Apparently this is far more important than, say, writing my book. ;P
Here’s the piece, originally posted on Box of Bunnies. The first bit is responding to the argument that “Yes, master” has a less accepting connotation than “Yes, my master”, and was therefore used to highlight Vader’s progression into service under the Emperor. I later respond to the idea that the suit in the teaser might be empty, and to comments about the cheesy orange eyes. I then fall into pure rant-mode (which is the strongest part of this whole blurb). Check it out :>
Yeah, you’re right about that connotation, I think, Dan. (Though Vader never truly submitted to Palpatine. He always entertained thoughts of overthrowing him and becoming the emperor/man in charge himself. Maybe he adopted the "my master" later on in order to try and convince Palpatine that he was sincere.
(Palpatine, of course, knew all this, as he was a brilliant evil genius, manipulating Vader’s greed towards his own ends. But I digress.)
It still sounds cheesy, but meh.
As for the suit being empty, if it’s empty, why do the arms need to be shackled up (in the doofiest possible pose)? I would guess that this is the point at which Anakin is fused to the suit (he is a cyborg, after all, and from recent "leaked" pictures it appears that he loses his leg as well as the hand he already lost. Those lava injuries are going to be bad, my friends).
The Dark Side does (according to comic book/novel canon) degrade the body. This is why the Emperor is so old; he has his own cloning tank for when his body fully dies, and he uses the Dark Side to transfer his mind to a new cloned body. (Which looks very buff and Aryan.) I don’t know if this is going to be refuted by Episode III, or if we are going to see that Senator Palpatine is a clone puppet of Sidious, the real Palpatine…or what. (If the Kaminoans are to be believed, the cloning process does not result in a fully formed adult, like it did in the comics. But maybe Palpatine uses the Dark Side for that, as well.)
So! Orange eyes could be a sign of the Dark Side decaying you from the inside. (The Emperor’s eyes are orange/yellow, in Jedi.)
Regardless. Here’s how I see the progression:
First, we have the Holy Trilogy. It starts with a fable, an epic, that involves the fate of a handful of people as well as the fate of the galaxy. (And originally, it didn’t have stupid slapstick comedy added for no reason.) It continues into a darker tale, a film that is a lot scarier. I was afraid to watch it as a kid. But ultimately, it’s not a harmful movie, even allowing for the cliffhanger. It’s life. Bad things happen. You deal with them and move on. Luke’s new hand is a symbol of the fact that he’s going to keep trying. Then we have Jedi, which is the weakest (I’ve argued before that Attack of the Clones is actually better than Jedi, but that really depends on my mood). This movie wasn’t scary, but it had a lot of psychological stuff going on between Luke and Vader. It also had cute animals dying in a forest, which could be rather scarring.
The point I’m trying to make here is that the (original versions of the) Star Wars Trilogy were intelligent movies. They weren’t "films", in the hoity-toity sense. They’re not overly complex. But they’re not dumbed-down, either.
But then we get the prequels.
The Phantom Menace: What, exactly, was the point of this movie? What happened here that couldn’t have been interjected into Attack of the Clones as flashbacks? There is no epic, no endearing characters. We watch, detached, as some people run around fighting for reasons that are unclear. There’s no emotion, no desperation, no need for them to win. I believe what happened here was a combination of too much complexity (in the plot, concerning galactic affairs) and too much dumbing-down (in regards to the characters, especially the comedic ones, but including others, like the completely pointless Mace Windu, and the inexplicably stubborn Qui-Gon Jinn. Padme was flat and stale, and Anakin was made of cardboard). Add in some stupid slapstick comedy and you’ve got yourself a winner! ;P
Attack of the Clones: Far stronger than TPM, but still not much of a movie. I had to craft an elaborate explanation for the wooden acting–one which I still cling to, desperately. This movie is 3/4 exposition, 1/4 climax, and then some hasty denouement that barely squeezes in. Threepio takes up Jar-Jar’s place as Repository of Stupid Humor (though I’ll admit to liking his better than Jar-Jar’s). This movie, in an apparent effort to stave off the issue of complexity, has some really, really dumb moments. Example: Obi-Wan can’t find Kamino in the archive. Jocasta Nu tells him "If it’s not in the archive, it doesn’t exist." Obi-Wan is completely baffled by this, because he knows something is there. The answer is patently obvious, even if you did grow up in a complacent culture with self-important librarians. But instead we are "treated" to a scene in which a kiddie Jedi points out Obi-Wan’s lack of higher brain functions.
Due to the dumbing-down process, both TPM and AotC are kiddie movies (which is insulting to children everywhere–maybe I should say they’re movies for dogs?–because kids have every right to complex entertainment, damn it). It’s unclear who Lucas was trying to cater to here–families?–but obviously he was trying to cater, rather than just trying to tell a good story. Or at least, I’d prefer to believe that…and I’d prefer to believe that his edits to the originals are along that vein as well, even though he denies it ;P
The third movie, then, following two "family" movies, is supposed to be really Dark and Evil. But Lucas is committed to keeping it PG, from what I know. And I’d believe that, from the teaser.
Because the teaser is CHEESY!
What happens to dark subject matter when it isn’t treated with the proper respect?
It becomes CHEESY!
What’s going to happen to Darth Vader, arguably the best villain of all time?
He’s going to turn CHEESY!
Given Lucas’ current outlook on filmmaking, there is no way that this film could be anything close to Empire unless someone else directed it. Therefore, the themes explored in this film are not going to be given the proper weight. Vader will go from being the symbol of all the evil that lies in the hearts of mankind…to a caricature.
I don’t know why people are getting excited about this movie. Everything I see just reinforces the fact that it’s going to suck.