I’m continuing my series on my five favorite things about the Star Wars movies with Revenge of the Sith. Take a look at my previous posts on The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.
The Opera Scene. To me, this is the most pivotal scene in the film, when Palpatine tells Anakin about Darth Plagueis and his ability to stop people from dying. It plays right into Anakin’s darkest fears and desires, luring him into Palpy’s hands. In a movie full of battles, duels, and chases, this quiet scene of dialogue is the key that opens the door to Anakin’s fall. It’s brilliantly sinister, and the weird Mon Calamari opera “music” only adds to the dread one feels in this scene, reminding us that we ourselves are watching a tragic opera play out before us.
Battle of the Heroes. Is there really any question on this one? This movie is chock-full of lightsaber duels: Obi-Wan and Anakin vs. Dooku, Obi-Wan vs. Grievous, Yoda vs. Darth Sidious. They’re all fantastic, impressive and exciting as any lightsaber duel, but this one is special–it’s between two individuals who were once friends, and are now enemies. It’s heartbreaking to watch, and the fact that we know the inevitable outcome makes it worse.
A coughing cyborg. Revenge of the Sith isn’t exactly a laugh-fest, but I’ve always gotten a kick out of General Grievous, the cyborg who has a pesky cough. On first viewing, I thought he was a robot and didn’t understand how he could cough. Once I figured out he actually has some lungs in there, it made more sense. It was only recently that I learned Grievous was once a man, and in the book Labyrinth of Evil it explains how he came to be the cyborg we all know and love. I’m still not sure where the cough comes from, though. Does he stress-smoke death sticks?
Most Impactful Character
Palpatine/Darth Sidious. It was a close race between Palpy and Anakin here, but I had to concede to the Dark Lord of the Sith. The whole Skywalker saga hinges on his machinations. The man is an evil genius, bringing all his long-awaited plans into action and fruition in this climactic film. Kudos to the amount of patience required, the long planning, the brilliant acting job of being the mild-mannered Chancellor that this guy employed to play his Jedi-destroying, Galactic Empire-creating endgame. He’s crafty, he’s cagey, he’s powerful, and he absolutely loves being the evil bastard he is. He’s got the evil cackle to prove it. None of the conflict and pain evident in other “villains” such as Vader and Kylo. Nope, he’s the real deal, and he proves it in this best film of the prequels.
I love all the prequels, but ROTS is on a whole other level that is just spectacular, and picking all the favorite moments was difficult. Order 66 gutted me, Padme’s pain choked me up (no pun intended), Obi-Wan is, as always, wonderful. And Hayden Christensen’s performance of the tortured Anakin was incredible. His turn really does break one’s heart.
What are your favorite moments in Revenge of the Sith? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
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