Darth Vader's mesmerizing metamorphosis makes 'Revenge of the Sith' the satisfying prequel we've been waiting for
| In Revenge of the Sith, the final episode of the Star Wars prequels, Anakin Skywalker embraces his dark side.
Sith opens with Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) fighting another galactic battle in the Clone Wars, this time against Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) and his lanky, evil, 'droid separatist, General Grievous, who have captured Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (McDiarmid).
With the chancellor rescued and set to receive more executive powers, which could possibly end the war, the entire Jedi Council feels uneasy and begins to lose trust in him as the balance of power tilts in his favor. Cue Anakin's slow move into the Dark Side as the Jedi Knight is promoted to the council alongside Obi-Wan and Yoda, but is not given the same title as his peers. What he sees as Jedi hypocrisy rankles him.
| Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Dir. and writ. George Lucas; feat. Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Ian McDiarmid (PG-13)
Anakin's descent into Darth Vader is evident, but what Lucas does with this metamorphosis is truly remarkable. With over 20 years of emotion and anticipation hanging on these most important scenes of the entire Star Wars saga, Lucas delivers brash personal conflicts and a sense of fulfillment and discovery, albeit bittersweet and already identified.
Sure, traveling to the all-Wookie world of Kashyyyk, witnessing the birth of Luke and Leia, and sitting ringside while master and student fight a one-on-one lightsaber match surrounded by rivers of lava is all well and good. But Lucas controls himself, unlike in the previous prequels, and sticks to the most poignant issues, which makes the transition from Sith to A New Hope effortless. Transforming Darth Vader from an antagonistic sci-fi icon into the tragic character that he is is the most impressive of Lucas' dramatic achievements since Episode V's "I am your father." •