We now come to what many call “The Watchable Prequel”. While I obviously disagree with that statement seeing as I actually do like all the prequels despite their flaws, I will say that this is definitely the best of the prequel trilogy. Is it the best prequel to the OT in general? I’ll answer that next time.
Let’s start by getting the negatives out of the way. First off, while it has improved, there are still bits of dialogue that don’t work. The scene where Anakin and Padme talk about being in love is horrendous! I seriously fast forwarded through it the moment Padme says the line about raising their baby on Naboo. Again, I can tell the actors are trying, but they’re just so poorly directed. Remember that line from Anakin in AOTC where he says “Sometimes we must let go of our pride and do what is requested of us.”? How much do you wanna bet that’s what Lucas told everyone before every shoot?
Second, I can’t seem to point out when it starts and then picks up again, but this felt a little slower than I remembered and it felt like it dragged. But that wasn’t a huge issue. It probably only qualifies as a nitpick.
But then we have the issue of the overuse of CG and not enough practical effects and actual sets. Like I said before, I wanted to wait until this review to talk about it. The reason is because there’s an aspect in this movie that shows the problem. Anakin and Padme live in this high up penthouse type place where they have this open balcony area with giant view of the city. You’d think it would be pretty windy being that high up and would cause their hair . But there are moments where their hair should clearly be moving from the wind, but there isn’t any? How hard would it have been to rent and set up a big fan?
And of course, Anakin turn to the Dark Side is really rushed and kind of out of nowhere. Sure, he’s convinced by Palpatine that the Jedi are trying to take over and that the dark side of the Force is the key to saving Padme, but it doesn’t feel like that was enough to make him go completely evil and be willing to kill a bunch of children with no remorse or regrets about it for another 23 years(Return of the Jedi).
But now let’s get into the good stuff because there’s a lot to love here. Apart from what I mentioned earlier about lack of wind where there should, be the special effects are pretty good and the action is great even if a bit over the top at times.
And despite what I said before about some of the dialogue not working, the acting has improved even if by only a little. Everyone gets a lot more time to flesh their characters. But while Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan is of the standout of the trilogy, it’s Ian McDiarmid that steals the show in this movie. The Opera House scene where he tells the story about his master, Darth Plagueis is one of the best moments of the entire franchise. I’m really hoping that one of the Anthology films Lucasfilm is considering is a story about him when he was being trained by Plagueis. But he becomes especially entertaining when he goes full Emperor. You can tell he’s having a freaking ball with his complete insanity. And to see him face off against Yoda was just awesome.
Just like with AOTC, it’s hard not to go easy on this movie do to my nostalgic connection to it. I remember eagerly anticipating this movie for so long after seeing AOTC. I knew what was coming and I was ready to finally see how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. I remember how excited I was just to see the trailer. And it really is the best of the prequel trilogy. You can tell that this was the one that Lucas really wanted to get right. And despite its flaws, it’s still a really good and almost great movie that clearly had a lot of effort thrown into it. Revenge of the Sith gets 4/5 Lightsabers.
In the end, the prequels have their major flaws, but for people like me, they’re really important because they’re what introduced us to the Star Wars franchise. I criticize them, but it’s hard not to appreciate them for that. But while I may really enjoy this movie, next time, it’s time to bring this prequel retrospective to a close and talk about the best prequel to the original Star Wars there is.
Just a quick heads up, in this Mega Review from BanditIncorporated, he uses a clip from a Gary Oldman movie that has a bit of harsh language so if that’s an issue, you may want to mute the video or something when he plays a clip of General Grevious. https://youtu.be/AZEB4gzhuCw