Last time, I watched Attack of the Clones directly after The Empire Strikes Back. It was a bit of a stretch, but I feel it worked. Now, I've followed up with Revenge of the Sith, which will finish up the "flashback" dealing with Anakin's fall to the Dark Side.
Obviously, going from Episode II to Episode III is normal, so I'll only cover the few bits that directly relate to skipping Episode I and what we should keep in mind when we watch Episode VI.
The love story, which began in Attack of the Clones, is shown to have run its course. We learn that Padme is pregnant, the Clone Wars are going on strong, and both Obi-Wan and Anakin have come a long way since the beginning of the war.
Anakin begins his fall to the Dark Side while trying to save Padme. Say what you will about how well it was done, but there it is. We learn that Senator Palpatine is really Darth Sidious, aka Darth Vader's master. Holy smokes (remember, someone new to the series would be finding this out now; never before is the Emperor stated to be Palpatine)! Anakin becomes Vader so that he can learn powers that only the Sith can learn.
Then, for some reason, he kills younglings at the drop of a hat. Ok, ok, I dislike the excessively quick turn around from hero of the Republic to child murderer, but at least it sets up our evil baddy in black.
The final fight scene between Obi-Wan and Anakin resonates nicely with the scene from A New Hope (well, unless you actually compare the acrobatic fight scenes to the old, stiff, fight scenes). We see Obi defeat Anakin and, due to being left on the stove for too long, the extra crispy creating of the iconic Dark Lord of the Sith.
That's all well and done, but what's this nonsense going on with Padme having TWINS? Luke, yeah, we know that whiny brat, but what's this other thing--HOLY SHIT IT'S LEIA! Luke and Leia are twins!? But wait... didn't they... oh, well, never mind...
One of the best reasons for watching the films in Machete order are the delayed revelations, in particular this one -- Return of the Jedi, which I'll be watching next, doesn't have a particularly exciting reveal that Luke and Leia are siblings. In fact, it's kind of a let down. This way, someone new to the films really wouldn't know what was going on until Padme names Leia, and then we get some good WTF moments, similar to the always classic "I am your father."
One mildly problematic mention comes at the end of Episode III -- Yoda instructs Obi-Wan to do some special training, including communing with his deceased master, Qui-Gon Jinn. Sure, other characters have been references but not seen, but this is a bit of a bigger plot point. Still, not the worst and it does lead in to Obi learning how to be all blue and glowy, so there's that.
Ok, so I'm pretty confidant that this sequence is working well so far, though I'm already seeing an issue or two coming up... But that will be for next post! Until then, here are some things to keep in mind:
-We've seen what it took for Anakin to fall to the Dark Side, and Padme is sure that there is "still good in him".
-Luke was left wondering how his father fell. We know, but will anyone tell this poor farmboy?
-Luke and Leia to NOT know they are siblings.
-We've seen the Emperor gain power, but haven't seen him too much at all in the other films.
Next time I'll be finishing this review of Machete Order, so please keep an eye out for it!