The new trailer for Revenge of the Sith is out there. AOL Users can look at it, and others can too if you browse around a while. (Try Aint It Cool News.)

Also: George Lucas will be talking about this, the “darkest” episode of the series, on 60 Minutes this Sunday.

My initial enthusiasm for the prequels has changed somewhat over time, which should come as no surprise. While I still enjoy Episodes One and Two for their visual and aural splendor, and I’d rather have them than not have them, my fundamental complaint about the prequels is this…

That Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings takes every opportunity to give you a vision of a vaster, more complex, more mysterious world with intricate histories that expand outward. It’s a bigger, more glorious vision the farther you look, with more and more mystery.

But in the Star Wars prequels, we get the reverse of it. The farther we look, the more inward the story is turning, the more ingrown it has become. It’s as though the author has lost interest in exploring beyond the borders of what he did before, and is merely fiddling with things he’s already made, finding the answers from already-available resources and previously introduced characters. In the first trilogy, around every corner waited a whole new world, a new history, new possibilities. In this one, around every corner are different versions of familiar faces, and instead of new visions, we get talky revelations about past visions that tend to spoil the mysteries we loved and fail to introduce new mysteries to captivate our imaginations.

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