Star Wars: Episode III

Viewed – 11 October 2011  Blu-ray

Revenge Of The Sith

It’s easy to see what many Star Wars fan boys have taken issue with in regards to the new trilogy.  The reliance on CGI and poor dialogue and misplaced ‘comedy’ has seemed to take away much of the mystique and grandeur of the saga they grew up loving.  George Lucas whilst a talented visualist, is not really the best director of actors, shown with such seasoned heavy weights like Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and even Ewan McGregor coming across as hammy and wooden at times.  Yet much of these complaints can’t be levelled quite as easily at the concluding first half of this epic saga.  Lucas and his talented staff of effects wizards and production designers seem to have finally delivered the Star Wars movie fans have been waiting for.

With the Clone Wars in full swing, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) are given a mission to rescue Chancellor Palpetine (Ian McDiarmid) from the clutches of Count Dookoo (Christopher Lee) and droid leader General Grievous.  Yet the rescue of Palpatine causes Anakin to question his faith in the Jedi council as Palpatine begins to manipulate him with regards to his secret marriage to Padme (Natalie Portman).  Anakin’s journey to the darkside looms ever nearer.

Darker in tone and with a more confident performance from Christensen, despite still delivering lines like a spoilt brat … there is something about this third entry that feels much more akin to the Star Wars movies of yesteryear.  Anakin’s journey to the darkside is well written and convincing, with very emotional support from Portman and McGregor hammering home the real intensity of the situation, making this feel more like a Shakespearian tragedy than a throwaway sci-fi blockbuster.  The encounters, which are plentiful and brilliantly realised build with intensity and at times the action really took my breath away, helped immeasurably by John Williams’ epic score and some of the finest special effects I have ever seen.

Lucas’ struggle with dialogue still rears its head, with some laughable lines (and a little too many ‘classic’ quotes), but overall this is streets ahead of Episode I & II, and although clearly rushed towards the end, comes together well to make the older movies, set some time after this, fit seamlessly.

The Blu-ray is gorgeous.  This is probably the best looking of the newer trilogy, with little of the soft-focus of episodes 1 & 2, and with a vibrant colour palette and a booming soundtrack, this should please any cinefile out there.  Again we have commentaries and a whole extra disk of documentaries and interviews, so again any fan should have nothing to grumble about.

Verdict:  4 /5

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