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Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith : The Last Chapter

May 23, 2005
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:great action, great special effects, beautifully filmed

Cons:weak characters, problematic plot twists, no emotion

The Bottom Line: Revenge of the Sith has all the action any Star Wars fan would crave, but really falls flat in relaying a story that should have been much more emotional.

About 20 years coming, we finally have the last chapter in the George Lucas saga of Star Wars. Six films, billions of dollars made, and now we finally have closure on the Star Wars story. In actuality this is Part 3 of 6, after Lucas decided to make prequels of the original 3 films that came out in the late 70's and early 80's. After giving us a preview of things to come in Attack Of The Clones, this film was supposed to bridge the gap between an innocent Jedi and his ultimate fate of becoming the Darth Vader. Revenge of The Sith had a ton of build-up, and looked to be a violent end to the Star Wars franchise as the one thing we knew going into it, was that many of the main characters would meet their deaths in this film. The Jedi Council would fall, the dark-side of the force would become more powerful than ever, and the most powerful Jedi of all would become the catalyst in the fall of the entire Republic. With everyone knowing what would happen ahead of time, it is amazing to think that this was just a widely anticipated film. But, I too was excited to see it, and made it to a Saturday showing on opening weekend.

Three years of the Clone Wars have taken place between this film and the last Star Wars installment, where the Republic army has been steadily winning victories against the Separatist Armies of the Trade Federation. Many battles have taken place, and as the introduction to the movie states, "there are heroes on both side." From the outside, it looks like the good-guys are going to win this fight, and that the dark-side will be put down. The Jedi are constantly leading successful battles that have driven the evil forces farther away from the Republic with each battle. All that is really left is a lot of clean up work, and when the Chancellor releases the emergency powers of war that he has been granted, everything in the Universe will be at peace. Things never turn out quite as planned though, and there are always intangibles that end up being more important than originally thought. The Chancellor has manipulated the Senate of the Republic for years now, and extended his run in office without letting on that he is really working with evil intents. With this much evil in charge, something is bound to happen.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Ewan McGregor) , is now a Jedi Master, and Anakin Skywalker (played by Hayden Christensen) , is now a Jedi Knight who are leading the Jedi in battles to save the Republic. They help to control the clone army that was originally created to fight against the Republic. This provides many soldiers with which to counter all of these forces of evil. However, Chancellor Palpatine fully realizes that if he can gain control of Skywalker, that the Sith can resume their reign of terror over the Universe, and destroy everything that has progressed since their rule ended. Too late, the Jedi order realizes what is going on, and that the Chancellor doesn't have the best of intentions. The movie shows just what can trip up a Jedi Knight, and what will eventually cause Anakin Skywalker to turn to the dark side of the force. His turning was not really what I expected actually, and I was left a little disappointed in how easily he ends up turning away from the Jedi who have taught him everything he knows. But love has a funny way of causing doubt in a persons mind, and the Chancellor knows exactly what to hold over Anakin.

George Lucas wrote everything for these films, and it is because of this that he has been able to take so many liberties within the films, and the stories themselves. He can pretty much say that a specific character ended up like they are for any reason that he wants. Writing back stories, he can insert pieces of drama, and action wherever he likes, and it doesn't really have to make much sense, nor does it have to be believable. He has all of the power, and can change a characters fate with a simple flick of his pen. Because of that, I think that this film ended up with many flaws that just didn't fit the characters like he wanted them to. Take the character of Anakin Skywalker for instance. Now we all knew that he would change from an innocent boy to Darth Vader, and that along the way he would be given reason to seek vengeance against anyone his master told him to kill. We all knew that the transformation was coming, but I guess I expected more than what Revenge of the Sith gave me. There were too many contradictions in his behavior, and in his character that left me a little dismayed that Lucas didn't put more thought into the dialogue that would create Skywalker's mind-set.

Revenge of the Sith is the most action packed film of any of the Star Wars films, and there is rarely a moment where some battle or a light-saber fight is taking place on screen. Explosions, death, and dramatic assassinations end up making this film really dark when you take a step back, but while you are watching it, it doesn't come off as being quite that dark. Instead of drawing an emotional response from me, I instead caught myself looking for more to the story than action sequences. Natalie Portman and Sam Jackson are completely wasted in this film, simply because they are not given the dialogue to make their presences that much more impacting. As the movie progressed I found myself wondering if this movie was going to fail to gain my favor. Unlike a lot of fans, I had actually liked Phantom Menace, and Attack of the Clones. I had assumed then, that I would surely be blown away by this film, because it would answer all of my questions, and bridge the gap between this set of films, and the old set of Star Wars films. Much to my dismay I still walked away with a lot of questions.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith is a good film, and it certainly provides enough action to be worthy of seeing it in theaters. But for a film that is closing out a series and ending an era, this movie certainly left a lot to be desired in my opinion. The characters of the movie become nothing more than cardboard cutouts that are only here to show that the action sequences have a purpose. The action is above and beyond spectacular, and any Star Wars fan would be happy with how battles are depicted in the movie. The light-saber fights are the best we have seen, and General Grievous square up for his fight with Obi-Wan Kenobi, you can only say "wow". The action is what these movies have become about, and on that front it really succeeds in blowing away the audience. All in all not a terrible film, Revenge of the Sith really just left me wanting more from Lucas and his team. I wanted a deeper story, I wanted a better understanding of what the characters were thinking, and I was disappointed to find out I wouldn't get that. There is a reason that we laugh at the last scene of this movie, and it isn't because a joke was intended. In the end, I recommend this as a good film to see, but it isn't going to make my best film list anytime soon.

Recommend this product? Yes

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The Force is with us in EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH, the final chapter of the six-part STAR WARS series, which began a long time ago (1977) in a ...
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