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Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: George Lucas

Starring:
Ewan McGregor/Obi-Wan Kenobi
Natalie Portman/Padmé
Hayden Christensen/Anakin Skywalker
Ian McDiarmid/Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
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PLOT-CRUNCH
Pretty -boy, Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) gradually turns to the dark side of The Force and becomes the key pawn in a chess game led by evil. The results are: the fall of the Jedi Order and the “full tilt” rise of the Empire. Hope is dying a slow death my Padwan friends…it’s not a good day to live in that Galaxy far, far away! OUCH!
THE LOWDOWN

Something is happening. I'm not the Jedi I should be. – Anakin Skywalker 

I recently saw EP3 at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival and what a rush it was! George Lucas really got his shite together for this one! Who knew that “Greedo” (Keep suing them fans for being fans man…sheesh!) still had a soul left to bear! This is the best of the STAR WARS prequels, bar none and I’ll even go as far as saying that I boogied to this entry more than Return of The Jedi, a film that I cherish as much as a chick’s choppers around my “baguette” on a “Flap-Jacks” Sunday morning.
 
EPISODE 3 had most of its phasers set to “armor piercing”! Action wise, it started off with one hell of a space dogfight and then kept putting out via light-saber swashbuckling galore! There was more saber bashs in this one than in both Clones and Menace combined. NICE! Brains and heart were also displayed heavily in this bitter-sweet epic! This tale was basically about a blanket of evil spreading about by using a young man’s heart, to eventually choke the whole universe. The meticulously measured manner in which that poignant theme was communicated made for a mucho involving sit down for this jerk. I was on the edge of my Millennium Falcon, wearing my thumper on my sleeve! THANK YOU! Lucas has either honed his screenwriting skills since the last two entries or had a script Doctor come in under the wire, to “medic” things up (I heard that’s what happened with the dialogue).

Now, amidst the fanboy pleasing winks/tie-ins to the already existing sequels (You see that “Speeder-Bike”?), the presence of familiar/beloved characters (Good to see ya Chewie but where the hell was Han?) and the slick new baddies at play (General Grievous owned!), EP 3 was first and foremost a tragedy. It needed to be dark and thankfully, it was, with the sole comic relief at play being R2-D2 doing his R2-D-cute-ass-kicking-thing, more so than ever before (he rocked!). But even with that in tow, the movie never let up it its dreadfulness. The many mammoth battle, the mano et mano combats (loved the Yoda/Emperor one) and yes even R2’s antics were all jacked up in importance due to the “high stakes” of the storyline. I actually felt moistness in my eyes during a couple of bits! I didn’t expect that! It should be said that my pre-existing knowledge of what was to happen (Lets face it any SW fan knows.) actually played in the ride’s favor. The outcome was inevitable from the start and a part of me didn’t want to see it. I cared deeply about the characters and their relationships…they had to make it! Yet at the same time…. I SO YEARNED FOR IT TO GO DOWN! Make sense? Either way, that odd vibe cannoned my emotional investment within the story to a higher galactic plane, resulting in me being clenched in and moved by the film.

On the dark side of The Force, I felt that Anakin's crucial "key turn" moment wasn't fully credible. Furthermore, they held back an inch too much in terms of showing him go “ Dark Side” (in plain English, I wanted to see HIM kill more Jedis). Then there was the “love story” which once more felt too “Harlequin romance novel” cheesy for me to fully swallow. The dialogue was fluffy and both Christensen and Portman shared little to no chemistry. I again “made” myself "believe it" in the name of wanting to be affected. And was it me or was R2 D2 a little to advanced in ass whooping when taking into account that this was a prequel? I guess he got rusty after this Episode. Lastly, there was one Darth Vader moment that made me chuckle out loud (“Noooooo!”). Too bad it was during a “should’ve been” poignant bit. Come on Lucas, could’ve played that important instant in a less clichéd and obvious manner. Its called subtlety baby…SUBTLETY!

When all was said and Death Starred, EPISODE 3 wound up being a well constructed, rip roaring, eye popping and heartbreaking Space Tragedy that should please Star Wars fans of the world. This is the one you’ve been waiting for guys and dolls! Light that saber and fight your last duel with STAR WARS EPISODE 3!

GORE
This one had a couple of nice gory bits like a head light sabered off, legs cut off, nasty burns and more! For a Star Wars film, this one was messy!
ACTING
Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) brought his character full circle with class and strong acting chops. Natalie Portman (Padmé) was on and off, not helped by the often-stilted dialogue she had to utter. She did have a couple of really “good” moments though near the end. Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) had a tough role to nail; one of a man walking an emotional tightrope. 90% of the time he succeeded at it while in places, I didn’t feel he was intense enough. Ian McDiarmid (Supreme Chancellor Palpatine) gave a formidable performance! Now that’s pure evil! Menacing, charismatic, manipulative…he excelled at them all! Although he bordered on over the top here and there, I loved the shite out of him anyways.
T & A
C3-PO? NUDE! Chewbacca? NUDE! R2 D2? BUCK NUDE! Yes I was a happy Bootie Hunter!
DIRECTING
Where Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones somewhat came across like big video games, this installment had a tad more heart and creativity in its visuals. Lucas mastered the CG on this round as opposed to it mastering him. He did or did not, there was no try.

NOTE: Who the heck was responsible for making Nathalie Portman look "ugly" in places? I didn't know that was possible (she's so pretty in reality) but somebody winged it (Cinematographer, makeup department...who knows?)
SOUNDTRACK
John Williams’ moving and powerful score came through once more, backing up the hypnotizing images on display perfectly. WHAT A SCORE!
BOTTOM LINE
It’s over! Or is it? I hear a STAR WARS TV show is in the works but I’ll buy it when I see it. EPISODE 3 made sitting through the “tone” confused PHANTOM MENACE and the very good yet still not as “bang on” as it should’ve been ATTACK OF THE CLONES, mucho worthwhile. It was deliciously somber whereas everything in this final prequel was simply BETTER! The screenplay, the CGI, the directing, the acting, the emotional impact…ALL BETTER! Now if only that “love story” would’ve worked 100%…but oh well what’s done is done. EPISODE 3 still had me by the “Ewoks” throughout and to me; it was a fitting end to the tale that would launch a New Hope our way. MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU! My SW fanboy arse is content! I got to go see this one again!
BULL'S EYE
The flick was shot for an estimated $115,000,000.

George Lucas announced publicly that this will be the last Star Wars film he'd ever make.

George Lucas finally has a cameo in one of his STAR WARS movies! He played the blue skinned Baron Papanoida in the opera scene.

This is the first Star Wars movie to get a rating higher than PG. Who knew a PG-13 could mean GOOD NEWS?

VISIT THE OFFICIAL EPISODE 3 SITE HERE

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