‘STAR WARS: EPISODE III – REVENGE OF THE SITH’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
A Hero Falls
The saga is complete!
‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’ is the third film in the ‘Star Wars’ movie saga, although ironically it was the sixth film made in the series. This is the third film in a trilogy of ‘Star Wars’ prequels and was released in 2005. It was written and directed by ‘Star Wars’ creator George Lucas.
I was introduced to ‘Star Wars’ properly when my best mate Stephen from school lent me his DVD copy of ‘Revenge of the Sith’ before Christmas 2005. I enjoyed the film so much and I soon purchased the 2-disc DVD of ‘Revenge of the Sith’ after Christmas 2005. I saw it after seeing the first two prequels.
I had seen a trailer for ‘Revenge of the Sith’ at the cinemas back in 2005 but never actually watched the film. It was through watching ‘Revenge of the Sith’ on DVD that I got properly interested in ‘Star Wars’, taking it seriously and wanting to watch the other two prequels as well as seeing the original trilogy.
Out of all the ‘Star Wars’ prequels, ‘Revenge of the Sith’ is arguably considered to be closer to being a proper ‘Star Wars’ film. This is understandable, considering this movie links directly into the original trilogy and ties up loose ends, especially concerning Anakin Skywalker’s journey to become Darth Vader.
Saying that, ‘Revenge of the Sith’ still suffers the effects of the previous two ‘Star Wars’ prequels ‘The Phantom Menace’ and ‘Attack of the Clones’, which are now considered despised by the fans. Despite this, I consider ‘Revenge of the Sith’ as my favourite movie of the three ‘Star Wars’ prequels.
The story of ‘Revenge of the Sith’ is pretty compelling, considering Anakin Skywalker’s journey into the Dark Side. The downside of the movie, like ‘Attack of the Clones’, is that there are still too many CGI digital effects for the audience to cope with, despite the impressive world-making in ‘Star Wars’.
Like what I’ve done with the previous two movies, I hope I’ll be able to identify what I like and dislike about this movie. However, I’m sure I’ll have more positive things to say about ‘Revenge of the Sith’ compared to ‘The Phantom Menace’ and ‘Attack of the Clones’ as I considered it to be a great film.
The film takes place 3 years after ‘Attack of the Clones’. The Clone Wars are in full swing. The film begins with an outer-space battle over the city-like planet of Coruscant. The opening outer-space sequence for ‘Revenge of the Sith’ is pretty impressive with so many space ships fighting each other.
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are on a rescue mission to save Chancellor Palpatine, who has been captured by Count Dooku and his Separatist forces. Most of the opening sequence is taken from Obi-Wan and Anakin’s point-of-view as they fly in their ships to get inside the enemy’s flagship.
Ewan McGregor returns as Obi-Wan Kenobi. I like Ewan’s performance as Obi-Wan in this movie as well as for the previous two films. Obi-Wan is older and wiser at this stage in the ‘Star Wars’ series. I believe Ewan McGregor is sounding more like Sir Alec Guinness’ version of Obi-Wan for this ‘Star Wars’ movie.
Obi-Wan is now a general of the Galactic Republic and he considers Anakin Skywalker more like a brother. I like the scenes Obi-Wan has with Anakin when they sometimes disagree and respect each other. Obi-Wan still gets to go on his own missions when he looks for General Grevious and his base.
Hayden Christensen returns as Anakin Skywalker in this movie. As I said in my previous review, I like Hayden Christensen’s performance as Anakin in the ‘Star Wars’ prequels. They’re not perfect, but I like how Anakin’s journey to the Dark Side gets explored in these movies through Christensen’s performances.
In this movie, this is where Anakin turns his back on the Jedi ways and succumbs to the seductive power of the Dark Side. Early on, he’s been promoted to Jedi Knight alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi. But Anakin becomes more anxious during the film in wanting to have more, knowing that ‘he shouldn’t’.
During the mission to rescue Palpatine, the Separatist droid army is led by General Grevious (voiced by Matthew Wood). I got to say, I really like General Grevious. He’s so cool! He’s a droid, yet not like all the standard battle droids. He’s in command and seems pretty intelligent during battle strategies.
There’s also something extra special about General Grevious. He’s followed in the ways of the Sith Lords like Count Dooku and Darth Sidious. He even fights Obi-Wan Kenobi during a lightsaber duel, gaining his training from Count Dooku himself. He fights with four lightsabers as well. General Grevious is cool!!!
Anyway, once Obi-Wan and Anakin have found Palpatine in custody, they get into a lightsaber battle with Christopher Lee as Count Dooku. I was so glad to see Christopher Lee back in this movie. I was hoping to see more of him and how he gets involved in the film’s actual plot…oh wait, he gets killed!
