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Mar 15, 2014

Why Revenge of the Sith has become my favourite Star Wars movie.


Clone Wars concept art by Ryan Church
The end of the Clone Wars concept art by Ryan Church
I used to think Return of the Jedi was my favourite Star Wars movie. Yeah, everyone loves Empire, but I love Jedi. I love the attack on the Death Star. I love how Luke saved Vader. I love the primitive Ewoks beating the Storm Troopers. I love that bikini.

And then there were three more movies. And I watched them. I enjoyed them. I didn’t go crazy for them but then something happened, I found Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) being my go to movie.

It's now my favourite Star Wars movie.






"Why?!" I hear you scream at me. "

Why would you say that? The prequels sucked".

"We hate them" you say.

"You’re a moron for saying this! You’re not fit to write about Star Wars! You're not a real Star Wars fan!".

Let's be clear. Haters need not apply.

Let's talk this through, it's so more civilised... Here's my points on why Sith is the fave.

Revenge of the Sith had the best opening scene of any Star Wars film


Yeah, Return of the Jedi was awesome when Luke rescued everyone on Jabba's sail barge but it was a slow build. Revenge of the Sith featured an epic space battle over Coruscant where hundreds of ships were taking part in an epic space battle.

We were thrown instantly into the action with Anakin and Obi Wan flying around, dodging missiles, crashing ships and getting rid of metal hungry droids that were trying to eat their ship while on a frantic mission to rescue the Chancellor from the many clutches of General Grevious.

This was the fabled Clone Wars finally truly before our eyes on a grand scale.

Featuring some of the best CGI ever done at the time, great camera work, amusing banter between the leads and some zippy music, this opening Stanza of ROTS was epic Star Wars magic.

The story arc


Being the third movie in the trilogy, we finally get to where the lava hits the road.

This is Anakin’s movie.

Or it’s Vader’s movie.

Yes, ever since we first met Vader capturing Princess Leia he has been the bad guy we loved and we wanted to know who the hell he was and what made him tick. It turns out it was his love for Padme that turned him to the Dark Side.

Ewan McGregor shone as Obi Wan Kenobi


Obi Wan Kenobi had a lot to do in this movie. Rescue the Emperor, take down Grevious and leave his best friend for done. You can say what you like about the earlier films but you cannot deny how good McGregor was as he ran about taking the higher ground.

We saw Vader as truly evil when he massacred the Younglings


Fans of Vader were used to see him Force choking some impertinent officer or torturing Han Solo but until Sith came along, they had never seen Vader as truly evil. But they did when he killed Yoda's young students.

This was the first true moment when we knew Anakin had well and truly turned to the Dark Side.

Yes, he’d massacred the tribe of Sand People who had beat and mistreated his mother so badly that she died of her injuries but these were the kind of students that had been introduced to us back in Attack of the Clones. 

It was a brilliant set up that actually.

Whilst Yoda teased Obi Wan about losing a planet, these Jedi kids were the back drop with an air of charm about them. For Anakin to come and murder them all (or the next class) in ROTS, it was a chilling, chilling moment and perhaps was one of the darkest moments in all of the saga.

How can you hate such great story telling?

It's all about the hands


Revenge of the Sith featured 4 hands being cut off in the film.

Anakin loses one to Obi Wan, Mace Windu loses one to Anakin and Obi-Wan cuts two of General Grievous' hands off. Vader was actually the only Star Wars film character to lose an arm three times! And both his legs as well. Count Dooku got Anakin's arm in Attack of the Clones before Yoda stepped in and saved the young Jedi.

Obi Wan Kenobi then got 3 of Anakin's limbs in Revenge of the Sith! (He had the higher ground...).

Lucas does a Hitchcock


George Lucas made his first Star Wars cameo in Revenge of the Sith. He dressed as a Pantoran senator, Baron Papanoida. You might not have recognised him as he all dressed up in blue body paint! His daughter also cameoed with him at the same time. And let's not forget Jett as the Padawan Jedi that tried to escape with Bail Organa.

