Okay, so we just got back from seeing Episode III as a company field trip (we have a great workplace) and even got free lunch from the VP as a surprise bonus (Thanks, Bob), so by all rights, I should be in a great mood.
But I'm not. I'm not in a bad mood, either. I'm okay, but after the little journey I outlined above, I should be ecstatic.
The movie was everything I thought it would be--great visuals, the best saberfights on record, and a few questions answered--but Episodes I and II had tramped down my expectations so much that all I was looking for was a minimum of painful dialog and some great lightsaber showdowns. I got that. But I didn't get anything else.
Mostly, I left with a sense of completion, like when I finish a long book. I feel like I'm ready to put this franchise on a shelf. I'll look back on it fondly, and I'll flip through some of my favorite scenes and chapters (all the saberfights, maybe the pod race, pretty much all of Empire) but I doubt I'll sit down and reread it again. I'm done.
Put another way, we got a preview for the first Chronicles of Narnia film, and I got more jazzed about that than most of Episode III. My buddy Paul, who is strangely unmoved by cool effects and saberfights, felt Episode III had the most complete and engaging story of the six films, presuming you could get past the dialogue. I would agree. It would rate it better than Return of the Jedi, and certainly better than Episodes I and II, but it still can't unseat Empire and the original Star Wars in my book.
Oh, and for those of you looking for spoilers, you came to the wrong place. I don't do that. I will, however, assure ardent fans of Mace Windu (myself among them) that he does not go out "like some sucka." His place in the pantheon of Bad Mutha Jedis is tangibly secured by this film. I guess I can't ask for more.