Review: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

[Spoilers embedded]

The challenge for George Lucas in Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) was clear. This was the episode in which Anakin coverted to the dark side and became Darth Vader, shifting the balance of power in the galaxy (universe?) from the Jedi to the Sith Lords. For the tragedy to be as moving as possible, the audience has to like Anakin and feel sympathy for him, to pull for him to overcome his hubris even though they know his fate. The formula for an effective Greek tragedy hasn't changed much since Aristotle defined it in Poetics.

ROTS includes several explanations for Anakin's conversion. Are they convincing? To a degree, but the movie contains few moments that soar or stick in the heart compared to Episodes IV-VI. It's a tragedy in form, but the screenplay and staging submit to the dark side of catering to action and digital effects excess instead of focusing on dialogue and character. Compare that to The Empire Strikes Back, still the best of the six Star Wars movies, which contains at least a dozen moving scenes that I know by heart (e.g. Han Solo cutting open a Tan-Tan and stuffing Luke inside, Yoda lifting the X-wing out of the swamp, Han Solo frozen in carbonite ("I love you." "I know."), Vader confronting Luke, Vader revealing himself as Luke's father, Leia hearing Luke's call and turning around the Millenium Falcon to rescue him...I could go on and on).

The following are all emphasized at one point or another as forces that push Anakin to the Dark Side:

  • Poor management and people skills on the part of the Jedi council. Anakin goes home to his wife Padme every day and complains about the Jedi Council. What married couple hasn't had to listen to each other grumble at the dinner table about office politics and inept managers? The frustration of Anakin at not being promoted to Master Jedi and the reluctance of the elder Jedi to promote an ambitious and talented but hotheaded youngster feels true to life. Similar anguish can be found in any corporation in the world, and this very personal political tale is much more interesting and well told, to me, than the larger democracy/dictatorship storyline which runs through Episodes I, II, and III (the details of the operations of the Republic and the Senate are never sketched out in enough detail to really pass judgment on the political plotline). Office politics is alive and well in the twenty...well, whatever century it is that this story takes place.The Jedi Council, in particular Obi-Wan, must sense Anakin's displeasure, but they do a poor job managing his expectations. Anakin has grown into a light saber prodigy and offed a Sith Lord in Count Dooku. If you're the Jedi Council, you should really do a better job grooming him for succession. This storyline works for me.

  • Palpatine. Ian McDiarmid's Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is a much better judge of human character, in particular Anakin, than the Jedi, and he's the paternal Iago that manipulates Anakin with a sinister but alluring stream of empathetic rhetoric. McDiarmid is the acting star of ROTS the way Harrison Ford was in Eps IV-VI. During the opera scene, and at other times, McDiarmid chews his lines slowly, as if trying to juice an orange with his lips. Palpatine augments Anakin's insecurity by making Anakin his representative on the Jedi council, knowing that the Council won't promote Anakin to Jedi master. Palpatine is like Drew Rosenhaus encouraging Terrell Owens to hold out for a bigger contract from the Eagles this year, or a headhunter jumping on a disgruntled executive recently passed over for a coveted promotion.

  • Fear over Padme's death. This didn't work for me, and I was disappointed that it's framed as the most important reason for Anakin's conversion. Anakin has premonitions of Padme's death. How he sees into the future I have no idea, though both Episode II and III hint that the Dark Side brings with it the ability to see into the future while also shrouding one's true motives. Palpatine senses this and hints that he knows some way to conquer death using The Dark Side, a trick inherited from Darth Plagius. He implies that if he dies, the secret dies with him, dooming Padme to certain death. Palpatine never explains how to do this in much detail, though, and after he and Anakin off Mace Windu, Palpatine changes his story and says, effectively, "Oh, did I saw I knew how to use the Dark Side to cheat death and save Padme? Well, I don't really know how to do it, but I'm sure together we can figure it out." It's like the bait and switch from some used car salesman, and Anakin doesn't flinch. At that point, any normal person would have doubts about Palpatine's ability to cheat old age, let alone death, especially since he'd just been transformed into looking like the love child of Nosferatu and Gollum. This is supposed to be the reason that Anakin becomes Darth Vader, one of the most famous movie villains of all time? "Noooooooooo!" This storyline is also undermined by the unbelievable romance between Padme and Anakin who have no chemistry whatsoever throughout Episodes I through III. The balcony scene in this movie is awful beyond comprehension.

