Saturday, July 28, 2018

Star Wars Episode III: The Sith, The Clones, and the Jedi

“A Kansas City Shuffle is when everybody looks right, you go left.” – Mr. Goodkat, Lucky Number Sleven

I remember going to the theatre to see Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith for the first time, and kind of being blown away by the opening sequence. I couldn’t shake the feeling that George Lucas had completely pulled the rug out from under the audience in the best of ways. As Lucas himself has pointed out, Star Wars and its subsequent sequels and prequels have always been essentially modern-day fairy tales with the requisite binary morality. Revenge of the Sith still falls along this spectrum, but if all of the previous Star Wars films were the sanitized Disney versions, then Revenge of the Sith is straight up, motherfucking Brothers Grimm. Revenge of the Sith is the version of Cinderella where her stepsisters cut off their own toes in order to have their feet fit the glass slipper only to be found out due to the copious amounts of blood easily visible in transparent footwear.

After two prequels worth of the typical Star Wars fare, Revenge of the Sith takes a dark turn early on that I don’t think a lot of people expected despite knowing where the story had to go. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is still hands down today the highest regarded film out of the saga among nearly any group of fans that you ask and is touted as being dark, but I think that Revenge of the Sith takes the mantle for the darkest entry any day of the week. The moment that indicated that this was going to be a different kind of Star Wars was the confrontation between Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) that ended in Anakin not just dismembering the good Count by cutting off both of his hands but then by brutally decapitating him once he is subdued and no longer a threat. Watching Dooku’s head bounce away like a tennis ball being chased by your pet nexu signalled a turning point in both the film and the series. In a film series that never shied away from casual dismemberment, there is something a lot more sinister here, something that “Oh shit” just doesn’t quite cover.

In a lot of ways, Revenge of the Sith was the movie that a lot of Star Wars fans had been yearning to see. Here, finally, we got to see the whiny teenager become the galaxy’s most feared masked man (all due respect to Mr. Fett Jr.). Yet weirdly, it was also the Star Wars movie that a lot of fans kind of didn't want to see. As curious as we were as to how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, there was also some sense that it was better not to know. His origins shrouded in mystery, the audience was free to mould the story in their heads to anything their imaginations could conceive; once set in stone, the wonder was in danger of being extinguished like a buffet dinner at a Hutt family wedding.

There was also the danger of revealing an unspoken truth about Darth Vader that we were all aware of but able to ignore largely because of how iconic the character became. He was the villain, but he also appeared to be powerful and to take exactly zero shit from anyone (except the Emperor, but that's a slightly different dynamic). Revenge of the Sith drags that truth kicking and screaming into the light and leaves nowhere for it to hide: Darth Vader is not somebody to be admired or emulated in any way.

What do you mean there's no bathroom on this thing?
In the opening sequence of Revenge of the Sith, we're re-introduced to Anakin who, although still conflicted, is much more confident in his role as a Jedi. In one of the most memorable space battle scenes in a series largely defined by space battles (it is literally called Star Wars, after all), Anakin shows off those piloting skills Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is always going on about to anybody who will listen, but he's still not totally in control of his emotions. He and Obi-Wan  are on a mission to rescue Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), leader of the Republic, from the clutches of General Grievous, the cyborg general of the Separatist army,and general pain in the ass. They're being assisted by several other Republic pilots in the criminally underrated ARC-170 starfighter (which, in a perfect world, would have become as iconic as the X-wings from the original trilogy) who are facing heavy fire and being destroyed by the Separatist forces. Anakin, though he's on a mission to save the leader of his government who, if lost, would be a crushing blow to his people in a time of war, is willing to jeopardize that mission to save a couple of random pilots. It's basically the tactical equivalent of foregoing sex for the promise of a handjob.

It's a small thing, but it's an echo of the same instincts that guided Anakin in the previous entry in the series, Attack of the Clones. Anakin seems to be unable to stay focused on the big picture. He always wants to save individuals, like his mother or secret wife, at the risk of jeopardizing the lives and/or well-being of untold billions. He seems unable to see the forest moon for the trees. This is a large part of the tragedy of Anakin's fall in Revenge of the Sith. He desperately wants to save people's lives, but he's not sure how to go about it most effectively, and his first instincts seem to always be short-sighted, self-serving, and self-destructive. It's this deep urge to fend off death that helps make Anakin more empathetic and is also at the core of his fall to the Dark Side.

As the old adage goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and Anakin has more than enough good intentions to go around. As Obi-Wan and Anakin make their way to rescue the Chancellor, they have a rematch with Count Dooku, who kicked their asses handily when last they met in Attack of the Clones. History seems to be repeating itself, as Obi-Wan is once again schooled by Dooku leaving Anakin to face him mano-a-mano once again. This time, though, Anakin gains the upper hand by relieving Count Dooku of both of his, and proving his boast that his powers have doubled since last they met.

With Count Dooku at his mercy and Obi-Wan knocked unconscious, Anakin only has his own instincts and the advice of Chancellor Palpatine to kill the good Count because as the leader of the Separatists, "He's too dangerous to be left alive." There are a couple of things going on here. On the one hand (heh), Anakin had both personal and political reasons to kill the leader of a group of dissidents who had plunged the galaxy into war. Count Dooku used to be a Jedi, but apparently turned his back on the order's teachings completely, killed a bunch of his former Jedi friends, led a campaign of death and destruction against citizens of the Republic, and also cut off Anakin's hand the last time they met. On the other hand, Dooku is now a (literally) unarmed prisoner who, as Anakin himself correctly points out, should stand trial and be held accountable for his actions.

At the Chancellor's urgings, Anakin decapitates his helpless prisoner, apparently to prevent Count Dooku from being a problem ever again. From a certain point of view, Chancellor Palpatine isn't wrong. Count Dooku, aside from being an obviously effective military leader, is also a Sith Lord, who has access to Force powers such as shooting lightning bolts from his hands, choking people from across the room, controlling people's minds, and looking really badass in a cape. If he is left alive, there's a very good chance he might escape and cause more trouble. Killing Count Dooku is about the only surefire way to keep him from being a problem. But as Anakin himself points out, killing an unarmed prisoner is unethical and "not the Jedi way."

