My Rating: 7/10
Rotten Tomatometer: 79% Certified Fresh

PLOT: Three years into the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin (Hayden Christensen) rescue Palpatine (the fabulous Ian McDiarmid) from Count Dooku (the legendary Christopher Lee). As Obi-wan pursues a new threat, Anakin acts as a double agent between the Jedi Council and Palpatine, and is inevitably lured into a sinister plan to overthrow the Republic.

WHY IT’S HERE:
…and that’s just the synopsis. For this final chapter in his prequel trilogy, director George Lucas pulls out all the stops, visually and storywise, with varying degrees of success. It’s still unbelievably hard to listen to these people talk without shaking my head in disbelief. (“Anakin, all I want is your love.” “Love won’t save you, Padme. Only my new powers can do that!” UGH.) But, if you can tune out the dialogue scenes, you’ll be able to concentrate on the visual spectacle, which is formidable this time around. Whatever it is that Lucas lacks in screenwriting, he makes up for with boundless imagination in creating an entirely new universe. A droid leader who can fight using four lightsabers at once. Wookiee flying machines that look like a dragonfly mated with an armed dune buggy. Cities that exist inside the walls of gigantic fissures of the planet’s surface. And, of course, a droid army that is as stupid as…they’re just really stupid. The last act of the film features the most thrilling sequence in the entire new trilogy: the long-awaited final duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin, intercut with the somewhat breathtaking duel between Yoda and Darth Sidious. Ya gotta love that little guy. This movie is far from perfect, but in its own way, it’s a fitting capstone to the trilogy.

(I can’t leave without mentioning the last spoken lines of the newly-created Darth Vader…what an utterly, unspeakably banal way to treat such a moment, reducing it to a parody of a Frankenstein movie. Vader – hell, the entire franchise – deserved better. Lucas should be ashamed of himself.)