Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Director:- George Lucas
Producer:- Rick McCallum
Written by:- George Lucas
Music by:- John Williams
- May 15, 2005 (Cannes)
- May 19, 2005 (United States)
Country:- United States
Budget:- $113 Million
Box office:- $848.8 Million
Three years after Count Dooku‘s raid on Geonosis, the galaxy is in a state of civil war. During a space battle over the planet Coruscant, Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker lead a mission to rescue the kidnapped Supreme Chancellor Palpatine from Separatist commander General Grievous. After infiltrating Grievous’s flagship, the Jedi battle Dooku, who Anakin eventually subdues and, on Palpatine’s urging, executes. Grievous flees the battle-torn cruiser, which the Jedi crash-land on Coruscant. There, Anakin reunites with his wife, Padmé Amidala, who reveals she is pregnant. While initially excited, Anakin begins to have prophetic visions of Padmé dying in childbirth, and his worry steadily grows.
Palpatine appoints Anakin to the Jedi Council as his representative, but the Council declines to grant Anakin the rank of Jedi Master and orders him to spy on Palpatine, causing Anakin’s faith in the Jedi to diminish significantly. Palpatine tantalizes Anakin with secret knowledge of the dark side of the Force, including the power to save his loved ones from dying. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan travels to the planet Utapau, where he kills Grievous, and Yoda travels to Kashyyyk to defend the planet from invasion. Tempting Anakin, Palpatine eventually reveals that he is the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, saying that only he has the knowledge to save Padmé from dying. Anakin reports Palpatine’s treachery to Mace Windu, who confronts and subdues the Sith Lord, severely disfiguring him in the process. Fearing that he will lose Padmé, Anakin intervenes on Palpatine’s behalf and severs Windu’s hand, allowing Palpatine to throw him out of a window to his death. Anakin pledges himself to Palpatine, who dubs him Darth Vader. Palpatine issues an order for the clone troopers to kill their Jedi commanders and dispatches Vader along with a legion of clones to kill everyone in the Jedi Temple. Vader then massacres the remaining Separatist leaders hiding on the volcanic planet Mustafar, while Palpatine addresses the Galactic Senate, transforming the Republic into the Galactic Empire and declaring himself Emperor. Having survived the chaos, Obi-Wan and Yoda return to Coruscant and learn of Anakin’s treachery.
Unable to convince Padmé about Anakin’s turn to the dark side, Obi-Wan stows aboard her ship. Padmé travels to Mustafar and implores Vader to leave the dark side. He refuses, and upon witnessing Obi-Wan, chokes Padmé into unconsciousness in a fit of rage. Obi-Wan duels and defeats Vader, severing most of his limbs and leaving him at the bank of a lava river where he is horribly burned. On Coruscant, Yoda battles Palpatine until their duel reaches a stalemate. Yoda flees with Bail Organa while Palpatine, sensing that his apprentice is in danger, travels to Mustafar.
On the asteroid Polis Massa, Obi-Wan regroups with Yoda and Padmé gives birth to twins named Luke and Leia before dying shortly thereafter. A funeral procession is held for Padmé on Naboo, who is buried with the necklace Anakin made her years earlier. On Mustafar, Palpatine finds a severely burnt Vader still alive. After returning to Coruscant, Vader’s mutilated body is treated and covered in a black armored suit. Palpatine explains to Vader that he killed Padmé in his anger. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan and Yoda decide to conceal the twins from the Sith, as they are the galaxy’s only hope for freedom. Yoda exiles himself to the planet Dagobah, while Vader and the Emperor oversee the construction of a superstation, the Death Star. Bail Organa adopts Leia as his own daughter and takes her to Alderaan, while Obi-Wan delivers Luke to his step-family Owen and Beru Lars on Tatooine, where Obi-Wan intends to watch over Luke until the time is right to challenge the Empire.
- Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi: a Jedi Master and general for the Galactic Republic.
- Natalie Portman as Padmé Amidala: a senator of Naboo who is secretly Anakin’s wife.
- Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader: a recently promoted Jedi Knight and hero of the Clone Wars who turns to the dark side of the Force and becomes the mighty Sith lord Darth Vader.
- Ian McDiarmid as Chancellor Palpatine / Darth Sidious: the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic who is secretly a Sith Lord, and the founder, commander and leader of the Galactic Empire.
- Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu: a senior member of the Jedi Council.
- Christopher Lee as Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus: Darth Sidious’ Sith apprentice, who was selected by his master to lead the Separatists.
