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Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith



What is it ? : We begin with a battle over Coruscant, the Confederacy has attacked and captured Chancellor Palpatine, and Anakin and Obi-Wan manoeuvre their fighters through the battle towards General Grievous' command ship. They skirmish with enemy fighters, and fight off an attack by Buzz Droids which latch onto their fighters and sabotage them, before crash landing onto the hangar deck of their target.
Battling their way through the ship they reach Palpatine guarded by Count Dooku, Obi-Wan is knocked unconscious, but Anakin manages to get his revenge for his lost hand, but cutting off both of Dooku's hands. Although Dooku is now unarmed (unhanded?) Palpatine urges Anakin to kill him as he is too dangerous, which Anakin does to the shocked Dooku.
They try to escape but are captured and escorted to General Grievous on the bridge of the vessel, they break out of their bonds and in a fight, Grievous is forced to retreat and leaves the vessel on an escape pod. The ship is damaged and begins to fall from orbit, with all the escape pods gone they must crash land the ship as it breaks apart around them, being doused in their final decent by fireships as Anakin pilots the burning remains to a landing which they can at least walk away from.
During the celebrations for rescuing the Chancellor, Padme tells Anakin that she is pregnant, and later Anakin dreams of Padme dying in childbirth.
The next day, Palpatine meets with Anakin, and assigns him as his representative on the Jedi Council, which the council grudgingly accepts, but does not grant Anakin the title of Jedi Master that usually goes with such a position, something which angers Anakin. Anakin accompanies Palpatine to the opera, where they discuss power and the fact that those who have it try to hold onto it at all costs, even the Jedi, and tells him the story of Darth Plagueis the Wise, a Sith who could create life, but fell pray to his own student.
Later Palaptine informs the Jedi Council that his agents have located General Grievous on the world of Utapau, and they dispatch Obi-Wan to deal with him, as the Jedi Council is already heavily scattered across the galaxy, including Yoda who is on Kashyyyk helping the Wookiees.
Arriving on Utapau their leader confides in him that Grievous is here, so Obi-Wan pretends to leave allowing him to ambush Grievous while bringing in a Clone Trooper force led by Commander Cody. They fight, Grievous revealing his multiple armed combat abilities, but Obi-Wan forces him to flee once more, this time on a wheel bike, with Obi-Wan in pursuit on a lizard.
On Coruscant, Anakin informs Palpatine that Obi-Wan has found Grievous, but their conversation turns to the force, and Palpatine tells Anakin that the powers of the Sith can save Padme, making Anakin realise that Palpatine is the Sith Lord they've been looking for all along and decides to inform the Jedi Council.
Obi-Wan catches up with Grievous as he is attempting to board his fighter and flee the world, but drops his lightsaber in the fight where it is retrieved by Cody. Obi-Wan is forced to grab a blaster, shooting Grievous and causing the internal organs of the cyborg to burst into flames killing him.
Anakin returns to the Jedi Temple and informs Mace Windu that Palpatine is a Sith, and Windu orders Anakin to wait in the Council Chambers for him, before leaving and confronting Palpatine along with a number of other Jedi.
Palpatine ignites a lightsaber and defeats the other Jedi with relative ease, but Windu proves a far more formidable adversary and the tide of the battle begins to turn.
In the Jedi Council chamber Anakin paces the room, remembering Palpatines promises of being able to save Padme, while across the city, Padme herself feels that something is going on a looks towards the Jedi Temple and the man she loves.
Anakin rushes to Palpatines offices, to discover that Windu has seemingly defeated the Chancellor, who lashes out with Force Lightning, but Windu turns it back onto the Sith Lord scarring and wrecking his face into the more familiar face of evil we saw in the Original Trilogy.
Anakin pleads with Windu to let Palpatine live as he needs him to save Padme, but Mace swings to strike down the Sith Lord only for Anakin to parry the blow and sever Mace's hand, giving Palpatine the chance to strike again with his force lightning, causing Windu to plummet from the building apparently to his death.
Anakin realises what he's done, and that there is no way back now so pledges himself to Palpatine, receiving the Sith name Darth Vader in the process.
