Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi violence and some intense images

Reviewed by: Keith Howland
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Sci-Fi Action Adventure Sequel
Length:
2 hr. 26 min.
Year of Release:
2005
USA Release:
May 19, 2005 (wide)
Featuring: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: George Lucas
Producer: Rick McCallum
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… The End. (Or rather, the middle.)

“Revenge of the Sith” is the final installment of the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy, and the last of six films altogether. Most viewers have seen the other five, so they know many things that need to happen to complete the story, including: the birth of Luke and Leia; the destruction of most of the Jedi council (all but Yoda and Obi-Wan, who go into hiding); the ascendancy of Darth Sidious to despotic Emperor; the fateful lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker (resulting in the latter’s disfigurement); and, most anticipated of all, the transformation of the Jedi prodigy into Darth Vader. Fans also hope to be amused and amazed once more by eye-popping visual effects and heart-pounding thrills, with a smattering of R2-D2 and C-3PO.

So how does it play out? Is it fun and exciting? Are there any surprises left? Does everything unfold merely as we imagined, or can George Lucas and Co. still stretch our imaginations?

The visuals are stunning and the soundtrack full of aural fancy. There is also a great deal of action and some clever twists on “Star Wars” standards, such as the obligatory lightsaber duels. Even moments that are expected manage to be exciting, due to the fantastic backdrops and to Anakin’s reasonably believable progression toward the Dark Side.

Although Lucas has never been a master wordsmith (and insists on recycling too much dialogue, at times to the detriment of believability), he nevertheless has given Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) some wily means of enticing the impressionable Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) to call good evil and evil good. Indeed, Palpatine tempts Anakin much as the Serpent tempted Eve in the Garden: by goading his pride. The Serpent (Satan) promised Eve that if she ate the forbidden fruit, her eyes would be opened, and she would “be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). Palpatine (a Sith Lord) promises Anakin that if he dabbles in the forbidden Dark Side, he will “know the full Force.” A great performance by McDiarmid makes the temptation more chilling and effective.

Apart from some of the aforementioned dialogue clunkers and some wobbly pacing, this film is the most satisfying of the prequel trilogy. It is clear that the previous two installments were the groundwork for this, the final payoff. It is also just nice to see old friends again, including the latest return character, Chewbacca.

“Revenge of the Sith” is the first “Star Wars” film to be rated PG-13. This is appropriate, because it is darker, more intense and more violent than the rest of the films. This makes it less suitable for children. But the story is about the triumph of evil, both in its influence over individuals and its ability to wreak widespread desolation. Thus, the violence is inherent to the story and not gratuitous. Indeed, it is often restrained, and mostly bloodless, as with the other movies in the series.

Of course, there is a spiritual/supernatural undercurrent to every “Star Wars” film, with the “Force” playing a central role in the battle between good and evil. In “Revenge of the Sith,” Anakin speaks of the Sith (those who use the Force for evil) as being selfish, and the Jedi (those who use the Force for good) as being selfless. This is a fair representation of the real world; that is, those who are evil are full of themselves, while those who are good are humble, committed to God and others before themselves (Matthew 22:36-40). The one sinless man, Jesus, was “humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29) and fully devoted to God’s will and serving humanity (John 5:19; Mark 10:45).

But though the concepts of good and evil are well defined, the role of the Force is not. The Force appears to be something that can be appropriated for evil means with nearly equal power as it is for good means. In this movie, Palpatine says that there is “very little difference between Sith and Jedi,” intimating that it is merely how the power of the Force is used that separates the two. Indeed, the Dark Side often seems more powerful, and the good just more virtuous.

But in the real world, God is good—indeed, the author of goodness—and His power far exceeds the powers of darkness and Satan, which merely pervert the good things He has made. In the last days of this age, God will effortlessly cast Satan and all that is evil into the fiery Abyss for eternal punishment (Revelation 20). The Force seems to be a source of supernatural energy that may be tapped for good or evil purposes in equal measure, despite its wishes, but God cannot be used by anyone. Rather, He puts His mercy and power on those whom He calls His own-all those who love Him and call on His name (Romans 10:13; Ephesians 2:1-10; 3:14-20).

One other inherent difference between the real world and the “Star Wars” universe is the innate goodness or sinfulness of man. In “Star Wars”, it appears as though people are inherently good, and only through adverse circumstances and insidious manipulation, exacerbated by fear and doubt, is evil fomented in a person (i.e., that he is seduced to the “Dark Side”). Now it is true enough that outside forces may exploit us in our worst moments to entice us to wrong, but that is largely because we are born sinners who are inherently prone to turn away from right (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:23; etc.).

The tragedy of life is that all people are doomed to go the way of Anakin Skywalker if not for the grace of God in Jesus Christ. The Good News of the Gospel is that salvation and redemption come to all who profess that Jesus is Lord and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10). One day, Darth Vader’s son will appear to redeem him from evil before he dies. In the real world, every person may call upon God’s Son to redeem us from sin and save us from death.

See list of Relevant Issues, plus reviews of all the “Star Wars” movies and games.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—If any movie could depict the descent into madness and pride this would be the one chosen as an example to all christians to be wary of the snares and traps laid by satan to catch christians off guard. The film was not for the faint of heart, as their are scenes that could possibly traumatize children… I found the scene where it is implied that Anakin assassinates the Children quite disturbing.

If you enjoyed the first 2 installments of the prequel serious then baby you ain’t seen nothing yet… there’s more dramatic sword play then I’ve ever seen in a “Star Wars” film… and Yoda is finally done justice as a jedi master.

