Written by: J. Johnson
Episode II was like the set-up for the third film and served as a based what the originals was built for. A lot of pieces came started to come together after the second films. The galactic empire rose to power, hope was shrouded into darkness, the force was felt with revenge of an adversary nobody thought to be true, and the duels of fate was decided by the lightsaber.
In ‘Revenge Of the Sith’ the theme is truly corruption at its core along with a sense of everything is not what it seems to be on the surface. You can sense (if you haven’t watched IV-VI) that a turn for the worse will happen. Especially with the presence of Chancellor Palpatine making numerous appearances and Anakin confiding in him as a fatherly figure for guidance. Even with that going in the forefront of the story, the back story had the Jedis struggling with a corrupt government stricting their every move through manipulation of an unknown enemy. While in the same breath handling a war fronted by Count Dooku (temporarily) & General Grievous who was almost successful in the plan started in the end of ‘Attack of the Clones’.
Four battles were featured in ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and each had impacting statements furthering the story into the original trilogy.
(In chronological order): Dooku vs. Anakin & Kenobi, Kenobi vs. Grievous, Palpatine vs. Yoda, & Anakin vs. Kenobi
I. Count Dooku vs. Anakin Skywalker & Obi-Wan Kenobi
Served as a ‘rematch’ from the ‘Battle of Geonosis’. Anakin Skywalker & Obi-Wan Kenobi would aboard General Grievous ship after learning that the Chancellor was being held captive. The three were familiar with the style they possessed, but this time around Anakin Skywalker stated “I’ve since grown stronger since the last time we fought Count.” as Dooku rebutted, “Good. Twice the pride. Double the fall.” Although Kenobi was the rational during the time in Episode II, Anakin was rational in the sense that his focus and growing experience helped defeat the count. Also paying the favor back to Dooku, by cutting not one, but both hands off. The battle was like a mental test for Anakin although Kenobi was overpowered by Dooku. The experience from Count wasn’t a match for Anakin’s anger to get revenge on the creator of the ‘Clone Protocol 66’. After short yet methodical battle was over the Chancellor would order the execution of Count Dooku, even with Anakin’s hesitation he carried out the order.
II. Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. General Grievous
There’s a huge separation in time from ‘Attack of the Clones’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith’ showing a rivalry that has build between two generals. Count Dooku some time after the ‘Battle of Geonosis recruited an apprentice of his own. A droid with higher intelligence than those that were produced to be footsoldiers. Grievous was the name and while he was trained by the count he would also come into contact on many occasions with Obi-Wan and other Jedi masters while wrecking havoc across the galaxy. Grievous would also battle and collect the lightsabers of the slain Jedis adding a little insult to the Jedi Order. In the Outer rim world of Utapau, Grievous would battle Kenobi one last time. Grievous is the only lightsaber carrier that wielded four lightsabers at once. His experience was clouded by the hatred he had for Kenobi that he would lost two of the four lightsabers/hands. Even though the battle reached the point of desperation for the general, he would make a last stand in one on one combat with Kenobi. In the end Kenobi would put an end to Grievous by shooting him with Grievous’ own rifle in the organ sack.
III. Palpatine (Lord Sidious) vs. Yoda
It was debriefed by Anakin Skywalker to the Jedi Council that Chancellor Palpatine was the one behind all the corruption in the Republic. Mace Windu would lead the other Jedis to arrest Chancellor Palpatine leaving Anakin behind. Upon confronting Palpatine the Jedis were engaged in battle with the corrupt leader. Three instantly died standing no match for the Palpatine art in the force. Windu & Palpatine would put on a showing of goodwill giving the fans the experience of a Jedi Master taking on the leader of the dark side. In the end of the battle Anakin would assist Palpatine in killing Mace Windu. Anakin would then, denounce he allegiance of the Jedi and accept Palpatine as his new master on the dark side. Soon after the Jedi Order would then, be executed by the newly found power to be as Palpatine used his influence to manipulate the Republic having all Jedis killed besides a couple (Obi-Wan & Yoda).
Yoda would walk in on the newly found leader of the Galactic Empire, not pleased. Yoda in the entire series is elevated like no other, with his demeanor, intellect, and wise approach in battle. Yoda fights twice in the the entire (canonical) film series, so for some fans it was a joy to watch Yoda take out his lightsaber as he did with Palpatine. Both are experience with the force and trained highly in the lightsaber arts. Like the battle with Dooku, Yoda was very agile with the offense/defense bringing a bit of edge to the battle. Palpatine would soon revert back to using the force to kill one of the last remaining existence of the Jedi (aside from Kenobi). In the end Yoda would have to retreat, but not choice as he was stalemated. Yoda would displeasure in the ‘Order 66; killing of all Jedi’ would dishearten the elderly Jedi master.
IV. Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi
The Order has been carried out to eliminate every Jedi in existence, Palpatine is revealed as the leader of the corrupt Republic, a new apprentice has taken the mantle on the dark side of the force, and a brotherhood is destroyed by manipulation and corruption; a new world order has emerged and the Sith has gotten their revenge on the Jedi. Vader (Anakin) was ordered by Palpatine aka Lord Sidious to wipe out the separatist leaders on the Mustafar. Kenobi would head to the Jedi Temple to see Vader formerly known as Anakin killing the children that were in hiding from the attack on the council. This lead Kenobi to look for Vader in an attempt to gather answers on why he did what done. Once on the Mustafar system, he would report to Palpatine of his mission being completed only to see Amidala’s star skiff landing. They would reunite for a short while once he spotted Kenobi behind her. Vader would begin to force choke Amidala rendering her unconscious at the behest of Kenobi.
The two would engage in battle when Vader thought Kenobi was challenging his power. Former friends clash in a battle that is regards as a classic battle between the two. The skills would show how equal these two really are when it comes to fighting for something they both believed was for the greater good; even with one being wrong and the other being right. Not only was this a battle of morals, but also a battle to see who was better. The tension can be seen hinged on when Kenobi stress that he must think before reacting. Anakin would only take this as he was being treated less than he deserved. The battle of heroes was fought practically all over Mustafar, but in the end of that battle Kenobi would cut off the limbs of his former friend. Heartbroken by Anakin’s (Vader) dealings in the dark side would ultimately end a brotherhood especially when Anakin shouted “I HATE YOU!!!” After which he caught fire burning 90% of his body, Kenobi would leave Anakin to burn on the volcanic planet signal the eruption and end of order.
In ‘Revenge of the Sith’ it’s been widely criticized by man fans of the franchise that it doesn’t hold up against the original trilogy, but that goes without saying seeing how IV-VI laid the ground work for I-III to be released. You can only appreciate the prequel era as it serves for the telling of how the events in originals came to be. Yes, some plot holes exist, but from a cinematic story point of view is amazing. Star Wars has been able to capture millions to invest in a fictitious universe that we see today. The themes of discovery, experience, corruption, and manipulation playing a role in the prequel trilogy is a base in which the originals can now be explained for many years to come.
Next: ‘Episode IV: A New Hope’ featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader