Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!   Okay, got that out of the way, now let's move on.  As I mentioned I decided to revisit the Star Wars universe in episode order, and we have just completed 'Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith', which I remember from back in 2005 as being enjoyable and entertaining.  After watching it again, not much has changed, but let's examine this Prequel Trilogy a little deeper.  I believe there are three camps.  There are normal people who watch these movies, like or dislike them, and move on.  Most normal people, of which I think I am one, liked this movie well enough.  Then there are the other two camps, which happen to be warring factions and these are the LucasFilm Apologists and the Original Trilogy Myopics.  Myopics feel that the new trilogy is beyond saving and accuse the Apologists of simply drinking the George Lucas Kool-Aid and would love anything he puts out.  The Apologist on the other hand see the new trilogy with reverence, and in some extreme cases, enjoy it even more than the original trilogy and feel the Myopics are trapped in the past and could only enjoy a new Star Wars movie if Lucas just renamed the first three and just rereleased them.  Not to absolve Normal People of any of the blame either since Normal People have made the Transformers films some of the highest grossing movies ever, so they have issues too.

As we join in this epic, Anakin (Hayden Christensen) is a full fledged Jedi, still in possession of mad flying skills, still causing his mentor Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) all kinds of stress… but now their relationship has gone beyond padawan - mentor, to true friends.  There are still major issues in the republic, this time represented by the evil robot lord General Grevious, who for some reason coughs and hacks like he's been smoking Marlboro's for the last century, even though he's a robot.  Who knows why.
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In addition to the political issues, there are personal issues for poor Anakin as he still has to keep his marriage to the lovely Padme (Natalie Portman) a secret, compounded by the fact that Padme is sporting a rather obvious baby bump, complicated by the fact that Anakin dreams prophecies of her death.  All of that is complicated by the fact that Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDarmid) is all up in Anakin's brain, telling him horrible things about the Jedi while trying to enlighten him to the glory of the darkside. 

Anakin would like to resist the smooth allure of Palpatine's advances, but Anakin Skywalker, on top of being a collection of conflicting standards, is also pretty damn weak-minded.  Truth be told, Palpatine's arguments for the darkside are lame at best, but the mental midget of misplaced hostility that is Anakin is all aboard and finally, what we have all been waiting for… Darth Vader has been christened.  Not yet the way we will know him… first he has to kill a bunch of kids and stuff… but soon Obi-Wan will make him the way that we know him.  Because he has the high ground.  And the origin of the greatest villain in movie history… until they ruined him in 'Return of the Jedi'… has come to its spectacular end.

Make no doubt about it, George Lucas' 'Revenge of the Sith' is a BIG movie.  I remember watching this movie in near awe back in 2005 because, at the time, it had to be the most visually spectacular movie ever made.  Epic space battles, travels to more planets than you can shake a stick at, a whole planet made of nothing but lava, spectacular action sequences with it all ending with Darth Vader breathing heavy and sounding like James Earl Jones.  And I saw all of this in one of those top dollar rumble seats back in 2005.

A decade later, did I still find 'Sith' entertaining?  Sure I did… but… well… watching it on a television, even on a nice TV, exacerbates some of the glaring flaws which I didn't notice, or even cared about ten years ago on a 70mm digital screen while bouncing in a rumble seat. 

These issues have been discussed ad infinitum by those far more invested in this universe than I am, but speaking on behalf of Normal People, here are a few things.  The Jedi are lame.  And Stupid.  For the lameness, just watch Palpatine effortlessly kill three of the four Jedi that came to take him away, or even how easily the Jedi were dispatched in Clone Protocol 66… The Force should tell these clowns that somebody's about to shoot them in the back.  As far as being stupid… What more does Anakin Skywalker have to do to convince these idiots that he needs to be dealt with?  Genocide in the last movie, mindless outbursts and blatant disobedience in this one.  Plus he's a halfwit.  They got what they deserve.  And weren't the clones designed by an enemy of the Jedi in the first place? 

Hayden Christensen still hadn't learned how to act yet.  Not much more to be said there.  At no point did I ever see the eventual Darth Vader in the Anakin Skywalker that we were given.  And his path from  bratty young adult to murderer of children was, at best, suspect.
Mace Windu.  Look, Samuel L. Jackson could very well be one of the greatest over-actors in the history of modern cinema.  If you give Sam a scene and leave him to his own devices… he will literally tear that scene to shreds.  Maybe that's not always necessary, but he's Sam Freaking Jackson.  But here Mr. Lucas directed Mr. Jackson to underact to the nth degree, causing us to wonder why he was in this movie in the first place.  Anybody could've been Mace Windu.  Hayden Christensen could've been Mace Windu.  I dig we need a Black guy around somewhere in this movie, but how about hiring a legitimately understated (read boring) Black actor, say like Andre Braugher or Delroy Lindo as opposed to turning Sam Jackson into one.  I pick Delroy Lindo. 

The High Ground.  Really?  High ground, low ground, it clearly doesn't matter to Obi-Wan when he's doing battle with Darths.  They are getting cut in half regardless.

So much more… but you know about most of them already.  Still, I enjoyed this movie.  Way more than the two that came before it.  And now it's off to the OT.
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