The Bones of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

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The Bones of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

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Welcome back to the Good Bones of the Skywalker Star Wars Saga!

This week we’re diving head first into Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

If you missed the first two installments of Good Bones, you can find the first one HERE.

And now, for the last of the prequels:

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

I’ve only seen this movie once before…in the theater. It didn’t capture me then, and this time around the only reason I liked it better is because last year we watched the animated Clone Wars Series.

The Clone Wars Series sets up SO MUCH of this movie. I kind of loved it. However, I’m not going to include this series in my assessment of the movies. Movies only.

 

The Bones:

The Jedi Order Must Fall

Palpatine Becomes Emperor and the Empire Emerges

Anakin Completes His Fall to the Dark Side and Becomes Darth Vader

Obi Wan Saves Anakin’s Family

The Jedi Order Must Fall

This movie tried to tell/show us that Palpatine has been working on Anakin for a while. In the opening sequence Anakin and Obi Wan are in the middle of a huge space battle and out to rescue Chancellor Palpatine from Count Dooku.

They do so. Obi Wan gets knocked out and Anakin—after Palpatine’s urging—kills Dooku.

This scene…isn’t all bad. It does show that Anakin is more powerful than Obi Wan. It also shows us that Palpatine’s influence over Anakin is stronger than his Jedi training.

I’m not sure if it’s the acting or the writing that makes the whole thing seem disjointed and lame, but there you go. The bones were there.

We soon find out that Anakin is having dreams about Padmé in pain and dying—reminiscent of his mother. Anakin’s distress gets worse when he finds out she’s pregnant.

Does he go to Obi Wan or even Yoda about this? No. He goes to Palpatine.

The reason for this is apparent when Palpatine asks that Anakin become his special advisor on the Jedi council. The council decides (grudgingly) that Anakin can be on the council, but they don’t make him a Jedi Master.

Anakin is all bent out of shape about this and pouts just like he did in the last episode. Then Obi Wan asks Anakin, on the council’s behalf, if he’ll spy on Palpatine for them.

How. Dumb. Are. The. Jedi?

They know Anakin. They know he has a personal relationship with Palpatine. So yes, it makes sense that he could get information through him, but seriously? You know he’s going to be upset about it. Why not just talk to him like a normal human being when you need to know something? Ask Anakin his opinion and then what the Chancellor is thinking. You’ll attract more flies with honey than vinegar, dummies.

Yoda is 800 years old. He should know better.

Obi Wan is supposedly like a brother to Anakin. He should know better.

Once this crack has appeared, things go downhill. Yes, after Palpatine reveals himself as a Sith, Anakin goes to the council to tattle, but it’s too late. Palpatine already has his claws into Anakin, and when he has to choose between Mace Windu and Palpatine, he chooses the man who has shown him kindness and respect.

Duh.

Palpatine Becomes Emperor and the Empire Emerges

Most of this in the movie works. It is, unfortunately, built on the stupidity of the Jedi, but whatever, bring forth the Empire!

Yoda and Palpatine’s fight is epic. I like that Yoda looses, even after we’ve seen how powerful he is. Good job there.

Having the clones turn against the Jedi is brilliant. Talk about heartbreaking!

Palpatine has been setting pieces in place for this since before Episode I, and it pays off here. Frankly, I’d love to see a vignette of Palpatine’s manipulations. The conversations, the promises made, messing with the Jedi so the force was out of balance. That would be cool.

I mentioned in my review of Episode I that the whole bringing balance to the force thing never actually happens. We still don’t know what that should look like and why it’s out of balance now. It’s probably Palpatine’s fault, but they never show us. This is a huge ball dropped.

Anakin Completes His Fall to the Dark Side and Becomes Darth Vader

This is really what the movie is about, and bits and pieces of it are sprinkled throughout.

The dreams about Padmé are genius. This is his fear and Palpatine plays him like a fiddle.

