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Revelations: Not Necessarily Star Wars
Korval

[table of contents]
The Hidden Order
Cut to the group getting out of their ship. Cade is a dick, per his idiom. The three set off for the temple with glow-sticks, because using their lightsabers for light would make too much sense.

When they enter the temple, we get overdubbed voiceover that was run through some synthesizers in a desperate attempt to make it sound like an echo. It doesn't work. At all. It's mostly pointless nonsense about Force energy and who built the temple, irrelevant crap.

There are several scenes of the trio walking through the cave. Taryn senses something and draws her lightsaber. Some dark-sider guy appears from the darkness and attacks her with a green lightsaber for some reason. In two badly choreographed moves, Taryn beheads him. Zhanna's voice emerges from the darkness, saying that Taryn was always ruled by her emotions. Um... what? Since when? Taryn wasn't even angry; a guy with a lighsaber attacked her and she killed him.

Zhanna steps out of the darkness in a decent shot, then demands the artifact lest she kill Raux. Cade puts away his lightsaber, because that's a good idea. Raux tells them that the Sith planted explosives in the temple. Taryn offers a different exchange: release Raux, and she'll activate the device for Zhanna.

OK, brace yourself, because you are not ready for the cavalcade of bullshit that is about to follow.

Zhanna says, "It takes a seer of great ability to activate this chamber. And that's not you, is it, Taryn?"

So let me get this straight, Emperor's Hand. You bring Raux to Quarran 3. Then you hold her hostage, saying that she will be killed if the Jedi don't give up the artifact. Then, you tell them that you need Raux alive or your entire plan will fail! You are literally holding hostage the one person vital to your plan. It's like the Blazing Saddles scene done in complete seriousness.

Yes, I know she Taryn's sister and likely Cade's lover. But still, this is powerfully stupid. And this is just the beginning.

Zhanna tells Raux to repay her debt for taking her in and training her by activating the chamber. And then... she just pushes Raux over to the trio. Yes, really. The Trio and Raux can literally just run away right now and they'd win. After all, it's not like Zhanna's going to set off the explosives while she's in the temple. And without the Holocron, nobody can get access to the info.

The only reason this doesn't happen is because of inhumanly shitting writing. Taryn gives Raux the Holocron, despite her not being held hostage anymore, and Raux just decides to activate the temple. Right in front of Zhanna, where she can see and hear everything. Indeed, the writers seem to have forgotten entirely that Zhanna is their enemy. Zhanna will frequently comment on something or even ask for information that Raux will freely provide. Indeed, the scene almost feels like they're all having a conversation together, like they're working together.

You know, with their mortal enemies.

As to the substance of this scene, they see some ID tagging information on various people. Taryn has Raux search for "Sukaal," and they find some recordings. First, there's a random message who killed some people heading to Yavin for some reason that won't be explained. Then there's a random guy who mentions that a program will continue to run in the Jedi Temple until its destruction. Um, OK. Then, we get to the message for Sukaal himself.

He reports that the Jedi Council has been convinced that his tagging program was halted, but it hasn't. He then lays out what he did. Many people who might join the Order are turned away, either failing their trials or never being chosen as Padawans at all. Sukaal believes them to be a threat; they could still turn to the Dark Side and be used by the Sith. He has seen that one such person will turn to the Dark Side and destroy them. So he tags everyone who joins the Jedi, even temporarily, allowing them to be tracked anywhere in the entire galaxy. And any that fall are killed.

When asked, Raux brings up information on Quarran 3, and sure enough, Zhanna, Cade, Taryn, and Raux are there, along with Zhanna's three helpers.

Then Zhanna asks Raux to download the information to her computer. And apparently she does so. No, really. She does. After doing this, she collapses, while Zhanna makes off with the data and tells her minions to kill them.

OK, there's no getting around it. This film has an Idiot Plot. The whole thing would have collapsed in on itself if anyone had even the slightest bit of intelligence. Why didn't Zhanna have a bomb planted on Raux so that she'd be killed once she had done whatever was needed. Oh, they'll try to cover their ass later, but it's nothing more than a lazy, terrible plot device that makes absolutely no sense.

Well, at least now we know why that dark-sider earlier had a green lightsaber. It's because Raux needs one, and having her use a red one would have made sense. Which also means that the only reason that guy existed was to explain how Raux had a lightsaber. What wonderful story craft this movie has.

So now a lightsaber fight starts. It's not great, but it isn't too terrible. There are obvious amateur moments where someone slows down so that their blades can connect properly. The quick-cutting in the scenes and the darkness in the caves (not helped by the lightsabers that don't seem to cast light) probably allows them to paste over various mistakes as well. Raux's actress seems to have some feel for getting the speed of a fight, but Cade's actor is probably the best among the named cast. The only major issue is that Declan actually fights one of the apprentices... with his fists. Yes, really.