  • The inhuman code of the Jedi. The tagline for Episode II: "A Jedi Shall Not Know Anger. Nor Hatred. Nor Love." One of the more interesting aspects of Episode III is the way it undermines our faith in the Jedi Council and their adherence to monk-like denial of all that is human. Their Buddhist philosophy of detachment is so stringent that it's easy to understand why Anakin would listen to the Emperor. When Anakin goes to Yoda with his dreams of Padme's death, Yoda simply councils him to let go and accept the loss of loved ones. This advice fails to sway Anakin, and who can blame him? It sounds like a bunch of inhuman mumbo jumbo. And why can't Jedis have wives or husbands? The movies certainly hint that Jedi powers are passed down genetically, so if Jedis don't marry, how are all those youngling Jedis created? Is there some elite Jedi sperm bank somewhere? There are female Jedis--why can't male and female Jedis marry? In Episode II, when Padme falls out of the spaceship onto the desert, Anakin asks that they turn back to pick her up. Obi-Wan refuses and screams, "You'll be expelled from the Jedi order! Come to your senses!" I half expected Anakin to shout, "Dude, you come to your senses! It will take us ten seconds to swing around and pick her up!" The script stretches the code of the Jedi to unreasonable lengths to explain Anakin's defection.

  • Jealousy over Obi-Wan and his relationship with Padme - this thread isn't developed, but it has a lot of potential. Obi-Wan shows up in Anakin's visions of Padme's death, and at one point, just after Padme admits that Obi-Wan came by, Anakin bristles, asking, "What did he want?" There's a hint of jealousy--perhaps Obi-Wan is having an affair (either emotional or physical) with his wife? I could certainly buy that as a powerful enough reason why Anakin would turn against his master, and they play off it a bit when Obi-Wan shows up on Mustafar in Padme's ship. Anakin believes Padme brought Obi-Wan and that his old master turned Padme against him. However, this thread is never developed much beyond these few shadowy hints.

All this wouldn't matter if the key moment of the movie, when Anakin attacks Mace Windu and then submits to the Emperor, worked. The build-up to the confrontation is one of the more suitably ominous sequences of the movie. Anakin is at the Jedi temple looking out the window, knowing Mace Windu and a few other Jedi are on their way over to arrest Palpatine. Meanwhile, Padme looks out the window, and the John Williams score offers an ominous but hushed pulse. "Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?" spits Palpatine with venom, and he flies at the Jedi like an attacking serpent. Fast forward to Anakin lopping off Windu's arm and the Emperor Palpatine launching Windu about a mile out the window like a t-shirt shot out of one of those sporting event t-shirt cannons. The battle has left the Emperor hideous and deformed (one of the most astonishing transformations for the worse of a political leader's complexion since Viktor Yuschenko) and suddenly Anakin seems defeated. A few moments later he's a stone cold killer, on his way to the Jedi Council to slaughter dozens of young children, with no hesitation. It feels too sudden for me after all of his wavering during the movie. I don't buy it.

Before their last confrontation, Obi-Wan and Anakin part as friends. Anakin apologizes for being moody and difficult, Obi-Wan praises him as a brother and a great Jedi. Does enough happen between that and their next fight to turn them into ruthless opponents? I don't buy it, especially when Obi-Wan leaves Anakin burnt and suffering at the edge of the lava. Obi-Wan would have put Anakin out of his misery, either out of mercy or a desire to finish his mission, or both.