- Anthony Daniels as C-3PO: Padmé’s personal protocol droid, created by Anakin.
- Kenny Baker as R2-D2: Anakin’s astromech droid.
- Frank Oz voices Yoda: the leader of the Jedi Council.
The post-production department began work during filming and continued until weeks before the film was released in 2005. Special effects were created using almost all formats, including model work, CGI and practical effects. The same department later composited all such work into the filmed scenes—both processes taking nearly two years to complete. Revenge of the Sith has 2,151 shots that use special effects, a world record.
As the DVD featurette Within a Minute illustrates, the film required 910 artists and 70,441 man-hours to create 49 seconds of footage for the Mustafar duel alone. Members of Hyperspace, the Official Star Wars Fan Club, received a special look into the production. Benefits included not only special articles, but they also received access to a webcam that transmitted a new image every 20 seconds during the time it was operating in Fox Studios Australia. Many times the stars, and Lucas himself, were spotted on the webcam.
During the process of shaping the film for its theatrical release, Lucas and his editors dropped many scenes, and even an entire subplot, from the completed film.
Lucas excised all the scenes of a group of Senators, including Padmé, Bail Organa, and Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly), organising an alliance to prevent the Chancellor from receiving any more emergency powers. Though this is essentially the Rebel Alliance‘s birth, the scenes were discarded to achieve more focus on Anakin’s story. The scene where Yoda arrives on Dagobah to begin his self-imposed exile was also cut, but is featured in a deleted scene in the DVD release, although McCallum stated he hopes Lucas may add it to the release if Lucas releases a six-episode DVD box set.
Bai Ling filmed minor scenes for the film playing a senator, but her role was cut during editing. She claimed this was because she posed for the June 2005 issue of Playboy, whose appearance on newsstands coincided with the film’s May release. Lucas denied this, stating that the cut had been made more than a year earlier, and that he had cut his own daughter’s scenes as well.
The music was composed and conducted by John Williams (who composed and conducted the score for the other six films in the Star Wars saga), and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and London Voices. The film’s soundtrack was released by Sony Classical on May 3, 2005, more than two weeks before the film’s release. A music video titled A Hero Falls was created for the film’s theme, “Battle of the Heroes“, featuring footage from the film and was also available on the DVD.
The soundtrack also came with a collectors’ DVD, Star Wars: A Musical Journey, at no additional cost. The DVD, hosted by McDiarmid, features 16 music videos set to remastered selections of music from all six film scores, set chronologically through the saga. This album was chosen as one of Amazon.com‘s Top 100 Editors’ Picks of 2005 (#83).
A copy of the film leaked onto peer-to-peer file sharing networks just hours after opening in theaters. The film was a time-stamped workprint, suggesting it may have come from within the industry rather than from someone who videotaped an advance screening. Eight people were later charged with copyright infringement and distributing material illegally. Documents filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney allege that a copy of the film was taken from an unnamed Californian post-production office by an employee, who later pleaded guilty to his charges. The illegal copy was passed among seven people until reaching an eighth party, who also pleaded guilty to uploading to an unnamed P2P network.
Shortly after the above-mentioned print was leaked, it was released in Shanghai as a bootleg DVD with Chinese subtitles. The unknown producer of this DVD also chose to include English subtitles, which were in fact translated back into English from the Chinese translation, rather than using the original English script. This causes the subtitles to become heavily mis-translated, often causing unintentional humor. For example, in the opening crawl the title is mis-translated as Star War: The Third Gathers – Backstroke of the West. One error that recurs several times in the subtitles is that the phrase “it seems” (好象) was rendered as “good elephant”. “Jedi Council” is rendered as “Presbyterian Church“, and the mis-translation also caused the word “fuck” to replace “work” four times in the subtitles. Darth Vader’s cry of “Noooooooo” (不要) is rendered as “Do not want”. This last translation error would later be popularized as an internet meme. In 2016, a YouTube user named GratefulDeadpool uploaded a fan edit of Revenge of the Sith in which the cast’s voices were dubbed to match the bootleg subtitles.
On September 28, 2010, it was announced that all six films in the series were to be stereo-converted to 3D. The films would be re-released in chronological order beginning with The Phantom Menace on February 10, 2012. Revenge of the Sith was originally scheduled to be re-released in 3D on October 11, 2013 (later pushed up to October 4, 2013). However, on January 28, 2013, Lucasfilm announced that it was postponing the 3D release of episodes II and III in order to “focus 100 percent of our efforts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and that further information about 3D release plans would be issued at a later date. The premiere of the 3D version was shown on April 17, 2015, at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim.
