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Like many, many people, I grew up with the original Star Wars trilogy. It feels as much a part of my childhood as anything else and to me they’re more than just movies—they are memories of birthdays, Christmases and time spent with family and friends. Having waded through parts one and two of George Lucas’ disappointing Star Wars prequels I couldn’t wait for the ‘big one’ to arrive; the one that would tie everything together and complete a story arc that spans four decades. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith arrived in UK cinemas on the 19th of May this year to both positive and negative reviews. Is it really the saving grace of the prequel trilogy, or just another soulless CGI-fest? Now, thanks to this DVD release from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, everyone has the opportunity to take a copy home and judge for themselves.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Film


The now-familiar opening crawl explains that the Clone Wars have raged for three years. In a bold move the Separatist forces, led by the nefarious Count Dooku, have launched a daring raid on the Republic capital of Coruscant and succeeded in capturing the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Senate, Palpatine. Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are despatched to rescue the Chancellor, who is being held captive aboard the Separatist flagship by General Grievous, the deadly cyborg commander of the droid armies.

The Jedi succeed in infiltrating the flagship, only to encounter heavy resistance in the form of Confederacy battle droids. When they eventually fight their way to the imprisoned Chancellor they are confronted by Count Dooku himself, and engage in a second lightsaber duel with the Sith Lord. When Obi-Wan is knocked unconscious, Anakin intensifies his attack and manages to disarm (literally) his opponent. It is then that he takes his first steps towards the darkness, when he beheads the defenceless Count at the behest of Chancellor Palpatine.

After a triumphant return to Coruscant, Anakin is reunited with the love of his life, Padmé Amidala, the senator for Naboo who Anakin married in a secret ceremony before the onset of the Clone Wars. It is then that he learns of her pregnancy, which in turn leads to prophetic dreams of her death during childbirth. Troubled by his visions, Anakin at first turns to the wisdom of Yoda, before once again seeking the council of his friend and mentor, Chancellor Palpatine. When the Chancellor innocently recounts the tale of Darth Plagueis, a Sith Lord so powerful with the Force he could use it to sustain and create life, Anakin believes he has found a way to save his love from certain death.

With Obi-Wan and Yoda away on missions for the Republic, Anakin falls increasingly under the influence of the Chancellor. When Palpatine reveals himself to be none other than the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, Anakin is unable to strike him down, instead reporting the unsettling news to Jedi Master Mace Windu. When Windu attempts to arrest Sidious they become embroiled in a deadly lightsaber duel in which Mace seemingly emerges victorious, but as he prepares to deliver the killing blow he is attacked by Anakin, who sees Sidious as his only chance of saving Padmé. Having betrayed the Jedi, and with little choice left to him, Anakin pledges himself to the ways of the Sith and is reborn as Darth Vader.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Without giving any further plot details away it’s safe to say that this is the turning point in the film; when Palpatine effectively offers Anakin the one thing the Jedi cannot: the ability to save his wife from certain death. Anakin’s love for Padmé is the catalyst for his betrayal of his Jedi principals and his defection to the dark side of the Force, and his ultimate downfall. How’s that for irony?

Now I’m a massive fan of the original Star Wars trilogy—a fact that should be evident to anyone who’s read my reviews or articles on this site—but after the relative disappointments of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, Sith had a lot to do in order to restore my faith in the prequel series. At first I resisted the hype machine surrounding the movie, but as the months passed and the first images appeared, I have to admit to becoming pretty excited. For me, George Lucas’ promise of a ‘darker’ film meant one that took a more adult approach to the material; one without ‘comedy’ droids and haphazard Gungans. On opening night (well, 12:35am to be precise) I sat down with around three hundred other people—some of them waving lightsabers around in an ill-advised manner—to experience the culmination of almost thirty years of work.

