While the Clone Wars go on, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) must decide where his loyalties lie. Either it be with the Jedi Council or with Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid).
Director: George Lucas
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi violence and some intense images
Fun Fact: The first ever PG-13 Star Wars film.
We are at the end of the prequel trilogy as I’m excited about that. The Phantom Menace wasn’t the best movie, but at least there was some parts to it that I really enjoyed. Attack Of The Clones on the other hand was a chore to get through. So, where does Revenge Of The Sith hold up? I would say that it’s watchable as in that I enjoyed it.
The opening sequence kicks the film in high gear with an enjoyable space battle. The effects are upgraded from the previous installment and the action is well paced. Apparently, the original cut of this movie was at about four hours with this scene being over an hour long. Just imagine how epic that would be. The lightsaber duel between Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Count Dooku is ten times better than the last time these three characters went at it. The opening sequence sets up a nice thrill ride for the rest of the movie.
We still get some horrible romantic dialogue, but it’s small. It’s just a few scenes and you forget about it quickly. Instead we get that much needed focus on Anakin Skywalker and his turn to Darth Vader. We finally get that slow turn us fans have been dying to see since these movies were announced. With Palpatine manipulating him through every scene they’re in together, you’re ready to finally see how this all goes down. One of the best scenes in the movie is the opera house scene with the story of Darth Plagueis. It brings new lore to the saga and the scene is well acted and directed. Hayden Christensen has improved in this film compared to the last one as when he makes the turn to Darth Vader, he’s good. Just the shots of his facial reactions of the hatred he’s showing makes it believable and he doesn’t have to deliver horrible lines that make you want to turn off the movie. These scenes are my favorite until it comes to lightsaber duel between the new Darth Vader and Obi-Wan. It’s a long duel and it feels like two brothers are squaring off against each other in a high-stake duel.
My absolute favorite thing about this film is the performance of Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine. He turns it up to eleven in his performance. Ok, he does have quite a bit of goofy scenes, but those are the best part. He carries the film along with Ewan McGregor, as these two actors have been the most consistent in the prequels with their work. The make up on McDiarmid after the force lighting is so well done that it comes off as creepy. The only thing I didn’t get into was when Palpatine and Mace Windu, played by Samuel L. Jackson have their lightsaber duel. McDiarmid is making these weird faces while his CGI head is on a stunt double’s body making these weird stabbing motions. With that it doesn’t look like he’s the most powerful Sith Lord of all time.
Jimmy Smits, who plays Bail Organa doesn’t get much recognition in this film and that’s sad. So, I’m going to say that he has a role that’s important and when he’s on screen it has quite a bit of investment. He’s a senator that doesn’t want the Republic to fall and he wants to do something about it. Smits does great with the material and you want to get behind him and his performance shows that. I just wanted to give him a shout out when it doesn’t seem like many people do.
Overall, if I could describe Revenge Of The Sith in one word it would be fun. We get a great opening action sequence that kicks the film in high gear with improved effects. The lightsaber duels are vastly improved and the final duel in the climax is the best of the whole saga. We finally get what we always wanted to see and that’s the birth of Darth Vader. I’m going to admit that it was a great choice to have the birth of Darth Vader going on during the birth of Luke and Leia. It’s just another touch that I enjoyed in the film. After two underwhelming entries, Revenge Of The Sith was a breath of fresh air.