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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

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Star Wars Episode III:
Revenge of the Sith
Star wars revenge of the sith 2.jpg
Directed by George Lucas
Produced by Rick McCallum
Written by George Lucas
Music by John Williams
Studio Lucasfilm Ltd
Distributed by

20th Century Fox (distribution rights)

Walt Disney Pictures (general rights)
Release date(s) May 15, 2005 (Cannes)
May 16, 2005 (London premiere)
May 19, 2005 (North America)
Running time 140 min
Country 200px-Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg
Language English
Budget $113,000,000
Box office $848,754,768
Preceded by Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Followed by Star Wars (1977)

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a 2005 science fantasy film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the sixth and final film released in the Star Wars saga and the third in terms of internal chronology. Among fans, the title is commonly abbreviated to "ROTS".[1]

Three years after the onset of the Clone Wars, the noble Jedi Knights have been leading a massive clone army into a galaxy-wide battle against the Separatists. After the kidnapping of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi is dispatched to eliminate the evil General Grievous, while Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker's growing friendship with the Chancellor becomes frowned upon by the Jedi order, and dangerous to the Jedi Knight himself. When the sinister Sith Master Darth Sidious unveils a thousand-year-old plot to rule the galaxy, the fate of Anakin, the Jedi order, and the entire galaxy is at stake.

The film was released on May 19, 2005, and received generally positive reviews from critics, especially in contrast to the previous two prequels. It broke several box office records in its opening week, and went on to earn over US$850 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing film of 2005 in the U.S., the second highest grossing film of 2005 worldwide (slightly behind Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).

After the earliest draft of the screenplay was submitted, the art department began designing the various ways that each element could appear on screen. For the Kashyyyk environment, the art department turned to The Star Wars Holiday Special for inspiration.[2] Over a period of months, Lucas would approve hundreds of designs that would eventually appear in the film. He would later rewrite entire scenes and action sequences to correspond to certain designs he had chosen.[3] The designs were then shipped to "pre-visualization" to create moving CGI versions known as "animatics". Ben Burtt would edit these scenes with Lucas in order to pre-visualize what the film would look like before the scenes were even filmed.[3] The pre-visualization footage featured a basic raw CGI environment with equally unprocessed CGI characters performing a scene (typically an action sequence). Steven Spielberg was also allowed to assist both the art and pre-visualization department's designs for several action sequences in Revenge of the Sith.[3] Later, the pre-visualization and art department designs were sent to the production department to begin "bringing the film out of the concept phase"[3] by building the various sets, props and costumes. To determine the required sets, Lucas analyzed each scene with the staff to see which moments the actors would come in most contact with the set, warranting the set to be constructed.

During this time, actors Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor rehearsed extensively with stunt coordinator Nick Gillard to memorize and perform their climactic lightsaber duel together. In addition to performing the scenes as actors, they rehearsed each fight scene together for months on end. Like the previous two prequel films, all lightsaber battles featuring Obi-Wan and Anakin were performed by the actors themselves without the use of stunt doubles.[4] As a result of months of practice, the speed at which Anakin and Obi-Wan engage in their duel is the speed at which it was filmed, and was not digitally accelerated. However, there are instances where single frames were removed to increase the velocity of particular strikes. An example of this occurs as Obi-Wan strikes down on Anakin after applying an armlock in the first half of the duel.[5]

Although the first scene filmed was the final scene to appear in the film (shot during the filming of Attack of the Clones in 2000),[6] principal photography on the film occurred from June 30 to September 17 2003. The film was shot entirely on sound stages at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, although practical environments were shot as background footage later to be composited into the film. These included the limestone mountains depicting Kashyyyk, which were filmed in Phuket, Thailand (they were later damaged by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami). The production company was also fortunate enough to be shooting at the same time that Mount Etna erupted in Italy. Camera crews were sent to the location to shoot several angles of the volcano that were later spliced into the background of the animatics and the final film version of the Mustafar planet.[3]

