Star Wars Rewatch Project: EPISODE III - REVENGE OF THE SITH

TCTTS
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01.19 - Star Wars Rewatch Project: EPISODE I - THE PHANTOM MENACE
02.19 - Star Wars Rewatch Project: EPISODE II - ATTACK OF THE CLONES

A new month, a new movie...

Title
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Release Date
May 19, 2005

Director
George Lucas

Writer
George Lucas





Brian Earl Spilner
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Though TPM is my favorite, this is the best of the PT. Some great lightsaber duels, fantastic score, and of course the Anakin vs Obi-Wan fight we'd all been waiting for.

The movie may have its issues, but I'll never forget going to the theater to see this with my friends, how hyped we were, and how awesome it was to finally see that duel.

Vader's first breath is always a goosebumps moment.

And the very last shot, with the Force theme and the binary sunset, still gives me chills. (Really, the whole ending is fantastic.)





CJS4715
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Brian Earl Spilner
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Forgot to mention - also possibly the greatest source of memes on the internet.

John Matrix
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Having rewatched Revenge of the Sith, I'm reminded of the Howard Hawkes quote," a good movie is defined as three great scenes, and no bad ones." The problem with Revenge of the Sith is that it's pretty much the reverse- a bunch of good scenes almost ruined by three bad ones. Revenge of the Sith is by far the best of the prequels, but it still wasn't good enough to compete salvage how bad TPM and AOTC were. On this re watch, I actually enjoyed it way more than I remember mainly because it was obvious this was the only story George Lucas had enough story to tell. He almost pulls it off, but three main scenes really stop him from doing so.


The good:

There's actually more good here then many people will admit. For one thing, Anakin's reason for joining the dark side actually kind of makes sense in an immature Star Wars kind of way. When I first saw it, I actually hated it,( he turns into Vader so he can stop people from dying. How stupid is that?), but, after seeing Anakin's immature and borderline sociopathic behavior in the other films, this kind of crazy thinking actually fits nicely in the character's arrogance, navet, and ego. It weirdly works 14 years later.

Ian Mcdormand really makes the case for a guy who borderline almost saves the prequels himself. He's having a blast playing pure evil, and it'd s blast to watch him. I know it's been memed to death, but his seduction of Anakin at the opera is actually a really great scene almost solely because of him.

The final battle between Obi Wan and Anakin is cgid to death and doesn't have the impact it should, but it's well choreographed and intricately put together with with the sidious/ Yods fight that it pretty much works. Fighting Yoda annoyed me in AOTC, but here it actually kind of works.

I also think the film does a good job of sidelining Padme. That relationship makes no damn sense and Lucas knew it, so he focused on the one relationship that has any kind of emotional attachments-Anakin and Obi Wan. It doesn't always work,( mainly because the previous films do such a poor job of defining their friendship), but Christianson and mcgregor try their damndest to make work.

General Grievous also more or less works. He's an obvious example of foreshadowing in terms of Vader, but the fact that Lucas even bothered to put that in here shows he actually have a **** about what he was putting out there on this one.

I'm also a huge fan of the final shot. I love the use of the fuel suns to call back to Luke. It's a little manipulative, but it works in the context of the film.

The Bad:

It's really not the film's fault for this, but as great as Lucas is at staging things here, all of it kind of rings hollow due to the poor characterization and set up from the previous films. When Obi Wan screams, " you were the chosen one!" It's meant to mean something-a friendship destroyed, innocence lost- but none of that comes through because he spent time showing Anakin and Padme frolicking in fields like Heidi instead of developing the core relationship of Anakin and Obi Wan Kenobi.

Also, rewatching this with my wife, she commented that," this might as well be an animated film," in response to the absolute deluge of cgi in this thing. The final attack of General Geivious with the Wookiee's might as well be a video game.

The Ugly:

You know how I said at the beginning it's really three scenes that prevent this movie from being much better than it is? It's nit so much that these scenes are bad, it's that they're bad at the worst possible times.

Bad Scene One: The emperor takedown.

This first really bad scene is when they attempt to arrest Chancelor Palpatine in his office. It'd the scene where you see Anakin become Vader, Macr Windu is killed by Anakin, and the story shifts. The problem is that Lucas, actually a very strong action director, stages this essential encounter
in a stilted, kind of hilarious way. Palpatine croaking, "no!" While fighting of Mace Windu is actually kind of hysterical, which this scene shouldn't be at all.

Bad Scene Two: Padme dying

Dying from a broken heart? Really? Anakin had already gone evil-to the point of killing children by the way-why not have him kill Padme? It'd kind of implied he does, but this major scene that ultimately robs Anakin of his true love just falls flat because of that statement.

