on 31 December 2009
This is a fascinating insight into the Anakin->Darth Vader story, but I still feel that there was too much reliance on special effects and not enough actual story.
Sure - the effects that are there are stunning, and the grief shown by Padme was moving at times - but there wasn't enough of the real nitty gritty of such a storyline.
Regardless, it's the best of the modern trilogy.
on 12 January 2016
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the best Star Wars movie in the prequel trilogy, hands down. Whether it is the best film in the entire saga is a question I openly propose, knowing full well that it will attract the deep anger of many fans of the original trilogy.
Objectively speaking, Revenge of the Sith's greatest contribution to the Star Wars family is first and foremost the massive improvement of the quality of the visual effects. This film was released in 2005, and yet even today I have absolutely zero issues with any of the special effects, even in blu-ray format. They look stunning, detailed and realistic to the point of complete satisfaction. I think pretty much everyone can agree on this at least.
To me, Revenge of the Sith was a jaw dropping sci-fi movie from start till finish. I don't remember any other science fiction film having action of this magnitude and scale going on in the history of film making. We are treated to probably the largest space battle ever shown in cinema when the film opens. This entire sequence, from Anakin and Obi-Wan fighting their way through the thick of battle to Count Dooku's flagship all the way to them landing the damaged space ship on Coruscant, takes over half an hour and you're completely engaged throughout.
The film then quietens down to politics and Anakin spending time with his wife Padme. Again, I never felt bored or checked my watch during these sequences as I felt they added much to the story, which is ultimately about Anakin's fall. Now, a person who just watched this film might say Palpatine barely did anything to make Anakin turn to the Dark Side of the Force, and therefore all of this is a big disappointment. However, Anakin's fall makes far more sense if you have recently watched The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Things that step by step shake his faith in the Jedi order are all strewn across these two films, which then culminate in the third. The initial rejection of the Jedi council to train young Anakin, the death of his mentor Qui-Gon, his romantic feelings for Padme despite his oaths of celibacy and detachment as Jedi, the lack of trust he gets from Mace Windu, Yoda and even Obi-Wan at times, the death of his mother Shmi and the visions that foretell the death of Padme in childbirth all contribute to him feeling confused, lonely and isolated - vulnerable for one particular Sith, who after all, had managed to not only fool the entire galactic senate, but also the Jedi order itself about being a good natured and harmless Chancellor. To blame troubled Anakin for buying into the deception of Palpatine, who had pretty much managed to deceive everyone else so far, would indeed be unfair.
The character I find more worthy of complaint, is that of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The more you think about it, the more you realize how little characterization this figure really has. Obi-Wan Kenobi is your stereotypical hero without flaw. All we know about him is that he isn't fond of flying, has an ego to match that of Anakin (given their frequent banter), but unlike Anakin, is always calm and calculating. Obi-Wan Kenobi feels like a placeholder for a heroic main lead in a video game that is meant for the player to control - an empty shell left this way purposely so the player can identify himself with him than if Obi-Wan were given a whole set of behavioral patterns like Anakin was. To conclude, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a stereotypical good guy without much depth at all.
The rest of the film is top notch. We are taken to many stunning locations that serve as backdrops for large scale battles, and General Grievous does a far better job of being an interesting antagonist than the stoic and almost vampiric Count Dooku did in Episode II. The film builds up in tension until it treats us to the greatest light saber duel in the entire series, bar none. Amazingly filmed by Steven Spielberg, who George Lucas allowed to be in charge of this part of the movie. The hellish landscape of Mustafar is a fitting place for such a titanic clash between Anakin and Obi-Wan, one that we had been waiting for so long and, I believe satisfied us all. The final portion of the film is spent tying up loose ends in the same fashion that the final section of Return of the King did - many short, disjointed scenes taking place in different locations, but necessary to complete the overarching narrative. There are some deleted scenes which I think could have been added to give this film the finishing touches it needed, but overall I am still very happy about the quality, presentation and entertainment Revenge of the Sith offers from start till finish.
