Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the third episode of the Star Wars film series (but the sixth film to be produced), to be released on Thursday, May 19, 2005. For American audiences, a PG-13 rating has been rumored for this film.
Official or confirmed information
This movie is expected to fill in the gaps in the storyline between Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and the original Star Wars movie (now called Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope). The film will be set three years after Episode II, therefore it will be set in 19 BBY (before Battle of Yavin). It is believed that, in this movie, Anakin Skywalker is seduced by the Dark Side of the Force and becomes Darth Vader, while Chancellor Palpatine declares himself Emperor.
Meanwhile, Padmé Amidala gives birth to Luke and Leia and subsequently dies; Obi-Wan takes Luke to Tatooine to be raised by Beru and Owen Lars; Leia is taken to be raised on Alderaan by Viceroy Bail Organa. C-3PO's memory banks will be wiped. However, it is not totally clear whether R2-D2's will be or not. It is said that R2 can keep a secret so he may be allowed to keep the memories of his past encounters intact.
A great purge of Jedi is also expected, including, as actor Samuel L. Jackson put it, the "satisfying" death of Mace Windu. It is these events that will almost certainly precipitate the start of the Galactic Civil War, which will be prominent in the original classic trilogy. A new villain, General Grievous, will play a pivotal role in Episode III as well.
The film promises a vast opening space battle, a visit to the wartorn Wookiee planet (Kashyyyk), and a climactic lightsaber duel, said to be the longest ever filmed. It is also said to have been produced entirely without location shooting, filmed mostly in studios (in Australia and Britain) utilizing combinations of sets and blue screen shooting, with many complex locations being created in post production using a combination of Matte paintings, model work, and CGI.
There are many unresolved questions—or more perjoratively, "plot holes"—in the storyline that are hoped, by fans, to be addressed. These plot holes were formed since Episodes IV-VI were made before Episodes I-III were even written. Thus, any introductions in Episode I and II will need to be erased to explain why they were not even mentioned in the last three episodes. These problems are:
- The explanation of why some Jedi get reincarnated as force ghosts while others are not.
- That the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO will have their memories erased. This is inferred from them not recognizing their home planet and other characters, such as their former master Darth Vader.
- That there will be some sort of purge of alien species from the Empire, at least from the army and governing heads of the empire.
- The explanation of why Jar Jar Binks is present in Episodes I & II but not included in IV-VI.
Further, in Episodes IV-VI, Obi-Wan Kenobi gave a review on Luke and Darth Vader's past. Since much of what was revealed has not been shown in Episode I or II, Episode III is expected to portray these events.
The opening crawl from Revenge of the Sith
War! The Republic is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord, Count Dooku. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere. In a stunning move, the fiendish droid leader, General Grievous, has swept into the Republic capital and kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate. As the Separatist Droid Army attempts to flee the besieged capital with their valuable hostage, two Jedi Knights lead a desperate mission to rescue the captive Chancellor...
The following plotline is in part a conjecture of what viewers can expect to happen in the film, pending the final outcome of events in the actual theatrical release.
Set 19 years before the events of Episode IV, Episode III begins at the end of the Clone Wars, the galaxy-spanning conflict that started three years before on Geonosis. The Confederacy of Independent Systems, under the leadership of the Sith Lord Count Dooku, and the cyborg tactician General Grievous, has kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine from the capital world of Coruscant.
Fleeing the city-planet, the Separatist armada is intercepted by the mighty Republic Navy. Venator-class Star Destroyers, ARC 170 starfighters and advanced Jedi starfighters enter the fray, pitted against Trade Federation Battleships, droid starfighters and tri-droid starfighters.
Two advanced Jedi starfighters enter the battle, headed directly for the massive Trade Federation Cruiser at the heart of the enemy fleet, which serves as Palpatine's fortified prison. The pilots, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Kenobi's former apprentice Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, fight through numerous obstacles as they journey through the battle.
Reaching the Federation Cruiser, the Jedi enter a hangar bay and make their way to the bridge. After they encounter with battle droids and General Grievous himself, the Jedi reach Palpatine. Both Obi-Wan and Anakin battle Count Dooku, but after the Jedi Master is rendered unconscious, it is left to Anakin to slay the evil Sith Lord. Palpatine praises Anakin's efforts, though the rescue is not yet over: with the Cruiser disabled and plunging towards Coruscant's surface, the Jedi have little time to escape.
Navigating the dangerous innards of the Cruiser, Anakin and Palpatine manage to escape the doomed craft before it crashes into Galactic City. Coruscant fire ships race to the scene, and the survivors are evacuated to safety.
The Senators of the Republic meet with Palpatine to congratulate him on his escape from Dooku's clutches, but talk soon turns to the nature of the war. With Dooku dead, the Senators believe the war is effectively over; and thus Palpatine has no need to hold on to the emergency powers granted to him before the Battle of Geonosis. Palpatine argues that General Grievous still poses a dire threat, and placates the Senators by ensuring them the Jedi Council will deal with the problem.
