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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How far would go for the one that you love?
This film is everything that the Episodes I and II should've been. Yes, there is a slight cheese factor in this movie with some of the dialogue, although I would say that Lucas has significantly improved in that area. I watched in complete agony as Anakin Skywalker completed his transformation into Darth Vader; I knew it was inevitable, but I had no idea that the...
Published on May 19, 2005 by Ashley Quinn

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Force is (sort of) strong with this one. . .
Only 3 Stars? "Nooooooooooooooooo!!!"

Well. . . it's the best Star Wars film since Jedi.

Unfortunately, there's so much that's uneven about Episode III: Revenge of the Sith that this is really some of the best praise that can be heaped upon it. The film wraps up what whas begun in 1999's ham-fisted and juvenial The Phantom Menace and continued in...
Published on November 7, 2005 by Brendan L. Agnew


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How far would go for the one that you love?, May 19, 2005
By 
This film is everything that the Episodes I and II should've been. Yes, there is a slight cheese factor in this movie with some of the dialogue, although I would say that Lucas has significantly improved in that area. I watched in complete agony as Anakin Skywalker completed his transformation into Darth Vader; I knew it was inevitable, but I had no idea that the transformation would be so emotionally powerful. Another improvement is Christiansen (Anakin). While I had no problem with his perfomance in Episode II (some critics called it "wooden", I say it was perfect for the nature of his character), he shows a wider array of emotions in this. He's lost and confused, and the Dark Side is an emotional comfort, especially when he learns that it can save Padme from death.

The film opens with a battle scene between the Republic and the Sith Lord and his apprentice, Count Dooku, who has kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine. The special effects in this scene are awesome; it's amazing to see an all out space battle between so many ships. Anakin and Obi Wan are sent to save Palpatine. There's a wicked light saber fight between Ani/Obi and Dooku, in which Obi Wan is injured, with Anakin ultimately slicing off Dooku's hands and holding two light sabers up to Dooku's neck. Palpatine hisses at Anakin to finish him. Anakin's not sure; it's not the Jedi way. But he does it anyway, becoming angry at himself for letting his emotions get away from him. Afterward, Anakin rejoins Padme (their wedding is still secret), who tells him the news of her pregnanacy. I love Anakin's face when she tells him-- he's happy, but worried, and not just for her but for himself. It's the kind of face a 15 year old boy would make when his 15 year old girlfriend says, "I'm pregnant." The story continues, with them keeping their love a secret, as well as keeping the fact that Anakin is the father of Padme's unborn baby a secret. Soon, Anakin is consumed with fear, waking up sweaty after having dreamt Padme died in childbirth. You really get a sense of their love for each other in this, their unbelievably strong love, which is the catalyst for all of Anakin's actions that will make you say, "I can't believe he did that." His love escalates into obsession and into fear. As most of us know, fear is the path to the Dark Side, as outlined by Master Yoda in Episode I. The pair attempt to keep the lines of communication open, but when Anakin pledges allegiance to Darth Sidious (with hopes of keeping Padme alive), the communication stops. Anakin is Darth Vader. And he didn't even need the suit or helmet to make it happen.

I absolutely love this movie. I definitely want to see it again at the theater-- especially for the lava scene, in which Anakin and Obi Wan have that much-hyped light saber duel, which totally lives up to the hype times ten. What happens in this scene is intense, so intense that I actually cried. I wasn't the only one either; not only were other theater-goers boo-hooing, but Anakin himself even sheds a few tears throughout this movie, frustrated and confused with himself. He is his own worst enemy.

The saga is complete now. I actually appreciate Episodes I and II even more now afer having seen Episode III. I refuse to pick a favorite. I'll take them all. I love the journey.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Revenge of the Sith": The circle is now complete, May 19, 2005
By 
Evan Hinton "Critic for Hire" (Red Bluff, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This is it. The big one. The end of a thirty-year franchise that has touched two generations. Ever since the summer of 1977, "Star Wars" has been an unshakable part of our culture. Its following sequels made movie-goers even more rabid for adventures set in that galaxy far, far away. But when George Lucas went back to tell the beginning of the story, his prequel films were met with harsh criticism. But that criticism is about to come to an end.