Palpatine issues Order 66 to Clone Troopers across the galaxy as Anakin leads a legion of Clone Troopers to the Jedi temple, and across the galaxy we see Jedi falling to their once allies as the order goes out to kill all Jedi.
On Utapau we see Commander Cody turn on Obi-Wan only moments after returning his Lightsaber, causing Obi-Wan to leap into the water and leave the planet by taking Grievous' fighter. On Kashyyyk we see Yoda feel the deaths of other Jedi, and he takes out the Clone Troopers who were preparing to kill him, getting the help of the Wookiees to leave the world.
In the Jedi Temple a group of Jedi Younglings ask Anakin for help as the Clone Troopers are killing everyone, but Anakin just ignites his lightsaber and slaughters the children.
Across the city, Padme watches in tears of worry as a plume of smoke rises from the chaos of the Jedi Temple, and Bail Organa rushes to the scene to find out what's happening, only to witness a Jedi Padawan killed by the Clone troopers. Bail leaves Coruscant aboard his Corellian Corvette to try to locate any Jedi survivors.
Palpatine contacts the Confederate leaders hiding out on Mustafar to tell them that Lord Vader will be there soon to take care of them, and Anakin visits Padme to tell her he is leaving to end the Clone Wars, and that the Jedi betrayed the Republic and ask for her loyalty to the Chancellor.
Organa meets up with Anakin and Obi-Wan, taking them back to Coruscant, where they return to the Jedi Temple and watch security footage of Anakin leading the slaughter. They modify the Jedi Temple beacon to warn Jedi away and into hiding, with Yoda then heading to attempt to deal with Palpatine, while Obi-Wan is to deal with Anakin.
Anakin arrives at Mustafar and slaughters the leaders of the Confederacy, ending the Clone Wars as he promised, and is ordered to remain there by Palpatine.
Obi-Wan heads to Padme to find out where Anakin has gone, but she refuses to betray him, and Obi-Wan senses she is pregnant and that Anakin is the father, telling her of the massacre he performed in the Jedi Temple. She refuses that he would be capable of such an act, and Obi-Wan leaves and hides out on her personal ship knowing she will rush to Anakin to find out the truth.
Yoda confronts Palpatine and the two fight in the Senate chamber, throwing parts of it at each other, bringing down the heart of the now fallen democracy around them. But Palpatine proves too dangerous, forcing Yoda to flee with Bail Organa off world once more.
Padme arrives at Mustafar and Anakin quickly angers as she cannot support his actions, and he throttles her with the force when he realises that Obi-Wan is with her. The two engage in a lightsaber battle across the surface of the lava world, until eventually Obi-Wan declares he has the high ground and Anakin cannot win. Anakin leaps regardless, causing Obi-Wan to strike, severing Anakins one good arm, and both of his legs. In tears he tells Anakin that he was his brother, and was supposed to destroy the Sith not join them, leaving the crippled Anakin to burn on the edge of a lava flow.
Palpatine senses what has happened to Anakin and rushes to Mustafar to help his student, rescuing him from the bank of the lava flow and rushing him to medical help on Coruscant.
Obi-Wan takes the wounded Padme to Polis Massa, where she gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia before she tells Obi-Wan there still is good in Anakin before she succumbs to her wounds and dies.
Medical droids rebuild Anakin, giving him new cybernetic limbs and encasing him in familiar black armour and as he regains consciousness his first question is of Padme. To which Palpatine tells him that he killed her in his rage, causing Darth Vader to stand and cry out in anguish.
Bail Organa, Yoda and Obi-Wan decide what is to happen to the twins, Bail offers to raise Leia, saying that he always wanted a daughter, and Obi-Wan offers to take Luke to his nearest relative, Owen Lars on Tatooine, and watch over him. While Yoda informs them he will go into exile, but must first instruct Obi-Wan in something he has learned from Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wans old master.
Palpatine addresses the Republic, declaring that the Jedi have betrayed them all, and left him weak and scarred, but to defeat this threat he must declare himself Emperor of the first Galactic Empire.
A funeral is held for Padme on Naboo, he body holding the carving Anakin once gave her, while Organa introduces the infant Leia to his wife, Vader and Palpatine joined by Tarkin watch the construction of the Death Star, and Obi-Wan passes Luke to Beru Lars who holding the baby watches the twin sunsets along with her husband Owen. . . . .

