Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the final movie in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, which details life before the rise of the Galactic Empire and the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Directed by the original Star Wars trilogy director George Lucas, Revenge of the Sith is perhaps the most competent and satisfying of the three prequel films. It centers around the brutal Clone Wars, where two armies of nearly endless soldiers clash in a never-ending battle for control of the galaxy.
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The Movie Review
Revenge of the Sith serves as both a wrap-up for the stories started in the first two prequel films, and a lead-up to the original 1977 film, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Although it doesn’t reach the heights of the original films, Revenge of the Sith manages to be an entertaining end to a rocky trilogy.
Revenge of the Sith picks up shortly after the events of Episode II: Attack of the Clones. After letting the separatist leader Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) escape their grasp, Jedi knights Obi-wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) must attempt to thwart a kidnapping. One of the separatist military leaders, General Grievous, plans to kidnap the leader of the Republic, Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Making their way into an intense spaceship battle, the two Jedi face down nearly insurmountable odds.
Whereas the first two Star Wars prequel films had trouble striking a balance between interweaving political narratives and the signature cosmic charm of the Star Wars franchise, Revenge of the Sith holds much better pacing and variety. The plot is simultaneously more straightforward and more complex than the previous prequels, but easy to follow nonetheless.
Dialogue-heavy scenes are counterbalanced with incredible large-scale battles, and the less desirable subplots of previous films are smartly wrapped up and disregarded. The romance between Anakin Skywalker and Senator Amidala (Natalie Portman) is more understated in this movie, which is a nice change up from Attack of the Clones. Their romance still plays a key part in the overall narrative, but the movie doesn’t bore us by lingering on it for too long.
Everything plays nicely into the overarching narrative; the one that leads viewers into the original Star Wars trilogy. Whereas past attempts at world-building have yielded unsavory results (look no further than Jar-Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace), Revenge of the Sith’s narrative developments feel mostly earned. Although viewers will most likely go into the film already knowing the outcome, the path there is surprisingly effective.
Hayden Christensen steps up his acting game, delivering a mostly believable descent into the dark side as Anakin. Ewan McGregor maintains his likable performance as Obi-wan, and the supporting cast is satisfactory as well. As far as the plot and acting are concerned, Revenge of the Sith is far more believable and effective than before.
Overall, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a solid ending to the prequel trilogy. It succeeds with bombastic battle sequences and some interesting narrative turns and only falters in a few places. The visual effects have aged well, resulting in spectacular displays of color and action. The movie can occasionally feel long-winded, but most of the screen time is used well, and frames are rarely wasted. Revenge of the Sith gives Star Wars fans a decent origin story for the iconic villain Darth Vader, plenty of awesome lightsaber fights, and a well-paced conclusion to the story so far. In comparison to the other prequel films, Revenge of the Sith is an eclectic and entertaining story of galactic war and subterfuge.
- A good variety of characters, planets, and plots
- Epic battle scenes keep things exciting
- The origin of Darth Vader is appropriately grim
- Some sections of the movie feel drawn out
- Occasionally cheesy dialogue