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Post Posted: May 18th 2015 9:10 pm
 
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I'd never looked forward to a film with greater anticipation.

From first word of George Lucas' planned return to the GFFA in 1997 (more like 1994, but 1997 was when I remember finding out) to the release of this final chapter (or so we thought!) of the saga in 2005, occasional official news, wild internet rumors, exciting media features, explosive trailer releases, incessant promotional and advertising content and endless speculative and reactive chatter among friends about this much-loved, much-derided tryptic of films, all slathered by my own unwavering excitement and interest from start to finish, followed me from age 11 to 19. From 5th grade to my freshman year at college. The prequels were attached to my life for the entirety of my adolescence. And this peculiar story of Anakin Skywalker uncannily reflected and even mirrored some aspects of my formative teenage years in ways that'll stay with me forever. That is why I am here to deliver this thread in semi-traditional fashion. The prequels are a part of me. In all of their narratively dense, brashly political, visually loaded, enchantingly scored, deviously subversive, dually high and low brow, universally mythical and grandly cinematic glory.

Around '03, AOTC had settled in my mind as my favorite of the films in the saga (still unseated). So I was full-on hard for the idea of that one final, new Star Wars film. Especially one expected to deliver on some of the most dramatic and macabre events of the saga we'd been imagining since the prequels were first announced.

The run-up to ROTS marked my first foray into the world of online message boards. I can't recall exactly how it happened but in the spring of 2003, around the time that the official site's Hyperspace subscription program was gearing up to give fans an inside look at the production of the film, I found myself at where else but... :gb2tfn:. The Jedi Council Forums' 3SA forum, to be exact. And I was obsessed. When I had first arrived, there were threads filled with accumulated information based on leaks and gathered quotes from past interviews with cast and crew. But after those were quickly consumed in no time, I checked and scoured the 3SA forum every day after school for new bits of information about Episode III. And I drunk up heartily what I could for two whole years.

And, my friends, there was a glut to keep up interest and excitement for all that time: Insider magazine pics, fucktons of pirated Hyperspace content (no credit card at the time), spy reports and leaks (their release of which DP has and continues to so exhaustively and hilariously shed light on :heavymetal: ), that fucking "Back in Black" behind-the-scenes promo video, bootlegged trailers from Peru, the glorious soundtrack leak and whatever the fuck caused a record 1,034 people to show up at :goomf: one April 21st! Was it the soundtrack leak? I forget.

For me, and I must make that distinction to be respectful of fans who didn't take to the prequels in the same way I did, it was a ride like no other. I was slurped up, violently masticated and fully digested by this latter half of the franchise. And as that May 19th date neared, it all reached an astounding fever pitch. I must've watched the variety of theatrical trailers, TV ads and official site making-of videos hundreds of times. I listened to those few tracks of the leaked score I allowed myself to listen to in a state of sheer bliss. And I tried to read everything I possibly could about this last and final episode. I was primed.

I don't recall the exact date. I believe the film was released a few days before the official May 19th date. At any rate, I attended the midnight screening with my oldest brother. There were some people I knew from my high school days in the theater. I had just completed my freshman year of college. One of them was a girl who I'd had an eye for but never really talked to back then. So I gathered up some rare courage. Me, who had an admittedly poor and embarrassing history in opposite sex relations, and coolly started up a conversation about her ROTS teaser poster t-shirt. We spoke for a good 20-25 minutes about a wide variety of topics before the screening began. I later learned through subsequent private messaging via "The Facebook" that she'd greatly enjoyed our conversation and my company that evening (we continued to exchange messages throughout the year but we ultimately fell out of touch). My brother probably saw me at my game and "forgot" to save me a seat next to him. So I ended up sitting alone almost uncomfortably close to the screen in one of the handicap seats. Then, the film started....

So, that's what I've got to say on this 10th anniversary of the release of ROTS. :chewbacca:


Post Posted: May 18th 2015 11:02 pm
 
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This was the film we all really wanted to see when the PT was announced. Once Episode I started production we learned that we would have to wait until Episode III for the fall of Anakin and the rise of Vader. I was starved for new JEJ dialogue and Vader kicking ass in all of his glory. I can vividly remember what I thought the PT would be like back then.

I was all-in on Episode III. I'm the lone Star Wars fanatic in my group of friends, so I had taken plenty of ribbing about Episodes I & II. The marketing for ROTS was so well done that friends who were only casual movie fans to begin with were excited to see it and wanted to know my thoughts going in.

The part about pre-ROTS hype that sticks out the most? When some DVD - maybe for Star Wars trivial pursuit - released before ROTS came out and it included a shit-ton of new clips.

I was definitely the most "sober" watching Episode III than I was the other PT films. My reaction after seeing it was that it was third-best in the saga behind ESB and ANH. I held that belief for a long time and while it's clear that George took a lot of the criticisms of TPM & AOTC to heart and made a stronger film, ROTS just doesn't hold up as well for me as it did when I wrote my "5 years" retrospect.

I really wanted ROTS to be a perfect Star Wars movie and I still feel disappointed by the many technical problems (music editing, weird camera framing, etc), pacing issues, a bloated plot, the clunky series of scenes involving Anakin's fall, and the decision to cut the Qui-Gon scenes. However, I still think it's an under appreciated movie - the Mustafar / Senate fight is mostly amazing, the ballet scene is great and there are lots of nice moments throughout - and it's a shame that negative popular opinion of TPM & AOTC taints peoples' attitudes towards ROTS.