Though his intentions seem to have at least some basis in wanting to put an end to the war, Anakin gives in to hate and fear. It seems to be one of those ends justifies the means situations. But then the Chancellor tries to console a guilt-ridden Anakin by providing another rationalization: "It is only natural. He cut off your arm, and you wanted revenge." There is a duality at play here in the rationalization that Anakin uses, and Palpatine vocalizes, to justify his summary execution of Count Dooku. Based on Anakin's reaction, he didn't execute Dooku as a coldly calculated move to try and achieve an ultimately long-term positive outcome by employing short-term unethical means. The regret Anakin immediately feels indicates that murdering Dooku was an emotionally driven act of revenge. Again, Anakin is guided by short-term concerns and what's immediately in front of him at the moment.

Anakin is, first and foremost, driven by his emotions, which is part of the reason why Palpatine is able to manipulate him, and what leads to his eventual downfall. Soon after Anakin kills Dooku, he is reunited with Senator Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), the love of his life who he married in secret to avoid repercussions from the Jedi order who frown on that sort of personal attachment. Amidala informs Anakin, who has been gone some time on an extended military campaign, that she is pregnant (and not just with emotion). Anakin is a mix of emotions, but generally happy about being a father.

It is also revealed that Anakin is plagued by visions of Amidala's death, visions in which she dies in childbirth. This, naturally, bums Anakin out and, in the words of his childhood friend on Tatooine, would be considered very un-wizard.

Just don't ask about Darth Analrapist.
His story is... pretty self-explanatory.
This leads into one of the key scenes in Revenge of the Sith which is, of course, the crazy space opera scene where Anakin meets with Chancellor Palpatine. It is memorable not just because it was incredibly well-shot, written, and acted, but because it provides a cypher that helps to decode so many of the themes running throughout all of the Star Wars movies. The main discussion is, of course, the story of Darth Plageuous the Wise, which thanks in no small part to Reddit, will live on in meme form long after the heat death of our own universe and the birth of the next one.

(Also, as an aside, for a series of movies not well known for its witty writing, this scene in particular drives home the occasional brilliance of the dialogue of the Star Wars films that George Lucas himself has admitted to viewing as more of a utilitarian concern in the language of film. In a world of blockbusters packed to the brim with zingy one-liners and witty retorts culled straight from the personal journal of Joss Whedon (a style many have tried to ape, to varying degrees of non-success), Star Wars is kind of refreshing in that it doesn't seem to have a need to turn every character into a quip machine trying to out-quip everybody else on screen every thirty seconds. Instead, we have perfectly functional dialogue punctuated by moments of pith or brilliance that tend to stand out (as well as a fair share of cheese and sometimes bizarre word choices that, while not as insightful, are certainly part and parcel of the Star Wars charm). As Jesse Hassenger puts it, "movies are not just writing, and the Star Wars prequels are accomplished without Joss Whedon-esque zingers" ("The Star Wars prequels don't deserve your hatred").)

The crux of the story of Darth Plageuous – delivered brilliantly by Ian McDiarmid – is that there was a Sith Lord who was so strong with the Force that he could actually prolong life for himself and others:

Palpatine: Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis The Wise?

Anakin: No.

Palpatine: I thought not. It’s not a story the Jedi would tell you. It’s a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life… He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.

Anakin: He could actually save people from death?

Palpatine: The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.

Anakin: What happened to him?

Palpatine: He became so powerful… the only thing he was afraid of was losing his power, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, then his apprentice killed him in his sleep. Ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself.

Anakin: Is it possible to learn this power?

Palpatine: Not from a Jedi.

This, of course, gives insight into a typical day in the office for a Sith, but it also taps into a very fundamental anxiety that permeates much of human culture, and that is the fear of death. It’s a very natural fear, and one of the few themes of human life that is universally understood across all cultures. There’s actually quite a bit written about how this anxiety influences human behavior (See Denial of Death by Ernest Becker), specifically how it pushes us to deal with the knowledge of our own mortality by building something that will outlive us (A new empire, perhaps?).

But what if you didn’t have to build a monument that would survive you after death? What if you could live perpetually and not have to succumb to death’s warm embrace?

And what if you could also pay it forward to whomever you chose?

In the original trilogy, Darth Vader was always going on about how powerful the Force was, and about how Luke didn’t “know the power of the Dark Side,” but honestly, none of that ever came to fruition. We were never really shown why Vader thought that other than the fact that he could choke people with telekinetic powers and his boss could shoot lightning out of his hands. Finally, in Revenge of the Sith, it’s made clear why Vader thinks the Dark Side is just, like, the best. It’s because it gives him literal power of life and death both for himself, and for those that he cares about (which, admittedly for a man dedicated to evil, is a pretty short list).

This all kind of speaks to the brilliance of the whole portrayal of Anakin’s fall from grace. Lucas is tapping into one of the most fundamental of human fears, the fear of death, to show how that same fear that drives us to try and build something better than ourselves can also be twisted and manipulated to rationalize truly horrifying decisions.

And watching that scene, as beautifully directed and acted as it is, one can't help wonder as an outside observer if there are any kind of warning alarms going off in Anakin's head. Not too many people outside of the Jedi and Sith themselves tend to talk about the specifics of their spiritual beliefs, and Chancellor Palpatine bringing up a potential solution to the exact problem that Anakin was facing at the exact time he needed it might have also seemed kind of suspicious.

In short, why does Anakin seem to be missing all of these obvious warning signs that his mentor is as close to evil incarnate that he will likely ever encounter?

Well, there are a couple of things at play. One is that, of course, as the audience we are privy to all kinds of information and insight that the characters actually involved in the narrative do not have access to. The other reason is that Anakin is incredibly conflicted and compromised at an emotional level. As Scott Begs writes in The Phantom Greatness of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith:

...what RotS does with Anakin is gorgeous. His downfall is aggravatingly consistent. The story doesn’t shove him into darkness, but instead allows us to watch his descent, powerless to stop it despite knowing what the endgame will be. That’s a tough narrative position to be in considering the transformative power of catharsis. It’s genuinely difficult to watch Anakin make the wrong decision at every turn, solely because he had a vision of a destiny he wants to protect his wife from. By itself, it’s incredibly noble.

