That being said i will now talk about the things i thought weren't quite right. If you don't like nitpicks don't read.
THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. If you haven't seen it and don't like spoilers then definitely don't read.
We were doing the show at the Irvine Spectrum. I left work about 5:45 and offered to give jmpava and ceph a ride since the friend they were planning on getting a ride with hadn't shown up yet but they said they'd be fine. So i offered to pick up maggiedacatt, who'd gone home early, for them so they wouldn't be further delayed.
Jmpava and i had been looking at traffic maps and found there was huge jam on the 405, but after spending a couple minutes discussing it we couldn't figure out any good detours, so i just gritted my teeth and headed down.
I got to maggiedacatt's place, which was about 15 miles away, almost an hour later. Luckily the traffic jam had been caused by a crash in the carpool lane about two or three exits before her place so it was clear driving from that point on. We got to the mall and tried to find a spot in the parking garage but it was completly full so after wandering around for a bit we headed for the lot in back of Robinson's May.
_That_ lot was almost completly full, we ended up in the very back section next to the courtesy tram place. We briefly considered taking the tram thing, but it wasn't _that_ far of a walk and it didn't look like the tram was leaving anytime soon. About this point we got a call from the other people wondering where we were. It was around 7:40 by this point and they were worried they were going to be let in soon, so they said if that happened they'd save us some seats and there would be someone waiting outside with our tickets.
Apparently the other group coming from work had been there for about 20 minutes already. Sometime after i'd left they figured out they could take the PCH and get around the whole mess on the 405 =P
We got there just as the line was heading in, but since our group had been right at the front of the line we had to find the person with the tickets and then get in the back of the line. Unfortunatly our plans to go to jamba juice for dinner were screwed so i ended up buying some popcorn and peanut butter m&ms and a drink, all at exorbitant theatre prices of course. My sister was sneaky and went back outside and bought some edamame in the food court and smuggled it back inside. I might have tried something like that but i didn't have a jacket under which to hide anything =P
We all spent awhile talking and trying to ignore the 20 until the movie started. Well, the trailers anyways.
Got some pretty good trailers, Narnia, which i've downloaded but not seen on the big screen before. It looks cool so far, but it's hard to tell how hyped the christian imagery will be from a trailer. Um, there was some action movie about a married couple of assassins who are each hired to take the other out. Um... i _know_ there was more than that, and i think some of the others might have been cool. Why can't i remember them?
So, the movie
This is all stuff that either i noticed, or other people noticed and pointed out afterwards and i agreed with.
To go in something at least vaguely resembling chronological order:
I thought the begining was very rushed. Yes, it was an action scene and the characters were rushed, but there's a difference between the characters and events feeling rushed and the film seeming rushed. At times it seemed like they were speeding through their lines and tripping over each other to get them out before the quick camera cut to some other rushed scene. This was particularly evident to me in the elevator bit.
R2-D2 was on speed. He was zooming all over the place at about 20 mph, he was making quick catches for stuff with his little robotic arms, he was hopping about all over the place. The only explanation i can think of is that by the middle trillogy he has entered robotic old age and is suffering from droid arthritis. And as long as we're going that route, he must be suffering from hardening of the jet fuel arteries, which is why his jets don't work anymore.
I wish during the begining of the crash sequence they'd made it explicitly clear that they were aiming for a spaceport with a large runway and showed them making some effort to steer for it. The ship didn't seem to have much steering (or anything else) capacity by that point and trying to land on a runway instead of smashing into a populated area should have bene a heroic effort, not something that seemed to happen by coincidence.
The wookie home planet did not seem right. I'm trying to remember from the Zahn books i read back in high school (which are kind of a bastard canon) so my memory may be a bit off. However Kashyyyk was supposed to be a forest world, somewhat like Endor (which makes sense, since RotJ was orrignally supposed to take place on Kashyyyk) but with even larger, taller trees. _Much_ taller. There was supposed to be a rainforest like leveled ecosystem with the actual surface of the planet being some dark and dangerous unknown. The wookies were supposed to live up in the trees of course, again like the ewoks but on the scale of cities rather than villages.
Yes, Lucas is allowed to change his own canon whenever he wants. However it seems a little cruel to have come up with one idea originally, let the official authors work off of and develop that idea, let the fans come to expect that idea, and then yank the rug out from under all of us.
And why was it so important for Yoda to go there anyways? Obviously the _real_ answer was that Chewbacca could mug for the camera, but it would be nice to have an in movie answer as well. They say they can't let the seperatists take it. Why? I mean, i like the wookies and all, but you're fighting a galaxy-wide war, why is this one planet so important? Does it provide some strategic or tactical advantage? Are the wookies part of some important political faction? (Seems unlikely since i don't remember any wookies featuring prominently there and unless it dealt with Palpatine i can't see the jedi caring that much.) But no, it's just we can't let them take Kashyyyk, and off Yoda goes.
