War! The Republic is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord, Count Dooku. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere.
In a stunning move, the fiendish droid leader, General Grievous, has swept into the Republic capital and kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate.
As the Separatist Droid Army attempts to flee the besieged capital with their valuable hostage, two Jedi Knights lead a desperate mission to rescue the captive Chancellor...
Revenge of the Sith — the final film in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, long thought to be the last Star Wars movie (until Disney purchased the franchise's rights), and third episode in the film franchise's chronological order.In the final days of the Clone Wars, a massive battle over Coruscant destabilizes the Separatist forces. As Obi-Wan heads off to end the war once and for all, Anakin turns to The Dark Side via the machinations of Darth Sidious. Anakin, now named Darth Vader, participates in the destruction of the entire Jedi order along with the rise of the Galactic Empire. The film concludes with the single longest lightsaber battle of all six films, as Yoda and Obi-Wan are forced to do battle with Sidious and Vader to try and stop the Empire in its infancy.It is considerably Darker and Edgier than The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, and is the first Star Wars film to be rated PG-13 in the United States.
Revenge of the Sith contains particular-to-this-film examples of the following tropes:
Padme's death seemingly centered on a Force-choke from Darth Vader, which she clearly survived. It is explained in supplementary material that the Polis Massa, the aliens that Obi Wan and Yoda meet with in the epilogue, are supposedly not good doctors and do not know what the reason behind her dwindling health is. It's explained in said supplementary materials that it was trachea damage they couldn't detect.
Order 66, as well as the previous executive order, were official orders of the Galactic Army of the Republic that were heavily implied to have actually been secretly placed in the Army's operations structure by Palpatine. The previous order, Executive Order 65, was for the Army to overthrow a corrupt Chancellor (presumably written just in case some other Senator was appointed Emperor instead of Palpatine.)
General Grievous is never given any backstory or motivation in the movie itself; to anyone who didn't watch the first Clone Wars cartoon he comes completely out of nowhere for a major villain.
Amplified Animal Aptitude: You could say it's Obi-Wan guiding her through the Force, but Boga is very good at knowing where he wants her to take him, in three dimensions no less. Made more blatant in the novelization.
And I Must Scream: Definitely played with. Vader in the mechanical suit only has a small triangle-shaped vent where a mouth would be. Also driven home when for the first time in any of the four films with the familiar Vader we all know, we get to see for a brief moment what Anakin's field of vision looks like from inside the mechanical suit. The "look" on Anakin's face when the mask is put on is very disheartening and depressed, since he knows he will have to wear it for the rest of his life. The novelization describes exactly how painful it is for Vader to have his suit breathe and see for his burned lungs and eyes.
Angrish: Anakin himself after he loses his fight with Obi-Wan on Mustafar.
Ascended Extra: Well it's Star Wars, but a notable one is that of Zett Jukassa (played by George Lucas' son). In Attack of the Clones he was the youngling who answered Yoda's question on what happened to the information on Kamino. In this movie he is the young Jedi who fought off a few troopers only to get shot down in front of Bail Organa, in one of the more memorable and shocking moments of the movie.
Asshole Victim: All of the Separatists on Mustafar, but especially that sniveling Viceroy Gunray.
Awesome Moment of Crowning: In a twisted way, Anakin being dubbed Darth Vader, and later being placed inside the iconic armor, is awesome in and of itself. Another twisted-but-cool moment comes with Palpatine declaring himself Emperor, juxtaposed with shots of Anakin killing Separatist leaders.
Bad Ass: Artoo is taking none of your shit, Buzz droids! None, do you hear me!?
The Bad Guy Wins: Palpatine, although he doesn't quite get his way; his apprentice, who was supposed to become the most powerful Force user to ever live, is now crippled (with Artificial Limbs), and two of the most prominent Jedi survive the Purge and go into hiding.
Played straight in the video game though. In the final (non-canon) level, in which you play as Anakin fighting Obi-Wan in the final duel, Anakin does not get crippled, Obi-Wan is killed by Anakin, and Palpatine declares that there is none left to oppose them (meaning Yoda possibly died). However, after Palpatine hands Anakin his new weapon, a red lightsaber, Anakin stabs Palpatine and declares himself the new emperor.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Several male Jedi, including Ki-Adi-Mundi and an unknown in the Jedi temple, are shot dead by blaster fire. Their clothes—and bodies—show clear burn marks. However, when teal-skinned temptress Aayla Secura is shot at point-blank range by a squad of clones, her clothes and exposed skin do not show a single mark, even as they pour searing hot plasma into her prone, dead body.