Of course, it is worth noting that comparing God to the force would be close to blaspheme, as the qualities of the force even on the side of Good is far removed from God’s true nature revealed in scripture.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this darker tone of the film and the tragic circumstances all the characters finally found themselves in.

Of course, we all must remember that he that is within us has already overcome the world… and watch we do not become too full of pride, lest we fall
My Ratings: Offensive/4
Adam Warren, age 21
Positive—He finally did it! George Lucas has finally brought his masterpiece back where it belongs: in our hearts. “Revenge of the Sith” has lived up to the original trilogy in ways in which I could never have imagined. To describe it to you in terms of comparison, the Star Wars films from best to worst are as follows: “Return Of The Jedi”; “Revenge Of The Sith”; “Empire Strikes Back”; “Phantom Menace”; “A New Hope”; “Attack Of The Clones.”

Revenge could easily have snagged the number one spot, but for the less than par acting in certain scenes. That said, the acting wasn’t all that bad. I never thought I would say it, but Heyden Christianson’s performance as Anakin was actually better than Natalie Portman’s Padme. Even Ian McDiarmid turned in a fantastic portrayal of Emperor Palpatine which brought back countless memories of watching him in Return Of The Jedi. All had their moments of ridiculousness, but overall, I was captivated. more »
My Ratings: Average/4½
—Cade Loven, age 18
Positive—Sith was a great movie for fans of the series, and clearly the best of the prequels. It is very dark with many violent scenes depicting the deaths or at least disfigurement of both heroes and villains. Most of the violent scenes cut away from showing any gratuitous gore with the exception of Obi Wan’s defeat of Darth Vader near the end. I would say there is less gore than in “Lord of the Rings” movies, but there are many scenes implying without directly showing the deaths of many innocents (to include children).

Good and evil is questioned throughout, but it isn’t hard to identify the truly evil characters and actions. I think Anakin’s descent to Darth Vader was well done given the allotted screen time. I think it is a great example of being persuaded to take improper short-cuts and the consequences of making poor decisions. Clearly the example of bad company corrupting good morals is seen between Darth Sidious’ influence on Anakin. more »
My Ratings: Average/5
—John, age 38
Positive—The first 45 minutes was boring—just a bunch of light sabers and fast-moving cameras. After that, though, I found the movie to be great. It became a study of the allure of evil and how easily good things like love and adherence to principals, when tainted with a little selfishness, can lead one to embrace evil. I think the movie serves as a realistic warning to adolescents who may believe “the dark side” is somewhere in the distance and they don’t need to think about it. In fact, it’s not too big of a leap from good to evil.

I thought the acting was good and the story was good and the cinematography was good. I liked the political setting, though you have to dismiss the snipe at George W Bush and the spiritual setting was good, if you can forgive the flawed theology. Of course, it is not for little kids, hence the PG-13 rating…
My Ratings: Average/4
—Greg Bussey, age 38
Positive—I took my six year old son to see this. I didn’t see what the big deal was really (with the implied violence and such). My son and I are really into the Star Wars series. If you have a child under 12 who is a casual fan or less of the series, you may not want to take them to see it. I would only take smaller children who are really into the series. Most likely they will already know what is going on. Mine did.

Yes, I realize that the philosophy of the “force” and Christian theology are far from being the same but it’s just a fictional movie. The “force” is a phenomenon in the universe of the Star Wars movies—not here in ours. So, if you’re going to see any of the Star Wars movies to learn about Christian theology, you’re going to the wrong place.

On the way home my son asked me many questions concerning some of the themes. I made sure I explained exactly what was going on and then explained some Christian truth. For example, I made sure he understood that you can’t talk to the dead like you can in the Star Wars movies. He understood.

Bottom line when it comes to wondering if you should take your kids to see this: if you’re kids are very sensitive, keep them at home until you can see it yourself. After you’ve seen it, if you feel convicted to not allow your children to see this until they are older, follow your convictions.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4½
—Bob Rogers, age 36
Positive—This movie was probably the best Star Wars film that Lucas has made, the action is great and for not being a huge Star Wars fan I really did enjoy. Ok, so it was little more violent then the others, but it wasn’t as bad as some PG-13 film can be. And it was more intense, so that made it a lot of fun. The past 2 new Star wars were cheesy and stupid but this one was great, and the end was great—how they tied it to the episode 4. I recommend this film.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4½
—Travis Croft, age 18
Positive—Best of the three latest Star Wars releases. They did a good job in tying up all the loose ends we as kids in the late 70s and early 80s needed. Episode 3 feels a little bit more like the old ones (a plus in my book!). Never liked the concentration on “the Force” from the movies’, but a least they show a good verses evil worldview. Fans won’t be disappointed.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Matt, age 33
PositiveWarning to parents: This movie is not for small children. I took my 11 year old daughter to the midnight show and decided not to take my 5 year old son. It was a very good decision, even though he loves Star Wars, Episode 3 is not for him. It is fine for the 11 year old but my son will have to wait. Don’t get me wrong, I am not worried about my son viewing robots getting slashed by a light sabers, or explosions, but there are themes in this film that were obviously included to demonstrate how evil Darth Vader is, that are over the top for little kids. I would tell you precisely what and why but it would spoil the movie. Take it from me it is an excellent movie, a must see, but leave the real little ones home.

Also, kudos to George Lucas for not spoiling the series with sexual immorality. While we know Padme is with child, the movie goes out of the way to inform the viewers (who may not know) that Anakin and Padme are married.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Lou Tapanes, age 35
Positive—…the best of the prequels, if not the entire series. If you’ve seen episodes 4, 5 and 6, you know what happens to Anakin, you just don’t know how. With this movie, we finally get to see how it happened. I do not believe that when George Lucas wrote the story, he was intending to make fun of the Christian religion by making Anakin a child of the force. This is a Sci-Fi/fantasy/mythical movie—unnatural births are common in that genre. Also, we must understand that this is just a movie—it is meant to entertain the audience for 2 plus hours. The spiritual references in the film should be used by Christians to show similarities or differences between “the force” and Christianity.