Revenge of the Sith eventually became the first Star Wars film in which Anakin Skywalker and the suited Darth Vader were played by the same actor in the same film. As Hayden Christensen recounted, it was originally intended to simply have a "tall guy" in the Darth Vader costume. But after "begging and pleading" with George Lucas, the Vader costume used in the film was created specifically to fit Christensen. The new costume featured shoe lifts and a muscle suit.[7] It also required Christensen (who is 6 ft 1 in or 1.85 metres, while David Prowse is 6 ft 7 in or 2 meters) to look through the mouthpiece of the helmet.[8]

While shooting key scenes, Lucas would often utilize "A camera and B camera", or the "V technique" a process that involves shooting with two or more cameras at the same time in order to gain several angles of the same performance.[3] Using the HD technology developed for the film, the filmmakers were able to send footage to the editors the same day it was shot, a process that would require a full 24 hours had it been shot on film.[3] Footage featuring Mustafar was given to editor Roger Barton, who was on location in Sydney cutting the climactic duel. All other footage was forwarded to lead editor Ben Burtt at Skywalker Ranch in California.

The post-production department began work during filming and continued until weeks before the film was released in 2005. Special effects were created using almost all formats, including model work, CGI and practical effects. The same department later composited all such work into the filmed scenes—both processes taking nearly two years to complete. Sith holds the world record for most special effects used in a single film: over 3500 shots.

As the DVD featurette Within a Minute illustrates, the film required 910 artists and 70,441 man-hours to create 49 seconds of footage for the Mustafar duel alone.[3] The film was produced with a budget of US$113 million, making it the least expensive of the three prequel films.[9] Members of Hyperspace, the Official Star Wars Fan Club, received a special look into the production. Benefits included not only special articles, but they also received access to a webcam that transmitted a new image every 20 seconds during the time it was operating in Fox Studios Australia. Many times the stars, and Lucas himself, were spotted on the webcam.[10]

SynopsisEdit

Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

The opening crawl reveals that the galaxy is in the midst of war. Chancellor Palpatine has been kidnapped by the Separatists' second-in-command, General Grievous. Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi lead a mission to rescue him. After killing Count Dooku and freeing the Chancellor, the Jedi attempt to escape, but are captured by General Grievous and taken to the bridge. Anakin and Obi-Wan manage to break free, but Grievous escapes and traps the Jedi and the Chancellor inside the severely damaged cruiser. This forces Anakin to crash-land the ship on one of Coruscant's landing tracks. Upon his return, Anakin is reunited with his wife, Padmé Amidala, who tells him that she is pregnant. Despite Padmé's worries over their secret marriage, Anakin is overjoyed at this news, and the couple make plans to raise their child. However, Anakin is troubled by visions of Padmé dying in childbirth, visions similar to those he had of his mother just before she died. Later, Obi-Wan privately tells Anakin that the Council wants him to spy on the Chancellor because they believe him to be corrupt. Anakin resents this as the Chancellor is like a mentor to him. As the Chancellor's bodyguard, Anakin slowly builds a close friendship with Palpatine, who subtly manipulates Anakin in their discussions, making him distrust the Jedi. Palpatine claims to know of an ability to prevent death. This intrigues Anakin, who is willing to do anything to keep his visions from coming true once again.

