Director: George Lucas
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science-Fiction
Runtime: 140 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
One’s opinion of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith will largely depend on how they viewed the previous two Star Wars prequels. It suffers from many of the same problems, but also has many of the same upsides. Here, in the sixth installment into the franchise, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) increasingly finds himself tempted by the Dark Side of the Force as the Clone Wars wind down. Like the rest of the Star Wars films to come along since the end of the original trilogy, it’s not essential viewing, but it’s still miles from boring.
The salient fault of Revenge of the Sith is that the arc of Hayden Christensen’s irredeemable character, Anakin, is badly bungled. I won’t go into spoilers here, but let’s just say that what’s supposed to be tragic instead comes across as just desserts. There’s some cringey romance left over from Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), and Padmé (Natalie Portman), a once-strong character, is now a weeping wreck.
On the upside, this picture is an action extravaganza, serving up tons of battles and fights to keep the mind from wandering. John Williams returns to do the musical score, and he hits it out of the park, as one has come to expect. The unafraid world-building is exquisite and it appears that Ian McDiarmid, as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, is having a blast. Pacing is generally fast, and the dark tone is appropriate and welcome.
This epic-scale melodrama is, in my opinion, the best of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, though I can’t really consider it canon in my “headcanon.” It just doesn’t mesh with the original trilogy. Still, don’t think about it too hard, and just let the incessant action and spectacle work their magic. It’s a highly entertaining, big-budget blockbuster. Also, check out the high billing in the end credits that Oliver Ford Davies gets for playing Sio Bibble.
My rating is 10 outta 10.