Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith - Film Recap & Why It Is The Best of the Skywalker Saga
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith sets the stage for the saga we all love
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is a fan favorite that is arguably the best of the prequels. Visually, Revenge of the Sith still holds up to this day, and has been relatively well received, having a decently well written script overall.
The franchise began with a story of a young Luke Skywalker, who, along with his characterful group of friends, navigate a series of adventures that ultimately saves the galaxy from the rule of the Emperor and his second-in-command, Darth Vader. During this time, Luke learned of his ancestry, and became an aspiring Jedi, learning the ways of the force like his father Anakin before him.
The Star Wars Prequels Recap
In the original trilogy, we come to learn that the antagonist Darth Vader is (SPOILER ALERT) Anakin Skywalker, the father of Luke Skywalker. When Vader sacrifices himself to save Luke from Emperor Palpatine's control, the audience is given a somewhat warm farewell to the galaxy's most feared force wielder in a legendary tale of redemption.
Through episode one, The Phantom Menace, we learn of the origins of Anakin and discover that he is the "chosen one", the one to "bring balance of the force”. Episode two, The Clone Wars, goes more into a story of romance that builds the bond between Anakin and his love Padme, and also more deeply explores the relationship between Anakin and his Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Episode three begins with an epic space battle and the demise of Sith Lord Count Dooku. We also begin to see the chancellor's true power of which he entices Anakin. Chancellor Palpatine has been there for Anakin since he first arrived on Coruscant. They have grown a strong connection with each other in a similar way as Anakin and Obi-Wan developed as padawan and master. Chancellor Palpatine is aware of Anakin's true power, and orchestrates a situation to deceive Anakin. Palpatine uses the knowledge of Padme’s pregnancy as a weakness to lure Anakin into the dark side of the force. We see this masterful manipulation that was cultivated over the first two episodes come to fruition.
Anakin Skywalker Becomes Darth Vader
In episode three, we begin to fully see Anakin as a character that is hungry for power, willing to do everything he believes is right to attain it. This storyline highlights the contrast between the Jedi Order and the Sith in an interesting way. Throughout the first two films, the Jedi Order were portrayed as having a rigid dogma which allowed for no attachments, and could be criticized as lacking empathy. Both the Sith and Jedi believe that their side of the force are the only true paths, and interestingly, Anakin is torn between these two extremes.
Over halfway through the film we begin to see the rise of Darth Vader. This initially starts to take place when Anakin is allowed to join the Jedi Council but is not granted the rank of Master (perhaps because they fear his power). Anakin is permitted to join the council due to political pressure brought on by Palpatine’s recommendation. Given his superior skill with the force, this infuriates Anakin, and strengthens his distrust in the Jedi Council. The chancellor, and the audience sees this as well.
Palpatine’s careful planning to finally end the Jedi tyranny is almost within reach. Ultimately, the great Anakin Skywalker’s downfall is due to his fear of losing Padme, his desire to be the most powerful Jedi, and his growing distrust of the Jedi Council, all fueled by Palpatine’s manipulation. As Anakin is given strict orders not to interfere with the arresting of the Chancellor, his fears get the best of him. Anakin arrives to help Master Windu and the others arrest Chancellor Palpatine (now known as Darth Sidious), however, by the time he reaches the Chancellor’s quarters it is only Master Windu and the Chancellor engaging in a one-sided battle that remains. Being at the wrong end of Windu’s lightsaber, Sidious makes one final attempt to manipulate Anakin. This leads to Anakin freeing Sidious from his destiny, as with one swift swing of his lightsaber, Anakin cuts off Master Windu’s lightsaber wielding hand, giving Sidious the chance to propel him out of the window with a major blast sith lightning.
Anakin's deep and immediate regret for what he has just done takes a toll on him as we see him abruptly break down. The emperor now knows that he has the one tool he needs to overturn of the Jedi.
Anakin Becomes Vader, The Final Scenes
Episode three showcases the events mentioned above in the most epic yet heartbreaking way. The mixture of the lightsaber duels along with the flashy space battles, as well as the deep hearted dialog and pacing of this film makes it arguably the best film of the franchise. Once we start to see the fall of Jedi (by way of Order 66), the audience as well as Master Yoda reach a deep and painful realization. Emotions swell as we witness each Jedi being helplessly slaughtered on screen, culminating in some of the most brutal and mind-boggling scenes (“cough, cough, Master Skywalker what are we going to do?”).
As we witness the march on the Jedi Temple, we see Anakin’s emotional explosion that is the result of the fear and anger that has been accumulating throughout the two prior films. The hatred and overall deep sadness we see on Vader's face as he carries out Sidious' commands at the Jedi Temple, and the elimination of the Separatists on the volcano planet Mustafar, truly indulges the audience on what we knew was coming. Anakin is truly lost.
After surviving the Jedi Purge, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda go to the Jedi Temple to deter scattered Jedi from coming back to Coruscant. Upon arriving and releasing a transmission, ordering Jedi not to return to this trap laid set for them, they discover what Anakin and Sidious have done. Master Yoda and Obi-Wan plan to take out the Sith for good. Obi-Wan uses Padme in an attempt to lure Anakin back to the light side, while Yoda travels to the Chancellor's office to confront Palpatine, both resulting in some of the most epic lightsaber duels in all of the Star Wars franchise. With Yoda and Palpatine, the audience gets to see two masters duel with their force abilities along with their sabers in a CGI laden scene that still holds up amazingly well here in 2022.
After one of the most recognizable lines ever produced by Obi-Wan (“only a Sith deals in absolutes”), the audience is treated to the duel of all duels. The fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin is to this date is the best choreographed lightsaber duel in existence. We get to see two of the best lightsaber wielders duke it out for our viewing pleasure. The cinematography on Mustafar in the “Dual of the Fates” is absolutely jaw dropping. After Anakin is defeated in an extremely gruesome way, we get to see the true, heart wrenching emotions of these two beloved characters on display. The way Anakin yells “I hate you!” and the way Obi-Wan replies with “I loved you Anakin, you were like a brother to me” pulls whatever heartstrings the audience has left and just throws them away. We then see the final scenes of the film play out in parallel, with Padme and Anakin seemingly meeting their ends. Padme loses her life while giving birth, and Anakin symbolically perishes, but Vader is saved on Mustafar by Sidious (his life hanging by a thread and body burnt to a crisp). In the “construction of Vader scene”, Sidious tells Vader that, in his rage, he killed Padme, with Vader responding by destroying everything in the room. We then fade to Padme's funeral on Naboo which concludes her character's amazing rise in the three films of the prequels. The film ends with two children who are born and given their names, Luke and Leia, who are then taken in by their respected families which ties us directly into the original trilogy.
Star Wars episode three presents us with some of the most beautiful sceneries in the film industry, with a variety of amazingly detailed planets. The film also presents us with an powerful conclusion to the Prequel Trilogy, as well as some of the most iconic lines out of any movie franchise to date. We get to see the rise of a great character, and how mounting insecurities, and years of manipulation, brings an end to the Anakin, leading to the fall of the great Jedi Order, the Republic, and the rise of the tyrannical Empire. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is the greatest Star Wars Film out of the Skywalker Saga to date.
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- Ben Kaplan
- Event Coordinator
- Ben is a video game and sports enthusiast, who not only loves college football but everything Star Wars, Anime, and DC as well. He likes the finer things in life like lightsaber-themed forks and spoons.