JT Film Review

46 – Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith REVIEW

4.5/5 stars

Director – Geroge Lucas

Cast – Ewan McGregor, Hadyn Christenson, Natalie Portman, Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Ian McDiarmid, Frank Oz

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— follows Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

— followed by Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

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revengeofthesith002-230-69102George Lucas has toiled long and hard with his prequel trilogy, and has by and large recieved much derision from fans for his efforts. I personally believe that The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones are fairly under-rated movies. Granted, the first is a bit “kiddish” and the second is too long and burdened down by a ridiculous love story, but there is plenty of good in both. In both we seemed to be getting glimpses of what he was going for, but they were always clouded over by the faults of the movies.

And now, in Revenge of the Sith, most of those faults dry up and float away, and we see what he really wanted. The action here is crisp and easily discernible, and the love story is (while still prominent) not as talky or cliched. A perfect example would be this: in Attack of the Clones the romance comes to a head between the characters and is so obvious they must address it. They do, by sitting down and talking about it. And talking… and talking…. In Revenge of the Sith they’re romance is falling apart. They both know it, but they don’t talk about it. Instead they are seperated, miles apart in different buildings, and they both turn and look out the window and stare pensively in each others direction. It is a short scene, but it tells us all we needed to know without all of George Lucas’ ludicrous dialogue. The music in this scene is a departure for composer John Williams as well; it is tuneless, mainly a female voice wailing hauntingly. It sounds straight out of Gladiator. However it works perfectly here.

While this movie is without doubt an action film, the real driving force of the movie is Anakin’s betrayal of the Jedi and his turn to the Dark Side of the Force. Essentially he turns from good to bad, all the while believing himself to be right. The one who turns him is Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, played wonderfully by Ian McDiarmid. This performance is wonderful, without a doubt the best performance in a Star Wars film. (That may not be saying much, but still…) In one scene, set in a theater, Palpatine tells of a story of a Sith who learned to save loved ones from death. He knows that Anakin wishes this power for himself, yet says it so nonchalantely that we almost wonder if he does know. Which is, of course, exactly how he wants Anakin to hear him. It is a wonderfully played scene, and dare I say it, a very well written scene from George Lucas.

93842_RThe romantic aspect of the movie, unfortunately, still plays as flat and cliched. Alot of the dialogue in fact is clunky, but that has always been a weakness of this series. As said before, Ian McDiarmid really makes the most of his, but the rest of the cast seem stilted, and its not even truly their fault.

The political manouverings of the movie are also intriguing, and in the end are what gives the movie most of its weight. We do already know that Anakin will become Darth Vader, and you would think that would ruin some of the “suspense”. However it really adds more punch to scenes where we can see what is going through Anakin’s mind. We feel compassion for him because we know what will happen to him, and we know he doesn’t want it to.

OVERALL

Revenge of the Sith is the best of the Star Wars prequels. We actually feel for the characters, even though the stilted dialogue does interfere slightly. We see political manipulations, chase scenes, and space battles as we never have before, opening up whole new areas for the audience to see. This is Star Wars as Lucas envisioned it, and it is good, very very good. There are some small minor quibbles, but after you’ve watched this you won’t be thinking of those. Instead you’ll come out the theatre or living room humming the brilliant music by John Williams and light saber-fighting with your little brother. Or at least resisting the impulse.

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TRAILER

“Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia

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September 10, 2009 - Posted by | 4.5 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Fantasy, Year - 2000-2009 | , , , ,

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