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Star Wars III Revenge of the Sith (2005) - Illustrated Reference
Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith was directed by George Lucas and premiered on 19th May 2005. Starring Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits, Temuera Morrison, Frank Oz and Christopher Lee. Screenplay by George Lucas. Music by John Williams. 140mins.
- Episode III – Opening Title Roll -
War! The Republic is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord, Count Dooku. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere.
In a stunning move, the fiendish droid leader, General Grievous, has swept into the Republic capital and kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate.
As the Separatist Droid Army attempts to flee the besieged capital with their valuable hostage, two Jedi Knights lead a desperate mission to rescue the captive Chancellor...
Obi-Wan: You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them. You were to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness.
Anakin: [shouts] I hate you!
Obi-Wan: You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you.
Ewan McGregor (1971-) / Obi-Wan Kenobi
Born in Perth, Scotland, Ewan McGregor’s films include – Shallow Grave (1994), Trainspotting (1996), A Life Less Ordinary (1997), Star Wars I The Phantom Menace (1999), Rogue Trader (1999), Moulin Rouge (2001), Black Hawk Down (2001), Star Wars II Attack of the Clones (2002), Big Fish (2003), The Island (2005), Angels & Demons (2009), The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009), The Ghost (2010) and Haywire (2011).
Anakin: Are you all right? You're trembling. What's going on?
Padmé: Something wonderful has happened. Ani, I'm pregnant.
Natalie Portman (1981-) / Padme
Born in Jerusalem, Israel, Natalie Portman won a Best Actress Oscar for Black Swan (2010) and was Oscar Nominated Best Supporting Actress for Closer (2004).
Her films include – Leon: The Professional (1994), Heat (1995), Mars Attacks! (1996), Star Wars I The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars II Attack of the Clones (2002), Cold Mountain (2003), V for Vendetta (2005), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), No Strings Attached (2011) and Thor (2011).
Palpatine: The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.
Anakin: Is it possible to learn this power?
Palpatine: Not from a Jedi.
Hayden Christensen (1981-) / Anakin Skywalker
Born in Vancouver, Canada, Hayden Christensen’s films include – In the Mouth of Madness (1994), The Virgin Suicides (1999), Life as a House (2001), Star Wars II Attack of the Clones (2002), Shattered Glass (2003), Awake (2007), Jumper (2008), New York, I Love You (2009) and Takers (2010).
Palpatine: Every single Jedi, including your friend Obi-Wan, is now an enemy of the Republic. Do what must be done. Do not hesitate. Show no mercy.
Ian McDiarmid (1944-) / Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
Born in Tayside, Scotland, Ian McDiarmid’s films include – The Awakening (1980), Dragonslayer (1981), Return of the Jedi (1983), Gorky Park (1983), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), Restoration (1995), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Star Wars I The Phantom Menace (1999) and Star Wars II Attack of the Clones (2002).
Mace Windu: In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you're under arrest, Chancellor.
Palpatine: Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?
Mace Windu: The senate will decide your fate.
Palpatine: I AM the senate!
Mace Windu: Not yet.
Palpatine: It's treason, then...
Samuel L. Jackson (1948-) / Mace Windu
Born in Washington D.C., Samuel L. Jackson was Oscar Nominated Best Supporting Oscar for Pulp Fiction (1994). His films include – Patriot Games (1992), Loaded Weapon 1 (1993), Jurassic Park (1993), Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995), A Time to Kill (1996), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), Jackie Brown (1997), Sphere (1998), The Negotiator (1998), Star Wars I The Phantom Menace (1999), Shaft (2000), Unbreakable (2000), Star Wars II Attack of the Clones (2002), Snakes on a Plane (2006), The Spirit (2008) and The Avengers (2012).
Yoda: Twisted by the Dark Side, young Skywalker has become. The boy you trained, gone he is... Consumed by Darth Vader.
Frank Oz (1944-) / Voice of Yoda
Born in Hereford, England, Frank Oz has voiced Jedi Master Yoda in five Star Wars films – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith.
Anthony Daniels (1946-) / C-3PO
Born in Wiltshire, England, Anthony Daniels films include – Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), The Phantom Menace (1999) and Attack of the Clones (2002).
Kenny Baker (1934-) / R2-D2
Born in Birmingham, England, Kenny Baker’s films include – Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983) The Phantom Menace (1999) and Attack of the Clones (2002).
Peter Mayhew (1944-) / Chewbacca
Born in Barnes, England, Peter Mayhew’s films include – Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977 as Minoton), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983).
Jimmy Smits (1955-) / Senator Bail Organa
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Jimmy Smits films include – Running Scared (1986), The Believers (1987), Old Gringo (1989), Switch (1991), The Million Dollar Hotel (2000), Bless the Child (2000) and Star Wars II Attack of the Clones (2002). TV series L.A. Law (1986-1992) and NYPD Blue (1994-2004).
Temuera Morrison (1960-) / Commander Cody
Born in Rotorua, New Zealand, Temuera Morrison’s films include – Once Were Warriors (1994), Barb Wire (1996), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), Speed 2 Cruise Control (1997), Six Days Seven Nights (1998), Vertical Limit (2000), Star Wars II Attack of the Clones (2002 as Jango Fett) and Green Lantern (2011 as Abin Sur).
Christopher Lee (1922-) / Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus
Born in London, England, Hammer Horror legend Sir Christopher Lee has appeared in over 200 films and TV movies, they include - The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), The Mummy (1959), The Devil Rides Out (1968), Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), The Three Musketeers (1973), The Wicker Man (1973) 1941 (1979), Gremlins 2 (1990), Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003), Star Wars II Attack of the Clones (2002) and Hugo (2011).
Darth Sidious: The end of the war is near.
General Grievous: But the loss of Count Dooku?
