Debra J. Saunders

 Fine by me. If Lucas wants to take the mantle of the Bush critics, be it understood that he spent jillions of dollars and made six epic -- and let me add, very watchable -- movies, just to make the point that a man can wipe out entire civilizations, and still have a germ of cuddly goodness in him.

 What's more, that germ of goodness means more, at movies' end, than the countless children he has killed, the void with which he replaced entire communities and the dull misery he inflicted wherever he went.

 Thus, we discover, as Obi-Wan says before the final light saber duel, that the Sith are evil (despite their germ of good?), not just for what they do, but because, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." In Lucasworld, moral relativists are the real good guys in a universe of gore.

 Which doesn't make sense because the Jedi do trade in absolutes, as does every tribe. They've got their rules, too -- and they're pretty good rules, if they do become overly cumbersome, hokey and dangerous at times.

 Here's a sign, early in the movie, Lucas gives moviegoers that Anakin Skywalker is drifting toward the dark side. After hacking to death every body in his path, Anakin has an evil mastermind at his feet. Kill him, the future emperor coos.

 Afterward, Anakin notes it is not the Jedi way to kill an "unarmed" man. Forget that this particular villain can't be unarmed as long as he has his mind. Forget that he is the reason so many others died, and the Jedi didn't fret about their end.

 Most laughable: Of course he was unarmed. Anakin had just cut off his hands.

 I sigh. In younger times, Lucas had a unique and dashing vision. Among dazzling special effects and in a universe far, far away, there was a hero with the simple message, "I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you."

 But after years of accolades, spin-off corporations and merchandising deals, the word is now, to put it politely, decidedly middle-aged: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes."

 May the force be with you.

Debra J. Saunders

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