Just when you thought George “Toy Maker” Lucas, had lost it with two bad prequels, he returns with an epic, mythical blockbuster. Though the film is all action, there is also character development and plot. The graphics are spectacular—as Lucas has created his own busy and detailed universe, and the acting is more than adequate as Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen are angst-ridden and beautiful. Lucas steals much from his friend Frances Ford Coppola, with an ending similar to Godfather I, as death and birth are intermingled. John Williams’s musical score, the various war machines, and Yoda (as a wise destroyer of syntax) enrich the narrative.
This last of the Star Wars stories ties everything together into a general field theory of Good versus Evil. Yes, Republicans do have a case that this movie is political. Though it can be seen as a fable for ill-conceived foreign policy and the war in Iraq, it’s really more psychological, as a key line is “the fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side,” spoken when Anakin tries to avoid reenactment of the loss of his mother. Psychologically, Anakin sustains a blow when he is not made a Jedi Master and is merely admitted to the Jedi Council. His immaturity gives him impulsivity but little patience, making him an easy target for evil. This all leaves Obi-Wan, played by Ewan McGregor, to lament, as any parent would, that he has “failed.”
The PG-13 rating is appropriate as seeing Anakin’s burnt body, the killing of the “Jedi Youngers,” and the death of a central female character may be too much for very young children. Still, taking my own kids to the first Star Wars films helped us forge a life-long bond over a shared interest in movies. I recommend Revenge of the Sith as a worthwhile parent/child sharing experience.
Review written by Michael Brody, M.D.
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