My last post was WHEN?

Sorry I’ve been dormant for so long. It’s not that I don’t love you anymore. (Really, it’s not.) I’ve just been…well, I’m not going to use the “in a rut” excuse, because I do that too often, and it’s not like I’ve been incapable of posting – I’ve got all ten fingers and so forth, and they’re all in good working order. Part of it, I think, I can trace to what’s been going on at my office – we’re short-staffed, we’re in the midst of our busy season, and there are changes to our program underway (changes for the better, and changes I think are long overdue, but regardless of how you feel about them, changes = more work). Whatever the reason, I just haven’t felt the inspiration to write.

I don’t want to make this sound like a “contractual obligation” post, but I’m not sure I’ve got a whole lot to say now – but I felt like I had to post something.

“Sith” time’s the charm? Not so much.
Warning: spoilers ahead – if you’ve been living under a rock.

I had intended to post more detailed thoughts on Star Wars: Episode III, but I’m reaching a mental vanishing point – I feel like I might need to see it again to accurately write 1000 words about the movie. What’s more, I’m not sure I’ve got anything to say about “Revenge of the Sith” that hasn’t already been said over and over again ad nauseum elsewhere on the internet.

The long and short is that “Sith” is a good effort for a Star Wars film, and probably holds its own against Episode IV: “A New Hope”, but it falls far short of being a great film, due – in many ways – to Lucas’ organization of the story. I don’t think I know anyone who would disagree that Anakin Skywalker’s spiral from do-gooder Jedi to Dark Lord of the Motherf**king Sith should have been the focus of not only the third chapter, but really the whole ‘prequel trilogy’. Instead we get another tale of hackneyed dialogue, poor time management, and an empresario’s total and utter failure to understand what his audience really wanted to see.

I don’t think I’d be rattling any cages by saying that Episode I didn’t need to happen at all. The tale of how Anakin meets Padme and Obi-Wan could have been told in flashback, through exposition, or – let’s face it – not at all. We never found out how Chewbacca met Han Solo prior to “New Hope”, nor did we see how Han and Lando became tight, and we never needed to. The characters of Qui-Gon and Darth Maul ended up being disposable, since they’re both dead by the end of the first movie. (Yes, I know Qui-Gon:Obi-Wan::Obi-Wan:Luke, and we were supposed to see the parallel, but it’s hard to see something when its being shoved down your throat.) Ditto for Count Dooku, and you could ALMOST say the same for General Greivous, except that he was a pivotal character in the “Clone Wars” microseries on Cartoon Network (which, thankfully, Lucas had no part in writing). And let’s face it – the world, nay, the universe, would be a better place without Jar Jar Binks.

No, it was the events in Episode III that the audience was waiting for, and Lucas still somehow managed to take what should have been an easy grand-slam home run and turn it into a sacrifice bunt. (Holy crap – a sports reference? What have I been drinking?) The political wrangling that made episodes I and II so unbearable returned – albeit to a lesser extent, but it was there. The love story that made time and space stop once again slowed the overall plot to a crawl and made me forget that Natalie Portman really is a good actress. And, of course, yet more “digital scenery” that I’ve railed against in the past.

Then there was the end of the movie in which Lucas takes the recurring theme of dismemberment to new extremes. Following the loss of a leg and his GOOD arm to Obi-Wan, Anakin (nee Darth Vader) gets douced with [Dr. Evil] liquid hot magma [/Dr. Evil] and has most of his skin burned off. The Emperor, fresh from having kicked Yoda’s green arse, senses his apprentice’s emminent doom and rushes to his side. (So far, so good.) He and his guards collect Anakin – they can rebuild him…they have the technology…bigger, stronger, more menacing. (And we’ll throw in James Earl Jones’ voice as an added perk.) We get a really cool visual (slightly reminiscent of a Borg assimilation from that other series) of Anakin getting sealed into his walking iron lung. The Emperor gives the command for his apprentice to rise…and Vader’s first question? “Where’s Padme?” UGH! Lucas took the ultimate movie basass and defanged, neutered and, oh, hell, dismembered him by trying to get the audience to PITY him. (This, of course, was followed by the now infamous “Rage Against the Machine/’VADER SMASH!'” moment.) It’s as if Lucas was channelling Belloq from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”: “Again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away.”

You know what, Lucas? F**k Padme, Han shot first, and for the love of Brak, don’t EVER write or direct a film again.

Huh. I guess I DON’T need to see it again after all. *phew*

Belated happy-happys
I feel bad for not posting this on Saturday, when it should have been posted, but I want to wish a belated Happy Birthday to Schtacey, who hosted a lovely combo birthday/housewarming shindig at her new house on Saturday.

…and the rest…
The Tony Awards were last night – I’m presuming there were shows that won and lost. Honestly, I was more interested in watching “Family Guy” and seeing what the hell “The 4400” was all about….Apple’s going to use Intel chips in future Mac hardware, and I’m presuming snowballs were plentiful in hell today. I’ve got no love for the PowerPC chip, and I’m no expert, but I have to imagine that there are whole load of issues associated with porting an existing OS to a different processor architecture…went to a Phillies game last Thursday – they beat the San Francisco Giants, 6-5 – although I was mainly curious about their new ballpark, which is a great venue. (I’ve never been in any kind of outdoor stadium with no PA delay whatsoever – kudos to whoever did the audio install…Went to IKEA with Michelle on Friday – figured I’d check out the annual patio furniture clearance, but that ended up being a bust. We DID, however, see an awesome sign. I don’t want to reveal what’s ON the sign, because it would decrease the funny. But we’re going to try and get a picture the next time we go.

And I think that’s about it for now.