Darth Vader after hearing of his wife's death. Or, if you're thinking of the infamous bootleg, "DO NOT WANT!"
Bail Organa when a youngling is gunned down right in front of him.
Birth-Death Juxtaposition: Padme dies on the table while giving birth to Luke and Leia - while on another operating table, Darth Vader takes his first breath.
Bittersweet Ending: The bad news: Palpatine rules supreme as Emperor, Anakin has become corrupted into Darth Vader, Padme is dead and the Jedi have been systematically exterminated apart from Obi-Wan and Yoda. The good news: Yet, the Skywalker children are safe and we know that we can now be set up to see the original trilogy in a new light.
Book Ends: C-3PO had the first line in the original trilogy, and he gets the last line in the prequel trilogy. In both scenes, 3PO is onboard the Tantive IV, the first ship ever seen in the Star Wars universe.
In his first appearance onscreen in the original trilogy, Obi-Wan walks towards the camera hooded. In the end, he's last seen walking away from the camera after putting on his hood.
And one of the iconic first shots of New Hope was Luke standing on the hill near his family's farm, staring into the twin sunset, and this movie ends with a similar shot for Owen and Beru holding infant Luke at sunset.
Broken Aesop: The preservation of democracy against tyranny is one of the morals of the story, but the Senate is depicted as being one of the biggest problems the Republic has since they are all too eager to grant more and more executive powers to Palpatine. This escalates to the point where the Jedi Council (the heroes) resolve that they will have to take control of the government when they remove Palpatine from office. This sends a contradictory message that Democracy Is Bad because only a group of unelected warrior-clergy can possibly save the Republic from itself. The novelization explicitly points this out, with the Council discussing the morality of what they're doing, and saying the entire war was a no-win situation for the Jedi.
But He Sounds Handsome: Palpatine has a line that's something of a variant of this trope. When Count Dooku confronts Obi-Wan and Anakin in the opening rescue sequence, Palpatine says to them "Get help, you're not a match for him. He's a Sith Lord."
Call Back/Call Forward: The final shot is of Owen and Beru standing on a sand dune holding an infant Luke as Tatooine's suns set in front of them. This recalls the famous shot of Luke doing the same thing in A New Hope. It even plays the same music.
Also, Obi-Wan after defeating General Grievous with a blaster: "So uncivilized".
Cain and Abel: Anakin and Obi-Wan at the end, eventually. Hammered home when Obi-Wan addresses Anakin as his brother at the end of their fight.
Clean Pretty Childbirth: When Luke and Leia are born, their heads appear slightly moist but are otherwise clean and dry. Might be justified due to advanced medical technology in the Star Wars 'verse.
Continuity Lockout: If you watched the Clone Wars cartoon, you know that Grievous is a cybernetic Four-Star Badass and Hero Killer to the point that he's the only reason the Separatists are a legitimate threat, who is only beatable at all because of recent injuries he sustained fighting Mace Windu. If you didn't, he's a random droid, which seems to have asthma for some reason, that everyone treats like a big deal even though he is solidly defeated or runs away every time he's encountered.
Continuity Nod: After their climactic duel, Obi-Wan is seen stopping to pick up Anakin's lightsaber, which he gives to Luke in Episode IV.
Convection Schmonvection: On Mustafar, both combatants are apparently immune to the heat from the molten lava that they are battling over. In the novelization, it is stated that both are using the Force to protect themselves... until Anakin is critically injured.
Anakin IS, however, set on fire without actually making contact with any lava. He's still much closer than would be necessary for such a thing to happen.
The Corrupter: Palpatine is a really dedicated Corrupter, who spares no effort and risks his own life in order to bring Anakin to the Dark Side, even though he expects Anakin to eventually become more powerful than himself, and thus very unlikely to remain loyal.