What if, instead, Anakin wasn't worried about Padme's death? Instead, the Emperor tells Anakin the Jedi are planning a secret revolt in an attempt to seize power for themselves. The Jedi fuel Anakin's suspicions because they don't include him as a Master, don't include him in their reindeer games. Then Anakin comes upon Mace Windu attacking The Emperor, confirming the Emperor's suspicions. Believing he's defending The Republic, he kills Mace Windu. The Emperor then gives Anakin command of clone armies to arrest the other Jedi, at the same time planting the seed that Obi-Wan has been secretly turning Padme against him. Fueled by jealousy and rage, Anakin and his clones take out all the other Jedi. After Anakin is defeated by Obi-Wan, Palpatine rescues him and reveals himself as the Sith Lord. Anakin is told that in his rage he killed Padme. He is horrified and in both physical and emotional agony but also blames Obi-Wan for having contributed to his murder of Padme. Palpatine promises not only peace for the Empire but to help Padme cheat death somehow. Anakin is appalled by what he's done, believing all along that he'd been fighting on the side of right, and submits to Palpatine in the hope of bringing back Padme. There's a seed of a stronger tragedy mixed in amidst all the storylines in Episode III, but it lies just out of reach.

That's not to say the Anakin of ROTS isn't a huge improvement over the Anakin of Episode I and II. Still, it's difficult to shake the memory of the awful child actor in Episode I and the brat that is Episode II Anakin. There's not enough movie in Episode III to rescue young Anakin as a truly sympathetic tragic figure for the audience.

Some other scenes don't pay off the way they should or could. In perhaps a nod to Lucas's friend Francis Ford Coppola, this episode includes a Godfather-like montage of Jedis being assassinated all across the galaxy according to order #66. It's a sequence that's overwhelmed by the eye candy. This is the fall of the Jedi, a scene that should feel as momentous as the famous Godfather montage that intercuts the baptism of Michael's children with the assassination of competing family heads (okay, maybe not as momentous as one of the most famous sequences in movie history, but proportionately similar). However, the camerawork and overwhelming amount of action and new digital landscapes and scenery in each of the Jedi assassination scenes is distracting. A closeup of some of the Jedi's faces, some quieter framing, and slower pacing of this series of scenes would have allowed the moment to lift.

The movie has a second chance to intercut scenes to emotional effect when with the birth of Luke and Leia and the rebirth of a charred Anakin as Darth Vader. It's another missed opportunity, though, because Padme's death is not as sad as much as it awkward. She never became an endearing character like Leia in the original trilogy, and on her death bed she seems unfazed to discover she has twins, quickly dubbing them "Leia" and "Luke" in a feeble voice before croaking immediately. The awful timing recalls her rolling around in pain in Episode II after tumbling from a spaceship onto the desert floor, only to pop up suddenly and sprint off as if nothing had happened at all. Meanwhile, when the Emperor tells Darth Vader that he killed his wife Padme, the camera pulls back and frames Vader in a medium long shot as he wails, "Noooooooo!" The way it sounds and the way it's framed, the whole bit comes off as hokey. It could have been a wonderful moment, especially since his anger causes him to destroy nearly everything in the room with a surge of The Force, fulfilling the Emperor's hope that his anger would focus and augment his powers.

Another scene that bothered me is Obi-Wan's assault on Grievous. Obi-Wan is up on a beam with that annoying giant lizard, spying on Grievous and his soliders below. Obi-Wan strokes his chin, as if pondering a plan of attack. His brilliant idea? Hey, I'll just jump down there in the midst of all of those soldiers, allowing them to pull their guns on me. But I'll do it with style, "Well, hello there." As anticipated, dozens of soldiers draw guns on him. There's no possible way he can block all their shots. What does Grievous do? He lets Obi-Wan off the hook for his absurd attack with an idiotic move of his own, calling off his troops and saying he'll handle Obi-Wan himself. I have no idea what the two of them are thinking in that scene; it's nonsensical.