Where this scene goes downhill is when Zhanna and Taryn square off. Oh, this is bad. Neither of these two have the slightest feel for combat. Too bad they're the protagonist and antagonist. After a bit of clashing, Zhanna tells Taryn that she blew up the Temple herself. Sure why not. This doesn't matter at all, as it doesn't lead to an angry attack from Taryn or anything. It's just a meaningless plot point.

Well, back to the other fight. Declan gets beaten down and is about to be killed, when the guy is stabbed... by a red lightsaber. Apparently, the other two apprentices have switched sides, telling the main characters to run for it. Then they leave. And the camera starts shaking; I mean, the cave starts collapsing. Cade runs off to get Taryn, but Raux stops Declan from following, saying that he'll get her.

Cut back to the worthless lightsaber fight, I mean the Epic Duel of Fates Between the Protagonist and Antagonist. This battle is so epic that the chorals returns to punctuate the slow thrusts and lame parries of this fight. Taryn tells the now dual-wielding Zhanna that she won't win, a horribly cliché line that exists for the sole purpose of giving Zhanna an excuse to say the equally cliché line that she already has. Zhanna tells her to look how far she's fallen.

Wait, what? When did that happen? Did I miss a scene where she fell? When did she do anything even remotely Dark Side related? I know this is trying to connect back to that one line from Taryn earlier, but without a middle part where Taryn actual does evil or morally ambiguous things, it doesn't work. The fact that Taryn is not obviously shouting or angry is also helping this scene to fail miserably.

After some more choreography that would make John Woo murder everyone involved, Zhanna taunts Taryn some more about handing her sister over to her. Taryn, perfectly calm mind you, then uses the power of slow-motion and bad fight dynamics to break Zhanna's defenses, pushing her against a wall with a lightsaber pointed at her.

They look at each other... for some reason. Neither one seems to know what kind of emotions to show; it's all very neutral. Fortunately for Zhanna, Cade runs in to distract Taryn for a second, allowing her to escape. Wow Cade, you suck at everything.

Cade then stops Taryn from running after Zhanna. OK, the movie is trying to make this scene about not seeking revenge and so forth. Cade even says, "You can't chase Zhanna forever." But the idea is sabotaged by the simple facts of the circumstances. The thing the scene fails with is exactly what Taryn tells Cade: Zhanna has information that will lead to the death of every Jedi currently living. This isn't personal anymore; it's about saving lives. That's what Jedi do, right?

Sorry writers, but you can't just claim that something is about revenge when the character hasn't been seeking revenge the entire film and has a very good, entirely practical and legitimate reason to go after the badguy.

But logic be damned, Taryn accepts that Zhanna gets away. The filmmakers even dare to punctuate this scene of a Jedi reneging on her responsibilities to the galaxy with classic Star Wars music.

Then we get random pyrotechnics and CG boulders flying around while actors run on a blue-screen stage. I mean, a thrilling escape sequence where Taryn and Cade run away from the exploding temple. After this, Cade and Raux reunite and kiss. Then Taryn gets a hug.

And now the filmmakers have to justify the bullshit they've spewn forth in the third act. See, all of this was Raux's plan. Yes, really. The Trio+1 and Zhanna have the information to find any Jedi in the galaxy. That was Plan A; that's what Raux visions led her to do. She says that in all other possible futures, the Jedi were exterminated.

BULLSHIT! Complete and total bullshit. If Taryn had just killed Zhanna when she had the chance, no other Jedi would be found. Or maybe you shouldn't have given a copy of the data to the Emperor's Hand in the first place! And even if we accept this to be true, this is still an obvious bit of plot-hole filling, a lame and desperate attempt to make what they've written make sense.

Cut to a random Star Destroyer. Lord Vader is talking to the two apprentices that left early. So they were working for him. Somehow, I don't think that Darth Vader would train his apprentices to leave people alive. Anyway, he now has the info disk from Quarran 3 somehow, thus giving him the power to destroy the Jedi. Oh, and then we see that he's strangled Zhanna, hence how he got the disk.

Worst. Emperor's Hand. Ever.

Cut to... Yavin? Yes, apparently the Trio+1 are hooking up with the Rebellion. Cade apparently talked to Mon Mothma; given his general asshattery throughout this film, one wonders how she didn't simply order his death on the spot. Cade and Raux are headed to Alderaan, presumably to die. Declan is going to start rounding up Jedi, which will be completely unhelpful since they can be tracked anywhere. Oh wait, they plug that plot-hole by saying that Taryn's going to find some "old friend" in the Outer Rim, who can find a way to un-tag the Jedi. If that's an attempt to reference Obi-Wan, then it makes no sense; he's not exactly technically minded.

Then we get a long sequence of good-byes. Punctuated by a shot of Taryn standing on a hill and walking towards the sun. For almost 20 seconds.

And the credits roll. For 7 minutes.

24th Jul '12 9:09:25 PM flag for mods
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