Of course the end will leave a sour taste in your mouth since it isn't a happy ending, but that was the whole point of the prequel trilogy, wasnt it - to explain how Darth Vader became Darth Vader and what led to the fall of the Republic and the creation of the totalitarian Galactic Empire. If you're like me and watch the films in the order I to VI, you can sit back with satisfaction and anticipation after the conclusion of III, because the story will go on and we're just getting started!
on 9 January 2016
After enduring the first two prequels again, I was not looking forward to watching Revenge of the Sith. I sat down feeling all CGI'd out, with Harrison Ford's famous quote of the first Star Wars movie echoing in my head: "You can write this s*** George, but you can't say it".
I have to say, however, that I actually enjoyed watching this, despite its numerous flaws. Finally witnessing Anakin's descent to the dark side, I found the running time just flew by. The same problems remain here - the overuse of CGI, terrible dialogue and actors who were clearly reading their lines with little direction. The romance is as awful as ever, and if you were doubting how unconvincing and contrived everything was in the previous two movies, then Anakin spitting with hatred: "I killed them all, all of them, the women and the children too..." just sums up how poorly crafted these movies are, this being a perfect example of Lucas telling the audience rather than the craft of the movie making it obvious these things have happened.
And yet, I still enjoyed it. Palpatine hams it up even more but is clearly having a great time, and that final descent and transition to Vader makes for compelling viewing, even if it's only because we watch it through the lens of the original trilogy.
I still don't think I would ever watch this one again, but it's clearly the best of a bad bunch. And the bluray delivers, as you would expect, a first class presentation.
on 8 August 2005
Let's, maybe, forget Episodes I and II. George Lucas should have started the prequel trilogy with this! All past sins are redeemed George - Even creating Jar Jar Binks!
Up there with the generally conceived best one of the lot, The Empire Strikes Back, Revenge of the Sith is a mouth watering prospect for any movie goer.
The birth of Darth Vader. That is what makes this film ESSENTIAL! And Hayden Christensen, slightly meek in Episode II, really proves to be inspired casting here. It's a shame that Natalie Portman is wasted (apart from one scene when she confronts anakin on Mustafar) with a tiny role, but Hayden's scenes opposite Ewan, especially the famed lightsaber fight to end all lightsaber fights, is astonishingly good.
This has got some of the most emotional scenes in the entire saga. Check out anakin's and Obi-wan's last conversation as friends; the emotion filled climax; and the dialogue free scene with anakin and padme looking out of windows, seemingly at each other, but it has so much meaning - this is when he chooses the Dark Side. It's haunting, epic and legendary.
This is what the Star wars story boils down to, what everyone has been waiting for, and it delivers in spades. Do we need to mention the special effects? Amazing as usual, particularly the opening space battle. Ewan is more at ease in his role, and seems genuinely having fun with his last foray into star was. Ian McDiarmid is all cakles and evil grins as the Emperor, finally coming into his own - and getting to grips with a lightsaber!
It ties up all loose ends, but there are a few niggles. General Grievous, although a brilliant character, was not really needed. Count Dooku was dispatched of far too early on. But in the end, you are just shocked at seeing what is up there on screen.
Afterwards, you have to watch the original trilogy. Just to see the man, who did so much wrong in his life, who had so much potential and blew it, finally redeem himself.
on 23 August 2005
From the opening onslaught of the now over-familiar theme to the poignancy of the film's emotionally silent finish, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a guiltlessly enjoyable sci-fi romp, encompassing the now familiar Lucas themes of Love, Regret, Responsibility and Greed.
From the iconic use of original dialogue ("This is where the fun begins!") in the oddly calm opening battle, to the poetic justice of Obi-Wan's tainted victory over the corrupted Anakin, ROTS is unique, the end of a dynasty, a film saga that is truely timeless, despite all the criticisms of the new prequels ("Too many SFX", "Pathetic dialogue", "irritating characters").
