Sunday, May 22, 2005

Review: Revenge of the Sith

Is it possible to love Revenge of the Sith and hate Star Wars?

I think it is possible to love the movie while questioning the series – I’ve been a Star Wars fan since the beginning in 77 when I saw the first movie drunk with friends six months after it hit the theaters. I’ve always been troubled by the underlying elitist message; only those anointed with special powers can rule.

Episode 6 officially killed it for me, Darth Vader was absolved for the killings of millions (including younglings as I found out in Revenge of the Sith), by killing the emperor to save his son. I remember thinking, what about accountability. This guy is a murderer after all. Of course, episode 6 also had the ludicrous Ewok attack. Were these Storm Troopers the same Storm Troopers that had conquered the galaxy in the Close Wars? What they devolved into was comic relief instead of the galaxies most feared warriors. Compare them to episode II for a good example of what I am talking about. Ewoks killed the Emperors elite shock troupers with stick and stones. It was total BS. But… it was a fun!

Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith, fits the same model as episodes one and two for me. It rocked as a movie if you turned your brain off. It had great action, wonderful special effects, and a semi-compelling good vs. evil story line – well somewhat compelling anyway. Only the good side was preachy and impossible to attain, and the evil (dark) side seemed all to much like normal life; hate, jealousy, and desire are all things I’ve felt from time to time and I’m not going to hell. Oh, wait a minute, I don’t believe in hell….

The story goes that Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader to save his wife from death during childbirth. That seemed weak to me at the time and even weaker now that I’ve had a few days to think about it. Didn’t Anakin have a good hospital that could help her? Jedi Knights lop off major limbs and reattached them in all the movies routinely, it seems reasonable they could deliver a baby without killing the mother. In addition, why turn to the dark side over this? Why not something more grand, like galactic conquest, power, or glory?

Any dialog between Anakin and his wife Padmé, were wooden and stilted. Lucus should hire a good screenwriter for episodes 7, 8, and 9. Any scene depicting Obi-Wan Kenobi with his dapper ”gay beard”, is questionable unless he is chopping bad guys to bits with his light saber. Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lines are comical in their attempt at pseudo seriousness; he comes off sounding like a peevish big brother. Of course, most of these lines were delivered while Anakin is butchering innocent people, plotting the overthrow of the Republic, or contemplating treason.. Also, did you notice that the good guys had hair that did not move (like Obi-Wan), while the bad guys had hair that moved like crazy? What was that all about?

Did I like the movie? Hell yes – in fact I loved it and will see it again. I will buy it on DVD and watch it many more times in the future with my sons. Is this a good science fiction movie? Hell no, I’ll take Blade Runner anytime.


Anonymous said...


I thought it was awful, barely made it through. The love scenes were beyond comical, and the philosophy was contrived. The last section of the movie starting with the attack on the Jedi was indeed compelling. Christian Hadensen sucked.

Anonymous said...

I have no words... I just watched the movie, well.. I dont even know what percentage of the film I watched because I walked out right after the Vader suit scene. I dont know what to say.. I, in all honesty, dont know the last time Ive felt anger and frustration like this.. my chest is burning.. the whole movie was whatever, areas that I disagreed with and was just annoyed with, but that scene... that scene... that just hit something horrible in side me.

I mean.. i LOVED that man.. I LOVED that man.. I grew up just admiring Vader above all others. I mean above all others in ANY film. He WAS star wars. He set the mood for the whole universe for me.. and its gone. because of that one scene its all gone... I wont wont WONT be able to watch the original movies again without seeing that scene.. It's done.. it's officially done. Something Ive loved has now transformed into something I hate.

and it buuuurrrns inside.. it really, really burns..


Mojoey said...

I hear you son - I mean "noooooooooo". What the hell? it was so out of character. Vader should have told his master he killed Padme when she betrayed him to Obi-Wan or asked for permission to hunt her down and kill her if still alive.

For me, Sith III will always be wiz-bang fun but not a very good movie.

Darth Vader was conflicted evil, now he is a sissy boy. What was Lukas thinking?

Remember - only a Sith deals in in absolutes!

Anonymous said...


That line blew. Typically ham-fisted. I watched GL opine on the deeper context of Star Wars on a documentary the other night. Made me wanna hurl. He made some kick-ass movies a generation ago. The problem is he has spent the time since then both fucking them up *and* talking ad nauseam about all the deep meanings that I am pretty sure he didn't intend them to have.

Also --

I didn't want him (Vader) to be so tortured. I just watched IV again and I really don't buy the transition. Vader was aggressively evil, not whiny evil.