While Obi-Wan Kenobi is sent to track down Grievous, Palpatine gives Anakin his own, special assignment; to become the Chancellor's personal bodyguard, thanks to his efforts onboard the Federation Cruiser. Anakin accepts. Anakin has been having bad dreams about his wife Padme dying. He confides in the Chancellor about his fears. Palpatine tells the young Jedi Knight that there are stories that the dark side of the force can be used to extend life. Anakin asks Palpatine where one might get this information. Palpatine responds "not from the Jedi."
Meanwhile, the Jedi have slowly been unravelling the mystery of the Sith, and Mace Windu comes to a startling conclusion: the evil mastermind behind the Clone Wars, Darth Sidious, is none other than Palpatine himself! Windu, accompanied by Jedi Masters Kit Fisto, Saesee Tiin and Agen Kolar, confront Palpatine, who reveals his true nature as the Dark Lord of the Sith. Windu's colleagues are struck down, leaving the Jedi Master to face Darth Sidious alone. Anakin is watching the duel from afar, and is forced to make a choice: should he carry out his duty as a bodyguard, and protect Palpatine, or his duty as a Jedi, and come to Mace Windu's aid? In the end, Anakin Skywalker makes his choice for Palpatine and kills Mace Windu.
Obi-Wan Kenobi lands on the planet Utapau, and is met by the helpful Administrator Tion Medon. Following his welcome, Obi-Wan joins Commander Cody on the battlefield, and pursues General Grievous across the cavernous terrain of Utapau. A duel ensues in which Grievous wields multiple lightsabers and blasters. In the end, Obi-Wan uses the droid General's own blaster to deliver a killing blow.
Meanwhile Padme Amidala Skywalker gave birth to Luke Skywalker and Leia Skywalker (Leia Organa).
Back on Coruscant, Anakin is tasked with eliminating the remaining leaders of the Confederacy, who have holed themselves up on the volcanic world of Mustafar. There, Anakin slays the leaders of the Commerce Guild, Corporate Alliance, Techno Union and Trade Federation including Nute Gunray and Po Nudo, thereby removing the last of the opposition to Palpatine's new plans for the Republic.
Palpatine's New Order is implemented, and the Galactic Republic is turned into the Galactic Empire. Palpatine, now Emperor, orders his clone troopers to turn on their Jedi Generals. On Kashyyyk, a victory against the Corporate Alliance turns into one of the first victories for the Empire as the clones battle Wookiees and Jedi alike. Master Yoda escapes with the help of Wookiee warrior Chewbacca. The Jedi Temple is attacked and destroyed, leaving no survivors. A group of senators (among them Bail Organa, Padme Amidala, and Mon Mothma) still loyal to the now-defunct Republic fearing that Palpatine has gone too far have decided to take action. As a result, the precursor to the Rebel Alliance, the Resistance was slowly beginning to form (although it will take a long time before the Ghorman Massacre).
Following his former Padawan to Mustafar, Obi-Wan and Padme both confront Anakin, though the dark side overwhelms the young Knight. Angry at Padme for leading Obi-Wan to him, Anakin Force-chokes her to death and pushes her aside. He then attacks his old Jedi Master, and a vicious battle ensues through the industrial complex overlooking a vast lake of lava. As they battle, Obi-Wan hopes to convince Anakin to return to the light, but all Anakin shows is total hatred for him. Obi-Wan severely injures Anakin in the battle, leaving him near death as he falls to the molten pit of the volcano. Retrieving Anakin's lightsaber, a saddened Obi-Wan leaves Mustafar, they will not fight again until Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
The Jedi are now seen as enemies of the Empire, and Obi-Wan is forced to take on the identity of Ben Kenobi to escape. Similarly, Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan is forced to flee the agents of Darth Sidious, and meets up with Kenobi.
In a top-secret location, possibly on Coruscant, Darth Sidious oversees a very special project. A new warrior is created, a powerful Dark Lord capable of wiping out the last of the Jedi. This new menace is Darth Vader, formerly Anakin Skywalker who survived his injuries in his duel with Obi-Wan, though the remnants of that good man have apparently been consumed by the dark side.
The newborn Skywalkers are hidden. Leia is adopted into the Royal House of Organa on Alderaan while Luke is raised by Owen and Beru Lars on Tatooine. Ben vows to watch over the young boy, and becomes a hermit in the Jundland Wastes. Yoda retreats to Dagobah to await the time when he will train the last of the Jedi.
On Coruscant, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader together oversee the formation of the Galactic Empire, and the galaxy enters a new and terrible era...the Galactic Civil War has begun.
- StarWars.com Episode III section (http://www.starwars.com/episode-iii/)
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0121766/) at the Internet Movie Database
- The Force.Net's Episode III site (http://www.theforce.net/episode3/)