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Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Academy Award® Nominee
After three long years of relentless fighting, the Clone Wars are nearly at an end. The Jedi Council dispatches Obi-Wan Kenobi to bring the deadly leader of the Separatist droid army to justice....  View more >

Starring Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

May 7, 2005
May 19, 2005
Probably most enjoyable for Star Wars fan-boys (of which I am one) this was a nice conclusion to the otherwise disappointing prequel trilogy.
May 19, 2005
I was in a toss up between "good" and "wait for rental". It was "good" if you want to go to the big screen and see very cool eye candy! Beautiful battles, duels, and action.

Why I stand with "wait for rental" is because as far as story goes...all three of the first episodes have no surprises (Especially this one), no character development, nothing. He chumped out any chance of having a good story line and fed every one a nice looking action film. That's it. A little hint to you Lucas...Star Wars was not Star Wars just because of your special effects...it was because of a real good story and character development.

Lucas should stay out of the director seat and concentrate on special effects because that is all that is good in his films anyway. Let a real director handle the story.

Lucas has gone from a man I thought was brilliant to a guy that got lucky once (Episode 4)

Episode 1-3 is by far the worst trilogy every made...congrats Lucas you just passed the torch officially to Peter Jackson (L.O.T.R.).

P.S. Darth Vaders “big end scene” = cheesy & Anikin’s reason for joining the dark side = weak
May 19, 2005
The special effects get in the way of the story, but the story isn\'t much to speak of anyway.
If you\'re not a fan, Stay Away.
May 20, 2005
George Lucas has offically re-owned Peter Jackson. This is The Movie. The best of the 6 since Empire Strikes Back, and the only real debate is whether it might actually be a better movie then ESB. Its close. Everything that has been set in motion and put in place in the previous 2 movies comes to fruition in this movie. It is unlike any other Star Wars movie that has come before it, and is as close to a prefect Star Wars movie (which ESB is) as you can get.
May 20, 2005
The special effects are the only reason to see it on the big screen. Effects great, story and characters..not so good. Almost fell asleep.
May 21, 2005
I respectfully disagree with almost every part of spiritdug's review. I would argue that the story line of the first three episodes is better than 4-6. Lucas has done an outstanding job showing how the sith came to power. The way Palpatine plays both sides to create chaos in order to come to power is borderline brilliant. Lucas obviously has a strong grasp of politics and history.

When I first heard he was going to make 1-3, I was very doubtful he could do this with credibility. But even the fall of Anakin was good. Psychologically, this is nearly impossible to explain well. I didn't think he could convince me that someone as good an innocent as Anakin in episode one could become evil, but I was satisifed with the reasoning. After he lost his mother, the loss of Padme was unbearable to him. We also have to remember that the dark side has certain appeal to young Jedi, this is a factor which we have to give a certain amount of credibility to, because we don't experience it.

For those people who argue that there is a lack of character development, this is partially true, but we have to remember that this is because the characters have already been developed (Anakin's was the only character with any real development). But for heaven's sake, we saw the creation of Darth Vader. If that's not character development, what is? The point of this movie is to complete the story line and link the series. That's why the movie is more heavily stocked with events and action than character development.

To say that this was the worst trilogy ever made is ridiculous. I was completely satified witht the movie and highly recommend it.
May 21, 2005
Around the time of Episode I, Lucas said Episode I would be the comedy, Episode II would be the romance, and Episode III would be the tragedy. That's exactly what this was. We already know what's supposed to happen, so I don't quite understand why some people have such problems with the storyline. I was actually pleasantly surprised that they didn't simply make Anakin out to be some impetuous Jedi brat, but instead made him a tragic character you almost feel pity for. The romance was still corny, but better than Episode II. Just a few brief glimpses of Jar Jar, but he had no lines. And I, personally, was fascinated by Palpatine's tales of the Sith lords and his persuasiveness to get Anakin to turn. Maybe that was the stuff that bored people, but this is exactly what many of us wanted to see - how Anakin became Vader and how Palpatine became the Emperor and, of course, what happened to all the Jedi. All of those questions are finally answered.