All the Force keeps showing me is a future that is
utterly horrifying and traumatic. It makes being a
space-wizard superhero really fucking depressing.
Anakin is incredibly distraught to learn that the love of his life, the only other person to show him unconditional love since the death of his mother, is destined to die in the near future (obviously less than nine months given the whole pregnancy thing). He's desperate for any answer, regardless of where that answer may come from. He's also, according to the Star Wars timeline, only about twenty-three years old. During his relatively short life he's been a slave, left his home and kissed his mother goodbye, seen that same mother die after being brutalized for months by sandpeople, had his arm traumatically amputated in battle, and become a soldier and a general in the front lines of a brutal fight for the survival of his society.

That's a shitload to have to deal with in addition to knowing you're going to also lose the love of your life in the next few months and have to be a single parent. That shit's hard no matter what galaxy you're in.

In addition to all of that, there are also two more recent developments plaguing Anakin's mind. The first is the perceived insult of being appointed to the Jedi Council without being granted the associated rank of Master. Anakin was put in this position by Chancellor Palpatine, who specifically asked the Council to add Anakin to their ranks as his personal representative to be the "eyes and the ears of the senate." Palpatine did this knowing the Jedi wouldn't play along completely, and would continue to alienate Anakin by not watering the seeds of ambition that Palpatine had planted in his fertile mind.

Palpatine also did this to further undermine Anakin's trust in the Jedi, rightly surmising that they did not trust the Chancellor to relinquish the emergency powers granted to him by the Galactic Senate (thank you Jar Jar Binks), and would try to leverage Anakin's relationship with him to gain some inside information:

Palpatine: Anakin, you know I'm not able to rely on the Jedi Council. If they haven't included you in their plot, they soon will.

Anakin: I'm not sure I understand.

Palpatine: You must sense what I have come to suspect… the Jedi Council want control of the Republic… they're planning to betray me.

Anakin: I don't think…

Palpatine: Anakin, search your feelings. You know, don't you?

Anakin: I know they don't trust you…

Palpatine: Or the Senate… or the Republic… or democracy for that matter.

Anakin: I have to admit my trust in them has been shaken.

Palpatine: Why? They asked you to do something that made you feel dishonest, didn't they? They asked you to spy on me, didn't they?

Anakin: I don't know… I don't know what to say.

Palpatine: Remember back to your early teachings. Anakin. “All those who gain power are afraid to lose it.” Even the Jedi.

Anakin: The Jedi use their power for good.

Palpatine: Good is a point of view, Anakin. The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way, including their quest for greater power.

Anakin: The Sith rely on their passion for their strength. They think inward, only about themselves.

Palpatine: And the Jedi don't?

There's a lot to unpack here. First of all, the level of Palpatine's machinations is pretty incredible. He was able to elicit feelings of guilt from Anakin for having been tasked by the Jedi council to spy on him when Palpatine appointing him as his representative on the Jedi Council amounted to precisely the same thing. Only Palpatine is able to manipulate Anakin into engage in spying on the Jedi Council completely unwittingly - and indeed in the exchange above actually unknowingly reports on the inner workings of the Jedi council. This not only wreaks havoc on the Jedi's strategic advantage over their Sith enemies, but also probably put an end to any hope of winning the Galactic Senate pod racing pool.

The real difference is that Palpatine is cunning and manipulative and the Jedi are pragmatic and credulous. Palpatine is able to maneuver Anakin to position him as an informant without Anakin really being aware of it while the Jedi literally just straight up order Anakin to provide them intel on the Chancellor.

But the Jedi have a moral code which, though never fully articulated in the Star Wars films, apparently includes a level of forthrightness (the kind that brash Jedi rogues like Qui-Gon Jin bent or ignored when the situation called for it) that, by contrast, made any scheming on their part seem duplicitous in comparison. In contrast Palpatine, as a politician, never claimed any such moral high ground, so his motives, even if Anakin weren't compromised to the point where he was unable to suss them out, wouldn't seem as nefarious by contrast. Plus, even if Anakin were to suspect Palpatine of anything untoward, he has a choice between someone who offered to save his wife from dying and a bunch of people who would ruin his life if they found out he even had a wife.

This is all an incredibly nuanced set up to show the background behind Anakin's fall. It's also the nexus point of the three intertwining main narrative threads in Revenge of the Sith that simultaneously depict the fall and ultimate demise of Anakin Skywalker, the Republic, and the Jedi order.

Looks like you brought a lightsaber to a senate fight.
In Revenge of the Sith - and indeed in the Prequel Trilogy in general - George seems curiously intent on deconstructing his own mythology. The Original Trilogy was essentially a fairy tale (Lucas himself is known to have wanted to venture into Disney-esque territory), and its morality plays out fairly straightforward: it's easy to know who the good guys are, who the bad guys are, and the win conditions to defeating evil and restoring peace and justice in the galaxy. There are a few nuances in the particulars, but the overarching story of good versus evil isn't that complicated.

Revenge of the Sith makes it abundantly clear that the downfall of Anakin, the Republic, and the Jedi are all essentially due to their own faults and foibles, with exterior forces acting as catalysts but true failure originating from within. Just as Anakin eventually becomes a Sith Lord directly as a result of trying to prevent the death of ones he loves at any cost, the very thing he fought against, so too does the Republic eventually morph into the Empire as it tries desperately to uphold democracy.

Since literally the very beginning of the Prequel Trilogy the much maligned opening crawl of The Phantom Menace talks about the "taxation of trade routes" and blockades. It's mundane. It's boring. It's exactly the kind of shit nobody wants to talk about. But in a democracy, it's exactly the kind of shit that we need to talk about. It's the apathy towards the small stuff that leads to grudging resignation to the big stuff later on. Sure, the phrase "congress of the Republic endlessly debates this alarming chain of events" is a tough line to swallow in a movie about space-wizards and laser guns, but it speaks to a larger problem about evil arising not from without, but from within. Debate is necessary in a free and open society, but there is a point past which I think most of us would agree that bureaucracy tends to slow down or even paralyze a situation. We need a system of bureaucracy to help administrate any society of a certain size, but it also needs to be held in check so as not to grow too cumbersome.

