Revenge of the Sith is the third (ish) installment in the Star Wars franchise as we continue on with Star Wars Week. In case you missed it, our reviews of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones can be read on here and here.
The previous reviews have focused on their lack of identity; The Phantom Menace throws a bunch of different concepts and ideas into a big pot but fails to focus especially on any of them, and Attack of the Clones tries really, really hard to be The Empire Strikes Back. In the end they both fail miserably. The third film, however, is said to be the best one out of all three prequels, and (arguably) overcomes this whole identity crisis thing.
That doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been much discussion and arguments over the film, in fact there have been quite a lot. Anything to the bad acting of the characters to how the war that was shown in the film was “supposedly” a reflection to the way the war is in real life. How Anakin became evil and what made him become Darth Vader in this film. The main point of this film is actually pretty ambiguous but in the end it is there.
The point or “theme” of the film is actually the deception that occurred all to often in the movie. Sure, Anakin becoming Darth Vader is a HUGE part in the films (of course if you saw A New Hope you already knew this), but deception is actually what makes this film and what makes all of the big parts come together. It even jumps ahead of the previous two prequels by making this theme somewhat morally gray; in a film which is focused on the return (revenge) of the Sith, the Jedi actually do their fair share as well.
To open the movie, we’re thrown straight into the midst of a war. Our “heroes” of the film – Anakin and Obi-Wan – are up against a Trade Federation fleet in attempt to rescue Chancellor Palpatine who has been kidnapped by General Grievous. The war scene at the beginning did give us an element of action we were hoping followed throughout the film.
Even though they had Spider droids and the whole scene of Obi-Wan’s ship not being able to fly gave us action we can enjoy, that scene didn’t last long unfortunately, and the non-action scene soon became a drag for most of the film. Even the scene where they come to save Chancellor Palpatine, and must battle Count Dooku was supposed to be a serious scene I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the bad acting that was going on throughout the film. Fortunately, this didn’t take away from the message the movie had conveyed.
We later learn in the film that Palpatine is Lord Sidious (Sorry Spoiler Alert!) and that he had much bigger plans and that his plan involved Anakin, which is actually Palpatine’s “best” deception ploy.
Palpatine’s plan is to destroy Obi-Wan and use Anakin’s anger to convert him to the Dark Side.
The question is if that was the only thing the Sith considered as “Revenge” in the story or if he had planned for more? For example, when Anakin is fighting against Dooku, Palpatine is tied up and cheering him on saying things like, “Kill him, Anakin.” And of course Anakin listens in killing Dooku which goes against the Jedi code thus putting Chancellors plan one step further (Anakin going to the dark side) into action. The deception in that scene was that Anakin already trusted the Chancellor, and became close with him. Even though he knew it was wrong to kill another person he felt he knew what the Chancellor was telling him was correct.
Was the Sith’s Revenge not just to get Anakin over to the Dark Side but possibly getting his revenge on the Council and showing that he can turn one of their own (Anakin) against them? It doesn’t help the fact that Anakin was told that Padme was pregnant and he later had a dream that she dies during labor making a certain important decision later on easier to make.
This is where the building blocks of becoming evil are coming into play. Not to mention in Attack of the Clones he ended up massacring the Tusken Raiders camp for killing his mom. As if that wasn’t enough to show you which path towards good or evil he was making his way towards, he ended up killing innocent younglings in Revenge of the Sith. Making his path towards evil just a little bit more apparent.
It goes on later on in the film where Anakin enters the Jedi temple and was angry that he wasn’t in any Jedi discussions. Mace Windu allows him into the council but he won’t give Anakin the title of Master. This alone is a big slap in the face to Anakin since to him, he feels they don’t trust him and doesn’t like that the Council doesn’t trust Palpatine either because according to Anakin, he can be trusted. Anakin is asked to be deceptive to the Chancellor as he was supposed to spy on the Chancellors secret meetings and report back to them.
