On May 19, 2005, Revenge of the Sith, the most successful prequel released, hit theaters. Written and directed by George Lucas, this cinematic masterpiece was the third installment of the prequel saga, succeeding The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. The two previous prequels both received underwhelming reviews due to bad acting, overused CGI and poor writing. However, Revenge of the Sith made up for its lackluster predecessors, turning the franchise around.
The story perfectly illustrated the transition from Republic to Empire, Clones Troopers to Storm Troopers, and Jedi to Sith. Hayden Christensen tactfully portrays Anakin’s fall to the dark side and betrayal of almost everything he loves, only to ironically murder the one he loved most.
Following the presumed death of Mace Windu, Emporer Palpatine executes Order 66, calling for the murder of all Jedi. At the time of the movie’s release, the key transition scene, portraying the clones’ betrayal of the Jedi, lacked emotion as most Jedi had not received any character development. However, Lucas would later develop each Jedi into fan favorites with the animated series, The Clone Wars.
Conversely, Revenge of the Sith’s score, composed by John Williams, invoked levels of anticipation, dread and awe, suiting each scene masterfully. Arguably the greatest score in all of Star Wars, “Dual of Fates” masterfully accompanied the awe inspiring choreography of Anakin and Obi-wan’s duel on Mustafar. Contrasting with his earlier defeat at the hands of Count Dooku, the duel on Mustafar demonstrates Anakin’s growth as a duelist, opposite his fall from the light side.
Revenge of the Sith would become the most successful Star Wars movie released at the time, grossing 108 million dollars opening weekend and 850 million dollars worldwide. The final episode of the prequel trilogy became a pop culture sensation, with kids and adults around the world developing a love for the franchise after watching the movie. Ultimately, 2005 marked the release of arguably the greatest Star Wars movie ever produced.