It's quite revealing when you look at the political climate in which Revenge of the Sith was made and released. Four short years after 9/11, and you had things like the Patriot Act in the US, which was a clear example if ever there was one of people willing to sacrifice some of their freedoms in the name of security. When Palpatine makes his grand declaration near the end of Revenge of the Sith about how he will reorganize the Republic into the First Galactic Empire, he specifically says it is to ensure "a safe and secure society." And the galaxy fucking claps for him. Senator Amidala sums it up best with perhaps one of the most poignant, pertinent, and beautifully written lines in the entire Star Wars saga: "So this is how liberty dies: With thunderous applause." It doesn't take a whole lot of effort to apply that commentary in today's political landscape to any degree of accuracy. As with all of Star Wars, there's something of the epic in this. The fall of both Anakin and the Republic epic in nature are linked to bigger ideas of the rise and fall of empires, both familial and collective. Revenge of the Sith is, if nothing else, a comprehensive treatise on how the best of intentions can be warped into something heinous, much like the menu at Taco Bell.

The Jedi, too, are given the same treatment. Their intentions are noble, but their sins innumerable. Instead of being open about how their power to use the Force has diminished or about how the Dark Side if fucking with their ability to be truly effective in detecting the forces of evil, they choose to hide the fact. Yoda says he's doing it out of caution, but I think a strong case can be made that the decision to withhold that particular information was made from a place of pride. If only they had seen Pulp Fiction, they'd know that that shit only hurts. It never helps.

It's pretty clear that the Jedi enjoy a privileged place in their society. There's clearly some sort of capitalist economic system at play in the Republic, and the home of the Jedi is a pretty opulent temple that had to be paid for somehow. It's never made entirely clear who funds them. They might rely on donations, or they could be publicly funded. Either way, they clearly have an incredibly influential voice that also skirts typical diplomatic and governmental channels as they are incredibly involved in extremely confidential and sensitive government business seemingly as a matter of course. Nobody bats an eye when the leaders of this religious organization are granted access to people in the highest leadership positions in the government to give advice. And who's going to argue with a dude who carries a laser sword that can cut you half as effortlessly as R2-D2 whips out a new gadget that just happens to be applicable to whatever situation he finds himself in. (Also, George Lucas--either intentionally or unintentionally, it's hard to be sure--puts forth one of the greatest on-screen depictions ever of why separation of church and state is oh so important.)

So you're saying that taking children away from their parents and teaching
them to live a life of austerity, constantly repress every natural biological urge,
and forsake the concept of individuality and any pursuit that might bring them
personal fulfillment might , somehow, be problematic in some way? I'm, I'm
just not seeing it. I mean, sure, all that other stuff, but they get to play with lightsabers.
The Jedi have apparently enjoyed centuries of everybody looking to them for wisdom, counsel, and the occasional dismemberment. They've enjoyed that privileged status, and they've come to see themselves not just as the guardians of peace and justice, but the arbiters of them as well. Once Obi-Wan Kenobi confirms that he's killed General Grievous, Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) suggests--and the rest of the Jedi agree--that if Chancellor Palpatine doesn't give up the emergency wartime governmental powers that were granted to him by the senate, that the Jedi order should forcibly remove him from office and rule in his stead as power was transferred back to the people.

Again, here we have the best of intentions, but the Jedi are doing exactly what Palpatine suggested to Anakin that they were doing: plotting to overthrow the legitimate (if corrupt) government and seize power (on a supposedly temporary basis). They should have gone to other senators who hip to their jive. Rallied support among the people. But as an order, they had grown prideful and even arrogant. They believed that they alone could save the Republic from itself, by force if necessary. And the Jedi were clearly no strangers to using violence as a method of enforcing their worldview. There's a certain beautiful contradiction between an order of chivalrous monks who value peace, justice, and diplomacy, but carry around one of the most dangerous weapons ever conceived. And they seem to pull out their lightsabers at the drop of a hat. Shit, if Captain Typho or any of Naboo's security force even so much as draws their weapon in the line of duty, they're probably looking at weeks worth of paperwork.

Not the Jedi, though. The Jedi dismember somebody in a room full of witnesses and they brush it off as "Jedi business," and, really, who's going to argue? Nobody who doesn't want a gut full of weaponized plasma. Especially considering that it's wartime by the time of Revenge of the Sith, and some of the more apparently benign aspects of Jediism seem kind of sketchy. Oh, they're training children from a young age so they can help them find that inner peace and balance with the Force? Well, now it's looking more and more like they're training child soldiers (which The Clone Wars TV series really serves to highlight with Ahsoka Tano and a bunch of obviously pre-teen Jedi being sent right to the front lines of a war). Oh, you want to get married, have some kids, start a family? Well fuck you, we have confusing rules that don't explicitly say you can't do that stuff, you're just forbidden from personal attachment, which apparently precludes any of that stuff. Again, the Jedi seem to be approaching things with the best of intentions, but they stick to a rigid code of conduct without ever questioning its merits or its potential internal inconsistencies that might drive someone to an epically tragic downfall with dire, far-reaching consequences for the entire galaxy for generations to come, as a completely a random example.

Which brings us again to the true tragedy of the Jedi, the Republic, and Anakin Skywalker himself, as they are all intertwined, like the participants in a late-night Death Star orgy. They all suffer a fall from grace as a result of a fateful twist of all of their own best intentions. Had the Republic not been bogged down in all of the (some would say) excessive rules it had put in place to ensure peaceful, civil discourse, it might not have drowned itself in red tape and been able to discover the deception of the Trade Federation and Palpatine thereby preventing the war. If Anakin had felt comfortable confiding in Obi-Wan or Yoda about his marriage to Padmé, he might have been able to get the counsel he needed to make better choices in other areas of his life. If the Jedi had not been so intent on enforcing their own rules of conduct in order to prove a point (which seems pretty petty in retrospect) by promoting Anakin to the Jedi Council but not granting him the rank of Master, he might have trusted in their wisdom and not followed Mace Windu and his posse to Senator Palpatine's chambers on the fateful night.

