Monroe's Blog

Friday, May 20, 2005


Review of Star Wars Episode III

Joyce and I saw "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" yesterday, May 19th. I thought it was a very good movie, a fitting completion of the Star Wars story, and definitely worth seeing.

I'll try not to give away any plot spoilers here, but in case you haven't seen the movie, be warned that I might slip and include something that might be considered a spoiler.

Episode II, "Attack of the Clones", ended with the Republic in the middle of a war with the Trade Federation. The Republic's Army of clone troops fought against the Federation's droid army, with the Jedi on the side of the Republic. Any fan of the Star Wars series knows that Episode IV starts with Luke Skywalker on Tatooine as a young adult, and the galaxy exists under the iron fist of the Empire. So, Ep III must fit between these points in time.

The key theme in Ep III was the final fall of Anakin Skywalker toward the dark side of the Force and his transition from brash young Jedi into evil Darth Vader. A hint of this transformation took place in Ep II, when Anakin slaughtered a village of sand people after they kidnapped and killed his mother on Tatooine. His relationship with Padme in Ep II also showed that he puts his own feelings before that of the Jedi and the Council. These feelings come together in Ep III, with a good deal of help from an evil Sith master, to complete Anakin's fall to the dark side.

The action and special effects of this movie were on par with the others in the series. There are many light saber duels, but no big space battles. One big space battle takes place in the background of an opening scene, but it is nowhere near as intense and focused as the ones in Ep IV or VI, around the Death Stars.

One widely-discussed concern about this movie was the potential for graphic violence inappropriate for children. There are several scenes where combatants lose limbs and other parts of their bodies during light saber fights, and of course there are plenty of explosions and blaster fire during the many battles. None of these scenes are explicity graphic, and there is no gushing blood like you often see in slasher movies.

I was disturbed at only one scene in the movie. One particular fight ends with a character dismembered and terribly burned, and this was shown fairly graphically. This is a key part of the whole story, though, and without it the movie would be incomplete. The prequels exist to set up the storylines from the original trilogy (how did Darth Vader get to be the way he is? How did the Empire get started? What happened to all the Jedi?) so to leave out an important answer would leave the viewer unsatisfied.
I will have no problems taking my stepkids to see this movie. They understand what the story is all about, and they won't be scarred or harmed by seeing this scene. And if I don't take them, I'll be denying them their destiny. (see the story below)

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