Star Wars – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is better than Episodes I and II. It was dark (although lighter, in the sense of being more fun, than it’s immediate predecessors). It succeeded in rounding off Darth Vader’s life story with a pretty satisfactory ending.
The lead actors were improved, although still a little deficient, and the script was similarly better – there were even one or two good lines. Ian McDiarmid was excellent again, right up until he became deformed, at which he turned into the hammiest man in Hamburg.
Little things bothered me. It really takes 18 years to build a Death Star? So the one in Jedi was already being built during A New Hope? The Qui-Gon Jin bit at the end – what was the point? To explain Yoda’s and Obi-Wan’s ghostly appearances in the original trilogy? And how can you discover the secret of immortality after you’re dead? What a coincidence that Yoda should know Chewbacca. I also found the close-up space battles at the beginning initial exciting but soon very hard to follow, and some other scenes seemed a bit too obviously to be using CGI for human characters.
Oh, and Padme’s death made little sense either. She is supposed to have lost her reason to live just at the moment her children are born. <Yoda>A very strange mother that makes her.</Yoda> Why not just give her proper injuries?
These (and other) niggles were offset by the good points. The spaceships are clearly evolving into the familiar craft we later see, and Leia’s ship from Episode IV makes an appearance. R2D2 gets some good sequences at the beginning and Yoda gets some good lightsabre battles. The highlight, though, is not a setpiece battle but Palpatine’s talk with Anakin in the auditorium, recounting (not explicitly) the story of his own Sith master.
I couldn’t not recommend this film – it is, after all, part of one of the greatest film series of all time – but despite endless computer graphic and an emotionally charged story, it still can’t quite take the new trilogy to the level of the original three.