What?! WHAT?!!! How can they kill Christopher Lee’s character off so early in the movie?! He was only in the film like for five minutes?! And he gets killed by Anakin Skywalker with two lightsabers! I think Christopher Lee’s appearance in the extended version of ‘The Return of the King’ is better! 😀
Eventually however, Obi-Wan and Anakin return to Coruscant with Chancellor Palpatine. All seems hopeful, as plans are made to end the Clone Wars forever. Anakin also reunites with Padmé Amidala, who he secretly married since ‘Attack of the Clones’. I was very glad to see the two of them together here.
Natalie Portman returns as Padmé Amidala, who is still a senator of Naboo as well as married to Anakin. Padmé has some wonderful news to tell Anakin. She’s pregnant! Anakin is both pleased and troubled by the news, considering he shouldn’t be married to Padmé and they cannot have children.
Later on, Anakin has dreams of Padmé dying as a result of childbirth. This troubles Anakin, since he had similar dreams of his mother dying in ‘Attack of the Clones’ and doesn’t want the same thing to happen to Padmé. This becomes the contributing factor on why Anakin turns away to the Dark Side.
In terms of story and character, this makes sense for Anakin becoming Darth Vader. The reason why Anakin would be seduced by the Dark Side of the Force is out of his love for Padmé. He wants to save her from death, even though it would cost him his allegiance to the Jedi and become an evil person.
Ian McDiarmid returns as Chancellor Palpatine and becomes the trigger for Anakin’s journey to the Dark Side. Palpatine’s true colours are unveiled in the film. He gets to be secretly manipulative and more powerful in the Galactic Republic. He also seduces Anakin to turn to the Dark Side of the Force.
It then turns out that Chancellor Palpatine is Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord who has been manipulating the Galactic Republic over the years. He reveals his true, deformed state as well as show how gleefully and maliciously evil he is. He soon forms the Galactic Empire towards the end of the movie.
Samuel L. Jackson returns as Mace Windu. Windu manages to upset Anakin easily when he denies him the rank of Jedi Master once he’s put on the Jedi Council at the request of Chancellor Palpatine. Windu suspects a plot to destroy the Jedi before Anakin reveals to him that Palpatine is a Sith Lord.
Mace Windu attempts to arrest Chancellor Palpatine. But Palpatine shows his true colours and fights off Windu and his Jedi Knights in a lightsaber battle. Windu almost attempts to kill Palpatine off before Anakin severs his hand. This allows Palaptine to kill Windu, throwing him out of the window.
‘Revenge of the Sith’ also features the third chronological appearance of Anthony Daniels as C-3PO and Kenny Baker as R2-D2. C-3PO is now more glittering gold in appearance, matching his look in the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy. C-3PO serves as Padmé’s personal droid in the movie, much like a valet.
R2-D2 gets to join Anakin and Obi-Wan during their mission to rescue Chancellor Palpatine early on in the movie. I like those scenes where R2-D2 gets to be resourceful in helping Anakin and Obi-Wan. R2 is unaware that Anakin has turned to the Dark Side of the Force when visiting the planet Mustafar.
Yoda, voiced by Frank Oz, makes his third chronological appearance in the ‘Star Wars’ film series. He’s still in his CGI form for this movie, but I don’t mind that since I’ve got used to it by this movie. Yoda gets to go on his own mission when he assists the Wookiees on the planet Kashyyyk in the Clone Wars.
Eventually, Yoda and Obi-Wan discover the truth about Palpatine’s treachery as well as Anakin’s betrayal. Yoda gets into a lightsaber fight with Darth Sidious at the same time Obi-Wan and Anakin fight it out on Mustafar. But Yoda fails in his fight with Darth Sidious and he decides to go into exile at the end.
And yes! For all you ‘Star Wars’ fans, the Wookiees make an appearance in this movie. Most notably, this movie features the first chronological appearance of Chewbacca, played by Peter Mayhew. Yoda seems to have good relations with the Wookiees here; however we don’t see enough of that in the film.
The film’s cast also includes Jimmy Smits as Senator Bail Organa; Keisha Castle-Hughes as the Queen of Naboo (who doesn’t say anything) and Bruce Spence as Tion Medon. Jar Jar Binks, played by Ahmed Best, appears in this, but like the Queen of Naboo, he doesn’t say anything (thank goodness!) There’s also Joel Edgerton as Owen Lars and Bonnie Piesse as Beru Lars.
There’s also Temeura Morrison (who played Jango Fett in the previous film) as the Clone Troopers, led by Commander Cody. Now there’s something I want to address here with regards to the Clone Troopers in this movie. During the movie, Darth Sidious commands the clones to execute ‘order 66’.
This in turn makes the clones kill all the Jedi that they’ve been working for. This is the true reason for the clone army to be created in the first place from ‘Attack of the Clones’. They were created at Darth Sidious’ command to work for the Jedi first before killing them later on when the time was right.