If you just take the instances in the film where Palpatine breaks Anakin down, it’s not bad. It’s great that he loses control and hurts Padmé. Especially since he turned to the dark side for her. (Remember I said this is the most important relationship in the films?) So he could save her. The execution in the film is a little clumsy, but the bones are totally there.

My biggest beef with Anakin’s fall is at the Jedi Temple.

If he’s so powerful, I want to see him wading through Jedi to get the clones in. Kill a few people we care about. Heck, have the librarian lady be bad a** and give him a run for his money, until he gets irritated and basically squishes her like a bug.

Now for the moment in the film that actually jumped the shark for me.

Killing the Jedi children.

Show them begging. Show them pleading. Show them running toward Anakin in hopes of being saved, then have him turn the clones loose on them with a lazy wave of his hand. He’s too good to be bothered with killing weaklings like them. Show me that he doesn’t care. Give him space to fall farther when he hurts Padmé and fights with Obi Wan.

Obi Wan hides aboard Padmé’s ship when she goes to Anakin on Mustafar. Anakin thinks she betrayed him and he strangles her. This works.

I do like a meme I saw that said a woman who is eight months pregnant wouldn’t be prancing around asking Anakin what was wrong, she’d be like, “What the h*** Anakin? What are you doing??”

Then the fight…

The dueling is awesome. The hubby thinks it’s a bit long, but I disagree. The reason it feels long, is because it’s about the spectacle (cough-Lucas) and not the dark side and the light side. Or the bond of friendship that is supposed to be between these too. No, instead we get a lot of fancy special effects while Anakin tries to chop Obi Wan in half.

When Obi Wan tells Anakin the they were brothers…that he was supposed to be the chosen one…it falls flat. I mean, Ewan McGegor delivers the lines like a pro, but without some build up before that, it isn’t as powerful as it could be.

In my opinion, they should have been talking the entire fight. Obi Wan hardly ever stops talking before this, and he would be trying to slap some sense into Anakin. Every blow should have been a frustration between them, or something Obi Wan thought was awesome but Anakin counters with how he’s been treated and feeling for the past 15 years or whatever. Build up to those last moments and show us why Obi Wan can’t bring himself to kill Anakin. His friend. His brother.

There should have been tears!!!! And instead most of us were just waiting to watch Anakin burn. Which was, I must say, most impressive.

The more I thought about this movie, the better the bones felt to me. Execution was, in true Lucas style, too focused on the spectacle.

Obi Wan Saves Anakin’s Family…well the kids anyway

Okay, Obi Wan and Yoda save the kids. Ish. This had to happen for Episode 4 to happen. So there you go.

Let’s talk about Padmé for a second.

Padmé’s character was totally different than in the other two films. She needed more of a back bone. Strong women like that don’t just roll over when a strong man comes into their life. Especially if they’re hormonal. She probably could have taken the entire senate in a meeting by herself, but no, she sat back and watched.

Also the girl who fought her way back into her palace in episode I and then out of the pit of monsters in episode II is not going to die of a broken heart. Not unless we have a lot more context to work with. Even in the Clone Wars Series (yes, I’m bringing it up) there is plenty of tension between her and Anakin. Without showing us their passion, which doesn’t have to be sexual—this is a Star Wars movie—I can’t fathom giving up on life when you’ve just had two children.

Yes, I know she had to die while Leia was young (ugh on this too), but this could have been executed better.

Other tidbits

General Grievous…ugh…I know they needed someone for Obi Wan to beat up, but seriously? He’s better if you’ve seen the Clone Wars, where they gave the two of them quite a bit of history, but it didn’t work in this film. They should have introduced him in Episode II.

I do have to say that the last two minutes of Rogue One, where Darth Vader is after the stolen plans to the death star, makes him 100% cooler than he was in all three of the prequels combined. Why does it work so well? Because they SHOW us what he can do. They SHOW us how terrified everyone is of him, and then they follow up by having him easily wade through a bunch of fighters to get what he wants. Everyone in the theater cheered during that scene.

That’s what good storytelling can do.

 

Do you have any thoughts? Leave a comment below!


2 Comments

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