As the classic franchise’s concluding motion picture offer, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith features a lot of foreshadowing and connections to keep in touch with what the trilogy from the past became known for.
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This film serves as the final chapter of the historical galactic empire story from the real master behind the force, George Lucas, along with his dedicated behind-the-scene heroes from the Star Wars of the 1970s and 1980s (Star Wars Episode IV in 1977, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi in 1983) to the prequels made during the dawn of the new millennium (Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 1999, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in 2002, and finally Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith in 2005).
From the use of the 1980s style transition effects to the standard opening credits about “the galaxy far, far away,” its original appeal is well kept. Loose ends gets tied up with modern imagery without losing the original Star Wars look.
The opening sequence is a jaw-dropping collage of moving ships in battle, starting off with a long shot filled with those known “star war lasers lights and machines.” The sound design (from the lightsaber sounds, to the aircrafts moving, to the holograms opening here and there) is not left out by the visual effects. Even the scoring further validates how John Williams is really the master of the Star Wars music.
The problem with a hard-core effects-filled film is that at some point, it tends to be a victim of losing its touch on the true drama of human emotions. The good, kind-hearted and well-brought up Anakin lacks the hesitation and moving and striking moments as he struggles and consumes himself into the Dark Side. The film relied too much with visual and physical changes on Anakin more than giving a few more seconds of good acting to manifest his real emotions on screen. A much better characterization and acting performance could have justified his slaughtering of the young and old Jedis alike, and all his other abrupt change of actions after embracing the Dark Side.
Even the great love between him and Padmé does not render enough motivation. It is not thoroughly expressed, there is no tear-jerking moments amidst the gravity of the tragedies that happen to the main characters. Even with the death of Padmé or the pain of Obi-Wan losing a brother and an apprentice are just mere visual feasts in the eyes: splendid costumes, cool lightsaber fight scenes, thousands of impressive CGIs, opulent production design, and impressively challenging cinematography (personally, I like how C3PO’s whole metallic body is like a walking golden mirror on the screen without any reflection issues of production lights, cameras, or any other visual nuisance).
Revenge of the Sith lacks the deeper and more consistent motivation for Anakin to take the fall into the Dark Side. While there is that need to validate his undying love for Padmé, the treatment offers no much heart to capture the very emotions of love, fear, and confusion. R2D2’s fun role provides a more effective characterization compared to the supposed heaviness and emotional struggle Anakin offers.
In this installment, it’s too disappointing to see the warrior-type Padmé of Star Wars II: Attack of the Clonessuddenly becoming an almost useless character outside being pregnant. Her pregnancy doesn’t mean that she can’t be a much more interesting character the way Anakin or Obi-Wan kill a hell of Droids in a smash of their lightsabers no matter how impossible their stunts get. Padmé is full of grief with what happens to Anakin, but she can’t even kill a single Droid or escape a simple danger the way she used to do so in the former Star Wars episodes. Or at the least, make a stand in the Senate or say any striking word as a Senator witnessing an intergalactic chaos. Frustratingly, she is nothing but a weakling all throughout; a damsel in distress unable to fight for her love. She merely surrenders, escaping her pain through her death. She is physically healthy, a woman warrior ever since, but she has no will to live after the birth of her twins Luke and Leia.
As expected, the fight scenes offer the biggest highlight of the film, primarily the lightsaber battles between the various evil Darths. The final battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin on a volcanic planet is choreographed well. This, along with a couple of other action scenes, makes this Star Wars movie something worth checking out.
The political intrigues exposed in the film exudes some satirical tones. George Lucas also plays a cameo role as the blue-skinned Baron Papanoida shown during the opera scene.
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More About George Lucas:
George Lucas Biography: From Race Car Driver to Student Filmmaker
George Lucas Biography: The Student Filmmaker
George Lucas Biography: His Career After Film School