The movie's definitely a downer, much more so than Empire Strikes Back, but that's what it's supposed to be. And, of course, the effects were first rate. I thought it was a very satisfying "ending."
May 22, 2005
First half is a bit hokey but the turning is great! Last time to see Star Wars on the big screen til the 50th anniversary.
May 22, 2005
May 24, 2005
What's the saying, "third time's the charm"?? It sure is for George Lucas! He finally got it completely right for this movie! Great visual effects, a fantastic score by John Williams, and there's actually a full plot to this movie! 2 slight down sides, first the romance (although better) still a little stiff in the acting...and 2, I was hoping Lord Vader would take a saber and finally end Jar Jar's meaningless life (sorry it's the dark side in me).

I've seen it twice now, and it's better the second time, because you catch things you missed the first time around. 2nd best of all 6 movies behind "Empire Strikes Back!" Enjoy!
May 24, 2005
If you're going to see it, see it on the big screen, even though the characters are still wooden and the writing and directing sucks. Darth Vaders "Noooooo!!" at the end is so horribly cheesy that it nearly ruins the experience. You know what I am talking about.
May 25, 2005
A powerful ending to a great series that span almost three decades. The series that has changed my life comes to an end, but the memories of the series will live on. Episode three is the best of the series and it's the darkest of the series.
May 26, 2005
May 26, 2005
Go rent the first Star Wars (the original) and save your money. This movie's script was about as lame as one can get. Seriously, if you don't feel like dressing up in a Darth Vader costume to see a movie like this, skip it. If you need a fix of science fiction, go see "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy". At least they spent some time on a script and did not contract the script out for a 5th grade writing project.
May 26, 2005

By far the best of the new Star Wars movies, this one was incredible. The lightsaber battles were extremely intense, and just when you thought that they couldn't top the last fight scene, they keep getting better each time. I was so excited by the end of the film that I wanted to go watch Episode IV "A New Hope" right away. It leads perfectly into the original trilogy, and was very satusfying. My only complaint is that there aren't going to be any new Star Wars movies to look forward to now, but it had to come to an end at some point. Definitely see this movie; I will be seeing it again soon for sure.
May 28, 2005
Awesome movie! Amazing special FX and just overall a great movie. If you enjoyed any of the previous Star Wars you defiantly want to see this one. This movie brings the whole series together. Don't miss seeing it in the theatres!
May 28, 2005
great special effects loved the story line it was one of the best movies i have ever seen
May 28, 2005
To all doubters: Beware the darkside! This movie is the most powerful of the six, and yes, I even include The Empire Strikes Back in this statement. Wow! Even knowing the eventual outcome, I was totally blown away. The effects were awesome, and the story was outstanding, tying the new with the old very neatly in a futuristic Greek tragedy.

As for those whining about character development; what do you think the The Phantom Menace and The Attack Of The Clones did? The characters we care about had been developed enough in those two flicks and the rest of the story in regards to the Sith is fleshed out here. Quit trying to sound like your a poor-man's Rodger Ebert and let yourself get into the story.

If you are a casual fan you will love this movie. If you are like me, a big fan, run, don't walk to see this episode. I guarantee it will thrill you to the marrow. MUST SEE!
May 28, 2005
Great Family Fare!! We really enjoyed this movie.
May 29, 2005
May 29, 2005
As you leave the theater you are apt to catch yourself going 'Not this, Mr Lucas! Yeah, we were rather curious to know how the transformation occurs, but, come on, we did want to have a great time at the movies too, and we did want to see the series end with a bang!'.

Mr. Lucas's focal character of the episode, the warrior turned ghoul, Darth Vader, says it all rather eloquently, when he steps up from the operation table and learns of Padme's demise, and growls a reverberating 'Oh, no!'.