Some of the light saber fighting is shot in such dark rooms, with such tight framing, that it's not really clear what's happening. I thought I was sitting too close the first time I saw the movie, but even from further back I felt the same in certain sequences.

Though few individual scenes within Episode III stand out, I do love the way ROTS explains and deepens the relationship between Luke and the former Jedi council members Obi-Wan and Yoda in Eps IV-VI. Yoda's exasperation and impatience with Luke makes a lot of sense in light of the failure that was Anakin, and Obi-Wan's grandfatherly attitude towards Luke, his wistful hopes for his new pupil, can be seen as an attempt to succeed where he once failed. When Yoda discourages Luke from going to his friends aid in Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back, it echoes his earlier shaky advice to Anakin to ignore his dreams about Padme and Obi-Wan's refusal to turn the ship around to rescue Padme in Episode II when she falls out into the desert. Duty to the cause over friends; it's a false tradeoff. Luke goes to save his friends, even without having completed his training, and having seen Episode III, Luke's decision makes more sense. He has "too much of his father in him," as his uncle and aunt note in Star Wars: A New Hope. We now see what they're referring to.

When we first meet Luke at the beginning of Return of the Jedi, he looks to have become a monk-like Jedi Master, complete with zen-like, asexual calm, just as Yoda and Obi-Wan and even Mace Windu had hoped. But he comes to Jabba to the aid of his friends, and at movie's end he screams for his father's aide. When they say that Luke brings balance to the Force, I read it as the balance of the Buddhist detachment of the Jedi master and the passion and love that normal humans feel towards friends, family, and lovers. When Luke chops off his father's hand in ROTJ and The Emperor asks him to take his father's place also has more resonance. Now we've seen Palpatine pull the Apprentice trade-in for the younger model before, with Dooku and Anakin.

Every reference to the original trilogy sent a little jolt of pleasure through this Star Wars fan's heart. It's a way for ROTS to steal from the reservoir of good will built up by the original trilogy, but it's capital that Episode III either earns or doesn't depending on how much you loved the original trilogy. The way Ewan McGregor channels Alec Guiness's clipped accent. The appearance of characters like Chewbacca and Captain Antilles. The way a light saber sounds when activated. The appearance of the late model Imperial Star Destroyers, and Captain Tarkin and Darth Vader on the bridge, observing the construction under way on the Death Star. The final shot on Tatooine, Owen and Beru holding Luke and looking off at the two star sunset, an echo of the famous shot from Star Wars with Luke gazing out longingly at the horizon. And of course, the brilliant score by John Williams. It evokes a sense of romance and adventure and epic conflict that even the movies can't live up to. Williams has a theme for almost any event or character in Star Wars, and he weaves them with a deft touch. The sounds and rhythms of the Star Wars movies is so familiar to fans now as to be ritual. The 20th Century Fox title sequence leads to the green Lucasfilm leads to "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." leads to the soaring Wagnerian opening of the Star Wars theme by John Williams leads to the tilted text of the expository introduction leads to a spaceship of some sort flying by with a planet in the background. The ending of the movie, always hopeful in some way, followed by the end credits, always introduced by the same John Williams celebratory fanfare.

It's all almost enough to overcome my disappointment in how we learn how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. It's as if George Lucas were waving his hand in my face. "These scenes you speak of. They are not the scenes you seek. You love the movie. You will hand over $10.50 now, and you shall return and hand over $10.50 next week." Somewhere inside me there's a young boy on which that old trick still works.


Some other scattered thoughts and questions brought on by Episode III (some Star Wars ultra-geeks must know the answers to some of my questions):

  • Some people blame all the shooting in front of green screens for the wooden acting, but that's just a weak excuse. Actors act with great skill on hokey sets and on near blank stages in theater all the time. The real blame should be shared by the actors, some weak dialogue, and the director.

