Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Episode III DVD: Special Features

I decided to start my exploration of the DVD with disk 2, the "Special Features" disk. The disk contains six deleted scenes, the teasers, trailers and TV spots, theatrical posters from various countries, an Xbox demo, stills, a music video and various documentaries.

Tonight I watched the six deleted scenes and "Within a Minute," an exhaustive documentary detailing the tremendous effort it took to create the duel on Mustafar. Ironically, when all was said and done, for me that duel still fell short of both the Vader vs. Luke match in Episode V and the Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon vs. Darth Maul fight in Episode I. It was too short, not to mention the fact that the lava and the lighting got in the way of appreciating the swordsmanship.

I'm always curious about the choices made in removing certain scenes from movies. On both the Episode I and Episode II DVDs there were scenes cut that would have made both movies just a little better. In Episode I a scene in which young Anakin gets in a fistfight with a young Greedo was cut and I feel that it was important to show that even at age nine Anakin had aggressive tendencies. In Episode II, they cut one scene where you get to see Padmé’s family and another scene in which Padmé shows Anakin holograms from her early days in politics. Both of these scenes would have served to flesh out Padmé’s backstory.

The scenes deleted from Episode III aren't on the level of the ones I mentioned above, but at least two of them would've provided a good transition into Episode IV. Both scenes, one set in Bail Organa's office and another in Padmé’s apartment, serve to establish Padmé as one of the founding members of what would become the Rebel Alliance.

It's interesting to note that the Rebel Alliance was formed by two black men, a Hispanic man and four women. Not one white guy. Yet when you look at the awards ceremony at the end of Episode IV, the Rebel Alliance twenty years later consists of nothing but young white men and a lone white female, Princess Leia. Non-humans, humans of color and women of any type need not apply to help rid the galaxy of evil.

I wonder what the hell happened in that timespan?

Of course, by the time you get to Episode VI, another white woman appears (Mon Mothma) and the Mon Calamari come out of nowhere and save everyone’s asses by supplying the ships and the tactical expertise needed to assault Death Star II.

These are the problems you run into when you film things out of sequence.


Luke Cage said...

You would think that Lucas would hire someone just to correct continuity miscues or issues that may arise later. He's got to know that the Star Wars nation has some of the most anal individuals when it comes down to detail. But kudos on summing up the special features of the DVD. Hmmm.. doggonit, you're making it hard for me to NOT go and purchase this Michelle!

Michelle Pessoa said...

Come on, Luke. You know you want it!

(peer pressure!)

Carmi said...

I hate to be a cynic, but I think Star Wars has evolved into a total waste of time. Great special effects can't save bad storytelling and bad acting. George Lucas should stick to the geeky stuff and leave real film making to others.

Then again, when you're worth billions, I suppose you have a right to foist whatever you want on your market. Kudos to him.

Dropped in from Michele's this morning (night...I need more sleep!). Great to see you again this weekend!

Shannon said...

Carmi - Boo Hiss! Bad acting - some. Bad storytelling - how so? I think Ep III did an incredible job of tying the saga together.

Not that I don't have my "issues" - the way Padme was dealt with was pitiful and I feel the scene portraying the founding of the Rebel Alliance was absolutely necessary to the film. Lucas should have left out a lot of the drivel that took place between Anakin & Padme and put in the scenes that would have shown us how the Alliance was born. That scene in Organa's office also provides more insight into Bail Organa's character, which I think would add to a person's experience when watching Ep IV.