This year's "Revenge of the Sith" is the last of these prequels, tying the two trilogies together into an enormous sextet of stories. And despite rumors to the contrary, it is the final "Star Wars" film. Ever. The expectations couldn't be higher. And for once, they're met.

After years of fighting the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and his former mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) have become well-renowned as heroes across the galaxy. As the film opens, they must rescue the Galactic Republic's Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) from the clutches of the Separatist General Grievous (An ominous, computer-generated lightsaber-wielding cyborg, voiced by Matthew Wood).

But the film is far more than a simple rescue mission; once that goal has been achieved, Palpatine puts events into motion that will ensure he has even more power, as well as a young, powerful ally in Anakin. As anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the last six years can tell you, this film chronicles Anakin's descent into darkness and his transformation into Darth Vader, the epitome of evil for the last thirty years.

Perhaps it was the darker, more complex storyline or the fact that Jar Jar Binks has apparently been demoted to "extra", but this film feels so much more rewarding than the last two prequels, and acts as the perfect bridge between the new and the old.

The first "Star Wars" film to earn the PG-13 rating, "Revenge of the Sith" is far more graphic and deals with darker ideas than any of the other films, but still doesn't feel out of place.

Each film is usually "carried" by a particular actor, such as Liam Neeson in "The Phantom Menace", where the performance rises above everyone else's. In this film, that actor is Ian McDiarmid, who is goes from being subtly manipulative to blatantly evil so gracefully that it is very eerie to watch. Though it is very doubtful he will get an Oscar nod, one can always hope.

Being the dramatic climax of Anakin Skywalker's fall to the Dark Side, this movie is actually emotionally draining, going from light and entertaining to dramatic and saddening over the course of its running time. This film actually made me cry, a first for a "Star Wars" film.

Despite some slight sagging in the middle as Anakin's relationship to his newly-pregnant wife, Padmè (Natalie Portman) is clumsily developed, "Revenge of the Sith" moves along at nice pace with all the right amounts of action, drama, and humor to please just about anyone.
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54 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Episode III Not The Perfect Movie, But The Perfect MovieGoing Experience!, October 19, 2005
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
I have often thought upon viewing the prequel trilogy, the intervening years between the original and the new. To be sure, most of the criticisms of the new trilogy are adult in nature. We speak ill of wooden dialogue and acting, convoluted storylines, and themes that aren't true to the nature of the purity of science fiction. I was only five when Episode IV was release, so my only criticism of that particular film came in the form of whining to my folks that I couldn't see it again and again and again.

My point is this: George Lucas has his flaws, most of which are related to him being out of the director's chair for more than 20 years before embarking on his new trilogy toy, but I think, more importantly, that we as a filmgoing populace have changed as well. The fact that Lucas has been able to bridge that gap successfully (while telling the story backwards, to boot!) demonstrates the man's immense talents. Perfect? Far from it, but damned entertaining, nonetheless.

Which brings me to the crown jewel of the prequel trilogy. "Revenge of the Sith" is the second best film of all six, ranking only behind "The Empire Strikes Back" in terms of depth an substance. The acting is better and the writing, if not terrific, is helped by a game cast and a pace that doesn't allow you to catch your breath. Hayden Christiansan, for the most part, owns this role, displaying an adult gravity he was unable to display in the dramatically clunky "Attack of the Clones" The rage, frustration, and fear contrasted with Anakin's heroism and confidence in the face of battle made for a complex character who you found yourself rooting for despite the story's preordained outcome.

The special effects, as usual, are outstanding, but for the most part serve the film this time. There are points during the first two prequel films that you feel Lucas and Co. are simply showing off some of their shiny new toys, but in this film there is a more concrete sense of purpose.

Dramatically the film belongs to Ian McDiarmid. His performance creates the right balance of charm and villiany and by doing so makes Anakin's turn all the more believable even though the turn itself feels a tad sudden. In fact, I dare say that I enjoyed McDiarmid more when he was under the guise of Palpatine than when he fully reveals himself as Sidious. The scene during the opera is one of the great dramatic highpoints of any of the six movies.