Now this would’ve been better explained if it was established clearly in the previous film as well as this film what the clone army was for. For those unfamiliar with the ‘Star Wars’ prequels, it would be confusing. By the way, the Clone Troopers would evolve into the Stormtroopers for the original trilogy.
The final showdown takes place on the volcanic planet of Mustafar, where Anakin is sent to kill all the Separatist forces. Very soon, Padmé comes to see Anakin. This is after she’s been told by Obi-Wan that Anakin has turned to the Dark Side. Padmé attempts to persuade Anakin to come back with her.
But Anakin has been taken over completely by the Dark Side’s influence and Padmé is heartbroken he is no longer the man she loved. Anakin then becomes enraged when he sees that Obi-Wan had boarded Padmé’s ship. Anakin chokes Padmé into unconscious before Obi-Wan tells her to stop.
Thus the epic lightsaber duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan takes place on the volcanic planet of Mustafar. I got to admit the lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin is very impressive as it’s a personal fight to the death. But it does get silly when it goes on for far too long and gets dangerous.
Very soon, Obi-Wan defeats Anakin as Darth Vader by severing his limbs with his lightsaber. The outcome is emotional as Obi-Wan has lost the Anakin he knew and loved. Obi-Wan leaves Anakin to be burned on the bank of a lava river. Seeing that scene was so horrific and disturbing to watch here.
But it turns out that Anakin as Vader is still alive. Darth Sidious, now the Emperor, recovers his body with some Clone Troopers’ help. Taking him back to Coruscant, Anakin’s mutilated body gets treated and covered in a black-armoured suit. Thus he becomes the Darth Vader fans know and love.
Seeing that scene where Anakin is fully transformed into the black-armoured Darth Vader from head to foot with deep-breathing voice and all was exciting. This is where Darth Vader is fully alleged to serve Darth Sidious as the Emperor of the new Galactic Empire and it seems there’s no redemption.
But there’s still ‘a new hope’ to be found. Before Padmé Amidala dies, she gives birth to two children and she names them Luke and Leia. Padmé seems to have lost the will to live as a result of Anakin’s downfall. But Padmé tells Obi-Wan that there’s still good in Anakin. Could this honestly be the truth?
The music by John Williams is superb as ever. For this film, John Williams provides the signature musical piece called ‘Battle of the Heroes’, which is played over the lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin on Mustafar. He also uses familiar ‘Star Wars’ music from the original trilogy movies.
The DVD special features are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s an audio commentary with director/writer George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, animation director Rob Coleman, visual effects supervisor John Knoll and visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett.
On Disc 2, there’s a ‘Documentary and Featurettes’ section. This includes ‘It’s All For Real: The Stunts of Episode III’; ‘Within A Minute: The Making of Episode III’ and ‘The Chosen One’. ‘The Chosen One’ is a great behind-the-scenes featurette on Anakin Skywalker’s journey to become Darth Vader in the films. There’s also a ‘Deleted Scenes’ section, which includes six exclusive deleted scenes that were cut from the film. These scenes include introductions from director/writer George Lucas and producer Rick McCallum. These deleted scenes can be played all at once or separately with the intros or not. There are trailers and TV spots for ‘Revenge of the Sith’. These include a nostalgia teaser trailer and an epic trailer as well as the ‘A Hero Falls’ music video. There are fifteen TV spots for ‘Revenge of the Sith’ to enjoy. These trailers and TV spots are pretty exciting to watch to promote the actual movie. There’s a ‘Web Documentaries’ section. The ‘Web Documentaries’ is a fifteen-part set of behind-the-scenes documentaries on ‘Revenge of the Sith’. There’s also a ‘Video Games and Still Galleries’ section. There’s a sub-section for ‘Star Wars Battlefront II’ which includes an Xbox game demo and a trailer. There’s also a sub-section for ‘Star Wars Empire At War’ which includes the game trailer. There are also ‘Exclusive Production Photos’, ‘One-Sheet Posters’ and an ‘Outdoor Print Campaign’.
‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’ is my favourite film out of the ‘Star Wars’ prequels. It was the one I was introduced to properly and it got me into the ‘Star Wars’ saga seriously. It’s a darker film compared to the other films and this completes Anakin Skywalker’s journey as Darth Vader.
It’s a shame the ‘Star Wars’ prequels aren’t well-liked by the fans as I consider them to be good, despite some of the problems they have. Arguably, this is the ‘Star Wars’ movie that will get causal viewers interested in the saga as a whole, especially since it got me into wanting to see the original trilogy.
With the Empire established and Anakin as Darth Vader, can two babies be the galaxy’s new hope?
‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’ rating – 9/10
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