E-mailer Dan alerted me to this review of Revenge of the Sith from Slant magazine.
Warning: this contains something of a spolier, though if you don’t know what happens at the end of this movie, you were probably also surprised at the ending of Passion of the Christ.
I imagine that Revenge of the Sith is very much the film Lucas’s fans want to see, but are some of them ready for an anti-Bush diatribe?
Though every Star Wars film until now has existed in an insular comic-book world, a lot has happened since 1999 and 2002 in the real world and Lucas dares, for the first time, to address how the hollow political conflict in his franchise correlates with the reality outside its panels. (It would have been stupid not to strike a
parallel.) Revenge of the Sith’s two greatest moments tap into the uncertainty of our own political climate: the dazzling battle between Yoda and Darth Sidious (an outstanding Ian McDiarmid) inside the beautifully spiraling Senate hall evokes Democrats and Republicans scrambling for power and, during an obscenely over-the-top duel in Mustafar, Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) declares, “Only a Sith Lord deals in absolutes,” after Anakin says, “If you’re not with me, you’re my enemy.” Lucas’s political gestures would be easier to appreciate if he himself didn’t trade in absolutes and generalities (you know the
drill: the darker the couture, the closer you are to the dark side), but it’s still a welcome step forward. Pity we had to wait so long for it, but, as they say, better late than never.
Hard to think the “if you’re not with me” line isn’t intentional.
What will Jason Apuzzo say about that?