The Force Is Strong(er) In This One

Michael Giberson

The overall sense of the reviews collected at RottenTomatoes is that Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is the best of the three prequels, with more action, drama, and character development, and fewer soap opera meanderings. Two blurbs from Los Angeles newspaper critics capture the overall sentiment:

“Revenge of the Sith is the most energetic of the prequels, the only one at all worth watching. But that doesn’t mean it is without the weaknesses that scuttled its pair of predecessors.”
Kenneth Turan, LOS ANGELES TIMES

“We are all preprogrammed in one way or another to want Episode III — Revenge of the Sith to climax in the way it does. All George had to do was not screw that up. He didn’t.”
Bob Strauss, LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS

RottenTomatoes calculates Episode III at 84% on the critics Tomatometer (percentage of reviews recommending the film), which surpasses the scores of Episode I (62%) and II (65%). For comparison, the original Star Wars ranked a 93%, Empire Strikes Back was a stellar 98%, and Return of the Jedi a mere 80%. These numbers suggest the Episode III actually surpasses Return of the Jedi, but my guess is that Return suffered in comparison to the first two movies while Revenge gets a few extra points by exceeding expectations.

UPDATE: A Small Victory is gathering blog posts on Revenge of the Sith, mentioning the above post and many others. Coyote Blog links to a funny spoof of Star Wars that teaches a very special lesson about organic farming.


7 thoughts on “The Force Is Strong(er) In This One

  1. As Lynne knows, I saw a press screening of RoTS two weeks ago. I am strong in both economics and the Force!

    It’s good. It’s definitely better than Return of the Jedi. And especially if you’re a Star Wars geek, you’ll enjoy the way the themes and visuals tie into the original trilogy.

  2. I always thought Pauline Kael was an elitist for her profoundly obtuse and dismissive review of Star Wars; it’s amazing how, after twenty years and a string of bad sequels, her quills seem more sensible now. My criticism, and that of my friends, has been that Lucas was at his best when he had little to do with the picture. Kael was wrong about this being his film; it’s no coincidence that the strongest of the lot, Empire, was not directed by Lucas but by Irvin Kirschner. He failed to learn from that experience, and went on to produce five and a half unwatchable films, increasingly on his own. If this last picture redeems the middle mediocrity (or worse), the real tragedy of the Star Wars series, then, may not be the conversion of Anakin into Darth Vader, but the loss of a far better series the audience did not get to see thanks to Lucas’s shortsighted selfishness.

  3. Carnival of the Force!

    Aside from my own geek blogging, there are a TON of bloggers out there joining me in having a raging Star Wars hard on this week. To put it bluntly. I’m going to try to track down all the posts…

  4. I’m sorry but all the Star Wars films are watchable. Unwatchable says that the films were so bad that you had to literally turn away or leave the theater. And I just have a very hard time with movie critics and movie viewers who say that about the Star Wars films.

    Let’s just be real, there is some elitism in Pauline Kael’s remarks. She goes on and on about the “smash and grab”, “relentless pacing”, and “lack of emotional grip”. Does Kael even realize there are real life situations that have relentless pacing that drives all thoughts from your head? Oh, I guess when it comes to anything not on this planet it becomes boring. And when Kael talks about “the absence of wonder” in Star Wars, I just have to stop typing. There is so much wonder and amazement in all six films that it does overwhelms but in a good way.

    I’m going to stop now. I’m too passionate about Star Wars. 🙂

  5. I’m sorry but all the Star Wars films are watchable. Unwatchable says that the films were so bad that you had to literally turn away or leave the theater. And I just have a very hard time with movie critics and movie viewers who say that about the Star Wars films.

    Let’s just be real, there is some elitism in Pauline Kael’s remarks. She goes on and on about the “smash and grab”, “relentless pacing”, and “lack of emotional grip”. Does Kael even realize there are real life situations that have relentless pacing that drives all thoughts from your head? Oh, I guess when it comes to anything not on this planet it becomes boring. And when Kael talks about “the absence of wonder” in Star Wars, I just have to stop typing. There is so much wonder and amazement in all six films that it does overwhelms but in a good way.

    I’m going to stop now. I’m too passionate about Star Wars. 🙂

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