, and both said that he needed to do it himself. The only reason I can think of that they would have said such a damn fool thing is that they both must have seen the script of The Phantom Menace and have gotten severe stomach contractions at the mere thought of trying to navigate that crappy prose. Rumor has it that Tom Stoppard, of all people, was called in for a script polish on Sith, but let’s be honest and note that not matter how much you polish a turd, at the end of the day, all you’re going to get is a highly polished turd. Scriptwise, Sith is a turd which positively gleams.
Why, you might ask, will I not be able to see Sith for some time if I’m as big a Star Wars fan as I’ve always claimed to be? Because the wife and I have a limited allotment of babysitter time and we’ve already got that time for the near future spoken for: we managed to snag tickets to the special preview of Serenity in Providence next Thursday night. And as much as I love Star Wars, given the choice between Lucas-penned dialogue and characterization and Whedon-penned dialogue and characterization (especially four months before Serenity comes officially out)…well, there’s really not much choice.