The Watchable One: A Review of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
By Dylan Moure and Matthew Rembold
Matthew Rembold (Review and Opinion)
In all honesty, I really do enjoy Revenge of the Sith. Compared to the two movies that came before, this one is leaps and bounds ahead of them in both its visuals and story. You can tell that this is the story George Lucas really wanted to tell when he set out to make this Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, and there is a bit to enjoy in this entry. Is it perfect? No, it still has plenty of flaws, but out of the three, Revenge of the Sith truly is the most watchable of the bunch.
The film begins three years after the onset of the Clone Wars. The Jedi Knights are spread throughout the galaxy, waging war against the spratists and their droid army. As Obi Wan (Ewan McGreggor) is dispatched to deal with the latest enemy of the republic, General Grevious, Anakin Skywalker begins to fully embrace the powers of the dark side. As Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) continues to manipulate Skywalker, the fall of the Jedi is approaching, and the birth of Darth Vader is nearly arrived.
From the opening shot of the film, its very clear that technically, the film surpasses the previous two movies in the trilogy. The CGI is the best of the three movies without a doubt with fully CGI characters like General Grevious being more believable than ones like Jar Jar Binks.
The action is more exciting too, but there is still a lack of tension in some fights, particularly when the Jedi are just slashing down battle droids. The droids never feel like a challenge to the Jedi, leaving these action scenes lacking suspense.
The lightsaber fights in the film are the best in the trilogy, but some of them go on for too long, or are way too short. Grevious vs. Obi Wan is fun, but is a little on the short side, and the final fights between Anakin and Obi Wan goes on for far longer than it needs to. Despite this, they are fun for what they are and visually pleasing.
The acting is also much improved over the other two. Hayden Christensen is still wooden and whiney as Anakin, but it’s not as bad this time. Natalie Portman as Padme has a few scenes of over dramatic acting that make you wonder how it was possible that she won an Oscar a few years later. The chemistry between these two actors simply isn’t there, never has been, and still isn’t.
Ewan McGregor is once again one of the few actors in the trilogy that tries to make his character believable and he truly encompasses what a young Obi Wan should be. The other actor who stands out is Ian McDiarmid, simply because he has so much fun as the Emperor and it shows. He hams up his performance just enough to make it incredibly entertaining to see him on screen and the scenes with him are some of the best in the trilogy.
In regards to the writing, you can tell that this is the story George Lucas really wanted to tell. The story is more coherent this time around, with dialogue that’s more believable. The banter between Anakin and Obi Wan makes them actually seem like friends, the scenes of manipulation by Palpatine are intriguing, and the terrible love dialogue between Anakin and Padme is greatly toned down. The story has emotional notes that were severely lacking in the previous films.
Overall, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is without a doubt the best of the prequel trilogy. The lightsaber fights have more intensity to them, the writings is improved, and the visual effects far surpass anything shown in the previous entires of the prequel trilogy. Some dialogue is still pretty bad, not all of the acting is great, and they do ham up some scenes a little bit, but overall, everything has improved greatly over the other two entries of the prequels. There is more dramatic tension and it’s very clear that this is the storyline George Lucas wanted to tell. If there’s one movie in the prequel trilogy to watch, this would be that one.
Dylan Moure (The Star Wars Change and Transition)
So many people may or may not have wanted to unfold the visuals of how Darth Vader came to be. Some people may not have wanted to find out that Yoda and Chewbacca were once close friends. Other people choose to ignore all background information that the prequels answered.
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is the bridge between the Prequel Trilogy and the Original Trilogy. OT fans considered it the best prequel, especially because the end finally felt familiar to them. The twin suns of Tatooine were setting over Luke Skywalker’s home, the Galactic Empire now ruled the galaxy, and Yoda and Obi-Wan had gone into hiding.
The prequels were over; OT fans were happy again… but were they? So many aspects of the originals were not plot-holes, and did not need any explaining. Two examples: now Darth Vader’s image is forever tainted with Hayden Christiansen’s dull Anakin Skywalker beneath the mask, and everyone has to picture Luke Skywalker’s mother as Natalie Portman’s poorly acted character, Padmé Amidala.
Chewbacca (Chewie) is a beloved character in the Original Trilogy. Lucas put him along many other computer-animated Clone Troopers to see him defend the Wookiee Planet of Kashyyyk in Revenge of the Sith. Now fans may think of that when they see Han and Chewie piloting the Millennium Falcon. Why is this a bad thing?
The Star Wars franchise was nearly perfect for over two decades. Many fans around the world even consider the originals to be the greatest trilogy of all time. They were absolutely great by themselves, and did not need any additional backstory, but the unnecessary prequels came in. It was sometimes obvious that Lucas just forced his way through them to complete the Star Wars Saga, even for the people who call themselves Prequel Trilogy Fans.
The good news is that there is once again hope, which is really what Star Wars is all about— in concerns to the franchise, and the actual stories. After Disney’s success of buying Star Wars, and shortly after giving fans The Force Awakens, the movies are taking steps to make great, original stories again, rather than filling in the gaps like the prequels did. However, different fans around the world continue to enjoy all of Star Wars, and continue to hope that whatever’s next will be another incredible journey.