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Revenge of the Sith is 'a bloodbath' says critic

Story by: Jack Foley

STAR Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith has been described as a 'bloodbath' by a critic who was among the first to see the completed film at an early screening.

Associated Press writer, David Germain, said the film fully deserved its parental guidance PG-13 rating (which translates to 12A in the UK) because of its adult content and 'relentless' action.

"It [Revenge of the Sith] includes sequences more dark and disturbing than anything previously seen in the tragic Skywalker soap opera," he commented, after being among the first to view the movie at director, George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch home, near San Francisco on Tuesday, May 3, 2005.

The film finds young Jedi knight, Anakin Skywalker (played by Hayden Christensen), completing his transformation into Darth Vader by committing 'a bloodbath against old allies'.

As a result, Anakin is left gruesomely mutilated in a superbly-choreographed duel to the death with former mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor).

According to Mr Germain, 'his surgical reclamation as the part-flesh, part-machine Vader is chillingly juxtaposed against the bleak childbirth scene of his wife, Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman)'.

Revenge of the Sith has become the first Star Wars movie to be given a PG-13 rating due to its 'sci-fi violence and intense images', which means that parents should accompany children under that age if they wish to see it.

Yet the rating comes as no surprise to the director, who predicted weeks ago that the darker tone of the movie meant that it was 'unsuitable for kids'.

What has come as a surprise, however, is the amount of flak he has been receiving from parents concerned about the US rating.

"A lot of people have been saying how can you do this? My children love these movies. Why can you not let them go see it?" he claimed.

In reply, however, Lucas maintains that he had never intended to make big, successful, money-making blockbusters, but rather to tell a story which is extremely dark in places.

Revenge of the Sith goes on general release in the UK and US on May 19.

Cannes award for Lucas

George Lucas is to be honoured at this year's Cannes film festival with the prestigious Festival Trophy.

The final part of the Star Wars prequels, Revenge of the Sith, is to receive its world premiere at the festival on May 15 and Lucas will be given the award in honour of his career at a special ceremony onboard the luxury cruise liner, Queen Mary II, during the 11-day event.

He will become the tenth person to receive the trophy, which has also been awarded to Sean Penn, Gregory Peck, Ken Loach and Max Von Sydow.

The 60-year-old filmmaker attended the University of Southern California film school before making a number of seminal movies, including THX 1138, American Graffiti and the original Star Wars film in 1977.

He later teamed up with Steven Spielberg to create the the Indiana Jones trilogy and has since returned to his Star Wars story to complete three prequels, which chronicle Anakin Skywalker's journey towards becoming Darth Vader.

Put together, the five previous Star Wars movies have generated almost $3.5bn (£1.84bn) in global ticket sales - with Revenge of the Sith expected to break box office records in spite of its higher certificate rating.


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