Episode III: Revenge of the Sith | History of Star Wars


Pierce Turner, Features Editor

Revenge of the Sith is the final insult added to injury for the prequel trilogy. A truly bad movie and (hopefully) the last one Star Wars fans will ever have to endure.

That being said, it’s the best of the prequels, but that’s like saying the first Transformers is the best of the franchise. More than episodes I and II, Episode III is the biggest joke in the Star Wars saga. Like The Room, it’s transcended insultingly bad and has instead become hilariously bad. The first two were too boring to be fun, but Revenge of the Sith is a delight for all the wrong reasons. It makes the perfect drinking game.

This movie is a meme. So, I’m going to review it using as many memes as I can. Enjoy.

We open with a large scale space battle in the middle of the separatist war. Anakin and Obi-Wan are attempting to rescue Emper–I MEAN Chancellor Palpatine from Count Dooku. About 90 percent of this lengthy opening is CGI, which would be fine if it was an animated movie. Like the two prequels before it, Episode III relies far too heavily on computer graphics and not on the practical effects of old. It’s impossible to connect with these characters and events when they are just standing around in what’s obviously a fake room.

Literally nothing in this shot is real. This is an animated movie. Lucasfilm

Take a drink every time the room the characters are standing in isn’t real.

The two Jedi find Dooku and defeat him, with Anakin struggling to decide whether or not to kill him. Palpatine gives some good advice to him and anyone with gasoline, a lighter, and a copy of Episode III.

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We are then introduced to General Grievous, a new villain. Remember Darth Maul, the cool looking but shallow villain with a double lightsaber? Well, this guy has four lightsabers. So he must be awesome right?! Out of all the prequel characters, Grievous is most obviously made just to sell toys. He has no personality, adds nothing to the plot, and of course is completely CG. At least in his first scene he gives us a new meme to have fun with.


Anakin and Obi-Wan complete their mission and land back on Coruscant. Let’s talk about our leads for a second. Anakin (Hayden Christensen) is less whiny than he was in Episode II, but not by much. He still seems horribly miscast and, of course, misdirected. This is the film where he’s supposed to become Darth Vader, the greatest movie villain of all time, and he’s still crying about everything. Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) is back and still the best part of the movie. Unlike Christensen, McGregor is perfectly cast and is beginning to look and act a lot like Alec Guiness in the prequels. For some reason though he is shooting off one-liners all over this movie. It’s odd, but almost all of these lines have become their own meme so who am I to complain?

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Take a shot for every Obi Wan-liner.

For the next 30 minutes, it’s almost nothing but walking and talking. Two characters meet up and walk through an insultingly fake room and talk about something boring. Sometimes they stop, then they start walking again. Sometimes they even sit down! It’s unimaginative directing at its worst, especially when compared to the original trilogy’s creative exposition through action. There’s not sets, only green rooms for the actors to walk slowly through. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if the dialogue wasn’t the cringiest in the series yet.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtjfWvWowgM[/embedyt]


Take a shot for every line that makes you cringe.

Finally, Obi-Wan is sent to find Grievous and Anakin is charged with spying on the suspicious Palpatine. Obi-Wan finds Grievous and faces off with him and an army of droids. Unfortunately, neither the droids or the room they’re standing in are real. So, we have Kenobi standing in a room acting to literally nothing. The awkwardness of the scene is obvious.

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Take a shot.

Meanwhile, Anakin spends more time with Palpatine and his poofy shirts. Brace yourselves, but I’m going to talk about something I actually like.

The two meet at a spooky space opera and have another talking scene, except the subject is interesting. Palpatine tells Anakin the story of Darth Plagueis and his ability to create and preserve life using the force. Anakin is worried about Padmé dying from childbirth, so he’s definitely interested. What’s great about this scene though is its atmosphere, world-building and subtlety. Palpatine’s story is the only thing in the prequels that builds the mythos of Star Wars in a positive way. It’s a story about something that happened far before Episode I and it even slightly redeems something from that film. Anakin’s virgin birth from the Force is stupid, but here it’s implied that Palpatine actually manipulated the Force to make that happen. It’s an interesting origin to Darth Vader, unlike everything else in the prequels. In fact, when this is implied you can see Vader’s helmet in the water opera in front of them. It’s easily the best scene in the prequel trilogy.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx52–WmLQs[/embedyt]

It’s actually followed by another good scene where Anakin and Padmé  stare off silently into the city, worried. With no words, we can tell what they are both thinking and that they each of them know the other is feeling the same thing. It’s an emotional beat that, like the opera scene, feel like they were directed by someone else.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hoXNXSpmng[/embedyt]

Of course, this is immediately followed by one of the worst scenes in the film. Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and a group of Jedi go to arrest Palpatine, revealed to be a Sith Lord (duh). The lightsaber fight that follows is the worst in the franchise. It’s awkward, poorly shot, and obvious that the actors didn’t have room to move in the tiny, green room. Palpatine kills off the accompanying three Jedi Masters like they’re nothing. It’s embarrassing.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XWomD6TazQ[/embedyt]

I prefer this version of the fight better.

Windu wins, but Anakin arrives and sides with the now scarred Palpatine, killing good ol’ Mace. R.I.P. Palpatine, now full transformed into the awesome Emperor, makes up the name Darth Vader on the spot (stupid) and Anakin is suddenly evil. It’s no secret that one of the biggest problems with the prequels is Anakin’s lack of real development. He’s frustrated because of his lack of power, but never makes any real developments like Luke before him. His turn to the Darkside is rushed and flat.

Anakin and the clones go on a Jedi killing spree and Obi-Wan sets out to stop him in the finale. They meet on the most hostile planet made of lava in the galaxy (who would live here?) After some horribly cliche’ dialogue, they fight, and fight, and fight. It goes on forever and the choreography that made the climactic fight in The Phantom Menace awesome is completely gone. Instead, the characters just flail their sabers around aimlessly. There’s a moment where they both literally swing their lightsabers around hitting nothing.

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So uncivilized.

Meanwhile, Yoda is fighting the Emperor in an equally unimpressive scene. I will say, it’s great to see Ian McDiarmid back in the role of the Emperor because he’s one of the best characters in Star Wars. However, I will never be on board with either of these characters using lightsabers. They should be so powerful with the Force that they don’t need weapons. In Return of the Jedi, the Emperor even refers to Luke’s lightsaber as a “Jedi’s weapon” implying Sith don’t use it. Vader would because he was once a Jedi, but the Emperor should stick with lightning hands. There’s such a thing as too many lightsabers, George Lucas. Also, how can they fight in the senate if Palpatine is the senate?!

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Anakin and Obi-Wan’s long fight is made worse by the incredibly anti-climactic ending and dialogue (“From my point of view the Jedi are evil!”). Obi-Wan declares himself the winner when he lands on a small hill and gains the high ground.

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Not a hill worth dying on.

Anakin leaps over him and Kenobi cuts all of his damn limbs off with one strike. This is such a frustratingly cheap way to end the fight. Wouldn’t it have been much more epic, emotional, and character-building to have Anakin lose a limb halfway through the fight and keep going, both characters weak and exhausted? Regardless, Anakin is a crispy stump and is transformed into Darth Vader officially. The remaining characters are all awkwardly shuffled into where they’re found in the original trilogy, Luke and Leia are born, and Padmé dies of a broken heart. This is such a bad movie.

Some people actually think this is one of the good Star Wars movies. It’s entertaining, yes, but we are laughing at it not with it. Ask me if this is truly one of the good Star Wars movies.

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