Darth Sidious: His death was a necessary loss. Soon I will have a new apprentice, one far younger and more powerful.
The only actors to appear in all six Star Wars films are Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and Kenny Baker (R2-D2). Frank Oz voiced Yoda in 5 of the films and James Earl Jones voiced Darth Vader in 4 of them. Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Ian McDiarmid (Palpatine) have also appeared in 4 films.
George Lucas had at one point considered using stock footage of Peter Cushing as Tarkin from Star Wars (1977) for the ending of Sith but couldn’t get the footage to match the quality of the digitally filmed scene and an actor made up to look like Cushing was used instead.
The Millennium Falcon makes a cameo appearance just after Obi-Wan and Anakin crash land the ship on Coruscant in the opening sequence. See screenshot right.
A young Han Solo was to make an appearance on the Wookie planet of Kashyyyk but this idea was abandoned.
Liam Neeson filmed a cameo as the ghost or “Force spirit” of Qui-Gonn Jinn communicating with Yoda but it never made it into the finished film.
Anakin: Don't make me kill you.
Obi-Wan: Anakin, my allegiance is to the Republic, to democracy.
Anakin: If you're not with me, then you're my enemy.
For the climactic duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin, Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen spent two months fencing and fitness training.
Even though Mace Windu gets his arm chopped off by Anakin and hurtles screaming to his doom over the city after being lightning-bolt zapped by Palpatine, Samuel L. Jackson was happy with his death scene and was glad he didn’t die “like some punk”.
George Lucas cameos as a blue-skinned alien, Baron Papanoida, in the scene where Anakin is walking in to the ‘Galaxies Opera House’ to join Palpatine.
Lucas son Jett Lucas appears as the young Jedi killed by Clone Troopers during the ‘Great Jedi Purge’.
The first words in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) were spoken by C-3PO "Did you hear that? They've shut down the main reactor. We’ll be destroyed for sure." The last words in Revenge of the Sith are also from Threepio, “Oh no!”
In its original cut the opening space battle and rescue of Palpatine lasted nearly an hour.
Revenge of the Sith contains 2,200 special effects shots, in contrast the first Star Wars movie in 1977 featured 365 special effects shots.
John Williams provided another exciting Star Wars score, the standout track this time was “Battle of the Heroes” which can be heard during the climactic duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin.
Filming of Revenge of the Sith started in June 2003 finishing in September
More violent and intense than previous Star Wars movies, Sith is the only one in the series with a PG-13 rating (a 12 certificate in the UK).
Revenge of the Sith received one Academy Award nomination, for Best makeup.
In a major snub Sith did not receive an Oscar nomination for visual effects, the only film in the series not to be nominated in that category. The Chronicles of Narnia and Spielberg’s War of the Worlds were nominated in 2005 and the winner was Peter Jackson’s King Kong.
But Sith did receive 4 nominations from the Visual Effects Society Awards.
Only one Razzie nomination and win this time, for Worst Supporting Actor – Hayden Christensen.
Revenge of the Sith cost $113m to make and opened in the U.S. with an impressive $158.4m in 4 days breaking the previous record held by Spider-Man 2, which grossed $130m in its first 4 days.
Sith’s worldwide total is $848.7m, making it the second highest grossing Star Wars film after The Phantom Menace, which has grossed more than a billion dollars.
Adjusted for inflation Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) is still by far the most successful Star Wars film, second only to Gone With the Wind (1939) in ticket sales.
Revenge of the Sith pleased the fans, the dialogue was less clunky than the previous two episodes and the much-maligned Jar-Jar Binks appeared briefly and never spoke a word. The film was moodier and a lot more serious in tone.
I enjoyed the film, my only major quibble is that Anakin Skywalker turns to the dark side a little too quickly to be believable, in a matter of hours Obi-Wan’s ex-apprentice and beloved friend was slaughtering Jedi children and more than happy to do his old master in too.
George Lucas would continue the Star Wars adventures with the CG Animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-2012), the events in the series take place in a three year period between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
The Critics Wrote –
“Star Wars really does begin here.” (Empire Magazine)
“Epic in conception, awesome in scale and stunningly executed.” (News of the World)
"One of the things about the previous film, Attack of the Clones, that made you think things might be looking up was the terrific performance by Christopher Lee as the sinister Count Dooku. Almost the very first thing Lucas does here is kill him off. It is a crippling blow that leaves us with a range of scandalously dull secondary characters. People such as Senator Bail Organa, played by Jimmy Smits, and Samuel L Jackson as the fiercely uninteresting Mace Windu. They are acting as if on some kind of medication.
Ewan McGregor speaks in a simperingly lifeless Rada-English accent. In boringness he is matched by that Jedi master of woodenness: Hayden Christensen, the flatliner to end all flatliners. As an actor Christensen must show the terrible embryo of future wickedness within himself. And how does he do this? By tilting his head down, looking up through lowered brows and giving the unmistakable impression that he is very, very cross." (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)
"The Question is: What makes man evil? And the fact that George Lucas tries so hard to answer it certainly makes this the best of the three second-cycle "Star Wars" films -- the others being "The Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones" -- and the only one of them that can stand comparison with the original "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." It's what drives the movie ahead -- it starts fast, gets fast and angry, and ends fast and furious. And I do mean furious. Fury is its fuel, its raison d'etre and its destiny." (Washington Post)
“This is a big epic, but go to its heart and you’ll find that it’s empty; the lightsabres are on, but there’s nobody home. The special effects are here, but the humanity of these characters is totally missing.” (The Sunday Times)
"George Lucas has achieved what few artists do; he has created and populated a world of his own. His Star Wars movies are among the most influential, both technically and commercially, ever made. And they are fun. "Revenge of the Sith" is great entertainment." (Roger Ebert)