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Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in 20th Century Fox's Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith

Movie Info

RATING:

PG-13 for sci-fi violence and some intense images

RELEASE:

May 19, 2005

DVD RELEASE:

Nov. 1, 2005

GENRE:

Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy

STARRING:

Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson

DIRECTOR/WRITER:

George Lucas

DISTRIBUTOR:

Twentieth Century Fox

 

Please Note

In providing movie reviews on our site, CBN.com is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.

MOVIE REVIEW

Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith

By Elliott Ryan
Guest Reviewer

CBN.com Two types of people will be reading this review. The first type is readers who are not big fans of the Star Wars franchise. Many regular readers of this Web site may check out this review just to see what all the talk is about. They just want to know if the movie is worth seeing and if it is appropriate for all members of the family. The answers to these questions are yes and no, respectively.

The movie is a fantastic sci-fi action movie. Although some of the dialogue is a bit cheesy and some of the acting is less than inspiring (much of the acting is done in front of blue screens with the computer-generated background sets and even computer generated co-stars being added in later – this process tends to make it difficult for actors to really get into their character), this movie makes up for these weaknesses by telling an interesting story and by supplying awesome battle scenes that are a George Lucas trademark.

However, it is not for all members of the family. It is more violent than past Star Wars movies. In fact this is the first movie of the series to receive a PG-13 rating (all 5 previous films were PG). Just as distressing to younger viewers though will be the darkness of the movie. Taken on its own, this movie seems to tell a story of the dominance of fascism and violence in a galaxy far, far away. Of course, this movie is part three in a six-part series where the good guys win in the end. But the evil in this movie could be overly oppressive to a young viewer who doesn’t have the big picture view of the whole series.

As with previous Star Wars movies, there are parallels between religion and “The Force” that is advocated by the Jedi Knights. But not all parallels are good. For example, Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of our lead heroes, says that only those who follow the Dark Side believe in absolutes. Of course the average Christian wouldn’t agree with this relativist side of Star Wars spirituality. This is the most glaring of a string of New Age references related to “The Force” in Star Wars films.

However, there is another group of readers out there skimming this article. Those readers are big fans of the series. They have been following the intergalactic world from the mind of George Lucas since the first movie hit movie screens in 1977. For ardent enthusiasts of the series, Episode Three brings a new hope to the franchise.

Episodes One and Two were widely considered disappointing by fans of the original trilogy. But this movie more than makes up for sitting through the first two episodes. It is general knowledge that this third episode tells the story of how Anakin Skywalker completes his transformation from innocent little pod racer to a powerful force of evil named Darth Vader. His conversion to the Dark Side was heavily foreshadowed in Episode Two. The vast majority of the audience knows going into this movie how Anakin (and other main characters) will end up by the time the credits roll. But it is a lot of fun to see how they get to their various destinations.

All of the complaints that fans had about the two more recent Star Wars films are answered in this film. For example, Jar Jar Binks, though appearing in a couple of scenes, is not given any spoken lines in the film. Also, rather than focusing so much on political intrigue as Episode Two did, this film is all action. It starts with a starship battle at the very beginning of the film and the action just keeps going. Even though the running time of the movie is two hours and 20 minutes, time seems to fly by as viewers get caught up in the emotional struggle of a young man who feels torn between the good he knows he should do and the evil that has been seducing him.

Some liberal reviewers likened the war-mongering, evil behavior of the Sith Lord and his new apprentice Darth Vader to our current President, George W. Bush. They saw a resemblance between the leaders of the Dark Side who mercilessly killed innocent men, women, and children to gain power to the leadership of our President in the war with Iraq. I don’t see a resemblance. In fact, as I watched the film, the behavior of the murderous villains reminded me more of terrorist leaders who sit back in protected secrecy and urge their followers to go commit acts of jihad against innocent people with the promise of an eternal reward they can never deliver. So much depends on one’s perspective.

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