Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Part IV
Previously, on I’m Pretty Sure I Never Asked Star Wars For These Feelings:
- The Kenobi-Skywalkers said their Last Farewell and Obi-Wan told Anakin he was very proud of him and it’s been over a decade since this movie came out and I’m still not even a little bit over it;
- Anakin did a bunch of complaining at Padme about how He’s Not Gonna Let Her Die and she pretty much told him to knock it off because he was being weird;
- Anakin — again, ANAKIN of all people — was the first to discover The Terrible Obvious Truth About Palpatine, and vowed that he would turn him over to the Jedi, who would certainly handle him appropriately ha ha ha ha ha;
- Obi-Wan killed General Grievous, who I’m pretty sure is the only person he’s ever killed who’s actually died/stayed dead (don’t take this as a dare, Star Wars.)
…and that’s where we left things. Today’s recap will cover from about 1:08 – 1:30 of this film, and OH BOY are we in for a bad time in today’s go-round: Mace Windu learns the hard way that things are way out of his control, Palpatine puts his biggest, handsomest hash mark yet in the win column, and Obi-Wan and the 212th experience a really shitty breakup (while Anakin and the 501st take things in a, uh, decidedly new direction). We cap all of this off with Padme having a disconcerting chat with Anakin while she models what appears to be yet ANOTHER nightgown with a cape. (She brought her fashion A-game even when it was like 4AM and she was hanging out with a mass-murderer. She is committed to The Look.)
OK! Deep breaths, kids. We can do this. Let’s go.
Anakin Skywalker, Knower of Something For Once Finally
We find Anakin, looking Deeply Concerned, catching up with Mace Windu in an extremely poorly-lit room and no I don’t know why I feel compelled to keep telling you about how bad the lighting is in many rooms in Star Wars but I do.
Mace is like “hey guess what! Your boyfriend totally iced Grievous so, pretty sweet huh? Now we just need Palpatine to give up his Dictatorial Powahs and we’ll just go right on back to being chill space monks and talking to the Force or whatever!” Anakin, stricken, is like “yeah…I don’t think he’s gonna do that. Because I talked to him? And like…he’s a Sith Lord?”
Mace is like WTF are you talking about, Skywalker.
Now, I want to mention that, in the novelization, this scene is about 1200 times more dramatic: Anakin is like a disheveled disaster and Mace immediately is like “what the hell is wrong with him” and I think he has to make Anakin sit down or something and Anakin’s eyes are all bloodshot and Mace freaks out internally when he hears The Terrible Truth and whatever, it’s amazing.
George Lucas, Ultimate Star Wars Hair Visionary
Anyways, Mace is like OK WOW. Uh…we’re gonna need to look into that then, I guess! Anakin is like “I’ll go with you I shall help to Save the Day!” and Mace is immediately like “NOPE, you won’t. You just stay here and look pretty and we’ll take care of this.”
Allow me to point out that Anakin Skywalker is being placed in front of a wind machine here again and he looks like that and has that hair. George Lucas kind of reached a point with this film where he was like “OK well if I just make sure Hayden and Ewan are always getting their hair blown around in the wind or sassily throwing off their robes I could probably just not even do the rest of the movie” and while I am glad that he went ahead and did make the rest of the film regardless for many reasons, I understand and appreciate this part of his vision here.
Mace tells Anakin to sit tight, and takes off to go Defeat the Ultimate Evil. Anakin does not look especially pleased, but he does get one more shot in front of the wind machine, so.
You Poor Unfortunate Soul, Go Ahead, Make Your Choice
The sun is setting (…get it?) and Padme is sitting in her apartment looking SUPER pretty and like…yeah, I totally was always looking this good while pregnant and home alone.
Sadly, she’s just sitting there in the waning light and she looks NERVOUS. Ugh, this scene. First off, I’ll give a shout-out to our friend John Williams, whose score for this scene is super uneasy and almost off-putting, which is perfect. Secondly, I love this scene and thirdly it is destroying me.
Across the way, Anakin is sitting in the Council room (which is going to go out the way it lived: with no electricity whatsoever,) just like Mace told him to. He looks SO SAD and so CONFUSED and so unhappy WITH HIMSELF ALREADY. UGH. This movie is so great.
So Anakin’s sitting there Feeling Ways About Things and he keeps hearing Palpatine’s voice in his head telling him that Uncle Palps Is The Way, and Padme keeps right on looking Concerned.
I know this is probably committing some kind of Star Wars fandom cardinal sin since we’re all supposed to get on board with the whole “well George Lucas didn’t do THIS or THAT for me and one time he said BLAH and also green screen, etc” but I don’t actually give a crap and so can we PLEASE talk about how beautiful every single shot in this scene is?! It looks like a fucking PAINTING. Padme and Anakin are the two most gorgeous human beings I’ve ever seen in this scene and their FACES are so full of SO MANY EMOTIONS and I think Natalie and Hayden did SO WELL here and they are so pretty and the COLORS and the FRAMING and the MUSIC and just…I’m sorry. Since I am too old to care about being cool anymore, I am now willing to be the unapologetic loudmouth shouting about how I love this movie. Because I do, and I give no shits.
