Oh, anything spoilerific will be hidden behind the cut. The rest isn't.
Anyhoo, as you may have realised (unless you are dibsy), I went and saw the Star Wars midnight Premiere last night. Before hand I was with some college and assorted other people, eating sweet pizzas on Lygon Street, and then I went and joined up with random Second-Floorians down at the cinema.
The final group was: Me, neo_leviathan, lena_supercat, ephant, melbournian, Anna (who I don't really know), Michael from IH, and Rob from Whitley College.
The wait was nowhere near as long as I had expected - yay for pre-booked tickets! - and I had a lot of fun chasing after people in costumes so I could take photos of them. Lots of Jedi costumes, but being as we were at Hoyts, not the big opening at Crown, not a huge amount of really fancy costumes. Oh, and I saw a few people wearing Star Trek badges *is amused*
Once inside, my group went and got seats up the very back (I was still waiting outside for everyone to show up). Once I got in there, there was a real party like atmosphere - lots of lightsabres being waved, photos taken, and two guys (one dressed Sith, the other like Luke in ANH) got huge cheers for a mock lightsabre fight. Oh, and several others in my group started playing 500 in the wait, of all things!
There was a huge amount of noise when the lights went down, but very little sympathy was given to the previews. And the didn't turn the sound up for ages!
Though, quote of the night had to go to some random guy in the crowd. Just when the "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." came onto screen, he yelled out:
"I've seen this one!"
There were enormous cheers for the opening theme, and they continued for most of the scroll. Because this...was it.
I won't bother with a summary - everyone will see it sooner or later - I'll just go with my opinion on various things.
Firstly - visually, it was great. It looked fantastic, and I really loved how it was starting to pick up a little of the Original Trilogy's grime and metal look. As well as some very familiar looking fighters in the battle scenes. I have heard some people complain about the CGI on Yoda or the Clones or whatever, but I didn't have a problem with it - it all seemed fairly seamless to me. Some of the OT's motifs were well used - the Double Sunset especially.
I did have some issues with the editing though. The early scenes all seemes so short. As if there had been heaps more, but it had all been cut out. I know they had their reasons, but I would have loved to see more, which would not only build the plot, but balance out the way too freaking short scenes in the first half. In contrast, the editing in the end, especially the two duels, and the birth of the twins/building of Vader was great.
The music was...variable. The links to the OT were really good, really well chosen - Imperial March in a few of Anakin's darker moments (I can't recall properly, but it may have when he was first named Darth Vader). Luke's theme at the end was utterly perfect, what with the Double Sunset, and Duel of the Fates fitted quite well with the tone of the film.
However, I did have some problems with the music, mainly that that it could have been much better. The musical finale bit needed something really tragic before fading into the very ended, and so did the big duel. There were a few moments which literally could have reduced me to tears, if they had just had some good music to back it up, and I was vaguely disappointed. It seems that the new music just didn't have the grand feel of the old stuff - even the other Prequel's music.
And onto the big stuff - story and characters:
R2 was hugely popular, especially at the start, where he was highly amusing with the Comlink (another of the ladies razor ones, I see). I wonder what happend to all his tools over the next twenty years, though.
Yoda was quite well done, in my opinion. For all his coolness, he was shown to be fallible, and that made me like him more.
Grievous was cool. I liked the way he walked. 'Nuff said.
Palpatine rocked mightily. There were a few WTF moments when his voice did all sorts of very odd things, especially after the Mace Windu duel, and also, dude, ugly! The guy was greta at being evil though, all calm and fearless until he kicked everyones arse. But you could tell McDiarmid enjoyed it, and I think he did a pretty good job. Though I can't imagine who would want to vote for him looking like that...
Padme was rather underwhelming. She had her moments - that comment in the Senate about the death of liberty, for one - but seemed to have become so weak. A damsel in distress type, and a serious downer for feminists, considering she can't live without her man. It wasn't a bad job by Portman, but the character seemed..off.
