Last
night I wrapped up the prequel series and man, does it feel good.
Although it had been quite awhile since I saw Revenge of the Sith, I
forgot how much I enjoy the conclusion to the story of Anakin’s
downfall, and the rise of the empire. This entry, far more than the
previous two before it, gets a lot of stuff right. So much so that I can
almost forgive the ridiculously melodramatic, terribly written
soap-opera that it devolves to in the third act. It also includes some
of the most emotional scenes in any of these prequels, and sets up a lot
of interesting things for the later (earlier) movies, and I imagine,
the next trilogy to come.

Just
a bit of history here before I dive into this. When the prequel movies
came out, I was just the right age for them. While I don’t remember
seeing I and II in theaters, I loved the original trilogy growing up.
The millennium falcon and Star Wars action figures were easily my
favorite toys to play with. So when this series was (as far as I knew)
coming to an end with Revenge of the Sith, I was 14 at the time, and it
really helped pave the way for my future movie-geek self. Basically, I
hunted down every new detail I could find on Episode III, read every
unsubstantiated rumor, even bought and read the novelization when it was
released. I remember finding out when the trailer would premier on TV,
and (dating myself here a bit) recorded it onto a VCR tape to watch and
pick apart later.

Seeing
the prequel trilogy when you’re young is (at least I imagine) very
different than what many other, older fans experienced when they saw
them for the first time. For me, it’s been a slow realization over the
years that, man, these just aren’t great movies. However, people like to
say that these three movies “ruined” the series forever, and I think
that’s crazy. I’ve always thought the idea of something new
retroactively ruining something from your past is ridiculous. I had fun
with these three movies growing up, bought the toys, eagerly awaited
each new movie. Even though I grew up and my opinion on them changed,
that’s alright. Whether it be the excitement of finally seeing the third
and final movie in the prequel trilogy, or going into Star Wars back in
1977 as a kid totally unaware of what you were about to experience,
everyone who loves Star Wars has a unique relationship with it, and
that’s the amazing thing about it. That a monstrous franchise and brand
can at once feel huge and ubiquitous, and yet incredibly personal as
well just illustrates how powerful, and relatable these stories are.

Anyway,
back to the actual thing I’m writing this particular thing about. As I
said, Revenge of the Sith is easily the most emotional of the prequel
trilogy. The execution of order 66, for example, might be my favorite
moment in any of these three new movies. Largely in part to the amazing
score by John Williams, but also because it marks a HUGE moment in Star
Wars. The ramifications of it impact the story going forward more than
most anything else in the movie. The Jedi are now the enemies. The
Republic is now essentially the Empire. In one fell swoop, Palpatine
flips the entire universe upside down. In fact, one of my biggest pet
peeves with these prequels is that 90% of the story Lucas is trying to
tell with them unfolds in Revenge of the Sith. The previous two are bare
and empty of much meaning or development in comparison to this one. It
only makes this entry more entertaining to watch, but in hindsight takes
away from Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.

That’s
going to be it for today’s entry. Sorry about all the ranting and
digressions throughout; you really wanted an in-depth analysis of
Revenge of the Sith, I’m sure. Now it’s time to work my way through the
classics on the road to The Force Awakens. With these next entries, I’m
likely going to talk more about the actual stories and characters since I
think those will pertain more to episode VII than the prequels. As
always, thanks for reading and may the force be with you!

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