All in all, I think that Episode III as well as the whole series are great movies that will continue to entertain for many years to come. I also think that Christians can use episode III to talk about the nature of sin and temptation, and by looking at all six films, redemption.
My Ratings: Average/4
—Kent Williams, age 24
Positive—My husband and I attended with our 4 children, ages 5-11. Though this movie had “dark” moments, we did not find it at all inappropriate for our young boys. There were a couple of scenes that prompted me to cover their eyes, but they weren’t as bad as I had expected them to be. There was very minimal blood, and the more disturbing circumstances were pretty much implied, not thrown in your face: although, there are some scenes that you may consider to be. Though I would definitely agree with the PG-13 rating, I found nothing to be “offensive.” Our daughters are age 8 and 11: they did not seem to be bothered by any horrific scenes, but rather by the sadness of the movie.

As a Christian mom, there were limitless opportunities for discussion. Darth Sidius is a great example of Satan “the deceiver”: while Anakin represents the depths of despair for all who choose to live in sin. Though there was no redemptive quality that compares to Christ, the connection was easily made and the message put to good use. Not to say that there is no force of goodness, just not one that I consider worthy of out-right comparing to Christ. more »
My Ratings: Better than Average/4½
—Charice, age 31
Positive—…splendidly photographed, with exquisite battle scenes (especially the one between Darth Sidious and Yoda). This movie is dark. But to assume anything otherwise would result from the unveiling/creation of the villain for the next three movies, is a bit naive. …I missed some of the mindless adventure of the original trilogy. This movie had quite a bit of ground to cover, and I do understand that Mr. Lucas had some loose strings to tie up. In the end I think he did a decent job of getting that accomplished.

As far as world view, I think it is a little misguided to try and force “the force” into a Christianic mirror. True, if one wanted, one could draw parallels between the human pride involved in the fall in the garden to the pride that ultimately led to Anakin’s demise. But truly in order to really protect ourselves, we should take what is being said at face value. more »
My Ratings: Offensive/4
—Tim Zuidema, age 23
Positive—…towers high above the earlier films. The acting, while somewhat artificial and forced especially in the romance scenes involving Anakin and Padme, is better executed this time. Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ian McDiarmid as the 100 percent evil Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine are especially strong. As is Hayden Christensen at the end when his character, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, has a duel with Kenobi; he is really forceful and emphatic in the delivery of those lines filled with words of hatred and evil. The visual effects are quite good (if not excessive in number), and John Williams has given us another excellent music score that is perfectly implemented in the sequence of scenes.

I do have a couple of problems, however. It appears that Mr. Lucas doesn’t fully appreciate that the Sith (evil warriors consumed by the dark side of the Force) need not be the only ones that deal in absolutes. Those who are good and right and who have standards of right and wrong are also committed to absolutes in the cause of what is good and holy. As Christians, we subscribe to the truth of God’s word which has many non-negotiable standards which our Lord and Creator expects His people to be faithful to. And Lucas appears to exude an anti-Bush agenda by implying that the kinds of things our current President has called for or supported in terms of absolute right and wrong or the issue of stopping the evil rulership of Saddam Hussein in Iraq two years ago are what Palpatine and his cronies are committed to. I could go into much greater depth with the foregoing but time and space (no pun intended) do not allow. more »
My Ratings: Better than Average/4
—Bill, age 38
Positive—…The first two films, neither critically acclaimed, lacked the intensity and passion of the third, which stands out as a significant visual achievement (much as the first two had), but also as an emotional powerhouse (of which the first two were sadly lacking). This is a much more emotionally satisfying film than the first two, and it smoothly accomplishes what it sets out to do, even fully exploring the complexity of Anakin’s journey to the Dark Side. The beauty of the film is it’s life-like complexity, with Anakin (played wonderfully this time by Hayden Christensen)and his dilemma’s and motivations, the undercurrent that moves the film along. His character, and Ewan McGregor’s Kenobi, (another incredible performance from this vet) and their relationship to each other forms the groundwork that will bolster this film into galaxies far, far and away better than its two predecessors.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4½
—Doug Coleman, age 22
Positive—…a masterpiece… As Christians, we are always to beware of the temptations of the enemy (just like the lure of the dark side). One of the defenses is to know how to discern between what is genuine and what is a trick, or a trap. In the movie, Anakin was seduced by grandeur and thoughts of greed. Such are common traps of the enemy in this day and age. As Christians, we should familiarize ourselves in the teachings of the gospel and God’s fellowship.

In Anakin’s case, he fell deeper and deeper into darkness, starting with the merciless killing of Count Dooku, early on in the movie. Although we as ordinary people will never confront lightsaber duels or anything of that sort, the morality of the movie is very down-to-earth, in which many people can identify with. In a way, this movie is like a “worst case scenario” in which the bad side wins. However, to take that into perspective, in the end of the series, Anakin returns to the light and fulfills his destiny as the chosen one. Such a scenario is a lot like life. Although things may take a turn for the worst, God has a divine plan for us and we should submit to the LORD for he knows best. This was a wonderful film to watch. Kudos to the moral issues and brilliant action scenes. I encourage the watching of this movie, however it should be noted that younger children or those who are sensitive should take caution when viewing or may consider waiting until it comes out on DVD and watch it with a responsible guardian.
My Ratings: Good/5
—Robert F., age 32
Positive—Revenge of the Sith was one of the best movies in the summer of 2005. The music and effects were artistic as can be. Anakin and Padme love each other until the bitter end, even when there are moments the latter would be tempted to leave the former due to his own fall into darkness. Obi Wan continues to love Anakin in a brotherly way, even when the latter desperately tries to kill him. I was bothered by Obi-Wan’s “only a sith deals in absolutes” comment, but when you notice how self-contradictory it is (like the atheistic concept that we should only believe things based on what science says and proves) and how so many people notice that, the sandy foundation is clearly exposed and just simply foolish.