Some of the thinking that went into the movie was truly awesome film making


Moff Tarkin's cameo


A quick character cameo occurs when Vader and the Emperor are standing on the bridge of a Star Destroyer, overlooking the initial construction stage of the Death Star. In a blink an you'll miss it moment, a young Moff Tarkin quietly sidles up to the Sith Lords. If you didn't already known. Moff Tarkin features heavily in A New Hope for it it is he who orders the destruction of the planet Alderaan.

The suggestion Plagueis and Palpatine may have conspired to cause Anakin to be born


During the opera scene, Palpatine tells Anakin about how Darth Plagueis was so powerful he could create life. While it's never made explicit, the film could have been suggesting that Darth Plagueis caused the 'immaculate conception' of Anakin Skywalker.

The Expanded Universe novels show that Plagueis certainly was capable of such an amazing act...

light and dark star wars

The 'goodbye, old friend' farewell between Anakin and Obi_Wan


As General Kenobi is about to depart to track and take down the robot General Grevious, he shares a nice moment with Anakin which ends with a very loving, 'Good bye old friend' from Kenobi. This is the last time in the movie the two Jedi converse as friends. But what's so special here? Check the lighting that casts over the players  - Anakin resides in the dark and Obi Wan is awash in the light - it is a literal case of foreshadowing what was to come for each character.

An eye for detail 


After Padme dies as a result of her 'broken heart', her body is returned to the planet Naboo for ceremony and burial befitting a former queen. - her body has been altered to make it appear like she was still pregnant - this is all part of the ruse to kept the existence of Leia and Luke a secret.

The epic sword fight between Vader and Obi Wan


For this writer, the duel on mustapha is Lucas's crowning glory as a CGI whiz and story teller. It goes back to the truth/lies that were spun by Obi Wan to Luke on Tatooine. Vader killed your father? Not quite kid, I actually cut off his arm and legs and left him to die.

mustapha concept art from revenge of the sith
Concept art by Ryan Church
But the sword fight was epic.

It was fast and furious and nothing like the duel the two had in A New Hope (this wasn't because they were old hacks, it was because of the era in which the movie was made).

The fight meant everything to the movie and it had to be good because everybody new that both swordsman lived so it had to end very well. And Lucas delivered with Anakin's arrogance leaving him missing his limbs bar his mechanical arm.

So those are the reasons that Revenge of the Sith has become my favourite Star Wars movie, my go to movie if you will.

Maybe I'll fall in love with A New Hope again or get lost in the darkness of Empire but for the moment, I can't get enough of Sith!

6 comments:

  1. I know this is old and you may not see it but you forgot that during the funeral scene you can see that Padmé is holding the japor snippet given to her by Anakin in TPM.

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    1. I had never picked up on this, awesome work.

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  2. Re: "His daughter also cameoed with him at the same time"
    I understand his son Jett was also in the film - as the young Jedi/youngling defending the Jedi temple, who's killed in front of Bail Organa.

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    1. Yep, that totally happened. A small role but key in the scheme of things if you think about it.

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  3. ROTS is also my favorite. Well written! All very good examples of why it is such a great, underrated film!!! ROTS is the glue that really holds the franchise together so strongly. And you barely (virtually didn't) even mention Palpatine/Sidous in this movie, who was geniously written, presented, and acted as well!

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  4. ROTS is also my favorite. Well written! All very good examples of why it is such a great, underrated film!!! ROTS is the glue that really holds the franchise together so strongly. And you barely (virtually didn't) even mention Palpatine/Sidous in this movie, who was geniously written, presented, and acted as well! McDiarmid and McGregor are my consistent favorites of the prequels their characters evolve so well throughout the prequels and into the original trilogy, and like I said about the film as a whole, their performances in ROTS are the perfect glue like tie.

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