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Blah. Not a fan of this one.
The first half was non-stop action and it had me really tired out. In Mockingjay or Saving Private Ryan, I felt "battle fatigue" because war was handled so realistically and it made me feel nauseous in a very good way. This just made me tired. It was complete slaughter on the Jedi's side (though, of course, they were really beat up at the end) and honestly it was boring.
The second half was more interesting. There were some good character moments. Boba Fett was handled much better here than he was in Invincible. Tahiri might just be one of my favourite Legacy characters right now. The Big 3 were all good, though nothing amazing, and I liked the nods to the OT.
The Force philosophy thing really got me thinking, but probably not in the way Denning had in mind. It made me think about where Star Wars is headed and honestly made me question starting the post-RotJ EU in the first place. There is a bunch of things that don't add up about the Force, not just in Apocalypse, but in new Star Wars books, TV shows etc. in general:
1) How could the Ones be killed? Seriously. What are they exactly? Son seems to be the personification of the dark side and Daughter of the light side, but their deaths didn't seem to impact much. Does the galaxy even need the Ones? That was the one of the things that really struck me as absurd in the Mortis trilogy. They killed Daughter? Does that mean the light side is kaput now? Oh, Son and Father are killed now too. Does this mean the Force will implode or something? Apparently not. It's like in Greek mythology if someone decided to kill Poseiden. Does this mean it's the end of storms? Actually, a better example would be in Avatar: The Last Airbender when the moon spirit is killed and the moon went dark. That made sense! In Star Wars we can apparently kill the Dark Side, the Light Side, and "Balance" and walk away whistling. I'm rambling, but I don't know how else to articulate this.
2) What does the Chosen One prophecy even mean? What did Anakin do that was so amazing, when you view it in light of the EU and TCW. If you watch the OT in isolation (which by the way is becoming more and more appealing), it's a story about good defeating evil and everyone living in peace. Then the PT comes and we get a prophecy that Anakin will "bring balance to the Force", which I always assumed meant he was going to destroy the Sith and that the dark side was the disturbance in the Force. Once the dark side was defeated, "balance" would be brought. The films are now complete and I don't see any other way of looking at it. Then the Sith return again. And again. And again. The Chosen One didn't come to much. The galaxy's in the same state it's always been. But of course, the idea of "balance" seems to have changed...
3) Which brings me to my final gripe. I don't like the idea of "balance" meaning that the galaxy has an equal part of good and evil. First of all, if that's the definition, Anakin set the Force way out of balance by destroying the Sith in RotJ. The light has kicked the dark's backside, but apparently that's a bad thing because now the galaxy is full of good and we need more evil for balance. Let me say right now my personal beliefs are not my reason for disliking this new direction. I love Greek and Roman mythology and it makes for really good story-telling. I'm sorry, but yin and yang just makes for bad story-telling. If the hero wants to defeat evil, I'm with him all the way. If the hero wants to make good and evil play nice, I can't connect. I get goosebumps thinking about heroes kicking evil into the trash bin where it belongs, not balancing it out with good. Maybe I'm missing a puzzle piece, but right now it seems like Star Wars is trying to be something it never was.
I remember saying earlier that I thought FotJ felt like the authors were making up the story as they went along. Now it turns out my sarcasm was once again right on the money. At least partially. The Mortis connection was clearly shoe-horned in to the ending. I enjoyed much of the individual scenes and some of the plot threads, but when I take a step back I can see that this series had no sense of direction and it didn't know what it wanted to be up until the very end.
*sigh* Between this, Darth Plagueis and TCW (esp Mortis and Maul's return) my excitement for Star Wars is at an all-time low. I think I need to re-watch the OT to remind myself why I like Star Wars.
Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.