Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith

Bomb Rating: 

Given all the hoopla surrounding "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith," is it really too much to ask, after five previous films, nearly 30 years and untold billions of dollars, that George Lucas find someone -- anyone -- to help him write dialogue at more than an eighth-grade level? In this film, "dialogue" often consists of characters simply describing what they're doing, just in case the audience is in the throes of an epileptic seizure caused by the rapid-fire special-effects shots and too disoriented to follow the action. Examples: "Time to abandon ship!" while abandoning ship, "Kill him!" while helping to kill someone, and a "NOOOO!" moment that warps toward Simpsons parody.

Here's proof that Lucas may be one of the most successful bad writers in history. Ask yourself: What was the most memorable line in the entire "Star Wars" series? If you can even think of one, good for you, but if you think hard, the answer is obvious (and it wasn't Jake Lloyd's "Yippee!" from Episode I). It occurs in "The Empire Strikes Back." Han Solo is about to be frozen and shipped to Jabba the Hutt as Princess Leia looks on in horror. "I love you," she tells him. Han looks at her and responds: "I know." Well, that line was improvised by Harrison Ford. Lucas didn't write it. If Lucas had insisted on it being performed as written, it would have been something like: "I love you too, my darling. I'm getting frozen now!"

Lines in "Revenge of the Sith" are more typical of the Lucas oeuvre, such as when Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Padme (Natalie Portman) play a few rounds of "I love you more; no, I love you more" until the audience is praying for the return of Jar Jar Binks. Their love is central to the arc of the entire series, and is the key pivot point that tips the entire known galaxy to the dark side, yet the chemistry is so tepid that it could have been heightened by a couple of Padme and Anakin finger puppets (undoubtedly coming soon to a Burger King near you).

As we've been warned about a billion times now, this film's a bit darker than the rest of the series. A Swiftboat Veterans for Truth press conference has less fragging, and at one point early in the film, R2D2 craps himself. We follow Anakin's journey as he's ultimately forced to choose one of two paths: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and the path of the Jedi, or Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and the path of the dark side. Ultimately, he chooses the dark side because it has a better health care plan. All this plays out against a political backdrop with so many eerie similarities to our own that I thought at one point Palpatine was going to invite Anakin out for freedom fries.

If George Lucas has a filmmaking philosophy, it goes something like this: drama + special effects = more drama. By this point in the series, however, audiences have pretty much seen it all, and the only way Lucas could get anyone's attention would be to crash the nitroglycerine planet directly into the enriched uranium planet. Instead, he ups the ante by showing all the effects on screen at once, distributed so evenly that it's impossible to follow the action. The effects also spill over into places where they simply don't belong, such as when Padme finally gives birth to Luke and Leia while a robot midwife hovers in the middle of the scene making some ridiculously distracting "oompah" noise. Come to think of it, "robot midwife" is an apt metaphor for the creative process that gave birth to this entire series of misguided prequels in the first place. To say that "Revenge of the Sith" is disappointing, given that some of us have invested almost 30 years of our lives in this franchise, is like saying that Catholics were a little sad when the Pope died.

To spread the word about this Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith review on Twitter.

To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.

Like This Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith Review? Vote it Up.


Rate This Movie:

Average: 3 (7 votes)

Other Cranky Content You Might Enjoy

  • I can dream:


    A small, unobtrusive ship speeds across the screen, followed by another, more menacing ship, which fires on the first ship, missing.

  • I would really like to know what's up George Lucas's ass. The guy is deranged. First, he went back and changed the special effects on the whole "Star Wars" trilogy and then re-released them.

  • Writer/director George Lucas wants me to root for the Rebel Alliance to defeat the evil Galactic Empire, but how can I?

star wars 1-3

Star Wars fan's picture

Fanboys: As I was watching Fanboys, I was thinking how much I like the first three films. I went to see Empire 17 times. I hope Lucas can let go and let someone else make 1-3 over again. Anikan should act like a hero and anti hero, not a wimp kid and complainer.

The best thing about Episode 3

FearlessFreep's picture

The shot of all those wookies shouting.


The best part was when it was over.

Wulfgar's picture


~No, my young padawan; this one is mine.~


Darth Vader bank raider reaches nadir

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture


Camouflage pants?  Has it come to this?  What would the evil Sith Lords have to say about the fashion choices of this putz? 

{;-) Dan in Miami



The point of the four prequels

gamerarocks's picture

is to show everyone just how big a whiny bitchass douchebag little Ani truly is.  I'd rather listen to a speech in the senate by Jar Jar. 

One out of four people is freakishly stupid. If three of your friends are normal, then it's you.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.