Bad Scene Three:Becoming Vader

This is the one Scene this film has to get right. After all, it's the reason we eased through two terrible movies-we wanted Anakin to become Vader. And he becomes him in a scene that starts off perfectly, but ends in hysterics because of one simply bad choice. Everything from the suit going on, James Earl Jones booking through the sound system, Vader's psychic freak out when he finds out Padme is dead, is perfect, with Lord Sidious grinning in the back ground. It all works until Vader, scream"nooooo!" in that hysterical, torn deaf way that Kucas managed the entire series. It's a hysterically bad finish to a scene that was about to work like gangbusters.

IN the end, if I'm being honest, I enjoyed this way more than I remembered. Revenge of the Sith is overall a pretty damn good movie that just happens to have a couple of scenes that being it down. It's not good enough to save the prequels as a whole, but it got close.

*** out of ****
jokershady
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For a good laugh (hopefully), check out this 5 minute video. Hope it brings you as much laughter as it does me....it deals with a scene at the beginning of episode III

Has language

digital_ag
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Watched this not too long ago and I can't go as in-depth as the above but I have a couple of thoughts:

The Obi Anakin duel is awesome. I get the length and CGI criticisms but this fight was epic. It felt appropriate given the direction of the prequels - Lucas staying in his wheel house of fun action and good SFX.

The turn to the dark side was laughably terrible. So so awful. It just made no sense to me: vague promise of stop people from dying time to kill some kids. Yikes.

And I think the root of the turn being so bad is one of the biggest blunders of the sequels: retconning the storm troopers as clones.

If the clones were just some alien invaders and Anakin saw real strife, maybe invasion of core planets by the clones that resulted in some tangible loss he develops a taste for slaying them and he embraces the dark to wipe them out (maybe with a nudge from Palpatine). That just seems more organic to me.
Duncan Idaho
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The whole clone war against robots from the trade federation idea was just stupid.
TCTTS
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Question... if you guys were in charge, what would have been your version of the Clone Wars? As in, who/what would the clones have been if not Storm Troopers? The Clone Wars were obviously mentioned in Episode IV, so they had to be depicted in the prequels, but I agree that Lucas totally missed the mark with that whole thing. That said, I don't know what the alternative would have been, as Storm Troopers do seem like the obvious choice.
Duncan Idaho
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The clones were fine and introduce what became an interesting theme in the cartoon as the clones struggled to come to test with their self identities.

But....clones heap on top of robots leaves you with not real sense of loss, conflict or emotional connection to the wars.
Quad Dog
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For the longest time my son struggled with the difference between Clone Troopers and Storm Troopers. Every Star Wars show or movie he watched he'd ask if the Troopers were good or bad guys. I think the transition from Clone Troopers to Storm Troopers is a good idea, but it could have been more obvious. I think I'd make the Clone Troopers not wear helmets and not wear Clone Trooper Armour similar to Storm Trooper Armour. The Clone Wars cartoon show idea of the troopers struggling trying to find different identities was a good one, but you can't go too deep into it in the movies, but you could visually. Once Order 66 is issued the Clone Troopers get their minds' wiped and their individual identifies are stripped by donning the Storm Trooper Armour.
redline248
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Brings up a good question: what is the new canon view of when the Empire stopped using clones? I can't remember if the cartoon series addressed it. The "embedded chips" to activate order 66 somehow made them defective later? Or was it an aging defect? Maybe the aging defect was old canon?

Anyway, perhaps the Clone Wars should have been the Republic fighting against some sort of Clone invader. Why not call the conflict we saw the Droid wars? Oh bc it was already named back in 1977.
Quad Dog
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Having thought about it more: maybe having some Clones be more main characters would have been a good idea. Clones like Rex that are close to and have worked with Anakin during the war. At the end of the movie we see Anakin and Rex turn to evil.
Ag Since 83
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I think if lose the droid army, particularly the ones with stupid "funny" personalities, you fix a lot of problems.

Personally, I would have had both sides have clones and it's some sort of arms race between them. LIke maybe there's a huge battle between two normal armies and the soldiers are wiped out in Episode I, and then they have to use clones of the dead soldiers.
Cactus Jack
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I agree with most of that. There was very little development of the relationship between Anakin and Obi Wan. They just never really quite developed the friendship that would have made the end fight meaningful. It was like a guy and another guy who worked together, nothing more.
Cactus Jack
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TCTTS said:

Question... if you guys were in charge, what would have been your version of the Clone Wars? As in, who/what would the clones have been if not Storm Troopers? The Clone Wars were obviously mentioned in Episode IV, so they had to be depicted in the prequels, but I agree that Lucas totally missed the mark with that whole thing. That said, I don't know what the alternative would have been, as Storm Troopers do seem like the obvious choice.