If that's not a face you can trust, then I don't know what is.
And that night is pretty fateful. In one of the most beautifully, shot, scored, and acted scenes in the entire Star Wars saga, Anakin makes that pivotal choice that leads him down a path that will forever dominate his destiny. Completely wordless and with an incredibly haunting score from the maestro himself, John Williams (who somehow manages to outdo himself yet again), the scene in question, around which basically the first six movies pivot, features Anakin standing alone in the chambers of the Jedi Council looking out across the city to the apartment where he knows Padmé is waiting for him. This is, of course, intercut with images of Padmé staring back in the opposite direction at the Jedi Temple, where she knows Anakin is. The imagery is poignant, and the emotion of the scene is conveyed incredibly well by both Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen, with Christensen especially conveying a sense of fateful anguish through just his facial expressions.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Anakin goes to Chancellor Palpatine's office to make sure that he survives at any cost so that the Chancellor can help him save Padmé's life. Having already ratted out the Chancellor to Mace Windu as the Sith Lord who had manipulated an entire civilization into a war so that he could maneuver his way to power and build himself a new empire. As much as the Jedi seem prone to resort to "aggressive negotiations," Mace Windu seems even more inclined to let his lightsaber do the talking. After all, it's no coincidence that Master Windu is held up as the gold standard of Jedi combat. So, it's reasonable to think that Mace Windu's plan might change on the fly from apprehending and imprisoning the Chancellor on suspicion of being a complete and total douche to simply beheading the motherfucker right then and there on the spot.

Which, of course, Master Windu does do. Once Mace Windu is finally able to subdue the Chancellor AKA Darth Sidious, The Jedi Master reasons that the only way to really ensure the villain is no longer a threat is to kill him. As Mace Windu goes to strike the killing blow, Anakin intervenes, cutting off Windu's arm and allowing Darth Sidious to finish him off with his patented blend of Force lightning and theatrical proclamations. (Seriously, screaming "Power! Unlimited power!" is like a linguistic Swiss Army knife, applicable in so many everyday situations.)

The irony of the situation is pretty clear as even Mace Windu's reasoning mirror's Palpatine's justification for Anakin to persuade him to kill Dooku earlier: "He's too dangerous to be left alive." For Anakin, saving Sidious while murdering Dooku goes to show the young Jedi's hypocrisy and the twisted logic he uses to justify his actions. It's also interesting to note that Mace Windu's logic precisely mirrored the logic of a Sith Lord. Even though Palpatine/Sidious was trying to manipulate Anakin with all of his talk of the Jedi's corruption, he wasn't totally off the mark.

That's the real kicker: Palpatine wasn't exactly wrong about the Jedi and their arrogance, corruption, and strict, unquestioning adherence to dogma.

The problem is that not being wrong isn't the same thing as being right.

As Palpatine emerges for the first time unabashedly under the mantle of Darth Sidious, the birth of Darth Vader quickly follows. Anakin pledges himself to the teachings of the Sith in order to save the lives of his burgeoning family. As Scott Beggs points out

it’s an interesting exploration of tearing down a hero by using his heroic nature against him. Anakin’s tragic flaw is wanting to save people. In fact, all the personal/political maneuvering might not matter at all in this story, because Palpatine has the trump card of enticing Anakin to the dark side by promising him protective powers. Even if the Jedi had coddled him and fed his ego every scrap of praise it needed, Palpatine still could have come out looking like the better bet. Anakin may not have been as pliable, but he would have relented in order to save the woman he loves. (The Phantom Greatness of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith)

The first order of business as a newly minted Sith Lord is to eradicate the Jedi who, if they were to hear of Anakin's changing teams, would understandable put up some resistance. What follows are some more scenes that came as quite a shock to audiences everywhere, and again felt more like the Brothers Grim than Disney. One of them is when Darth Sidious orders clone troopers throughout the galaxy to "Execute Order 66." This activated some kind of embedded and hidden directive that caused them to murder any and all Jedi in the immediate vicinity. In an incredibly heartbreaking montage, several Jedi are shown leading clone troopers as they are engaged against Separatist forces throughout the galaxy and then ambushed and killed by those same troopers as this hidden programming is put into action.

I'm sorry, it looks like you have an extremely bad case of
Sith eye. I'm afraid the only cure is a deathbed redemption
at the hands of a loved one.
The other scene occurs when Anakin - now acting as Darth Vader - goes to the Jedi Temple with a battalion of clone troopers to kill all the Jedi there in a preemptive strike. At one point, Anakin enters a room full of young Jedi children. They recognize him, of course, and assume he is there to protect them. Anakin instead ignites his lightsaber, and the implication is clear though, thankfully, the audience is spared having to witness the murder of a room full of children (in what is surely to go down in history as the absolute worst Take Your Kids to Work Day Ever).

Now, this scene was problematic for some people who thought it went over the top to show how far Anakin had fallen and that it was kind of out of the blue. I have to respectively disagree with those people. First of all, it wasn't that sudden. Revenge of the Sith is the third movie of a trilogy specifically dealing with the downfall of Anakin Skywalker, and setting the stage for that downfall the whole way. Case in point: this wasn't the first time Anakin murdered a bunch of people, or even children. In Attack of the Clones, only one movie earlier, after finding his mother who had been kidnapped and tortured at the hands of sandpeople on Tatooine, Anakin murdered their entire village, including by his own admission the women and the children. So, it's already established that Anakin is not above killing children, and this is really becoming a more disturbing pattern of behaviour.

The other point about killing children being too overt a signal as to how evil Anakin had become, I would argue that it actually was incredibly dramatic and jarring, which was kind of the point. Anakin killing children (or younglings in Star Wars parlance) was Shakespearean in its scope; it was essentially the equivalent of Macbeth killing the king and, in essence, sealing his fate. Here was the point of no return for Anakin. In the Chancellor's office with Darth Sidious, Anakin took on the mantle of Darth Vader, but it wasn't until that room full of children that Anakin truly became Darth Vader. There's also something (darkly) poetic about the idea of killing the children of others to save the lives of your own children.

This also cements Yoda's and Obi Wan Kenobi's resolve to stop the newly minted Sith Lord ASAP. After Anakin finishes killing all the Jedi at the Jedi Temple, he travels to the planet Mustafar to murder all of the leaders of the Separatist movement, who it turns out were mere pawns being used by Palpatine/Darth Sidious to gain power to establish law and order throughout the galaxy (albeit brutally). It has to be said, that even though the Separatists were portrayed as bad guys--including Nute Gunray, the asshole leader of the Trade Federation that was causing problems all the way back in The Phantom Menace--there's something deeply unsettling about the scene where Anakin, now acting as Darth Vader, slaughters a bunch of unsuspecting people. Normally in a Star Wars film, the death of a villain is cause for celebration, but the killing of the Separatist leaders felt incredibly wrong. They clearly weren't warriors; they were schemers and warmongers, to be sure, but by that point, they were completely impotent, pugilistically and militarily speaking (according to experts, it happens to three out of five insurgencies, so I guess they shouldn't feel too bad).