As for the flaws: sure, there were a few. I would like to have seen a more galvanizing series of events leading to Anakin's turn, perhaps some more perceived betrayals at the hands of the Jedi Council? I would like to have seen a more fleshed out performance by Natalie Portman, who seems to be more of an afterthought than a character in the third film. (On a side note, Portman is a terrific actress, but was, in this humble reviewer's opinion, the most ill-served of the entire cast by the clunky dialogue that pervades all three films.)

The one part to which I didn't object that seemed to be the bane of many Star Wars fans is the scene involving the birth of Vader. I liked the allusions to "Frankenstein" for that is what Vader's story eventually becomes in the following trilogy: a search for his humanity, much like Mary Shelley's creation.

I also didn't have a problem with Vader's reaction to the fact he'd caused Padme's death. You have to remember that, despite the fact that he now has James Earl Jones' booming voice, he's still Anakin and still very young. It does sound odd, I admit, but it's still completely in character. You also have to remember that Darth Vader will have a good 20 to 25 years to complete his transformation into the cold, remorseless killing machine we come to know and love in Episode IV.

In all, "Revenge of the Sith" does a terrific job of tying things together in a manner that harkens back to when I was a child watching Star Wars for the first time. It's impossible, as an adult, to completely dismiss some of the flaws in the later films, but Episode III definitely comes close. It is a magnificent piece of escapist filmaking that has heart, soul, and character and I would highly recommend it to anyone, Star Wars fan or no, looking for a fun time at the movies.
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41 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Get It!, October 19, 2005
By 
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
I never really understood what was so great about the Star Wars movies when I was growing up. I was born after the originals were released, so I was never a part of the "culture" that Star Wars is. I saw them when I was around 13 or 14 and fell asleep before the end of all three. I never had the desire to really see them again until Phantom Menace came out. I didn't see it in theaters, but I watched it, liked it, and waited for the next one to come out. I liked Episode II a lot better (I have to admit that half of that appreciation is because I love Hayden), but I still didn't really "get" Star Wars. Well, I saw the trailer for the third film, and I thought it looked really good. I also thought it was going to be sad, but I didn't realize that I was going to cry all the way home from the movie theater! After the experience of seeing Episode III, I now finally understand what Star Wars is all about, and I love it! This movie perfectly ties the two trilogies together. It is so emotionally powerful. I know a lot of people say that George Lucas can't write diologue and can't direct anything but action scenes, but I completely disagree. Though some lines are a bit corny, each scene is treated with a tremendous amount of care and sets up your emotions so that you react to "certain sad circumstances" in a very personal way. I have watched all three of the first series since seeing Episode III, and I appreciate them so much, because now I understand! And thank you George Lucas for editing Hayden in at the end of Return of the Jedi!
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And Now the Saga is Complete, July 24, 2009
By 
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
It has been interesting, to say the least, to follow the buzz surrounding the final Star Wars prequel film, from the time before the film was released in theaters to now, 4 years afterward. In the beginning, people were claiming that "no one cares about Star Wars anymore" after the first 2 prequels (despite their having made nearly $750 million total in domestic box office, and that Ep.II was generally considered an improvement and a step in the right direction after Ep.I), and that Ep.III was going to be another "bomb". Then, lo and behold, just when some people were salivating at the chance to rip apart yet another SW film, the critical reaction to "Revenge of the Sith" came back positive, with accolades from Time, Newsweek, the NY Times, USA Today, and others who had hated the previous films; many declared Ep.III the finest entry since "The Empire Strikes Back", and one reviewer even liked it more than the original "Star Wars". The film would go on to make over $380 million to become the biggest blockbuster of 2005. It seemed that rumors of Star Wars's death had been greatly exaggerated.

That is...until after the movie had been out of the theaters for a few months, and then all the usual suspects came out, nitpicking and complaining like they always do. It became "cool" and "hip" to trash this film just like its predecessors, and soon things were right back to the way they were before, with people claiming that Ep.III was also a "flop" that no one really liked, pretending that the film's critical and commercial success never happened. And so here we are again, with the perpetually disgruntled fanboys crying about their "raped childhoods", etc. (It is ironic that this time the mainstream critics were mostly more forgiving than those know-it-alls who think George Lucas personally OWES it to them to make his movies to their exact specifications.)