Obi-Wan is sent to Utapau, where he engages and kills General Grievous. Meanwhile, back on Coruscant, Palpatine reveals himself to Anakin as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who has been controlling the Republic and the Separatist movement. Anakin leaves to expose him to the Jedi Council. Mace Windu arrives at the Chancellor's office shortly thereafter and quickly subdues Palpatine through a lightsaber duel. Just as Anakin arrives, Windu is about to slay the Chancellor. This prompts Anakin to disarm Windu, as he believes that the Chancellor holds the only way to save his wife. Windu is consumed by Sidious' torrents of force lightning, forcing him out a window and killing him. Darth Sidious takes Anakin as his Sith apprentice and gives him the Sith name Darth Vader. He then orders Vader to kill all Jedi within the Jedi Temple, then to go to the Mustafar system and kill the Separatist leaders. Palpatine orders clone troopers across the galaxy to turn against their Jedi Generals by enacting a pre-programmed directive called Order 66. Numerous Jedi across the galaxy are seen being exterminated, although both Yoda and Obi-Wan barely manage to survive. Darth Vader begins a killing spree in the Jedi Temple. Afterward, he goes to Padmé and tells her the Jedi have attempted to take over the Republic and leaves for Mustafar, where he slaughters the Separatist leaders. After he informs Darth Sidious that he has achieved this objective, Sidious tells Vader to send a message to the Trade Federation ships to shut down all battle droid military units. Senator Bail Organa rescues Obi-Wan and Yoda, and brings them to the Jedi Temple before heading to the Senate building. Palpatine informs the Senate of a Jedi plot to overthrow the Republic. As a result, he announces that the Republic will be reorganized into the Galactic Empire. In the Jedi Temple, Obi-Wan and Yoda reconfigure a signal to warn all Jedi to keep away. Obi-Wan looks into the security recordings and sees Vader carrying out the orders of Darth Sidious and kneeling to him afterward. Though he initially refuses, Obi-Wan eventually agrees to find and kill Vader. Obi-Wan then meets with Padmé, who refuses to believe his claims about Anakin's fall to the dark side. When she departs for Mustafar, Obi-Wan secretly stows away on board. [[Image:Ep3duel.jpg|thumb|340px|left|Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader duel on Mustafar. When the couple are reunited, Padme pleads with Vader to leave public life with her, but he refuses—believing that he can overthrow Palpatine so that he and Padme can rule the galaxy together. Vader sees Obi-Wan emerge from Padme's ship, and suspects her of betraying him. Enraged, he uses the Force to choke Padme into unconsciousness. Obi-Wan and Vader break into a vicious lightsaber duel. The duel brings them out of the facility to unprotected areas of the volcano planet. Obi-Wan eventually gains the advantage of higher ground, but when Vader attempts to attack again, Obi-Wan slices off both of his legs and his left arm in two swift cuts. Vader tumbles down the embankment and rolls to a stop at the edge of the lava. Eyes gleaming yellow, he shouts, " I HATE YOU!" He catches on fire, sustaining near-fatal third-degree burns and severe lung damage. Obi-Wan leaves Mustafar with the badly-injured Padme and Anakin's lightsaber. Later, Palpatine arrives at Mustafar and rescues Vader from the brink of death.

Padme is given medical assistance, and although she is physically intact, her will to live is gone and she dies. However, the medical droids manage to save her babies—she delivers twins, a boy and a girl. Just before she dies, Padmé gives them the names Luke and Leia and swears to Obi-Wan that there is still good in Anakin. On Coruscant, Vader's missing limbs and damaged body parts are replaced by cybernetic prostheses and implants. Vader is put into a full suit of black armor and is sealed in a respirator mask, which will allow him to survive his injuries. When Vader asks Palpatine about Padmé's condition, Palpatine tells Vader that, in his anger, Vader himself killed Padmé. Vader unleashes a furious scream of mournful rage that destroys droids and equipment throughout the room while Palpatine looks on with an evil grin. Aboard the Sundered Heart, Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Bail Organa agree to keep the children hidden and separated. Obi-Wan and Yoda will watch and wait until the time is ready for the Skywalker children to do their part in the battle against the Sith. Leia is brought to Alderaan to live with the Queen and Bail Organa, and Luke is brought to Tatooine to live with Owen and Beru. The film concludes with Owen and Beru holding Luke while staring out over the desert at Tatooine's twin suns.

ReleaseEdit

Revenge of the Sith premiered at the Cannes Film Festival (out of competition) on May 15 2005. It was released in most other countries on May 19, six years to the day after the release of The Phantom Menace (A New Hope and Return of the Jedi were also released on the same day, six years apart). The global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas claimed one week before the premiere that it may have cost the US economy approximately US$627 million in lost productivity because of employees who took a day off or reported in sick.[11] Grauman's Chinese Theatre, a traditional venue for the Star Wars films, did not show it. However, a line of people stood there for more than a month hoping to convince someone to change this. Most of them took advantage of an offer to see the film at a nearby cinema, ArcLight Cinemas (formerly the "Cinerama Dome").

