A Station Eight Fan Web Site


The Phoenix Gate

Search Ask Greg

Search type:

Displaying 1 record.

Bookmark Link

Gerin writes...

Hi again Greg,

not a question really, but I recently read an older post of yours where you explain your negative opinion about "Return of the Jedi" and the confrontation between Luke and the emperor in particular. Since you sometimes ask your fans to ramble too, here's why I think this is one of the best standoffs in the history of movies:

High class villain. Fragile, feeble, understated. Gives definition to "sinister", implies awesome aura.
And witty! Usually, when Good Guy (James Bond, Superman, Elisa) is at the mercy of Bad Guy (Blofeld, Lex Luthor, Demona), isn't Bad Guy all outspoken and arrogant, but alas, Good Guy always has wittier deliveries, better puns etc.?
Whatever Luke throws at him, Palpatine's got the retorts. "Your arrogance is your weakness", says Luke. Any other villain would now start throwing around threats, acting all superior, unwillingly confirming the statement. Not Palpatine. He's even kind of agreeing by saying "The trust in your friends is yours." And Luke is speechless.

For two and a half movies, we've been lectured constantly on how fear and anger lead to the dark side. Morale, good and evil, yadda-yadda. Always play nice. Yeah, as if it matters. Power is power, right?
Suddenly, it does matters and the concept becomes tangible: Vader threatens Luke's sister, and boy does Luke get mad. And powerful! No finesse anymore, just sheer rage. It's filmmaking at its best! Listen to the choir. Watch how this outlashing is not strung out to minutes. It's a matter of seconds, the point is made.

Eventually, Luke spares Vader. Luke states: "I'm a jedi.", again no threats from the emperor, just acknowledges the fact: "As you wish, jedi." And then, he tells Luke how puny he is. And shows him.
Unfortunately, the climax that these force lightings represent don't come across anymore because they have become common through the videogames, not to say Ep. II and III where they are used without abandon.

No intent to argue. Just my ramble, really. :-)

Greg responds...

No intent to argue back, but I just don't see those scenes that way at all. I thought they were awful and that the Emperor was one of the worst villains I can recall. But I'm happy to admit that that's just my opinion.

Response recorded on May 03, 2007