Film - Revenge of the Sith

Our Star Wars expert Kraig Taylor-Bryant tells us why Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of The Sith is quite possibly one of the best Star Wars films ever made...

Read David Ames' RPO review of the film here

So we all know that many Star Wars fans that are huge fans of the original trilogy aren’t too keen on Lucas’ methods when creating the story for the prequel trilogy. Except there is one script in particular that was created which was incredible in the sense that it is open to a number of interpretations that was in fact written by Lucas.

That script is Revenge of the Sith.

Does anyone remember the significant lines of the plot such as “he was too dangerous to be left alive” and “the Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way”, not to mention the line, “good is a point of view”?  All these lines are spoken by the great Ian McDiarmid (Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.) If this were an origin story for the future Emperor of the Star Wars galaxy then this film would truly be a masterpiece. But, of course, this film is based on Anakin Skywalker and his fall to the dark side, which is not entirely badly presented through Hayden Christensen.

It is believed by many that Hayden seemed a bit too fixed in one mood when it came to his acting in Revenge of the Sith, many say that it is because he behaved like a stroppy teenager, much like how Kylo Ren is described, as shown to us by the Force Awakens. But I beg to differ. If you think about it, Anakin has lost a lot, it may not feel like it, but he has lost his mother, which is basically all he has in terms of a biological family, and he now has a fear of losing the woman that he loves. Not to mention the fact that he has been fighting in a war for the past three years! It is even presented to us through the Star Wars Legends book “Labyrinth of Evil” that, even through these war times, he was still thinking about the pain he felt when he lost his mother to fuel himself into fighting on and ending the war. This would mean that he has not stopped thinking about his mother during the past three years, so of course its going to seem like he is moody or thinking about something else!

Let's get back to talking about the most significant quotes of the film, the most important one being “he was too dangerous to be kept alive”. This quote ties in brilliantly with the quote: “the Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way”. This is due to the fact that when Palpatine (who, for those who have forgotten, is the future Emperor in the original trilogy) tells Anakin that Count Dooku was “too dangerous to be kept alive”. We later see a similar line spoken by Samuel. L Jackson's character, Mace Windu when he attempts to justify killing Palpatine by telling Anakin that he is “too dangerous to be left alive”. This proves Palpatine’s statement that the Jedi and the Sith are in fact similar and makes it almost understandable that Anakin would turn on Windu as Anakin would then realise the Jedi and the senate are both corrupt in their own way, therefore, to ensure security, the galaxy is fit to be ruled by one figure to survive. The Jedi, being corrupted by their desire to destroy the Sith, and the senate, being corrupt by those that are bribed into agreeing with others.    

As justified by these points, we can see that there is more than one reason why Anakin turned to the dark side, as there was also Anakin’s desire to save Padme’s life that people often believe is the main reason as to why he fell to the dark side.

Another interesting point to note is the fact that Palpatine never actually makes a move against the Jedi throughout the film without justification for doing so. This almost makes it seems like “good is a point of view” as it is typically the actions of the Sith to kill Jedi without justification and yet here it is the Jedi who are threatening the Sith. So it may be that good is in fact a point of view as both sides are doing similar things as they believe what they are doing is right. It could also be argued that Anakin was doing what was right by attempting to protect his wife and future child by protecting Palpatine.

We also have the fact that Anakin tells Windu that he “thinks” Chancellor Palpatine is a Sith Lord. It is as though Windu’s fear of the Sith is what forces him to take action against the Sith first which is not the Jedi way. This also makes it seem like his desire to destroy the Sith is what clouds his judgement in simply arresting Palpatine when he is supposedly beaten as opposed to exposing him in the Senate and attempting to gain the support of the people as the Republic is the democracy that the Jedi are sworn to protect. Therefore, by acting against the Chancellor, it feels as though they are acting against the Senate, making it appear to the senate that the Jedi wanted control of the republic. 

It almost seems like Palpatine’s plan was formulated perfectly and this is the message that Lucas is trying to bring across to his audience in this film but unfortunately, its deep meaning is not as appealing to the fans of the classic original trilogy. This is understandable because it seems as though Lucas is attempting to make the saga appeal to too many audiences at once, this is easily backed up by the fact that Lucas felt it was a good idea to add a “clumsy roger rabbit” into the mix to appeal more to children.

Overall, I believe that the main theme that Lucas is trying to bring across in this film is the idea that killing a monster can easily turn you into one, as they will then start to see other people for who they really are through themselves, much like Anakin will have seen Windu in a similar light for how he acted against the Jedi code when he killed Count Dooku when he was unarmed. That is, to sum up in the most complicated way possible, the reason why Revenge of the Sith is in fact an incredible film that was underrated by many within the franchise and is quite possibly one of the best Star Wars films ever made.  

Follow Kraig on Twitter @hayaface13

Image - IMDb/Lucasfilm

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