Star Wars: Episode 3

2006-03-30 13:04


With the galaxy in the throes of the devastating Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker is finding it increasingly difficult to live a duel life as both a Jedi Knight and a secret husband to Padme. What's more, he is plagued by visions of her death. Preying on this fear, the evil Chancellor Palpatine begins to manipulate Anakin, tempting him with the knowledge that the dark side of the force might hold the key to Padme's salvation. When Palpatine finally reveals that he is the Sith lord that the Jedi have been so desperately seeking, Anakin is faced with the ultimate test of resolve: will he strike at the heart of evil, or will his selfish love for Padme make him turn against every principle for which he stands?


The dark side of the force definitely brings out the best in George Lucas. "The Empire Strikes Back" (from way back in 1980) is generally accepted as the best of the first three movies, and "Revenge of the Sith" is easily the best of the prequels.

The nub of the movie's success is in Lucas's much improved script, no doubt heavily reworked after the tirade of abuse heaped on the first two films. Gone are the umpteen competing sub-plots that confused even the most dedicated of fans. In their place we have something approaching a compelling narrative - a young man with huge potential is tempted by an evil he does not comprehend.

Gone too is the toe curlingly awful wooden acting of "Attack of the Clones". For large periods the acting is unobtrusive and, in Ewan McGregor's case, even quite believable. You could argue that, after the first two films, even a modicum of believability would seem positively Oscar winning, but Lucas really has made a change for the better. In "Revenge of the Sith" he gives his actors lines they can put emotion into, instead of sounding like they're reading them off an autocue. The love scenes between Anakin and Padme, in particular, have gone from the worst scenes in Episodes 1 and 2 to some of the best in Episode 3.

That said, in the world of Star Wars acting was never meant to be more than window dressing for the epic sequences - dogfights between vast galactic space fleets, pitched battles between strangely coloured aliens and desperate lightsabre duels between the forces of good and evil. Sure we want it to be believable, even endearing, but we don't want it to get in the way of the action.

And of action there is plenty. The battle scenes are bigger, the settings more lavish and the scale altogether more impressive. Lucas seems to have spent the extra time between episodes on cramming even more exquisitely rendered detail into every frame of "Revenge of the Sith" than he did in the previous films. In some of the action sequences there is so much detail flashing by that you almost feel guilty not being able to pay adequate attention to all of it.

In fact this is one of the main problems with the film - sensory overload. So many of the sequences could have been more effective if their staging had been better handled. Instead Lucas tends to throw everything he's got at the screen and hope he impresses the hell out of us. Lucas has never been the most gifted of directors. Of the original trilogy, Lucas only directed the first film, arguably the weakest of the three. Then, after a 20 year break from directing any kind of feature films, he returned to oversee all three of the prequels. At least after two warm-up films he seems to be getting the hang of directing again - but he's still no Spielberg.

Fans of the original series may be disappointed by the brevity of cameos by old favourites like C3PO, R2D2 and Chewbacca, but this is made up in part by some great scenes with Master Yoda. Thankfully Lucas seems to have taken the hint and the nauseating Jar Jar Binks remains almost entirely absent from the film.

Is it worth watching? Absolutely - both for fans and casual theatregoers. No project with this amount of love, money, blood, sweat and tears lavished on it should be missed. It may be as deeply flawed as its tragic hero, but it as irresistible as the dark energy that draws him to his eventual doom.