Well, let us not despair that badly, that soon. It is not all gloom and doom, although there is plenty of that. Mr. Lucas does make his fans proud with some dazzling special effects that are almost perfect, to a fault. The integration and the interplay of the earthly, well in a manner of speaking, characters with those of the alien kind, is near seamless. And, the action scenes, while nowhere near the amount you would have expected to see for being held hostage for two and half long hours, are simply breath taking.

But you wince, when you contrast all that against an insipid story and script, and a drama that is painfully slow and laborious. As for the performances, the machines and the men are equally wooden barring some rare traces of spontaneity. And those come from Natalie Portman's Padme, and partly Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi. It is sad when you note that one of the most technologically advanced productions of our times doesn't have the time nor the resources to breathe some life, into this extravaganza, using a bit more of an engaging drama. Spirit and soul woefully take a back seat. Even the superbly executed action scenes let you down with their endings that don’t match the energy and gusto of the preceding action sequences. The anticipation, about how the victor would be nailing the vanquished, routinely leads to a rather lame scene, often handled in a style that is, in fact, anti-climactic, stale and has long become a passe in movies of this genre. It starts with Count Dooku, and progressively gets worse with General Grievous and then the last scene chasing an Anakin that has turned to the dark side. The wise Jedis, it turns out, are a bit too slow when it comes to learning new tricks compared to the cunning James Bond or the sharp Indiana Jones.

But, see it, some of us must! Right, Yoda? The movie does deliver, while it does exploit that sentiment. You wish this ended up being more fun than a formality. For a grand finale, you wish Mr. Lucas chose a more befitting scheme that is less obsessed with explaining and more with entertainment.

If only the force bothered to stay with the team thorough all of this hard work and in all faculties!
May 30, 2005
May 31, 2005
We all know the gist of the movie ... but the twists were totally wonderful. I hesitate to write more for those reading this who haven't seen the movie yet. The movie is a bit darker than the others, but it is a must-see. I remember seeing IV when I was a sophomore in high school, 27 or so years ago. This brings everything full circle. I was very pleased with the film!
Jun 17, 2005
This is the last "Star Wars" movie that is going to be made (at least if you believe George Lucas), so it would have to commit some terrible sins in order to get anything else from me besides a "See Now!" rating. As you can see, it didn't disappoint.

However, don't take this rating as the only indicator of how I feel about the movie.

I'm a Star Wars fan, but not a rabid one. I didn't wait in line at all for the movie, much less for days beforehand. However, I've enjoyed every movie in the series, including the ones that were widely panned. I have more copies of the movies on various formats than I care to think about, and I even paid full price for Adam Sandler's The Waterboy just so that I could see the trailer for Episode I.

I recently traveled from Milwaukee to the Chicago area to see Episode III in digital cinema, as a second viewing of the movie after a botched sound presentation at a certain cinema owned and operated by a certain major theater chain in a northern Milwaukee suburb. This second viewing gave me chance to see the movie another time (which helps to catch details missed the first time around), hear the entire movie instead of missing the left screen channel, and compare the film presentation to the digital cinema showing.

Episode III is definitely the darkest of any of the movies in the series, and I'm glad that Lucas took this route. The acting is still wooden, turning an excellent actress (Natalie Portman) into a plot device. Perhaps this was necessary, since taking advantage of her skills would have drawn attention away from the focal characters of the movie. The real performance showcase comes from Ian McDiarmid. He chews up just about every scene in which he is involved.

Visually, the movie is a literal masterpiece of computer generated effects. This may also have been one of its major shortcomings, causing the actors to never immerse themselves in their scenes. I can imagine it's difficult to give your best when you're surrounded by blue-screen and green-screen material, and half the characters in the scene aren't there with you.

Being a technical achievement, however, doesn't guarantee the best movie. From an emotional standpoint, it just didn't grab me. This is the culmination of almost 30 years since the original Episode IV was released, and while Episode III completed the story nicely, it didn't evoke much of an emotional reaction from me.