Palpatine is an excellent example of how Satan is. He tries to appear well-meaning and helpful, but is in reality a monster bent on destroying God’s people. Another more godly exchange is when Anakin says the Jedi are evil after Obi Wan says Palpatine is evil, Obi Wan can only lovingly warn “well than Anakin, you are lost”. Totally reminds me of when we witness to the world that calls God evil after we try to warn that Satan’s lies (love of money, evolution, homosexuality, etc.) are evil. Anakin killing the younglings was horrifying, yet it shows evil as disgusting and unattractive. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Peter, age 22 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—Since I got to be an extra on this movie, I was invited to the screening in Toronto last week. This is definitely not for younger viewers. This is the most violent of the Star Wars movies. There is blood; there are limbs severed from the body, and there are scenes that could scare younger viewers. From a Christian point of view, this is not for children. As a Star Wars fan, it does the original trilogy justice, and the story-line was well executed. For Christian families, parents should view this first before taking their kids. Reminder: This is the most violent and scary of the movies (e.g.: Anikin’s legs are cut off by Obi-wan. Palpatine’s true evil is shown in the battle with Yoda; this part even gave me the creeps.)
My Ratings: Offensive/5
—Dan Logan, age 18
Neutral—My review is mainly from a parent’s point of view. I took my 4 kids to see the 12:05am premiere showing last night. The pre-movie party was fun, but we left with one of my daughters (10-yr-old) in tears and the other (12-yr-old) also upset. My boys (8 and 14) did not seem to be as affected. For those who don’t think I was crazy to bring such young kids to a PG-13 movie, I will explain further. Without giving much of the movie away, I wish to warn parents that this movie does indeed deserve its PG-13 rating.

While the first 75% of the movie is fairly light on “disturbing” violence and images, the last 25% or so is more like a flood. It was overwhelming for my daughters, and though I had read a review of the movie, this even caught me somewhat by surprise.

Now for my brief layman’s analysis and advice, that I would (and will) give my friends who have kids: I advise that you do not allow your younger daughters (under 14, perhaps) to see this movie. I believe that the differences between the sexes, as God has created them, cause the trauma to be greater for girls. This film contains more than just death of warriors and a little gore—it depicts the killing of women and (though not shown directly) children, and the ripping apart of once strong, crucial relationships. The highly nurturing and relational nature of a girl (in general), in my opinion, means she will be more greatly disturbed and upset by these things than will a boy. more »
My Ratings: Average/5
—Gordon Grout, age 39
Neutral—From a strictly Biblical point of view, the very premise of the Force (an all-powerful living energy that can you can either control, or be controlled by) goes against Scripture. This movie continues that aspect and even goes one further. At one point, during Anakin and Obi Wan’s climactic battle, Obi Wan shouts “Absolutes are for the Sith!.” This is in response to Anakin’s description of good vs. evil. Of course, absolutes are for Christians, too. Be ready to discuss such concepts as “fate,” “destiny,” “pre-ordained,” and “when bad things happen to good people” with impressionable folk at this film’s conclusion.

Cinematically, Lucas has done it again. From the very first scene, a battle in space, to the lava planet where the great epic battle takes place, the special effects are beyond measure. The plot also surprised me with its quality. Star Wars fans will appreciate seeing some closure on numerous topics such as “How did Luke see the spirits of Obi Wan, Yoda, and his father?”, “What happened to the droids?”, “What happened to the twins?”, “How did Kenobi and Yoda escape?”, “What happened to Vader’s wife?”. From a choreographic standpoint, the fight scenes were very well played. The action was intense and appeared to be very natural. The music was… well… John Williams doing what John Williams does best. more »
My Ratings: Average/3½
—Kevin, age 35
Neutral—Not for young girls!!! My husband and I saw this movie last night, and I am so glad we went without our children. It is very violent, starting with Anakin cutting off the head of a man who is begging for mercy to the final battle with Obiwan where Anakin’s legs are cut off and he burns like a human torch. In the midst of that Anakin kills the children at the Jedi temple and almost strangles Padme to death at the end. The battle between the bad guy and the Samuel L. Jackson character is terrifying… my girls(ages 7 and 11) would have had nightmares for weeks!! There is also the emotional issue of Anakin finally giving himself over to the dark side. Those of us who grew up on the original Star Wars know that he ends up becoming Darth Vader, but my daughters’ generation regards Anakin as the hero, the good guy. I think it would be really disturbing for them to see him become so incredibly evil. Terrible acting, fun movie for those of us who grew up with the original Star Wars, but NOT appropriate for children!!!
My Ratings: Offensive/4
—Susie Martineau, age 38
Neutral—…It’s a tragic story of how someone makes a bad decision on his feelings. Aside from it being way below Star Wars standards, you leave away feeling really sad, you think, what a wasted life for Anakin Skywalker, but I also think of the Bible verse, that God will destroy the body to save the soul. I think Lucas could of made it without a PG-13 rating and, I think he would of made a better film if he would of gotten rid of the special effects and went back to puppetry. Special Effects strip any original Star Wars feel to it. It is only towards the end that you get some feeling of nostalgia when he tries to tie together Episodes 3 and 4, which unfortunately feels too rushed.

