Monday, May 16, 2005

Stars Wars Stuff

Check out this post at Get Religion about Star Wars' religious and political themes. Here's some excerpts:

The big question: What if the religion in the Star Wars canon was totally and
utterly screwed up, a mixmaster blend of everything that is out there filtered
through the Baby Boomer perspective of a man who has no idea what he believes?

Will the Culture Wars — accurately defined — show up in the new movie? At some
point, will Sith and a Jedi superstars point fingers at one another and say that
the other is on the side of George W. Bush and the Religious Right?

Here's the NYTimes review:

"Revenge of the Sith"... ranks with "The Empire Strikes Back" (directed by Irvin Kershner in 1980) as the richest and most challenging movie in the cycle. It comes closer than any of the other episodes to realizing Mr. Lucas's frequently reiterated dream of bringing the combination of vigorous spectacle and mythic resonance he found in the films of Akira Kurosawa into American commercial cinema.

To be sure, some of the shortcomings of "Phantom Menace" (1999) and "Attack of the Clones" (2002) are still in evidence, and Mr. Lucas's indifference to two fairly important aspects of moviemaking - acting and writing - is remarkable. Hayden Christensen plays Anakin Skywalker's descent into evil as a series of petulant bad moods. Natalie Portman, as Senator (formerly Queen) Padmé Amidala, to whom Anakin is secretly married, does not have the range to reconcile the complicated and
conflicting demands of love and political leadership. Even the more assured performers - Samuel L. Jackson as the Jedi master Mace Windu, Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jimmy Smits as Senator Bail Organa (note the surname) - are constrained by their obligation to speechify.