  • How much of Episodes I, II, and III did Lucas already write or have in his head when he made Episodes IV through VI?

  • Perhaps before I was born, some other story spawned and indulged nerd worship, but in my lifetime, I'll always associate Star Wars with having created the nerd. The term is said to have come from Dr. Seuss's book If I Ran the Zoo (1950), but the Star Wars movies gave the term flesh and nuance by spawning a generation of fans willing to obsess over the trivial. These nerds have been both a blessing and a curse. They show up to his movies and purchase his merchandise like an army of clones, but they also hold his mythology to standards that are difficult, if not impossible, to live up to.

  • The cities in the past three Star Wars movies have lacked something. They are beautiful in a digital watercolor fashion, but they are so artificial as to be lifeless, ironic considering the air traffic around the Republic is that of Manhattan rush hour. I miss the organic beauty of the desert plains of Tatooine, the snow and ice formations of Hoth, and the California redwood forests of Endor.

  • Like most nerds who grew up with Star Wars, I have a lifetime of emotional investment tied up in the Star Wars movies, and much of that goodwill carried me through Episode III. In particular, I feel awful for Yoda, that little green Cantonese won ton, my favorite character from the original trilogy and my favorite movie puppet of all time, right ahead of E.T. The way he's depicted in these past three Star Wars movies really burns me. First of all, he looked awful in Episode I. Someone needs to go back and correct that. Thankfully he looks more like the puppet from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in ROTS. His dialogue is more incomprehensible than ever in this movie. I wrote off his odd linguistic stylings as the quirky grammar of an impish but world weary old man in The Empire Strikes Back, but in Episode III, but some of his lines in ROTS are so tangled they get stuck in the ear on the way into the brain. And most of all, I'm disappointed that Yoda failed to off Dooku in Episode II and lost to the Emperor here in ROTS. Yoda is left to crawl through an air shaft, his cloak left impaled on some debris in the ruins of the Senate, like a tombstone. Yoda should be Ricky Roma, not Shelly Levene! First place, control of the Empire. Second place, a seat by the side of the Emperor. Third place, a one-way ticket to Dagobah. No way Yoda slinks off that way if I'm the screenwriter for Episode III. It's even more upsetting to me that Yoda, a once great Jedi, ends up fleeing to Dagobah, an inhospitable swamp planet, where he spends the rest of his days licking his war wounds until Luke comes along. Yoda dies in that godforsaken swamp. That's just not right. I hope someday the Lucasfilm releases something like the Yoda Chronicles so the little green guy gets his due. The moment in The Empire Strikes Back when a skeptical Luke fails to lift the X-Wing out of the swamp and Yoda has to show the kid how it's done (to the strains of John William's beautiful Yoda theme) is one of the most magical and iconic movie scenes from my childhood. I'm really upset about this.

  • Star Wars fans should pick up the ROTS soundtrack. It comes with a DVD titled "Star Wars: A Musical Journey" that sets some of the most famous pieces of John Williams's Star Wars scores to scenes, sketches, and storyboards from the six movies, a real treat for Star Wars fans.

  • There's something liberating about the camerawork in this movie. Knowing it was all shot on green screen, I didn't stop to question how they obtained certain shots, whereas in a movie like, say, Assault on Precinct 13, which I just saw last week at a friend's apartment, every impossible shot had me thinking "digital sleight of hand" instead of focusing on the story. In ROTS as in animated movies, any shot is possible, so one accepts even the most complex tracking shots as matter of fact.

  • One mystery remains unsolved: the identity of Anakin's father. Is it Dooku? Palpatine? Darth Plagueis (what baby name book are the Sith Lords drawing from)? He's said to have been born in an immaculate conception, but some of Palpatine's stories about Plagueis seem to hint that perhaps Plagueis used the Dark Side of the Force to unlock secrets of life and death. Perhaps he manipulated midiclorians to generate Anakin.

