Written and Directed by
Running Time: 2:20
for sci-fi violence and some intense images.
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith was the movie event people have waited years to see. The movie that finally shows how Anakin Skywalker turns to the dark side and becomes the greatest villain of all time: Darth Vader. While still having to deal with the poor dialogue of George Lucas, the fight sequences and overall story make this Episode the best of the three prequels.
Chancellor Palpatine has taken over almost complete control of the Republic. He senses that Anakin is ripe for the picking and slowly starts to turn the young Jedi against the Jedi counsel. Anakin and Padmé are expecting a child but Anakin has visions of Padmé dying during childbirth and vows to make sure he saves her. But the only way he can do it is to learn about the dark side and the Chancellor, also known as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious takes advantage. He starts telling Anakin that the Jedi are afraid of him, that his power will become too great for them to handle. He charges the Jedi with trying to take over the Republic themselves. Obi-Wan, Yoda and the other Jedi try to keep Anakin with the good side of the force, but his love for Padmé overcomes all, and he finally bows to the dark side.
George Lucas knows how to tell a good story. His biggest problem is having the characters speak. Everything sound extremely cheesy and wooden and it makes the characters suffer. However, when Lucas decides to let the character's actions speak, things become interesting. With The Phantom Menace the biggest problem was that the story revolved around a young Anakin, and the actor playing him was inexperienced so to the fans of the Star Wars series, the movie was a let down (although the $400M+ it made is a whole other story.) The action was good, but the movie felt like it was made for children, especially when characters like Jar Jar Binks go front and center. With Attack of the Clones Anakin was growing up, and the action sequences were getting better, but there was the whole love story between him and Padmé. Yes their story was obviously necessary to drive the entire series forward, but again, the dialogue was so poorly written, it brought the entire movie down. With Revenge of the Sith we finally get into some real dark action, and while the love story was still important, thankfully it didn't take up a lot of time on screen. When it did, it was once again boring and wooden, but the rest of the movie was impressive.
The fight sequences once again are the highlights of the film. Mace Windu taking on Darth Sidious, Yoda taking on Darth Sidious and Anakin taking on Obi-Wan were the three big one-on-one battles, but there were countless other skirmishes that happened. Sometimes when there were too many CGI droids involved, it started to look fake, but when it was human on human (or human on Yoda), it completely worked. Yoda may be the greatest CGI character ever created. His immersion into the film was seamless and his every action drew a reaction from the audience. A simple wave of the hand before his fight with Darth Sidious may have been the best two seconds in the entire movie. Lucas still has a problem with overusing CGI but its gotten better looking over time.
The actors, most of them generally fine performers, had to deal with the dialogue issues. Hayden Christensen, much maligned for his role in Attack of the Clones, did a better job, especially when he wasn't speaking. His slow transformation from Jedi to Sith was extremely well done visually, if not story-wise. What I mean is, his on screen turn, the exact moment it happened, seemed very contrived and quick. It's almost as if at that moment his heart wasn't into it, but then he went out and did some horrible acts. However after that, over the next portion of the film, you could really see the toll it was taking on his soul and when he finally snaps for good, it was a moment to behold. And we also finally get to see why he had to put on the now iconic black outfit, and that sequence of the film is the reason the movie got a PG-13 rating. Jimmy Smits and Samuel L. Jackson are big names who didn't get used as much as they could have. They each had a moment or two to shine, but it seemed like a waste of talent. Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi has never taken on the seriousness that Sir Alec Guinness brought to the role in the original trilogy. He's good, and I'll say this for hopefully the last time, but he's brought down by the words he has to speak.
Story wise, I think Lucas did a good job of closing this chapter while making all the connections necessary to the next set of films. It had to have been hard to not only keep track of how the story progressed from Episode I, but also connecting it to Episodes IV through VI knowing full well that millions of people adored and memorized every aspect of the story. I don't know the finer details since I'm not a huge fan of the series, but all the questions I had were answered. Most importantly, everyone wanted to see the transformation of Anakin to Darth Vader, and while the creation of his name was kind of cheap, Christensen's acting abilities are what sold me on the movie. He is the key to the whole saga and he pulled it off very well.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith was a great conclusion to the prequel trilogy and it does a great job of segueing into the original trilogy. I still feel the original trilogy was better simply because it had never been seen before and the characters have had time to settle into our memories. But I feel that Episode III will also be able to stand the test of time.
Netflix lets you rent, watch and return DVDs from home – Now only a month!