Anyway, it is THEIR problem if they don't "get it", NOT Lucas's, or anyone else's. "Revenge of the Sith" completes the prequel trilogy in fine form, and brings SW full circle, as well. Ep.I began in a rather muddled fashion, trying to balance introducing the characters with a plot focused on small, localized events. In Ep.II (which was a decent movie in its own right), the grand plots sweeping the entire galaxy began to take shape, and events began on a galactic scale to lead inexorably to Ep.III, wherein we witness the fall of both the Republic, and Anakin himself.

In the crucial role of Anakin Skywalker, Hayden Christensen is clearly more comfortable this time out, capturing Anakin's conflicted emotions and insecurities that rage beneath his ostensibly heroic persona, which cause him to become disillusioned with the Jedi and his own lot in life. This leaves him open to the manipulations of Palpatine -- the second crucial character here. Ian McDiarmid does a masterful job as the Emperor, who is revealed as the driving force behind the events in the saga to that point. The relationship between Anakin and Palpatine, his trusted father figure who leads him astray into making his Faustian bargain, is the heart of the movie, and is what makes it work. Indeed, one of the most emotionally powerful sequences is << SPOILER ALERT >> when Anakin betrays Mace Windu and pledges his loyalty to the now disfugured Palpatine and his cause, then receives his first orders as Darth Vader -- effectively marking the birth of the evil Empire. Yet, it seems clear that Anakin is still conflicted and unsure of himself, even as he commits more evil acts, up until his final transformation at the end -- by which it is too late.

The third player is Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, who continues to fight for the doomed Republic ( I especially like the battle with General Grievious, who swings multiple light sabers like whirling neon helicopter blades) until he is forced to take action against his former pupil; the aftermath is particularly moving, inspiring pity not only for the mortally wounded Anakin, but also for Obi-Wan, who seems to suffer just as much. McGregor has practically made the character his own; he could almost be the "Han Solo of the Prequel Trilogy" -- which lends a bit of irony to Han's remarks about Kenobi in Ep.IV...

Finally, there is Yoda, who seems to feel the final defeat of the Jedi as a personal loss. His duel with the Emperor, where they both unleash their powers to the greatest extent yet, was also one of my favorites. The deleted scene on the DVD showing Yoda's arrival on Dagobah, while not vital to the story, did capture the melancholy of his situation perfectly.

All these elements, wrapped up in the usual barrage of sights and sounds that can only be found in a Star Wars film, make Ep.III a classic that ranks right up there with the Original Trilogy; the entire last act of the film has a pervasive mood of sadness and melancholy, coupled with the exhiliration one gets from watching the best tragedies. All the cards are laid on the table -- the covert plots and foreshadowings of the previous 2 episodes are finally brought to fruition, and the previously hidden conflicts are now waged openly, leading to the civil war of Eps.IV-VI. The fall of the Republic is symbolized by the transformation of Anakin into Vader, and the original series can now be viewed as his struggle for redemption, as much as the Empire vs. Rebellion conflict. Vader has been redefined as a tragic figure, rather than a purely evil one; it is impossible for me to see Vader now without imagining the brooding, grieving Anakin behind the mask. It also sheds light on the true nature of Vader's and the Emperor's relationship as master and slave, having been from the beginning based on lies, deception and betrayal -- a theme that would resurface throughout the original films. (In fact, this was hinted at even before the Anakin/Obi-Wan duel, when Anakin refers to "his empire" in his speech. It suggests that he was NOT acting purely for unselfish reasons [saving Padme, etc.] when he chose his path, but also for his own secret desire for power.)

As for the Emperor, he shows his true nature in his reaction to Vader's scream when he realizes what has happened. (Many criticize this scene, but it is a fitting illustration of the Faustian themes of the film, with the Emperor as the grinning devil and Vader as the tormented soul in Hell.) Yet, at the same time, when Palpatine rescued Anakin after he was burned and near death, he showed hints of the fatherly affection that he may have indeed felt for him, despite his twisted motives.

At the end of the day, the Prequel Trilogy, with Ep.III as its crown jewel, effectively fleshes out the background of the Star Wars saga. While some parts of the PT were uneven, it makes it possible now to view the original movies with a new sense of the history behind them. And "Sith" is a film that actually improves after repeat viewings, which enable one to catch all the nuances that might be missed the first time around. With this movie, Lucas rewarded the fans who stuck with him, and brought the Star Wars series full circle.