A copy of the movie leaked into P2P file sharing networks just hours after opening in theaters. The movie was a time-stamped workprint, suggesting it may have come from within the industry rather than from someone who videotaped an advance screening.[12] Eight people were later charged with copyright infringement and distributing material illegally. Documents filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney allege that a copy of the film was taken from an unnamed Californian post-production office by an employee, who later pleaded guilty to his charges.[13] The illegal copy was passed among seven people until reaching an eighth party, who also pleaded guilty to uploading to an unnamed P2P network.[14]

Revenge of the Sith is the first and only Star Wars film to receive a PG-13 rating from the MPAA, officially for "sci-fi violence and some intense images", namely for the scene in which Darth Vader is set aflame. Some critics, including Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper, later responded that the film could be handled by children as long as they had parental guidance, hence a PG rating.[15] At the same time, Lucas had stated months before the MPAA's decision that he felt the film should receive a PG-13 rating, because of Anakin's final moments and the content of the film being the darkest and most emotional of all six films.[16] All previously released films in the series were rated PG. The PG-13 rating had not existed when the films in the original trilogy were released; however, the films in the original trilogy were later re-submitted to the MPAA due to changes in the re-released versions and once again received PG rating. When Revenge of the Sith was released in Canada, it was given a PG rating in most provinces, excluding Quebec, where it was rated G. In Great Britain it received a "12A" rating (equivalent to the American "PG-13" rating).

Reaction Edit

Critical reaction towards the film was largely enthusiastic, especially in comparison to the two previous prequels. Film review site Rotten Tomatoes calculated a rating of 80% based on 253 reviews, compared to the 57% and 67% received by Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones respectively. Some critics noted that they view it to be the best of the prequels, while other reviewers judged it to be the best Star Wars film since Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. A. O. Scott of The New York Times concluded that it was "the best of the four episodes Mr. Lucas has directed," and equal to The Empire Strikes Back as "the richest and most challenging movie in the cycle."

Much of the criticism for the film was directed towards the dialogue of the film's romantic scenes. Critics and fans alike were quick to jump on such lines of Anakin or Padmé including "Hold me, Ani. Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo." Critics have claimed this demonstrated Lucas' weakness as a writer, though these scenes nevertheless attracted far less ire than their counterparts in Attack of the Clones.

Other criticisms included previously raised issues with the prequels: "wooden" acting, overuse of flashy and colorful computer-generated special effects, and attempts to be both childish and mature at the same time. It is often said the film contains a number of plot holes, although this claim is widely disputed and debated by fans.[17] Though many critics and fans saw it as one of the best of the series, or at least, the strongest of the three prequels, others saw it as more or less on par with The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Some neoconservatives criticized the film, claiming it has a liberal bias and is a "weak" commentary on the U.S. Bush Administration and the U.S./Iraqi war. Some websites went as far as to propose a boycott of the film. However, Lucas defended the film, stating that the film's storyline was written during the Vietnam War, and was influenced by it instead. Lucas did note however that "The parallels between Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable."[18] However, a letter posted at film critic Roger Ebert's website claims that the film was the most conservative film of 2005.[19]

An indication of the film's public reception is its position at number 238 (as of August 10, 2006) in the Internet Movie Database's list of the top 250 films. While Revenge of the Sith ranks far below the original trilogy—A New Hope is at number 11, The Empire Strikes Back at 10, and Return of the Jedi at 111—neither of the other two prequels is in the list.

