It seems like everyone I talk to has resigned themselves to seeing Episode III in the theater. They have the sort of tempered optimism of the abused… this time, this time it will be better. I say, if a thug punches you in your left eye, then your right eye – don’t stick around to see what he’ll do next. We’ve got to break the cycle!
The temptation of the force will be strong. The hardcore fans will be declaring it genius. Don’t listen to them. They would be pleased if George Lucas filmed a steaming cowpie for two hours.
Will Revenge of the Sith be a good movie? Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. The point is: don’t bother. You already know what happens. In the midst of cgi battles and bad dialogue, Annakin becomes Darth Vader. Great. There’s no reason you can’t rent it when it comes out on DVD or see it on cable. Or see it in five years when he re-releases it in 3D with even more cgi elements crowding every frame.
George Lucas has no motivation to use his talent, his vision or his dollars to make good movies. Why? Because we’re letting him make bad ones. He says it himself, in an interview with Steve Silberman of Wired magazine, unaware of the irony:
Power corrupts, and when you’re in charge, you start doing things that you think are right, but they’re actually not.
I believe he still has talent. A small boycott could shake his ranch-bound worldview and generate some American Graffiti caliber cinema. If you don’t see Ep 3 life will undoubtedly go on. It may in fact be more pleasant; there’s no reason to have fond memories of the first trilogy soiled once again. And Lucas might turn his mind away from marketing toys and dubious technological innovations and into crafting quality stories, the sort he hopes to be remembered for:
I’ll be remembered as a filmmaker. The technological problems that I solved will be forgotten by then, but hopefully some of the stories I told will still be relevant.
Related: Wired interview with George Lucas
UPDATE 5/12/2005: Variety’s Todd McCarthy says Ep III is the best since Empire Strikes Back.