...And now, the saga is complete.
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42 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This IS The Chosen One!, March 21, 2006
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
After all the hype, the seemingly endless years of waiting and the hopes and fears of moviegoers all over the world regarding the final Star Wars movie, the battle ground was set for the (finally) favourably titled `Revenge of the Sith.'

George Lucas had worked under no illusions. If this film failed to deliver, then by many detractors standards it would serve as the final nail in the coffin of the new and 'modern' trilogy. Thankfully then, not only has Lucas succeeded in crafting one of his most accomplished films ever but arguably his most important; `Episode III' is an incredibly self assured triumph. Masterfully bringing the epic saga full circle, completing a story begun in 1977 and thereby seamlessly connecting the original trilogy with the prequels, `Sith' effectively addresses much of what critics found noticeably lacking in the previous two instalments, lending much needed credibility to the 'new' trilogy, displaying a marked improvement in direction and substance, and a commendable maturity in attention to character and story.

Kicking off with an opening space battle that utilises a roller coaster ride POV to spectacular effect, the film twists and turns us in it's stylishly comfortable grip, throwing us headlong into the already ensuring action. Meeting up with old friends Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker (the love and respect between accomplished master and seasoned Jedi clearly apparent in these early sequences) as they cut a destructive swathe across the screen, cursing and teasing each other in equal measure as they take apart ships, scenery and even mechanical staff wielding bio-droids (magna guards) is a joy to behold (and it's noteworthy here to mention how utterly at ease both Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen now appear to be in their respective guises)...but the fun ultimately cannot last forever...Controlling the pace like the master story teller and film editor Lucas is, it's a restrained twenty minutes before the Jedi once again encounter Christopher Lee's elegantly vicious Count Dooku, but Anakin is no longer the fool hardy padawan he once was and it's from this point on that the first 'real' inevitable step towards the dark side is taken. Forsaking the cartoon-like cuddly tones of 'Menace' and even the pressure-cooker foreboding of 'Clones', 'Sith' stakes it's claim in this newly explored darker territory with glee; this is not, and was never designed to be, an episode for kids.

As the story progresses and tragedy draws ever near, the film bludgeons Christensen's Anakin with heart rending blows at every turn. His learning of his secret wife Padme's pregnancy is cursed with sudden and traumatising visions of her death in childbirth, reawakening his feelings of regret and loss over the death of his mother (whom he is still convinced he could have saved) and in-turn, his feelings of resentment towards his 'family', the Jedi, who continue to praise his abilities yet refuse him the one thing he desires most in the world. With the enduring guidance and influence of the artificially benign Chancellor Palpatine (seemingly able to offer Anakin all the answers at a time when he is most in need), the young Jedi begins to doubt everything, even the fidelity of the very woman he is trying to save till finally, when the pitch of the movie appears to have reached it's dramatic peak, Anakin makes a choice that will ultimately lead him down an irrevocable path that will change the face of the galaxy...and set the stage for cinematic history.

`Revenge of the Sith' boasts not only some of the most audacious set pieces yet attempted in a blockbuster (Kenobi and Grievous' wheel bike/dragon mount chase, the continuation of The Clone Wars, Yoda and Sidious' epic senate duel, where politics and morality clash physically for the very first time) but some of the most intense and emotionally affecting. In essence; `Sith' is an action movie with heart. For sentimentality and effective storytelling using the minimum of trickery or techniques, look no further than the wonderfully sombre and underplayed moment of telepathic understanding that Anakin and Padme share across a Coruscant afternoon sun shrouded cityscape, or that Padme's final words are of concern for the man who has, in essence, murdered her emotionally and physically, or the look and tone of sadness Yoda exhibits as he is forced to flee his encounter with Sidious, or more importantly, the haunting shades of music and imagery that follows the execution of Order 66...

