It's (really) just OK, which normally merits three stars. But I'm a fanboy, so I've given it one more. Scattered observations, possible spoilers:
- You know the Kipling story "How the Leopard Got His Spots"? This could have been called How the Emperor Got His Wrinkles.
- What episodes I-III sorely needed was a Han Solo-like character. Just an ordinary guy, used to scruffling through life, accidentally thrown into big-time danger amidst royalty and intrigue. I'm just sayin', is all.
- Padmé isn't given much to do on Coruscant besides (apparently) go to the hairdresser and shop for clothes. OK, so she's pregnant. She can't blast somebody?
- The film's cutting in the action sequences is frenetic. In most movies, this is a danger signal that the special effects are so cheesy, they can't bear a watchful gaze for more than a few tenths of a second. But that can't be true in this case, can it? Geez, if you're going to spend a gazillion dollars on special effects, let us look at them.
- Should have spent more on Obi-Wan's horsy-lizard on the volcano planet, though. Didn't look real at all.
- Interesting that the Emperor apparently never taught Vader that lightning trick. Wonder if Vader ever asked?
- Apparently it takes around 20 years to build a Death Star. Government contractors, I guess.
- There's a good review from Mr. Last at The
Weekly Standard. He makes the excellent point that
the best parts of this movie are the ones that tie us back
into the beginning of the one I saw back in 1977. Also see Tyler
Cowen's take on fascism. And if you want a
whole bunch more links, the Blogfather has them here, here, and here.