Star Wars Episode III
The Revenge of the Sith
Review by Ross Anthony

What excitement! I structured my day around this screening of Star Wars. I even made sure to arrive over an hour early to find parking, to eat so I wouldn't get hungry, and use the bathroom, so I wouldn't have to slip out. And it wasn't just me, we all sat in our seats waiting with great anticipation. Then the words "Star Wars" (in that all so familiar font) began floating out in endless space. This audience shouted and clapped with the nostalgia. "Star Wars" is certainly an event.

The film opens with zest, zeal, a screen full of action, space ships in flight, large, small, bursting in flames, firing round after round. Anakin and Obi-Wan banter via intercoms in their small crafts racing to save the Chancellor. It's a shimmering spectacle of special effects and choreography splendidly set into light.

The action is backed with substance. The spiritual battle for Anakin's heart and mind wages. Though many viewers and reviewers did not enjoy this Anakin from Episode II, I did and still do. Christensen is a good actor filling very difficult shoes. Who he is to become is legendary, mythical, nearly godlike to those lovers of the series. That is a tall order and Christensen matches the challenge. Additionally, the dialogue this time around is somehow meatier, much more laden with philosophical choice. "Fearing loss is the lure of the darkside," I paraphrase Yoda. In fact, the troubles that lay on the head of this Anakin are not unlike choices made by all humans. Can I trust my Elders? Can I trust my government? Where does my duty to my family end and duty to myself start? And what about my duty to humanity? These are all great questions with which Anakin struggles in an ever-deepening intensity up until that tragic pivotal moment when he finally chooses ... not just the emotional climax of Episode III, but in fact, the climax of the trilogy. Up until that moment, Episode III is a masterpiece, far outdoing the other two, in form, direction, and drive. But that moment is not only tragic for Anakin, it is tragic to Episode III. The choice is made unconvincingly, weak emotionally, un-involving and absent of a connected upward pointed arch that should have preceded it. Episode III, is a Bolero that climaxes ineptly.

Having been so captivated, so thoroughly engaged by this film, that poorly handled moment wounded my ability to enjoy what was to follow. Perhaps five or ten minutes transpired before I was able to coax myself back into appreciating what was truly going well in the film. And so I did. But then an important battle with Yoda ends vaguely, followed by a cliche and impotent Frankenstein-like first stand of Darth Vader. This moment is plainly embarrassing. Two very important emotional moments to the series are not only not brought to full flaming glory, but are actually below the quality of the rest of the production.

Despite these deep scars, the film is visually gorgeous, a work of art, never dull, and about the biggest thing to happen on screen this year.

Two other points:
1) Gravity is greatly reduced in space ... things shouldn't slide off space ships and "fall."
2) Phenomenal creature art design (all the design is high high quality). I especially appreciated the look and functionality of General Grievous - absolutely top notch.

  • Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith. Copyright © 2004.
  • Written and Directed by George Lucas.
  • Starring Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits, Frank Oz.
  • Produced by Rick McCallum at Lucasfilm/20th Fox. (c) 2005.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:54:21 PDT