This review contains mild spoilers
After watching young Anakin Skywalker grow and struggle in the first two episodes, we eventually arrive at the most critical moment, not only in his life but also in this saga. The closing chapter of the prequel trilogy finally delivers the most wanted scene everyone’d been eager to see, the fall of Anakin and the rise of Darth Vader.
Becoming the darkest Sith Lord, Anakin must go through series of pain including his lost of Padme Amidala and his breakup with the Force. Revealing that Anakin is truly the phantom menace Yoda‘s been remotely sensing since Episode I, the Force must have been running too strong in him. But is this premise strong enough to save the failed two episodes and bring this whole saga back to its glory?
It’s so predictable that Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is all about the birth of Darth Vader but lucky that George Lucas with his strong determination, connects the remaining missing dots by adding some important backstories. Fanboys must be curious about the motive of Palpatine manipulating Anakin, the change of Republic to Galactic Empire, and the separation of baby Luke and Leia soon after they’re born.
Nevertheless, still we were skeptical about this episode. Although with so many interesting issues to be revealed, any slight mistake might ruin those down. Lucas might be a great visionaire but a storyteller. He could anytime ruin the sequence and confuse us to the deepest but fortunately he does right this time. His direction is pretty acute, showing that Lucas knows what he wants his Force aim at. Every back story introduced and built pretty much supports Darth Vader’s ironic background and dark future as well.
Set 3 years after Attack of the Clones, the ongoing Clone Wars take a further height after Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) is “kidnapped” by the separatist commander, General Grievous (Matthew Wood). Realizing how important Palpatine to Republic thus the Jedi council assigns Obi Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his apprentice Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) to save him.
After hard fought battle resulted the death of Darth Tyranus AKA Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), Palpatine is finally saved. Unfortunately, despite his success saving Palpatine and his feeling overwhelmed on Padme’s (Natalie Portman) pregnancy, his premonition of Padme’s death keeps haunting his mind.
While struggling to conquer his fear, the devilish Palpatine uses his chance to heavily corrupt and seduce Anakin towards the dark side of the force. As we’ve known it, the Force in Anakin isn’t that strong enough to resist such seduction, especially with Padme as his main dilemma. Now, it’s time for Yoda and his Jedi to accept the fact that the Force is about to face its lowest point ever.
The Struggle to Bring Back the Force Strong Again
After his force weakens in the previous two episodes, finally Lucas regains it back again by executing everything much better. Learning from past mistakes, Revenge of the Sith isn’t an disappointment but a compelling one. Although not as perfect as our expectation is, the process of Anakin turned Darth Vader is emotional enough for our attention. Besides, we also feel quite invested with Grevious’s demise and the end of Clone Wars without forgetting the main premise this episode offers.
Now, let’s talk about the fight scene. Regardless the CG, this episode actually can deliver a quite intense space wars and Lightsaber duels, especially Obi Wan VS Anakin and Yoda VS Palpatine. Unfortunately, seeing on larger details, the fight actually weakens by means too much choreographed, making especially the duels into a dancelike.
Hayden Christensen’s Improving Performance
While Christensen fails his Anakin married to romance in Episode II, finally he succeeds with his Anakin married to the dark side in this episode. With longer hair and menacing look almost on all scenes, Christensen appears to be an almost perfect troubled Darth Vader-to-be.
Christensen shows the turmoil and dilemma inside Anakin. His expression and gesture on Anakin’s fear losing Padme is quite convincing which finally (for the first time) makes us startled with his Anakin performance. Even his chemistry with other co-stars is also improved, especially with McDiarmid during their Darth Plagueis‘s scenes. These scenes are very disturbing as well as convincing, thus brings us no wonder on Anakin choosing the dark side as his new path.
McDiarmid performance is even more menacing. Seriously, his very despicable performance makes us clenching our hands, ready to land a punch on his old wrinkled face. Such an old frat evil and now with Darth Vader on his side, we just can’t be more thankful that the saga glory is restored once again, in a brighter dark.
Director: George Lucas
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee
Duration: 140 mins