Cranial Processing Unit: Subverted. Within the span of a few seconds, Obi-Wan decapitates a Magna-Guard, turns away from it, and is caught off guard when it keeps fighting anyway. This is explained in the movie's visual dictionary that there is a second processing unit and photoreceptor in the chest that it can use.
Critical Failure: Near the end of his battle with Grievous, Obi-Wan attempted to knock the cyborg off his feet by kicking his leg. The result: Obi-Wan ends up injuring himself and giving Grievous the opportunity to throw him off the platform they were on.
Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: Palpatine does this immediately after Anakin frees him from the chair on the command ship.
Darker and Edgier: Easily the darkest of the prequel trilogy, or even the entire saga of Star Wars, and the novel is even darker. It has the distinction of being the only film (so far) in the franchise to receive a PG-13 rating.
Dark Is Not Evil/Light Is Not Good: Palpatine convinces Anakin that this is the truth. However, this is absolutely not the case as far as morality in the Star Wars universe goes - shades of grey are present, but Palpatine is easily the most evil being in the universe.
Day of the Jackboot: Palpatine's plans come to fruition in this film as he establishes himself as Emperor.
Deadpan Snarker: Obi-wan is the champ. About three quarters of his dialogue are dry, pithy summaries of the current situation.
Death by Childbirth: Anakin dreams this will happen to Padme. He immediately begins working to figure out a way to prevent it from happening. She does die in childbirth, but it's more accurately...
Death by Despair: Padme, in addition to dying from internal injuries from her throat.
Despair Event Horizon: Padme notably subverts this, even with her dispair-related death, as she states that there is still good in Anakin in spite of everything - and she's the only one who thinks this. Anakin, however, leaps over this line when he learns that he was directly responsible for Padme's death, and that his quest was All for Nothing as it essentially destroyed his entire past life - leaving only Darth Vader.
Disney Villain Death: Several battle droids were seen falling down to Coruscant when the Invisible Hand was losing stabilization and sinking to Coruscant in the beginning of the battle. Inverted with Boga, who was a hero, and yet was shot down into a ravine alongside Obi-Wan during Order 66.note The Obsessed With Star Wars Trivia Game implies that she underwent a Disney Death.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Anakin saying to Obi-Wan, "If you're not with me, then you're my enemy!", has been compared by many to something President George W. Bush said after 9/11, "Either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists."
It also rephrases a popular left-wing slogan, "You're either part of the solution, or you're part of the problem."
Padme's line "So this is how liberty dies—with thunderous applause", given its context.
The Video Game's version plays this straight as an alternate ending: Anakin kills Obi-Wan, and Palpatine declares that there is none left to oppose them (meaning Yoda possibly died). However, after Palpatine hands Anakin his new weapon, a red lightsaber, Anakin stabs Palpatine and declares himself the new emperor. And because Obi-Wan is dead, Padme would not be able to be taken to Pollis Massa, and Luke and Leia would never have been born. And thus, the Jedi are completely dead.
"No... The galaxy belongs to me...!"
The Dragon: Grievous turns out to be a considerably weaker one than expected, seeing how the movie set him up as a significant threat.
Dramatic Shattering: The window in Palpatine's office during his fight with Mace, whom he later throws out of it.
Dying Curse: Anakin during his Villainous Breakdown after he's defeated by Obi-Wan on Mustafar, screaming out his hatred towards the Jedi master. Subverted in that he doesn't die.
Easter Egg: In the opening shot of the film, one distant piece of debris that smashes into a Republic Cruiser is a flaming kitchen sink. Apparently, it was a development team in-joke, since the sequence was so ambitious that they claimed to have "Thrown in everything but the kitchen sink", so for fun they threw in the sink as well!
Epic Tracking Shot: The opening battle follows two lowly Jedi starfighters as they swoop in to join a massive battle above Coruscant.
Et Tu, Anakin?: Anakin believes that the Jedi have betrayed him, and Obi-Wan has this realization himself when he discovers a hologram recording of Anakin kneeling before Palpatine.
Ethereal Choir: When Anakin's rebirth as Vader is complete, a mournful choral theme is heard.
Exact Words: Palpatine, to the Separatist High Command, before Vader arrives on their hideout towards Mustafar to ultimately slaughter them (and he did mean it, just not in the way they thought he meant).
