"Every end is a new beginning"
The story starts off with the Clone Wars in full swing and Separatists have taken Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) hostage. Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) set out to rescue the chancellor leading them to a fight with Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). Dooku is killed and the two Jedi rescue the Chancellor, but General Grievous (voice by Matthew Wood) escapes. Afterward Anakin meets his pregnant wife Padme and is placed on the Jedi council by the chancellor who has wormed his way into Anakin's heart and mind. The chemistry between Anakin and Padme is better, but not a major step up. Even with his status as a member on the Jedi Council he isn't given the rank of a Jedi master, which upsets Anakin and makes things even easier for Palpatine. While Anakin is stuck on Coruscant dealing with his rejection and resentment toward the council Obi-Wan tracks down Grievous to Utapau and a large battle ensues while back on Coruscant Anakin confides in Palpatine of his dreams of his wife's death and Palpatine reveals that he's a Sith Lord seducing the young Jedi by giving him a path to saving Padme and again confirming that the Jedi council doesn't respect and fears him, and even tells Anakin to tell the Jedi council about him. This leads to a confrontation between Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and a few other Jedi Knights. When it looks like Mace is going to kill the Palpatine Anakin arrives and interferes giving the Sith Lord a chance to strike at the Jedi Knight knocking out the window killing him, and then with most of the veteran Jedi Knights dead or abroad fighting in the Clone War, and Anakin now his disciple the Sith Lord brings to an end his "long con" with Order 66 which is an order to the Clone army to kill all the Jedi Knights abroad while Anakin handles the ones in the Jedi temple. Abroad all the Jedi Knights are believed to be killed (If I remember correctly some survived in the comics and novels, but I could be wrong.) leaving only Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi alive. Yoda tasks reluctant Obi-Wan to deal with Anakin while he deals with Palpatine. After talking with Padme Anakin sneaks aboard Padme's ship and finds Anakin on volcanic planet of Mustafar. A battle takes begins between these on time friends while on Coruscant Yoda and Palpatine fight and Yoda ending up fleeing. Back on Mustafar Obi-Wan defeats Anakin and leaves him for dead thinking his onetime apprentice and friend would die, but the now emperor finds him while Padme gives birth to Luke and Leia and dies while Anakin is turned into Darth Vader.
The story is excellent. Lucas did a great job with it. I know he wrote the story of the two trilogies with Anakin and Luke as the lead characters, but I truly believe the story of the prequel was actually Obi-Wan's story. He was the most compelling character and his journey was a sad one as he basically lost everything and everyone he cared about. The same is for the original trilogy which I believe isn't Luke's journey but Han's journey. Were the a couple flaws yes. Like the beginning duel with Count Dooku. I know we all know he was going to die, but I thought Lucas could have done a better job with that. Was the chemistry between Anakin and Padme better than what was in the Attack of the Clones yes, but I still didn't buy that a woman like Padme would deal with Anakin, but that's me. These are only minor complaints to what is a great plot. The relationship between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker was great in this film and the climatic scenes between them were awesome. I knew Mace Windu was going to die, but it was still sad. He was such a great character. Palpatine also got much more screen time as he revealed himself to be a Sith Lord and he was great.
Speaking of Palpatine Ian McDiarmid does a masterful job with his expanded role and the culminating of his master plan. All the actors did an above average to an excellent job. Jackson again brought his awesomeness to the role of Mace Windu while Hayden Christensen gave his best film performance to date though that isn't saying much since it was only above average, and he still seemed stiff and robot like. Natalie Portman was again really good. Well who wouldn't like her she has beauty and brains, but she doesn't a really good job as Padme torn between her good friend Obi-Wan and her husband and the man she supposedly loves in Anakin. Matthew Wood does a decent job voicing Grevious though the character wasn't that compelling. The one time NYPD Blue actor Jimmy Smits did a good job with his small role as Bail Organa and adoptive father to Leia. Frank Oz gives perhaps his best voice performance as Yoda again bringing to life the character he has done in five Star Wars films. Saving the best for last is Ewan McGregor who really steals the show throughout the prequels with his excellent performance as Obi-Wan Kenobi. I've already expressed my views on his part in the prequels and his role in them. He is my favorite actor and character in the prequels.
You know what I'm going to say ILM did an excellent job with the special effects in the film and they did. Outside of the small flaw I mention earlier the action was superb with the best being the climax. The lightsaber battles between Yoda and Palpatine, and Obi-Wan and Anakin was riveting, and in my opinion the best lightsaber battles of all the Star Wars films. They were beautiful choreographed with special effects. Plus with the special effects and the performances by the actors makes them the best. With this most likely being the last live action Star Wars film Lucas gives his best performance as director bring together the acting, effects and music almost perfectly. Of course you can't mention a Star Wars film without John Williams who gave us one of the climatic scores in film.
Is Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith the best Star Wars film? As I said in my review for The Empire Strikes Back that is hard for me. Right now I'd say no that Strikes Back is the best, but ask me a few weeks or months from now I might say Revenge of the Sith is the best. Regardless Revenge of the Sith is one of the top two Star War films with an almost perfect story, great acting, excellent special effects, almost perfect action, really good directing and great music. Revenge of the Sith is a great ending to the live action Star Wars films. The Lucas and the prequels did a remarkable job fixing the mistakes of the previous trilogy and expanding their universe by giving us a compelling story and characters.
Ranking of the Star War films
1. The Empire Strikes Back: 5 stars
2. Revenge of the Sith: 5 stars
3. The Phantom Menace: 4.5 stars
4. Attack of the Clones: 4 stars
5. A New Hope: 3.5 stars
6. Return of the Jedi: 3 stars