Fortunately, ROTS manages to address many of these problems (except the FX, still billions of those). Yes, the dialogue is still occasionally cringe-worthy, but who cares when it looks this good? The film that Star Wars fans have always wanted to see, with all the things we wanted to see. Clone Wars. Check. How the Jedi got wiped out (and SO cunningly!). Check. How Palpatine ended up like a prune. Check. Obi-Wan V Anakin/'Vader'. Check. Yoda V Emperor Palpatine. Check. Kids being born. Check. What happened to Mum. Check. How Anakin became the asthmatic poster boy of the Empire. Check, check and check mate.
ROTS is everything you could possibly want, minor quibbles aside: 'What? He had 28 YEARS to write the opening crawl, and he came up with "War!"? Oh, Bra-VO!', 'Why are the Clone Troopers all random colours like Red, Yellow and Green when they all look the same in the future?', 'That's our lot for Kashyyyk? After waiting for that for 28 years too? Utapau is better!', 'What? He turned to the Dark Side just like THAT? Jeez...', and the best one, 'DARTH VADER DOESN'T TALK LIKE THAT!!!'
But it dies away. While the opening space battle isn't quite as billed, it is intriguingly shot, showing the calm serenity that the Jedi can exude in the most turbulent atmosphere, further exemplifying the cruel sadness of their unbeknown fate. Also, Lucas moves the action along at a cracking pace, with some terrificly boys-own set-pieces, as well as freneticly gruesome lightsaber duels, the standout obviously being the duel between the two Jedi on the delectably designed Mustafar, with a quite ghastly coup de gras, fully deserving of the 12A certificate bestowed upon the film (the common Star Wars mythos still doesn't quite prepare you for Anakin's horrifying destruction).
To further complement it, Ian McDiarmid is outstanding, compensating somewhat for the slightly wooden Ewan McGregor (who almosts seems disbelieving in some of his deliveries) and the woeful Natalie Portman, whose transformation from strong individual to pathetic floozy is startling over three films. The scenes between McDiarmid and Hayden Christensen (a real star turn this time), especially in the the Opera sequence, are among the best in all six (!) Star Wars films, although, as noted, Anakin's final capitulation to his dark inklings is woefully underplayed, but that should be contributed to Lucas, not his cast.
All without mentioning John Williams' masterful score, fully embellished in the tragic segment following the murders of the Jedi Order across a far-flung array of war-torn planets. To call it a minor triumph is like saying how relieved fans were to see that Jar Jar Binks only managed a single line, "Excuse me", which is, incidentally, unnoticeable.
Tying up loose ends, being loud, and proud with it, ROTS is popcorn fun all the way, just as Star Wars always has been, even in the much-maligned prequels (I saw The Phantom Menace no less than 3 times at the cinema and enjoyed it every time. Hell, I even liked Jar Jar.)
And I challenge you not to get AT LEAST a lump in your throat when Yoda chokes on his words: "Failed, I have".
Only when I stop watching. Only then.
on 12 November 2006
Well, I readily admit I watched this at the cinema on release.
That was a given. I was at the local cinema previously with my girlfriend, when the 'Nostalgia' trailer was shown, and for the first time EVER I sat in a (full) but QUIET cinema. That was the anticipation for this film. I recently purchased the DVD to complete the six films in my collection. It *is* 'worth a watch' - but to me, like many others it is a 'missed opportunity'.
There are moments of superb tension and acting in the movie, but sadly, they are lurking in between long periods of acting on a 'basic' level.
I'd sum up the movie like this:
it is to be faulted once again for Lucas' apparent 'because I can' addition of CGI scenes that do absolutely nothing for the story, and, as many others rightly point out, look fake in the extreme - not quite as bad as previous episodes, but they nonetheless detract from the enjoyment.
CGI *does* have a role to play in movies like this, absolutely, but it is a case that Lucasfilm seem to have forgotten one basic 'fundamental' in that they have once again simply used too much CGI, which is 'mediocre' rather than do less CGI to a higher standard. The annoying 'silver ship' (no idea what it's called) is back, and it looks ridiculous as ever.
CGI creatures abound, again, looking out of place.
Overall it's a shame - Lucas does have the right to make films as he sees fit, but for the viewer it can only be seen as 'could have been better'.
