Well, we made it.
Complete, the circle is.
What we thought was as the tale of a young boy, Luke Skywalker, learning to use a mysterious Force to rid the galaxy of the evil Empire and its dark lord, Darth Vader, has turned out to be a six-part epic on the rise and fall of Vader himself. It’s not really about the Jedi versus the Dark Side. It’s all about Vader. It’s always been about Vader. We’ve known this for years, and now the story is complete.
I really got on the Star Wars drug again (in case you hadn’t noticed), and it infected those around me. My daughter, especially, was giddy with anticipation over this chapter of the story. But my wife (who was always the truest and bluest of Star Wars fans) remained stoic. She’d been burned by the first two sequels and had lost some of the spark. Her expectations were low.
As we were walking tonight, the kids and I were talking with great enthusiasm about how those who had already seen the movie were giving it rave reviews.
“Some folks have seen it three times already,” I said.
“Three times,” she scoffed. “Good grief! That’s stupid.”
“Didn’t you see the original like a hundred times?”
“Not on the first day! It hasn’t even been out 48 hours.” After a pause, she added, “For the record, it was 17 times…”
Part of me wishes that I never got on this Star Wars kick again… wishes that I hadn’t studied the story so that there were no surprises… wishes that I didn’t get myself all psyched up for a movie that couldn’t possibly meet all my expectations… wishes that I’d let myself continue to think how much the first two sequels sucked and so this one would too… wishes I had the same awe that my wife had when she came out of the theater and said: “This was the best one.”
No, I don’t agree that this one was best. There will always be a soft spot in my head for the original. But, damn, that was good!
I almost lost it a little bit at the lack of chemistry between Padme and Anakin. I really snickered when Palpatine turned into a snarling, over-the-top 1930’s monster. But forgive it, I must, as Yoda kicketh much ass!
And when the click of Darth Vader’s helmet turned into those first familiar mechanical breaths…
I need to see it again. I need to shed the last little bit of baggage that I carried in with me this time… all the crap about Lucas and politics and bad acting and dialogue and expectations. I need to just let it be what it is:
Star Wars. Nothing but Star Wars.