Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Full-length documentary produced
by Lucasfilm Ltd. Two new featurettes – one exploring the
prophecy of Anakin Skywalker as the Chosen One, the other providing
an in-depth look at the movie’s eye-popping stunts. 15-part
collection of Lucasfilm’s groundbreaking "web documentaries."
IT'S fair to say that Revenge of the Sith is the Star Wars movie
that everyone has been waiting for ever since George Lucas announced
that he was to film the prequels in 1999.
Yet given the relative disappointments of The Phantom Menace
and Attack of the Clones, few could have imagined that the director
could end the franchise on such a high.
In returning to the Dark Side, however, Lucas has created a masterpiece
to rival The Empire Strikes Back; one that succeeds in drawing
the saga to a richly spectacular finale that delivers on a visual
level, as well as emotionally.
The film's grim sense of inevitability is its biggest asset,
completing Anakin Skywalker's transformation to Darth Vader with
effortless aplomb and providing fans of the series with everything
they could wish for into the bargain.
Lucas' complex tale has always been laced with tragedy, yet Revenge
of the Sith unfolds in such a fashion that the fine line between
good and evil has seldom seemed so heartbreaking.
Set a few years after Attack of the Clones, the film finds Anakin
Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) increasingly at odds with his own
ambitions - torn between his marital obligations to his pregnant
wife, Padme (Natalie Portman), and his swashbuckling exploits
as (potentially) the greatest Jedi of them all.
Haunted by horrific visions of Padme's death during childbirth,
Anakin gradually falls under the evil spell of the Republic's
Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who suggests that her safety
can only be guaranteed by exploring the dark side of the Force.
Yet such power comes at great cost and involves the betrayal
of the Jedi, including Anakin's friend and mentor, Obi Wan Kenobi
The ensuing deception results in
much bloodshed, as Anakin almost single-handedly massacres his
former allies, while becoming blinded to the values he once held
One of the most surprising aspects of Revenge of the Sith is
just how grown-up the whole thing feels. It is not a film for
children and is a frequently violent affair.
While the previous two prequels have pandered to the younger
generation in terms of look, tone and performance, Revenge of
the Sith finally comes of age in remarkably involving fashion.
So while there are plenty of crowd-pleasing set piece moments,
the film never loses sight of the emotional cost of what's involved,
providing a number of performances that serve to ensure that the
climax is as memorable as audiences hoped it would be.
The chemistry between Christensen and McGregor is particularly
strong, ensuring that their final lightsaber duel is given the
impact it merits, while the political machinations of McDiarmid's
evil chancellor provide some wonderfully malevolent moments.
Even the long-awaited emergence of Darth Vader is given the right
sort of gravitas, being neatly offset by the birth of Padme's
twins that offer the New Hope of the next film in the series.
Along the way, Lucas provides a near-perfect blend of passion
and excitement, including glimpses of Chewbacca and his army of
Wookies, the building of the Death Star and, best of all, plenty
of seminal Yoda moments.
Those who thought that the Star Wars phenomenon was becoming
a spent Force in cinema folklore had better think again as Revenge
of the Sith is a mighty return to form that brings down the curtain
in masterly fashion.
Lucas has repaid his fans' patience with an epic that is certain
to become a classic.
Feel the Force: The
George Lucas interview
The Emperor on being worse than Satan
recalls 'Vader's day'