Obi-Wan was great. He was never really a favourite character of mine, but I am really starting to like him after this. he was cool, he had style, and you could tell he was so sad after what had happened - he really didn't want to kill Anakin. *loffs Obi-Wan*
And of course, Anakin. When he was evil, I loved him, and also in the starting battle. Bratty, arrogant but fun. With Padme: bleh! No chemistry! I actually find it intriguing that he seemed more in love with her when they were seperate, than together. Christensen is not a bad actor - he acually seemed pretty good, in the most part, but the romance!
My other problem with Anakin was his fall. Oh, I liked him good, and loved him bad, but the transition...far too short. It wasn't that I didn't understand what was happening - I get why he fell, it just seemed to be far too quick. The fact he felt bad about it helped a little, but I wonder if any of the cut scenes may ahve improved matters.
And References, references everywhere! I pity those poor fools who don't understand all those wonderful in-jokes!
- After that Clonetrooper gave Obi-Wan his lightsabre, and then a few seconds later gets Order 66. I bet he really regretted doing that...
- Grievous sounds like an Anti-Smoking commercial. Add Vader to that, and you have to wonder if Lucas is getting paid to do it or something.
- Grievous also really needed to invest in some better body armour. The internal organs looked cool, in an icky sort of way, but dude! Protection!
- The Wookies were so overhyped. Nice to see them, but didn't deserve all the advertising they got. Not bad, just it should have been a surprise. Couldn't you just imagine the look on evryone's faces when they hear it's Chewie there?
- The romantic dialogue. That thing about Padme being beautiful because she's in love? The audience started laughing. Rightfully so, in my opinion. Actually, if it wasn't for this bit, it would have been a good moment. Anakin watching Padme brush her hair...if they'd just got onto the serious stuff, it would have been much more effective, and still had the emotion behind it - we know they are in love.
- The so-called Jedi Masters arresting Palpatine. No wonder the Jedi got killed off so easily, if these are their top fighters.
- Vader's "NOOOOOO!!!!!" As neo_leviathan said, it gives you flash-backs to Calculon on Futurama.
- Dooku getting rid of Obi-Wan so quickly. Yet Obi-Wan bet Anakin later on. WTF?
- "I have the higher ground." Unsubtle or what? I liked his delivery and all, but still...
- Padme dying for NO APPARENT REASON! No will to live, huh? What about her two children she just gave birth to? I mean, isn't family love supposed to be the most pure of all? Vader died to save Luke, yet Padme just goes all pathetic and limp, and seems to have very little interest in her children
- Palpatine in his chair at the start, looking perfectly relaxed. "Kill him."
I loved it! And the look on Dooku's face...
- Obi-Wan: "So uncivilised." Obviously, his mind hasn't changed after all those years on Tattooine.
- The Tragedy of Darth Plaguis (sp?). Getting killed by his own apprentice, in his sleep. And the way Palpatine had that little smirk on his face, he must have enjoyed that immensely.
- Yoda kicking arse, firstly after Order 66, and secondly when he smashes the Imperial Guards with hardly a movement.
- Obi-Wan's speech to Anakin, after the slice-and-dice. So wonderfully tragic. One case were Lucas managed to get some writing very right. The one moment where I was almost moved to tears. And he just watched him burn...
- Anakin cutting loose at the temple. And with the Seperatists. Anakin being evil = very cool. And I liked that he was in tears after it - he knows it's wrong, but he's still going ahead.
- On that subject, the silent cuts between him and Padme, when Mace Windu is heading for the arrest. No dialogue, just music - one time when the sound is right.
- Obi-Wan holding baby Luke. Awwwwww!
- Oh, and Bail Organa's ship - the flashbacks! the marvellous, marvellous flashbacks!
Overall - best of the prequels, by far, but not up to the OT. I liked it quite a lot, but I didn't love it like I do the OT - though I expect that like most of the others, it will grow on me after repeated viewings.
All I can say is: *waves hand* You WILL see Episode 3.