Box office performance Edit

Revenge of the Sith was released in 115 countries. Worldwide gross for the film eventually reached nearly $850 million—ranking the film second worldwide in 2005, and behind Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.[20] The film earned an estimated $16.5 million from 2,900 midnight screenings in North America upon its release. In total, it earned a record $50 million on its opening day.[20] It was surpassed the following year by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest which earned $55.5 million on its opening day.[21]

With only the May 19 earnings, the film broke four box office records: midnight screenings gross (previously held by The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, $8 million), opening day gross (Spider-Man 2, with $40.4 million), single day gross (Shrek 2 with $44.8 million) and Thursday gross (The Matrix Reloaded with $37.5 million). Its single day gross record and opening day gross record were later surpassed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on July 7, 2006, when that movie grossed $55.5 million on its opening day. It still retains its records for midnight screening gross and Thursday gross, however.

According to box office analysis sites, Revenge of the Sith set American records for highest gross in a given number of days for each of its first twelve days of release except for the seventh and eighth, where the record is narrowly held by Spider-Man 2. On its fifth day it became the highest grossing movie of 2005, surpassing Hitch ($177.6 million).[20]

Revenge of the Sith earned $158.5 million in its first four-day period, surpassing the previous four-day record held by The Matrix Reloaded ($134.3 million), and joining Spider-Man, The Matrix Reloaded and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as the only movies to make $100 million in three days.

Revenge of the Sith earned $200 million in its first eight days (record tied with Spider-Man 2). By its 17th day, it had passed $300 million (surpassing the record of 18 days of Shrek 2). The film earned $25,088,336 in its third weekend (June 3–5). It was eventually the third fastest film (after Shrek 2 and Spider-Man) to reach $350 million.[20]

The film ended its run in American theaters on October 20 2005.[20] Its total of $380,270,577 ranks it 8th all-time in the United States, the highest-grossing movie of 2005, outgrossing second-place Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, by nearly $90 million.[20] (Taking ticket-price inflation into account, it is the 55th highest grossing movie in U.S. history.)

AwardsEdit

Despite being the best reviewed and most well received film in the prequel trilogy, Revenge of the Sith received the smallest number of award nominations in comparison to the previous films (35 categories in total, compared to The Phantom Menace's 53 and Attack of the Clones' 77 category nominations).

In retrospect, the film did however receive the smallest number of Golden Raspberry Awards nominations, only one for Hayden Christensen as Worst Supporting Actor, which he "won" (both The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones received 7 nominations each, with 1 and 2 "wins", respectively). It is the only Star Wars prequel to not receive a Razzie nomination for "Worst Picture". This nomination was controversial, as Christensen's character, Anakin Skywalker, is the main focus of the film, and not a supporting actor (the nominating ballots listed McGregor as the lead actor). Christensen did however win the "Best Villain" award at the MTV Movie Awards.

Revenge of the Sith is the only Star Wars film not to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, however the film was nominated for Best Makeup to Dave Elsey and Nikki Gooley. The film also won "Best Picture" awards at the People's Choice Awards, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, Empire Awards and the Teen Choice Awards.

Cast Edit

  • Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan is a General for the Galactic Republic and is a Jedi Master who sits on the Jedi Council. He often travels and performs missions with his friend and former Padawan, Anakin Skywalker.
  • Natalie Portman as Padme Amidala. Padme is Anakin's wife-in-secret; she has recently become pregnant. As Senator to Naboo she has taken a cautious look at the growing amount of power that is being given to the Supreme Chancellor.
  • Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker. Anakin is a recently promoted Jedi Knight, and former apprentice to Obi-Wan. However, upon learning of his wife's pregnancy, he begins to have recurring visions of her dying in childbirth. Because the same visions foretold the death of his mother, he swears to do whatever possible to stop this.
  • Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine. As the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, Palpatine enacted the start of the Clone Wars against the Separatists. As a result, the Senate has voted him emergency powers and has recently been voting more and more to him. The Jedi Council look down upon this and begin to distrust him. The feeling is mutual for Palpatine as well, who only confides in Anakin Skywalker, in addition to being an unofficial mentor.
  • Frank Oz as the voice of Yoda. The wise old leader of the Jedi council, Yoda is nearly 900 years old. He is a friend and mentor to many Jedi.
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu. Windu is a Jedi Master who sits on the Jedi Council and is also a Jedi General in the Clone Wars.
  • Matthew Wood as the voice of General Grievous. Grievous is the evil General of the Droid army. The film's opening crawl reveals that he is the individual responsible for kidnapping Palpatine. He answers only to Darth Tyranus and his master Darth Sidious.
  • Anthony Daniels as C-3PO. C-3PO is Padme Amidala's personal droid.
  • Peter Mayhew as R2-D2. R2-D2 is Anakin's mechanic droid who travels with him on his missions.
  • Temuera Morrison as Commander Cody and other clone troopers. Cody and the clone troopers are part of the army for the Republic. As seen in Attack of the Clones, they are the clones of the bounty hunter Jango Fett.
  • Christopher Lee as Count Dooku. Dooku is also known as Darth Tyranus. He is a Sith apprentice to Darth Sidious, Leader of the Separtists, and Grievous' superior, and together they kidnap Palpatine.
  • Kenny Baker as Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee who is friends with Yoda, and fights alongside him in the Battle of Kashyyyk.
  • James Earl Jones as the uncredited voice of the suited Darth Vader.

