Welcome back, Rebelscum fans! This week we’re closing off our coverage of the Star Wars prequel trilogy with a week dedicated to 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge of the Sith. Today with “Expand Your Mind” you’ll get our usual backstory on the film’s development, history, and its impact on the saga.
Stay tuned throughout the week for more coverage of Episode III. Our “Character Profile” will spotlight one of our favorite characters, our “Force Facts” will offer some fun trivia, and our “Timeline Breakdown” will explore other connections to the Star Wars universe. Make sure to check out Bobby’s videos adding additional commentary, and exploring the coolest Revenge of the Sith merchandise for collectors.
After Attack of the Clones had its run and Lucas began prep work on Episode III, many fans thought that it would be the last time they’d ever get the chance to see a Star Wars movie on the big screen. Although Lucas had teased his plans for a nine-film saga since 1977, he’d publicly stated in more recent press that the prequel trilogy’s last chapter would be the final film within his story of “The Tragedy of Darth Vader.”
In many ways, fans knew what to expect; the story had a clear conclusion, and Lucas had teased story beats like the volcanic climactic lightsaber duel for decades. Lucas knew that the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin would be at the heart of his story, but he drew from the franchise’s entire history. The Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk used designs that he’d developed back in 1978 for The Star Wars Holiday Special.
The hype for Revenge of the Sith was unprecedented, even within the Star Wars franchise. The animated Clone Wars series and the multimedia project of books, games, and comics had tracked the conflict in the long three year wait after Episode II. Not only did the other Jedi and Clone Troopers see their backstories developed, but Lucas had unveiled an enigmatic new villain named General Grievous.
Revenge of the Sith also had one of the largest marketing campaigns of any Star Wars film to date. The LEGO Star Wars sets were already widely popular, but the first LEGO Star Wars video game created an exciting new franchise that has become integral to the saga’s identity. Star Wars: Battlefront teased new locations, and the official Revenge of the Sith video game ranks as one of the best game adaptations of any of the films.
Revenge of the Sith also had the novelty of being the first PG-13 Star Wars film. All previous installments had been rated PG, but the more extreme gore in Episode III distinguished it. It was by far the most action-packed film in the saga. It has the most lightsaber duels (five), and many of the largest setpieces, including the thrilling opening sequence, and battles on Kashyyyk, Coruscant, and Utapau. However, it was likely Anakin’s “high jump” and dramatic transformation that earned the higher rating.
Episode III surpassed Episode II’s worldwide gross with an impressive $868 million worldwide, and earned the best reviews of the entire prequel trilogy. For a younger generation, it was the conclusion to a story they’d followed since they were introduced to Anakin in The Phantom Menace. However, many older fans who’d admitted their faults with the previous two films were more receptive to the way Lucas chose to close his gripping, dark final chapter in Anakin Skywalker’s story.
Most importantly, what do you think Rebelscum fans? How does Episode III fit within your saga rankings? What are some of your favorite scenes and moments? Let us know below, and as always, may the Force be with you!