Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

⭐⭐⭐ based on 1 review.

tl;dr: The end of angsty Anakin. It is not a glorious end, nor does it make much sense, but it is an end, I guess.


Star Wars


Star Wars: Prequels


Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

We ended up rewatching the prequels because we'd just finished the (much better) Clone Wars series, so going into Revenge of the Sith was a bit weird. There are some slightly odd bits that just don't gel with the narrative that the TV show gives you. Anakin and Obi-Wan are familiar and more like friends, but their chemistry isn't quite as good as the show (though part of that is because Obi-Wan has gone from a stoic, wise Jedi to a one-liner standup comedian 😂).

Worse, though, (and this is now a full-on prequels trend) are the villains. General Grievous is introduced seemingly just to have someone around for Anakin to kill Dooku, but he really isn't a threat. Nor does he know Anakin or Obi-Wan, which makes no sense considering how many times their paths have crossed at this point. Dooku is even worse, quickly being disarmed (literally) and then executed, whilst appearing to grovel for a second. Sure, he's just been betrayed by his master (though it's never entirely clear that he knows Palpatine and Sidious are the same person), but he deserved better than to go out like this. I know they need to show the Chancellor's control over Anakin, and his own descent towards blood lust, but they could have achieved this with Nute Gunray: Gunray was a villain in episode one, he's far more dispensable, he isn't a fighter, and Palpatine could more easily claim treason. What's more, Gunray was actively involved in a plot to kill Padme, giving Anakin an emotional reason to kill him, rather than simply seeing him ignore reason like a lapdog. (Oh, and they reworked the droid voices and they're all wrong and weird)

Yet if the villains are underserved, Anakin is butchered. His arc is the whole point of this story and not once has he been given a chance. To be clear, I think Heydon Christensen did the best he could, but the writing is just awful. Some of the lines in this film (as with its two prequels) are just outright laughable. "It's over Anakin, I have the high ground!" Like, what are you talking about? You literally killed Maul whilst flipping over his head from a much worse starting position than Anakin is in. Worse, is that Anakin just commits atrocities left and right without remorse. Yes, he's afraid of Padme dying and conflicted by a Jedi Order that has shunned him, but his immediate descent is ridiculous, and it turns to farce when he Force chokes Padme herself. (And let's not mention how Padme is downgraded from kickass royalty, to badass yet slightly pointless politician, to simpering lovesick housewife across the trilogy)

Still, again, the spectacle isn't too bad. I've been amazed to see just how much CGI improved over the prequel trilogy, to the extent that the opening space battle above Coruscant looks practically modern and is one heck of a sequence. (It was fun to see a whole bunch of tech I'd thought they invented for the TV show make appearances as well, like Buzz Droids, which is neat) Do the Clones take out the Jedi far too easily? Sure. Does Chewbacca need to be in this film? No, but then neither do R2 or 3PO (at least we didn't get a baby Han or something).

It's a mess, but (as with the other two films) there's some decent narrative going on underneath that mess. Palpatine's plan is clever, Order 66 is a big moment (though stripped of most of the impact by zero context in the film and very little time spent with the other Jedi), and it does get us to Vader and Padme's death. Does any of it feel earned, or logical? Nah, not really. But it's still Star Wars, it still has Ewan MacGregor as Obi-Wan and Sam Jackson as Windu, it still has some beautiful creature designs, the score still kicks ass, and it ultimately ties things together, if not well, then at least adequately. Plus, having seen the TV show, hearing Obi-Wan talk to Cody or getting small references was slightly neat. It just could have been so much more.

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