This gives Anakin a reason to lose his trust in the Council for not only not being able to trust him (Anakin) but because they don’t trust the Chancellor. Not to mention Anakin already felt very much like an outsider with the Council and knew that they didn’t trust him. Which made him go to the dark side that much easier.
The Chancellor quickly knew what Anakin was doing and how he was supposed to spy on him; there he talks to Anakin and tells him a story how a Sith Lord had the power to stop someone from dying, which Anakin quickly becomes interested in what he has to say. He keeps telling him how he could have anything he wants just by asking. The biggest deception here was all the promises that were made and giving Anakin a sense of security that he could stop his wife from dying. The Chancellor was giving Anakin HOPE that something could be done to save the one he loves. That Anakin could have the power to make it happen if he only worked on the dark side more since it can’t be done “With Jedi Powers”. Not just that but the fact that the Chancellor made it seem like he cared about Anakin and trusted him. He made Anakin feel wanted and made him feel important which was way different from what the Council had done.
He later ends up choosing to save the Chancellor during a brawl between Palpatine and Mace Windu after they find out he is a Dark Lord of the Sith and he must be stopped from becoming a bigger threat than he already is. The Chancellor once again
tempts, reminds Anakin that he (the Chancellor) is important and that Anakin needs him. That he could show him how to work on his dark side which will show him how to cheat death so his wife wouldn’t have to die.
Anakin unintentionally chooses which side he wants to be on once he cuts of Mace Windu’s hand and is thrown out the window which saves the Chancellor from dying. If that doesn’t mean ending a friendship I don’t know what would.
Stop smiling, it’s not funny. Just because your plan is working…
Towards the end of the film he fights with Obi-Wan as they jump in the rocks of this river lava type thing. Talk about bad graphics. The CGI was just terrible, but luckily it didn’t take away from that scene too much. Anakin believes that Obi-Wan turned his wife against him when Padme doesn’t agree with him turning to the dark side and found out because Obi-Wan told her.
Obi-Wan and Anakin end up fighting. Anakin feeling like Obi-Wan his once Master, had deceived him with not just telling his wife what was going on, but not believing in Anakin when it truly counted. Not to mention he gave Obi-Wan another chance to go on the “right” side of things by giving him the option to be on Anakin’s side.
Obi-Wan: You have allowed this dark lord to twist your mind, until now, until now you’ve become the very thing you swore to destroy.
Anakin Skywalker: Don’t lecture me, Obi-Wan! I see through the lies of the Jedi. I do not fear the dark side as you do. I have brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to my new Empire.
Obi-Wan: Your new Empire?
Anakin Skywalker: Don’t make me kill you.
Obi-Wan: Anakin, my allegiance is to the Republic, to democracy.
Anakin Skywalker: If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy.
Obi-Wan practically leaves Anakin for dead. This is a last good-bye for Anakin and Obi-Wan until Chancellor takes the opportunity and keeps him alive thus creating Darth Vader.
The last and greatest deception is when Padme is given medical attention but her will to live is gone and soon after she delivers her babies and names them does she pass away.
Palpatine lies to Anakin once he has woken up and had been dubbed the name Darth Vader. When asked how Padme was and if she was okay, the Chancellor tells him that he (Darth Vader) was the one that killed Padme as he screams in rage not believing the news. Sealing the deal on this new Darth Vader character he had created.
The deception of everything in the film was what let up to Sidious’ revenge coming true, and the creation of Darth Vader. Darth Vader then joined him in his dark forces, as he not only transformed Anakin but the Republic to the Galactic Empire as well, and declared himself; of course, Emperor.
This last film had a lot going on and was sort of hard to swallow if you take it all at once. However, once I really watched it again it was much easier to digest by looking at it in a different angle in what statement I wanted to make. I will however, be sticking to the Original Star Wars thank you very much.
Thank you for sticking with me until the end but we got through it together! We are just at the beginning of Star Wars Week. Stay Tuned for more!