When all hope was lost for the prequel trilogy, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith strikes up a satisfying conclusion, even if many of the same issues followed over to plague its story.
Continuing the story of Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christiansen) – this story takes us down a dark path as Anakin faces his own inner turmoil.
After tirelessly enduring The Phantom of the Menace and Attack of the Clones, I have finally arrived at a Star Wars film that I can confidently say is Star Wars. Improvements upon the script allowed me to finally consider taking this trilogy in a serious light. Yes, it still has corny dialogue, like the insufferable romantic exchanges and far-fetched character decisions; luckily the saner dialogue shines brighter. The film is at its best when the story is taking a few steps back from the political rabble and focusing on Anakin’s journey, his descent into fear and pain is where the crux of the films emotional heart lies and ultimately helps to build towards the theme of a good man becoming twisted by fear and hatred.
The film lets you feel the stakes involved, but more impressively it manages to add some humour with its emotional heft in a surprisingly compatible fashion. In essence, the film feels much more character-focused and was the breath of fresh air that the trilogy so desperately needed; all of these elements came together to build upon the final act – the third act of this film pummels the audience with a gut-wrenching and emotionally tormenting conclusion to be remembered. Yes it wasn’t perfect, Anakin’s turn to the dark side should have had a more convincing approach to it, but when you look back at the previous two films, it’s a miracle that this film was as powerful as it was. Though it does bring back many of the cringe-inducing moments that make you laugh or grimace like in the first two, it’s not as overly common in this film. The acting had a lot of improvements, Ewan McGregor carries this film on his back with a powerful performance and Hayden Christensen improves marginally in a few areas.
The technical filmmaking improved immensely, this was displayed in the film’s opening scene during the tracking shot of the epic space battle. However, there could have been a lot more practicality in its visual effects and production design. In terms of the soundtrack, John Williams has single handedly saved the prequels from being complete monstrosities and his work in this film is phenomenal, providing such an immersive and powerful score.
Revenge of the Sith is not the most well-constructed third installment of a trilogy by any means but it does a shockingly great job at wrapping up its story and giving you a reason to care after two abysmal predecessors.