Nute Gunray: "The plan has gone as you had promised, my Lord."
Darth Sidious: "You have done well, Viceroy. When my new apprentice, Darth Vader, arrives, he will take care of you."
Similarly, this is how Palpatine managed to get the Senate to believe that the Jedi turned traitor. Technically, they did go renegade and try to orchestrate a coup against him. He just left out the little detail that he is a Sith Lord.
Fallen Hero: The point of the movie is to show what drove Anakin Skywalker into finally becoming Darth Vader. The Clone Army also does this - with the instant of hearing Order 66, the clones go from heroic figures to jackboots.
Fearful Symmetry: In the climatic final battle, there are a fair number of moments where Obi-Wan and Anakin mirror each other's movements perfectly, complete with a Force-push Beam-O-War which sends them each flying in opposite directions.
Palpatine uses Anakin's strong emotions and attachment to his wife in order to manipulate him into turning evil.
Obi-Wan uses Anakin's aggressiveness against him during their duel by blocking and defending himself rather than counterattacking for most of it. This strategy pays off when Anakin tries an ill-fated leap that results in his being dismembered.
Obi-Wan also uses General Grievous' arrogance to his advantage by boldly jumping right into a hangar full of battle droids, counting on the General to challenge him to a one-on-one duel, which he loses.
The Force: Stover's known for somewhat flowery philosophical prose, and this comes into play full force whenever Obi-Wan fights. By letting go of his self, he loses his sense of identity and allows the Force to move through him, allowing him to get through impossible odds. By contrast, The Dark Side requires users to make The Force to do their bidding.
The Friend Nobody Likes: Anakin finds himself with this problem with the Jedi Council after he's refused the rank of Jedi Master.
Fungus Humongous: The low-gravity planet Felucia, where Aayla Secura was killed during Order 66.
Groin Attack: Obi Wan knees Anakin in the groin in order to release himself from Anakin's stranglehold (both physically and telekinetically). Given the endurance of Force users, he recovered from it pretty quickly.
He Who Fights Monsters: The Jedi are starting to realize this as the war drags on. Yoda in particular is very uncomfortable of what they've all been doing.
After killing Jedi (children included) and murdering the Separatist leaders in cold blood, Anakin starts to realize that he's in the wrong, and weeps on Mustafar. Unfortunately, Padme and Obi-Wan arrived at the worst possible time, bringing the realization to a halt.
The Jedi in general begin to realize that they're becoming more manipulative and power-hungry, with Yoda cautioning that they're treading a dark path in trying to stop Darth Sidious. By the time they suspect Palpatine as being the Sith Lord they've been looking for, it's far too late.
Windu: The Senate will decide your fate. Palpatine: I am the Senate! Windu: Not yet.
Ignored Epiphany: Anakin immediately feels regret for attacking Mace Windu... But Palpatine ensures him that he did the right thing. It's also implied that Palpatine is manipulating Anakin's emotions with the Force.
Imaginary Love Triangle: Anakin thought he, Padmé, and Obi-Wan were in a triangle. In reality, it was only his own paranoia that made him think Obi-Wan and Padmé were together, along with a few unhappy coincidences.
Imperiled in Pregnancy: A heavily pregnant Padmé goes gallivanting off to Mustafar after Anakin after Obi-Wan tells her Anakin has fallen to the dark side. When Obi-Wan turns up, having stowed away on Padmé's ship, Anakin Force chokes her. Padmé starts dying afterwards, forcing medical droids to induce labor and deliver Luke and Leia.
Incoming Ham: Palpatine specifically avoids hamming it up it the Prequel Trilogy, even under the guise of Darth Sidious. However, that changes once he observes Anakin's Face-Heel Turn, to which he spectacularly yells "POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER! UN-LIII-MIII-TED, POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!" as he launches Force Lightning. At that point, he never goes back from being Drunk on the Dark Side, proving that Evil Is Hammy.
In Medias Res: Similar to A New Hope, this film starts off with a space battle, where much has transpired before we catch up on the story.
Yoda and the Emperor's duel in the middle of the Senate chamber.
The fight on the bridge of the Invisible Hand as well; Grievous escapes by shattering the windows, as he can survive being spaced but the Jedi cannot.
