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By Pete Vonder Haar | May 2, 2005

We’ve all heard the news by now: Kevin Smith, he of Clerks and…Clerks the Animated Series fame, has seen “Revenge of the Sith” and was apparently quite taken with it (if phrases like “f*****g awesome” and “’Sith’ rules” are to be believed). If nothing else, it’s a virtual certainty that 20th Century Fox will be plastering his quotes (though maybe not the “f*****g awesome” one) onto their full-page newspaper ads any day now as the marketing blitz enters its endgame.

Smith’s credentials as a “Star Wars” fan are pretty solid. From the speech about independent Death Star contractors in “Clerks,” Silent Bob’s Jedi obsession in Mallrats,” Hooper X’s rant in Chasing Amy, and numerous other references peppered throughout his comics and editorials, the guy is obviously a big fan. Jersey Girl and the second half of “Chasing Amy” notwithstanding, his opinion is deserving of some respect, and he’s coming into the third prequel in much the same fashion as the rest of us. How much credence one should give that opinion is, of course, an exercise for the reader.

Then again, it isn’t like Smith’s – or my or anybody else’s – review is going to matter one damn bit when it comes to “Revenge of the Sith.” This is the film for which the expression “critic proof” was invented. Just to give you an idea what I’m talking about, the current over/under on the movie’s opening weekend gross stands at $86 million, with odds on the “over” running 1:3. Clearly, the bookies are betting that it won’t just be the geeks lined up to see this film in the first few days (and frankly, there really aren’t that many of us). Smith has given the flick some nice pre-release publicity, but it – and the avalanche of reviews yet to come – is ultimately meaningless. It’s all just another bit of nerd minutiae for obsessive compulsive dorks like yours truly to chew on for a few more weeks.

Don’t believe me? If you look at the reviews for both of the prequels so far (I checked, you’ll find about a 65% favorable rating for both. If you check the “cream of the crop” reviews however (and yes, I realize Film Threat isn’t included among those), you’ll see ratings only in the 40% favorable range. This is significant because, like it or not, major dailies and TV are where most of the moviegoing public get their upcoming movie info. And yet, even with those sub-par numbers, “Phantom Menace” still grossed $64 million on opening weekend (on its way to $431 million total domestic box office), while “Attack of the Clones” racked up $80 million upon opening ($310 million overall).

Get the rest of the report in part two of THE STAR WARS REPORT: FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW>>>>

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