High Points : I'm going to start in an odd place, as my favourite thing about this movie is it's perfect balance. After seeing this movie back in 2005 at the cinema (as I have seen all of the Star Wars films for the first time, even the special editions), I received a pirated copy on VideoCD. As was common at the time, this meant splitting the movie across two disks into equal parts.
And exactly in the middle of the movie is the scene where Anakin is in the Jedi Council Chamber torn over whether he needs Palpatine to save Padme, or whether he needs to let the Jedi do the right thing and get rid of the Sith Lord. It's a quiet scene exactly at the balancing point of the movie, instead of cutting between Anakin visibly torn by the decision and the battle going on in the Chancellors chambers, with dramatic movie. The scene is quiet, and still, giving the weight of the decision which will shape the original trilogy time to breath.
It would have been so easy to do this scene in so many ways which would have all been fine, but George Lucas skillfully allows us to see the gravity of this scene. This is what it has all been leading up to, if this one moment plays out differently things won't go so wrong, lives will be saved, the galaxy won't ever see the emergence of the Empire. We get to stop and watch as everything goes wrong, and we know it's going to all go wrong, and there's really nothing that can be done about it.

Other good things, well this is definitely my favourite of the Prequel trilogy, and could well be up there in my top Star Wars movies, it really redeemed the prequels, which had been a fairly emotionless collection of movies. But Revenge of the Sith has so much going on, Anakin being torn between what he knows at his core is right, but his need to stop the fate which befell his mother happening to the woman he loves. Obi-Wan's disbelief at the man he loved as a brother destroying everything he has spent his life protecting. And Padme seeing the man she loves become everything she hates, destroying the Republic and democracy, something she truly spent her life fighting for.

There's so much quotable dialogue in here as well, from "This is how democracy dies, with thunderous applause.", to "You were my brother Anakin", which makes it difficult to believe this was written by the same person who brought us "I hate sand".

Low Points : While it's my favourite of the Prequels, it's not perfect, and the major stumbling point of Padme dying because she's sad, while Anakin survives having his legs and arm cut off, and burned on the side of a lava stream, has been discussed many times.
Obi-Wan stupidly also makes the comment, "Only a Sith deals with absolutes", something which is itself an absolute declaration, but these I forgive as the movie is really enjoyable.

So what do you really think ? : The prequels have so much going on the background with the politics, and on covering the many characters from Attack of the Clones for this site, I found another little thing I adored which the movies make no mention of.
On my early watchings of this movie I thought that the leadership of the Confederacy cowering on Mustafar, when they'd just struck at the core of the Republic with a battlefleet and managed to kidnap the Chancellor seemed a little odd. Why are the leaders of this galactic confederacy hiding out on a backwater mining colony?
On reading up on the background, it's because the attack on Coruscant was a last desperate gamble. Each of these leaders homeworlds had already been taken by the Republic, and they had no where else to go. And giving it that background the scenes on Mustafar take on a more last days of the fall of Berlin in World War 2, with the playing the part of the generals hiding out in the bunker as their enemies encircle them and their forces fall apart, and gave the scenes so much more meaning for me on a recent rewatch.

Final Words : A really enjoyable movie, and one that is put together so well, the action is well done, even if I'm not the biggest fan of the lightsaber fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin (it just doesn't capture me the way that Luke/Vader, Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan/Darth Maul, or even Yoda/Palpatine does), and even the Starfighter battle (usually my favourite part of Star Wars) leaves me a little cold as it suffers from the same problems that many Scifi battles of the era do (I'm thinking of Independence Day here where the fighter battles were mainly just a bunch of distant dots moving around the screen) where you don't feel as much a part of the action as the Original Trilogy made you feel.

Score : 9/10






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