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Movie Review: "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith"

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Theatrical Release: 5/19/2005

Theatrical Release: 5/19/2005

Synopsis

The Clone Wars have been going on for over three years, and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) has been captured by the leader of the droid army, General Grievous (Matthew Wood). Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) are on a mission to rescue the Chancellor, but doing so will be no small feat. In order to save the Chancellor, the Jedi Knights will have to make their way through the battle raging over Coruscant, but they will most likely have to deal with the sinister Sith Lord Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). Meanwhile, the dark side is still clouding the abilities of the Jedi Council, as Jedi Grandmaster Yoda (Frank Oz) and Jedi Master Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) fear that the galaxy is on the verge of falling into darkness at the hands of a mysterious Sith Lord.

The fate of the galaxy rests on the Republic's ability to defeat the Separatists, putting an end to the Clone Wars. Stopping Count Dooku will be the key to ending the war, but the Jedi Knights will also have to put an end to the deadly General Grievous, who has been trained specifically for killing Jedi. Through all of this, Anakin begins to be haunted by premonitions of Padme's death and he is desperate to prevent those dreams from becoming reality. He loves Padme and he would do anything to saver her, but his desperation and fear will bring him dangerously close to the dark side.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.

The ProsThe Cons

The Duels & The Action (+10pts)

Padme (-3pts)

General Grievous & Darth Sidious (+5pts)

A New Hope (-3pts)

Obi-Wan & Anakin (+6pts)

Mace Windu & Transition (-3pts)

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Pro: The Duels & The Action (+10pts)

The duels in this movie were plenty, and they were awesome. This movie showcased great duels between Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Count Dooku, General Grievous, Darth Sidious, Mace Windu, and Yoda. Regarding who dueled who and when, you will need to see the movie to find out, but I thought each of these duel sequences were excellent. These scenes had great choreography, high stakes, the visual effects were great, and the rivalries between the characters involved felt personal. It is hard to think about Star Wars without thinking of iconic duels, and this movie had a number of great ones.

This movie was more than just duels between light side and dark side force users. There was plenty of other Star Wars action throughout the movie and it was all really entertaining. There were intense space battles, and plenty of ground battles featuring Jedi, droids, clones, and even Wookies. The last movie ended with a spark that ignited the Clone Wars, while this movie began with the Clone Wars at its peak. It really felt like a massive war had been raging for years, and I liked seeing how the Jedi were integrated in that war.

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Con: Padme (-3pts)

This was a little surprising, given how much focus Anakin and Padme got in the last movie, but Padme very much felt like a secondary character in this one. It was like there was the main plot of the movie, and then Padme's stuff was completely separate, and almost happening in the background. We were supposed to care about her, and we were supposed to connect with Anakin's concerns, but it was hard to do that when what was happening with the Clone Wars felt so much more important. I should also say that it was not that I did not buy into Anakin's paranoia, nor was it even that I disliked this storyline all together. Knowing how important Padme was to Anakin's transition into what he would inevitably become, Anakin's transition would have had a lot more impact if Padme had been given a more prominent role in this movie. Most of this storyline consisted of Anakin worrying to himself or seeking the wisdom of other characters, and it did not really involve Padme herself. Padme just did not feel like her own character, as she instead felt like little more than a prop in Anakin's story.

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Pro: General Grievous & Darth Sidious (+5pts)

General Grievous was a mysterious and intimidating new presence in the Separatist army. He had been trained in the Jedi arts by Count Dooku, with the specific purpose of making Grievous a Jedi killing machine. We did not see the character in action much, but it was clear that he was a formidable antagonist for even the most skilled Jedi, and when he was in action, it was really cool. Would it have been nice if the filmmakers dove deeper into how he ended up the way he did and why he hated the Jedi? Absolutely, but his role in this movie was to be a cowardly character for the Jedi to have to catch, and an intimidating obstacle for the Jedi to have to overcome if and when they finally cornered him. In that respect, General Grievous was very effective.

Then there was Darth Sidious, who was extremely powerful, extremely cunning, and extremely manipulative. This movie was all about Darth Sidious finally executing the master-plan of the Sith. He had been a looming, dark presence over the last two movies, but he was now finally ready to strike. His manipulation was interesting, his reveal as a Sith Lord provided a really suspenseful and awesome scene, and Order 66 felt earth-shattering, even though I was fully aware that something like it had to happen, given the state of the Jedi at the beginning of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. This character has always been a really effective antagonist. Through all of the other movies, you know to fear this character and what he was capable of. However, in this movie, we got to see just how dangerous he was, and it was awesome.

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Con: A New Hope (-3pts)

I thought the filmmakers struggled to end Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith in a way that led naturally into Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. This was really the downside to prequels. The filmmakers ended up being constrained by what the original movies established, so it sort of tied the filmmakers hands with a number of storylines, if they wanted to keep their franchise consistent. The ending of this movie felt like it was forcing decisions and actions just because they had to conclude each character's story in a way that left them where the next movie picked up. The filmmakers had to justify decisions, and explain things that the prequels had previously left unanswered, and it made the ending of this movie feel somewhat forced. All things considered, I think the filmmakers did a pretty good job, but I thought they should have laid the groundwork for these things earlier, so that it did not feel all crammed in unnaturally at the end.