While preparing to write this review, I started to reflect on how I felt after watching the three "Lord of the Rings" movies. Star Wars Episode III pales in comparison to any of those movies. Those films are arguably as technically sophisticated as anything coming from Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic, but I think there are two significant factors which place Peter Jackson's movies on top:

1) A much better story. It's difficult for George Lucas to compete with the material that Jackson had to work with. J.R.R. Tolkien was a master at his craft, and the thought of a movie probably never entered into the process of his writing.

2) The use of real sets. When you watch the extras for the "The Two Towers" the actors talk about the impact of being able to stand on the real set of Theoden's headquarters, looking out over the tremendous New Zealand vista. I can imagine that was much more inspiring to them than standing in an empty set with nothing but green screens and film crews all around.

In both the film and digital presentation of Episode III, I noticed a distinctly high black level in many of the scenes. Scenes that should have been dark were instead a murky gray. It will be interesting to see if this is also present on the DVD, or if theatrical presentations are really sliding downhill to the point where contrast is no longer a concern for theaters. Considering that the digital presentation was marred by light shining on the screen from the projection booth, it's no surprise that black was a futile goal. (You could see the light and the outline of the slide projector they used for the pre-show advertising on the screen during dark scenes. Complaining to the manager didn't solve the problem, either)

So, maybe this is a case of two mishandled presentations ruining my impression of the movie. This happened to me with Gladiator, where seeing it on the "widest screen in the Milwaukee area" resulted in an unimpressive experience. Seeing it on DVD was like seeing it for the first time, and it is now one of my favorite movies.

Will I buy Episode III on DVD when it is released in November? You bet! Is it a better movie than, say, any of the Lord of the Rings movies? No.

Is it worth seeing in the theater? Yes, definitely.
Jun 19, 2005
I have mixed feelings about this movie. I am not sure if I liked it or not. I think I enjoyed it simply for the fact that it finished all of the story.
Not the worst movie I have ever seen.
Jun 26, 2005
Revenge of the Sith is better than Star Wars 1 and 2 and need to be seen in a wide screen theater to get the full effect of action and sound. This explains 4,5, and 6. Art
Jun 28, 2005
This movie sucks monkey *****... only freaks and star-wars ****eroffers would watch this
Jul 12, 2005
Loved it! This episode answered a lot of questions I had and verified some more.

Go see it now!
Jul 14, 2005
It was good and worth seeing in the theatre.
Jul 14, 2005
The movie was good, and was very long. But at times they had to rush through important events. And without giving away the ending (which die hard fans should basically know how it goes) it was very bad and done very poorly.
Jul 23, 2005
Sep 29, 2005
"Revenge Of The Sith" is darker than other "Star Wars" episodes in the sense that "Scooby Doo Meets Dracula" is darker than "Scooby Doo Meets the Harlem Globetrotters".

George Lucas, still has not learned that “more” is not “better”, just “more annoying”; STILL throwing everything he possibly can at us, in the hopes that we won’t notice his inadequacies. Ultimately, his ploy is working, for he has fooled a lot of the people a lot of the time. It’s HIS world – we’re just buying the merchandise.

Lucas is not so much interested in creating an admirable movie experience, as he is in cross-marketing his CGI product for video games, action figures, ring-tones and thrill-rides; whilst simultaneously publicizing his remarkable suite of computer tools, via the distribution of this deplorable excuse for a “finished” film. As to its “unfinished” aspects: plotline, character arc, motivation, dialog – none of which is rendered with any clarity. It is HALF a movie – the computer parts have been finished – they look great, thanks! – but did someone lose the rushes with the cogent elements of Anakin (Hayden Christensen) Skywalker’s “descent into darkness” that all the press releases harp on about? One minute he’s doing his usual unconvincing whining - this time about a “vision” of his wife’s death, not even her REAL death - the next, he’s bowing down before Palpatine and being called Darth Vader. I laughed out loud as my mind attempted to yoke the mantle of THAT NAME on this STRAWBERRY-BLOND CRYBABY. (By the way, for the sake of anyone who has been misled by the press releases or startling special effects: Christensen’s acting still STINKS.)

