Dear Fellow Star Wars Fans,
Today I was given the pleasure of seeing a sneak preview of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. At about the thirty minute point in the film I realized that while I wasn't that big a fan of Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace and I loved Star Wars: Episode Two - Attack of the Clones, I sort of felt that these movies really lacked the gravity and depth of the original three episodes. However, it was at the thirty minute point that I also realized that both of those films really had been leading up to this last installment. We had to see Annakin Skywalker as a young boy and we had to see the relationship between himself and Padme develop over an elongated period of time. Sure, George Lucas could have cut right to the chase and given us the darkly poetic Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, but that would have done nothing but take away from the mythic story he has been weaving since he started crafting it in the 1970s. So it is with complete and utter praise that I feel I can tell you that Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith is not only a remarkable achievement but an awesome movie and a fitting third installment in the prequel portion of the trilogy.
The look of this movie is so amazingly seamless that I was honestly in awe of it's pacing. It starts off fast and I kept thinking that it was about to slow down. It gives you breathers but even then all they serve to do is offer more plot information and take these characters many levels deeper. I know that many have scoffed at the way Hayden Christensen played Annakin in Star Wars: Episode Two - Attack of the Clones, but in this movie Lucas gets into the heart of his conflict. Truthfully, it seems to be about the heart of human conflict entirely. It is all spoken about very briefly between Annakin and Palpatine. The subject is good and evil and how those very notions are open to the subjective points of view of the people exploring them. This two and a half hour film is rich in every aspect and it never seems to get muddled in the story it's telling or the points it is making. I am willing to bet that most of the people going to see the film already know most of what is going to happen, yet still there is so much that happens that we don't know, that it makes seeing what we do know have that much greater resonance.
I am sure that there are going to be purists who take many issues with the way this film was made. They are going to not like this movie for one reason or another. These are people who you are never going to win over, but thankfully they continue to attend movies like this in the hopes that they will finally find whatever it is they are looking for. I am not the biggest Star Wars fan, and by this I mean that I love the films but I don't really get into all the supplemental materials. This fact alone might make some people reading this dismiss my review entirely. That is fine. I do however know a thing or two about filmmaking, the film marketplace and movies in general. So I will say this, Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace was Luscas's first directorial effort in many years and to me it seemed like more a product of the film marketplace then something really close to his heart. Star Wars: Episode Two - Attack of the Clones seemed to be Lucas's way of appeasing the fans, carrying the story line through and starting to explore life issues that were close to his heart. With Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, I get the sense that Lucas really made this film for himself. It was not only a story he had to make but one he felt compelled to make. This is his story. The great work of his life and he has wrapped it up on his own terms. I feel that through Star Wars he has found himself again. Why else would he be talking about making personal films along the lines of THX 1138 now that this one is finished?
In closing, I would like to say that it seems like the great directors of the 1970s are having something of a resurgence. Their work seems to be more charged, more well done and more grand then ever before. How else to explain the magnificence of Martin Scorsese's The Aviator? Or Warner Bros. mea culpa with Paul Schrader's version of the Exorcist 4? Or the twilight years prolificness of William Friedkin? George Lucas, the ultimate independent, the man who left Hollywood, quit the DGA and funds his own celluloid dreams can count himself right alongside this merry pack of renegades. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith is a dazzling pastiche of humanity mixed with the hi-tech which in the end shows the enormous heart of not only the creation but the creator.
Evan "Mushy" Jacobs