The Force Awakekns FINALLY arrived, folks (read my review here) and, in honour of the return of the Star Wars franchise, I have been going back and re-viewing each of the prior films in the beloved franchise every day this week. And now, after a whole week of reviews, concluding things is my review of the final film in the prequel trilogy - Revenge of the Sith.

There's something sentimental about Revenge of the Sith, for me. It's perhaps the fact that this was actually the film that introduced me to the Star Wars franchise. I remember my dad came home one night and he had rented a copy of the film from Blockbusters (remember when that was a place, those were the days) and I was so captivated by this film and these characters. It was this film that got me to see the original trilogy (and unfortunately Episode I and II too) and this was the film that began a love for what I - today - consider to be one of cinema's finest franchises. Even now, I still love Revenge of the Sith and it's the best from the trilogy of prequels - by a country mile! Sure, it's not perfect but hardly any film is there days. However, this is a very good film but also a good Star Wars one.
3 years after the Clone Wars and the events of Attack of the Clones, we begin with Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and a now powerful Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) heading to Corsucant, in an attempt to rescue the Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) from the Separatist General Grievous and Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). When Grievous escapes, Kenobi is sent in pursuit of him whilst Skywalker stays behind, learning that his wife Padmé (Natalie Portman) is pregnant. As his friendship with Palpatine progresses, the Chancellor reveals himself as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious - better known as The Emperor - and tries to lure Anakin to the dark side. Seeing visions of Padmé dying in childbirth and realising a power within the Dark Side giving him the ability to save her, he begins to change alliance but let's the corruption and power get to his head; leading to a confrontation between him and his former Jedi master Obi-Wan on the planet of Mustafar.

Of course, similarly to Return of the Jedi, Revenge of the Sith is responsible for tying up all the loose ends of the prior two films - The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones - this time for the prequel trilogy. However, this film is also responsible for setting the stage for everything that happens on 1977's original and first Star Wars film. There's a lot of pressure and expectation from this film and, surprisingly, considering the reputation of the trilogy this is the closing off, it worked well. The premise was interesting and engaging enough to keep us entertained, executed well too, and the film did a good job of tying up most loose ends and finally showing us Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader, something fans had been promised with his introduction in The Phantom Menace. And a big credit goes to George Lucas for that, finally giving us a good Star Wars film and a good story that felt right at home in this world we so loved in the original trilogy.
Honestly, there's no reason to beat around the bush here. The biggest praise one could give Revenge of the Sith was that it was a return to form for this epic saga. Not only was the story a major improvement but, visually, the film looked good too - exactly as you'd expect a Star Wars film to look and feel, authentic and immersive. Lucas tidied up the over-bloated, messy CG from the prior two prequels to make it a lot more believable and smooth in this finale. Episode III is also by far the most action packed from all the franchise and it made for some exciting, fun viewing. The lightsaber duel on Mustafar between Anakin and Obi-Wan was incredible to watch, so thrilling and visually dizzying - a very red and hauntingly coloured scene. The General Grievous and Obi-Wan scene is another highlight, as is Mace Wind's death sequence - also known as Anakin's transfer to the Dark Side, or the birth of the Emperor.

Saying that though, this isn't a perfect film. It's far from it. For starters, whilst the visuals were improved, there were still some moments - albeit if only a few - where the CG was clunky and uninspired. Also, the middle act of the film dragged on a lot. With a runtime of 140 minutes, it would have been a much tighter, more cohesive and better paced film had it been trimmed down by about a half hour. The characters were still fairly bland, not developed much further than what they already were and the acting was just as average as in both other prequel films. Also, the final transformation to Vader wasn't quite as epic or worthy as you'd hoped it would be, especially since this is an iconic and truly terrifying antagonist we're talking about here. And the final 10 or so minutes of the film felt unnecessary and rushed, merely present to give A New Hope somewhat of a setup. Other than that though, Revenge of the Sith was great fun. Sure, it has its problems but it's more positive than negative here and the film was thoroughly entertaining from the off-set and a return to form for George Lucas and the Star Wars franchise, going out with a sizzlingly good corker of a finale.

A return to form for the Star Wars franchise, Revenge of the Sith is the best of the prequels: fun, epic and entertaining.

About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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