Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Geeky Conspiracy Theory

Not to make this the Star Wars junkies' blog, but I feel obliged to throw in my $0.02. As you may induce from the preceding posts, I was the other Ahab's member who 'loved' Revenge of the Sith. I did like the film. But mind you, going in, I had no expectations that it would be as good as any episode from the original trilogy. (Nothing compares with Star Wars, not even Star Wars.) That said, the more I think about ROTS, the more I like it, which is apparently the opposite reaction MacDuff had. Yeah, there were some idiotic parts in it: the wookie scenes were fun, but senseless, and we never did see why Jabba calls him the "mighty" Chewbacca, since he seems to spend the film sipping tea with Yoda in a treehouse. Furthermore, there were some mysteries provoked by the previous two films that were never wrapped up. For example, why did 'Sifo Dyas,' the Jedi who is alleged to have ordered the clones in Episode II, order the clones? Also, in Episode II, the Jedi pretty clearly see Jango Fett, the model for the clones, fighting with the separatists. So why the hell aren't they suspicious that the separatists were clearly behind the creation of the clone army? I mean, it doesn't take a hyperspace engineer. The biggest unresolved question of all, of course, is, what exactly are the Sith getting revenge for? I could go on about these inconsistencies and regretful omissions (Slate.com runs down a few pretty well, including the continuity problems involving the droids: "And why does Artoo manifest new and wondrous powers throughout the prequel trilogy (he can fly!), when in Episode V, he can barely wrestle a candy bar out of Yoda's hands?").

Still, there's some food for thought, outside of some lacklustre acting (although Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine was great) and some preposterous dialogue ('Hold me like you held me by the lake at Naboo'). To wit, there's one thing that I've been pondering, to quote MacDuff's post below:

>instead we get Vader showing up for 2 minutes at the Opera to learn that the >Emperor knows how badly he has been dissed by the infinitely perceptive council who >are charged with protecting the galaxy

The more I think about this scene, the more I believe I missed a key to the series in watching it. (Warning, this is the geeky part.) In the little talk between Palpatine and Anakin, the future Emperor brings up the topic of an old Sith Lord, Plaguis, or whatever his name is, with the implication that it was his old master, and he killed him in his sleep. Anyway, Palps says that Plaguis had the ability to manipulate midiclorians, and create life, and taught his skills to his apprentice. Now, the only other time in the entire 6 films that midiclorians are even mentioned is in Phantom Menace, when Qui Gon is talking about how the young Anakin has the highest concentration of the stuff he's ever seen. That can't be a coincidence. And Anakin is thought to be a 'virgin birth,' with no father. So, the rub: can it be that Palpatine created Anakin, through some manipulation of the force, with the intention all along of making him the future Darth Vader? After all, in Return of the Jedi, he boldly claims that "everything that has transpired has done so according to my design." Look at the scene that MacDuff derides -- the so-called 'opera', in which something unusual is going on, like, hmmm, an egg being fertilised? (See the image above.) Could be a coincidence, but it could also be some (unusually) smart stagecraft on Lucas's part, to avoid the blatant 'No, I am your father' allusion. In any case, there appears to be more to this deliberate, slow-paced, eerily scored scene at the opera, and it gives resonance to another throw-away line in Phantom Menace, when Palpatine tells the young Anakin that he will watch his career with great interest. Go ahead, try to tear this theory down, but as preposterous as it sounds, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. We may never know.

Nope, it wasn't the Empire Strikes Back, but it rivals Return of the Jedi, and was the best of the prequels by far. Much to MacDuff's disgust, I'm sure, I'm going to see the film again, just to see what else I can pick up on, even if some loose ends will never be tied up. There may be more than meets the eye, if you're willing to grin and bear it.

UPDATE: Apparently, my theory is vindicated, because George Lucas had this idea too. Check out this scan, taken from the book 'The Making of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.' (Hat tip to a poster named eyebeams, on this website).


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