The storyline for this movie seems to have been written in the press releases, rather than into the movie. There is no legitimate concatenation of dire circumstances pervasive enough to elicit Anakin’s bodyswerve to the Dark Side. That’s point one. Space, and consideration that my readers all have REAL LIVES to get back to, prohibits me from outlining the thousands of faux pas and inconsistencies in this visually-overwrought and ultimately soul-less excursion.

George took a leaf from Mel Gibson’s book: In "Passion Of The Christ", the bulk of the earth’s population is in on the gag, so film-maker Mel did not need to burden his movie with silly facets like exposition, character development, or motivation, for the mythology of Jesus is embedded in humanity’s consciousness. So too, George, arrogantly and somewhat correctly, believes that enough of humanity has been inculcated with *his* mythology to allow Episode III to also stand alone WITHOUT any of the above facets. We’ve walked into this movie after being thoroughly drenched in press junkets and fan gossip, which “joins the dots” *for* us, so instead of giving us REAL motivation for Anakin’s fall from grace, the void of exposition and development is land-filled with searing eye-candy.

“It’s a trap!”

In Episode I, Darth Maul had a double-sided Lightsaber, so in Episode III, in deference to George’s credo (More Is Better), General Grievous must necessarily joust with FOUR Lightsabers - eliminating any chance that the human eye could possibly track the action onscreen. The dogfights and ground battles have become so detailed and overloaded with imagery that they’ve become meaningless, eliciting no tension, or even enjoyment, as your pupils are exerted to the point of exhaustion just trying to discern exactly which way is up, let alone who just blasted what.

It’s a trap which the videogame-wielding generation have fallen for, joystick, wire and screen-pixel.

And amidst all these glorious computer-woven dreamscapes, Lucas has lost the plot of WHO the story of "Star Wars" is really about: first, it was about Luke, the boy-child hero awaiting his transition into manhood; turn our backs for one movie and suddenly Han Solo has all the best lines and is looking ruggedly more do-able than that farmboy from the last film; a couple more years and we’re suddenly witnessing a character arc of – D'artagnan Thaddeus Vader?... whilst that forgotten farmboy and rogue are frolicking an emerald forest getting it on with mounds of sentient carpet called Ewoks. Twenty years later, George even reneges on his own created dogma and springs us with the specious assertion that “The Force” itself has NOTHING to do with “mysticism” or “spirituality”, but is a mathematically-calculable physical manifestation in the bloodstream called “midi-chlorians” – Christ, George! We waited 20 years for THIS malarky? Episode II saw Yoda go medieval, whilst Obi-Wan and Anakin were relegated to bodyguard roles (we also learned that “padawan” is an old Jedi translation which means “whining bee-atch”). Now comes Episode III and George, with a completely straight face, has the gall to tell the world that the story of Star Wars Compleat is, and always was, the tale of how Darth Vader came to wear such tight black trousers.

And I’m not buying it.

George is “making it up as he goes along” - evidenced by the fact that he feels he needs the small screen to expand on the story between Episodes III and IV, to add EVEN MORE explanatory fluff to an already-bloated and over-written, un-thought-out tale.

Lucas would not need to explore the tv option if he had simply edited out the irrelevant content in Episode III. To wit: deconstructive droids eating Obiwan’s fighter, Yoda’s trip to Wookie-World, interminable battles between Obiwan and Grievous and Yoda and the Emperor, ANY scene with Anakin and Padme (which dragged the meandering plot to a standstill). These few elements alone, with strategic editing, could have saved us all from a lifetime of Star Wars spin offs and TV mini-series.

Hold tight, my brethren, the next ten television years are going to be rough. Jesus was right: truly, the geek shall inherit the earth.

The above article can be read unabridged at: www.thedunmore.com/Writings_StarWarsRevengeOfTheSith.html
Apr 2, 2013

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