Deleted roles Edit

Scenes of a group of Senators (including Padmé) planning on organizing an Alliance to prevent the Chancellor from receiving any more executive powers were cut; they featured a young Mon Mothma. They were cut in order to achieve more focus on the story of Anakin.[5] George Lucas wrote early drafts of the script in which a 10-year-old Han Solo appeared, but the role was never cast or shot. The scene where Yoda arrives on Dagobah to begin his self-imposed exile was also cut, but is featured in a deleted scene in the DVD release, though producer Rick McCallum has stated that he hopes Lucas may include it to the theatrical release when and if he releases a 6 episode DVD box set.[5]

Many Order 66 scenes were cut. The deaths of Barriss Offee and Luminara Unduli were either cut from the film or never filmed in the first place. The death scene of Shaak Ti aboard the Invisible Hand (which can be viewed in the DVD deleted scenes section) is non-canon, as she was later confirmed to be alive.

Bai Ling filmed minor scenes for the film playing the role of a senator, but her role was cut during editing. She claimed this was because she posed for the June 2005 issue of Playboy magazine, whose appearance on newsstands coincided with the movie's May release, but Lucas denied this, stating that the cut had been made more than a year earlier, and that he had cut his own daughter's scenes as well.[22]

George Lucas had previously promised to explain the mystery behind the erasure of the planet Kamino from the Jedi Archives setup in Attack of the Clones.[5] However, his/her identity was never revealed in Revenge of the Sith. This may be viewed as a plot hole; however, Lucas instead chose to include it in the novel Labyrinth of Evil, which took place immediately before Revenge of the Sith. Lucas did this in order to focus more on Anakin's story in the film.

Cinematic and literary allusions Edit

Throughout Revenge of the Sith Lucas refers to a wide range of films and other sources drawing on political, military and mythological motifs to enhance the impact of his story. Palpatine's appearance and actions are also reminiscent of Doctor Mabuse, particularly as portrayed by German actor Rudolph Klein-Rogge in Fritz Lang's films. Anakin also bears a resemblance to a villainous character played by Klein-Rogge from a film by Lang — the mad scientist Rotwang from the classic film Metropolis. Both Anakin and Rotwang wear a menacing leather glove on one hand and are obsessed with saving — or resurrecting — a lost loved one. Also, Rotwang builds the android whose appearance heavily influenced the image of Lucas' C-3PO, who was built by Anakin prior to The Phantom Menace.[23]

File:Sw potemkin.jpg

Following the march on the Jedi Temple sequence (itself a direct tribute to Sergei Eisenstein's "Odessa Steps" montage in The Battleship Potemkin; save that the white-armored troopers are marching up the steps), Lucas' editing schemes during Order 66, the slaughter of the Separatists and the declaration of the Galactic Empire are reminiscent of the montage of massacres during the christening scene of The Godfather, a film directed by mentor and friend Francis Ford Coppola.[24]

