Revisiting ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’

This is the third of ten movie reviews in the Star Wars saga leading up to the December 20th release of Rise of Skywalker. Revenge of the Sith came out in 2005 and it was the conclusion of the prequel trilogy that told the story of the transformation of Anakin Skywalker, from a slave, to a Jedi Knight, to Darth Vader. The previous two installments were bloated and terrible messes. Revenge of the Sith, on the other hand, was actually a very good movie that, for the most part, concluded the trilogy in a satisfying manner.

The movie takes place three years after the events of Attack of the Clones and it opens with the separatists attacking the capital of the republic, Coruscant, and they kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are dispatched to rescue the chancellor. After they succeed, they return to Coruscant and Anakin reunites with his secret wife, Padme Amidala, who reveals that she is pregnant.

The movie stars Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi once again. In this movie, he puts on a great performance as he finally finds the perfect balance from his previous performances. In Phantom Menace, he was way too excited and came across silly at times. In Attack of the Clones, he seemed angry all the time and always on edge. In this movie, he portrays great and powerful emotion in the scenes where it is needed. In the scenes that don’t, he is very natural, and I was invested in his character.

Hayden Christensen returns as Anakin and is phenomenal. While the writing is still awkward at times, he is very entertaining to watch. He is fun to watch in action scenes, his dialogue with the other characters is a lot more natural and realistic, and he once again is amazing at portraying emotion when there is no dialogue. There is a scene in the second act where you see him reflecting on the current situation by himself in the Jedi chambers. There is no music and you see him going through a struggle as it cuts to Padme going through the same thing. It is a powerful scene and it shows how much better this movie’s acting is.

The movie also stars Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine. McDiarmid is very entertaining to watch in the scenes where he is going crazy as the evil emperor. Also, his dialogue is amazing. There is a scene where he is discussing the Sith and Jedi at a space opera, and the scene is amazing despite it only being dialogue. The scene is set well and the conversation flows naturally. That scene alone shows how much better the writing is in this movie.

Now let’s discuss the cinematography. It is awful in the first two movies as it is a bloated CGI mess that looks fake and tough to look at. But in this movie, the CGI is a lot better and, in some scenes, it looks stunning. The space battle in the first act in the movie looks stunning as the detail of the scene and the clear visuals of the action makes the whole scene immersive.

But the main area I want to touch on are the lightsaber battles. There are five of them and all of them are fantastic. The choreography makes the fight scenes look realistic and they are shot very well. Also, they have stakes to them, which makes one appreciate the look of the fights a lot more. While I still think the two Luke vs Vader lightsaber battles are the two best lightsaber battles in Star Wars due to the emotional weight and intense action, these fights are still a blast to watch.

Combining the stunning space battle scenes with the lightsaber duels make the Battle of Coruscant, which lasts approximately 25 minutes, an incredible opening to the movie. The space and lightsaber battle is great, the banter between Anakin and Ob-Wan is fantastic, and for the first time in the prequel trilogy, it feels like the action-adventure Star Wars that millions of people know and love.

While the writing is still awkward at times and the story is a bit rushed in the last hour of the movie due to its sudden shifts in character changes, Revenge of the Sith is a very fun movie to watch that looks great and has some incredible scenes. Be sure to check it out and enjoy the stunning visuals and battles this movie displays.

Rating: 8/10

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