Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

What Is It?

This is the final segment of the culture shaping saga that began 28 years ago. Here we have the linking of the past to the future. We also have an experience that has brought families together as kids discover what was one of the biggest events of there parents own childhood. Now all of us can once again take time out of our busy lives for important things.. Like saying your sentences backwards in a Muppet voice, trying to speak like James Earl Jones in need of an inhaler, or more to the point, perfecting our Wookee call…

How Was It?

First – Jar Jar is only seen once, for a moment, and does not even open his mouth!

10pts right there!

Laying aside the fact that since the 1970’s we have known how this film will end, and just focusing on the idea that getting there is half the fun…. This is the best of the three. The effects are slick and keep moving, though some of the planet “sets” seem just too busy. Lucas still can not write dialog, but here is more cunning in his writing. We often only need to hear plot points and the last ten minutes he lets us see all the characters and wisely drowns out any talking with John Williams’ stellar music.

The opening battles and sequences with R2-D2 are some of the most fun you can have with these films. (Though in the next three films he has to be hoisted into his X-wing. Are his jets on the blink?)

The end adds some paired up scenes with similar battles and similar struggles matched up. (Though I still keep the “half the fun” thing in my head… they spent far too long on two simultaneous “light saber battles to the death” when we know that all 4 participants are still alive in the next film.)

Unfortunately the rise of the Darth Vader we all know and impersonate is rendered very cheesy with a shtick right out of Frankenstein followed by the standard Hollywood, discover your loved one is dead and howl NOOO as the camera pans up and away. Still for a huge budget amusement park ride of a film, with pounds and pounds of our culture’s mythology, this film will still deliver most far far away.. (And I find it an odd triumph that James Earl Jones goes uncredited here once again)

When all is said and done, in some small way, I too want to join with Yoda as he tries to cram all the emotion of Casablanca’s air plane scene into the touching epitaph “Chewbacca, Miss you I will.”

Is It Good For Kids?

This will depend greatly on your child. There are a lot of deaths here, though most of them are not totally shown. There are the same level of weird creatures as there are in the other films. (Though not as bad as Return of the JEDI)

The biggest disturbance here, (SPOILER) The Sith Lord sends Anakin, now christened with his famous pseudonym, in to kill the JEDI children that Yoda had been training. We only see him come in and menacingly ignite his light saber to the horror of the children, but it is talked about a lot, and we see other JEDI examining the children’s bodies. You can check www.ScreenIt.com for a complete break down of elements shown on the screen.

How about Spiritual Issues?

There are plenty of good lessons here, most notably that your actions accumulate and make you who you are. If you build on evil you will be consumed by it. We also hear the difference of living selflessly for others contrasted to the evil of only serving self. We see the allure of evil does not give you what it promises, and the promise comes in much the same package that the serpent in Eden used to present his offer…. and with that the worthwhile messages are done.

First these movies have been hailed as moral triumphs for there clear portrayal of good veers evil with its night and day distinction. If we go a little deeper into what it is saying, good and evil simply two sides of the same coin. It is personal strength and opinion that puts you on one side of the other.

Though many will compare “The Force” to the Holy Spirit, they are drastically different. The Spirit is not an “It” but a “He.” and He can not be “used.” He has his own personality and power. He grants power to those who are willing to come in line with His plan. “The Force” is better compared to Electricity. It is huge and powerful, but has no will and can be used at the handler’s discretion to what ever end. In God’s economy the power lies with God. Here the power is all on self.

Death is also a major theme in this film. Yoda gives a speech as he consoles Anakin who thinks his wife will die in child birth. He tells him (in his Yoda way) that we must not hold on to that which we are afraid to lose. Death is just a part of life. When people die they just become part of “The Force.” If we hold on to them, we only hurt ourselves with the attachment. This is classic Buddhism. Later on it becomes the “High Land” form of Buddhism when (SPOILER) Obi-Wan is told that Qui-Gon Jinn has learned to speak from the other side. Of course, both these views of death are very popular in our culture and many will latch on to them. Like wise they are both in direct opposition to the Bible’s teaching.

This leads us to Anakin. Anakin is called the chosen one. As we discovered inEpisode Ihe was born from a virgin; implying a very strong resemblance to the Messiah of the Bible. Here, as Obi-Wan is attacking his former pupil, the man now called Darth Vader says “If you are not with me, you are my enemy.” This is almost an exact quote from Jesus who said in Matthew 12:30 and Luke 11:23 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.”

This line of reasoning is thwarted by the hero, Obi-Wan as he scolds “Only a Sith deals in absolutes” (So why have you been talking about Dark Side / Light Side the entire film?)

It seems that Anakin’s belief in absolutes – this is never right, this is always wrong – is part of what leads him to the Dark Side. Thus, on some level unknowingly to the writer/director/produce, his hero has uttered the single most sinister line in the entire film.

Bible scholars will also recognize a reference to Mark 15:31 and note Darth Vadors “Death” and “Resurection”.

What Is Your Recommendation?

Though the other films (Episodes IV, V , and VI) proclaimed a philosophy counter to Christianity. This set has gone on the offensive. Lucas created and owns who many consider to be the supreme bad guy. He had studied multiple cultures images of the Devil to create Darth Maul, but now he has used the same power to make Darth Vader into a substitute Jesus. You can label me a “Sith” if you like (God know’s I have been called worse) but when Jesus lays down the absolutes, I want to be “For Him.”

proclaimed a philosophy counter to Christianity. This set has gone on the offensive. Lucas created and owns who many consider to be the supreme bad guy. He had studied multiple cultures images of the Devil to create Darth Maul, but now he has used the same power to make Darth Vader into a substitute Jesus. You can label me a “Sith” if you like (God know’s I have been called worse) but when Jesus lays down the absolutes, I want to be “For Him.”

If Lucas had put this much effort into linking a positive character to Jesus, this film would be heralded as an evangelical masterpiece. As it stands, it gives us a philosophy that doesn’t work in the spiritual or physical realms. He then puts them in a context that will help most people just let themselves be amused and not think about the words that they are letting into there heads. How ever you plan to handle this cultural phenomenon in your household, Be aware that the following the hero of the film, in the real world, would be more equivalent to falling for the deception of the dark side in there world.

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