Revenge of the Sith

By Deane Barker on May 31, 2005

I finally went and saw Revenge of the Sith yesterday. Some thoughts (no real spoilers):

  • With the exception of a few scenes, the movie was well-acted. Hayden Christensen did a great job as Anakin/Vader — watching his descent into madness was compelling. And Ian McDiarmid was excellent as [insert current title here] Palpatine, the ultimate manipulator.

  • The movie makes me want to watch the first three films again (episodes IV – VI). You can never look at Vader the same way again, knowing now where he came from. The lightsaber duel between Vader and Kenobi in the Death Star in the original film will take on a completely different meaning. As a kid in the late seventies, I was terrified of Vader. Now, I feel sorry for him.

  • Good to hear James Earl Jones back as the voice of Vader, although those were some odd lines coming out of Vader’s voicebox. Twenty years ago, I never could have imagined Vader saying things that like.

  • I took my 10-year-old and two of his friends, and I spent the entire film in fear of Anakin’s transformation into Vader, as I heard it was quite gruesome. It turned out to be just that, but the kids didn’t flinch at it.

  • The special effects were stunning, though what else could they be? Lucas is an absolute master of the computer-generated epic set piece.

  • It’s good that lightsaber wounds are self-cauterizing, or else that would have been one bloody movie. The limb count was huge.

  • I have the same complaint about this film as I did about the last two: too much talking. This trilogy was so concerned with politics, politics, politics. I noticed that whenever two characters on the screen started talking, so did the kids I took to the theater. They just couldn’t follow it.

  • Speaking of politics — you have to wonder if Lucas was trying to make a political statement with this film, given the current state of the world. To quote Padme, “This is how liberty dies — with thunderous applause.” (Note that’s not an endorsement or condemnation — I’m not taking sides…)

  • After all the bad-a** characters Samuel L. Jackson has played in his career, how did he say most of those lines with a straight face? This is Shaft, remember.

  • Note how Anakin’s transformation into Vader explains the height difference between the two.

  • Jimmy Smits, you’ve come a long way from L.A. Law, my friend.

In the end, it was a fantastic film. I was six when the original got released in 1977 (I think I saw it two years later during re-release), so Star Wars has been with me my entire life. I played with the action figures, read the comic books, played the role-playing game, and even wrote my own fan fiction back before it had a name.

Consequently, I got serious goosebumps at the final scene of the film, when I realized that, 28 years later, the story had come full circle. Those kids I took to the movie with me? They could never understand.



  1. “Good to hear James Earl Jones back as the voice of Vader…”

    I went to see Robots this weekend with my kids (fun movie! I think we’ll buy that one when it comes out on DVD.) The big surprise for me was a little cameo by James Earl Jones. In one scene a character says, “The Force is strong with this one,” and apparently it was really JEJ who voiced the bit.

  2. I don’t think many would say great acting by Christensen… His best line was “I hate you!” with the spittle and all, that was so intense and believable but the rest of the movie was a bit lacking in comparison. And you didn’t mention Ewan McGregor? He was good considering the script he had to work with.

    Also I agree that talking is bad, especially when Yoda does it but there has to be something in between battle scenes and this movie had a lot of battle scenes. The politics are definately important in seeing how well Palpatine is forseeing and manipulating.

    I loved seeing Chewbacca and Grand Moff Tarkan in this movie, makes you think maybe it was Chewbacca with his warrior integrity and hate of the empire who convinced Han to help Luke take on the Death Star.

  3. I don’t know what all the fuss was about. I didn’t notice any overbearing political views. And I voted for a Bush 5 times (3-pres, 2-gov, 1-perot ;-)) In the context of the movie I think what she said was accurate and true even in today’s world. Good thing we have a president, congress, and senate ;-)

    Anyway. I never liked Christensen. It is too late of course but I’m sure there was someone better to play such an important character.

    How bout’ Yoda round 2?

    I enjoyed the movie and the theatre was not even crowded where I live on opening night.

  4. “How bout’ Yoda round 2?”

    I was a little disappointed in Master Yoda… not in his saber handling but his attitude. “I failed to beat Darth Sidious, so now I must exile myself.” What the…?

    Maybe Lucas will flesh that out a bit more in the DVD release. Ditto with a lot of other scenes that seemed to be abbreviated. I think (hope) they were a bit too aggressive in their editing.

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