Palpatine has been compared to Iago, the villain of Shakespeare's Othello by many, including McDiarmid himself. In Othello, Iago manipulates the title character into believing that his wife has committed adultery with his confidante and lieutenant. In Revenge of the Sith, Vader comes to believe that Padmé has betrayed him to his former master, Obi-Wan. In both cases, jealousy drives the husband to strangle his wife.[25]

Certain plot points, including that of Palpatine building his own "monster", and especially the final scenes are comparable to the story of Frankenstein. Notably Anakin being assembled by various parts (although in the film they are mechanical), he is then raised on the platform he was assembled on. He then struggles and breaks free from the platform, stumbling forward awkwardly.[1]

Likewise in the series concluding movie Star_Wars_Episode_VI:_Return_of_the_Jedi the "Frankenstin" reference is reinforced when the dying Anakin/Vader redeems himself by killing his creater Palpatine/emperor -such as Frankenstein kills his "creater" - in order to save his son Luke.

McDiarmid, Lucas, and others have also called Anakin's journey to the dark side Faustian in the sense of making a "pact with the devil" for short-term gain. Midway in the film, Lucas intercuts between Anakin and Padmé by themselves, thinking about one another in the Jedi Temple and their apartment, respectively during sunset, in a sequence without dialog and complemented by a moody, synthesized soundtrack. Lucas' coverage of the exterior cityscapes, skylines and interior isolation in the so-called "Ruminations" sequence is similar to the cinematography and mis-en-scene of Rosemary's Baby, a film in which a husband makes a literal pact with the devil.[26]

References to the original trilogy Edit

The prequel trilogy films often make references to the original trilogy in order to help connect the films together. Lucas has often referred to the films as a long poem that rhymes.[27] Such examples include the now famous line of "I have a bad feeling about this" that is used in each film, as well as battles (namely lightsaber duels) almost always taking place over a pit of some kind.

Of the prequel trilogy films, Revenge of the Sith makes the most references to the original trilogy. For example, when Obi-Wan Kenobi slays General Grievous with a blaster, he mutters to himself "So uncivilized." This is a reference to the beginning of A New Hope, when Obi-Wan describes a lightsaber as being "Not as clumsy or as random as a blaster, but an elegant weapon for a more civilized age." In addition, during the opening battle of Revenge of the Sith, Anakin mutters to himself that "this is where the fun begins." This is identical to a line spoken by Han Solo under similar circumstances in A New Hope.

Soundtrack Edit

Main article: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (soundtrack)

The soundtrack to the film was released by Sony Classical on May 3, 2005, more than two weeks before the release of the film. The music was composed and conducted by John Williams, and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and London Voices. John Williams was also composer and conductor of the score for the other five films in the Star Wars saga. A music video titled A Hero Falls was created for the film's theme, Battle of the Heroes, featuring footage from the film and was also available on the DVD.

The soundtrack also came with a collectors' DVD, Star Wars: A Musical Journey, at no additional cost. The DVD features 16 music videos set to remastered selections of music from all six film scores, set chronologically through the saga. This album was chosen as one of Amazon.com's Top 100 Editor's Picks of 2005 (#83).

Novelization Edit

Main article: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (novel)

The novelization of the film was written by Matthew Stover. It includes much more dialogue than the film, including a conversation between Count Dooku and Darth Sidious, where the reader learns Palpatine lied to Dooku about what the Empire would truly be. The novel includes many little details that some Star Wars fans are likely to appreciate. For example, during the Battle of Coruscant, Anakin's callsign is Red 5, a reference to Luke's callsign in the Battle of Yavin, and one of the Republic capital ships is commanded by Lieutenant Commander Lorth Needa, who becomes Captain Needa in The Empire Strikes Back. There are also references to the comics such as the battle of Jabiim (Clone Wars Volume 3). In addition to this, the siege of the Jedi Temple is slightly more violent than the cinematic version.[28]

Some unseen or unheard of elements to the Revenge of the Sith story were fleshed out in the course of the novel. Such examples include more discussions between Anakin and Palpatine, confirming Palpatine's former master as Darth Plagueis. Not only is Saesee Tiin revealed to be a telepath, but his horn, lost in the Clone Wars, is revealed to have grown back. These are a few examples of many descriptions of characters' feelings and inner narrative.[28]