Also, Anakin and Obi-Wan versus Count Dooku, while a massive space battle can be seen through the windows.
Ironic Echo: Rather tragically done: Anakin tells Palpatine that he shouldn't have killed Count Dooku, and that he should have stood trial. Palpatine then tells Anakin that Dooku would have been far too dangerous to allow him to live. Later, Anakin then tells Windu when he is trying to deliver the coup de grace that he should have Palpatine stand trial, to which Windu retorts that Palpatine is far too dangerous to be allowed to live.
Joker Jury/Kangaroo Court: Windu implies that Palpatine will use his control over the courts to get himself off scot-free if they attempt to simply have him stand trial and not kill him.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: After agonizing over his role in Mace Windu's death, Anakin comes to the conclusion that the Jedi Council would see him as a traitor. He then decides that the best course of action would be to follow Palpatine rather than to explain his motive, which would reveal his connection to Padmé and it would presumably lead to her death. He also believes that Obi-Wan should be spared during The Purge, but eventually decides to try and take his old master's life once he thinks that he's been having an affair with Padmé.
Karmic Transformation: Palpatine's scars are brought about by his own lightning being deflected upon himself. The appearance greatly reflects the kind of person that he is.
Kill 'em All: Everyone except the characters who showed up in the original trilogy. Also all the Jedi (except a few) and (almost) all the Separatists.
Killed Mid-Sentence: Nute Gunray pleads for mercy, only to be quickly cut down by Anakin mid sentence.
Lack of Empathy: Delivered by Yoda, of all people. When Anakin states that the life of someone important to him is at risk, he simply responds that he shouldn't mourn or miss them, and should rejoice that the person is now one with the force. This comes back hard on Yoda once Order 66 kicks in - he's clearly pained by the deaths of all of his students.
La Résistance: The Rebellion was supposed to be this in the film, but unfortunately most of the scenes depicting its formation were cut. Then again, it's far too early for the Rebellion to be formed, since the movie ends shortly after the first "Empire Day".
Late-Arrival Spoiler: As mentioned above in Foregone Conclusion, Anakin becomes Vader. The trailers for the movie didn't even bother trying to mask the plot, as it essentially revealed every major plot-point in the trailer.
Justified in the novel for why they don't both go after Sidious. Obi-Wan points out that Sidious killed four of the Order's greatest swordsman and even both he and Yoda together wouldn't stand a chance. Yoda's plan is essentially to throw Sidious off his game by having Obi-Wan take on Anakin. Upon sensing Anakin in danger, Sidious might lose to Yoda. Of course, they don't take on Anakin together because he's not as big of a problem.
Lowered Monster Difficulty: The separatist droids are so useless now that R2 can beat them effortlessly, and he doesn't have any weapons. Dooku and Grievous are also much less effective than in previous appearances.
The scene where Palpatine tells Anakin to behead Dooku comes across as being particularly dark in the otherwise lighthearted opening sequence... Which is shortly followed up by more lighthearted shenanigans. In general, the largely-upbeat opening of the film deliberately contrasts to the darkness of the rest of the movie.
Anakin's nightmare about Padme's death comes directly after a romantic scene between the two.
The end of the movie was dark dark dark, followed by a Hope Springs Eternal ending and the credits playing with the triumphant, heroic Star Wars theme...
A Nazi by Any Other Name: Palpatine, when declaring the new order, vows to make a Galactic Empire that will reign for ten thousand years (and as evidenced by the Original Trilogy, fell far short of that goal), similar to Hitler's vow of a thousand-year Reich. In addition, some of the Clone Troopers in a deleted scene and supplementary materials, during the attack on the Jedi Temple, disguised themselves as Jedi presumably to sell the act of a Jedi uprising, similar to how Hitler orchestrated a "Polish" (actually Germans disguised as Polish people) attack on key German bases to have the excuse for him to invade Poland. In addition, Order 66 and Operation Knightfall were similar to the Night of Long Knives.
Never My Fault: Anakin blames Obi-Wan for turning Padmé against him after he Force chokes his wife.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Jedi Council, and Mace Windu in particular, don't trust Anakin because he is too close to Palpatine; yet Palpatine has requested that young Skywalker be his representative on the Council. One option for Mace would have been to explain his misgivings to Anakin, and ask him to make a choice then & there which side to be on. Instead, Mace not only insults Anakin by denying him Master rank, but also sets him up as an informant for the Council in Palpatine's office; and a resentful spy is the best kind of spy. The end result is that Anakin is driven even closer to the Chancellor. I think we all know how this turns out...
In the novelization and a deleted scene, though, they do send probes to check for his body, but Obi-Wan tricks a nearby monster into eating them. The final film also implies that they sent a drone to locate them, as a drone was seen in the background when Obi-Wan hides out in a cave shortly before the scene transitions.
Noodle Incident: "Nine times... that business on Cato Neimoidia doesn't... doesn't count..."
Nothing Is Scarier: In the last scene before Anakin makes his Face-Heel Turn, there's a moment where he looks out to Padme on the other side of the planet, showing that both of them are distraught by the gravity of the situations they are in - without any dialogue or sound effects, and all set to a creepy, ambient One-Woman Wail. It's one of the most unsettling moments in the film because of how well it sets up the tragedy to come.
Bail Organa when he sees the youngling Zett being gunned down by the clone troops. See "Big No" above.
Count Dooku's face is frozen in this state when his hands are chopped off and he hears Palpatine say to Anakin: "Good, Anakin, good! Kill him.Kill him now."
Grievous flees his ship and jettisons the escape pods, so Anakin siezes the controls to land the ship. Then the rear half with the main engines breaks off.
Anakin: We lost something. Obi-wan Not to worry, we are still flying half a ship.
Offhand Backhand: Anakin does this with a lightsaber blaster deflection when a lowly battle droid tries to shoot him in the back. Yoda does this to two Mooks with the Force. And Obi-Wan gets a slightly humorous subversion against one of Grievous's droid minions where he quite casually decapitates it and starts to walk away, only to look back to see that it's still coming after him.
Pay Evil unto Evil: Subverted big-time. Although Nute Gunray and his minions invaded Naboo earlier on, Anakin's eagerness to kill them is portrayed as alarming nonetheless. Though there does seem to be some trace of this trope present; Anakin's killing of Nute and his minions is shown on screen, whereas his massacre of the innocent children in the Jedi temple is not.
People's Republic of Tyranny: The Galactic Republic, when the story takes place 3 years into the Clone Wars. It's now a military dictatorship in all but name, where every single decision is made by Palpatine, and each star system is overseen by a regiment of clone troopers, all in the name of safety and defense. By the time the Empire is declared, Palpatine even points out that they are an Empire already, and it's just a change in name.
Pet the Dog: Near the end of the movie, when Palpatine finds Anakin on Mustafar, for a brief moment he acts like he genuinely cares for Anakin, and is saddened by what has happened.
A Planet Named Zok: This film contains the most blatant example in the franchise - Kashyyyk.
Grievous is partly removed from a mechanical suit and set on fire; Anakin is set on fire and put into a mechanical suit.
Anakin kills Dooku at Palpatine's behest on the grounds that he's too dangerous to be left alive. Later, Mace Windu tries to do the same thing to Palpatine.
The critical scene where Anakin's fall to the Dark Side hinges upon a Sadistic Choice is also a Call Forward to the finale of Return of the Jedi: here, Anakin agonizes as he watches Windu kill the man he believes can save Padme, and must decide who to help as the victim pleads with him to be saved; in Return of the Jedi, he has to do the same thing when watching the Emperor try to kill his own son.
Palpatine's rise possibly could have been averted if Anakin, Windu and Obi-Wan just took a few minutes to talk and actually listen to each other. Obi-Wan and Windu have no problem chatting. It's Anakin who's torn by about fifteen different conflicting loyalties.
Anakin might not have strangled Padmé and duelled with Obi-Wan if he had taken a moment to consider that they were there to save him from himself, not kill him. The book ends with him actually realizing that his own fears made him kill Padme.
The Power of Love: In the book, an invocation of this is what steers it into the more positive kind of Bittersweet Ending. After numerous notes about the omnipresence of darkness and its assured victory, about how even stars die, this is the last page.
The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins - but in the heart of its strength lies weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars.
Pre-Mortem One-Liner: One of the novelization's less well-received moments. In the film, Anakin silently carves his way through the Separatists. In the book, he starts spouting "ironic" one-liners. "We were promised a handsome reward!" "I am your reward. You don't find me handsome?"
Punch Clock Villain: The clone troopers, almost to the point of being Affably Evil, though we don't get to know any one of them well enough for that. The friendship between Obi-Wan and Cody, their utter lack of enjoyment from executing Order 66, their sincere-sounding apology when they tell Bail Organa to turn around and walk away from the burning temple...plus their suffering from the Cloning Blues.
Sure, Anakin helps to win the war, and his Face-Heel Turn to The Dark Side allowed Chancellor Palpatine to take over the galaxy. But he ends up losing Padme, the pregnant wife he did it all for, had his limbs chopped off by Obi-Wan at the end of their fight and severely burned away by the magma, resulting in him being reconstructed with cybernetic limbs and black armor.
To a lesser extent with Sidious. His dreams of having a super powerful apprentice to propel the Dark Side forward go down in flames when Anakin is mutilated, but ruling the galaxy is a hell of a consolation prize.
Really Dead Montage: The Order 66 sequence establishes that most of the key Jedi are dead, and those that aren't are hiding.
Reverse Psychology: Palpatine suggests (through Anakin) that Anakin be the one to lead the campaign to take out General Grievous on Utapau, and Mace Windu says sharply (paraphrased), "We'll make our own decision on who to send." The Jedi Council chooses Obi-Wan to lead the campaign instead, and while he's away, all hell breaks loose on Coruscant.
Sad Battle Music: "Anakin's Betrayal", which plays during the march on the Jedi Temple, courtesy of Order 66.
Scenery Gorn: The burnt-out ruins of the Jedi Temple, as well as Mustafar.
Scenery Porn: And how. Made heartbreaking towards the end as we are given a glimpse of all that is to fall under the rule of the Empire.
Secret Secret Keeper: Obi-Wan reveals towards the end he at least suspected Anakin and Padme's relationship was deeper than they let on, which made his regret over Anakin's fall even greater. Other works outright state that he knew but kept it hidden from the rest of the Jedi out of respect and/or willful ignorance.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Anakin, trying to stop Padmé from dying in childbirth, ends up killing her. Sure, the incompetent docbots say she lost her will to live, but she does so while giving birth, not because of. And in the Coruscant Nights Trilogy her bodyguard, looking over the autopsy report, concludes that she was strangled in a way that didn't bruise, and that was how she died - choked with the Force. Prophecies are tricky things...
The scene of Palpatine declaring the formation of the Galactic Empire in the name of peace and security interspersed with scenes of his apprentice Anakin killing the Separatist leaders is very similar to Michael Corleone attending the baptism of his nephew whilst his allies eliminate rival Mafia dons (and Moe Greene) on his command.
Yoda's departure from Kashyyyk looks much like E.T.'s departure from Earth, right down to the music.
Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader is reminiscent of Frankenstein (1931), particularly his first steps off the operating table.
Shut Up, Kirk!: When Obi-Wan lectures Anakin about turning over to The Dark Side, Anakin tells him that he has brought peace, freedom, justice and security to "his new Empire".
General Grievous acts all tough and imposing, but later ends up getting defeated by Obi-Wan, who doesn't even have a lightsaber. Quite messily so, for that matter.
Anakin also falls under on Mustafar, proposing the We Can Rule Together plan with Padme and arrogantly declaring that he's stronger and more enlightened than Obi-Wan Kenobi when they face off. This ends up hitting him hard when he loses, and he completely drops it for the rest of his days.
Straight for the Commander: Averted. The Separatist army keeps fighting after General Grievous is killed, and the rest of their leadership is taken out after the army has surrendered.
Standard Starship Scuffle: Provides perhaps the best example of the trope in the entire Star Wars series, with the opening featuring vast capital ships exchanging broadsides (we even get a close look at the old-fashioned looking cannons in the gun ports!) at point-blank range, and one even "sinking" (by falling into a planet's atmosphere).
Third Act Misunderstanding: Anakin comes to believe that Padmé and Obi-Wan are conspiring against him because they've been talking to each other about their concern over him.
