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STAR WARS EPISODE III : Revenge Of the Sith   Print  E-mail 
Written by Graham Reed  
Friday, 20 May 2005
It started a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…..And after 27 years, the saga is complete.  But is it any good?

Yes. Very good.But is it perfect? No. Far from it.  Revenge of the Sith is a Star Wars fanboys wet dream – packed with wall to wall action, lightsabers, space battles, political intrigue and visual effects the likes of which were unimaginable even a few years ago. What Revenge of the Sith does excel at, is fulfilling the potential of the first two episodes, and bridging this into one continuous, 12 hour long story. Much like Lord of the Rings was one story in multiple parts lasting twelve hours, so is Star Wars.

Yes, it is that good.

Lucas has created a science fiction epic to match Lord of the Rings on every level – in terms of story, pathos, symbolism and so much more.  Given the complete unwaveringly slavish praise people thrust on that series of movies, hopefully now they can see Star Wars as a epic story , a complete whole equally deserving of merit.

Plotwise, Revenge of the Sith takes place 3 years after its predecessor, in the closing stages of what is called “The Clone Wars” ; a time when an alliances of separatists led by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) and General Grevious are locked in a bloody struggle to cleave the Galactic Republic in two. In doing so, they have kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine, (Ian McDiarmid), leader of the Republic in a raid on its home planet of Coruscant. Only the noble warriors that are the Jedi , led here by Obi Wan Kenobi (Ewan Mcgregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christiansen) and the Republic Clone Army can rescue him. However, when  General Grevious escapes, with the Jedi in pursuit, they track him down. However, in the aftermath, it turns out not all are who they appear to be. And that the mysterious power-hungry and corrupt evil Sith are closer to achieving their plan of galactic domination than anyone thought possible, ready to come out of hiding and enact a coup to enslave the galaxy in a web of evil. However, to do that, the Lord of the Sith must have an apprentice, one conversant with the power of the force like the Jedi themselves….

For any fan of the existing movies or anyone conversant with the minutae of the Star Wars story, that synopsis is just scratching the surface.  There’s far more political manoeuvring and conspiracy going on here, and it soon becomes clear that the last two movies – the lacklustre The Phantom Menace and the significantly better Attack of the Clones – were nothing more than mere set up to everything that goes on here; laying the groundwork to set in place the events of this film ; The downfall of the republic, the rise of the empire, and the corruption of political ideals by greed and arrogance.

Visually expansive like no other film we’ve ever seen, Revenge of the sith is almost too much to take in in one sitting, certainly in a visual sense. Tonally, it fits in with the original trilogy setting it up as one continous story – the fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker, and fleshes out and expands the star wars universe across numerous planets and characters but no matter how good Revenge of the Sith is, it does have failings. Significant failings.

One friend of mine describes the prequels trilogy as “live action cartoon movies”, and the excessive over reliance on CGI effects here is certainly detracting, making the films less realistic. Whilst they do open up the scope for what can be show, simply because you can do a thing, it doesn’t automatically make sense that you must do a thing. Some of the effects feel like they have been done simply because they can, like a child with an overactive imagination and too much sugar let loose on one of the world’s biggest special FX sweetshops  - or simply to sell plush toys.  There’s certain scenes which with a little tweaking and a little work here and there could have made the movie everything I have imagined it would be  for the past 27 years, and certainly the best Star Wars film to date – a title that Still goes to the Empire Strikes Back, by the way. 

Its also by far the darkest Star Wars film to date, and it’s 12A certificate is certainly justified, with intense fight scenes and physical violence and a rather grisly scene.  To put it on a par, that’s the same certificate as the last Terminator movie. Not bad going. With an emotional resonance that I never thought possible in a Star Wars movie, Revenge of the Sith is certainly the most adult of the films - I never thought I could feel pity or sorrow for Darth Vader until now – although often drawn from a palette of primary colours which make the film look in places like little more than a overdramatic toy commercial.

However, Revenge of the Sith, as a stand alone film certainly lacks a lot of explanation and if you’ve no knowledge of the other Star Wars films, can be deeply confusing. But as part of a whole, what it is is the final instalment of a very competent, visually rich science-fiction action epic the likes of which we will never see again ; a gigantic and ambitious epic that sometimes over reaches itself, but is still a monumental technical achievement the likes of which other film makers can just dream of making something as good as.

If only all blockbusters were this good….

Written by Guest on 2005-06-03 03:06:57
:grin :) :grin :grin :grin :grin :grin
Written by Guest on 2005-06-03 03:07:32
:grin :grin :grin :grin :grin :grin :grin :grin :grin :grin :grin :grin :grin :grin :grin :grin the best star wars film!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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