This was George Lucas’s last chance with the Star Wars saga. Though the Phantom Menace was generally hated by fans of the series for its lack of character depth, logical story, Jar Jar Binks, baby Anakin, and midi-chlorians, the second film was slightly better received. The films in general moved toward more positive reviews as the prequel trilogy went on. The Phantom Menace has 57% on Rotten Tomatoes. Attack of the Clones went slightly up with a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. Finally, Revenge of the Sith opened to an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, and was even rated “Fresh.”
While many fans complain about the prolonged action scenes and 30-minute ending lightsaber duel, this film really is a good close to the prequel trilogy and a great way to bridge the gap between the unbelievable over-the-top action of the prequel trilogy and the thoughtful, subdued original trilogy.
Revenge of the Sith is the darkest of the Star Wars films, and thus the only film rater PG-13. This is understandable given the content which needed to be covered. The film covers not only Anakin’s ultimate fall to the dark side of the force and his transformation into Darth Vader, but also:
- The conclusion to the Clone Wars begun in Attack of the Clones
- The implementation of Order-66 and consequential death of the majority of Jedis in the galaxy
- The death of Padme
- Anakin killing younglings
- The fall of the Republic and rise of the Sith and the Empire
The darker tone lent to a much more engaging story. This is likely why Revenge of the Sith is the most highly regarded of the prequel trilogy among fans and critics alike.