Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Anakin: "My powers have doubled since the last time we met, Count."
Dooku: "Good. Twice the pride, double the fall."

release year: 2005
genre: sci-fi/action/drama
viewing setting: home Bluray 8/21/13 and home DVD, 4/5/09 and theater, 5/21/05

synopsis: The Republic falls as the Empire rises, and good Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker sinks into evil and becomes Darth Vader.

impressions: This is like watching a movie about the Titanic or the Hindenburg or Pearl Harbor: you know what's going to happen and that it will be tragic, but you still want to see how it unfolds. I'm not a Star Wars fanatic, and I don't want to be overly verbose, so I'll keep it brief. This movie delivers the serious punch that the last two didn't really have. Through public and private politics, the Chancellor destroys both the democratic Republic and its protectors, the Jedi Knights. Anakin, who had the potential to be the greatest Jedi ever, also happens to be a confused young man, which makes him extremely easy for the Chancellor to manipulate. That's the core of the story here, though it's surrounded by all sorts of action and special effects. There are four good lightsaber battles, including the one that culminates in the birth of the black-armored Darth Vader. As far as problems, I do have a few to note. I find it ridiculous that R2D2 and C3PO had to have major roles in all six of these movies; the odds of that are preposterous if you don't suspend disbelief. Also - and this is a common theme in my reviews of action movies - when you have a chance to kill the bad guy, don't hesitate, just kill him! I know that this couldn't happen here due to story purposes, but it's hard to digest anyway.

things to watch for: Any of the four lightsaber battles mentioned above.

something this movie has that no other movie has: in the words of Roger Ebert, "a futuristic opera that looks like a cross between Cirque de Soleil and an ultrasound scan of an unborn baby"

acting: This has to be brief, because there are too many characters. Hayden Christensen generally did a good job as the good-turning-into-evil principal character, though at times he was too easily swayed. Ewan McGregor was good as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi, and you could almost see him aging into the older version seen later in Star Wars. Natalie Portman played, in my opinion, a weak character who wasn't able to see what was happening to her husband. Ian McDiarmid was outstanding as the root of all evil and the corruptor of the emotionally-weak Anakin. Samuel Jackson did a good job as a high-ranking Jedi Knight, though it's difficult for me to take him seriously here, due to his other roles in other movies. Christopher Lee has a small role as the evil right-hand-man who preceded Anakin.

final word: The best Star Wars movie since 1980.

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