- By Alistair Fairweather
The final instalment of the Star Wars prequels is darker, more focussed, more visually impressive and definitely worth the wait. It may not be the best Star Wars film, but it's a worthy end to the great saga.

blair underville 2005/05/18 4:26 PM
Star wars episode 3 yes it was awesome. Everyone should watch star wars episode three. Definitely one of the best of the star wars movies and definitely the best of all the new star wars movies. Hitch
Rhyse Crompton 2005/05/18 7:09 PM
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith I recently went on a work trip to USA and on my visit i managed to watch SW:ROTS. This movie was absolutely incredible and and better than all others ( I am a huge Star Wars fan) I will definately buy the DVD This movie is the best
Jonathan 2005/05/19 12:13 AM
dont listen to the critics Brilliant ,Alistar stop studying journalism too much,cause youre not that good at it. mystic river
Simon Visser 2005/05/20 3:47 PM
Dr. This movie I would give about 8.4 of 10. Anyone who likes fiction MUST see this movie. Otherwise don't see this movie. This one.
Flea 2005/05/20 4:20 PM
Meneer Visser needs a calculator Only 8.4 out of 10?? I think it deserves 17.67894 (recurring) out of 21! Star Whores
GiBi 2005/05/21 12:45 PM
If you haven't seen all the other... If you weren't into the first 5 movies, you probably won't enjoy it, cos it will seem without conclusion, but the fans, me included have all found Star Wars to be the best series of movies ever. Star Wars Series
kyle 2005/05/22 1:13 PM
Awesome This movie tanatalised every nerve in my body. It was so worth the wait. Fight scenes were brilliant . cant wait to see it AGAIN !!! STAR WARS III : REVENGE OF THE SITH
lynnette 2005/05/22 3:43 PM
the ecclectic a brilliant end, with all questions answered. exellent special effects. a little something for everyone. die hard fans will love it definetly, not if you don't know the saga though
Wouter Coetzee 2005/05/24 1:50 PM
Star Wars 3 - Revenge of the Sith Dit was uitstekend. Def die beste een van die prequals. Die special effects is awesome asook die Lightsaber fights - daar is baie. Sal dit weer gaan kyk (en weer en weer.......) Absolutely
Steve 2005/05/27 8:26 AM
Disappointing Being avid Star Wars fans, my brother and I could not wait for the final prequel. Although an absolute must see to end the saga, we felt it had been filmed as a three hour epic, and badly edited to 90 minutes or so. I can't wait for a directors cut version on DVD. If you are a stars wars fans, then it is a must see, if not, you will be disappointed, especially by the amatuer editing skills.
Sheris 2005/05/27 10:46 AM
Evoked more feeling from the audience Episode III definitely sparks more emotion from the audience than the first 2 prequals. The movie is dark but real. Hayden seems more natural acting a darker character than playing a good guy Anakin. There are no more unanswered questions. definitely
QUINTIN 2005/10/28 1:02 PM
Fatimah 2005/11/07 4:31 AM
The End ?? This last Star Wars was an improvement over the other 2, though if you look at all 3 prequels, they form a trilogy that is not too shabby. While all and Sundry, or those who have capable minds say that Lucas is not a director, one must surely have felt that he thought of this as his baby and that was why he wanted to have control of everything in what he considers to be his final attempt at perfecting his masterpiece. This last prequel has it's usual flaws of including Natalie Portman as Amidala (though the male public seems to drool for the girl, she's beyond wooden and has no charisma whatsoever; shows you what the average male mind is like - pitiful.) As someone chosen to play the part of the senetor, Portman who speaks so voiciforously of democracy and champions it to the nth degree is anything but in reality and Lucas wisened up, consciously or not, in toning down her 'legislative' duties, focusing on other things. Samuel Jackson as Windu (whose part was certainly not a v This movie was far better than so much of the rubbish put out this yr eg Stealth, Dukes of Hazzard, Herbie:Fully Loaded etc
Don 2007/04/13 11:42 AM
Alistair Perfect review! Couldnt have said it better myself! the actiing was razor sharp and convincing, the actors gave it their all and everyone worked as a team to make this movie a masterpiece, I almost feel like Ive gone from a star wars fan to a Revenge of the Sith fan. What a movie,brilliant lightsaber battles and the movie tied up the loose ends perfectly.
Jason 2007/05/12 4:22 PM
AWSOME how could you give it a three star!!! Its definatly the best prequel by far!! and is a fitting end to one of the greatest movie sagas of all time!
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