5 Stars

I got up really early this morning, walked over to the Metreon, and saw Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. It was awesome. Unlike Episode I and II, which were a little disappointing, this one managed to pleasantly surprise me.

Special Effects
The opening space battle had jaw-dropping effects all the way until they crashed into the landing bay. Also, I assume that R2D2 was digitally added to the scenes for this Episode. In one scene, R2 spills oil on a couple of battlemechs and uses his thrusters to light them on fire. It was awesome. Although effects were used extensively throughout the film they did not get in the way of the emotional story line–the fall of Anakin Skywalker.


Dark Themes
It was bilked as a much darker film than the others and that is certainly true. In one scene, Anakin goes into the Jedi Temple and is approached by children. He Immediately activates his light saber, eluding to their impending fate at his hand. The film also graphically depicts the final battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin, including his sliding into a lava pit and being engulfed in flames–he screams through most of this. It’s a little disturbing. Damn, one can only wonder what an R-rated version of the film would be like, but I digress.

Dialogue
Although much better than the first two films there were still some awkward moments in the scenes between Anakin and Padme. I don’t blame the actors, the dialogue was weak. Apart from these few scenes the dialogue was excellent. Particularly in the exchanges between Palpatine and Anakin. Palpatine was playing some serious mind games on that bitch!

One of the final scenes has Darth Vader being dressed in his life support suit for the first time. The helmet is put on and Darth Vader takes his first heavy mechanically-assisted breath and says, “Yes Master.” Brilliant. It redeemed the little boy Anakin of the first film, which I hated, and all the other mistakes from Episodes I and II in a single breath. It was awesome.

A little later, Darth Vader is waving his hands and screaming “Noooo!” after being told by Palpatine that Padme had died at his hand, a lie. In our audience this scene did not get a laugh. It was a very poignant moment and the faithful that had gotten up that early to see the film were enthralled. However, I can see how outside of the fan base this may get a laugh.

Acting
Let me just say right off the bat that I have fucking hated Hayden Christiansen with sincere passion until today. However, I have to give him props for stepping it up in this final installment. His internal conflict and emotional decay as he makes his way to the dark side are believable. At the end, when he tries to choke Padme, you really believe that he is consumed by evil. I didn’t think that he could pull it off, but he came up big. I am glad he did, or otherwise I would have demanded a refund and you would be reading a much different review.

Another standout was Ian McDiarmid, who plays Palpatine. His exchanges with Christiansen were very well done and his portrayal of an underlying evil at all times was superb. Without him this film would not have been possible. The Emperor is Vader’s master and without him the journey to the dark side would not have been possible. He did a great job!

Natalie Portman also put in a great performance, despite the attempt to derail her with shitty dialogue. Her final scenes with Anakin were believable, including the look of dread in her face when he admits to turning to the dark side. The look is immediately followed by fear when Anakin thinks that she has betrayed him by bringing Obi-Wan, who was actually a stowaway on her ship. Another excellent performance by Ms. Portman.

Yoda, for being completely computer-generated, showed some emotion–that was amazing! I kept having to remind myself that little green goblins that speak in awkward sentence structures don’t exist. ILM did an incredible job at giving Yoda scene-appropriate expressions.

I was disappointed with all of the other cast members, including Ewan McGregor. I thought that Obi-Wan would have a better part in the story, since he was losing his apprentice to Palpatine. In the end he squeezes out some emotion to tell Anakin that he was a brother to him. But in all I thought that he should have shown a little more emotion, even if he is a Jedi he should have felt a greater sense of loss. Hell, a couple of man tears would have been in order. You just killed your “brother” bitch! Or so he thought. Whatever.

Final Thoughts
The film does a good job at tying some loose ends, including Anakin’s virgin birth at the behest of Palpatine’s master, Darth Plagius. In a soliloquy, Palpatine even admits to killing his master in his sleep. Also, Yoda tells Obi-Wan that he should train in Tatooine to get immortal life like Qui Gon. This finally explains all the Jedi “ghosts” in Episodes IV, V and VI. Very cool.

In all, a great end to the films. In years to come this may be considered one of the best films of both trilogies. However, it is going to be hard to beat Empire Strikes Back in a head-to-head battle. Whether it beats Empire or not, it must be seen!

2 Comments »

  1. I can’t wait!!!!!!!!!

    #1 by Meerenai — May 20, 2005 @ 10:14 am

  2. Consensus on Sidious’ master?

    Review of someone’s review of Revenge of the Sith – musings on Darth Sideous and Darth Plagueis

    #2 by Open Hatch — June 23, 2005 @ 12:20 pm

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