Tuesday, June 26, 2007


"Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith"

Heresy: The book was better.

Matthew Stover makes George Lucas' premise of Anakin's fall to the dark side believable. The film's depiction of the Jedi's motivations and actions are unconvincing and have the feeling that Lucas put them into the movie because, darn it, he had to show viewers some reason for Anakin's fall.

Stover, on the other hand, has a writer's advantage over a filmmaker, even one as great as George Lucas: Stover can take us inside a character's head and show us the details crashing around inside the brain. It's a powerful weapon, and while some filmmakers come close, they have to accomplish the same effect with monologues, which can get tedious, or expository dialogue, which can be obvious. (Lord Helmet's Spaceballs line after an explanation: "Everybody got that?") If they don't have other storytelling tricks up their sleeves, then they're stuck with choosing subjects that themselves are so plausible as to require little explanation for the audience's benefit. Lucas' premise about Anakin's fall isn't plausible, even with explanation through awkward, unconvincing dialogue. (Padme: "Anakin ... you're breaking my heart.")

Stover uses his writer's advantage with the first words of many chapters: "This is what it feels like to be xxxxx." And then he shows us, in page after page, what it feels like to be xxxxx.

Stover carries the idea that despite the spectacular space battles and grandeur of settings, "Sith" is at heart a tragedy and a love story, and he has tools far more powerful than Lucas the filmmaker to handle the subjects. Side note: For much the same reasons, Stover does a fantastic job describing lightsaber combat. For a clue why he can do this so effectively, take a look at his biography on wikipedia. See the portion about the Degerberg Blend.

More on this later.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Yes, it's over

But here are more pictures of droids from Celebration IV. All of these, except for the ILM model, are fan-built. Several Yahoo groups promote droid construction and provide plans, photographs and community for these creations. The best-known is the R2-D2 Builders Club. Another good site is www.astromech.net. These builders do some good work.

This is R5-DD, a droid with an attitude featured in "Return of Pink Five, Vol. 2."