Anyway, it was a memorable time to be a Star Wars fan: really fun discussions, overwhelming hype, and rabid excitement around every picture, plot point and footage that was released.

I just can't believe it's been 10 years.


Post Posted: May 19th 2015 1:13 am
 
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Revenge of the Sith is actually the film I’ve gone back to the least, in spite of considering it to be the best of the prequels by far. I think I hoped it could retroactively redeem TPM and AOTC, but those were unfair expectations. I think I was also disappointed that it felt like the end of all the fun of anticipating another Star Wars movie.

I remember the first time I saw a sci-fi magazine on the rack at a grocery store with a big picture of the Falcon on the cover and the caption “THE NEXT STAR WARS TRILOGY” back in like 1994 (this magazine, specifically) with a story teasing getting to see Anakin’s descent to the dark side, the Clone Wars and the Jedi Order in action. It all just slowly built up over the decade to seeing that teaser poster in a theater with young Anakin with the Vader shadow and realizing it was actually going to happen. Then waiting for the Episode I trailer to download bit by bit over dial-up in, as AICN loved to call it, glorious QuickTime. And all that anticipation kept rolling through the production of AOTC and ROTS.

The hype was strong with me for Episode III before release, though — subscriptions to Star Wars Insider magazine, Hyperspace on SW.com and checking in every day here on :goomf:, T-Bone's page and all the other news/rumor sites out there. The Hyperspace webcams were great, especially when you’d get people interacting with them. I remember the soundtrack leak and a lot of the other stuff already mentioned. I also remember finding it weird how so much of the marketing centered around Vader’s mask; it was everywhere from the teaser poster to all the merchandise packaging, even though we don’t see the Vader suit until the very end of the film.

It’s a solid enough film, but does have issues that really do bother me… McDiarmid completely hammed it up after Mace Windu’s death (to the point that people in the audience were laughing) and the duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan tried way too hard to be The Most Epic Fight In The History of the Universe™. I also felt the fight between Yoda and Palpatine was a disservice to what I thought I knew about those characters in the original trilogy, but I guess that bridge was already crossed with Action Backflip Yoda in AOTC.


Post Posted: May 19th 2015 10:10 pm
 
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Title: darthpsychotic@gmail.com
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I posted another thread in the III forum only focused on files. The topics could be merged however it could result in a files heavy thread.

Revenge Of The Sith still holds up for me, ranking up their near the Original Trilogy. As I posted previously III retroactively improved the previous two prequels by hitting it out of the park. There would have been a few scenes I would like to made into the cut such as Qui-Gon telepathically meeting with Yoda.

If there was any prequel deserving of a extended edition it was Sith.


Post Posted: May 19th 2015 11:09 pm
 
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In my original post, I mainly focused on the personal/fandom context of ROTS' release. Only because that's what really sticks for some reason and given the fact that I've watched this film in... to... the.. ground. Plus, I think we all agree on its merits, whether you're a fan of the prequels or not. Some quick call-outs and thoughts after rewatching parts of the film last night:

-Anakin and Obi-Wan fighting side-by-side as seasoned Jedi Knights in the serial-like first half hour is a delight.
-Anakin's expressed uncertainty about whether to kill Dooku or not followed by Palpatine's relaxed disposition and coldly rational justification about the resulting choice.
-"Leave him or we'll never make it!" Palpatine's true, ultimately fearful self seeps out.
-The scene between Anakin and Padme in Padme's apartment where Anakin expresses general discontent against JW's haunting strings is deeply chilling.
-Ballet scene with the regal and stirring JW music that accompanies the Plagueis tale.
-Anakin lowering his guard when Palpatine mentions his desire for a life of significance and conscience during Palpatine's revelation scene is a nice touch.
-Anakin alone in the Jedi Council chambers he first visited as a child is the purely visual centerpiece of the film.
-Palpatine's flash of the devil face during the duel with Mace. Terrific touch.
-Obi-Wan's cool in facing down Anakin when he shows up on Mustafar. Perfect responses to Anakin's deluded, over-the-top and overly theatrical reactions.
-Subtle moment of Anakin mouthing "no" as the face-mask is lowered onto him.
-In general, everything's "always on the move." Shots never hold for too long or seem over-indulgent (beyond that ecstatic opening shot). Nice, brisk pace that tempts you to continue watching 'til the end even if you're only interested in watching parts. Perhaps the most key ingredient to the magic of Lucas' films.


Post Posted: October 21st 2015 10:59 pm
 
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For me ROTS holds up very well. After a decade I still rate it top alongside Empire. It just has so many good points throughout and delivered, imo, a fantastic conclusion to the PT.

It was back in '99 when I registered at TFN, however, my memories of the lead up to TPM I will never forget. Fandom was evolving online every day with sites springing up and discussion at a fever pitch. Having the entire script for AOTC shortly after filming wrapped was obviously a stand-out, however I was still slightly surprised by the final product as things had obviously changed over the course of the following 18-20 months. I can't look back objectively on that period of time as I had so much information (so early) and the movie had already formed inside my head. MF by this stage was starting to garner much attention. Good times.

ROTS I can safely say I was more than happy to go in only semi-spoiled as I kept my nose out of most of the major spoiler stuff. MF was a great place to be as new insiders came onboard. The movie itself delivered in spades I can't remember how many times I saw it at the cinema. Like I said, it was a great way to conclude the PT.

SI


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