With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Friday, December 18th, I thought I would take a look back at all of the previous movies from the beginning starting with the prequels and then the original trilogy. If you would like to read any of my previous reviews, click here. Try to ignore this, or not while watching the prequels. I’ll probably be treading through familiar territory with most people as well.
It has been three years since the Clone Wars began. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) rescue Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) from General Grievous (Matthew Wood), the commander of the droid armies, but Grievous escapes. Suspicions are raised within the Jedi Council concerning Chancellor Palpatine, with whom Anakin has formed a bond. Asked to spy on the chancellor, and full of bitterness toward the Jedi Council, Anakin embraces the Dark Side.
Again I’ll be treading though familiar territory again but here I go anyway. This is the last of three prequel films taking place before the original trilogy of films from the late 70s to early 80s. For those who don’t know the story (essentially those who probably weren’t alive), Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) are on a mission to rescue Chancellor Palpatine (McDiarmid) from the evil General Grievous (Wood). After Palpatine is rescued, his bond with Anakin grows which may have clouded his judgement. When the Jedi Council begins to be suspicious of Palpatine, Anakin is asked to spy on him. Anakin growing furious with the Council and grim visions of his future, he begins to embrace the Dark Side (everyone already knows what happens next). So the story has improved over the last two films but I believe it still focuses a little too much on Anakin Skywalker. What made this worse was the performance of Christensen. I just thought he was terrible in this one, worse than his performance in his previous film and that’s saying something. Everything he does was bad and everything that comes out of his mouth was pure cheese. He wasn’t the only guilty party, however, as Natalie Portman (Padme Amidala) was just as bad, spewing pure cheese at every turn. These moments within the story could have been better if their performances were better (or maybe if they had cast different actors), it would have made it a little more bearable as their story was still boring. At least it was the most exciting film I’ve seen so far as it had the most action which took the characters to many planets. The film had a big battle that was exciting, but not the most exciting and the lightsaber battles were also exciting and well choreographed (but no spoilers though). I probably missed all of the CGI the first time but I found it distracting this time around. Of course the big reveal (spoiler) did not come as much of a surprise seeing that I have seen all of the films before but I suppose if I pretend I haven’t, it would have been a surprise. The only bright spots of the film have to be the performances of McGregor and McDiarmid. This was not McGregor’s best work in the series but he was still okay here and McDiarmid was great here. I regret not speaking to John Williams’ fantastic music in every film so far but it was also amazing here. It’s amazing but doesn’t quite cover up the film’s mistakes. Overall, this is the best of the three Star Wars prequel films but still has problems of its own.