Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith

Bang! Down to the Dark Side!

Main Cast: Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid

Director: George Lucas

It opens with an exciting space battle and rarely lets up for air. It focuses on Anakin (Christensen) and his slow descent into evil and darkness. And it pulls off a bunch of diplomatic sessions without dropping into tedium (like the first two). Yes, this one is a definite success, light years better than Episodes I and II, and a fine rum good time to boot.

The plot? The Republic is at war with the Separatists. The Jedi knights try to do what is best for the greater good, which is to try to keep the Republic together. But internal power struggles within the governments lead to the ascension of Senator Palpatine (McDiarmid) to head of the Senate, where he quickly proclaims an Empire and he, of course, the top dog.

But the process of his plots and schemes is the heart of the movie, plus his control of young Anakin, who finds himself torn between sides. “The road to hell is paved with good intensions.” I don’t know whether or not this saying is known in this galaxy, but it neatly captures Anakin’s error and eventual fall from grace. His losing Padme (Portman), the woman he loves, through his own wild emotions does not help. Just a bad turn all around.

But this is not a drama talkfest. It is packed with action, with lightsaber battles, blaster battles, the Wookie planet, droids gone bad, and much much else. Kids might be frightened by a few graphic shots and bored with the diplomacy and/or love scenes, but there is enough action to go around, and the dramatic scenes are serviceable. The acting is solid (some cliché lines cannot be said well, but none are dropped flat) and the pacing is fine.

Altogether this is much better than the first two movies and I can definitely recommend it.

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