George Lucas directs the concluding chapter of his prequel trilogy in Revenge Of The Sith, starring Ewan Mcgregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Samuel L Jackson, Christopher Lee, as the story has progressed, Anakin has grown closer to reckless, violent side, while a secret plot involving the republic comes to the forefront.
Revenge Of The Sith kicks things off right away with a fantastic scene above the planet Coruscant, following Obi-Wan and Anakin as they’re tasked with retrieving the wanted Count Dooku, it’s a great looking scene for one and a good barometer of things to come with a fairly action packed film as a whole, though Episode III also manages to mix a fair amount of drama in it as well. A high point of the film is its visuals, the best in Star Wars to date with some good action sequences and great special effects and up to that point, Star Wars had never looked this good and it makes for some pretty epic set pieces, particularly the opening sequence for the film.
The tone of the film is markedly darker and logically so as the plot goes on, with this being the most emotional film in the prequels and the more emotional moments do work for the most part with some better acting performances, some improvement from Hayden Christensen and a good performance from Ewan McGregor. Seeing the height of the power of the Jedi in this period and then seeing its decline is an overall great unfolding plot point and the twist that is sprung by the film was predictable, but still impactful (ugh the Jedi kids) and importantly, the film doesn’t simply stray into and remain in a completely dark, depressing mood. As we come to learn there’s always hope, pun intended, the prequels were an… interesting foray into politics and how ideals and beliefs can become corrupted and even fascistic – presented in how the Galactic republic slowly becomes the Empire, an basic measure of this is very visible in the clone troopers and how their design and look changes over the prequels to closely resemble the traditional stormtroopers, as the capital ships also change to resemble Star Destroyers. Touches like this are small and may be missed entirely if you don’t look for them but I find them interesting in relation the lore of Star Wars as a whole.
And while supporting characters played by Natalie Portman and Samuel L Jackson are also decent but not spectacular, the journey of Anakin and his eventual transition to the dark side is what the story ultimately rides on and you have to buy into it, empathise and sympathise with the character for it to really work. And for the most part it works, despite Hayden Christensens’ less than stellar performance, simply because the remaining elements of the film all work well, from a great soundtrack which fits the film, good action and visuals and the feeling of a satisfying conclusion to the prequel story, which you already know continues into the original trilogy.
. Has some great visuals, fun set pieces
. Has some of the better performances from the prequels
. Manages its overall tone well – dark yet hopeful