First impressions were good. I’ll admit that the opening, dizzying shot of the Jedi starfighters twisting through the orbital battle above Coruscant literally sent a shiver down my spine (due in no small part to John Williams’ music). I actually felt a real sense of immediacy, almost as if I were in the cockpit with Anakin or Obi-Wan. I’ve always been far more forgiving of CGI when used for inorganic creations than for living creatures, so the overabundance of digital effects used in the battle didn’t really faze me. Then it happened—the vulture droids appeared, complete with ‘cute’ voices. Worse was to come in the next few minutes, when the armies of battle droids appeared and began speaking in voices so annoying as to make ‘Roger roger’ seem tame by comparison. My heart sank as R2-D2 was made to act out a particularly cringe-worthy slapstick scene that almost, but not quite, rivalled C-3PO’s trip around the droid factory in Attack of the Clones.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Finally, when it appeared that we would be getting down to the plot, we were instead ‘treated’ to a throwaway scene in which Anakin cold-bloodedly murders the Sith Lord, Count Dooku. In the novel and audio book this is a pivotal scene, in which Anakin is goaded by Dooku and encouraged by Palpatine, who plants the first seeds of darkness in the young Jedi’s mind. In the completed film the battle is over almost as quickly as it begins, with virtually zero time devoted to exploring Anakin’s state of mind. Presumably the five minutes of bad jokes and annoying robots preceding this moment necessitated the trimming of the actual encounter. Word to the wise, George—I came to see Anakin’s fall from grace, not battle droids rolling around in oil yelling ‘ouch’!
 
After some rather embarrassing dialogue delivered in a ham-fisted fashion, we learn that Padmé is pregnant with Anakin’s child. This sets into motion the events that will shape the rest of the story. Once again Anakin begins to have prophetic dreams about the death of a loved one (this time Padmé, who ‘dies’ in child birth), and this is supposed to be the reason behind his eventual betrayal of the Jedi and allegiance to the Sith. Unfortunately the chemistry between Christensen and Portman is sadly lacking and I never once bought the relationship between the two, which is a bit of a problem considering that he goes on to plunge the whole galaxy into darkness because he’s so ‘in love’ with her.

Another huge problem is that Hayden Christensen is about as charismatic as a piece of wood, flatly delivering Lucas’ contrived dialogue and repeatedly overemphasising the wrong words or lines. His ‘supposedly’ chilling speech as he announces his evil intentions to a horrified Obi-Wan on Mustafar wouldn’t be out of place in a school play. I don’t know if the blame rests squarely on his shoulders though, because he presumably gave a number of different readings for each take. Lucas and his editorial team would then have chosen the one they liked, and Christensen has previously spoken of his regret over the use of certain takes when he had delivered a better performance in others (such as his ‘I killed them all’ speech in Attack of the Clones).

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Another regrettable side-effect of Lucas trying to cram so much into Sith is the criminal lack of screen time devoted to Natalie Portman. Now I know she received a lot of flack for her performances in the previous films, but movies such as Closer and Garden State prove that she is a talented and capable actress. In the previous movies she is a strong, independent leader, but here she is reduced to a relatively inconsequential character with very little to do beyond look pretty (which she does) and spout horrible lines of dialogue. I refer you to the exchange between Anakin in Padmé in which, when complimented on her beauty, she responds with ‘It’s only because I’m so in love with you.’ Please, someone pass the bucket. If the deleted subplot involving the formation of the Rebellion had remained, Padmé’s character would have at least contributed something to this movie beyond getting knocked up and Force choked.

Speaking of trying to cram too much into the film, this is actually Revenge of the Sith’s biggest failing. The events portrayed in the film really needed to be stretched out over two movies, which would have allowed more screen time to be devoted to Anakin’s seduction. As it is, our hero goes from being the saviour of the galaxy to the second most evil being in existence in about as much time as it takes to say ‘contrived plot device’. Still, enough of the negatives; I could nit-pick all day but that would just be depressing. Instead, I’m going to break with tradition slightly and talk about the positive aspects of the film (of which there are actually quite a few).

