Review: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Squeezed May 26, 2005

Stars: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christiansen, Natalie Portman
Rated: PG-13
Executive Summary: Definitely not a feel-good movie, but it doesn’t disappoint either.
Pineapples: 9 out of 10 (excellent)

As I mentioned before, I didn’t bother joining my friends at the midnight showing of Star Wars Episode III. But I saw them the next day and it was hard to get them to teasing me with spoilers.

But then, again, what is there to spoil? The conclusion is by now as much foregone as Titanic was. Anakin Skywalker (Christiansen) is seduced by and succumbs to the Dark Side, the Republic becomes the Empire, and Padme Amidala (Portman) gives birth to twins Luke and Leia. Revenge of the Sith is the necessary missing link that bridges the two trilogies, and it ties up all the loose ends nicely.

The Republic is now engaged in a fierce civil war against the Separatists, and Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) is sent on a mission to rescue Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). As the war progresses and Anakin’s mentor Obi-Wan is sent to fight the Separatists, Anakin becomes a trusted confidant of Palpatine. At the time, there is a mutual distrust between the Jedi Knights and Palpatine.

(There have been parallels drawn in the news and in the blogosphere between Sith and the Iraq war, but that’s another entry entirely.)

At the same time, Anakin has visions of his secret wife Padme dying in childbirth and it troubles him greatly, so much so that he would do anything not to let it happen. As Anakin falls more and more under his influence in the absence of Obi-Wan, Palpatine offers him the opportunity to ensure that his visions do not come true…

By now, the special effects of George Lucas have been seen in five previous movies, so they are well known to just about anyone who sets foot in the theatre. But in this movie it’s less about the special effects than the intrigue between the Jedi and the Chancellor, and the real human drama. It reads almost like a Greek or Shakespearean tragedy.

In any case, it’s a fitting end to arguably the greatest double trilogy that moviemaking has ever seen. Certainly it’s the most lucrative science fiction franchise, and for good reason. But now with Star Wars and possibly Star Trek riding off into the galaxy, what’s next for science fiction fans?

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