Film Review: Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith


I love this film. It’s by far the best of the prequel trilogy. There are some weak points, but overall it does very well as an introduction into the epic original trilogy that we all know and love.

Pros:

  • You cannot tell me that the opening battle is not amazing and a breathtakingly epic start to the film, particularly the opening shot behind the starship obscuring the battle.

  • Being able to see Kashyyyk, which is a fan staple from the books. This includes an epic battle AND being able to see Chewbacca again, albeit briefly.

  • While Anakin is quite angsty (as seen in the con column), I still find it rather necessary here. He is now fully descending into darkness, struggling, essentially, with human nature, with selfishness, pride, and lust for power. All of these things, combined with his significant power in the Force–the ability to make his dreams and desires a reality–point to destruction. These feeling really facilitate the temptations and the “seduction” of Anakin by Palpatine. It’s very Faustian and ultimately tragic.

  • What’s even more tragic, and hauntingly depicted, is the execution of Order 66 and the killing of the Jedi throughout the galaxy. It’s a heart-breaking montage and truly brings the film to a dark place, ready for even more to come, followed closely by Anakin’s massacre at the Jedi Temple.
  • I enjoy much of the bookending that occurs throughout the end of the film, leading up to the beginning of the original trilogy:
    • Senator Organa’s ship is very similar to the ship in the opening scene of Star Wars (Episode IV)
    • Luke and Leia’s births and subsequent adoptions

    • Obi-Wan and Yoda’s self-exiles
    • Obi-Wan and Anakin’s duel, mirroring their final duel aboard the Death Star
    • Anakin’s imprisonment in the Vader armor. It’s certainly a Frankenstein moment, and a lot of people found it a little cheesy. I think it worked (maybe not the “Nooooo”), but the rest of it worked well.
    • Darth Vader, Governor Tarkin, and Emperor Palpatine standing on the bridge of a Star Destroyer and overseeing the construction of a Death Star.
  • Yoda’s duel with Palpatine is exciting and well done. It unfortunately pales in comparison to Obi-Wan and Anakin’s duel, but it is still amazing to behold.
  • I cannot even say how much I love the final epic duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan. It is phenomenal. The choreography (not sped up at all) is precise and intense. Moreover, the volcanic moon of Mustafar provides a fitting backdrop to the confrontation.

Cons:

  • While I like the concept of General Grievous, he’s not fleshed out as a character at all. Furthermore, his dialogue is pared down to nearly absurd one-liners and lots of cackling and hacking. Also, his death falls into the category of stupid evil villains who forget that their Achilles’ heel is their most easily accessible and exploitable aspect. “I’m a mega-super-villain, and my one weakness is the fact that my heart is exposed through my chest cavity. No quick-thinking yahoo could open up my non-welded together torso and then shoot it with a blaster.”

  • Anakin’s angsty angstitude sometimes is rather overwhelming.
  • Palpatine’s makeup/prosthetics could have been a bit better, I think. He actually seemed slightly absurd at times, but the transformation is significant and important–I just believe it could have been done better.
  • Nerdy issue: Apparently, it took 20 years to build the first Death Star and make it slightly operational, but only 4 years to nearly rebuild a new one that’s more powerful than the first…really?

Favorite Quotes:

Obi-Wan Kenobi regarding blasters: “So uncivilized.”

“So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause”

This is so true. Look back throughout history. Quite often have dictators been elected rather than take power by force. This happens here as well.

See my reviews of Episodes I, IIIV, V & VI

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6 thoughts on “Film Review: Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

  1. Pingback: Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace « Elementary, My Dear Reader

  2. Pingback: Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones « Elementary, My Dear Reader

  3. Pingback: Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back « Elementary, My Dear Reader

  4. Pingback: Star Wars, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi « Elementary, My Dear Reader

  5. I agree that this was by far the best of the prequels and I will always remember applauding with the rest of the audience when Darth Vader’s mask is placed on for the first time. Iconic moment in film!

    Unfortunately followed by a moment I would rather forget!

    The final battle was epic!

    General Grievous seemed almost TOO awesome that he kind of overshadowed the baddies in the original trilogy.

    I think Anakin was miscast and this film doesn’t do a lot to make me change my mind.

    I am also a little in awe at how much of a Star Wars geek you are. Just sayin’! The terms you are throwing out so casually are more than a little impressive:-)

    BD

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