Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
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|Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith|
|Directed by||George Lucas|
|Produced by||Rick "Denser Than Ever Before" McCallum|
|Written by||George Lucas|
Wasn't She in Mars Attacks? Oh, and SHE DIES
Alright, He's Darth Sidious
Samuel L. Jackson DIES
Christopher Lee ALSO DIES
|Release date(s)||May 19, 2005|
|Running time||140 minutes, though it was originally 4 hours (seriously)|
|Budget||$113 million, most of which was spent on special effects rather than writing|
|Box office||Even more than Batman Begins|
Set in 19 BBY, the film follows the final week of the Clone Wars. The Jedi Knights are spread thin across the galaxy leading a massive Mexican Clone Army in the war against the Separatists. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi is dispatched to eliminate the asthmatic General Grievous and end the war. With no master around to coddle him, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker grows close to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who is, unbeknownst to the public, the cackling Sith Lord Darth Sidious. With some string-pulling by Palpatine, Anakin succumbs to his teen hormones and turns to the dark side, putting the Jedi Order, the Republic, the galaxy, and even Anakin himself in deep shit (or deep volcanic ash, to be precise).
For Revenge of the Sith, Lucas wanted to finish the Star Wars saga with a bang, and give viewers something with the coolest Jedi action, the biggest explosions, and the slickest CGI this side of Michael Bay. Oh, and he also wanted it to tie-in with the original trilogy. Unfortunately, he forgot to re-watch the films he himself created, resulting in plotholes such as Leia remembering her mother despite her dying 20 seconds after she was born.
Revenge of the Sith received mediocre reviews from critics, which compared to the previous two films seemed like glowing praise. It broke several box office records during its opening week and went on to earn over $1138 million worldwide. It is the second highest-grossing film in the Star Wars franchise, not adjusting for inflation (of George Lucas's ego).
edit Opening crawl
Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker are sent on a mission to rescue Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who has been kidnapped very easily (George Lucas would recommend you pick up on this subtle red herring) by Sith Lord Count Dooku and Separatist leader/portable dialysis machine General Grievous in a last ditch move, and is being held aboard the Separatists' Battleship Potemkin orbiting Coruscant. When the Jedi find the captive Chancellor, Dooku engages them both in a duel; Obi-Wan is rendered unconscious by Dooku, but Anakin defeats the Sith Lord by slicing off both his hands. With persuading and instruction from Palpatine on how to properly vanquish a vampire, Anakin then chops off the defenseless Count's head, a violation of the Jedi Code, as well as an indication of being a complete psychopath.
After returning to Coruscant, Obi-Wan is ordered to Utapau to confront General Grievous. Meanwhile, Anakin returns to his whiny roots, and is angry at the Jedi Council for not granting him the rank of Master, even though they gave him a seat on it; he is also troubled by dreams of Padmé dying in childbirth. With Obi-Wan on the opposite end of the galaxy, Palpatine reveals himself as Darth Sidious (big surprise there) to Anakin, and tells him that if they work together, they can save Padmé's life; Anakin rejects his offer. Anakin informs Mace Windu of his discovery, and Mace decides that Palpatine needs to be stopped, but not until after lunch break.
Overnight, Windu goes with three other Unidentified Jedi Council members to apprehend the Chancellor, having suspended Habeas corpus. In Padmé's apartment, Anakin begins weeping and becomes (seemingly randomly) convinced that only with the power of the Dark Side could he save her life. He darts back to Palpatine's office, where Mace has the old man at a standstill. Rather than simply grabbing Mace's arm, Anakin chops it off to stop him from killing Palpatine, the latter of which then electrifies Windu and throws him out of a window whilst shouting "UNLIMITED POWER!!!" Through persuasive, polysyllabic, strangely sexually suggestive dialogue — unheard of in any other Star Wars film — Palpatine knights Anakin as his Sith apprentice, Darth Vader, and sends Anakin and a legion of clones to kill all the Younglings in the Jedi Temple.
After finding the Separatist encampment, Obi-Wan engages the asthmatic General Grievous in battle, eventually killing him with a blaster. Meanwhile, Palpatine issues Order 66, directing clone troopers to turn on their Jedi generals. Obi-Wan, being one of the few Jedi with any resourcefulness or initiative, survives the attempt on his life and escapes by stealing Grievous' starfighter and meeting with Senator Bail Organa and Yoda aboard Organa's ship, the Tantive IV. Obi-Wan and Yoda return to Coruscant, where they discover that every Jedi in the Jedi Temple has been murdered, even the younglings. Obi-Wan sends a beacon to all Jedi, instructing them to scatter across the galaxy and remain in hiding, which presumably fails seeing as they're already dead.
