The sufferings of Anakin Skywalker

Today we went and saw Star Wars episode 3, and god it was awesome. In the Oxford English Dictionary “Awesome” is defined as “Inspiring reverential fear or wonder”, and in this instance it was a wholly accurate description.

I had of course sat and cringed through the first two star wars movies, and I would almost go so far as to say that it was worth watching them (and remember, they really were both god awful pieces of cinema) so they could set the scene for this piece of cinematic brilliance. Even taking the first two into account the third one does such a good job that I would without reservation say that the first three as a trilogy was worth buying and watching again.

It was sweeping. It was dramatic. It had presence. It had characters with depth. It was dark, and brooding, and full of intrigue and injustice and sorrow. And yet it was also full of premonition, and hope, and positive foreshadowing.

Most of all, and what I felt made it most worthwhile, it left me feeling profoundly sorry for Anakin Skywalker as he was driven with almost no control towards his eventual transformation into Darth Vader, because during the process, which he clearly did not want, he lost so much, and was manipulated and used and hurt and punished so much, and for no reason on his part other than because he was powerful and he was fearful.

For a film maker to be able to elicit such lasting empathy for a character who is shown at other points in the movie mercilessly murdering children really says something. The movie universe was also rich in a level that the previous episodes I think had missed out on.

The final comment I would like to make is that one of the closing scenes involves what I think is possibly one of the most beautiful funeral scene I have ever witnessed. I can’t say any more, as I feel inadequate to describe it using merely my humble vocabulary, but needless to say when it comes out on DVD I will be watching that piece again by itself, many, many times.