The Clones could have been some asexual warrior tribe from some strange planet who were secretly created or paid by Palpatine to create chaos in the galaxy. He uses this problem in a similar way as Lucas' vision, in an effort to gain complete power as an emergency leader. He then raises an army, defeats the Clones, yet remains in power. Over time he develops the volunteer storm trooper role for diehard Palpatinos (or whatever you call his fanboys), similar to Hitler's SS.

Anakin, (ALREADY A YOUNG MAN AND NOT AN ANNOYING BRAT) unaware of his force abilities, volunteers to join the Rebublic to fight the Clones as a pilot (the best pilot in the galaxy), eventually gets noticed for heroics and fights alongside Kenobi. They become good friends.
Urban Ag
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TCTTS said:

Question... if you guys were in charge, what would have been your version of the Clone Wars? As in, who/what would the clones have been if not Storm Troopers? The Clone Wars were obviously mentioned in Episode IV, so they had to be depicted in the prequels, but I agree that Lucas totally missed the mark with that whole thing. That said, I don't know what the alternative would have been, as Storm Troopers do seem like the obvious choice.
I still like the idea of the Clone Troopers. As outlandish as it was, Palpatine had to raise a huge standing army as part of his overall strategy. They could have done that with droids as well but it would have been terribly boring to have a droid vs. droid war. I like the Clones. They scream when they get shot. Much better than Roger Roger.

IMO, the Clones were not even on the radar as to being a problem with the prequels. I think it would have been cooler and worked better if the Clone Army had been comprised from multiple Mandalorean warriors and not just Boba Fett senior. That was pretty contrived and way to big of a bone to throw to the fanboys.
Urban Ag
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In regards to Revenge of the Sith, I love this movie. For all it's flaws it is a great Star Wars movie.

Cactus Jack
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Urban Ag said:

In regards to Revenge of the Sith, I love this movie. For all it's flaws it is a great Star Wars movie.




I agree. I have it as #3 behind ANH and ESB.
Brian Earl Spilner
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Good spot for it. Definitely belongs ahead of ROTJ.
MuckRaker96
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Brian Earl Spilner said:

Good spot for it. Definitely belongs ahead of ROTJ.
I feel like using my Jedi mind trick to make you jump into the Sarlaac pit every time you say this.
Brian Earl Spilner
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Flashdiaz
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I liked the blue and red saber scissor usage in this scene:

Brian Earl Spilner
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MuckRaker96
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The clones were on an accelerated growth plan so when they were 10 years old, they were really 20, so they could be ready for the Clone wars in time. Of course 20 years later, the 30 year old clones are all 60. As they became too old / injured / killed, they were replaced by general conscripts from the Empire. It was a lot cheaper to send a random dude through basic training than to pay Kamino all that $$ for a new batch of clones.
Bruce Almighty
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IMO, ROTS is the third best Star Wars movie, and that's including Rogue One and Solo. It's got its issues (but so does every Star Wars movie not named Empire Strikes Back) with continued bad dialogue, but the action and intensity of this movie is great. The fight between Obi Wan and Anakin is a top five Star Wars scene and the opening space battle isn't far behind. Hell, it may be top five as well.
canadiaggie
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I'm glad that Solo gave an onscreen depiction of grunt Imperial soldiers for once, not using Stormtroopers as the Imperial Army's rank and file
canadiaggie
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Also, the whole "you were my brother Anakin" scene is probably one of the top 5 in all of Star Wars.

1. I am your father
2. Luke watching the binary sunset
3. You were my brother Anakin
4. Let me look at you with my own eyes
5. Duel of the fates

Honorable mention: putting Darth Vader together at the end of RotS
John Matrix
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Brian Earl Spilner said:

Good spot for it. Definitely belongs ahead of ROTJ.


I wouldn't put it that high, but it's definitely the best prequel and maybe the the most underrated Star Wars. It does s whole lot right, even if it slips during then it moments.
Urban Ag
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Brian Earl Spilner said:


perfect
Old Tom Morris
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I think ROTJ gets too much hate over the muppet factor. The Luke-Vader-Emporer scene is still my favorite across the entire series. Great duel, Luke venturing on the edge of the Dark Side after Vader mentions Leia then realizing it and rejecting the emperor ("I am a Jedi, like my father before me" - what a great line), great turn with force lightning where you see for the first time how powerful Palpatine is, then Vader's salvation. All just awesome.
Brian Earl Spilner
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Muppets are half the movie and a major reason the Empire is defeated.
John Matrix
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Old Tom Morris said:

I think ROTJ gets too much hate over the muppet factor. The Luke-Vader-Emporer scene is still my favorite across the entire series. Great duel, Luke venturing on the edge of the Dark Side after Vader mentions Leia, great turn with force lightning where you see for the first time how powerful Palpatine is, then Vader's salvation. All just awesome.


