The grand finale in George Lucas’s mind, the epic conclusion to Darth Vader’s tragedy– what could’ve been the last Star Wars movie had Disney not bought the rights to Lucasfilm and the franchise. Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith is the best prequel movie due to many reasons, as it connects all of the dots to the original trilogy while wrapping up the storylines of the prequel trilogy.
First and foremost, the Battle over Coruscant starts the movie, putting the audience in the middle of a space war– explosions, lasers galore, Jedi starships maneuvering through droid fighters and war cruisers. Already, this movie begins better than any other Star Wars movie to date. The action is intense, the pacing isn’t too fast, and two familiar faces guide the audience with their usual banter and wit.
Hayden Christensen reflected the character of Anakin Skywalker much better in this movie– as the actor grew more confident, so did the character. Christensen matured into the Anakin Skywalker most people wanted to see in Episode Two: Attack of the Clones, letting his hair grow long and keeping pace with Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. The journey to the dark side wasn’t a reach for Christensen. Skywalker’s motive throughout the whole movie was to save his pregnant wife, Padme Amidala, and Christensen portrayed confused anger and potent uncertainty remarkably well. This movie proved why Christensen was the best choice for a young Darth Vader.
Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi struggled to balance the loyalty he felt to the Jedi Council and Anakin. In Episode Two, Kenobi was pompous and controlling towards Skywalker, but in Episode Three, McGregor was more reserved and compassionate. Because of his old master’s influence, as well as Anakin’s obvious mental struggles, McGregor transitioned his character from tough master to loving older brother. Kenobi was iconic in this movie because of McGregor’s portrayal, and he played Obi-Wan the way he was meant to be played: confident, striking, and witty. The one character the prequel trilogy needed was Obi-Wan, and whoever cast McGregor absolutely nailed it.
Ian McDiarmid’s Palpatine shines in this movie. McDiarmid embellishes evil precision and manipulation by slowly twisting Skywalker’s mind, as he shapes himself as a victim and the Jedi as the aggressor on the Republic. Although he had a minor role in Episode Two, he supersedes Natalie Portman’s Padme Amidala, who was sidelined in Episode Three. Because the movie needed Palpatine’s touch, Amidala’s conclusion was anticlimactic and tragic, and Palpatine’s ascension to power almost reflected her demise. My one major complaint about Episode Three was Amidala’s role– it would have been nice to see her as the intrepid senator again, not the helpless damsel who serves only as motivation for the lead character.
Action has been mentioned, but this movie’s lightsaber dueling was something that Star Wars fans hadn’t seen. There were five major duels, and each one was unique and compelling. “Duel of the Fates” tracked over Yoda and Palpatine facing off in the Senate building was pure fan service, but who cares? It was awesome.
No duel was more impressive than Anakin versus Obi-Wan. This choreographed, emotional masterpiece captivated everyone from beginning to end, and McGregor delivered the most saddening monologue immediately after Kenobi bests Skywalker. This movie is complete with the music composed by John Williams, the acting of McGregor and Christensen, and the non-stop barrage of action– everything a Star Wars fan could ask for. Overall, I’d give this movie a 9.25/10