In comparison to the other films, the originals are all 10s in my book, Episode I is like a 5, Episode II is like a 4, and this one is like a 7. I don’t like to draw comparisons to Christianity, because I think that can be dangerous for someone to interpret God for anything other than what he is. Some people have said that the Force is like the Holy Spirit. I disagree; the Force is not real. It’s make believe, just like the movie, and we shouldn’t treat it anymore than that.
My Ratings: Better than Average/2
—Dana, age 33
Neutral—While I agree that God, and therefore Christians deal with absolutes; it is necessary to recognize that Mr. Lucas is fallible being a normal man, not known in any way for writing intelligent or purposeful dialogue, and lastly that the entire universe of “Star Wars” was not created to glorify or serve Gods purposes. The dual purposes behind the creation of “Star Wars” are *money* and entertainment value. I don’t know why we Christians feel the need to lay claim to every piece of media that seems to be comparable in principle to doctrine. It seems to me that this tendency is almost like looking for additional scripture outside of The Word. Such is not a good idea, obviously. We would be wise to enjoy that which encourages us to think about character, ethics, and value systems in general.

If we aspire to get our gospel from mass media then I think we’re way off base. We as Christians sometimes forget that developing an upright and godly character is essential to a lifetime of devotion to God. more »
My Ratings: Average/3
—Abe Burnett, age 27
Neutral—…lack of strong characters in the newer movies. There’s no feisty-ness, no chemistry. There is no Han-Solo like character that spices things up and makes things more interesting. It’s like Lucas got TOO excited about the technology available. I think the movies are too busy. The technology and scenes overpower the characters, or lack thereof. Other than my love for the first movies and wanting to know how things got where they were, there was nothing that compelled me to care about these movies or their characters… I could not… believe the age of some children at the theater. Do parents not research the movies they take their kids to?…
My Ratings: Average/3
—Amy
Neutral—…this movie is fantasy and does not take place in our realm of reality/spirituality. That being said, I can enjoy and did enjoy it (twice in fact)… When we saw the original trilogy, we were children. George Lucas took advantage of our childhood and weaved the most intricate fairy tale we had ever heard. This fairy tale had one aspect that the new trilogy lacks—Mysteries were REVEALED to us! Like a master magician performing grand feats to tease the imagination; we learned Luke’s father was a grand Jedi and an excellent pilot, we learned the Millennium Falcon used to belong to Lando Calrissian but he lost it to Han Solo in a card game, we learned Darth Vader was indeed Luke’s father, we learned Leia was Luke’s sister.

When we saw the new trilogy we were adults (or at least on the cusp of adulthood) yet George Lucas was still treating us like children. Only this time instead of giving our eyes a feast, he pulled back the curtain and EXPLAINED those same mysteries he had previously revealed to us. There is no way anybody can come in fresh, having no knowledge of Star Wars whatsoever (i.e. our children), watch the series from the beginning and be in awe of it as we once were. I urge everyone to remember this when you have children of your own. more »
My Ratings: Average/3
—Pete from Long Island, age 27
Neutral—My husband and I definitely enjoyed this movie, another incredible addition by George Lucas to finalize the Star Wars series. The acting is mediocre, but there is definitely still a dry sense of humor in some of the dialogue which leaves you laughing although the content of the movie is still serious in regards to it being mostly about the “Darkside.”

Being last in the series made us a little sad and you leave with a little bit of a melancholy feeling because it focuses so much on death and destruction, but if you have been a Star Wars fan since the beginning it is definitely a great finale. And going home and watching episode IV afterwards made it all come together. In regards to children under the age of 13 I would definitely suggest as a parent to see the movie beforehand and make a decision. more »
My Ratings: Average/3½
—Brooke Brooks, age 30
Negative
Negative—…definitely, not for younger viewers. I thought it was much too evil and violent for them. Please do not bring young children to this. It is disturbing.
My Ratings: Offensive/5
—Jennifer, age 32
Negative—“The Dark Side”—As much as I loved the film and would have preferred to give it a praising review full of light and love, I simply can’t. There were good elements, yes, but there are also some things that cannot be overlooked. Anakin Skywalker is such a powerful young man; strong in the Force but also weak in his humanity. One thing has always disturbed me about him. Conceived by a Virgin from an all-knowing Force, given to the Jedi who believe him to be the Chosen One. He is claimed to bring balance to the Force, to wipe out the Sith, and yet, he should have never been trained as a Jedi. A simple prophecy was enough to bring him into a position of power and corruption.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? It is a warped spinoff of our belief, a Christian’s belief, in Christ Jesus. He was born of a Virgin, only, unlike Anakin, lived a blameless and pure life because he was the Son of God. No matter what the claims may be, Anakin Skywalker was still human, but because of those prophecies everything was given to him unearned. I don’t appreciate the parallel to my Lord. It mocks everything I hold dear concerning my King and Father. Anakin is portrayed as a warped Messiah, and that is a deep violation to the Christian faith. more »
My Ratings: Offensive/5
—Carissa Horton, age 21
Negative—Well, I, unfortunately, cannot say that I enjoyed “Sith” last night, nor did my 11 year old son. It definitely completes the series, has the best special effects, best light saber duels, best Yoda, best R2. But it becomes almost so dark that it was not enjoyable to me. I miss the days of fun, swashbuckling, pirates in space Star Wars movies. The first hour had a feel of that, even had me cheering for Kenobi and Skywalker, but I felt that the film in its entirety had no redeeming value. It just made me feel crappy. In Episode 2, I love how the Sith were on the run and the Jedis were winning and had their huge army on their side. That made me want to cheer, but there’s almost nothing like that in this movie. Anakin’s hatred is almost gut wrenching to watch and Palpatine’s malice is sickening. Its also hard to come to know and love all these cool Jedis like Anakin, Mundi, Windu and Fisto and then to have them go out the way they do. Its just sad.

