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This is the Revenge of the Sith

This is banazir, devouring a book:
I got Revenge of the Sith around 17:45, started reading in earnest at 22:15, and got halfway through by 03:00. I read rather slowly, especially in comparison to how quickly I read as a child, so it will take me another 6-7 hours to finish. (For reference, The Phantom Menace by Terry Brooks and possibly Book 2 of The Belgariad are the only novels I've ever read at a sitting. Arrow's Fall by Mercedes Lackey is the only other one that is even close.

I'll write a full review later, but IMO, it's good.

The book is quite evocative. The entire "this is" leitmotif is really rather absorbing. Masterful analogies - better even than Zahn's and Brooks's. I don't usually like the flowery references to lightsabres as laser swords or flaming founts, but Stover's colorful prose is somehow right - subtle and tractable. It's a kind of grown-up Star Wars that one can really enjoy. There are lots of little in-jokes and pop culture references that seem to be Stover's voice, and the occasional homage, which is fun.

Halfway through the book: no mention of Jar-Jar, midichlorians, or cutesy plush merchandising vehicles. An SW fan could get used to this.

Dooku's death, while betrayed and on his knees, less than sympathetic but jarring in his blatant murder, is exactly what I expected. Somehow, the juxtaposition of Palpatine the kindly mentor and Sidious, anticipated with inward groans all of these years, doesn't jar as I expected it to. (Wait for the actual delivery of Stover's carefully recrafted dialogue-in-context to wreck all of that.) Combat is stylized and abstract, but believable. Stover does leave a few holes (e.g., when Obi-Wan fights for about an hour with a concussion).

I'm not even irritated that Artoo and Threepio end up being mutual wedding presents, keeping the universe nice and minute. It has kind of a "Smallvillesque" feel to it, in that the constraints of the universe form a flow-of-information puzzle with many imminent paradoxes and inconsistencies, that are (more or less) explained away.

Oh, and I know I said homages are fun, but how many Black Knight allusions from Monty Python and the Holy Grail do we need? I can see it now. I guess limb-chopping is the dwarf tossing of SW.

ETA, 01:10 CDT Fri 15 Apr 2005:

OK, here's a spoiler: we all know that most of the Jedi die, with the obvious exception of Obi-Wan and Yoda. But! Subtly nestled in the sudden-death climax is the glaring fact that Jar-Jar doesn't die... at least at first. We can suppose that purges of the Senate, not just signatories of the Petition of the Two Thousand but other dissidents, particularly non-humans, came later.

A few plot holes are merely visual inconsistencies or technical ambiguities: For example, how premature are Luke and Leia? And how is it the Death Star construction commencing an implied 19 years before the Battle of Yavin?



As for the film, I'm ambivalent now. On the one hand, it's bound to be nice eye-candy, and a decent story (more so than Episodes 1 and 2). On the other, I can tell you that however high your expectations are, it's bound to look cooler, and however low they are, it's bound to sound dumber. Such is Lucasian dialogue, and such are ILM's special effects. Oh, well.

--
Banazir

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
cretaceousrick
Apr. 14th, 2005 10:32 am (UTC)
I avoided the book itself at the store, but instead gravitated toward a glossy "making of" picture book. If even some of the concept art was delivered onto the screen successfully, Episode III's eyecandy value alone will more than make up for any shortcomings of this trilogy. I say this, however, as a fan who's come to peace with I and II by mentally considering them multi-million dollar fanfic, and not canon.
auriam
Apr. 14th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
I'm concerned about the HHGTTG movie, personally. I really hope they don't ruin the book for me.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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