The One We Were Waiting For…

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Director – George Lucas

Writer – George Lucas

Starring – Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Christopher Lee

Rating – PG-13

Metascore – 68/100

Rotten Tomatoes – 79%

This is the first movie in the prequels that delivers a sense of wonder, tragedy and adventure. Lucas concludes his 40 year story and leaves you with a feeling of completion, however grim it may seem you still know that Anakin will eventually bring true balance to the Force.

We start out with a lengthy intro (originally one hour long) of a rescue mission for Chancellor Palpatine. The benefit of this scene is the sensation of seeing what Jedi actually do, what their missions are like and why they are legendary for their service to the galaxy. This entire scene is a huge CGI fest, BUT it’s actually passable. The CGI in this film is the chief improvement to the prequels, as the rest were hardly tolerable.  It does, however, have moments of weakness which we will explore later.

General Grievous is an interesting character aesthetically but his placement in the story and his purpose make him a boring villain.  Lacking depth and real purpose other than being another villain doing political things, going to planets and intimidating people, he seems like another villain to slap on a poster and another toy to sell in every store across America.

Some of the most compelling writing Lucas has done, throughout the four films he wrote, comes from the conversations between Palpatine and Anakin.  They are acted and written incredibly well.  The scene in the Opera, particularly has incredibly eerie tone with great writing and mystery.  It leaves you feeling uncomfortable and makes your skin crawl at the things that Palpatine is telling Anakin and you can see the Dark Side begin to take hold.

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If there is one thing that this movie does well, it’s setting tone.  There are moments where you question Anakin and moments where you align with him, but slowly those alignments are lost as he gradually progresses into Vader.  Lucas’ accomplishment with this movie is that you have a hard time watching Anakin transform into Vader, this is the first time that allows you to feel through Anakin and understand his emotions and motives for turning to the Dark Side.

The largest critique of the film is the Lightsaber Duels.  There is a massive difference in this film, from the rest of the saga, in the complexity of the lightsaber duels.  The grandeur of these fights is hard to believe, and are at times too choreographed and too long.  There is no tension built because they are over choreographed, specifically the Obi Wan and Anakin duel.  The duel between Yoda and Sidious is one of the most ridiculous scenes in the film.  It is awkward and disjointed, with almost no choreography other than launching huge objects at each other. Likewise adding CGI Sidious doing friggin barrel rolls was overkill, and frankly all fight scenes with Sidious are abysmal. This particular fight provide us with awkward closes ups of Palpatine stabbing JEDI MASTERS who roll over at the sight of an elderly man with a lightsaber.

TLDR – Lucas ends on a strong note, some weaknesses but a considerable amount of strengths.  The banter and writing is much better especially in the realm of relationships and emotions.  The ending duel however epic leaves you bored. Palpatine is fantastic in every scene that he isn’t wielding a lightsaber. Finally we have some decent CGI that doesn’t look like a made for TV movie.

The499 Rating – 7.4/10

Authors : Jesse Ingram, Blake Burrough

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