Firstly, Ian McDiarmid is a joy. He is clearly relishing the dual roles of Chancellor Palpatine and Darth Sidious, especially during the latter stages of the film when he really gets to camp it up as the maniacal Sith Lord. He cackles his way through an exhilarating encounter with Yoda, in which he arguably has the upper hand in a performance that is straight from the school of over-the-top pantomime acting. However, it works very well in the context of this movie, even if he does pull some questionable ‘sex’ faces when using a lightsaber. Although McDiarmid steals the show, Ewan McGregor is also on top form as the venerable Obi-Wan Kenobi. He is closer to Alec Guinness here than ever before, right down to the style of his hair, his beard and the twinkle in his eye.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
As one might expect from a Star Wars movie, the effects are pretty spectacular. The opening orbital battle looks astounding, as does pretty much everything that follows. The technology has finally evolved to the point where organic creatures look fairly convincing (Obi-Wan’s steed, Boga) and the digital doubles are all but seamless. General Grievous is an impressive, if underutilised, digital creation, while the various lightsaber duels reach heights hitherto unseen in the saga. In fact, the lightsaber duel on Mustafar is probably the most visually impressive sequence in a film full of visual splendour, with its seamless combination of digital and live-action elements. Yes, you can say what you like about the story, acting and direction, but no one can deny that Revenge of the Sith is a great looking piece of cinema.

Video


Owing largely to the fact that this is yet another direct ‘digital-to-digital’ transfer, Revenge of the Sith is the latest film to set a new standard in DVD visuals. Presented in a THX certificated, anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 ratio transfer that looks simply magnificent, Sith is as impressive now as Attack of the Clones was when it was released way back in 2002 (and that was impressive). To date, this is simply the finest looking film I’ve seen on the DVD format—not even recent stunners like Sin City look this good—which makes objective analysis quite tricky.

This disc was made for owners of large screen TVs with its incredible levels of detail and artefact-free presentation. It’s very hard to critique a transfer that looks this good, because it comes down to pointing out the most insignificant of ‘faults’ just to have something to talk about. As it is the only real complaint I have was one that I also levied against the Attack of the Clones transfer: things sometimes look too perfect. Because of the excess of digital back-lots used in the production, the actors occasionally appear like cardboard cut-outs against the backgrounds. This is particularly true during the scenes that take place in the Jedi Temple and the pivotal scene in Palpatine’s office after the duel with Mace Windu. In this scene, there are several shots where Anakin just doesn’t look ‘right’ against the digital backdrop. Still, one the whole the CGI is integrated more successfully than ever before, so it’s hard to grumble about the little things like this.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
If I had to choose one word to describe the transfer, I would chose magnificent. The images positively leap off of the screen: colour rendition is superb—with everything from the bright neon of Coruscant to the volcanic inferno of Mustafar looking absolutely phenomenal—black levels are rock solid, shadow delineation is excellent and contrast is outstanding. There’s simply no way that the screenshots on this page can possibly do the transfer justice, so you’ll just have to take my word for it until you can try the disc out for yourself. It’s a late entrant for ‘transfer of the year’, but I can’t see anything else beating it this late in the game. Oh, and for those of you who like to tweak your video settings, the disc also includes the customary THX Optimizer tests.

Audio


Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, Revenge of the Sith has a lot to do in order to live up to the lofty standards set by its predecessors. Thankfully it doesn’t disappoint. The opening scene is perhaps one of the most exhilarating in the film, as thunderous bass announces the arrival of a gigantic Venator-class Star Destroyer even before the camera pans down to reveal the juggernaut itself. Moments later two eerily familiar-sounding starfighters zip overhead and skim the length of the cruiser, before barrel-rolling headlong into the maelstrom of battle below. Capital ships hammer each other with turbolasers while the Jedi starfighters twist and turn through the carnage, before engaging in a dogfight with vulture droids—and that’s just the opening five minutes!

Benn Burtt’s amazing sound design is given a full workout here, with an abundance of discrete effects bringing both the major confrontations and subtle character moments to life. The Star Wars universe has always been recognised for having the ‘coolest’ sounding weapons, and the track does just about everything it can to make them sound even better. The lightsabers in particular sound incredibly powerful, slicing through droids and Separatists alike with that familiar, menacing hum. Although clearly of secondary concern, dialogue is also handled well, remaining crystal clear even amidst the confusion of battle. If I had to make one criticism it would be that, once again, the score has been dialled down a little too much for my liking. However, this is consistent with the mixes for the other prequels, so it’s not a ‘fault’ per se (unlike the faux par that all-but removed the Force fanfare from the DVD release of A New Hope).

