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Last Updated: Monday, 9 May, 2005, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Press views: Revenge of the Sith
Hayden Christensen
Anakin turns to the dark side
The final instalment of the Star Wars saga, Revenge of the Sith, is unleashed worldwide on 19 May.

The last two films, Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, were roundly criticised for not living up to the first trilogy, but will the last film redeem director George Lucas?


Any fears that the climax to the epic Stars Wars series would disappoint are swept away in a roller-coaster ride of breathtaking action, romance and a heartbreaking choice between good and evil.

This complex tale of treason, treachery and intrigue - while a delight to any sci-fi fan - is definitely not for children.

The acting from the human cast is superior to the previous films, with a more mature Hayden Christensen switching from hero to paranoid psychopath with apparent ease.

With Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Lucas has completed his vision and excelled himself with a stunning spectacle that outdoes everything that has gone before.


Episode III has the same faults as episodes I and II (terrible dialogue and worse acting) plus two brand new ones - a confusing lack of geographical sense and a tendency to leave gaping plot holes.

If (Hayden) Christensen is poor, (Ewan) McGregor is abysmal.

I found the whole thing a colossal disappointment. Lucas' dialogue is more banal than ever and his sense of structure has largely deserted him.


Revenge of the Sith is a return to masterly form for George Lucas

Tying up the cinematic threads of a six-part series is a tough trick but Lucas manages to pull it off.

The story is energetic and pacy and the tension never stops.

Young children could have nightmares after seeing Anakin's murderous rage, and Star Wars obsessives will be able to spot some minor inconsistencies in Lucas' plot.


Whatever one thought of the previous two instalments, this dynamic picture irons out most of the problems, and emerges as the best in the overall series since The Empire Strikes Back.

Entertaining from start to finish and even enthralling at times, Sith has some acting worth writing home about, specifically (Ian) McDiarmid's dominant turn as the mastermind of the evil empire.

McGregor remains a steady presence, and both Portman and Christensen have loosened up since Clones to acceptable, if hardly inspired, levels.


Watching these fates unfold with such tragic inevitability, watching each piece fall into place, is genuinely thrilling. In fact, knowing that these strong characters cannot and will not escape their fate is what moves us.

The seduction of the troubled Anakin to the dark side and the turn of the cool, cerebral Palpatine into the dictator of the Galactic Empire occur in an intelligent and persuasive way.

Poor dialogue and wooden acting still inflict the second trilogy.

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