...but for both emotion and hyper charged dramatic electricity, the climatic Mustafar duel between Vader and Kenobi is unsurpassed. This is a duel that people have been waiting to see since 1977 and it does not disappoint. For the battle of heroes where 'brothers' clash with clear intentions that only one will survive, Lucas has married all tools at his disposal (a tragic yet epic sweeping score, a blink-and-you'll-miss-ten-moves lightsaber choreography, acting intensity that never fails to convince, CGI that threatens at every turn; VERY real danger, etc..) to create a sequence that both excites and moves in equal measure and despite the fact that we all know how the battle ends, it makes it no easier to watch the horrific events unfold.

In stark contrast to maulings regarding the acting in the other two prequels, the performances in `Sith' are first rate. Ewan McGregor predictably shines in a role it seems he was destined to play (particularly in the final minutes of the Mustafar confrontation) and flickers of Alec Guinness punctuate throughout, never threatening to turn his performance into mere mimicry. Natalie Portman, (however little she was required to do), breaks our hearts as the man she loves literally rots from the inside before her very eyes. Ian McDiarmid turns in an oscar worthy performance, hamming it up where necessary to break stride suddenly with a glare and a disembowelling tone when the mood takes him, but above all (and despite protests to the contrary), it is Hayden Christensen for whom the highest regard must be reserved. His performance permeates one of utter believability, shifting remarkably from eager Jedi knight to chilling Sith apprentice so smoothly that it's startling to witness. The ferocity and utter neutrality that Christensen exhibits as the young Darth Vader is truly impressive if not downright mesmerising, yet the best is saved for last in the final confrontation that husband and wife share prior to the fiery duel into the very bowels of hell. Hayden's demeanour of a man who believes above all else that he has done the right thing yet utterly blind to the fact he has caused more damage than good is staggering, his tone (in a wonderful symmetry with 'Menace`) echoing the youthful idealistic young boy he was once, reminding us yet again how far the soul has fallen. It's a moment (like so many others) that entrenches itself so deeply into the mind that you will be hard pressed to rid yourself of certain emotions long after `Sith's' credits have rolled.

Expectedly, `Revenge of the Sith' will delight as many as it will disappoint, but as far as taking us on a new and unexpected journey a long time ago through a galaxy far away in spectacular fashion (never allowing indulgence or flights of mere fancy to intrude upon the story), `Sith' is a worthy contender for the greatest Star Wars film of all time.

In closing, I have already watched `Sith' more times than I have seen the original trilogy and the film leaves me with a different impression every time. The birth of Darth Vader is something everyone has been dreaming about since the release of the classic `A New Hope,' thank god George Lucas has managed to create a movie that will live on just as long.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting, and emotional end to a 28 year journey., October 2, 2005
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
After Episode I and II were recieved with less than great reviews, the fear was that Episode III would also fail to deliver. I myself must say in the forefront here, that I quite like Episode I and quite enjoy Episode II. I believe the prequel trilogy, complete now with III, perfectly sets the stage for the classic trilogy we all know and love.

III starts with the most amazing "out of the gun" shot in a movie I've ever seen, and then jumps into an amazing battle in the space above Coruscant. If you've watched the "Clone Wars" cartoon, you know that the droid leader, General Grevious, is attempting to escape after "kidnapping" Palpatine. Anakin and Obi-Wan make there way to his ship and have a rematch of Episode II's duel with Count Dooku.

After the adrenaline-pumping opening, spanning about the first half-hour or so, it comes back to Coruscant and slows down...if only for a bit. We learn of Padme's pregnancy and Anakins dreams about her dying in childbirth. Palpatine continues to scheme and places Anakin on the jedi-council as his personal represenative, convincing Anakin that the jedi have a plot to overthrow him.

Hayden Christianson plays the turmoil in Anakin extremly well in this movie, and the film really is on his back. Quickly Yoda and Obi-Wan head off on seperate missions while Anakin remains to be the middle man in a conflict between the council and palpatine, where Anakin discovers Palpatine is infact the sith lord. After obi-wan destroys grievous, Mace Windu and 3 other masters head to force Palpatine to give up his seat as chancellor and the sith lord strikes hard and fast with a concealed lightsaber, killing the other 3 masters in just a few seconds.

