By Matt Fleming and Jarrod Jones. It’s Anti-Monitor, where we believe some films are best handled with the utmost incredulity. This week, Jarrod and Birdy dust off their blasters and take aim for George Lucas’ oft-criticized snoozer, ‘Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith’. The boys talk about prequel apologists, how Hayden Christensen got taken for the longest and most painful of rides, and the general silliness that is the Prequel Trilogy.
As always, beware of spoilers throughout, and please enjoy.
ANTI-MONITOR: MATT — In 2005, George Lucas subjected the universe to his swan song, Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith, and it turned out to be the final nail in the coffin. With every successive film of the prequel trilogy, fans held out hope for a glimpse of the original magic that made the Star Wars franchise a cultural milestone, and George certainly gave it his all with this one. Unfortunately, his all consists of terrible scriptwriting, uninspired direction, and an obsession with green-screening the living daylights out of everything.
Sith is the conclusion of a story that should have been read back to Lucas before writing it in ink, one whose central character is petulant and unlikeable. Anakin Skywalker always held a place in the lore of Star Wars, but this movie (and its two predecessors) took the legend of a skilled warrior and good friend and made it a “truth hurts” origin of the galaxy’s greatest villain as a gullible crybaby. The reins have been wrested away from the old man who thought he was essential to Star Wars, but we can never unwatch his greatest failure. Hey! Do you like Star Wars but hate fun? This might be the movie for you, weirdo.
ANTI-MONITOR: JARROD — You know what’s sad? I don’t completely hate this movie the way I casually tolerate The Phantom Menace, or the way I downright detest Attack of the Clones. And yet, in spite of this, I still cannot find anything of redeeming value in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. As it is with millions (billions?) of people who’ve walked this Earth since 1977, I’m a lifer when it comes to Star Wars. But if I had to induct a series of films into the annals of “forget it; not in my house”, it would be George Lucas’ final foray into a galaxy far, far away.
Sith is a film that relies far too much on the success and familiarity of what came before. It’s so rigidly beholden to the films that preceded it, so conscientious of delivering an ending that sets up the gameboard for 1977’s Star Wars, that it forgets to loosen up and have a little fun. The saga of Darth Vader was always going to be a tragedy. But who in the hell ever wanted to see that? Sith is the true genesis of Star Wars‘ most iconic villain, and as such, is arguably the most joyless, tonally disorienting film Lucasfilm ever produced. (And I’m counting Radioland Murders in that.)
CONSENSUS: Dour, pointlessly angry, and utterly trite, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith was one story that never really needed to be told.
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