Video game Edit

Main article: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (video game)

A video game, based on the film, was released on May 5, 2005, two weeks before the film. The game followed the movie's storyline, for the most part, integrating scenes from the movie. However, many sections of the game featured cutscenes from the movie, or entirely new scenes for the game. The style of the game was mostly lightsaber combat and fighting as Obi-Wan or Anakin. It also has a form of multiplayer mode, which includes both "VS" and "Co-Player" mode. In the first mode, two players fight with characters of their choice against each other in a lightsaber duel to the death. In the latter mode, two players team up to combat increasingly difficult waves of enemies.

One unique and popular aspect of the game was that it included an alternate ending, which functioned as such to both the game and the movie, which involved Anakin killing Obi-Wan, instead of Obi-Wan defeating Anakin as in the movie. After Obi-Wan's death, Anakin proceeds to kill Palpatine, and takes over the galaxy.

DVD release Edit

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was released on DVD on November 1, 2005 in the United States and Canada, on October 31, 2005 in United Kingdom and on November 3, 2005 in Australia. It was also released in most major territories on or near the same day.[29] The DVD was a two-disc set, with picture and sound mastered from the original digital source material. Unlike any other films directed by Lucas, Revenge of the Sith was released on DVD without any noticeable alterations from the film's original theatrical cut. The only alteration made was the change of a scene transition near the end, which involved the change from a wipe to a straight cut.

The DVD included a number of documentaries including a new full-length documentary as well as two featurettes, one which explores the prophecy of Anakin Skywalker as the Chosen One, the other looking at the movie's stunts and a 15 part collection of web-documentaries from the Official Website. Like the other DVD releases, included is an audio commentary track featuring George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, animation director Rob Coleman, and ILM visual effects supervisors John Knoll and Roger Guyett. Six deleted scenes were included with introductions from George Lucas and Rick McCallum. An Xbox game demo for Star Wars: Battlefront II along with a trailer for the Star Wars: Empire at War PC game was featured on the second disc.

This release is notable because, due to marketing issues, it was the first Star Wars film never to be released on VHS (except in Australia and the United Kingdom). This has caused backlash from collectors of the VHS versions, upset that their VHS set will not be complete without Revenge of the Sith.

Star Wars Episodes

Prequel Trilogy:
I: The Phantom Menace | II: Attack of the Clones | III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars Original Trilogy
IV: A New Hope | V: The Empire Strikes Back | VI: Return of the Jedi

References Edit

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  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith DVD documentary Within a Minute, [2005]
  4. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith DVD documentary It's All for Real: The Stunts of Episode III, [2005]
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith DVD commentary featuring George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Rob Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett, [2005]
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  15. Audio review of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Ebert & Roeper. Retrieved on 10 May 2006.
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  18. Politics creates a disturbance in the Force. USA Today. Retrieved on 5 July 2006.
  19. 'Conservative Movie of the Year'?. RogerEbert.com.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 Box office data on Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 10 May 2006.
  21. Pirates Breaks Opening Day Record!!. Comingsoon.net. Retrieved on 8 July 2006.
  22. Ling claims Star Wars bosses cut her after Playboy pose. Contact Music. Retrieved on 10 May 2006.
  23. Neurosurgery Online Metropolis: The Foundation of Avant-garde
  24. Movies Star Wars: Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith. Christianity Today. Retrieved on 10 May 2006.
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  26. Star Wars III: "Titanic in Space". IMDB. Retrieved on 10 May 2006.
  27. "The Beginning" Making Episode I Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace DVD documentary, [2001]
  28. 28.0 28.1 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith - Novelization, 1st edition hardcover, 2005. Matthew Woodring Stover, George Lucas, ISBN 0-7126-8427-1
  29. Nov 1: Experience Episode III on DVD and Star Wars Battlefront II. Star Wars Official Website. Retrieved on 15 May 2006.

External linksEdit

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