Movie Review: Revenge of the Sith

Finally, the mess of a prequel trilogy gets some moments of badass as George Lucas’s Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (B) restores some dignity to the series. Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker and Natalie Portman’s Padmé Amadala are still the soapiest of characters – and now they are pregnant with Luke and Leia (guess it’s not a spoiler alert when you’re already in a prequel!) – and Anakin is still ticked at Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) for not making him a full Jedi. Lots of battles occur, and ultimately we get the anticipated volcano fight when Anakin finally transforms fully into part-man, part-machine Darth Vader. Of course, Lucas almost spoils that with a strange Frankenstein homage (the Ewoks weren’t available for a chorus of “Yub Nub”?) There’s at least some symmetry in this film that helps match it to the classic trilogy and foreshadows the continuing Skywalker saga to come. Did we care much about any of these prequel characters? Not really. There were some cool effects, and I guess it’s better to have a Star Wars movie than not (at least in some of Episode II ‘s case and most of Episode III). Fans will appreciate the plunge into darkness and the higher stakes than usual, even though the characters are still pretty underbaked.

I've reviewed films for more than 20 years. Current movie reviews of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video or streaming films are added weekly to the Silver Screen Capture movie news site. Many capsule critiques originally appeared in expanded form in my syndicated Lights Camera Reaction column.

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Posted in 2005

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