Revenge of the Sith was the film that all Star Wars fans were looking forward to. For the younger generations, it meant the closure of the trilogy we had grown up with. For older fans, it meant that the Star Wars saga might finally be complete in some sense of the word. All movies linked together in this crucial last piece that smoothed out any last ambiguities about how Anakin Skywalker evolved into the feared Darth Vader.
It was a pretty big deal because it would either close the series on a controversially sour note or with the type of visceral storytelling George Lucas inundated us with in the 1970s. This certainly is no Empire Strikes Back (the darkest film of the original saga as many know), but it was probably the most enjoyable installment of the new trilogy and that is the most genuine of statements. As pure fans we liked it, and it was a worthy installment full of action as well as personal conflict.
Is it even necessary to go over the plot of Star Wars? Before anyone answers, I will give a recap more for my own sake than anything else. The Clone Wars are still being waged against the Separatists and the tides are slowly turning. Anakin is now even more renowned as he continues to team up with his Jedi Master and mentor Obi-Wan. But Revenge of the Sith quickly turns into a story of inner turmoil and political unrest with young Skywalker caught in the middle.
He is secretly married to Padme, taken under the wing of Chancellor Palpatine and then called on by the Jedi Council to spy on the Chancellor. It’s a web of confusion, anger, and fear going way back to his mother’s death, visions of his wife dying and perhaps his unfortunate nickname “Ani” leading to masculinity issues. Anyways, that is the situation that he finds himself and ultimately Palpatine (as we always guessed was Darth Sidious) poisons Anakin, who slowly turns against his friends and the Jedi Council.
Although we always knew this moment was coming, it is still so satisfying and painful to see it play out. It leads to some sad deaths (ie. Mace Windu) and some of the most epic lightsaber battles, going so far as to pit friend vs. friend against the backdrop of lava and John Williams’ score.
It is very hard not to appreciate this moment in the narrative where we finally see how the Empire came into being. How Anakin became Vader. How Luke and Leia were split up and how Obi-Wan became a hermit in order to protect the boy. As far as the films go, the original trilogy will undoubtedly remain the favorites, but that does not take away from the entertainment and emotional energy of this film.
Sith take Revenge and Jedi simply Return to put things right. Now I have to go back and watch the original films because I would not mind a happy ending about now. The beauty is that the bleak conclusion of this film is not the end of the story. Thank goodness we still have Yoda.