I’m not trying to give anything away for you though if you haven’t seen it, but if you haven’t seen it, make sure you watch the “Clone Wars” cartoon series DVDs before you see it. The movie picks up right where the cartoon ends. The cartoon also explains who Grievous is and why he is coughing so much.

…Don’t think I will watch it ever again. no replay value to me. not a good traditional Star Wars movie that you watch over and over. Makes me wish I never knew how Vader fell to the dark side. Because I just feel terrible for him now. From a Christian standpoint, it paints a horrifying picture of how anger, wrath and jealousy can rule our hearts and motives. But, it also shows us how to avoid that fate by giving control of the things we cling to over to God. but, of course I didn’t go to see Star Wars to get a biblical teaching, I went to see a good Star Wars movie, and this was not one.
My Ratings: Average/5
—Joe, age 27
Comments from young people
Positive—Okay here is the deal. People (especially parents) really want to take their younger children to see this movie because it makes them feel like they are taking them to see history being made. The movie is PG-13. That means no child under 13. If you take your children to see this, they will have nightmares for weeks. Don’t take them. Great movie though. Lucas makes a good ending/middle to his saga. It is very dark but truly shows that the way to the dark side is paved with good intentions.
My Ratings: Average/5
—Matt Merkel, age 16
Positive—…this movie was great! …I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Darth Vader in the end. He was just like anyone else. We are all deceived by evil sometimes. We have to constantly remind ourselves that we can’t trust Satan and his lies, no matter how nice they sound…
My Ratings: Good/5
—Adison, age 16
Positive—…One cannot condemn a movie because its protagonist makes poor choices. Furthermore, all of Anakin’s “wrong” decisions lead to catastrophic disasters for the rest of the galaxy. This shows that sin will always have consequences, and that the consequence is never worth the pleasure you may get from pursuing your sins. In response to accusations of Star Wars III portraying the triumph of evil over good, I cannot stress enough that this movie is not an independent work, but a piece of the elaborate puzzle of Star Wars, in which the process of sin as recorded in James 1:14-15 (“but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death”) is portrayed. Eventually, (as we hope for in Christ, and observe in Star Wars) good will triumph over evil.

The ambiguity of the nature of the Force is a non-issue. The Force is simply a metaphor for human potential. Humans possess the capacity to do right and wrong. The concept of The Force is necessary. Were this a movie about ordinary people, the movie would be less interesting because of the obvious omission of crazy lightsaber battles and force powers. The Force creates the potential for Jedi and Sith, and in the process, the choice between right and wrong. In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke asks Yoda if the dark side of the force is more powerful than the light side. Yoda responds, “No… no… no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.” This quote demonstrates the lure of sin…
My Ratings: Good/5
—Elizabeth, age 15
Neutral—…very good. One of the offensive parts of it was when Anikin got burnt; it got very bloody and gory! There was a sort of scary part when Anikin had a bad dream that Padme died of child birth and was screaming in pain! Not for anyone under 13!
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Andrew Otteson, age 10
Positive—…I would definitely watch it myself before letting any younger kids see it. The emperor is scary when he gets all deformed. Anakin is disgusting/frightening looking when he gets burned. There’s a lot of violence, but thankfully lightsabers cut off your flow of blood if your hand or whatever gets chopped off! There was one part that was kind of disturbing to me: all the little Jedi kids get killed. You only see one actually die, but the deaths of the others are implied. But besides those things, it was a very good movie that made me want to watch the original 3 all over again!
My Ratings: Better than Average/4½
—Brittney, age 14
Positive—This movie was so cool! It was pretty sad though. I wouldn’t recommend it for kids 10 and under though, it might give them nightmares…
My Ratings: Average/5
—Rebekah Weaver, age 15
Positive—If you love sci-fi movies, this is one for you. With special effects better than the last five… While this movie is an exciting film, it is also violent. …kids under 12, don’t watch it!
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Taylor Lawrence, age 12
Positive—…best movie out of the prequels. I agree with everyone who says “don’t take your little children”: DO NOT TAKE THEM!!! This was the most intense one of them all and probably the saddest of them all. As most people know, the Dark Side wins, which is why it was probably more disturbing than the rest. One thing people would have to understand is why the Dark Side won… so that it would be laid out for the rest of the Star Wars series (the original trilogy). I had to explain that to my mother, considering I don’t think she understood why the Dark Side won, and I’m sure some people wouldn’t either. I agree with the rating. It is most definitely a PG-13 movie. The visual and special effects were awesome!!!
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Anita, age 16
Positive—This movie was definitely better than the episode 1 and 2 with more action than both 1 and 2 combined. I would have to say that Lucas has redeemed himself from the last two he made. Some people love the movie, and some don’t. Just go with low expectations and be surprised (although it did have some cheesy acting and lines). This definitely has some sad scenes in it. Though I enjoyed it very much, it did receive the PG-13 rating for a reason. I do like the original 3 Star Wars the best…
My Ratings: Average/4
—Jim, age 15
Positive—This is by far one of the best Star Wars movies ever made (surprisingly). After the downfall of Episode II:Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith with its nice CGI and awesome Sci-fi action regains its place. I went to see Revenge of the Sith on the 12:01 a.m. showing where over 3,500-4,000 people were there, everyone there loved it. The movies great also because Lucas didn’t go screw it up by putting sex/nudity or language in it. I also went to see it yesterday on the opening day with my friends, they both liked it.

