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Not even the younglings survived.


Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
(2005)

Things that are worthwhile about Revenge of the Sith: Lucas doesn't pull back from the darkness, and the through-line of Palpatine's ascent to absolute rule is effectively told. Indeed, some of the places he goes to (the massacre of the "Younglings", the graphic decapitations and severing of limbs) are arguably further than he needed to get his point across. 



Palpatine's tale of the fate of Darth Plagueis is probably the best scene in the prequel trilogy, and its likely not a coincidence that it conjures the same kind of mythic imaginings the made the original films so resonant. The confrontation between Mace Windu, Palpatine and then Anakin is compelling. And Order 66 is a nice touch, if one that we knew was coming.


Things that don't work: the main ones run through the three films, but foremost is the presentation of Anakin. While he's intermittently effective, Christensen is still mostly playing teen angst/rage. This isn't so much a character who believably wrestled with demons and eventually fell victim to them as one who had a few hissy fits too many. 



Padme's generally been a thanklessly starchy role for Portman but she really gets the thin end of the wedge here, having to show loyalty to a jealous little shit and then choose to die rather than raise her children (and isn't it shocking how much everyone has to age in less than 20 years in order for Episode IV to begin - it's obviously tough-going under the Empire). 



Lucas learnt no lessons from his total CGI landscapes of Attack of the Clones, and this approach renders the scenes on the Wookie planet ineffectual (not that there was any reason for Wookies to show up anyway, except that George had an itch to go to their homeworld since Return of the Jedi). 



Likewise, the impact of the final fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin is considerably lessened by the inability of the director to hold back on (unconvincing) tricksiness with the locations and stunts. There was more than enough potential in the emotional confrontation, but it ends up a considerably weaker sequence than the light saber duels in The Empire Strikes BackReturn of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. General Grievous is more OTT CGI (as is the chase as Kenobi pursues him) and the knowledge that the scenes of unmasked clone troopers had Temerua Morrison with the armour CG-d on to him tells you just how clueless Lucas had become about the importance of making an audience believe in his world.

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