Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith  MAY 20 2005  rating: 4.5 stars

Warning: there are some major spoilers in here if you haven't seen it yet.

As a life-long Star Wars fan (but not fanatic), I flat out loved Revenge of the Sith. Before the 20th Century Fox theme song started, the only expectation I had was to finally find out the details behind Anakin's transition to the Dark Side, Padme's death, Luke and Leia's birth, and the near-extinction of the Jedi...everything that tied the somewhat lame prequels to the beloved trilogy of my youth. But as the movie began, I was surprised at how into it I got...I haven't been that absorbed in watching a movie in a long time. Sure there were some rough spots (mostly dialogue related, unsurprisingly), but since the feelings I have about Star Wars are in alignment with how Alan feels, they were largely irrelevant. It's much closer in feel to the original movies than the more recently filmed ones.

In some spots, even though I knew how things eventually turned out, I was still hoping that things would go another way. When the Emperor was trying to turn Anakin to the Dark Side, I held out hope that he wouldn't make that choice. I didn't want to see the Jedi slaughtered. When Yoda went to face the Emperor, I wanted that little guy to kill him. When Anakin and Obi-Wan faced each other at the end, I was hoping that somehow Obi-Wan would convince Anakin to step back from the Dark Side. But none of that happened and I was sad when it didn't...which was the biggest surprise for me, that sadness. Somehow, Lucas made a real old-fashioned tragedy here; he actually made the evil Darth Vader into a sympathetic character. At the end, when the Emperor tells Vader -- newly clothed in his now-familiar black suit -- that it was his own anger that killed his wife and Vader broke free from his bonds and screamed at the universe, suddenly he didn't seem so evil and imposing. Instead, you saw a small boy, manipulated, confused, and destined to spend the rest of his life inside himself, knowing that he destroyed everything and everyone he loved and having made his uncomfortable bed, that he would now need to lie in it.

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