Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Explosive Effects and Gripping Action Complete the Final Picture

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Explosive Effects and Gripping Action Complete the Final Picture

Article excerpt

The final piece of the Star Wars puzzle slots neatly into place with Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith, a dark and emotionally-intense chapter concentrating on the fall of Anakin Skywalker and his rebirth as the fearsome Darth Vader.

As the film's 12A certificate suggests, coupled with parental advice about "moderate fantasy violence and scenes of horror", this final journey into a galaxy far, far away may not be suitable for very small children. Or as the Jedi affectionately call them, the younglings.

At the end of Attack Of The Clones, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) assumed control of the Republic, creating a great army to assist the dwindling forces of the Jedi in overthrowing a separatist movement led by ruthless Count Dooku (Christopher Lee).

As the Clone Wars enter their most critical stage, the Republic threatens to crumble under attacks from the Dark Side. Fiendish droid leader General Grievous (voiced by Matthew Wood), a hideous conflation of metal and flesh, sweeps into Coruscant and kidnaps Palpatine.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his hot-headed protege Anakin (Hayden Christensen) give chase, determined to return the Chancellor to the Galactic Senate. Palpatine rewards Anakin for his valour by securing him a seat on the Jedi council, where the Chancellor currently has no power.

Like many of the council members, Yoda (Frank Oz) is suspicious of Palpatine's intentions; Mace Windu (Samuel L Jackson) makes their opposition quite clear when he tells Anakin: "You are on this council but we do not grant you the rank of Master." Enraged by the distrust shown by the Jedis, and tormented by nightmarish visions of the death of his wife, Senator Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), Anakin turns to Palpatine for guidance.

The Chancellor relates the story of Darth Plagueis the Wise, a Sith Lord who became so powerful he found a way to manipulate midichlorians to cheat death. "Is it possible to learn this power?" asks Anakin, seeing a way to save Padme. "Not from a Jedi," says the Chancellor ominously.

And so begins Skywalker's downfall. The Jedi's plight is not without a glimmer of hope: Padme is pregnant with twins, who have a vital role to play in the galaxy's fate. …

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