"This is how liberty dies – to thunderous applause."
Kenneth Turan at the LA Times: "Although the ‘Star Wars’ universe wouldn’t exist if Lucas hadn’t fought for it and taken it more seriously than anyone else, he seems to be taking it so seriously today that the raffish energy and wised-up sense of humor that marked the very first ‘Star Wars’ is completely gone from the scene."
And at the New York Times, A.O. Scott likes it best of all, and writes a rather splendid melancholy review: "…the inverted chronology turns out to be the most profound thing about the ‘Star Wars’ epic.
Taken together, and watched in the order they were made, the films
reveal the cyclical nature of history, which seems to repeat itself
even as it moves forward. Democracies swell into empires, empires are
toppled by revolutions, fathers abandon their sons and sons find their
fathers. Movies end. Life goes on."
The political leanings of "Revenge of the Sith" are a issue of some debate: the Guardian quotes George Lucas at the Cannes premiere on the film as a political parable and a warning to the US, and many others are reading it this way (in fact, in the LA Times review, Turan cites the quote we started with, spoken by Natalie Portman‘s PadmÃ© Amidala, as one of several "lines that sound as if they reflect as much on the current political situation as the one in the future"). John Patterson at the Guardian seems rather off then, in his screed against the series, claiming that Lucas’ "profound conservatism was already evident in ‘American Graffiti’" and that "four decades after young Americans went to a
meaningless war with heads full of John Wayne anti-commie bullshit,
we’re now sending kids who were raised with Lucas’s new creation myths
to Iraq, albeit with unbattle-worthy light-sabres."
Patterson also brings up another historic sore point – the claim that before "Star Wars," 70s cinema was politically engaged and exciting, and that Lucas’ grandiose sci-fi escapism killed this. A.O. Scott addresses in his NY Times review, saying that this first, those accusations are unjust, and second, Lucas deserves credit for "Sith"’s attempt at political commentary.
At the Telegraph, David Gritten reports on all the hoopla of the world premiere. The Boston Globe talks to Lucas about his long-discussed plans to return to small avant-garde films: "he says he has every intention of dipping into the binder he keeps and pulling out an idea for a movie no one may want to see." And at the New York Post, Russell Scott Smith looks at how "Sith" connects itself to the first trilogy, setting up for "A New Hope."
+ Final Star Wars bears message for America (Guardian)
+ The darker side (Guardian)
+ Stars from a galaxy far, far away take Cannes by storm (Telegraph)
+ After all that, George Lucas is a small-picture guy (Boston Globe)
+ Back to the Future (NY Post)