Mace and Palpatine have a duel, not the greatest (in this movie or any other in the series) but still good because of how important it is to the series. Mace has Palpatine cornered when Anakin arrives and pleads for Palpatine to be spared, thinking Palpatine is the only one who can help him save Padme. Mace refuses, and Anakin makes his choice...he stikes Mace and Palpatine fries him with sith-lightning. Anakin declares himself loyal to Palpatine, and is sent to kill all the jedis at the jedi temple...including, in a heart-wrenching moment, the jedi younglings.

This all sets the stage for the climatic duel for Obi-Wan and Anakin. The film never dissapoints or shys away from what it needs to do. It seems to go by in a blink, and more than a few tears are shed. Lucas goes out with a bang, with the only possible end he could make to this amazing saga.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Prequels, January 18, 2010
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This review is from: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
There are a ton of things I could gripe about with Episode III. I'll discuss a few below. But by and large, this is the best of the prequels and, in my eyes, ranks pretty highly as a sci-fi film.

First, the bad. This should have been more than one film. Rather than a whole film for the events in The Phantom Menace, the Clone Wars could easily have consumed a whole extra movies. Unfortunately, squeezing all of this into Revenge of the Sith means that a lot of important footage was cut. Fortunately, it's all in the deleted scenes section of the Bonus disc.

I'm also not crazy about the way Palpatine's character is used in the film. I love Ian McDiarmid, but the whole introduction with kidnapping Chancellor Palpatine seems a bit silly. I also don't think the whole "aging" process after the battle with Mace Windu worked.

However, these are minor quibbles. Overall, the story works. Hayden Christiansen is a believable Anakin/Vader. Moreover, his reasons for turning to the Dark Side are more compelling and realistic than the motivations of most movie villains (I won't spoil it, but it makes sense). It explains the final fall of Vader in a dramatic and compelling way, with great special effects to boot.

With Revenge of the Sith, it seems like Lucas and the case of the prequels finally got their act together for this grand finale. The death of the Jedi is simply haunting - a perfect combination of camera angles, soundtrack, and acting. Let's be honest - 30 years ago, when we all wondered about Darth Vader's background, nobody ever thought it would be this exciting. I just wish this much thought and passion had gone into the rest of the prequels.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Conclusion, August 2, 2005
By 
Jigen (Chicago, Il United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
This was a perfect end to the most popular fantasy film series in history. It's a tragedy and pure allegory, a method of storytelling unfortunately under-produced these days; within the framework of an exciting story, cautionary lessons are revealed.

Mirroring and intertwined with the fall of the Republic is Anakin Skywalker. Full of promise and power, he becomes greedy for more. His insecurity and sense of exceptionalism corrupts him and leads him to turn his back on everything he's ever known and loved. Of the entire series this film is the most emotionally intense, as we follow the Republic and its hero into the depths of darkness.

That's the theme in a nutshell, the fall of a hero. When folk complain about dialog, they are missing the point (as well as betraying the limits of their film education - what about mis en scene? theme? editing? color usage? imagery?, etc.) The dialog and acting fit in with the rest of the series, that is, they aren't strong or central. The characters are archetypal, painted with broad strokes and superficial. People who want only superior dialog and nuanced acting typically avoid American films.

This film returns us to some of the original thoughts and questions that prompted Mr Lucas back when he began the saga: why do republics tend to fall into dictatorships? (Remember, the Vietnam War was raging and we were ruled by Nixon in those days.) Much has been written on the political significance of this film, mainly by Bush-apologists who are afraid it's about their guy. It isn't. That they so easily thought it was, however, speaks volumes.

This story is bigger than one little president, even if there are stark similarities between the presented dark idealogy and the political climate we've sunk into - needless wars, lust for greater power, favoring resolve over goodness, and the Orwellian spoken love of democracy and freedom while all the time scaling it back. Words and ideas, such as dealing in absolutes, "if you're not with me...", "I AM the senate", etc. should be criticised when leaders and governments hide behind them, not when fictional films reveal them. This is, after all, a cautionary story.

The film's messages might be lost on the older generation who identified with the Rebels against the Empire, but perhaps the allegory will live within the hearts of the younger generation, some of whom will one day lead this country. Perhaps they can help our own republic stand, not fall. Democracy thrives on courage, fascism feeds on fear.

