A Saga In Review: Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

After two less than stellar entries, Lucas attempts to right his wrongs with Revenge of the Sith.

"You mean to tell me you're going to
pick that old hag Palpatine over
the cute chick from Leon?"
George Lucas sees the errors of his ways and makes Revenge of the Sith, the only prequel film to capture the essence of the classics. 

What serves as the stepping stone to the far greater original trilogy is undoubtedly the best of the prequels and falls within close proximity of being one of the better entries of the entire series. With a shift in tone from the goofy mentality of the first two films, Revenge of the Sith is the more adult oriented concluding chapter in Anakin's fall from grace and the darkest of the entire Star Wars saga. Lucas takes most of his wrong doings of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones and finally begins the transition to the Darth Vader era with more precise story telling and design work that definitely comes much closer to the original three movies. With Jar Jar's annoying hijinks scaled back and a more visceral attack of story, Sith has the makings of a great Star Wars movie that is minutely hampered by the overuse of CGI. 

star wars
Medical droid:You 
kinda smell like
chicken right now.

Mind if I have a taste?
Anakin: Noooooooooooo!!!!!!
Taking cues from the spectacular Empire Strikes Back, Sith goes full dark side with the slaughter of Padawan children, the expected but sad death of a main character, the series defining separation of the Skywalker twins, the execution of Order 66, and the detailed burning and mutilation of Anakin Skywalker. With one small scene, Lucas took the typically PG rated series, turned it on its head, and gave audiences the fiery fate of Anakin at the hands of his best friend, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Although it could have gone no other way, this was an undoubtedly gutsy move on the part of Lucas. Instead of shying away from the morbid fate of numerous characters, he offered up some of the most violent scenes of the Star Wars franchise while finally taking control of a trilogy spiraling out of control. 

Of the prequels, Revenge of the Sith is definitely the best. Of all the Star Wars films (so far), it falls just below A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back as my third personal favorite. With a nearly iron clad transitional tale of doom and gloom, the weakest point remains Hayden Christensen's abysmal performance as Anakin Skywalker. With more angst than a thirteen year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert, Christensen is wooden, nearly unwatchable at times, and doesn't ever come close to the portrayal of evil necessary for a character like Darth Vader. Playing against a-list players like Natalie Portman, Samuel Jackson,and Ewan McGregor, the non-talents of Christensen stick out like a sore thumb. 

Related article:A Saga
In Review:
The Phantom Menace
With epic battle sequences, monumental space combat scenes, and somber inflections of brotherhood and the afterlife, Revenge of the Sith is a nearly perfect Star Wars film that doesn't meander. Finally offering up another worthy opponent in General Grievous sets this apart from the nearly worthless Attack of the Clones and brings a much needed new twist on the tired lightsaber formula. This motion picture may not be perfect but it's definitely a shade closer to what people were expecting from the first two films. Revenge of the Sith has its flaws but it's easy to see that Lucas was finally doing something right again. His grasp on story telling was returning just as his time with his creation was coming to a close. 



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