I'm kind of pissed about having to kill my best friend...
But on the other hand, a laser sword battle on the
side of a volcano is dope as fuck. Honestly...
I'm not sure how to feel here.
Obi-Wan arrives shortly thereafter as a stowaway on Padmé's ship as she goes to find Anakin to try and figure out what the fuck was going on. Obi-Wan told her that Anakin was running around murdering children (sorry, younglings), and what with Palpatine declaring himself emperor and the complete collapse of democracy and the rise of fascism on a heretofore unprecedented scale throughout the galaxy to top it all off, she's understandably upset and wants to clear everything up. As one might imagine, this does not go over well. Anakin doesn't want to hear her bullshit, and ends up Force choking her before Obi-Wan intervenes.

What follows is the most intricately staged and one of the most emotionally complex lightsaber duels in the entire Star Wars saga. Both Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor are on point, delivering some of their most layered performances in the film, effectively imbuing Anakin with a frothing rage and Obi-Wan with a grim determination respectively. There's a reason this duel feels so epic, beyond the visual spectacle and the obvious skill of the individuals involved (both characters and actors).

The killing of the children (younglings!) is the turning point for Anakin, but the duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan represents a turning point for the rest of the galaxy and the narrative. Even without knowing the inevitable outcome of the fight which, of course, is known to anyone who watched the Original Trilogy, this is obviously a point of no return. Despite knowing (or at least suspecting) what Anakin has done, Padmé is willing to forgive him and offers to run away with him to start a new life together. Obi-Wan, despite being sent explicitly by Yoda to kill Anakin, seems reluctant to fight, and had Anakin not pressed it, Obi-Wan might have instead offered him the same chance at a peaceful apprehension that he had previously denied to Count Dooku. As Anakin goes on the offensive, however, the last glimmer of hope is extinguished until a certain blonde-haired farm boy offers a new one eighteen years later.

There's a pretty rich emotional palette the Lucas paints this scene with that add an incredible depth to a pivotal scene not just for Revenge of the Sith, but also for the Star Wars saga as a whole. Camille Paglia sums up the heart of it pretty much perfectly:

Leading up to the interwoven birth scenes is one of the longest duels ever filmed, set against the apocalyptic backdrop of the sulfurous volcano planet of Mustafar. Lucas called this fierce fight between Anakin Skywalker and his Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi "the turning point of the whole series." Fire provides a sublime elemental poetry here, as water did on the storm-swept planet of Kamino in the prior film, Attack of the Clones. Lucas says he had long had a mental color image of the Sith finale, "monochromatic in its red and blackness." The seething reds and yellows of the great lava river and waterfalls (based on Niagara Falls) flood the eye. It is a vision of hell. As in Dante, there is an allegorical level: "I have the high ground," declares Obi-Wan when he springs to the top of a black sandy slope. Hell, as in Marlowe, Milton, and Blake, is a psychological state--Anakin's self-destructive surrender to possessive love and jealous hate. (George Lucas's Force)

As a self-professed visual storyteller, it's no surprise that Lucas uses the biblical imagery of a hellish landscape of fire and brimstone to perfectly encapsulate the emotional state that Anakin finds himself in by the end of the film. Little does Anakin suspect, though, that his suffering is just beginning.

As the fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan winds down to its inevitable conclusion, Obi-Wan gets the upper hand, or as he puts it, "the high ground." For me, the double meaning of this dialogue works really well in context. When Obi-Wan says "It's over Anakin. I have the high ground." he is literally standing physically at a higher elevation than Anakin, but of course, this is also referring to the moral high ground that Obi-Wan has over Anakin. But Anakin is undeterred and attempts to gain the advantage, only for Obi-Wan to dismember him nearly completely, leaving him with only one arm intact.

Now, for some people, the scene where Anakin tries to jump over Obi-Wan to regain the high ground doesn't make a lot of sense because of the parallels with a similar scene from The Phantom Menace where Ob-Wan pulls a similar move, jumping over the head of Darth Maul to eventually defeat him. For me, the scene between Anakin and Obi-Wan makes a whole lot more sense because of the earlier scene between Obi-Wan and Maul. When I watch any films in a series, including the Star Wars films, I watch them as a continuum. (I mean, with Star Wars, they're literally numbered episodes.) What I mean to say is that the character of Obi-Wan from the Phantom Menace is the same character in Revenge of the Sith. He remembers being in a similar situation with Darth Maul, and how he was able to defeat him. Knowing how someone in that position was defeated, he has specific experience to allow him to learn from Maul's mistakes and defend against a similar attack.

What follows that epic duel between master and former apprentice is another of the most poignant scenes in the entire saga. After having been forced to brutally dismember his best friend in self defence (hey, we've all been there), Obi-Wan essentially cries out to the heavens about basically how fucked up everything has become:

Obi-Wan: You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them! Bring balance to the force... not leave it in darkness!

Anakin Skywalker: I HATE YOU!

Obi-Wan: You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you!

And even after all that, Obi-Wan can't bring himself to finish Anakin off. He leaves as the heat from the nearby river of lava burns what's left of Anakin to a crisp, perhaps in relief as he believes no one could survive such an ordeal, and he's spared from performing the gruesome deed himself.

-Bro, you were sliced up like a Life Day ham and burned
to a fucking crisp. Are you going to be OK?
-'Tis but a flesh wound. 
Darth Sidious knows better, and goes to check on his new apprentice once Obi-Wan has departed Mustafar with Padmé, still unconscious and very pregnant. Sidious is built up as one of the strongest Force users of all time, and even he's surprised that Anakin is still alive. Which is good for the new Emperor, because he invested a lot of time and effort to get the apprentice he finally wanted.

(While we're on the subject, I know there a lot of people who felt that Darth Maul and Count Dooku AKA Darth Tyrannus got the short end of the stick narratively speaking, but I always felt that was kind of the point: Palpatine was a ruthless despot who saw people in terms of their utility. He used people as pawns for his own ends, and had no qualms about using disposable henchmen.

I know that Darth Maul was subsequently resurrected by The Clone Wars animated series and given some pretty cool back story, but honestly, I could have done without all of that. Maul was originally more like an evil version of Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name: a badass who was a man of few words and who left a trail of corpses behind whenever anybody tried to fuck with him. The Clone Wars gave him a bunch of dialogue which kind of ruined that mystique for me just a little bit. Also, it kind of flies in the face of Palpatine's characterization of using people as a means to an end and then feeding them to the fucking wolves when he was done with them.)