The film was released in 115 countries. Its worldwide gross eventually reached $849 million—making it the second most financially successful film of 2005, behind Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The film earned an estimated $16.91 million from 2,900 midnight screenings in North America upon its release. In total, it earned a record $50 million on its opening day. It was surpassed the following year by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which earned $55.5 million on its opening day.
With only the May 19 earnings, the film broke four box office records: midnight screenings gross (previously held by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, $8 million), opening day gross (Spider-Man 2, with $40.4 million), single day gross (Shrek 2 with $44.8 million) and Thursday gross (The Matrix Reloaded with $37.5 million). Its single day and opening day gross records were later surpassed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest on July 7, 2006, when that movie grossed $55.5 million on its opening day, and its midnight screening gross was broken by The Dark Knight on July 18, 2008 with $18.5 million. It still retains its record for Thursday gross, however.
According to box office analysis sites, the film set American records for highest gross in a given number of days for each of its first 12 days of release except for the seventh and eighth, where the record is narrowly held by Spider-Man 2. On its fifth day, it became the highest-grossing film of 2005, surpassing Hitch ($177.6 million). The film earned $158.5 million in its first four-day period, surpassing the previous four-day record held by The Matrix Reloaded ($134.3 million), and joining Spider-Man, The Matrix Reloaded and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as one the only films to make $100 million in three days. In eight days, it reached the $200 million mark (a record tied with Spider-Man 2) and by its 17th day, the film had passed $300 million (surpassing the record of 18 days of Shrek 2). It was eventually the third-fastest film (after Shrek 2 and Spider-Man) to reach $350 million.
The film ended its run in American theaters on October 20, 2005, finishing with a total gross of $380,270,577. It ranks 29th in all-time domestic grosses and is the highest-grossing U.S. of 2005, outgrossing second-place The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by nearly $90 million. The film sold an estimated 59,324,600 tickets in the US.
International grosses that exceeded $460 million include those Australia ($27.2 million), France and Algeria ($56.9 million), Germany ($47.3 million), Italy ($11.3 million), Japan ($82.7 million), Mexico ($15.3 million), South Korea ($10.3 million), Spain ($23.8 million), and the United Kingdom and Ireland ($72.8 million).
Awards & Nominations
Following the release of Revenge of the Sith—the completion of the original and prequel Star Wars series—on June 9, 2005, George Lucas was presented with the 33rd American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award. The institute honored his “astonishing contributions to the art and technology of filmmaking, as well as the impact of the epic Star Wars series”.
Despite being the prequel trilogy’s best reviewed and received film, it received fewer award nominations than the previous films. It became the only Star Wars film not to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects; however, it was nominated for Best Makeup (Dave Elsey and Nikki Gooley), losing to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It also won “Favorite Motion Picture” and “Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture” awards at the People’s Choice Awards, “Hollywood Movie of the Year” award at the Hollywood Film Festival, Empire Awards (Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film), and the Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie – Action. It also was nominated for Best Score Soundtrack Album at the 48th Grammy Awards in 2006.
As did every film of the original trilogy, the film won the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film. Williams also won Best Music. The film was nominated for ten Saturn Awardsoverall, including Best Director and Best Writing for Lucas, Best Actor for Christensen, Best Actress for Natalie Portman and Best Supporting Actor for Ian McDiarmid.
The film did, however, receive the fewest Golden Raspberry Awards nominations: only one, for Christensen as Worst Supporting Actor, which he won. (The Phantom Menaceand Attack of the Clones received seven nominations each, with one and two wins, respectively.) It is the only Star Wars prequel not to receive a Razzie nomination for “Worst Picture”. Christensen further won the “Best Villain” award at the MTV Movie Awards.
A video game based on the film was released on May 5, 2005, two weeks before the film. The game followed the film’s storyline for the most part, integrating scenes from the film. However, many sections of the game featured scenes cut from the film, or entirely new scenes for the game. The style of the game was mostly lightsaber combat and fighting as Obi-Wan or Anakin. It also has a form of multiplayer mode, which includes both “VS” and “Cooperative” mode. In the first mode, two players fight with characters of their choice against each other in a lightsaber duel to the death. In the latter mode, two players team up to combat increasingly difficult waves of enemies.