Star Wars - Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith

By:  Karl Stern (@dragonkingkarl, @wiwcool, karl@whenitwascool.com)

Star Wars Episode III - Darth Skywalker Breaks Bad.

Star Wars Episode III - Darth Skywalker Breaks Bad.

I continue my review of the Star Wars movies in chronological order by taking a look at Star Wars - Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith or as I like to call it Star Wars - Darth Skywalker Breaks Bad.  If you haven't yet done so, please lose a few moments of your life that you will never get back by reading about the abomination of Episode 1 and the mild improvements of Episode 2.

Again, I will not be doing a point by point plot analysis because, who in their right mind, would want one?  You've already seen these movies or you wouldn't be here.  So here we go - Star Wars:  Revenge of the Sith.

Again, this movie didn't hold up nearly as well as I remembered, still, I think it's the best of the prequels.  At least by the end of the movie we are rid of Hayden freakin' Christensen.

The Good

  • Ewan McGregor.  Ewan McGregor continues to be the only redeeming quality of the prequels.  It is his performance (and virtually his alone) that saves this film.  Help us Obi-Wan Kenobi you are, for real, our only hope.
  • The heel turn of Little Ani.  We've seen Little Ani grow from an annoying kid to a creepy teenager and now he goes through his goth stage.  He catches on fire and turns into Darth Vader.  You might say to yourself... "Self, that doesn't sound that good actually." But consider this- his transformation into Darth Vader marked the last time we would have to see Hayden Christensen in a Star Wars movie until he was a reinserted hologram in Return of the Jedi.
  • Special effects.  The CGI in this movie is still annoyingly significant.  However, the space scenes look really nice.  I'm grasping at straws here.
  • Obi Wan verses Anikan:  As far as lightsaber battles goes, this is one of the better ones of the saga.  The volcanic background of Mustafar is a really interesting setting for the epic Obi Wan and Anikan battle.  Just ignore the fact that Emperor's rescue of Anikan makes virtually no sense time-line wise.
  • General Grievous.  He's really pretty bad ass actually.  Three words:  Spinning Lightsaber arms.
The scene that sank a saga.

The scene that sank a saga.

The Bad

  • The Emperor.  Palpatine (Darth Sidous) finally shows his true ambitions in this movie but the post Mace Windu battle transformation of Palpatine is terrible.  I know his look had to change to match up to his appearance in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi but the make-up looks really cheesy... really cheesy.
  • The Jedi are pretty weak.  Old man Palpatine wipes out most of the Jedi Council in one scene with little to no effort.  Only Mace Windu gives him a fight.  Pretty sad considering they are supposed to be the most impressive fighters in the galaxy.
  • The death of General Grievous.  Via blaster.  Seriously.

The Ugly

  • The turn of Anakin Skywalker.  I know, I know, I already said this was good but there are ugly aspects to it also.  So, honestly at this point, how do we make this dork a bad guy?  Somehow we need to turn this mildly annoying goof of a character into the greatest cinematic villain of all time.  Write a good story?  Tell a great tale?  Nope.  Let's let him slaughter a bunch of children for no real discernible reason.  Anakin sure went from struggling with his conscious over turning to the dark to side to slaughtering children in EXACTLY ONE SCENE.  Quite a leap of logic.
  • The scene that nearly destroyed the most successful movie franchise in history. Has there ever been a worse scene in movie history?  So, child killing Vader also turns domestic violence abuser on his pregnant wife.  You are attempting to write a character who has became the most iconic villain in cinematic history.  Why, on heaven or earth, would you have him scream "Noooooooo!" about the death of his wife that HE JUST KILLED? He just killed many children.  He just killed his wife.  WHY IS HE NOT INDIFFERENT TO THIS NEWS?  WHY IS HE SO ANGRY?  Shouldn't his reaction be more like "So be it."  Horrendous.
Absolute... dirt... worst.

Absolute... dirt... worst.