This all leads up to Anakin fully transforming into the villain we know and love as the medical treatment for severe burns and dismemberment in a galaxy far, far away seems to be having cybernetic limbs grafted onto your still-tender flesh without any anaesthetic whatsoever and getting fitted with a dope set of hermetically sealed armour. (Seriously, not even some topical ointment or something?) It's here where Darth Vader is truly revealed to the rest of the world as the monster he has become. The physical deformations now mirror the twisted emotional husk of a man that Anakin has become. Or to put it more succinctly: There is no Annie, only Vader.

To really drive the tragedy of Anakin's fall home, scenes of his rebirth as Darth Vader are intercut with the birth of his children, who as we know are Luke and Leia the heroes of the Original Trilogy, and the death of Padmé, the love of his life. Not only is it deeply moving, but there's an irony here as well. Anakin turned to the Dark Side as a way to cheat death, and it's the Jedi, adherents to the Light Side, who are actually able to work out a path to immortality. As Yoda reveals to Obi-Wan in one of the final scenes of Revenge of the Sith, it turns out that Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan's former master, was able to survive death in some form and pass on that knowledge to Yoda. We're never shown whether Qui-Gon is able to manifest fully as a Force ghost as Obi-Wan and Yoda are able to in other films after their respective deaths (spoiler alert).

But even before knowing that there was a "path to immortality," Yoda already offered a pretty emotionally mature way of dealing with death. At an earlier point when Anakin goes to Yoda asking for counsel in regards to some visions of people he knows dying, Yoda tells him essentially that death is a normal part of life and you have to learn how to accept it:

Yoda: Careful you must be when sensing the future, Anakin. The fear of loss is a path to the dark side.
Anakin: I won’t let these visions come true, Master Yoda.
Yoda: Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them, do not. Miss them, do not. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed, that is.
Anakin: What must I do, Master Yoda?
Yoda: Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.

-So just out of my own morbid sense of curiosity did... did like everything get
burnt in the lava? Like, you know... downstairs?
-I hate you so much.
-I know.
But that wasn't enough for Anakin. He didn't want peace of mind; he wanted a piece of everything. And in the end he ended up as the second most powerful person in the galaxy, and all it cost him was everything he ever loved and any sense of moral decency he ever had. (Come to think of it, Darth Vader probably could have run for US President and won. Handily.)

In the original trilogy, Darth Vader was shrouded in mystery, but there was something compelling about him. It's no coincidence that Vader is still considered one of if not the most iconic cinematic villains of all time. His black armour is visually distinctive and imposing if not outright at least slightly terrifying (I once scared the complete and total shit out of my nephew simply by being in the same room as him while I was wearing a Darth Vader mask). He was incredibly powerful. He killed without hesitation or emotion. Vader was a villain, yes, but there was something compelling about the power he exuded. Revenge of the Sith (and the Prequel Trilogy in general) actually looks beneath all of that and gets to the heart of Vader. George Lucas, seemingly intent on deconstructing his own mythology, completely deconstructed one of the key figures at the heart of it all. And it was as necessary on a cultural level as it was on a narrative level.

As evil as Darth Vader was, there was still something oddly relatable about him. There was a vague Zone of Coolness that Darth Vader occupied where his awesome abilities and take-no-shit attitude blinded some of us to the shitty things that he actually did. Anakin doesn't come across as relatable in the same way. His motivations about wanting to resist death are understandable, but he doesn't come across as the calm, cool, and collected villain audiences responded so well to in the Original Trilogy.

I think that’s the point. Darth Vader isn’t a badass. He’s actually an asshole. And it's an understandable blurring between the awesome and the heinous in the Original Trilogy. It depends, as a certain Jedi once intoned, on your point of view. From a child's perspective, Darth Vader seems like a badass. He's the ultimate power fantasy. He goes around the galaxy doing whatever he wants to whomever he wants with no consequences. He is beholden to no one, and wields space magic that virtually no one else can even begin to comprehend. He wears an intimidating suit of black armour that inspires fear in the people around him and reveals nothing about himself.

This is an intensely juvenile fantasy and the antithesis of how most of us choose to live our lives. And it's incredibly in keeping with the character of Anakin as established in Revenge of the Sith and the other prequels. He's an angry, whiny, angst-ridden young man who craves power and fears death.

As an adult, I recognize that Darth Vader is a compelling character, but I don't identify with him at all. I don't look to him as an icon of power but as an object of sympathy and disgust. This is a broken man who keeps trying to get his own, selfish way, and is consistently thwarted by under-resourced Rebel Alliances and old mentors alike.

It all comes back to that Kansas City Shuffle. Everybody in the audience was looking right, so Lucas went left. Since we were first introduced to Anakin as a child, the Jedi assumed that all of the signs pointed to him being the long-rumored Chosen One (with all due apologies to Homer Simpson). The trope of the Chosen One has a long and storied one throughout the history of history, and it's pretty standard fare even among the storytellers of today. Which is why it's all the more compelling the way George Lucas subverted expectations with the prequel films, culminating in the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise Revenge of the Sith:

When Obi-Wan -- in the heat of battle on a volcanic planet -- yells his profound confusion to the heavens, the cosmic size of the tragedy finally comes into focus. We, as an audience, so often place our faith in the Chosen One (Neo entering The Matrix, Dorthy heading to Oz), and Lucas has flipped that on its head to inform us that the prophesy that we and Obi-Wan believed in was nonsense. It’s probably the only popcorn movie worth nearly a billion (in ticket sales alone) where the bad guys win decisively, and the good guys run off to a swamp planet to hide. (Scott Beggs, "The Phantom Greatness of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith")

There's some pretty intricate stuff going on thematically in Revenge of the Sith, which to me adds to the depth and enjoyment not just of this film, but also of the Prequel Trilogy as a whole and even the Original Trilogy and the burgeoning Sequel Trilogy. In fact, the more I think about it, the more it seems that this film really ties the saga together. In fact, the more I watch Revenge of the Sith, the more I tend to like it. (This is hyperbole, of course, as affinity towards an object of affection is never infinite, but the poetic liberty taken gets my point across quite nicely, I think.)