Apparently one of the most hackneyed possibilities that was suggested before the movie came out may actually be true. When Palpatine was talking about the sith who learned to control the midichlorians to actually create life and how he taught his pupil everything and then that pupil killed him, i got the impression that Palpatine was that pupil. That would make him the logical one to have caused Anakin's conception in the first place. Anakin, i am your father. =P
Exactly how secret were things between Padme and Anakin anyways? Obi Wan seemed to know that anytime he needed to find out something about Anakin he should try talking to Padme first, and she was pretty obviously pregnant by the end. I'm suprised that Obi Wan was apparently the only one to figure out
I agree with 2gouda4u and thegreatgonz that Anakin didn't seem to go through enough torment and agony before deciding to become a sith lord.
The lava surfing wasn't as bad as i thought it was going to be. However i'm not so sure about the end of the fight.
There may be some continuity issues involved, but i think that for episode 3 we're supposed to accept that Anakin is more powerfull than Obi Wan. As such we're not supposed to expect Obi Wan to beat him in a straight out duel. As the fight progressed i was trying to figure out how Obi Wan was going to triumph. Would it be some enviromental quirk that tripped up Anakin and made an opening, or would Anakin somehow outthink him? What i was not expecting was "you can't hope to win, i've got the high ground." Say what? You guys have been bouncing all over the place like super rubber jedi, and about five feet of hight is supposed to make a difference? If that's so why didn't you kick his ass while you were both clinging on that floating vertical column? Height is supposed to be an advantage, but not a *whack* you've not got two legs and an arm cut off advantage.
A long time ago, in a place not very far away, Lucas said Anakin was going to fall into a pit of lava and come out horribly scared and thus the Darth Vader suit. Now if Anakin had actually fallen into the lava and somehow been miraculously rescued by the Emperor that would have been fine. If he had fallen into some deep pit with lava at the bottom and that was the last Obi Wan had ever seen of him that would have been acceptable. Anakin lying next to a pit of lava and catching on fire while Obi Wan watches doesn't really qualify in my mind.
And why does Obi Wan wander off with Anakin clearly still alive? I would accept Anakin being too conflicted about their past friendship to finish him off, but he didn't even seem to consider it. Given how much Anakin was suffering giving him the coup de grace could even have been considered a mercy so there should have been some visible conflict involved, either that or a comment about how "just to show you how little our past friendship means to me i'm going to calously leave you here to suffer a slow and agonizing death, so ha."
I'm confused as to why Yoda ran away at the end of the duel with the Emperor. At that point the emperor was busy scrabling to hold on to the edge of one of the platforms which would have made it the perfect time to attack.
Oh, and the emperor seemed a little too gollumy to me.
There was _zero_ explanation as to why they thought "hiding" Luke with his family was a good idea.
Okay, Leia's statements about remembering her mother may not have been a lie, but they were certainly misleading. We knew at that point that luke and leia are siblings, so when luke asks her about her mother we know he is expecting to hear about his mother. The implication is that is the person that leia is talking about. It's a lot less emotional of a scene now that it turns out she was just talking aparently talking about her adopted mother who wasn't really any relation to luke at all. Unless of course when she said "she died when i was very young" means "she died when i was five minutes old" and leia has the best damn memory in the galaxy (but just conveniently happened to forget about her brother.)
Some people have said that episode 3 is better than RotJ. I am totally willing to accept that as a reasonable view. However perhaps i wasn't paying enough attention, but the music in episode 3 didn't really seem to be up to par. In RotJ when Luke and Vader are dueling in front of the emperor they have this music that emphasizes... i'm not sure exactly, the danger Luke is facing in almost turning to the dark side. I never got that same feeling during episode 3.
I agree with leora that Episode 2 kind of undermined the whole idea of Anakin falling to the dark side by making him not very likeable beforehand. Combined with 2gouda4u and thegreatgonz'a comments it does seem that we're not really watching the terrible fall of a great and noble man, but rather a spoiled whiney brat waking up on the wrong side of bed.
It gets a little better after he ends up in the suit actually, when he thinks he's killed Padme. Although again the musical score was rather lacking, and the bit at the end was a bit overly melodramatic, or maybe underly so. He smashes everything in the room (which i thought was cool and appropriate,) then rips free of the table (though i think the table should have more exploded into pieces from his rage rather than just ripping off the armbands,) and then he... shakes his fists. I don't know, after the buildup i was expecting something a little more significant, although i'm not sure what.