I finally went and saw Star Wars III – Revenge of the Sith last night. I must congratulate Mr Lucas on a fine job, “Impressive, most impressive”. It is most definitely the best movie out of the prequels, absolutely trouncing on TPMs dead body and giving AoTCs a swift turkish crescent kick to the head also. The space scenes, lightsaber fights, land battles etc are all spectacular. It feels like a galatic conflict with wars on many planets, simutaneously etc. There are also the tie ins to the original movies with early model X-Wings, Tie Fighters, Mon Calamari Cruisers, AT-ST Walkers etc. However, when I left the cinema I felt the dark clouds of depressing decending upon me (in fact, they had stayed decending towards the end of the movie). Why was I in such a state? Let us delve into Star Wars lore…
Spoilers Alert – what follows is discussion on Ep 3. Do NOT read the rest of this post if you haven’t seen it yet.
On the side, my order of viewing these movies are: 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6. 1, 2 and especially 3 give away too much of what were surprises in 5 & 6 – so if you’ve NEVER seen the movies, that’s my recommendation. And now, lets continue…
In my mind, pre Ep 3, I always thought or presumed that it was a mechanical Darth Vader (ie the Vader we know it Eps 4 onwards) that destroys the Jedi – having already been a student of the Dark Side for some time. But not so. In Ep 3 we learn that Anakin turns to the Dark Side quite quickly and proceeds to rid the galaxy of the Jedi while still being the normal bodied Anakin Skywalker! As the mechnical, twisted & hate filled Darth Vader – I could understand this. But as Anakin, it just doesn’t make sense.
Palpatine sows seeds of doubt in his mind, tells him that the Dark Side can cheat death (which appeals to Anakin due to his constant visions of Padme dying in child birth) & acts as a quasi father figure. This is obviously a gradual process & it is no surprise when he turns – what is surprising is the speed in which he turns his back on 20+ years of Jedi teachings. Around 24 hours is all it takes! The thought is proposterous. The timeline within 24 hours is something like this:
1. He discovers Palpatine is a Sith Lord and informs Mace Windu & co (Obi-wan & Yoda are on outter rim worlds fighting the separatists). I give him credit for at least doing this.
2. He turns on Mace Windu, who is about to execute Palpatine, using some ironic logic about not killing Palpatine (ironic because earlier we see him execute Count Dooku in a similiar fashion/situation). About 2 minutes after this he is calling Palpatine “Master”! LOL!
3. He begins his mission of wiping out all the Jedi.
And here we have probably the most disturbing scene (at least for me) of the movie. Anakin rocks up to the Jedi temple, with a large army of clones, and proceeds to annihilate the Jedi. We see him enter a room where youngling padawans are hiding. They leave their hiding places, eyes full of fear but trust towards Anakin. Holding their lightsabers, one young padawan pleads, “Master Skywalker, there’s too many of them – what are we to do?” Save us Anakin, protect us Anakin, redeem us Anakin they say in the force. And how is their trust repaid? With the hot blade of Anakins lightsaber – betrayal, of the highest order.
Fast forward & we see Obi-wan telling Anakin that he was supposed to bring balance to the force, the chosen one, a brother, someone Obi-wan loved. Anakin of course is now totally consumed and spews forth his hate at Kenobi, while his legless & armless body is ignited by the lava that flows past his body. In the end, his dark powers go a long way to causing Padmes eventual death – her will to live destroyed upon learning that Anakin has turned to the Dark Side & him using his force choke on her.
Thus we have the story of Palpatines ascension, the Jedis fall, Anakins demise & Vaders rise.
But it was all so depressing. So depressing in fact that I found myself on the side of the separatists (who would later form into the Rebellion as we know it in Eps 4+) & thinking that the Rebellion isn’t such a bad thing. Thoughts I’d not had in years!
So yes, I found the fall of the Jedi & Anakins turning to the Dark Side quite depressing but found consolence in the ending where Luke Skywalker is adopted to his Uncle/Aunt on Tatooine and we hear the familiar Force music. You just know that “the force is strong with this one”. Oh it won’t be long Palpatine – you’ll get yours as Vader/Anakin shakes off your shackles and finally redeems himself rather than let his son also become of slave to you.
You know what they say, “Revenge is a dish best served up cold”.