Palpatine sends Vader to the Chroma key planet Mustafar, where he massacres the remaining Separatist leaders to end the war. Palpatine then addresses the Senate, transforming the Republic into an Evil Empire and declaring himself Emperor for Lyfe, thus causing liberty to die with thunderous applause. Meanwhile, a heartbroken Obi-Wan watches a security video revealing Anakin as the assassin and child-killing SOB. Subsequently, Obi-Wan and Yoda split up to confront the two Sith Lords: Obi-Wan to fight Darth Vader and Yoda to battle Darth Sidious in a classic
samurai Jedi stand-off. Obi-Wan wishes to fight Sidious to avoid having to kill his best friend, but Yoda insists that Obi-Wan is not strong enough to fight Sidious, and would have to accept that Anakin had been "by Darth Vader, consumed". He then reminds Obi-Wan of all the times Anakin bitched at him, and Obi-Wan realizes what must be done.
Unaware of his former Padawan's location, Obi-Wan visits Padmé and explains to her what Anakin has done. Padmé, being naturally blonde with dyed brown hair, refuses to believe him, and will not reveal Anakin's whereabouts, knowing that Obi-Wan will kill her husband. Before departing, Obi-Wan tells Padmé that he knows Anakin is the father of her unborn child, and chastises both of them for not using a condom in this advanced technological age. Padmé sets out to Mustafar to confront Anakin herself, while Obi-Wan secretly stows away in her ship.
Arriving on Mustafar, Padmé confronts Anakin and realizes with horror that Obi-Wan had been telling the truth: condoms really are easily available. When Obi-Wan emerges from Padmé's ship, an enraged Anakin immediately suspects that Padmé has betrayed him and uses the dark side to choke her into unconsciousness. Anakin says to Obi-Wan "If you're not with me, then you're my enemy," and Obi-Wan responds "Only a Sith deals in absolutes". The two then engage in a highly choreographed wrist-twirling lightsaber duel, deftly hitting each other's sabers instead of each other. They pass studio backlots, sets with greenscreens, sets with bluescreens, and even a set with redscreens.
After fifteen minutes of two men jumping around platforms and twirling their toy laser swords at each other, Obi-Wan says to Anakin that he "has the high ground," which obviously means that victory is guaranteed for him. Anakin, in his arrogance, jumps up to Obi-Wan but gets his legs and arms sliced off... and in a double-whammy, tumbles down to the lava bank, where he gets the shit burned out of him. Rather than mercy-killing his former friend, Obi-Wan cruelly lets him suffer in agonizing pain out of spite. He takes Anakin's lightsaber, believing he will no longer have any use for it seeing as he is one limb away from being a paraplegic, and returns to the shuttle.
Anakin lingers on long enough to be rescued by Palpatine, who rebuilds him as a black armor-clad cyborg, completing his transformation into Darth Vader. This epic sci-fi moment, much-anticipated by fans, is sadly ruined by George Lucas, as when Vader is told his wife is dead, he throws his arms in the air and shouts:
Obi-Wan watches as Padmé bears her twins. Her robo-doc says that her "will to live" has run out, and she dies (huh?). Luke is to be taken to his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen on Tatooine, where Obi-Wan will look after him in secret; while Leia is adopted by Bail and Breha Organa of Alderaan. Yoda then tells Obi-Wan that he has more work for him: Qui-Gon's spirit will teach him how to become a Force Ghost after death, as well as possibly set up another film, Star Wars Episode III.V: The Sequel Too Far. Having failed to defeat Sidious and effectively doomed the galaxy, Yoda exiles himself to the dreary swamp planet of Dagobah.
Meanwhile, Vader and Palpatine oversee construction of the Death Star, as fortunately none of the Confederacy of Idiotic Shitheads ever had the bright idea just to colony drop it while still under construction in the dying days of the war, onto their enemy's headquarters on Coruscant. The film ends as Obi-Wan gives Luke to his stepfamily and rides off into the sunset, content to live the rest of his life drinking heavily in a sand-igloo.
edit Cast and characters
- Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader: Now a full-fledged Jedi Knight, Anakin has become less of an irritant than he was in Attack of the Clones. Possibly sometime in-between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan gave him that long overdue slap. However, this doesn't last long, as Anakin turns to the Dark side and transforms into Darth Vader.
- Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi: Now a Jedi Master on the High Jedi Council and a general in the Army of the Republic. He remains Anakin's partner, and the two have become war heroes and best friends.
- Wasn't She in Mars Attacks? as Padmé Amidala: A senator of Naboo and Anakin's secret wife — up until he throws a tantrum and Force-chokes her to death.
- Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine/Alright, He's Darth Sidious: The calm, reserved Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, who is secretly the campy, bombastic Sith Lord Darth Sidious. With the help of Jar Jar Binks, he obtained vast emergency powers, effectively turning him into Space-Hitler.
- Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu: A Jedi Master who gets electrocuted and thrown out a window by Palpatine.
- Christopher Lee as Count Dooku/Darth Tyrannus: A Sith Lord who dies within the first 20 minutes of the movie.
- Antwan Danyells as C-3PO: Padme's gold-plated robot, who doesn't do much other than say "I feel so helpless" and "Oh no!"
