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Published on June 21st, 2008 | by simeon

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Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith

After three long years of waiting, countless internet rumors, and high expectations, the final big screen Star Wars film, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith has arrived to the delight of millions of fans worldwide.

The lavish and dark film chronicles the fall of the Republic, the demise of the Jedi Knights, and the creation of Darth Vader amongst several plotlines that complete the Prequel Trilogy.

While many critics and fans had mixed reactions to the previous films in the Prequel Trilogy, the rumors of a much darker more mature Star Wars had even the most jaded curious to see just how dark creator George Lucas was willing to go.

The film opens with the familiar main theme by John Williams and the scrolling text that updates the viewers that the Clone Wars that started at the end of the last film are still raging, and that the Separatist movement under the leadership of Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), have kidnapped the Chancellor of the Republic (Ian Mc Diarmid), and a desperate battle over the capitol planet of Coruscant has ensued.

In a dazzling blend of colors, action, and motion, two fighters piloted by Obi Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), weave in and around countless fighters and capitol ships engaged in deadly combat. To say that it is an overwhelming visual display would be an understatement, as it is simply jaw dropping to see the detail that the magicians at Industrial Light and Magic have crafted.

Obi Wan and Anakin are spearheading the rescue effort that eventually puts them not only against Dooku, but the new villain, the deadly cyborg General Grevious and this is all within the first 15 minutes of the film.

Upon returning the Chancellor to Coruscant, Anakin is greeted by his wife in secret, Padme, (Natalie Portman), who informs him that she is expecting their baby.

Overjoyed by the news, and to be home after many long months away fighting, Anakin as if in a true Shakespearean tragedy proclaims that he has never been happier in his life.

Anakin’s peace is soon disrupted as he begins to have visions of his wife dying in childbirth, since these are the same type of visions Anakin had shortly before the death of his mother years earlier, he becomes obsessed with protecting his wife.

As further political intrigue unfolds, Chancellor Palpatine appoints Anakin to be his representative on the Jedi Council in a move that does nor sit well with the Jedi Elite, especially Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson), who begrudgingly accepts the appointment but does not bestow the title of Master upon Anakin causing further friction for the emotional Anakin.

It seems that the Jedi do not trust Palpatine and are convinced he is up to something, and will not relinquish his emergency powers that were granted to him during the war.. Towards this end, The Jedi Council tasks Anakin to spy on his friend the Chancellor and report what he has learned to the council.

This in turn causes much conflict in Anakin as he is torn between his duty as a Jedi and his friendship with the Chancellor. Since Obi Wan has been dispatched to hunt down General Grevious, Anakin is without his usually confidant and mentor leaving Palpatine to influence Anakin and turn him toward fateful decisions that will eventually change the course of the galaxy.

While filled with plenty of political intrigue, and dazzling action sequences, what drives this film is the gripping, human drama of the characters. While the viewers know what is to become of Anakin, seeing the path he takes is what makes this film a true tragedy as he does what he does for noble reasons. In a true Faustian tale, the devil does not reveal himself nor his true intentions until it is already well past the point of no return.

Lucas is careful to show Anakin as a sympathetic and loving person, who has matured from the spoiled character that he was in the last film. While at times the dialogue of the film may seem to some to be very basic, the tragic turn of events in the film helps to underscore the central themes of love, friendship, and betrayal.

The supporting work in the film is solid, especially the emotionally packed work of Mc Gregor and the maniacal performance of Mc Diarmid. My only real regret is that Portman did not have a larger role or more for her character to do, that being said, the film works on all levels.

Visually the film is amazing as the exotic locales, action, and computer generated characters such as Yoda and Grevious are a marvel to behold. It is amazing how much technology has advanced since the last film, but once again, Lucas has set the bar very high for others to follow.

Lucas has taken in my opinion some very undeserved criticism for the Prequel Trilogy, and Sith should dispel those who said that his best work was behind him and that he should have turned the directing duties over to another as this film once again underscores that he is one of the most gifted visionaries ever, and has created the ultimate saga for the ages that is second to none, and one that has and will stand the test of time.

Sith is a riveting and emotional film, that holds nothing back, it is the darkest Star Wars yet and is easily the best of the Prequel trilogy and on par with any of the classic originals, and is a true masterpiece that will delight fans old and new.

5 stars out of 5


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