All in all a fun, yet somber, film.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Force is (sort of) strong with this one. . ., November 7, 2005
By 
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Only 3 Stars? "Nooooooooooooooooo!!!"

Well. . . it's the best Star Wars film since Jedi.

Unfortunately, there's so much that's uneven about Episode III: Revenge of the Sith that this is really some of the best praise that can be heaped upon it. The film wraps up what whas begun in 1999's ham-fisted and juvenial The Phantom Menace and continued in 2002's cheese-ridden and painfully soap-operatic Attack of the Clones. And while Ep. III retains the stilted dialogue and (frequently) awkward performances of its predecessors, it still manages to feel like Star Wars. . . for a lot of the time.

To get the unpleasant out of the way, it would be best to discuss Ep. III's weaknesses before its strengths. For a myriad of reasons (mostly because the entire Prequel Trilogy was mishandled from the beginning), Ep. III doesn't make a lot of sense unless you've seen not only Ep. I and II, but also the entire Clone Wars cartoon micro-series that aired on Cartoon Network. The opening scene of the deafening space battle above the capital world of Coruscaunt is easy enough to follow, but the villains who show up shortly after Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi land on an anemy ship to rescue the captured Chancellor Palpatine are sadly underused (or, like Vader himself, get turned lame somehow). Christopher Lee gets even less screen time in this film than he did in the last, and the mysterious asthma-stricken cyborg/Jedi killer extraordinaire General Grievous doesn't fair much better. Apparently, there just there to be cannon fodder.

This general breezing through of important information is a lingering problem in Revenge of the Sith. Padme (who is not any more bearable this time around, sorry), goes from announcing a pregnancy to being full-on swollen in abour a half-an-hour of the movie with almost no real demonstration of a time lapse. Characters are either given too much time on screen (Anakin and Padme still have zero chemistry) or not enough (like, say, all the Jedi that are going to be horribly murdered in the movie). Ever other minute it seems like there's a wipe or disolve to take the viewer somewhere else as the movie desperately tries to keep up with the convoluted plots, counter-plots, schemes, and machinations of the future Emperor Palpatine. Most of the time, it works fairly well, but sometimes it just seems like the film is just throwing action around for the sake of having action.

On the plus side, the action is pretty damn good. Even in the opening scene of the film, where it's obvious that spectacle is the only important thing about the battle, the action manages to hold your attention and even impress. As do a couple of the performances. It's just a shame that Hayden Christensen's isn't one of these.

And this is the real problem. Anakin's fall to the dark side, the most important part of the entire prequel trilogy, just doesn't pay off. While there are moments when you can see some geniune feeling and darkness, there's still just too much of the transformation that comes off as Anakin being a sulky jackass. Some great fabulous acting from Ian McDiarmid helps in a few key scenes (though he degrades to a horrible B-movie rendition of his brilliant Emperor character from Return of the Jedi later in the fil). However, Anakin's seduction by the dark side never seems natural, and far too forced in many scenes, less of an actual fall and more of a "quick, we only have one movie to really turn him into Vader" series of events.

However, there are still some great moments here and there, and the overall quality is definitely above its prequel bretheren. The aforementioned Diarmid does a wonderfully twisted fatherly figure, as well as reminding us how nasty the Emperor in Jedi could be just by smiling congenially at you. Ewan McGreggor does an admirable job of carrying a lot of the film, and Frank Oz turns in a touching performance as Yoda, even without a muppet to help him. And finesse or no finesse, when the fit hits the shan, it can be pretty wrenching. Even if you don't know anything about the Jedi that are getting mowed down by stormtroopers, they're still Jedi, and it sucks to see them bite the dust like that. And as you may know, there are lightsaber fights. And yes, they rock. The final duel between Anakin and Obi Wan doesn't quite reach the level acrobatic perfection achieved by Duel of the Fates (too many close-in shots), but it's much easier to sit through the film to get to it.

Overall, Ep. III, uneven as it is in plaves, is undeniably the best of the recent trilogy (if only by default), and is worth sitting through it's two-and-a-half hours, and you'll see some impressive sights along the way. And while there are a few tugs at the emotional heartstrings, don't expect them to be nearly as effective as this trilogy's predecessor was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
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