The Saga is Complete.
After three long years of relentless fighting, the Clone Wars are nearly at an end. The Jedi Council dispatches Obi-Wan Kenobi to bring General Grievous, the deadly leader of the Separatist droid army, to justice. Meanwhile, back on Coruscant, Chancellor Palpatine has grown in power.
His sweeping political changes transform the war-weary Republic into the mighty Galactic Empire. To his closest ally, Anakin Skywalker, he reveals the true nature of power and the promised secrets of the Force in an attempt to lure him to the dark side.
Sometime during Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker will make a fateful decision. Faced with a choice between losing the one he loves or giving up his soul to gain the power to save her, Anakin will fall prey to the seductive temptations of the dark side of the Force.
Just what Anakin’s decision is, why he makes it and how it leads him to don a frightening suit of black armor have been the stuff of Star Wars legend. After nearly 30 years of waiting and speculating, moviegoers will learn the truth when Revenge of the Sith opens in theaters around the world.
They will discover for themselves exactly how and why heroic Anakin Skywalker – prophesied to be the Chosen One, the single individual who would bring balance to the Force and ensure peace throughout the galaxy – becomes the dreaded Darth Vader, right hand to the Emperor.
They will learn how Anakin’s mentors, the swashbuckling Obi-Wan Kenobi and the diminutive Jedi Master Yoda, managed to survive the fabled destruction of the Jedi Order only to live the rest of their days hiding on distant, hostile planets.
They will learn what turned seemingly benevolent and thoughtful Chancellor Palpatine into the dictatorial leader of the feared Galactic Empire.
They will learn how Anakin’s children, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, came to be born, then separated… destined to lead the legendary Rebellion against the Empire.
“The pieces will fall together, the connections will be made,” promises writer-director George Lucas, who completes the saga he began in 1977 with Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. “Finally, the last chapter will be told.”
As Revenge of the Sith opens, the final catastrophic battles of the Clone Wars are taking place galaxy wide – including one in the skies above the city-planet Coruscant, seat of the crumbling Republic and also home to the Jedi Knights. Chancellor Palpatine has been taken hostage by the nefarious General Grievous, leader of the droid army – the mechanized battle troops of the Separatist Alliance.
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) take on a desperate rescue effort, facing long odds to free Palpatine and destroy Grievous. It’s a daring mission, but only the start of the fiercely pitched battles and Jedi action that fill Episode III, the most action-filled of all of the Star Wars movies.
Obi-Wan recognizes Anakin’s inner conflict, and ultimately must face off against his once-promising Padawan learner in a lightsaber battle on the volcanic planet of Mustafar. “This is, by far, the fastest-paced, most thrilling and most intense of all Star Wars movies,” says Sith producer Rick McCallum. “Because Star Wars fans have long known many of the key plot points that drive the movie, George wanted to create an experience that would surprise them and really deliver the goods.”
The final lightsaber duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan is just one of many showstopping action sequences in Revenge of the Sith. “It’s amazing how much action there is in this movie,” says McGregor. “It’s no-holds-barred.”
One of the highlights is the opening space battle, which recalls the thrilling dogfights of Episode IV A New Hope even though, technically, it doesn’t take place in space, but in the outer atmosphere of Coruscant. “That allows us to show really spectacular things like massive explosions, fire and smoke pouring off of the spaceships,” McCallum says.
There’s also intense hand-to-hand combat between Obi-Wan and Grievous, who is a chilling combination of droid and human, foretelling the ultimate fate of Anakin Skywalker himself.
“During Revenge of the Sith, the Clone Wars are still taking place throughout the galaxy, so everyone is in full battle mode, prepared for anything to happen at any moment,” Lucas says.
The action in Revenge of the Sith is also a crucial link to A New Hope, which, as few can forget, opens as Darth Vader and his stormtroopers invade a Rebel spaceship. It is the final episode in a saga that Lucas outlined in the early 1970s. “It was a long back-story outline, mostly about how the characters came to be where they are in Episode IV A New Hope,” Lucas says. “Even though I didn’t start writing the prequels for another 20 years, the structure of that story has never changed very much; it has always been one epic story of a father who is redeemed by his children.”
In many ways, Lucas says, the events of Episode III will change audiences’ perspectives on the story told in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. “Watching the films starting with Episode I and ending with Episode VI will be a different experience,” he says. “What drove me to direct Episodes I, II and III was the larger story about Anakin, who starts out as a good person but who becomes evil – and, ultimately, is redeemed by his children. It’s exciting to see it all come together.”
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by: George Lucas
Screenplay by: George Lucas
Release Date: May 19th, 2005
Box Office: $380,270,577 (US total)
Studio: 20th Century Fox