Star Wars III: Unsafe at Humanscale

Jen and I caught an early showing of Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith tonight. Kraig Larson warned I should bring earplugs to avoid the dialog and try to look past the robotic direction.

He was right and I appreciated the tip. Unfortunately, that was just the half of it.

Lucas’ best work is the wide, landscape, city, and spaceship shots. They have the detail and clarity of a panoramic photograph, flying past suspension of disbelief and making the on-screen world real and tactile. Then, right when I get enveloped, the scene cuts. Blah.

More trouble when Lucas zooms in. The interior spaces are flat, as if shadows and textures can’t exist indoors. In many of the scenes between Anakin and Padmé and at the Jedi Coucil, I found the view through the windows far more defined and engaging. Zoom in further, where fewer than 3 people are on screen, and everything falls apart; cheap-looking special effects, flat dialog, and yes, robotic direction – even for the non-robots.

Though I don’t see picking it up on DVD, I’ll gladly attend a comprehensive photography exhibit of Star Wars’ exterior scenes that I could walk through at my own speed.

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