Synopsis: As the Jedi are spread across the galaxy to fight in the Clone Wars, dark forces use Anakin’s weaknesses against him to bring forth a new order.
• A dark and brooding story with truly epic action sequences.
• Palpatine stole the show in his justifiable pride.
• Jedi Master Mace L. Windu (Sam Jackson).
• Obi-Wan and Yoda were given surprising depth that not only set the course for the original trilogy, but the sequel trilogy as well.
• Jimmy Smits added a surprising amount to the film as Senator Bail Organa, Leia’s adoptive father.
• The unlikeable nature of Anakin technically paid off.
• Jar Jar’s role was diminished, ironically making him a quiet senator.
• The visuals are equal parts beautiful and horrific. Might as well have been a cinematic work of art.
• Though not at its worst, much of the dialogue was still weak and forgettable.
• Some of the acting made it feel like George Lucas cared more about some scenes than others.
• Made one wish the prior two films were as darkly fun as this was.
“Failed, I have …” Yoda
This film was arguably the most apocalyptic of all the Star Wars films thus far. Yes, we knew where this story was headed from the start, but we never really knew the objective reality behind those once shrouded events. As such, the prequels were really more about the rise of Emperor Palpatine-Darth Sidious, who diabolically tore away the corrupt shell of the Old Republic to create a new Sith Empire. He, of course, could not do such a thing alone. So, he secretly conscripted a variety of foes to both nudge and distract. The ultimate key and prize to the puzzle was the powerful yet emotionally weak Anakin Skywalker. Those as strong in the Force as Anakin could bend destiny to their will, but the Jedi were never about control. Palpatine tread carefully, whimsically, diabolically to have the one being in existence that could ensure a lasting dominance in the galaxy. His movements were so perfectly silent that he fooled the whole Jedi Order until right at the end, and he certainly predicted that he would be discovered eventually. The key was nudging Skywalker to be both unstable and exactly where he needed him to be once discovered. Anakin was certainly tricked to not side with the Jedi via Palpatine giving him a sense of the destiny shaping power of a Skywalker, but that was representative of how the Sith worked for thousands of years in the shadow of the Old Republic. Both Mace Windu and Yoda were prepared to end Palpatine no matter the cost to themselves, the Jedi Order, or what was left of the Old Republic. Yet, the only one that was ever destined to kill the Emperor was Anakin Skywalker. With a destiny shaping Skywalker manipulated instead to kill what he could have been, becoming Darth Vader, destiny was for the Emperor to control until a new hope arose …
Star Wars Franchise
Rotten Tomatoes — 79%