STAR WARS: EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH
FYI, previous #StarWarsDay posts:
EPISODE I THE PHANTOM MENACE
EPISODE II ATTACK OF THE CLONES
EPISODE IV A NEW HOPE
EPISODE V THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
EPISODE VI RETURN OF THE JEDI
And so we come to the end! All of the Star Wars films, and my opinion on them. I haven’t been thorough, and I haven’t covered everything about them. Heaven knows they’ve been picked plenty over the years. I’ve just given you my take. If it’s what you’ve heard before, then sorry. But it’s what I think. My favourite scenes, what I thought worked and what didn’t… all my opinion.
So this is the last one. Revenge of the Sith, the title obviously a mirror and reversal of Return of the Jedi – and of course, Jedi was originally titled Revenge of the Jedi until Lucas posited that a Jedi wouldn’t exact revenge and changed the title to Return.
Anyway, on with the film. I didn’t mind Revenge of the Sith. As I stated previously, I think that the direction as a whole Lucas took with the prequels might not have been the right one. Of course, once he started he had to see it all through. But, as it stands, it is not a bad ending to one trilogy, and it does do what it says on the tin and offer a transition into the next trilogy. We see the end of the Republic, the beginning of the Empire, the formation of the Rebellion movement, the birth of Luke and Leia, the ‘becoming’ of Darth Vader, the revelation that Chancellor Palpatine is in fact Darth Sidious, Obi-Wan and Yoda going into hiding on backwater planets… you know, the whole shabang. It’s a lot to handle with one film, and Lucas doesn’t do a bad job. Obviously, I have problems with how Anakin transitions from being a ‘mostly’ good guy to an evil one, but I talked about that before. No need for me to harp on again.
I think what fans have to remember, is that the films are over and done with. What is done is done. Good and Bad decisions on behalf of Lucas and company are set in concrete now and that is that. You either like these films or you don’t. I like them all. I have problems with some of them, but I still like them. That is what makes you a Star Wars fan, afterall. It’s something that all Star Wars fans have, that weird thing inside that can jump with excitement when you see or hear anything new to do with Star Wars. That’s what makes us keep revisiting both trilogies.
It is what made me do these posts, looking at what I like and don’t like for each film.
What I thought worked:
The opening battle sequence.
Anakin taking out Dooku.
Yoda and Anakin talking privately.
Obi-Wan and Anakin talking with each other, for the last time as friends, before departing on separate matters.
The revelation that Palpatine is the dark lord, and the Jedi confronting him.
Anakin deciding to side with Palpatine rather than the Jedi, allowing Palpatine to kill Mace Windu.
Anakin butchering Jedi, and as Code 66 goes out, the troops turning on Jedi all over the Galaxy.
Yoda v Palpatine – which I thought was a better sabre fight than Obi-Wan has with Anakin.
The final scenes, when Lucas sets up much of the original trilogy.
I think the Padme and Anakin scenes in this film weren’t as bad as they were in the previous two, and perhaps it was a sign that Lucas was getting used to writing their characters. When you see the scenes between Palpatine and Yoda (Ian McDermid vs Green Screen) you get genuine tingles down your spine as the pure essence of good takes on the might of pure evil. When you get to the Anakin and Obi-Wan final scenes, they’re a bit of a let-down. When Obi-Wan is pleading with Anakin to not go down the path he is about to, you get a sense of the genuine emotion in the scene. But when they start clashing swords, the emotion leaves the room so to speak. In Empire Strikes Back, you really got the sense that Luke was out of his depth, and that one wrong move could result in certain death. In Return of the Jedi, it was Father vs Son, with all of the emotional baggage that that entails. The final confrontation between Obi-Wan and Anakin should have been about Obi-Wan’s disgust at what Anakin had become, his guilt at perhaps falling down on the job of keeping him on the straight and narrow. Obi-Wan should have been more unwilling to take on Anakin, and perhaps a bit more back-and-forth banter would have helped to relay some of that to the audience.
But it’s all swings and roundabouts really isn’t it?
A little part of the film that always stuck with me. In Return of the Jedi, Yoda had to rest, and seemed totally at peace with the fact that he would be dying. Then as he died, his body became the force, much as Obi-Wan’s had. You had to ask yourself how this could be possible. Well, it is revealed in Revenge of the Sith and in the strip below. In Revenge, Yoda tells Obi-Wan that he will teach him how to commune with Qui-Gon Jinn. Qui-Gon has managed to become one with the force. The image of Yoda fading into the force always stuck in my mind. In A New Hope, Obi-Wan became the force but he sort of just blinked into nothingness. You didn’t see the transition. In Return, Yoda visibly faded into energy, leaving the physical plane entirely. I always thought that it was neat, Lucas showing you a glimpse of what the force is in a visual way.
Revenge of the Sith is a good film, and a good final act. There are bits of all of the prequels that are fantastic. There are some bits that are good… and there are some bits that are terrible. But everyone’s opinion on what constitutes good or bad is different.
Revenge of the Sith is good. Star Wars is good. I’ll keep watching….that’s all that matters.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
Before we go, wouldn’t this have made a great poster? The knighting of a dark lord…