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Wait, What? Art Critic Calls ‘Star Wars Episode III’ The Greatest Work Of Past 30 Years
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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Image

Considered very recently to be the last Star Wars movie we’d ever see (until that little Disney transaction occurred, of course), Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was the third and final film in George Lucas’s prequel trilogy.

For as much hate as the prequel movies get, most fanboy and girls would likely agree that Episode III was by far the best of the trio, hitting on some dark notes that created some redeeming qualities for the trilogy. Still, one wouldn’t think that opinions of that film would rise much higher than that.

Enter Camille Paglia, a known and noted art critic who has a new book coming out called Glittering Images. In this book, Paglia makes quite the stunning statement: Revenge of the Sith is the greatest work of art in the past thirty years, of all mediums.

When asked about her bold statement, Paglia explained. Here’s the question and her response:

Well, what about Revenge of the Sith? You say it’s the greatest work of art, in any medium, created in the last 30 years. It’s better than… uh, Matthew Barney or Rachel Whiteread or Chris Ware or Peter Doig?

Yes, the long finale of Revenge of the Sith has more inherent artistic value, emotional power, and global impact than anything by the artists you name. It’s because the art world has flat-lined and become an echo chamber of received opinion and toxic over-praise. It’s like the emperor’s new clothes””people are too intimidated to admit what they secretly think or what they might think with their blinders off.

She also later added ” I had considered using Japanese anime for the digital art chapter of the book, but it lacked the overwhelming operatic power and yes, seriousness of Lucas’ Revenge of the Sith.”

I, for one, am not art savvy, and thus cannot tell what qualifies as great and what qualifies as junk. I liked the movie the one time I saw it, but could think of a slew of other films since then that feel much more like works of art. Nevertheless, whether you agree with Paglia’s statement or not, she clearly understands the art world far better than I ever will, so who am I to dispute such things.

You can check out the full interview with Paglia, which covers all aspects of art, then and now, over at Vice.

What do you think of Paglia’s statement? Cool nod to geek culture, or ridiculous?

[Source: via Heat Vision]


  1. At the end of the day it comes down to this for me: was I entertained and how much did I notice the faults in the presentation and were they enough to warrant dissatisfaction? For Revenge of the Sith the story, characterizations, dialogue (shudder), and cluttered overuse of CG just made the faults outweigh any of the positives in the film.

    Comment by burning_chrome — November 30, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  2. In my opinion Revenge of the Sith is the best Star Wars film to date. The only flaw was the ridicules “NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!” from Vader when he’s told that Padme died. Other than that top to bottom AWESOME.

    Comment by UNCARING1 — November 30, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  3. This man speaks the truth

    Comment by Greg Davies — December 1, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  4. I
    am a proud and great defender of episodes I – III and think they’re
    much better than the original movies. In fact, I had developed a disdain
    for Star Wars until the new movies came along and changed my mind about
    them. I was ready to hate them, and just couldn’t do it.
    Most people are so in love with their childhood memories of the movie,
    that they can’t get past them to see the masterful story of friendship,
    love, conspiracy, spirituality, family, betrayal, heroics, lust, loss,
    and pain, worthy of some of the greatest epics. I watch them every time
    there’s a marathon, and Episode II is my favorite.

    I spent over
    15 year steeped in the L.A. high and low brow scene and left is
    discussed. There was just to much empty rehashing of art gone by, that was being applauded, while good artists went ignored, because, “We just don’t know how to sell this.” Art opening had just become an excuse to bee seen or have a party. I know exactly what she’s talking about. I TOTALLY agree with

    Comment by Chistopher Moonlight — December 2, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

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