The 'original' trilogy (again this is quite rightly pointed out by others) *looked* better because most if not all of the 'ships' were 'real models'. And one other point: maybe due to less technology, the stories were more entertaining, more 'traditional' and satisfying, whereas, like eps 1 & 2 , this film has the 'meat' of the story within a sea of mud. The use of CGI has put 'visuals' above the story and characters again - and that is the saddest part of all. I actually forgot the 'details' of the Obi Wan/Anakin fight, and it was nice to 'catch up' with a second viewing, but in reality, I could have been as entertained by bookmarking about 30 minutes of scenes from the movie as watching the lot.
For all the CGI faults, I must praise, once again, the work on Yoda, and the scenes including the wee green Jedi. Star Wars *is* fantasy, so we can laugh and enjoy such scenes - after all - Yoda is a Jedi master!
Undoubtedly, this (and the previous) episodes needed some CGI. But we know how this has afflicted the finished results.
With apparent ease, Lucasfilm is able to release, re-release and modify the Star Wars films at a whim. It would be nice to see some of these 'new' versions re-filmed with a more character and plot-driven dimension, with the best of 'traditional' effects and slight CGI tweaks, as opposed to the 'check this out' digital fakery. Who knows?
This is by no means a bad film, more that the moments of brilliance in the film (coupled with our ready knowledge of the first trilogy) show up the mediocrity within in a stark and vivid way. certainly worth a watch however.
The anticipation for this film was huge....Finally, the last missing link in the chain of Star Wars movies that would tie up all loose ends and create one glorious saga. And I was not disappointed. The film is big and bold and is certainly a spectacle. The story is fantastic, but then I fell in love with the Star Wars universe a long time ago....even if the actual script is at times slightly forced and even occasionally laughable. I wasn't hugely convinced by Hayden Christensen but he was more than made up for by the sublime Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine who clearly relished reprising his role and was perfectly exaggerated and wonderfully manipulative. These are minor gripes, though. This movie was comfortably better than Episodes I and II even if it didn't quite compare to the original trilogy (but then, what does?) All in all, this is good fun and a fitting fianl instalment of the Star Wars saga. A must for any Star Wars fan, and at least 90% of everyone else too!
This the third and final instalment of the prequels that laid the grounding for what was yet to come in the shape of the original
trilogy and indeed, happily - beyond.
I myself consider the prequels an essential part of the Star Wars saga it builds the characters and their origins giving a background
for the original series .
My journey continues - MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU.....
The wars continue the republic looks to be crumbling under the strain of the constant attacks, only the few 'Jedi Knights' offer any
hope for the republic's survival, again 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' (Ewan McGregor) and 'Anakin Skywalker' (Hayden Christensen) lead the
After a hard fought campaign 'Anakin' returns to find that 'Padme' (Natalie Portman) is pregnant and expecting his child, his nightmares will become of deep concern to him however fearing he will lose his beloved 'Padme' during the birth of their child.
'Anakin' remains an ambitious and arrogant sole, when offered a position on the 'Jedi' council he feels slighted that he is not also
made a 'Master-Jedi'
It seems that 'Anakin' is caught up in political manoeuvres which will question his loyalties to the limit as the Jedi-Master 'Mace
Windu' (Samuel L Jackson) asks that he reports on the dealings of the Chancellor (Ian McDiarmid) with demands that he also
reports on the dealings of the 'Jedi' to the Chancellor
Meanwhile 'General Grievous' (voiced by Mathew Wood) prepares his forces for another assault on the republic, 'Anakin's' pride
is hurt when his Master 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' is given the sole task of hunting down and killing the General.
'Anakin' becomes increasingly worried about 'Padme' and turns to the Chancellor for help after the true identity of 'Palpatine' as
a 'Sith-Lord' is revealed.
Believing that the 'Jedi' Council has no faith in him, 'Anakin' commits to the Dark-Side.......
Meanwhile the wars have continued...
The Special-Effects are indeed stunning in this the third prequel...
