Reactions to Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Non-Spoilers, with one warning)
Got the chance to see Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith last Thursday during the local critics' screening. No matter what Lucas does, some people are going to complain that he's done most if not everything wrong, but screw 'em. George, ya done good. This is a strange film, in many ways; certainly, it's the most un-Star Wars Star Wars film of all. You're going to hear loads of people calling this one "dark," and if they mean "grim," they're right. It's almost non-stop violence (that's not a complaint, by the way), and some of it is appropriately jarring and disturbing.
I think that Attack of the Clones is under-rated, even though it's flawed; despite its generally weak dialogue and humourlessness, Clones contains the best character interaction of all six films. However, the mood and power and scope of Sith is impressive and haunting, with fine performances despite an underused Natalie Portman. Williams' score, strangely, contains no new major cues--there's nothing as memorable or instantly recognisable as "The Imperial March," "Duel of the Fates," or the love theme for Anakin and Padme.
Sith also contains very well-constructed allusions to the previous films, without being cloying--self-reference without the self-reverence.
SPOILER: For anyone who doubted that Clones was highly critical of the American Empire in general and the new phony "war on terror" in particular and the regime driving it, Sith should incinerate any of those doubts with two remarkable lines of dialogue and one remarkable pause in between them coming from Anakin Skywalker in his final duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Bottom line: I loved Sith, and I'm looking forward to seeing it with a large audience. Powerful and haunting.