The Best Review of “Star Wars: Episode III”
Anthony Lane wins the prize for his sharp and amusing takedown in the New Yorker. I worry about spoiling the essay with an excerpt of the best parts, so I’ll just highlight the first paragraph, which is awesome in its own right:
Sith. What kind of a word is that? Sith. It sounds to me like the noise that emerges when you block one nostril and blow through the other, but to George Lucas it is a name that trumpets evil. What is proved beyond question by Ã¢€œStar Wars: Episode IIIÃ¢€”Revenge of the Sith,Ã¢€ the latestÃ¢€”and, you will be shattered to hear, the lastÃ¢€”installment of his sci-fi bonanza, is that Lucas, though his eye may be greedy for sensation, has an ear of purest cloth. All those who concoct imagined worlds must populate and name them, and the resonance of those names is a fairly accurate guide to the mettle of the imagination in question. Tolkien, earthed in Old English, had a head start that led him straight to the flinty perfection of Mordor and Orc. Here, by contrast, are some Lucas inventions: Palpatine. Sidious. Mace Windu. (IsnÃ¢€™t that something you spray on colicky babies?) Bail Organa. And Sith.
I’ve yet to see the movie — I have tickets for tomorrow’s matinee — so I can’t appraise Lane’s argument. But I can appreciate his prose.