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Speaking of the score, perhaps the most lamentable thing about the end of the saga is that we’ll presumably never hear another John Williams Star Wars composition. Williams’ music is as much a part of the success of these films as anything else, and I’m pleased to say that he goes out with a bang. After the slightly choppy Attack of the Clones score we’re treated to a more coherent effort this time around. There are several new signature tunes, such as ‘General Grievous’, and the majestic ‘Battle of the Heroes’, along with the introduction of some of the more familiar music from the original trilogy (‘The Clash of Lightsabers’ makes a welcome reappearance) as well as the de rigueur snippet of ‘Duel of the Fates’. Of course it was too much to expect the inclusion of an isolated score after the first two episodes, but I live in hope that it will make it onto a future release.

Extras


Revenge of the Sith follows a similar pattern to its predecessors, with the first disc carrying the feature film and the cast and crew commentary track. This time around participants include George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Rob Coleman, John Knoll and Roger Guyett. As with the other commentaries in the series, the track is a mixed affair. There is some valuable information to be learned, but just when you think that Lucas is going to explain one of the pivotal moments in movie we cut to one of the special effects guys telling us about digital head replacement and the like. It’s really quite frustrating. When it comes to the commentary tracks for all six films I would have really liked a solo track from Lucas (even though he is quite monotonous) and a second audio-visual effects track from guys like Knoll and Ben Burtt. Speaking of Burtt, he is notable by his absence from this track—no doubt because of his recent move from Lucasfilm to Pixar—but I’ve never found him all that engaging so it’s not a great loss.

In spite of the commentary’s shortcomings, Lucas does touch on a number of interesting subjects. We are given fairly definitive answers about Palpatine’s machinations during his duel with Mace Windu (he was faking his loss of his power) and a fairly substandard explanation as to why it took twenty years to build the first Death Star. McCallum also hints that Darth Plagueis did in fact create Anakin, while Coleman states that it was the exertion during his battle with Windu that deformed Palpatine. That should silence some, if not all of the rumours surrounding these contentious scenes.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
The documentaries are where the meat of the supplemental material lies, and this time around we get three of them. The first, entitled ‘It’s All for Real: The Stunts of Episode III’, runs for around eleven minutes and takes us behind-the-scenes with the actors and stunt co-ordinators as they shoot some of the spectacular action sequences. Nick Gillard features quite prominently in the piece, along with most of the principal cast and George Lucas himself. We get to see a lot of the preparation that Gillard did for the fight sequences, such as shooting test videos with stuntmen for Lucas to approve prior to building sets and bringing the actors in. We also see how Gillard was able to tailor the various sword fighting styles to individual performers, taking into account the limited physical abilities of elder statesmen Ian McDiarmid and Christopher Lee. The piece is interesting enough while it lasts, but I’d have liked some longer shots of the rehearsals between Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor because those guys really can fight.

‘The Chosen One’ is another short documentary (around fifteen minutes) that examines the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker, from his early days as a young slave boy on Tatooine, to his ascension to the rank of Jedi Knight, through to his transformation into Darth Vader and his ultimate redemption after fulfilling the prophecy. This is an interesting enough piece that does a nice job of clearly identifying the turning points in Anakin’s life, as well as fleshing out the motivation behind some of his actions. There is plenty of behind-the-scenes footage featuring Lucas discussing the finer points of performance with Christensen, along with clips of the actor being fitted for his ‘crispy Vader’ makeup. The documentary also feature a scene from The Phantom Menace in which Yoda is presented as an entirely computer generated ‘actor’, perhaps warming up for a re-release somewhere down the line.

The third documentary, entitled ‘Within a Minute’, is easily the longest single feature on the disc, clocking in at around an hour and twenty minutes. In it, Rick McCallum takes us on a journey through the steps necessary to bring a single minute’s worth of footage—in this case scene 158, part of the duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin—to the big screen. We see how the talents of hundred of different artists, producers, stunt performers, accountants, set-designers, caterers, animators, editors, actors, sound designers, composers and, of course, George Lucas himself, are used to bring the Star Wars universe to life. The documentary includes interview footage with Lucas, McCallum, Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Nick Gillard, John Williams and many of the less glamorous members of the crew. It’s certainly a fascinating insight into just how much work goes into the making of a modern blockbuster, but I didn’t find it as entertaining as the previous disc’s centrepieces (‘The Beginning’ and ‘From Puppets to Pixels’ respectively). I’ll say one thing for McCallum though; the guy’s enthusiastic about his work!

