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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

As we watch all the previous films in chronological order of story in prep for this month's "The Force Awakens" we finally got to the first really good film of the second trilogy, STAR WARS: REVENGE OF THE SITH.

After the endless exposition of "Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones", SITH moves quickly, opening with a raging battle to retrieve the kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine.

Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Obi Wan (Ewan McGregor) lead the offensive with R2-D2 at their side and its a fast, fun, fantastic opening sequence, showing a lighter touch than the previous two films.

As the film moves forward, ObiWan pursues the dangerous General Grievous (all spinning light sabers and menacing voice, the best villain since Darth Maul in this trilogy) and the grateful Chancellor pulls Anakin very close, appointing him to the Jedi counsel and stirring jealousy and mistrust in his young protege against the Jedi.

Soon, Anakin is forced to choose a side and ends up (after this many years doubt a spoiler alert is necessary) becoming the legendary Darth Vader.

The last forty minutes of SITH is excellent.

Writer/Director George Lucas creates a final showdown between good and evil, between master and protege that nicely foreshadows the Vader/Obi Wan confrontations in the original STAR WARS from 1977, which chronologically follows this film some twenty years later.

Lucas' strength was always creating broad stroke good v evil set pieces with large characters struggling with loyalties. His attempts at romantic dialogue and playful scenes were always a disaster. (I hope to never sit through Padme and Ani prancing through the grassy fields and spouting their love for each other again in my lifetime...painful.)

But here, Lucas gets it in gear and gets it right.

The final act of this film brilliantly weaves itself into the beginning of Star Wars.

Ian McDiarmid is excellent as Palpatine, Samuel L. Jackson is good as Mace WIndu, Christopher Lee is terrific as Count Dooku and Frank Oz and the special effects team combine for Yoda's best film in the series.

Yoda steals every scene he is in.

The birth of Luke and Leia, Anakin's fall from grace and transition to Vader is terrific, John Williams music score is excellent and the visual effects/sound effects teams are brilliant.

By FAR the best film of the second Lucas trilogy, SITH gets a B+.

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