For me, this is far and and way the most powerful of the three setting the stage for the three sequels (filmed first)
This - an enjoyable, exciting and indeed visually stunning episode in the Star Wars series ........
on 1 July 2011
Is it possible to think of popular culture without the influence of Star Wars? Probably not, but it is hard to have any other opinion than that George Lucas missed an opportunity with the prequels. Why? - he certainly had enough time to get it right.
Revenge of the Sith is definitely the best of the three, and if you need to see only one of the prequels, this would be it. That might be part of the problem: Lucas left himself with too much to do, and not enough time to do it in. Anakin goes from being a decent enought Jedi, with a few troubles, to a child killer, following one bad decision. It was a pretty bad decision, granted, but also perhaps one that didn't appear to be on the cards - he did shop in Palpatine after all. One can't help thinking that his fall from grace to embrace the dark side just wasn't convincing enough. Surely he would have had to have been at rock bottom. Whose fault was it anyway? - it's not as if he got any decent support from the rather sanctimonious Jedi. In what other democracy would an unelected group of clerics be justified in attempting to overthrow a democratically elected leader just because their own sense of right and wrong was apparently superior. Lucas may have portrayed the Sith as ruthlessly and unscrupulously pursuing their own means, but exactly what was wrong with Palpatine's opinion of the Jedi? Perhaps that also is part of the difficulty. How can there be a magnanimous group of people associated with good and what is right, who also can kill, spy and plot at need? Perhaps their role should have been adjusted, for example as a roving band of samurai, rather than an organised group interfering at the seat of power. Why did the Sith want revenge? - perhaps they deserved it.
Part of the problem may also have been Lucas' ability to do whatever he wanted due to CGI. Part of the reason that the originals were so good was that limitations were there to be overcome or worked around. The "one minute" feature illustrates this point perfectly - just when you thought the effects were done, another layer was added to them, not necessarily to their benefit. The prequels also lacked humour, and moments to step back. There is no time for a pensive gaze at the binary sunset to wonder what it is about your life that you don't like.
If only Lucas had thought about what made the original film so good. For me, it was things like: Who was Obi Wan Kenobi; "That's no moon, that's a space station"; the music; "For a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the old republic, before the dark times. Before the Empire." That latter quote gave more than the entire three prequels.
On the other hand, there are excellent moments. The final cordial farewell between Anakin and Kenobi isn't too obvious, and is nicely done. There is also an excellent sense of the building of tension on that night of importance. I also liked the concept of absolutes, only really briefly touched on. And the general sense of excitement, no doubt helped by the as ever thrilling music, remains.
on 3 November 2005
I was 9 when I first watched the original Star Wars on it's original release in 1977. I was captivated by all three original films and became a Star Wars fanatic. All films that came afterwards I kind of compared to them.
Then came Episode 1 many years later.
Hmmmm. Not to good but I'm over 30 so maybe it's me.
Then came Episode 2.
No it's not just me!!
Take out George Lucas and shoot him like a dog!
I was so fed up with the way George Lucas had just gone through the motions and not bothered with dialogue or much direction that I didn't even see Episode III in the cinema.
Today I rented it on DVD because there was nothing else much of interest. I had very low expectations.
To my amazement it's a very strong film.
It has the pace of the originals. No long periods of yawning in this one. It's got good dialogue! Not all the time but compared to Episode I and II this is like Shakesphere!
It's still not like the original three because it's much...much...much darker. No dreadful gags in this one like C3PO's 'I'm quite beside myself' or 'I lost my head'.
You also get a good chunk of emotional performances!
Some powerful scenes where we see Darth Vader re-established as the ultimate movie villian. A role he kind of lost at the end of Return Of the Jedi.
Not quite sure why our few remaining heroes at the end decide not to have a bash at defeating the emperor again when they think Darth Vader has had his goose cooked but otherwise it delivers!
I think the biggest audience for the Star Wars films have always been the millions who went to see the original trilogy. I expect that by now many - if not all have walked away from the series after Episode II. I urge all of the 30-somethings and 40-somethings to look again at this one. It ( almost ) makes you forgive George lucas for Episodes 1 and 2. No really!!