ROTJ just works. The Ewoks get too much hate as far as I'm concerned. Compared to the Jar Jar travesty, the Ewoks are great characters that actually serve a purpose. They're kind of veiled Vietnam allegory which was all the rage st the time.
PDWT_12
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Finished up my rewatch of this one today. Had to double check to make sure John Matrix's post wasn't mine, because I had a lot of similar thoughts. Tried not to repeat too many of them in my post below.

What I like:

The opening sequence might be the best outside of ANH and ESB. It's busy and there is a lot that I don't like (R2-D2 going all Inspector Gadget and the droids being completely incompetent), but the space battle and lightsaber duel is great.

Ewan is great as always, Ian McDiarmid is fantastic, and I'll even say that Hayden's performance is much, much better in RotS. To me though, that just proves how badly Lucas erred starting the story off with Anakin as a boy. What if Hayden could have had one more movie to really work on his portrayal before bringing it all to a conclusion? Maybe it would have helped, maybe not. He did have other roles before and after the prequels, so it's probably just me projecting.

I do like the final battle between Obi Wan and Anakin. Obviously, it's a little too heavy on the CGI, and it is a huge missed opportunity because they failed to build a real relationship on screen between the two of them, but it's still a great duel and still emotionally impactful for me.

Love getting to see Vader's "creation" and hearing that iconic breathing.

What I Don't Like:

Lucas really, really struggles to write good, natural sounding dialogue. It's better in RotS than the other two prequels, but man.

I don't understand why Grievous was needed. Actually, I do understand. Dooku had to die at Anakin's hands to show the darkness in him that Palpatine could tap into, and Grievous lays the groundwork for the evil half-man, half-machine that Anakin would become. But I don't like it. Lucas's infatuation with introducing a new secondary bad guy in each of the prequels is annoying. I don't know. I get that they are all just front-men for Palpatine and also someone to focus on rather than the Separatist council (who's motives at this point are still incredibly unclear), but I think the prequels could have been stronger if he would have cut at least one of the three between Maul, Dooku and Grievous.

I feel like Yoda's storyline on Kashyyyk is very much just Lucas saying, "See, this is what I could have done on Endor with Wookies. Oh and also here's Chewie, someone you'll remember from the first three movies. Eat this **** up people."


What I Would Change:

This is the first of the three movies where I don't have a whole lot to say here. I think RotS does the best it can with what was done in the first two installments. I think maybe I wouldn't have sent Yoda to Kashyyyk. Keep him on Coruscant and have him start investigating, trying to put together the pieces of Palpatine's plan. Would be a good opportunity for him to uncover some Sith lore and other background info that the viewers could learn through him. Maybe put Grievous on Kashyyyk instead, and send Obi Wan there to liberate the Wookies and kill Grievous. You could even use your Chewie reference here George, this could be how Obi Wan knows to approach him at the Cantina at Mos Eisley, if you're just bound and determined to throw some nostalgia at your audience.

Favorite Tracks:

1. Anakin's Dark Deeds
2. Anakin vs. Obi Wan
3. Immolation Scene


Honorable Mention: Battle of the Heroes, Enter Lord Vader, A New Hope

Williams really knew how to write for Anakin/Vader.


Side Notes:

I'm pretty sure I made a Battlefront reference in AotC post, but I'll make another one here. The Kashyyyk level was awesome, basically like a Normandy beach scenario in the Star Wars verse. There was a sort of glitch/bug though, where when the enemy (or your teammates, if you were playing as the droids) sent Droidekas across the water, they would blow up because they would be rolling underwater.




Overall, it's a good movie. Certainly the best of the prequels and with some really strong moments in it, but also some parts that really drag it down. Current rankings are:

1. Revenge of the Sith
2. The Phantom Menace
3. Attack of the Clones.


I assume we are doing Rogue One in April?


Urban Ag
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John Matrix said:

Old Tom Morris said:

I think ROTJ gets too much hate over the muppet factor. The Luke-Vader-Emporer scene is still my favorite across the entire series. Great duel, Luke venturing on the edge of the Dark Side after Vader mentions Leia, great turn with force lightning where you see for the first time how powerful Palpatine is, then Vader's salvation. All just awesome.


ROTJ just works. The Ewoks get too much hate as far as I'm concerned. Compared to the Jar Jar travesty, the Ewoks are great characters that actually serve a purpose. They're kind of veiled Vietnam allegory which was all the rage st the time.
I also think that grown ass men tend to forget that the ewoks were an integral part of a marketing campaign to sell millions and millions of action figures, stuffed animals, backpacks, t-shirts, lunch boxes, coloring books, sticker books, etc.

I was nine in the summer of 1983. I loved the ewoks, then. 45 year old Urban snickers at the thought of an entire Legion of my finest troops being defeated by teddy bears with pre-bronze era weapons. 9 year old Urban thought it was awesome.
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