Planet of the Wookiees

Friday, 5 November 2004 — 11:06pm | Film, Star Wars

Blogger had server problems yesterday that nuked a somewhat comprehensive post I wrote, hence the lack of updates for much of the week. You didn’t miss much, because hardly anything of interest has happened over the past few days anyway.

Everything of note happened today, when I watched Ray, the first trailer for John Lasseter’s Cars, the Oscar-nominated short Boundin’, and The Incredibles. You’ll notice that the trailer for Revenge of the Sith is missing from the list, despite guarantees that it would show in front of Pixar’s latest. Well, Canada and the Famous Players chain are funny that way, in that these guarantees don’t necessarily apply. But I caught the trailer at one of the links listed here, and I’m stoked.

This is the most I have seen or heard of the final episode of the Star Wars saga, given that I’ve been living in a spoiler-free bubble since Attack of the Clones – minus this trailer, of course. The first thirty seconds or so splice footage from both Star Wars (A New Hope, that is) and Clones in a surprisingly cohesive way, before going into brief and somewhat complete-looking glimpses at the work in Episode III. As for the rest of it…

A space battle over Coruscant (and damn, do the Prequels need one)? Wookiees galore as was originally going to be the case in Return of the Jedi until they were replaced by Ewoks? The Emperor with a lightsabre? The legendary duel over the molten pit on some unknown blood-red planetoid of fire (another concept from an early draft of Jedi)? Throw in the Vader suit, Obi-Wan’s hair and design elements that hearken back to the starship interiors and exteriors in Episode IV, and it looks very much like Revenge will deliver the aesthetic bridge between the two eras.

Of course, it’s up to the script. There’s a whole gaggle of plot threads left to be resolved here and tied into a neat little knot. No sign of Count Dooku in the trailer, you’ll notice, although Christopher Lee is still playing a major enough role in the movie for his name to earn a high placement in the credits. I also remain sceptical about whether it makes all that much sense to give the Emperor a red lightsabre of his own – it always struck me that one of the defining traits of the mastermind character is that his final resort to physical violence in Return of the Jedi is his downfall – but if they could make dueling work with Yoda, they can make it work with him.

I have too much to say about The Incredibles for this post. Rest assured, if they don’t give it the Best Animated Film Oscar this year (specifically, if it goes to the likes of the enjoyable but overrated Shrek 2), it will be the wrong decision – unless The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie or The Polar Express are good, real good, life-changingly good. Please drop what you are doing and see The Incredibles. You won’t regret it.

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