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Review: 'Star Wars III: Revenge Of The Sith' (2005) Dir. George Lucas

Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits and Christopher Lee


The climax to the prequel trilogy and stepping stone to the original, this helped launch a new era of the franchise...

The Clone Wars are coming to an dramatic end, with the Separatist forces led by Count Dooku (Lee) on one side and the Grand Army of the Republic led by Chancellor Palpatine (McDiarmid) on the other. 

Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) is tasked to track down Confederacy forces and end the war. Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) grows ever closer to Palpatine as his feelings towards secret wife Padme (Portman) and the Jedi are manipulated.

As the war reaches a climax, Anakin discovers the shocking truth about Palpatine as it becomes clear everything has been put in place by the Sith to give way to a new Galactic Empire. When Anakin is forced to choose between the Light or Dark Side of the Force, the galaxy will be changed forever…

Everything about this film is what ‘The Phantom Menace’ should have started on. Safe to say the first 25 minutes of this film are more enjoyable than most of the 2 hours of Episode I. The CGI is developed and looks stunning in the magnificent battle scenes and the landscapes have never looked more real. 

The actors are finally given a serious and far darker story to work with and their characters come full circle and really let loose for this final, revealing film that answers many questions prompted during the Classic Trilogy, but not without leaving some a bit confusing as to how they got there. Everything starts to work and it’s the best of the prequels.

The haunting score by John Williams takes us on a dangerous and emotional journey witnessing the downfall of a hero and the rise of evil in a way that bridges the two sets of trilogies wonderfully.

There are many nods to events yet to come, and moments that you see where you clearly can trace how it led to developments in the Galactic Empire of the future.

While dialogue is still a little stiff in places, there is more action to compensate and the battles are frequent and glorious in scope, making it feel like a real war among stars. CGI has to change and it’s hard to relate something that was once so simple to something now so expensive, but to create the fantastical elements needed to tell this story, it’s a real step-up from 1999. It’s a bold and packed ending to a very mixed reception of a trilogy which failed to deliver on so many levels, but compensated with a chilling and satisfying finale.

It’s nice to see everyone seeming to enjoy themselves as they create this journey for us with lightsabers, blasters and battles galore and action peppered as the tension mounts, even if it’s been a bumpy road to get here.

With the improved script, fast-paced action and darker moments for characters to get stuck into, it's nice to see everyone seeming to enjoy themselves as they end a journey ready for a new one. Kudos to McGregor, Christensen and McDiarmid who get to really bring their heroes and villains to life that evokes true 'Star Wars' spirit.

It’s paying off the fan service as it finally shows us events teased in the original trilogy but also ones from ‘The Phantom Menace’. We’ve come to expect the sub-par delivery and less than convincing emotive state of many characters, but seeing how relationships form and dissolve and who does what to whom and why is always part of the fun in watching with nods and winks to characters, planets and moments yet to come.

A fantastic end to a very mixed reception of a trilogy which failed to deliver on so many levels, but compensated with a chilling and exciting finale that leads very well into Episode IV.

'Star Wars III: Revenge Of The Sith' is a LucasFilm Ltd. production

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