- Written and Directed by George Lucas
- May 15, 2005 (Cannes) / May 19, 2005 (US)
With the Clone Wars raging, Obi-Wan pursues Droid Army leader General Grievous and Anakin acts as a double agent between the Jedi Council and Palpatine as he is lured into Palpatine’s plot to rule the galaxy.
What a way to end a trilogy! I loved this movie but then again, I’m easy to please when it comes to Star Wars. While this wasn’t as action packed as Attack of the Clones, it still contains a lot of great action in an epic space opera film.
The opening sequence-the rescue sequence for Palpatine-is absolutely epic. Just one of the top five action moments in all of Star Wars. Not only does the scene itself scream space opera but it’s just pure adventure film fun. It is a rescue that gets progressively worse until they are finally only flying part of a ship.
And here we are introduced to General Grievous (voiced by Matthew Wood). Aside from looking badass, he is perfectly Star Wars evil. He is just all twirling moustache sinister. Like all good villains he is able to let you know how evil he is without actually getting too evil immediately. Your mind does the work.
Though a great fight, I was a little disappointed at the death of General Grievous at the hands of Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor). The Clone Wars was not yet a thing so I did not believe I would get to see him again. I was a little disappointed that he died though on the same token it was a given he was going to die at some point since you never saw him in the originals. But how he was taken out was just shocking for a Star Wars movie. And the fight was adrenaline from beginning to end. It was basically a space motorcycle versus a space horse like some kind of weird Western thing. Just great.
Anakin (Hayden Christensen) is much angrier in this film than he was in either the animated The Clone Wars movie or Attack of the Clones. He is frustrated with not simply being handed a title which he feels he deserves. An entitled little twat, isn’t he?
While Anakin seems to still support the Jedi ideals, he sees the only way of doing them is in an authoritarian way which never ends well for anybody. Over the time since the last film Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) has been clearly working to build a psychological divide between Anakin and the rest of the Jedi.
I was a little disappointed that Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) was only in the opening moments of the film. I thought he got disposed of a little too easily by Anakin. How he got disposed of I’m just fine with, but I think it just occurred too swiftly not only from beginning to end but also at the point in the film at which it occurred.
Natalie Portman still didn’t impress me in this movie. She’s gone on to a lot bigger and better things but I’m not sure why. I’m not calling her a terrible actress but she’s not fantastic. She was serviceable as Padmé Amidala. Nothing more.
Ewan McGregor though impressed the heck out of me as Obi-Wan from the first moment but I’ve always enjoyed his work ever since I saw him in Trainspotting. Still can’t see how you go from Trainspotting to Star Wars but I’m glad he did. There is much more wisdom in his Obi-Wan this time. There is a clear burden he is carrying upon him. Is it the weight of war or that he is seeing a change in what Anakin who is essentially the closest thing he will have to son?
The Prophecy of The Chosen One played a role in the prequel films. This is an individual that is to rise up and bring balance to The Force. It is spoken of but not the exact meaning allowing the viewer to draw whatever they want from it. Is Anakin The Chosen One or is his son Luke The Chosen One?
My personal view of it is that Anakin is The Chosen One. It’s mentioned I believe in The Phantom Menace that the current crop of Jedi are not that great in comparison to their predecessors and implied that they’ve been getting weaker over the generations. Why this is is not addressed but one could feel that for any number of reasons. My view is that Anakin was The Chosen One because he wiped the slate clean allowing Luke to rebuild the Jedi. You could also view The Chosen One as Luke since he is there to just rebuild the Jedi and take out the Emperor and bring his father to the light. It touched on the open interpretation of prophecy.
Revenge of the Sith is a planet hopping story which is something Star Wars can do fantastically. Others films have tried with varying degrees of success but something about the Star Wars universe allows events to take place on multiple worlds. It just doesn’t come off as well for example in a Star Trek film.
I don’t know about anybody else but I immediately recognized Bruce Spence in his small part of Tion Medon here. The guy was in two of the Mad Max films as two different characters and I have seen him in other stuff over the years and somehow he always brings the goods. Just an exciting moment for me.
I admit beyond the old Marvel comic series to not being too up on the expanded universe stuff at that time but from what I recall what they did with Chewbacca here as a general fits with much of what there was biographically about him before the original films. It was cool to see him even though it still felt a little shoehorned in. It was also cool to see a bunch of Wookiees fighting too.
George Lucas pulled an Alfred Hitchcock here and shows up in a non-speaking part as the blue skinned Baron Papanoida. This particular character would appear in The Clone Wars series and get a little expand upon. I didn’t know this for maybe five years after this movie came out until I read it somewhere.
I greatly enjoyed the arrest scene. Loved seeing Chancellor Palpatine go all Emperor Palpatine and finally get to use a lightsaber. There ain’t no way you’re arresting a man who can go from a seated position to standing position and do flips while holding an energy sword. Ain’t going to happen. And I know Samuel Jackson is rumored to be pushing for a Mace Windu return but the dude got blown out of 100 story high window across the city. He ain’t coming back.
Revenge of the Sith has my all-time favorite lightsaber battle. I fantasized about a lightsaber duel between Palpatine and Yoda ever since I saw Jedi. I wondered if it could have taken place and if it had what it would’ve looked like and this exceeded my wildest imaginations. It was two powerful Jedi not holding back. They were swinging chunks of the Senate chamber at each other while using their force powers and the lightsabers! It was like two gods battling.
Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits), a senator of Alderaan and Leia’s adoptive father, gets a bit more screen time than he did in the last film. He’s not a key player but he is a necessary figure for the final disposition of the Skywalker twins. Much has been made of Leia going off and living a life of luxury while Luke was dumped on a desert planet and living the life of a hardscrabble moisture farmer. I certainly see the point in light of the prequel films though I admit I was not bothered that much when I saw the original movies.
My major gripe about this movie, and I think it’s one everybody has, is that Padmé dies from the big sad. Given what happened in the sequel film you can make an argument that Anakin drained her life force but that clearly wasn’t what happened here. She just got sad and died. I would’ve taken an accidental death by Obi-Wan or maybe even Anakin himself and that’s what drove Anakin over the edge to evil but just getting sad and dying is not good enough. Anakin becoming a Sith Lord was terrible enough to make her will herself to death but Anakin slaughtering an entire tribe was not enough to preclude her from marrying him?
Death from a big sad aside this is a good film. It’s an epic story with high stakes and big adventure. It is well paced with tons of action from beginning to end. Plus it nicely ties in with what comes after even if it does create a few questions about character actions in the original films.
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is an excellent conclusion to the prequel trilogy. It’s not perfect but it is an amazing film experience that you should definitely watch!