The destiny of Anakin Skywalker is finally revealed in the final prequel of the original Star Wars saga, which proves to be much better than its predecessor, Attack of the Clones.
Three years has passed since the Clone Wars had begun. Obi-Wan Kenobi, the faithful Jedi Master, and his protege, Anakin Skywalker, have located Chancellor Palpatine. Palpatine has been kidnapped by Count Dooku, the traitorous former Jedi whose responsible for starting the wars. A battle ensues with Obi-Wan injured, but Anakin being able to strike Dooku down until he is convinced to kill him from Palpatine. As Anakin returns home after saving Palpatine, his wife, Senator Padme Amidala, has surprising news for him. She is pregnant. At first Anakin becomes happy until he begins to envision his beloved dying during childbirth.
Despite Anakin’s successful rescue, he is denied the title of Jedi Master by the Council, enraging him. A conversation with Chancellor Palpatine reveals something Anakin never expected. When he informs Mace Windu of the secret, an attempt to arrest Palpatine along with Anakin finding himself helping the Chancellor results in Anakin deciding to join the Dark Side. Palpatine, who has been revealed to become the Sith Lord Darth Sidious and is responsible for everything against the Republic, accepts Anakin as his new protege and rechristens him Darth Vader. What will happen when Obi-Wan and Padme learn of Anakin’s turn and how will this ultimately affect the entire galaxy?
From a young brash pilot and future Jedi protege to becoming the sinister Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker’s story has been a major force of the prequel installment of the Star Wars saga. George Lucas did the smart thing here knowing that the inevitable was about to hit viewers right in the face. What was the smart thing? He brought some comic relief and one liners in the opening of the film, in which we see Anakin and Obi-Wan attempting to rescue Palpatine from the clutches of Count Dooku and his men with the help of R2-D2. They saved the lighthearted stuff first as the film shows the dark side in true form for much of the second and third acts.
Hayden Christensen once again plays Anakin Skywalker, now having questioned everything and learning that despite his efforts, something just didn’t seem right and thus, he finds himself influenced to join the Dark Side and live his destiny as Darth Vader. In Anakin form, he seems to be more mature but still questions and reacts to things somewhat immaturely still. Once he goes Vader, he is ruthless and very dangerous. Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman once again shine as the more mature Obi-Wan and Padme, who does no action, but proves to be the integral part of the saga, especially in the final act.
The lightsaber duels are pretty good even when in the first one, Christopher Lee is obviously doubled by CGI in his brief appearance. However, the climax consists of two dominant fights. One pits Yoda against Darth Sidious, who as Chancellor Palpatine, announces the beginning of what would be the Empire. The other battle would be the long-awaited confrontation between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader along a molten planet’s rivers. McGregor and Christensen practiced their fight under stunt coordinator Nick Gillard prior to shooting and this film just shows the dedication these two did in training and rehearsals before showtime.
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is exactly what its subtitle lives up to. The story of Anakin Skywalker’s transition to Darth Vader is finally complete with an exciting performance by Hayden Christensen and the nice lightsaber fights.
WFG RATING: A-
20th Century Fox presents a LucasFilm Ltd. production. Director: George Lucas. Producer: Rick McCallum. Writer: George Lucas. Cinematography: David Tattersall. Editing: Ben Burtt and Roger Barton
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits, Frank Oz, Christopher Lee, Temuera Morrison, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Ahmed Best.