Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith closes the prequel trilogy directed by George Lucas. The war started in Attack of the Clones is in full swing, Palpatine is beginning to twist Anakin to the Dark Side, and and Anakin finds out Padme is pregnant.
The initial battle scene was very busy and confusing. It was sometimes hard to tell what was happening due to everything moving on the screen and the sheer amount of ships flying everywhere. The battle scene with Obi-Wan riding the lizard was similarly busy, to the detriment of keeping track of what was happening. They sometimes felt like scenes straight out of a video game.
The throne room on General Grievous’ flagship was very reminiscent of the throne room on the Death Star in Return of the Jedi. Palpatine was watching the whole time, egging on Anakin to kill Count Dooku, just as he did when Luke was fighting Darth Vader. Foreshadowing all around (can that really be, though, since the prequels came after the original trilogy?).
The bun hair on Padme was a fun touch, hinting at the styling of the hair of her daughter-to-be in the film that started it all. The costumes seemed to really be well done in Revenge of the Sith. They all appeared very tailored, much moreso than in some scenes in the previous prequel films. Palpatine’s clothes were amazing (some of the fabric was really gorgeous), the Jedi robes seemed to fit better on everyone. So kudos to Trisha Biggar and her amazing crew!
Some of the scenery was very breathtaking. The night scenes on Coruscant were especially gorgeous, like all of the cities on Earth combined, times 10,000. The bubble opera scene was one of my favorites. The music during that scene was also ethereal and haunting. It really was fitting given what Palpatine was telling Anakin at the time. Kashyyyk was very lush and green, and were filmed shortly before some of the mountains in the shots were damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. Thailand is a gorgeous place, outside of the cities.
My biggest complaint about Revenge of the Sith: Anakin’s fall to the dark side was really fast and didn’t seem natural. I know it had to happen; the movie title gave that away for anyone unfamiliar with the original trilogy. Even though it started in the second film (with his massacre of the Tusken village), it seemed forced and shoehorned into the plot. It just didn’t feel right. And the scene showing the creation of the iconic Vader should have ended with the helmet sliding into place. It would have worked much better that way.
The sword fight at the end was well done. I read in a few places that Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor did the entire scene themselves, and they practiced for weeks to be able to do it at full speed. It’s one of the best sword fights in any of the Star Wars films. However, Christensen can’t do angry very well. He starts to sound fake, and his “happy” smile is still a leer. I don’t know what could have been done to fix that, but it really bugged me every time he did that.
In the end, Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith was the best of the prequel films. It flowed better, the story made more sense, its problems were relatively minor, and it really started feeling like one of the original trilogy by the end of the film. Too bad the previous two were bad enough that some people never bothered to see this film. After all, it contains the best Jar-Jar scene of all, during Padme’s funeral procession. Watch for it.
Release Date: May 19, 2005 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Language: 1 (very mild)
Violence: 3 (some brutal violence, lightsaber duels, battle scenes, beheading, murder, death)