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Movie review

Just don't call me a Vader hater

By BILLY NORRIS
Published May 23, 2005


MOVIE: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

RATING: PG-13 for sci-fi violence and some intense images

SUMMARY: The war between the Republic and the Separatists is drawing to a climax. Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) has gained enormous power over the Republic and plans to convert it to a massive galactic empire. Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is growing in his control over the Force. His proficiency in the Jedi arts is increasing. But he feels utterly betrayed when the Jedi Council invites him to be a part of their proceedings, but neglects to crown him a Jedi master. He goes to Palpatine, whom he trusts and from whom he seeks advice. What Anakin learns is that the Chancellor possesses powers far darker and more deadly than anyone could have known. Palpatine offers Anakin a deal that he can't refuse and draws him close to the dark side, perhaps dooming the republic.

MY VIEW: It's finally over. George Lucas' saga that has spanned nearly 30 years has come to an end with this installment. This film falls third in line, acting as a prequel to the original Star Wars, which was released in 1977. With that old plot in mind, this new creation does a remarkable job of tying up loose ends and weaving together the new and old elements. We now know the origins of Darth Vader, the story behind Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, and even why Yoda isolated himself for so many years. Although the saga is complete, I now feel an emptiness that was accentuated by this final film. It could just be that the dark side prevails (don't worry, you already knew that), and nobody enjoys watching the bad guys come out on top. On the other hand, it could also be that the depth, darkness and violence (enough to win Sith a PG-13 rating, a first for the Star Wars series) of this story is purely unsatisfying. Don't get me wrong - between John Williams' flawless scoring, the "wow" factor of the cinematography, and the other subtleties that make these films what they are - this is an astonishing movie. But it is as if the final piece of the puzzle can't ever be a worthy conclusion. Lucas could turn out a black and white cartoon, smack a Star Wars title on it, and proceed to gross millions. Episode III is bound to see unabiding success. I almost hope they make an Episode VII that would fulfill my extremely high expectations that this one didn't quite meet.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Diehards will delight, and most everyone will enjoy, yet there will likely be the select few who, like me, aren't wholly satisfied. But you have to see it - it's Star Wars!

GRADE: B+

- Billy Norris, 17, will be in the 12th grade at Seminole High School in the fall, and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

[Last modified May 20, 2005, 09:55:03]


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