Friday, 5 November 2004

The Bonfire of the Vanities

It's Bonfire Night in the UK. A celebration of Guy Fawkes' abortive Gunpowder Plot, which would have culminated in the destruction of the Houses of Parliament. This morning, somewhat aptly, I've had the opportunity to view THAT teaser trailer...



Last evening’s online debut of the Episode III teaser teaser lead to Lucasfilm’s servers overloading and their licensing division issuing cease and desist orders left, right and centre to sites posting images and links to the trailer (only available to paying Hyperspace and AOL members at time of writing).

Clearly a work in progress, as evinced by incomplete CGI shots, the trailer inspires obvious elemental comparison with The Return of the King (yet fails to evoke the same sense of scope). Much has now been made of the ANH/TPM/AOTC montage at the start (32 seconds) and Obi Wan’s voice over. From a subjective standpoint it reinforces the patchiness of the Star Wars saga since the prequels were unleashed from the hallowed halls of Skywalker Ranch (the current DVD release typifies this and lacks the cohesiveness of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings).



Highlights include Darth Vader’s awakening a la Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a screaming Darth Sidious (genuinely unnerving) and an enraged Anakin Skywalker. The attendant space battles are incumbered by too many elements on screen at once - ROTJ Death Star battle magnified to the extreme.



Overall the teaser affords insight into the dark core of the story and coupled with John Williams’ score, so long as Lucas’ incessant tinkering is minimised, Revenge may yet stand alongside Empire as a darling of both critics and fans.

As a footnote. The Episode III banner was composited in Photoshop Elements 3.0 and the screen grabs were captured in QuickTime 6.x Pro (with a light dusting of Photoshop magic).