The time had finally come last night for us to close out the chapter on the Star Wars prequels, as we watched Star Wars EpisodeIII: Revenge Of The Sith. (And no, before you ask, we didn’t watch The Clone Wars series prior to, strictly focusing on the movies this time).
This movie really holds up compared to the other prequels. I recall seeing this one in theaters at least four times, and loved every time.
In case you don’t recall, R.O.T.S. picks up near the end of The Clone Wars (which I still maintain should have been the entire story arc of the trilogy, instead of what we got). Anakin (Hayden Christiansen) and Obi Wan (Ewan McGregor) are hot on the trail of new villain General Grievous, who has captured Chancellor Sheev Palpatine (seriously, that’s his name…no wonder he turned evil. )
He’s rescued and Anakin makes a choice that sets him down his dark path forever, and in this the seeds are sown for the rise of The Empire and the rest of the saga.
Where this movie really works for me is it’s almost a course correct on the other two movies, unfortunately it’s the last one (or would have been, save for Disney interference).
The film starts with an exciting space battle, and right into another set piece of a lightsaber duel, with some homages/foreshadowing to the events in Return Of The Jedi, depending on which order you’re watching the films in.
Where the movie falls apart at times is in part due to choices made in the earlier films, such as the casting of Hayden Christiansen as Anakin. He’s just not that great an actor, as judging from his post Star Wars career has gone. He is slightly better in this movie than the last, but that’s not saying much. He really is the worst actor in this franchise. Just terrible.
It also is a tragedy that a great actor like Natalie Portman is left with nothing to do in this film but deliver exposition and cry. There could have been a story arc for her as well, but George Lucas had failed his own story with these movies for the most part.
Still, there is a lot to like about this movie, from the action sequences, to the foreshadowing for the next trilogy, there are moments of genius here, making this movie truly the best of the prequel trilogy.
The score by John Williams has some of his best work here. Downright chilling themes for the rise of Darth Vader and The Godfather style assassination of the Jedi is a great scene all around, made even more tragic if you’re familiar with The Clone Wars series, as you get to know these background characters more during that time.
One final note, for all the bad in the movie, and the prequels as a whole, I still get chills when the iconic black mask is put on Anakin’s burned face, and the classic breathing sound of the Dark Lord Of The Sith begins, it’s a great moment. A moment that’s ruined a minute later with Vader screaming “Noooooo!” But still, we take what moments of brilliance we can get with the prequels.
On to Rogue One next, which I haven’t seen since theaters last year, I may do another piece on seeing how that film fits (or doesn’t) into the overall story that is Star Wars.
Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith – C