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Episode III: The Prequel that Delivers
Revenge of the Sith

Directed by: George Lucas

Year: 2005

Starring: Hayden Christensen,Natalie Portman,Ewan Mac Gregor,Ian Mc Diarmid,Samuel L Jackson

Grade: B+

I'll be honest,and many will call heresy,but I didn't hate Phantom Menace and I'd consider myself an apologist for it. Though it suffered horribly from fast pacing with no time to process,the character Jar-Jar Binks, the acting of Jake Lloyd, and an inaccessible premise. Then came Attack Of The Clones which suffered from slow pacing,no action,and wooden dialogue,but I cannot defend that one.

But then at last it came to fruition with Revenge Of The Sith which began with an epic space battle,and then after luring the audience in,slowed things down a bit for explanation such as how Anakin could begin to distrust the Jedi. After that beginning came the mercifully shorter but somewhat overpowering Romantic Plot Tumor. However said tumor actually got put to good use as the motive for Anakin's transformation to the dark side and ensured the second half would be brilliant

The effects are still fun to watch and I think unlike A New Hope they actually will hold up better in thirty years. It was pure eye candy to watch Kenobi fight Anakin in the lava and earlier outdo Grievous (even if the character of Grevious was watered down).This in turn made a lot of the mandatory but otherwise tiring fights more interesting,and you can actually see they actually tried to get real fencing into it.

The acting was also far improved. Hayden Christensen was still wooden,but he managed to actually have a little fun at the same time making the main plot line much more fun. Ewan Mac Gregor proved to embody Kenobi far more than Guiness ever did in just one line,.... "And you were my brother Anakin, I loved you". Mc Diarmid as Palpatine was delicious in every way thinkable. The only weak link this time around was Portman for once,but that probably had more to do with the lines.

Finally it was actually heart-wrenching,even down to the infamous Big NO by Darth Vader.But I found once again Obi-Wan's reaction to really take the cake on this.

Who knew George Lucas could actually still direct well (when all the other ones he didn't hire someone else for were not-so-good)? I didn't. Though the death of Windu was dumb,Revenge Of The Sith is still not short on fun.
A fair review, even though I disagree on a few points - I felt that Grievous was so woefully watered-down that his scenes were downright laughable, and many of the action sequences were so overwhelmingly overdone that they just got boring. You're definitely right about it having a better story and being more emotionally gripping than the other prequels, though; it's still nowhere near the quality of the original trilogy, but it came the closest of the three.

(By the way, you're not the only person who doesn't hate The Phantom Menace.)
comment #15344 MrMaestro 12th Jul 12
Oh yeah that is another problem with ROTS,since the Prequels already had a better story than the OT on paper,this should've been the Magnum Opus of the whole saga. But it stumbled into some of the pitfalls of the others.

It's definitely far ahead of the original quality wise (Which Lucas directed himself and just like the other two ended up being mediocre or terrible)

I think I'll review the novel adaptation which is vastly superior to everything in the saga.
comment #15347 terlwyth 12th Jul 12
  • Except for ROTS' sound score :D

But wow, I'd never thought about checking out the novels. Lose out on the cool look of everything, but they had a good story on paper that was hampered by delivery, so a loose enough novel good do everything as it was meant to be done ... wow...
comment #15367 Tomwithnonumbers 14th Jul 12
Actually,Matt Stover kept fairly close to the material except added a different spin on some things (Anakin is much more sympathetic,the situation seems a little greyer and less clear),and kept in some cut scenes such as Padme's assistance in forming the rebellion and Yoda talking to Qui Gon.

Lucas did fine on the story,it's the direction and acting that kinda brought this down to B+ instead of A+ territory as I see it.
comment #15371 terlwyth 14th Jul 12
That's what I meant, the stories are actually there, it's just in the telling it brings it down, so I could imagine that the novel(s?) could deal with that problem completely and you'd just be left with the good story
comment #15372 Tomwithnonumbers 14th Jul 12
Then that's exactly what happens,well save for Order 66 which literally gets a told paragraph,but I suppose that part really couldn't be justly written without going on for a lot of pages.
comment #15373 terlwyth 14th Jul 12
"Ewan Mac Gregor proved to embody Kenobi far more than Guiness ever did in just one line,.... "And you were my brother Anakin, I loved you"."

I have to disagree with this since Mac Gregor sets out in this one to fashion himself after Guiness. Guiness' character also resides in a much different period, one where he's had twenty years to let his thoughts stew and for the real consequences of what Anakin did to the Jedi and the Republic sink in. Mac Gregor also has the benefit of a more consistent approach to the writing, whereas before, it was clear Lucas was making up elements of the OT as he went along, but.. No, I think it's distinctly unfair to brand Guiness as not as good as Mac Gregor, since the character they play is really rather different because of the context.
comment #18558 KingStatham 20th Mar 13
I see your point,but I still prefer Mac Gregor's performance
comment #18598 terlwyth 24th Mar 13
I didn't hate The Phantom Menace, either. Although it offered very little in furthering the overall story.

Of the prequels, Revenge Of The Sith is the one I'd most likely re-watch, because the action scenes are actually pretty good and there are so many of them (it has almost the same amount of lightsaber vs lightsaber battles as all the other movies combined). My only disagreement with this review is that I really hated the Romantic Plot Tumor being used for Anakin's Start Of Darkness.
comment #18600 shiro_okami 24th Mar 13
I like the concept of it, because it seems to me to be very Jedi to need to suppress close personal attachments like that and this would be a fair argument for it (whether I agree or not). But I was 8 when The Phantom Menace came out, so I don't know if I got my ideas of Jedi behaviour from that
comment #18601 TomWithNoNumbers 24th Mar 13
You think ROTS is going to hold up better that A New Hope on account of being newer? Do you realize the naivety of that statement? Technology changes by the day.

People are too quick to cry 'dated'. You're putting a shelf life on your enjoyment of a film and, rather arrogantly, making it impossible to watch anything made before your birth.
comment #19771 johnnyfog 8th Jun 13
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