A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: George Lucas
Produced By: Rick McCallum
Written By: George Lucas
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor
Running Time: 140 Minutes
From this moment on, it becomes obvious to millions of adoring fans who are willing to give George Lucas his third and final chance to satisfy them that this must be the film that correctly and impressively connects the new to the old, the bad with the good.
Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith was the film that finally showed what audiences had been waiting ever so patiently to see, that is the definitive turn of Anakin Skywalker. The inception of the darkest, most iconic villain in cinematic history, Episode III had a list of crucial narrative points imperative to explore for a cohesive, connected storyline.
The enforced structure may have been what made it such a breath of fresh air compared to the previous pair of prequel episodes. However, Lucas being Lucas in the early 2000’s, he made sure that particular breath of fresh air was still somewhat toxic.
Amid an enormous war between the Galactic Republic, lead by the Jedi Knights and the Separatist Alliance, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) are in search of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) who has been kidnapped by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). After rescuing the chancellor, tension begins to form between the Jedi Council and the Senate, which sees Anakin torn between loyalties.
Caught between he wisdom of his master Obi-Wan and the guidance of Palpatine, truths are exposed about each side of The Force, making life incredibly difficult for Skywalker, who simply wants to do what is best for his now-pregnant wife, Padmé (Natalie Portman).
Revenge Of The Sith is significantly darker and more emotionally driven than the previous two. Possessing some genuine heart and solid structure, the film doesn’t appear to be scattered and littered with superfluous, tiresome scenes.
There is a sense of direction, however as previously mentioned, there wasn’t much room for a detour, particularly towards the conclusion. The characters are more grounded, allowing for a greater sense of attachment from the audience.
Certain familiar and celebrated aspects of the original trilogy return through music, dialogue choices and direction, whilst the story overall is simply a more tolerable affair.
Possessing a maturer edge overall, Revenge Of The Sith confronts at times, sometimes even sends chills of fear. This is major turning point of the saga and through it’s defeatist approach, it emerges as what some could call a success.
Episode III is flawed to some degree like the two previous instalments, however when comparing the three, it is obvious and refreshing to see that significant changes have been made to improve the last picture.
What the prequel trilogy inherently had against them was the element of surprise. Being a series of films that tied in with an already established and universally beloved world, audiences knew what had to happen within these films. This meant that although the crossing over of Anakin to The Dark Side was shocking and effecting to a degree, there was nowhere near as much of a shock as audiences received with the eventual revelation between Darth Vadar and Luke Skywalker in 1980.
Knowing full well that no such moment could occur with similar effect within the prequel trilogy, the handling of Anakin’s transition is passable, however had they approached it well from the start, it could have been something truly special.
As far as sendoffs are concerned, Episode III achieved something rather admirable given how much was riding on it. Not only did it set up the original story and tie in with the films fairly well, it made the best of bad situation and stood its ground.
The prequel trilogy have been critically panned and universally despised with the exception of the sporadic apologists who seem to enjoy them more than the others. However one feels about episodes I-III, there is no doubt that the last of the three was the best, for a number of reasons.
Learning from its mistakes and ending on a high note that is rather bleak and ominous, the hope, excitement and joy of what we know is to follow makes Episode III that much more watchable.