  • Does the Emperor pretend to be losing to Mace Windu so that Anakin will come to his aid? It's not clear, but it seems possible.

  • When the Emperor battles Yoda, he literally dismantles the Senate that he has just politically disbanded in favor of a dictatorship.

  • I miss Darth Maul. He was one scary Sith Lord. And if the high ground really is such an advantage in a light saber duel, as Obi-Wan claims, how did Obi-Wan jump over Darth Maul from about ten feet below and still manage to land on the other side of Maul, turn on his lightsaber, and cut Maul in half?

  • The real consolidation of power in all this was not with the Emperor, but with Lucas himself. Out of these movies, he made himself into perhaps the most powerful and wealthy director in the world. His Lucasfilm headquarters now occupy a chunk of the Presidio. He owns the rights to all his franchises and has the studios handling his distribution for a fraction of what they make on other movies. His special effects and sound subsidiaries handle work for numerous Hollywood pictures. Dolby Digital surround sound wasn't invented specifically for Star Wars, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was. At a time when nearly all directors struggle to cobble together the studio money to bring their projects to the big screen, Lucas greenlights his own projects and then lets the most cooperative studio pay to send his works to screens around the world. Even those who view Star Wars as the movie that converted cinema to the dark side of commercial schlock have to admire the creative power Lucas has amassed. If Lucas flew me out to the Lucasfilm ranch and promised to show me how to gain the skills of the Dark Side, the same ones that helped build his Empire, err, empire, I'd listen.

  • Episodes VII, VIII, and IX will arrive someday, of that I have little doubt. At that point, perhaps all actors will have been eliminated, and a 150 year old half human, half robot George Lucas, breathing through a dark mask like a scuba diver with a bad cold will create the final three chapters of the saga on a supercomputer interfaced directly to his mind. That's my prophecy.

  • Lucas tapped into something primal with his Star Wars mythology. When I was a child, after seeing each of the Star Wars movies (the only first viewing I remember is Return of the Jedi, when I was 10), I always went home that same night and lay in bed looking out the window, wishing like Luke that I'd be called out of my dull and insignificant suburban existence to fight in some intergalactic space battle as a Jedi knight. I owned a pair of glow-in-the-dark plastic swords, one of my favorite toys ever, and my next door neighbor's son and I would pretend they were lightsabers. We'd test our proclivities in the Force by blindfolding each other and throwing balls at each other to see if we could deflect them with our lightsabers. No joke. Numerous welts on my face and body hinted at a low midiclorian count.

  • Episode III is guilty, more than any of the other Star Wars movies, of the "because we can" problem. Because they can create anything with their CGI, they do. Hundreds of different variations of spaceships. Dozens of planets with their unique landscapes. We see Obi-Wan riding a huge lizard on one planet. Every Jedi has his or her own weird head shape. Padme wears a different elaborate headdress and silk outfit in every scene. For a princess and Senator, she seems like quite a stay-at-home moper.

  • What is the Dark Side? It's never explained, except that it allows you to throw electricity (a trick that, apparently, Vader never masters; what a disappointment). It also seems as if Jedis who go over to the Dark Side are more aware of their enemies. The Jedi Council, for all their powers, are remarkably naive and oblivious. How do they not detect the Sith Lord right in their midst? Does the Dark Side really shroud itself? The movie hints at that explanation, but if that's true, it's a point that should be made more forcefully.

  • If Jedi really aren't allowed to have girlfriends, why doesn't Obi-Wan say something when it's obvious in Ep II that Anakin has the hots for Padme? Or does Obi-Wan, in his own monk-like naivete, not understand phrases like, "Just being around her again is intoxicating."

