Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a 2005 American and Australian epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the sixth and final film released in the Star Wars saga and the third in terms of the series’ internal chronology.
The film takes place three years after the onset of the Clone Wars. The Jedi Knights are spread out across the galaxy leading a massive clone army in the war against the Separatists. The Jedi Council dispatches Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to eliminate the evil General Grievous, leader of the Separatist Army. Meanwhile, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, separated from Kenobi, his former master, grows close to Palpatine, the Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and, unbeknownst to the public, a Sith Lord. Their deepening friendship proves dangerous for the Jedi Order, the galaxy, and Anakin himself, who inevitably succumbs to the Dark Side of the Force and becomes Darth Vader.
Lucas began writing the script before production of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones began. Filming took place in Australia with additional locations in Thailand and Italy, and lasted over three months. The film was released in theatres on May 19, 2005, and received generally positive reviews from critics, especially in contrast to the previous two prequels.
The Galactic Republic have suffered major setbacks in the Clone Wars against the Separatists. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi infiltrate the flagship of droid commander General Grievous (Matthew Wood) and defeat Count Dooku in a lightsaber fight ending with Anakin singlehandedly decapitating Dooku. Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine attempt to escape Grievous’ flagship, but are trapped inside, forcing Anakin to crash-land the ship on Coruscant. There, Anakin reunites with his wife Padmé Amidala, who reveals that she is pregnant. Anakin is troubled by visions of Padmé dying in childbirth.
Palpatine places Anakin on the Jedi Council as his representative, but the Council orders Anakin to secretly monitor him and denies him the rank of Jedi Master. Frustrated with the snub, Anakin begins to lose faith in the Jedi and also learns from Palpatine about the ability to prevent death, which can only be used by the dark side. Obi-Wan is sent to the planet Utapau, where he engages and kills General Grievous. Having learned that Palpatine is Darth Sidious and controls both sides for the war, Anakin reports Palpatine’s treachery to Jedi Master Mace Windu. Over Windu’s objections, Anakin follows Windu to the chancellor’s office.
Windu engages Palpatine in a lightsaber duel and manages to disarm him. Palpatine fires Force lightning at Windu but Windu blocks, deforming Palpatine’s face. Anakin then intervenes and severs Windu’s right hand before he can execute Sidious. Sidious uses Force lightning to send Windu to his death, and appoints Anakin as his new apprentice—Darth Vader—after he submits to the dark side. Sidious orders the clone troopers to kill their Jedi Generals throughout the galaxy, and has Vader travel to Mustafar, a volcanic planet, to kill the Separatist leaders. Meanwhile, Sidious transforms the Republic into the Galactic Empire, with himself as Emperor.
Obi-Wan and Yoda discover Anakin’s treachery, and split up to confront Vader (Anakin) and Sidious. Padmé travels to Mustafar, while Obi-Wan sneaks on her ship, and Padmé eventually realizes the truth of Anakin’s (Vader’s) actions. Horrified and shocked, Padmé attempts to take Anakin back with her, but Vader, thinking that she had brought Obi-Wan to kill him, uses the Force to choke her, rendering her unconscious. Obi-Wan and Vader engage in a lightsaber duel that leads them to a lava flow in Mustafar. Obi-Wan severs Vader’s legs and left arm, disarming him, and Vader is immolated. Obi-Wan takes Vader’s lightsaber and leaves the planet. Meanwhile, Yoda confronts and fights Sidious, but is forced to escape when their duel ends in a stalemate.
Having lost her will to live, Padme dies aboard a medical ship after giving birth to twins, Luke and Leia. Sidious resuscitates Vader with cybernetic limbs, black armor and a respirator. Palpatine tells Vader he killed Padmé in his own anger. Tormented by this revelation, Vader screams, destroying objects around him with the Force. Senator Bail Organa adopts Leia and takes her to Alderaan, while Obi-Wan takes Luke to Tatooine in the care of his stepfamily, Owen and Beru Lars. Yoda goes into a self-imposed exile in Dagobah, but promises Obi-Wan to teach him how to return from the netherworld of the Force with help from the spirit of Qui-Gon Jinn. The Jedi go their separate ways to wait for a time when they can challenge the Empire again.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this film:
First Published: Jan 17, 2012 – Last Updated: Mar 18, 2013