In 2005, the Star Wars prequel trilogy came to an end with the release of “Revenge of the Sith”. Obviously the title alone is supposed to draw a parallel to the final installment of the original trilogy, “Return of the Jedi”. In Episode III, Anakin Skywalker finally turns to the dark side and the Jedi fall from power– even though the power given to them wasn’t a power they wanted to begin with.
The Clone Wars are brought to an end at the beginning of the movie when Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Obi Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) bring down Count Dooku and the Separatist army. Apparently at some point in between “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith”, Dooku had Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) captured, which is another example of George Lucas failing to develop on-screen, instead choosing to throw story ideas out there. It is during this rescue that we begin to see Palpatine’s manipulation of Anakin.
The rest of the movie revolves around Obi Wan, once again setting out on his own, hunting down another new bad guy, General Grievous, once again introduced and just thrown into the mix to get killed off before his character is developed. While Obi Wan is out, Anakin is haunted by dreams of his wife Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) dying during childbirth. Palpatine uses this as a chance to tell Anakin he knows more about the ways of the force than he has let on– only his way is a bit……darker. Anakin doesn’t care. He lusts for power and feels the Jedi are holding him back from discovering his true potential.
Once again, the grass roots of the story are better than the execution and this falls on George Lucas as a director. Some of the ideas and story lines introduced not only “Revenge of the Sith” but the entire prequel trilogy are displayed in a way that makes the audience wonder if GL ever watched his original trilogy at all to make sure he was connecting all the right plot points.
It all leads to the big climactic duel between Anakin and Obi Wan, in the lightsaber duel that fans have been waiting over twenty years for. The fight, though, as great as it is, lacks passion and emotion and looks as elaborately choreographed as it could. As a stand alone movie, “Revenge of the Sith” is the best of the prequel trilogy, even though it’s still full of the same silly plot holes as the other two movies.
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