As thinking about my investment (both emotional and financial) in the Star Wars often does, I can't help but ruminate on the nature of fandom itself. Especially in the wake of the next generation of Star Wars actors being forced off of social media by a segment of the fan base that is regularly and quite accurately referred to as toxic. Both Kelly Marie Tran and Daisy Ridley were essentially forced off of various social media platforms because to stay would have meant facing a constant deluge of sexist, racist, and otherwise abusive and threatening behaviour from an embarrassingly large number of dipshits online claiming to be Star Wars fans. There are some in the fandom who would argue that these are not true fans.

Those people would be wrong.

I wish they were right. God, do I wish it were that easy. One might argue that the voices of this toxic minority (god, I hope its a minority) are not representative of the fandom as a whole. One might argue--quite correctly--that the voice of any one individual fan is not representative of the feelings of any other member of that same fandom or large swaths of that fandom.

But we can't argue that they're not fans.

The whole thing that makes fandom great is precisely because there are no gatekeepers. Fandom is a such powerful force because it is the only institution where you define your own qualifications for membership. Nobody can allow, deny, revoke, or reinstate your fandom of a given intellectual property except for you.

How many multi-billion-dollar franchises
yousa been in again? Oh none? That's
pretty good to. Meesa guess...
Fandom is a lot like the Internet--it's a communal space, an intersection of various agents. The whole thing is owned by nobody in particular, but everybody contributes and owns their little portion of it. So all the assholes that drove Tran and Ridley off of social media, all of the douchebags that drove Jake Lloyd into a downward spiral of self-destruction that quite literally ruined his life, and all of the moof milkers who were directly responsible for Ahmed Best contemplating suicide are all, by their own admission, fans of Star Wars. They have a strange way of showing it, but by the Inalienable Rules of Fandom, the only admission they have to pay is the one they set for themselves.

Oh, Ahmed Best? Who's that you say? You may remember him as the guy you never saw playing Jar Jar Binks, arguably the most hated character in all of Star Wars, despite him being no more annoying than C-3P0. (Search your feelings. You know it to be true.) But the backlash against the character spilled over to the actor behind the character, who is only human after all. And like all of us, he has a breaking point.

In a recent interview, Simon Pegg, noted actor, geek, Star Wars fan, and Prequel-hater, actually addressed the level to which this element of toxic fandom had developed and reflected back on his own disparagement of certain aspects of the Prequel Trilogy, not the least of which was Jar Jar Binks:

I feel so ashamed of the fact that there was actually a victim, a human victim in that... I think most people were regarding Jar Jar Binks like he was a real creature and wailing on him for being annoying, or whatever, or not liking him. But there was a person behind that. And I read that and just thought, "Christ, I’m one of those people." It makes me feel awful...

There’s no diplomacy in that, there’s no empathy. We’re becoming very, very insular as human beings. We’re becoming very self-driven, selfist, our opinions, our needs, our wants. I feel sorry for Kelly Marie Tran because she was just in a film--a fucking film, that’s all it is. None of it matters, none of it. I think it would be nice if everyone just got on. You know and stopped being so aggressive. (Zack Sharf, "Simon Pegg Reminds Toxic ‘Star Wars’ Fans: ‘The Lest Jedi’ Is ‘Just A F*cking Film’ and ‘None of It Matters’")

I have to give credit to Pegg for his level of self-awareness and willingness to change and grow. I don't know if he's grown to appreciate the degree that I have, but he provides an incredible example of how to be a fan and also not an asshole. I think that he also really hit the nail on the head with putting everything in perspective: it's "a fucking film, that's all it is. None of it matters, none of it."

There's a saying around now that no one hates Star Wars like a Star Wars fan. It's paradoxical, and it seems like a bizarre way to devote one's energies, but it is true nonetheless. Hating Star Wars has developed into its own cottage industry:

Weirder still, some fans seem more wrapped up in the Red Letter Media reviews than the movies themselves. The first trilogy has its own set of imperfections, small missteps, awkward lines, and creatures that serve no direct story purpose. But for a lot of fans, most of that stuff, give or take a pile of Ewoks, has been assimilated into a general appreciation; to a devoted fan, the first trilogy’s limitations can seem almost indistinguishable from its delights. The prequel trilogy’s similar mixture of the fantastic, the goofy, and the mundane has obviously not generated a similar affection--and in absence of Star Wars doing what they wanted, some fans banded together around a piece of criticism, trading memes, jokes, and references to those videos rather than the text itself.

As a critic, this is certainly tantalizing: Imagine, fans who quote reviews more readily than the movies they’re covering! As someone who loves movies, though, it’s terribly depressing to think of Star Wars fans who derive more joy from repeating “it’s so dense” and smug Screenwriting 101 bromides about Phantom Menace lacking a main character than actually, you know, watching Star Wars movies. (Jesse Hassenger, "The Star Wars prequels don't deserve your hate")

There seems to be a weird phenomenon among fans, where Star Wars fandom now resembles a space worm eating its own tail. Some fans express their appreciation for one of the films, trilogies, or aspects thereof, and another group of fans shit all over the first group, calling their opinions objectively wrong. I know that I've been guilty of this in the past as well. There's a strange urge to try and taint somebody else's love of something, even though whether somebody else enjoys something you don't has no bearing on you whatsoever. It's even stranger when two people are fans of the same fucking thing and instead of bonding over their similarities, they each swear everlasting animosity and vitriol towards the other's family for ten generations.

There's a lesson in all of this for fans out there perhaps best summed up by the great sage and eminent Jedi, Yoda:

Fear is the path to the dark side. 
Fear leads to anger. 
Anger leads to hate. 
Hate leads to suffering.

May the Force be with us, everyone.


George Lucas gave the world something special with Star Wars. For me, there's something to enjoy from every film. Revenge of the Sith finished off the Prequel Trilogy on a high point, was able to keep the audience invested even though we knew how the film had to end, did a great job of bridging the gap between the original and prequel films. With more and more Star Wars films coming out, one of the first priorities for any fan is to figure out how all the films rank in relation to the other. Revenge of the Sith, with all of its grandeur and all of its quirks, remains one of favourite to this day. My rating for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a 9/10 = One Sith Lord's Helmet-Encased Head Taking its First, Horrifying Breath

For some more insightful insights on all things Star Wars, simply click on the links below:


Post a Comment