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Pro: Obi-Wan & Anakin (+6pts)

In Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace we saw Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker meet. In Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones we saw them as master and apprentice, with Anakin struggling with Obi-Wan's authority. In Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope we saw what their relationship became after the events of the Clone Wars. This left me interested in their relationship in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, as I was curious to see how their relationship would evolve from what we had seen so far in the prequels into what we knew it would become in the original trilogy.

The movie started by showing that they have clearly worked out all of the kinks in their relationship from Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. They were an effective team, and they were both very skilled Jedi. We got to see both of these characters in their prime, and we got to see the brotherhood and mutual respect between them. This made Anakin's transition even more impactful, because we got to see how strong his relationship with Obi-Wan was, as well as how far it would fall. I also found it interesting that the Jedi Council was trying to manipulate Anakin just as much as Chancellor Palpatine was—Palpatine was simply better at it. This then led to a really intense, emotionally driven, and epic showdown that was a blast to watch and it kept me firmly on the edge of my seat.

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Con: Mace Windu & Anakin’s Transition (-3pts)

This part of the story felt a little messy. Mace Windu was supposed to be one of the wisest, most skilled Jedi in the galaxy, so his over-confidence leading into his confrontation with Chancellor Palpatine felt like lazy writing, and it was clearly done in order to move the plot in a specific direction. Mace Windu should have known better than to confront the Chancellor when he did, and the writers should have known better than to have him do that. It just made it really obvious that this was all a plot device to facilitate Anakin’s transition.

One major complaint that you will see many people had with this movie was that Anakin’s transition felt rushed. I think a lot of the blame for this issue came down to this scene. Anakin was always on this path, but the filmmakers seemed to rush the last, arguably most important part of that path. It ended up feeling like a piece of his story was missing, it made the final turn feel rushed, and it made a lot of his actions afterward feel unjustified.

Grading Scale

GradeCategoryPoints

A+

Amazing

95-100

A-

Great

90-94

B+

Good

85-89

B-

Decent

80-84

C+

Average

75-79

C-

Watchable

70-74

D+

Bad

65-69

D-

Terrible

60-64

F

Garbage

45-59

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Grade: B+ (87pts)

This movie, being one of the prequels, gets a lot of hate, but I really liked this one and I think most of the hate it gets is unjustified. Even still, I did have a few minor issues with the movie. There was the plot device of Mace Windu’s poor judgment, Padme being a poorly developed character, and the fact that the filmmakers needed to force certain things to happen so that the ending of this movie would line up with the beginning of the next one. Like I said before, however, I really liked this movie.

The action was great, as it kicked off immediately, and there was plenty of it to keep me entertained throughout. There were also a number of epic lightsaber duels in which the stakes were high, the rivalries were personal, and the action was awesome. I thought General Grievous and Darth Sidious were both really effective antagonists, and I really enjoyed watching the evolving relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. I had some minor issues with this movie, but I enjoyed it a lot and thought its strengths far outweighed its weaknesses.

Best of the Star Wars Franchise

RankMoviePoints

1

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

95pts

2

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

93pts

3

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

92pts

4

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

90pts

5

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

89pts

6

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

87pts

7

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

86pts

8

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi

83pts

9

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

79pts

10

Solo: A Star Wars Story

78pts

11

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

77pts

Comments

Movie Beasts (author) from MA on July 28, 2020:

He was over confident in the sense that he chose to confront the Sith Lord before informing and consulting the Jedi council.

He may have been a better duelist, but Palpatine defeated him in the end, even if that was due to his manipulation of Anakin. There is also the possibility that Palpatine had absolute control over the situation, as he himself only became disarmed by Mace Windu when Anakin was approaching, which he definitely sensed.

Then consider that Palpatine was able to go toe-to-toe with Yoda (the only Jedi he feared), and was actually more comfortable fighting the Jedi master in non-lightsaber combat. This shows that Palpatine was far from defenseless when Windu “disarmed” him.

We also never saw proof that any of the four Jedi that he brought were master duelist in the movies. Given that this was a review of a movie, all we really knew about these four in the context of the movie was that they were random bodies for Palpatine to kill.

Long story short, we have no idea who would have won the confrontation between Mace and Palpatine had Anakin not interfered. This is because he did interfere, and Palpatine used that to his advantage. That being said, even if Mace Windu was able to defeat the Sith Lord (which it is not obvious that he would have been able to), not notifying the Jedi Council would have unnecessarily cost the lives of four great Jedi.

I like Mace Windu as a character, but I strongly disagree with you, and think that Mace Windu’s confidence in himself led to a horrible decision (not notifying the Jedi Council). I think Mace Windu should have known better than that, and having Mace Windu make this dumb decision just felt like blatant lazy writing.

Count Dooku on July 26, 2020:

How was mace a con?

He wasn’t overconfident. He brought 4 of the best duelists in the order to help him. Also HE BEAT PALPATINE. So mace+the Jedi he brought are more powerful than him who beat palpatine so he didn’t even need to bring the other Jedi. Mace defeated palpatine. That’s all there is too it.

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