To put it mildly, the Star Wars prequel trilogy was divisive. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith was hyped up as the entry into the saga that would finally redeem the trilogy, as it would depict Anakin Skywalker’s seduction to the dark side and eventual transformation into Darth Vader. It was the first Star Wars movie to be given a PG-13 rating, as George Lucas and his crew promised that this was a much darker, more adult Star Wars tale than the rest of the prequel trilogy. Lucas was certainly right, with Revenge of the Sith ending the series on a dark, foreboding note, and to many, it remains a highlight of the prequel trilogy. Does that mean it ranks up there with the original films?
It’s hard to say because once you sit down and watch the whole thing, the prequel trilogy is very different from the originals. Ironically, one of the chief complaints of the prequel trilogy has always been how kid-oriented they are, as the trilogy’s subject matter is pretty adult. When The Phantom Menace came out in 1999, Star Wars fans were shocked at how childish it was at times and how the vibe of the film clashed with the political science 101 premise, which centred around trade embargoes and intrigue. The second film, Attack of the Clones, was considered by many to have righted the ship to some degree, but it also boasted a performance by star Hayden Christensen that many considered wooden. It wasn’t that he couldn’t act – he was terrific in a movie called Shattered Glass that came out around the same time as the prequels. There was just something in his portrayal of Anakin that rubbed fans the wrong way.
However, many of those same fans came around when Revenge of the Sith hit theatres. As Anakin went over to the dark side, many felt Christensen came into his own, with the climactic battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan considered one of the greatest Star Wars sequences ever. So how does the film hold up nearly twenty years later? We dig into that in this episode of Revisited, written by Eric Walkuski, edited by Juan Jimenez and narrated by Shawn Knippelberg.
Where do you think Revenge of the Sith belongs in the Star Wars pantheon? Let us know in the comments!