Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Director(s): George Lucas
Writer(s): George Lucas
Release Date(s)May 19, 2005 - Wide
Read our review.
Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith is all about the journey. After all, millions of filmgoers know the destination of the young Jedi, Anakin Skywalker. The question that remains is how one of the most promising Jedi Knights turns to the Dark Side of the Force and becomes the evil Darth Vader.
Since the first Star Wars film was released in 1977, fans have wondered about the origin of the evil Darth Vader, the man who would reveal himself to be Luke and Leia’s father in The Empire Strikes Back. George Lucas, the film’s writer and director, promises that, “The pieces will fall together, the connections will be made.”
While the separatist forces battle the Republic, Anakin and Senator Padmé Amidala have married. When Anakin fears losing her during childbirth, Chancellor Palpatine sees his chance to lure him towards the Dark Side. As a battle wages inside Anakin’s soul, multiple battles take place throughout the galaxy and the audience has a front row seat for this struggle.
“This is, by far, the fastest-paced, most thrilling and most intense of all Star Wars movies,” says Sith producer Rick McCallum. “Because Star Wars fans have long known many of the key plot points that drive the movie, George wanted to create an experience that would surprise them and really deliver the goods.”
Lucas also made sure that audiences could relate to the internal struggles that Anakin faced on his way to the Dark Side. After all, he is the same character that redeems himself in Return of the Jedi.
“The reasons behind Anakin’s choice are very much rooted in reality, in things that we all experience and can understand,” says Hayden Christensen. “I get to explore some really difficult territory with Anakin, and that’s exciting for me as an actor.”
Ewan McGregor also liked the acting chops he got to use in Sith, his third Star Wars film playing Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“Obi-Wan has much more to do in this film,” he says, “and George has written a story that takes the character where I have always hoped he would go. Obi-Wan really loves Anakin, and he experiences a profound disappointment and sadness watching Anakin turn to the dark side. That was very interesting to play.”
McGregor also carefully watched the performances of Sir Alec Guiness since this film was set so close to the first Star Wars film. According to McGregor, “This time, I’m a bit closer to Sir Alec in age, and it was my last shot at making it match up with his work. For three weeks, I had his scenes from the first three movies playing non-stop in my dressing room as inspiration.”
Ian McDiarmid also had fun playing Chancellor Palpatine for the third time. The veteran actor says that, “Like all political pragmatists, Palpatine makes the best of the situation, by finding and grooming a new, young apprentice,” he says. “I was knocked out by how much George Lucas has focused on the relationship between Anakin and Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith. The scenes between Hayden and me give us a chance to speak with each other quietly, and quite dramatically. Palpatine offers all sorts of hints, promises and possibilities to Anakin, then just sits back and waits patiently to see which ones Anakin will pick up, which ones will prove to be too tempting to resist.”
The film also contains a trip to the jungle planet Kashyyyk, the home of the Wookiees, where a battle is waging between Republic and Separatist forces. The trip to the planet gives fans a chance to see a younger Chewbacca. Peter Mayhew, who played Han Solo’s right hand Wookiee in the first three films jumped at the chance to play him again.
“I almost dropped the phone when I got the call from Rick McCallum, inviting me to play Chewie again. But once I reported to the set, it felt like I’d never been away from Star Wars.”
As the story comes full circle, as Anakin makes his choice and the hope of Luke and Leia begins, audiences will feel like they’ve never been away from Star Wars either.
Read our review.