  • I've learned to ignore questions of physics and usage of the Force in combat. That's an endless rabbit hole. Still, if Grievous doesn't have use of The Force, why doesn't Obi-Wan just crush his heart with the Force? Obi-Wan tosses Grievous off a wall with The Force; it seems like a lightsaber is overkill there.

  • Jedis must be rare commodities because otherwise why does the Emperor bother saving an extra crispy Anakin who's missing half of two legs and an arm at the end? Why not just kidnap a few of the younglings, just in case Darth Vader's rehab goes bad?

  • For those who didn't watch the Clone Wars animated series on The Cartoon Network, General Grievous's coughing and wheezing must have seemed arbitrary and puzzling. If I remember correctly, Mace Windu injures Grievous during the Palpatine kidnapping by using The Force to compress Grievous's chest. It's one reason I wondered why Obi-Wan didn't finish Grievous off the same way.

  • Why aren't Anakin and Obi-Wan charred to a crisp when they're hovering over the lava on these tiny robotic platforms? Later, Anakin turns into the Human Torch just for sliding down to roughly the same distance from the lava. Actually, shouldn't any human on that planet just be burnt toast?

  • Who are those tools that Windu brings with him to arrest Palpatine? All three get taken down in about ten seconds.

  • No, I have no idea why Leia claims to remember her mother in Return of the Jedi. Or why Obi-Wan seems to forget about Leia in The Empire Strikes Back, claiming Luke is their last hope (Yoda corrects him: "No, there is another.").

  • Did Tom Stoppard really rewrite much of the dialogue? I'm curious which portions he'd claim as his own. We'll probably never know.

  • I've read quite a few questions about how Padme failed to realize she had twins. If she was scared to reveal her pregnancy (it would cause Anakin to be thrown off the Jedi Council), she might not have a sonogram done, worried that the news might leak. It seems like a minor point to me, anyhow.

  • I assume, though it's not stated explicity, that Darth Vader believes that he killed not only Padme but his unborn child/children. But how does the Emperor know what happened to Padme? When he says that Vader killed Padme in her anger, Anakin accepts the story b/c the last time he saw her he was doing the Force death grip on her throat. But how did the Emperor know that had happened?

  • Yoda and Obi-Wan make a big deal of hiding Leia and Luke, the last hope for The Jedi. Yet in Star Wars, Episode IV, Yoda is hanging out on Dagobah, and Obi-Wan is hiding in the hills, not having even put a lightsaber in Luke's hands. All the younglings in the Jedi temple seem to imply that Jedis can be trained from an early age. What were Yoda and Obi-Wan waiting for? Why didn't Yoda train Leia? Did he, in his despair, just give up hope?

  • What is the Prophecy? Anakin's visions hint at Jedi's abilities to foresee the future, so was the Prophecy written by an older Jedi who saw the future? Whoever wrote the Prophecy, perhaps he was Anakin's father? Anakin seems to be the only Jedi who can see into the future. It's unclear why he has that ability.

  • Why does Obi-Wan allow Vader to cut him down in Star Wars? So he can become a ghost that can hover around Luke at all times? Or does he give himself up so that Luke and Han and Leia don't try and save him but instead escape in the Millenium Falcon? Doesn't Darth Vader wonder where Obi-Wan has disappeared off to? Is that immortality trick that Qui-Gon discovers the same method to cheat death that the Emperor mentions to Anakin?

  • In ROTJ, when The Emperor urges Luke, "Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete,” what if Luke had done it, not with hate, but just because the Emperor was an evil mofo? Jedis seem to have no problem hacking up antagonists at some times, and at others they seem absolutely committed to letting really evil people live. The Emperor is never really unarmed, is he? The guy can toss purple lightning bolts.

  • In all the years between Episode III and Episode IV, Darth Vader never really applied himself, did he? He never learns how to throw the lightning.

  • Someday in the future, someone will use widely available tools to go back and revise Star Wars until all of these flaws are fixed, finally restoring balance to the Star Wars mythology.

  • Episode III Easter Eggs