Revenge of the Sith was a whole lot more shadowy, or dark you could say, There were parts I don’t think young children could handle. I’m not going to give away but parents I’m warning you before you take your kids. For any Star Wars fans out there who haven’t seen it, its a must-see for all.
My Ratings: Excellent!/5
—Ben, age 14
Positive—I’ll give Star Wars a 4 for my entertainment rating and a 3¼ for its moral rating. My friend and I went to see the movie together. The beginning is a fierce space battle as Obie-one and Anakin are attempting to rescue senator Palpatean, I would let a two year old watch that! During the 3rd quarter or so it gets slightly intense as the sith lord kills almost all the jedi and Anakin turns to the dark side.At the end, the most intense light saber duel in the history of star wars begins with Obie one vs. “Darth vader” (aka) Anakin who still does’nt have the suit. After the defeat. Darth vader learns that the only purpose of going to the dark side is dead. Anakin only joined the darkside because he thought that with the powers of the darkside he could save Padme from death, but she died anyway.

This is one of my favorite movies of all time! It is plain to see why it is rated PG-13. I would say it was’nt that bad compared to lord off the rings! Which my 7 year old sister saw. There was no swearing, just intimidation. There was barely any blood or guts at all, in fact there was no guts! Just some blood. There was some hand-to-hand combat, but only for about 2 out of a 1 millionth of the movie. The minimum age for this movie is at least 7 years old.
My Ratings: Average/3½
—Josh Jaskulka, age 12
Positive—I thought it was a good movie. But like every one said not for children who get scared easy. Because my brother is 9 and he saw it and was okay. It has very good examples of the Bible. How Darth Sidious tricked Anakin into going into the dark side. I liked it a lot. Just I think parents should watch it first and then decide whether or not to take their kids.
My Ratings: Excellent/5
—Sarah, age 14
Positive—As my dad put it as we left the theatre, “George Lucas has now made four Star Wars films.” This movie gives the same feeling as Return of the Jedi. Loose ends are tied up and questions are answered, such as, “What happened to all the clone troopers?” “What happened to the droids?” and “Why doesn’t C3PO figure out Luke is his creator’s son?” We also see why The Emperor looks so ugly in “Jedi” and we even get to see the skeleton of the Death Star.

The special effects are stunning. The lightsaber battles have never been this exciting. Digital Yoda finally looks like a real person, er, alien. The music is spectacular. John Williams is at his best. He brings back themes from the original trilogy and brings the emotions to life. The acting is… less than riveting. While Ian McDiarmid is excellent as the evil Palapatine,

Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman are absolutely horrible in their scenes together. Still, the acting afforded me some laughs in a dark film.

And the film was dark. The murder of children was implied, of course, and the descent of Anakin into madness was heartbreaking. Parents should think twice before bringing young children to this PG-13 movie. Finally, from a Christian perspective, this movie was pretty good. At one point, however, Obi-Wan says, “Only Siths speak in absolutes.” Which is confusing, because if there are no absolutes, then maybe the Dark Side is the right way to go! It contradicted the rest of the film. In the end, I believe that this movie is definitely worth the time and the money. Go see it, and may the Force be with you! :)
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Joey, age 16
Positive—The Star Wars series can be likened to Frankenstein’s monster: They start out as a dream that defies conventional wisdom, are carefully and lovingly assembled, then have 500,000 volts shot through it. I’ve always loved Star Wars. even when people hated the prequels, I loved ’em. Now, comes Revenge of the Sith, and it was worth the wait. It is also the most violent PG-13 film I’ve ever seen. It’s brilliant. Even if your children can handle “Lord of the Rings”, they might not be able to see this.

The movie builds, builds, and builds, then tears down everything we’ve grown to love. It is a sad, sad story. The actors, who were stiff as cardboard in the last movie, have loosened up a lot, and actually relate to each other. It’s a human story in an alien universe.

Watching the relationships that are so well assembled fall apart is enough to make you cry. To call the action in sith spectacular is an understatement of an understatement. If these films were to be judged simply by action, this is the best of the six. All the Jedi and Sith are at their peak, and the biggest surprise is emperor Palpatine, who explodes with fluid grace. Even with the poor dialog, the actors chew their characters to the limits. This is a phenomenal masterpiece of a movie.
My Ratings: Offensive/5
—Josh, age 14
Positive—This movie by far was the best of the three prequels. I took my friend who’s 13 and my sister who just turned 13 to go see it today at 12:01 am, and they both loved it. The special affects are superb, and the story line was well crafted. I didn’t have a problem with any of the gore, violence, and emotional parts of the movie, but younger people and even older people might have difficulty handling it. There is one scene where Anakin walks into some boys (maybe 8 or 9 year olds), and you see him ignite his lightsaber, and the scene cuts away, but it’s obvious he kills the younglings. Just the thought of him slaughtering children can be hard on some.

It was incredibly sad to watch Anakin and Obiwan’s relationship fall apart when they were closer than brothers, and then ending up having to kill each other.

Also near the end, some children might be scared watching Anakin’s whole body catch on fire and burn for a while. It all depends on how well they can handle the difficult parts. But they did so well in completing the final episode of Star Wars, everything in the movie was necessary to finish the story.