Three-Month-Old Newborn: Newborn Luke and Leia are quite robust, especially since they're a) twins (multiple births, due to space limitations, tend to be smaller than average) and b) almost certainly delivered prematurely.
Too Dumb to Live: Anakin on Mustafar. He was blinded by his arrogance and rage, and was nearly killed because he tries to make the jump towards Obi-Wan standing at the shore of the lava river. He would've died if Palpatine hadn't arrived in time to rescue him.
Tragic Mistake: Anakin breaks with the Jedi by unintentionally aiding Palpatine in killing Mace Windu. "What have I done?" indeed. Mace also makes the fatal mistake of focusing on Palpatine's "shatterpoint", which was Anakin, while completely ignoring Anakin's "shatterpoint", Padme.
Word of God suggests that the real tragic mistake was Mace Windu taking that dramatic killing swing at Palpatine, instead of just finishing him off instantly. It gave Anakin time to intervene, also suggests that while Palpatine knew Anakin would intervene, Mace had no idea it would happen, leaving him deceived by the old man, and/or that Anakin did not intend for Mace Windu to be killed by Palpatine, as he was actually trying to stop Windu from falling to the Dark Side by murdering Palpatine (presumably due to guilt for killing Dooku). Unfortunately, he didn't anticipate that Palpatine would play possum and then attack Mace Windu when his guard was forcibly dropped.
Ungrateful Bastard: Anakin was rather distrustful of the Jedi for not going easy on him and more so when he was refused the rank of Jedi Master. So how does he repays them after all his years of serving them? By making his Face-Heel Turn to The Dark Side and killing them in Order 66.
Unstoppable Rage: Anakin defeats Dooku this way. However, being furious only works against him when fighting Obi-Wan, who's glacially calm during most of their fight.
Villainous Breakdown: Anakin went through this after his Face-Heel Turn. He really start to lose after seeing Obi-Wan on Padme's ship, resulting in him Force choking his wife and dueling with his former Jedi master on Mustafar.
We Can Rule Together: Anakin tries to convince Padme to become his Empress so they can rule the galaxy and "make things the way we want them to be!" Her horrified reaction is similar to their son Luke's when Anakin makes a similar offer to him in The Empire Strikes Back.
Wolverine Publicity: Although Darth Vader only appears in armor during the last five minutes, his armored form was marketed and publicized to promote this movie. Check out the page image.
The Worf Effect: Mace Windu takes a posse of three Jedi Masters with him to confront Palpatine, all of whom are killed within seconds. Especially glaring when you consider that one of them was Kit Fisto, who single-handedly almost took down pre-asthma General Grievous in The Clone Wars.
Dooku's death early on the film showed how powerful Anakin had gotten in the meantime, after getting floored by Dooku in the previous installment.
Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Palpatine acts weak and helpless when at the mercy of Mace Windu to get Anakin to help him. Once it works, he attacks Windu with force lightning which shows he's not so weak and helpless after all.
He also tries this on the already conflicted Jedi who are about to arrest him, playing up his image as a helpless old man so they drop their guards, leading to The Worf Effect moment above.
Wuxia: Once you take away the spaceships, aliens and lightsabers, Revenge of the Sith is the archetypal martial-arts tragedy chronicling the consequence of being driven insane through studying an evil kung fu tradition, such as Legend of the Condor Heroes.
Xanatos Gambit: Utapau is a textbook example by Palpatine. Both Obi-Wan and Grievous need to die at some point, so throw them at each other and you're halfway there with the clones on site to finish the other. Also, as the novelization points out, the real point of Utapau was so that however it ended, Obi-Wan won't be around to keep Anakin from falling to the dark side.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Palpatine to everyone: Dooku, Grievous, the Separatists, the Jedi... almost did it to Anakin as well, and wasn't quite sure if saving him was worth the effort.
He was still trying to invoke this trope upon Vader 3 movies later...or earlier depending on whether you prefer to view them chronologically or in the order they came out.
While we're on the subject, Palpatine's ultimate fate renders the "not quite worth saving" sentiment as Foreshadowing.
Zeerust: In terms of aesthetics...it was inevitable in this film, considering it had to find a way to tie itself in with A New Hope. You'll be watching sleeker looking droids and spaceships gradually getting clunkier and more dated looking in design as the movie progresses. Especially by the end.