Spooky and I have been fairly submerged in Star Wars since Friday evening, when we watched The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones again, back to back. We followed that with Genndy Tarkovsky's animated Clone Wars. Last night, we even dropped by the Revenge of the Sithapalooza at Criminal Records in L5P for a few minutes. Here are a couple of shots of the high weirdness that is a metal band composed of Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and assorted agents of the Empire. They're pretty lousy photos. We were way in the back.
So...today we went to a 12:30 p.m. showing of Revenge of the Sith. I had only the faintest rind of hope that on this last chance, George Lucas might have made another Star Wars movie that doesn't suck bantha behind. And I am pleased to say, entirely to my surprise, that this is, indeed, the case. Though it wobbles here and there towards the beginning, RotS is the third, and possibly even the second, best film of the six. Gone is almost all of the lame humour. We only have to see Jar-Jar Binks twice, and on neither ocassion is he allowed to speak. The opening battle scene is as grand and engaging as the Hoth battle in The Empire Strikes Back. About halfway through the film, I realized that, for the first time since TESB, I was truly immersed. I actually cared about the characters. This time, the actors are allowed to act, and they do a nice job with the script. They are allowed to emote. I was dumbfounded. I've heard a rumour that Lucas was persuaded by F. F. Coppola to allow someone else to direct the human actors, and if this is true, it would explain the difference. Honestly, in my opinion, for whatever that is worth, this is a good movie. It evokes the wonder and excitement and awe missing the last two times out. This is truly how this whole thing was meant to wrap up. Anakin Skywalker's fall and the demise of the Jedi is the heartbreak that it had to be. I will be seeing it at least once more in theatres. Indeed, I would dare go so far as to suggest that you could take the first two Star Wars films (SW:ANH and SW:TESB, follow them up with this last film, and you'd have a better trilogy than the original three (I was never pleased with all that foolishness with the Ewoks). I tend to be over enthusiastic, I know. I'm infamous for excessive enthusiasm. But I liked this film. A lot. I'll have more to say on it later. Comments welcome.
When we got home, there were five or six boxes of ARCs of To Charles Fort, With Love stacked on the front porch. If you'll recall, Spooky and I have been charged with the task of getting ARCs mailed out to a couple hundred bookstores, in hopes of boosting the collection's sales beyond the established market. It looks like a warehouse around here. Anyway, I'm going to spare a copy or two (or three) for eBay, and because, I must admit, things are a bit tight financially at the moment, largely due to my taking so frelling long to write the new novel, there won't be a "Buy It Now" option on these ARCs. But they're very nice, with the final cover art and Rick Kirk's interior illos. If there were going to be a tpb edition of the collection, this is pretty much how it would look (though, of course, the text and layout is uncorrected). I'll let you know when the auction starts, late today or sometime tomorrow.