Welcome to the dark side

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By Johnathan Kroncke

By Johnathan Kroncke

Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader! Oops, I hope I didn’t give anything away.

OK, so everyone knows how the movie is going to end. However, like “Titanic,” even though we know the results, it is the events surrounding the end that draw us like moths to the flame.

Hayden Christensen returns as young Skywalker, now battle hardened after three years in the trenches of the clone wars. As always, his master and best friend Obi Wan Kenobi, played by Ewan McGregor, is beside him.

As the movie opens, the two are in the middle of rescuing Chancellor Palpatine, who uses the event to further cement his influence over Skywalker. Although Skywalker has not yet made the leap over to the dark side at this point, his mind is more clouded with doubt than ever before.

Skywalker begins to chaffe under the elder Jedi masters, who make no effort to hide the fact that they do not trust him. His anger and frustration increase when they give him a new mission to spy on Palpatine and report his actions. He becomes torn between his loyalty to Palpatine and his sense of duty he feels as a jedi. To complicate matters further, Skywalker’s wife Padme, played by the lovely Natalie Portman, reveals that she is pregnant with his baby. But fear overtakes his mind and Skywalker becomes convinced that something bad is going to happen to her.

Desperate to find some kind of mental and emotional relief, he turns to Palpatine who delicately hints that the dark side is a path to many kinds of power, even the power to save lives. Anakin becomes intrigued as the chancellor spreads his influence through him, even making him believe that the Jedi are plotting against the Republic.

Meanwhile, Kenobi slowly pieces together what has been going on between Palpatine and Skywalker and realizes that he must stop him by any means necessary, no matter how painful it may be for himself or the pregnant Padme.

Skywalker’s mental breakdown, which eventually leads him to the dark side, is fascinating to see on the big screen and is the direct cause for some of the most intense scenes in “Star Wars” history.

Everything from Skywalker’s ruthless march on the Jedi headquarters to the final all-out battle between himself and Kenobi is riveting, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats and even causing some small children to cover their eyes.

George Lucas, who once again acts in his dual role as both writer and director, has said that this new incarnation is far darker than his previous works and may not be suitable for young kids. Well, George, apparently you are right.

Lucas deserves enormous credit for the work that he has produced and, while many spat on “Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones,” “Revenge of the Sith” delivers on all levels. Storyline-wise, this is the best of the prequels with some fantastic dramatic builds that lead to almost gruesome scenes, as well as an ending that will satisfy all.”Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith” is more than just another sci-fi flick. It is a strong movie with a solid script and while the acting jobs of Christensen and Portman are somewhat questionable, the supporting cast picks up the slack to deliver a great movie to kick off the summer.

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