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Deleted scenes come next, and this time around they are a pretty interesting bunch. Presented as a mixture of fully-realised and incomplete scenes, each features an optional introduction by George Lucas/Rick McCallum and can be played either individually or as part of the whole. The first scene is basically a different take on moment when the Jedi first encounter General Grievous, and includes the death of Shak-Ti along with some nice comedic interaction between Anakin and Obi-Wan. It also includes the much talked about scene in which the Jedi descend into the bowels of the Invisible Hand and end up swimming in starship fuel! I remember that this was one of the first scenes to come to light way back when the first details of the movie were emerging. It is presented here with rough animatics for some of the effects, as well as visible green screens and wires attached to the actors. Still, it’s nice to see it, but on the whole I think I prefer the scene that actually made it into the finished movie.

Next up is an interesting scene that really should have remained in the picture. I am referring to the first meeting between the senators who would later go on to form the Rebel Alliance. Aside from Padmé and Bail Organa, we see future Alliance leader Mon Mothma discussing how the Chancellor has appointed Regional Governors to each star system and their fears that he may some day dissolve the Senate entirely–something that comes to pass in Episode IV. This scene adds some much-needed depth to Padmé’s character and also helps to establish a relationship with Organa, who will go on to adopt her daughter later in the film.

The following scene is more of the same, this time set in Padmé’s apartment, and is sure to please Bai Ling fans. The scene deals with how the fledgling Alliance intends to deal with the Chancellor’s continual amendments to the constitution–there’s talk of ‘the petition of the two thousand–along with the possibility of consulting the Jedi and gaining their support. The scene also features Lucas’ daughter, Katie, as the blue-skinned senator we briefly see during the opera sequence in the completed movie. This is another character moment for Padmé, in which we see that she still has confidence that Anakin will do the right thing.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
If the preceding scenes should have remained, then this one most definitely shouldn’t have hit the cutting room floor. Perhaps the single most important scene to have been excised sees Padmé presenting the petition to the Chancellor while Anakin watches on. On the surface Palpatine is the model of civility, but you can almost taste the evil lurking beneath the surface. Perhaps the most important thing about the scene is that it shows more of Palpatine’s slow corruption of Anakin, even going as far as to sow the seeds of mistrust between the Jedi and his increasingly estranged wife. It features a great performance from McDiarmid as the scheming puppet-master, and provides some much-needed flesh to the bones of Anakin’s seduction and eventual fall from grace.

The next scene touches on the Jedi’s concern over the plot to destroy their order and is basically an alternate version of the corresponding scene in the movie. Instead of discussing their anxiety about the Chancellor and the shift in the Force in the open forum of the Jedi Council, this scene is more intimate and features only Yoda, Obi-Wan and Mace Windu. It’s an interesting little scene to watch, and I don’t really have a preference for either version as the information being imparted is pretty much identical.

The final deleted scene is very short, but is sure to be a fan favourite. I’m speaking, of course, of Yoda’s arrival on the swamp world of Degobah. Running at around thirty seconds, we get to see the diminutive Jedi Master arrive on the planet and take his first glance around the ‘slimy mud hole’ that will be his home for the next two and a half decades. It’s a fitting end to the deleted scenes, but I can see why it was cut from the movie. It just doesn’t have a place in the final moments of the film, which deal with the death of Padmé, Vader’s fate and the separation of the Skywalker twins.

The trailers and TV spots come next. I have a great fondness for the prequel trailers, which are arguably more atmospheric and effective than the completed films (at least in the case of The Phantom Meance). We’re treated to the nostalgia teaser trailer, which sent a shiver down my spine the first time I saw it at the cinema, partly because it gave us our first prequel glimpse at Darth Vader, but mostly because of Alec Guinness’ vocal performance over the top of the new visuals.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
The epic trailer is the full two-and-a–half minute affair that was used to promote the movie in theatres and on the web. It’s an extremely effective trailer, showing the darker side of the movie without any of the comedic elements that marred the finished product. I have to admit to getting a little tingle as the trailer closed with the shot of the resurrected Darth Vader folding his arms aboard his Star Destroyer, accompanied by his familiar raspy breathing and the dull thud of his computer-regulated heartbeat.