From a Christian standpoint, it shows how people can be tricked and deceived by the “dark side” (Satan). Overall, this movie was great; the lightsaber battles were soooo incredible, and space battles very well done. I’ll be seeing it again.
My Ratings: Average/4½
—Christina, age 16
Positive—…of course this movie was going to be darker. It shows how Anakin becomes Darth Vader. The movie I thought was amazing, excellent quality moviemaking… and there were some good laughs. …really I couldn’t of been more happy. The dialogue was cheesy at some parts, but that was overlooked because so much of the movie was so great. Minimal sexuality (just kissing) no language, but a lot of violence. Parents thinking of taking the young ones to see this? If they get scared easy it’d be a bad idea. One character gets burned alive and it’s quite graphic. Really though for teenagers and adults alike, this movie just completes the circle of Star Wars.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Tim Whitaker, age 16
Positive—I loved this movie!! It was filled with action from beginning to end, and it really kept you on the edge of your seat. I must say though that this movie was a lot darker than the other Star Wars movies (which is why it has the PG-13 rating), and it probably would not be suitable for kids 8 and under because their are some scary scenes. Overall, this is the best movie I’ve seen all year, and Yoda once again provides a well done performance.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Kurt, age 14
Positive—This was really an astonishing movie. The digital clarity was phenomenal. Everything was perfectly detailed, the effects were (mostly) believable. The minute the movie starts, it’s a roller coaster ride to the end. It also displays several positive messages about good’s triumph over evil (it doesn’t really take effect unless you’ve seen the whole saga.

Now, the bad. This movie was incredibly dark and very, very violent for a Star Wars movie. I never saw any blood (unless the scars on Anakin count), but the movie still is very violent. Children are killed (not shown), heads roll, limbs are lost. The most violent moment in the movie was when Anakin rolled down next to the lava and caught on fire. If you are a serious fan like me, you will feel pretty bad when it shows the scene where the Jedi are killed. I’ll let you decide if it’s appropriate for your kid. There were several kids under the age of eight in the theatre, and most of them seemed okay with it. If you have children over thirteen, I would recommend it to them. Overall, it’s a great finish for the series.
My Ratings: Average/5
—Matt, age 13
Positive—The movie was a bit darker than the other star wars movies made. As a Christian, I understand the PG-13 rating (or in Scotland, where I live, 12A) although, I went with another family which had a 9 year old son and a 12 year old as well, and the cutting up and Anakin’s burning body did not seem to disturb any of us. I guess as a huge Star Wars fan, you expect it, because you know that one way or another Anakin has to be put in that Darth Vader costume… I think as the battles are mostly computer generated you see them as non-realistic. Personally, I think it’s a great, clean movie (since there aren’t many that are good and clean without bad language now days) for the whole family!
My Ratings: Better than Average/4
—Mindy, age 15
Neutral—Though I did find the message (or at least what I got out of it) to be very well done, the film on a quality basis came up short. Basically, I thought the dialogue, the acting, the editing, the directing, and the special effects (yes, that’s right, the special effects) done very poorly. This movie was not worth the wait. I am a big fan of Star Wars, but the originals (4,5,6) were so much better.
My Ratings: Better than Average/2
—Andy, age 17
PositiveGood: This movie is incredible. The special effects are unbelievably well done, the relationships between characters are well acted and emotional, the dialogue is very well written, and the lightsaber duels are intensely exciting, and the acting makes you really care about the good characters and detest the evil ones. Senator Palpatine is suitable slimy and sneaky. There are quite a few funny moments in the film. The love of Obi-Wan for Anakin reflected the love of Christ for everyone, giving him every opportunity to return until he had no other choice.

Bad: Betrayal is the general theme of this installment. It is dark and very violent, especially when compared to the others in the series, where there are always underlying themes of hope. My 13 year old friend is very sensitive, and it depressed her. My Dad and I agree that it did hold back, though. The killings of the children were not shown, and their deaths were shown only to prove that Anakin had indeed chosen the Dark Side.

Ugly: As I said before, it was violent. Troopers turn on the Jedi, slaughtering them, young Jedi children are killed by Anakin, who also nearly kills Padme, and Anakin’s near death are some moments, and there are others just as bad.

Summary: …very good, especially for those who have wondered who some people referenced were, what caused the events in the original trilogy, and where some characters came from. The PG-13 rating is very much so deserved, and definitely see it before you take your children. Don’t take any younger than 12.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Heather R., age 14
Positive—…there was no blood whatsoever in the movie, so that’s good. Second, it clearly demonstrates how Satan can tell us lies that sound like the truth. Third, even though at the end you see Lord Vader, aka Anakin, laying by a river of lava with all but one limb cut off and with 2nd degree burns, you don’t see the layers of flesh at the openings, and there’s no blood gushing out, which that is good. I highly recommend this movie to people 10 and older.
My Ratings: Excellent!/5
—Aaron Bray, age 14
Positive—Good movie. Not for kids under 10. The violence itself really isn’t all that bad, but it is a dark, almost disturbing storyline.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—James, age 13
Movie Critics
A rousing finale for the “Star Wars” saga that smoothly brings us back to where it all began… ends the six-movie series on such a high note that one feels like yelling out, “Rewind!
—Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
Final “Star Wars” movie gets back to storytelling basics… To say that “Revenge of the Sith” is a vast improvement is not extravagant praise…
—Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
the violent nature of the fight scenes is too much for young children…
—Suzanne Keffer, Preview Family Movie and TV Review
a worthy endeavor that merits viewing. By overlooking its faults—as well as its more-than-questionable theology—most people will find it to be a fun film.
—Annabelle Robertson, Crosswalk
Sith’s the best “Star Wars” movie since the best of them all, 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back”.
—Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
often awkward but nonetheless terrifically compelling high-stakes human drama…
—Ty Burr, Boston Globe
a return to the classic space opera style that launched the series…
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Restore your faith in the Force, this will…
—E! Online
provides a satisfying, if dark, conclusion… unlike its recent predecessors, this one delivered the emotional goods for me…
—Adam R. Holz, Plugged In