I continue with my quick hit reviews of the Star Wars movies. My reviews of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Attack of the Clones are here, here, and here, respectively. Again, I’m watching in the Machete Order, so I’m watching Revenge of the Sith before re-watching Return of the Jedi. I’m watching Return of the Jedi now and have tickets to see The Force Awakens this afternoon.
So that’s done. Again, not as bad as I feared, and effective as the world’s longest flashback during the interlude between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
The special effects again veer between gorgeous and jarring. There is a bit of sensory overload at this point, as the movies keep going back to the same well (“another light saber duel!?!”).
Super R2-D2? No. Just no.
Revenge of the Sith contains just about the lamest attempt to score a political point of all time—“If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy.”
Ewan McGregor is again a bigger problem than Hayden Christensen.
The emotional beats from the murder and betrayal of the Jedi, if not the betrayal of Anakin himself, hit hard. But that effect is ruined by letting the movie drag on to long afterward. It’s also ruined by Darth Vader’s Frankenstein act at the end. The Machete Order guy is right, it’s Luke’s story. The most effective emotional beats from Revenge of the Sith by far are the birth of Luke and Leia (er, SPOILERS) and Luke’s foster parents looking out at Tatooine’s double suns, paralleling the iconic shot of Luke from A New Hope.
The prophecy also neatly sets up Return of the Jedi, where Darth Vader does indeed destroy the Sith after bringing balance to the Force in this movie.
Watching the second and third prequels wasn’t as painful as I expected, but it left me with a concern regarding The Force Awakens that the problem with the prequels is as much modern moviemaking as George Lucas.