With a respectable script and improved acting, George Lucas redeems his franchise with the final installment of the “Star Wars” saga, “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” At long last, fans are left with a sequel to Lucas’s newest installment they can deem respectable.
This film’s storyline picks up almost immediately from where “Episode II: Attack of the Clones” left off.
The Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, played by Ian McDiarmid, has gained peak influence with the senate of the galaxy. While his true identity, as a vile Sith lord, is still veiled in secrecy. Behind the guise of the Clone Wars, the Jedi Council begins dire investigations to unveil Palpetine’s evil ploy for supremacy.
Sent to investigate under the guidance of Obi-Won Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Yoda (voice by Frank Oz), and Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) Anakin Skywalker, played by returning actor Hayden Christensen, is tempted by Palpatine’s teachings of the Dark Side to turn against those who keep the peace in the galaxy’s republic.
The most delightful part about “Episode III” is the improved dialogue and acting. Episodes one and two are filled with tacky lines and uncoordinated acting. The most infamous of these scenes includes Anakin’s comparison of Padme’s (played by Natalie Portman) skin to sand; or of Portman’s immediate and unpersuasive recovery after taking a rough fall from a battleship in “Attack of the Clones.”
Rest assured, all acting flaws including Christensen’s poor dialogue and drugged-out facial expressions are not present in this film.
McGregor did a phenomenal job as well. As the film progressed it became more difficult to differentiate McGregor from Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Won in the first “Star Wars” movie.
Audience members were actually sucked into the story
by Anakin’s deteriorating relationship with his master Obi-Won. People in the audience even jeered his sinister character as he turned against those he swore to protect.
Along with the improved acting and script, the one element that has audience members raving is the action.
This film opens with a bang. Thousands of lasers shoot through an interstellar battlefield chock full of rich detail and color.
Fans watch in sheer entertainment as massive space frigates blow into flames while fleets of ships continuously wage war in the background.
The action in “Episode III” surpasses that of the previous episodes. Lucas provides the audience with plenty of ground and aerial battles. He also throws in a good deal of light-saber duels to accompany the storyline.
Fight choreographer Nick Gillard has managed to make light-saber dueling into an art form.
Instead of mixing multiple martial arts styles to shoot a fight scene, which is a norm for most films, Gillard created an original style of fighting for the use of light-sabers specifically for this trilogy.
What the audience is left with is a completely original take on sword fighting that is intense, fast-paced, and can best be described as light art in motion.
To top it off, the action takes on a mature tone unlike the continuous, comical, mishaps that take place during the most intense battle scenes in “The Phantom Menace,” and “Attack of the Clones.”
The antics of Jar Jar Binks are nowhere to be seen and a decisive battle is not won by a young trigger happy Skywalker (Jake Loyd) who’s acting is just as bad as his voiceovers.
Yet there is one element in “Episode III” that was an eyesore. During the last 20 minutes of the movie, all vehicles, costumes and ship interiors had a sudden change in appearance.
Viewers go from watching sleek space cruisers with chromed buttons, and a wardrobe that would be the envy of any bohemian fashion show to watching actors wearing costumes and walking on ship decks reminiscent of the ’70s.
With this drastic change in fashion and style transitioning in during the very last segments of the film, one cannot help but wonder why Lucas made this mammoth change in visuals at the very last minute.
It seems as if Lucas was stumbling to play catch-up with connecting the looks of the second trilogy to the first which he had filmed in the late ’70s.
If these changes had taken place halfway into the film, it would have been less noticeable and more justifiable.
Overall, “Episode III” is an entertaining film that surpasses its prequels in acting, action, dialogue and drama.
It is a must-see for any “Star Wars” fan or anyone in the mood for some action and powerful drama.
But, the last minute change to visuals is so obvious it will make a person laugh.
“Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” is rated PG-13 and is out in theaters everywhere.