Cast / crew
The galaxy is in turmoil as war continues to wage between the Republic, spearheaded by the Jedi, and the Separatists, with Count Dooku at the helm. Dooku’s latest plot has seen him capture the figurehead of the Republic, Chancellor Palpatine, and his droid commander General Grievous is holding him. As they try to leave Coruscant, two Jedi mount a desperate rescue mission to retrieve the Chancellor unaware that the Sith Lord Darth Sidius is watching the execution of his life-long plan unfold exactly as he has foreseen.
His choice of Hayden Christiansen is still irreparable but George Lucas plugs the gap in his saga with this potentially distressing action opus that, for me, works overall. While easy to criticize for some clunky (though eminently quotable) dialogue, inconsistent acting, an occasional lack of editorial sharpness and generally indistinguishable action, the overall impact is undeniable. Of special note is Ian McDiarmid’s delightfully devious and devilish performance. It is delivered with cunning and panache and is a joy to behold. Ewan MacGregor nails his stuff consistently and really sells the heartbreak and disbelief at the turning of Anakin.
This movie contains strong violence, extremely unpleasant scenes.
Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
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Is it just me or is Padmé still pregnant in her death scene? She sure looks like she has a bump to me. “Wait! It was triplets, not twins! We left one in!”
2005’s highest grossing movie.
The commentary on disc 1 is provided by intercutting George Lucas solo thoughts with Rick McCallum, Rober Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett’s group commentary. As with the other films, it is interesting, honest and helps you appreciate the work and thought that goes into these movies.
>>> DVD: Deleted Scenes
1: Grievous Slaughters a Jedi, Escape from the GeneralSome fun dialogue (“I guess I still have much to learn.”) in this half-finished deleted scene that extends the action on board Grievous’ ship before our heroes reach Chancellor Palpatine.
2: A Stirring in the Senate (Bail’s Office)The birth of the Rebel Alliance subplot that was excised from the finished movie is presented in this crisp scene. The effects work is complete.
3: Seeds of Rebellion (Padmé’s Apartment)Another part of the Rebel Alliance subplot sees Padmé requesting permission to talk to Anakin about the situation.
4: Confronting the Chancellor (Palpatine’s Office)The best of the Rebel Alliance subplot scenes sees the representatives of 2,000 senators present their concerns to Palpatine. All three of these deleted scenes are short and well-done but this one is very good with plenty of interest as the Emperor continues to mess with Anakin’s mind. Again, it is a scene with Ian McDiarmid that is best. Lucas’ reasons for removing these scenes, though short, was for help pacing during the section of the movie between the rescue of Palpatine and the turning of Anakin. I’m glad we’ve got them here as they add more to the Anakin-Padmé sense of distrust.
5: A Plot to Destroy the Jedi?This scene was removed and the dialogue added to another scene in the movie. While it may seem redundant to include it here, it is interesting to see how Lucas moves the pieces of his film around.
6: Exiled to Dagobah.Yoda arrives on Dagobah to go into exile for the next 20 years or 2½ hours. Producer Rick McCallum mentions that Lucas is already thinking of tinkering with the movies for a further edition. So that’ll be another £90 I’ve got to spend in a couple of years.
>>> DVD: Documentaries
It’s All For Real: The Stunts of Episode IIIWhile there is an unfortunate element of ‘if we say it’s real enough times people will believe us’, this does show the tremendous physical effort that goes into the choreography and execution of the movie’s many sword-fighting scenes.
Within a Minute: The Making of Episode III
The Chosen One:A 15-minute run-through the Darth Vader character. This documentary includes the fairly rare filmed sight of George Lucas actually directing an actor. This is a nicely done and interesting little documentary that considers the character of Vader rather than the technical accomplishments of making the movie. While “Return of the Jedi” always restored Darth Vader to a hero when he sacrifices himself and kills the Emperor with one move, thus eliminating the Sith, this documentary helps us remember that we have an unusually complex character for mainstream film.