- A Midget as R2-D2: Anakin's astromech droid who doesn't really do anything, other than zap a few buzz droids in a cutesy fashion.
- Frank, the Wizard of Oz as Yoda: A green midget who, once again, flips around with his lightsaber as though it's "cool".
Ignoring major plot holes set up within the previous episodes, such as those detailing the mystery of who erased Kamino from the Jedi Archives, or who Anakin's "father" was, Lucas instead turned to a more cerebral story. In a 2005 interview, Lucas stated that it was his intent to make the final prequel movie more like My Dinner with Andre, but with the two hours of introspective dialogue on the human condition replaced with two and half hours of CGI explosions, embarrassing "romantic monologues", and the infamous and widely-derided "Do not want" scene where Darth Vader discovers that in his temper tantrum, he killed Padme.
Among the most drastic decision made during post-production was the selection of the ending sequence. In the original ending for the film, Anakin manages to beat Obi-Wan's High Ground during the Mustafar duel and kills him. Anakin is then greeted by Palpatine, who presents him with a new lightsaber; Anakin betrays Palpy and slaughters him, taking control of the galaxy for himself, and thus causing an undesirable chain of future events (for example, without Obi-Wan, Luke and Leia would've never been born, thus leaving the galaxy without any new hope forever). In pulling this confusing plot twist on his audience, Lucas had hopes of opening up a new avenue for alternate-universe "re-quels" involving time travel and metaphysical paradoxes. This alternate ending was removed from the final cut of the film, though it was included in the video game adaptation.
Revenge of the Sith is the only Star Wars film to be rated PG-13 by the MPAA, due to the scene where Anakin kisses Padme continuously for over five seconds; it appears the scenes of child murder, beheading, mutilation, dismemberment, and being set ablaze were only worthy of a PG rating. Quentin Tarantino called for action to be taken, as his film Kill Bill contained the same level of violence, yet was given an R rating; the MPAA responded to Tarantino's complaints by saying he was "a cheapskate who wouldn't bribe the Grim Reaper not to take his own life."
Revenge of the Sith marked the end of Lucas's work on the Star Wars saga, leaving him free to focus on ruining his other franchise, Indiana Jones.
Revenge of the Sith was, in comparison to the previous two prequels, relatively well-received. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 60% approval rating and average rating of 6.2/10 based on 253 reviews from critics, with the consensus being: "This sixth and final installment of Geroge Lucas' epic opera will please die-hard fanatics and non-believers alike — largely due to the awesome! and radical! digital effects and the sheer power and deepness of the mythology and stuff." Metacritic gave the film a 58 out of 100, which indicates "It's ok".
Most critics considered Revenge of the Sith the best of the prequels, which still isn't saying much. A.O. Scott of The New York Times rather preposterously said that it was "the best of the four episodes Mr. Lucas has directed", apparently forgetting that A New Hope exists. Jonathan Rosenbaum, a critic who somehow managed to dislike A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, gave the film a positive review saying that it had a "relatively thoughtful story", particularly the scene where Anakin abruptly turns to the dark side in just five seconds. Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times, who had deemed the previous two prequels as "those awful things that ruined your childhood memories forever...", gave Episode III 4 out of 4 stars, praising it for its hammy acting and unintentional comedic value.
Though many critics and fans saw the film as the "best" of the three prequels, others thought it was more or less on-par with The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones (i.e., terrible). Richard Roeper, contrary to his peers, thought Lucas "managed to make a film that makes the Star Wars Holiday Special look like Citizen Kane." Much of the criticism for the film was directed towards the embarrassing acting and dialogue, particularly in the romantic scenes, and for yet another stale performance from Hayden Christensen. Critics and fans alike were quick to jump on such lines as "It's over Anakin, I have the high ground!", "You're so beautiful. / It's only because I'm so in love," and "NOOOOO!" Critics have claimed this demonstrated Lucas's inability to write dialogue containing any human emotion, a subject with which Lucas openly agreed when receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Woody-Diao Film Institute.
After the Star Wars saga ended, many fans killed themselves as they had nothing left to look forward to in life, except reissues of countless Special Edition DVDs and Blu-rays with CGI vomited all over the place. After the franchise was bought out by Disney and they announced Episode VII: The Force Awakens, however, these fans magically sprung back to life; their enthusiasm was increased knowing that Lucas wouldn't be writing or directing this installment. Unfortunately, said enthusiasm waned when the fans actually saw the movie, and realized it was nothing more than a corny, soulless rehash of A New Hope. Come back, George;
all most some is forgiven!
- ↑ Time in the Star Wars universe is reckoned using as a basis the exact moment in A New Hope when the Stormtrooper entering the control room on the Death Star bangs his head on the door and yells. Using this system, events occurring before this moment are designated BBY (before bang/yell), and events after ABY.
- ↑ This in itself would be an absolute, but nevermind George; that line was genius, like poetry.