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Imagination offsets depth

Attention all “Star Wars” fans: Dan hangs out in Glenwood Springs – in case you want to go after him with your lightsabers for giving “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” a two star rating.I mean, what kind of evil moviegoer gives the last blast of “Star Wars” a below-average rating?Sure, it has its flaws – namely the aforementioned thin plot and lack of character depth. It seems George Lucas relies on the foundation he built with characterization in the 1970s and 1980s. Now he’s into special effects.And special effects “Sith” has: dizzying rides through space, enormous futuristic cities, a psychedelic Alice-in-Wonderland scene, incredibly choreographed light saber battles, technicolored flying creatures, and a hot lava place of demise.Lucas may have skimped on dialogue and depth, but his cinematographic creativity more than makes up for it. When it comes to futuristic worlds, my imagination is limited, and Lucas’ is brilliant, so I’d rather have creativity than characterization.And most importantly, he satisfies my need to know how the cute innocent blonde turned into a black-masked menace.I had heard how dark “Sith” is, and I thought it would really freak me out. The most disappointing thing, perhaps, is that it didn’t.Lucas reduces the evil lord to a laughable caricature. His voice resembles every bad impression of “Evil” you’ve ever heard. His face is ridiculously Halloween-esque. And when Anakin bows in obedience to him, I just wanted to say, “Huh?”Yes, anger and the need for power possesses Anakin. But if I were him, I would’ve hung out with Yoda a little more before turning to some red-eyed, pale, shriveled-face monster.But, I suppose that’s the point of the movie: Fear can make otherwise good people turn to the Dark Side in an effort to gain control.As I walked out of the midnight premiere, I tried to get people to talk about the “Star Wars” philosophy. But people seemed more wooed by the overall creativity of the film than the spiritual or philosophical implications of “Sith.” Maybe I just hung out with a weird family, or maybe the care Lucas took with character and plot development led people to adopt “The Force” almost as a spiritual way of being in the ’70s and ’80s.These days, Yoda kicks butt more than he imparts words of wisdom (but I gotta say, watching Yoda give some attitude is quite fun). Evil lords don’t reveal profundities such as, “I am your father.” Instead, they just shrivel up and talk like their throat is terminally dry.Maybe what we’ve gained in technology we’ve lost in soulful pondering.Or maybe, the combination of the original and modern trilogies offers the depth and imagination for us to see how our own epic journey fits into the futuristic mythology that has permeated generations.


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