I saw Revenge of the Sith today. You know a movie has made an impact when you and the people you went with can only sit in silence for minutes as the credits roll. That can indicate either a good thing or a bad thing. Today, it was a positive sign.
For some of us, we’ve waited nearly two decades to see the events unfold on screen as we did today. I was ten years old when I read about the near-legendary battle between Anakin and Obi-wan on a lava filled planet. Master and former apprentice facing off in a climatic battle. Former friends forced to fight each other. How did it come to this? What exactly happened? Why did Obi-wan leave a horribly scarred Anakin to seemingly die? These were the questions I’ve asked myself since I was a child. Today, those questions were answered.
For almost the same amount of time, I’ve also wondered how Luke and Leia’s mother died. What tragedy had befallen her? What prevented her from from raising her twin babies? Again, we found our answers today.
The movie was satisfying to a great extent because so much information was provided. Information that we’ve only guessed about for so many years. Closure is such a good thing.
So why did we sit silently as the film ended? For me, I was struck by the tragic and sad details that Lucas finally provided us. I doubt if there were any of us who didn’t know the general ending of the movie. The original three films spelled out the story in broad strokes for us. It was seeing the fine details that made it emotional. I’ve known for twenty years that Anakin was burned by lava, but to see and hear him immolated by fire was shocking. I’ve also known that Luke and Leia were split up to be raised on separate planets, but to see the babies actually delivered to their surrogate parents tugged at the heartstrings. Though I didn’t see grown men reduced to tears as one reviewer witnessed, I certainly could understand why.
Yeah, the special effects kicked ass, but I was most impressed with the darker tone of the movie. If you don’t think it’s dark, go see it and we’ll talk about the younglings afterwards. I’ve read how Lucas has described the Star Wars saga as a tragic and sad tale, but today I fully understand what he meant by that.
Sith is easily the best of the prequels and better than Jedi. It doesn’t quite surpass Empire, but only time will tell how I compare it with A New Hope.