A music video entitled ‘A Hero Falls’ follows, putting scenes from the film to John Williams’ ‘Battle of the Heroes’. This is the same music video as found on the DVD that accompanies the Revenge of the Sith score, but it’s nice that it’s been included here as it mirrors the previous DVD releases. Still, if you don’t have the soundtrack then you should seriously consider it for the DVD alone.

An impressive fifteen TV spots follow, showcasing both Revenge of the Sith’s action and tragedy. There are too many to go into great detail, but personal favourites include ‘Jedi Unite’, ‘Seduction’ and ‘Dark Side Unleashed’. However, none of them are quite as memorable as the Tone Poems and character based spots that accompanied the previous films.

Fifteen short web documentaries follow, running at between five and seven minutes in length. They touch on a variety of subjects ranging from crafting General Grievous to the creation of the weapons used in the film. I mention these two because they’re perhaps the most interesting. We get to see the evolutionary design process for General Grievous, and the weapon documentary is very informative. For instance, I learned that they used chrome-plated rubber lightsabers for the first time in this movie! Other featurettes include pieces on the make-up used to enable Ewan McGregor and Ian McDiarmid to more closely resemble their later (or earlier if you prefer) incarnations—McGregor imitating Alec Guinness and McDiarmid mimicking himself as he appeared in Return of the Jedi.
 
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
The video games and still galleries menu contains trailers for both Star Wars: Battlefront II and Star Wars: Empire at War. The latter looks to be most impressive, but I can tell you from experience that Battlefront II is great fun. A vast improvement over the first game, it is every Star Wars fan’s dream. I have the PC version, but this disc only includes an X-Box demo. This is a curious move, as there are surely many, many more PC users than X-Box owners. Still, the same thing was done with the previous discs so at least they’re consistent.

The still galleries consist of exclusive production photos, one-sheet posters and the outdoor print campaign. I’m not a huge fan of still galleries, but as usual some of the images are very pleasing. I’ve never quite understood why the prequel DVD covers weren’t the same as the gorgeous theatrical posters, but then I don’t understand a lot of what goes on in the marketing men’s heads.

DVD-Rom content is present in the form of the aforementioned X-Box demo and the usual weblinks to both the main and DVD-specific Star Wars websites. There’s also a link to the Star Wars store and a free trial of the ‘Hyperspace’ fan club, which is a section of the Star Wars website that now charges for features that used to be free.

It wouldn’t be right for me to conclude this portion of the review without mentioning the marvellous work that Van Ling and his team have done with the menus. To my mind, the Star Wars DVDs have the best menus of any disc out there, and this episode doesn’t let the side down. As before, there are three menu schemes, each themed around a particular planet: Coruscant, Utapau and Mustafar. Each is animated and accompanied be music and effects from the film, and as usual you can select your favourite menus at start-up with the press of a button (see the Easter egg section for info on how to do that). What is lamentable is the omission of a blooper reel—surprising given that one is present on all of the other Star Wars discs—but there is another little surprise in its place (again, check out the eggs section).

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Overall


Well there you have it—the circle is now complete. While it’s still most definitely flawed, Revenge of the Sith is an entertaining popcorn flick and eminently viewable if approached with the right frame of mind. However, I’m still of the opinion that the prequel trilogy as a whole is one big missed opportunity; a prime example of ‘what could have been’. I honestly don’t believe that future generations will have the same regard for these films as mine has for the original trilogy. Perhaps that has as much to do with the way in which the world has changed as it does with the quality of the writing and direction, but the latter certainly plays a major part. For me, Attack of the Clones is still the most enjoyable episode of the three, but I understand that I’m probably in the minority there.

Whatever the movie’s shortcomings, Fox has once again delivered the goods with the DVD release. This is arguably the best of the prequel DVDs in technical terms—both audio and video are of ‘reference’ quality—and the bonus material is easily on a par with what’s come before. Presentation also remains superb throughout, thanks to Van Ling’s menus. All-in-all this is ‘must have’ DVD for Star Wars fans, who can finally sit down and watch the entire thirteen-or-so hour saga unfold before their eyes. It’s not just a film for the die-hards though, as even casual viewers will get a kick out of the action and incredible audio-visual experience. Revenge of the Sith comes very highly recommended and is the first winner of our coveted 'Platinum Award' for excellence.


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