This scene ends with a couple final close-ups and Anakin starts crying and I start crying and oh God this isn’t even the worst thing that happens in this 20-ish-minute block.
This Party’s Really Over
Anakin runs out of the Temple and jumps into his ship, taking off for Parts Unknown Except We All Know Where He’s Going Because We’ve All Known Where He Was Going Forever. At the same time, Mace Windu, looking like an absolute BADASS, comes marching in to the Chancellor’s office.
Palpatine is like OH WHAT A VERY HUGE SURPRISE TO SEE YOU and LOL FOREVER that this asshole actually pretends to not know why he’s here for even 2 seconds as though FOUR JEDI MASTERS SHOWING UP UNINVITED WITH ANGRY FACES AFTER HE TOLD ANAKIN HE WAS A DAMN SITH LORD IS COINCIDENTAL. Like, obviously he’s not hiding anything anymore but what was even the point of being like “…what brings you here?” like he’s just gonna carry on all la la la la I’m Your Friendly Friend Palpatine guys!
Windu announces that he’s under arrest, and the Jedi ignite their lightsabers and Palpatine takes this opportunity to deploy some more amazing cornball Ultimate Evil lines, first demanding to know if Mace is “threatening” him, and then, when Windu tells him that the Senate will deal with him now, he declares that HE IS THE SENATE. OMG. THIS MOVIE YOU GUYS.
There’s some more shit talking and Palpatine busts out his own lightsaber and LOL, this battle is hilarious, because it takes place in this tiny space, so they have like no room to actually throw down very much. Recall that most of our Epic Battles take place in gigantic warehouses, on platforms suspended over enormous chasms with no railings for Reasons, or by a gigantic lava river, outside in the wide open desert, in a forest, etc. This one? Is taking place inside a closet inside Palpatine’s office, so really, other than an ostentatious midair corkscrew move by Palps that you know he was just doing for attention, it’s pretty much just a quick-and-dirty slaughter. No room for wild Force Jumps or getting sawed in half here. Maybe this is why Vader and Obi-Wan’s battle in Episode 4 was so chill: they were old AND in a little hallway. You can’t work with that kind of space, so you just sort of taunt each other until one of you gives up and dies (or “dies” as the case may be).
Palpatine and Windu (the only survivor,) decide they’ve had enough Confined Space Fighting, so they take it down the hallway and into a bigger room with a larger picture window for added Drama.
It Won’t Cost Much: Just Your Soul
OH GOOD, ANAKIN’S HERE and he looks like he’s doing a quick photo shoot for Prada before heading in. Honestly, Anakin, was it necessary to be this handsome?
FFS. He gets out of his ship and goes tearing in all I’LL SAVE YOU PALPATINE!!
Mace eventually ends up in front of that giant window that Palpatine had smug conversations with everyone in front of during TCW, and the glass shatters…
…and Palpatine finds himself pinned to the floor as Anakin arrives. I love that Anakin is running FULL SPEED AHEAD and then he gets through the door and is like “OK, now a leisurely walking pace will suffice.”
Palpatine is like LOOK LOOK LOOK Anakin I TOLD YOU LOOK HOW HE’S TRYING TO KILL A POOR OLD MAN! Anakin for fuck’s sake THE MAN IS A SITH LORD OMG you and your doofus brain ahhhhhhhggghhh.
Then Palpatine gets in some more scenery-chewing, he and Mace trade some “nuh uh HE’S the traitor!” stuff as Palpatine Force-Lightnings Mace, and Anakin pretty much just stands there looking like he’s STILL not done filming his Versace commercial. I hope if I ever have a total mental breakdown, I get to look half this pretty while it happens.
FINALLY, Windu’s had enough of this bullshit and is ready to end Sidious, when Anakin is like NO UH IT’S NOT THE JEDI WAY TO KILL A GUY I THINK PROBABLY and OH REALLY, SKYWALKER, IS THAT FUCKING SO because I’m pretty sure your body count is not zero JUST COUNTING THIS FILM. We sure do like to follow rules only when they appeal to us in the GFFA (well, and in this galaxy as well, if human history up to this point is any indication.) Anakin makes a Turning to the Dark Side face:
…he lops off Mace’s hand, and Palpatine escorts Mace, electrically, out the window to his (presumed) death after yelling, literally and incredibly, about “UNLIMITED POWAAAAH” because I’m pretty sure this movie actually cares about me as a human being.
Now I’ve Got Him, Boys: The Boss Is On a Roll
Anakin pretty much immediately flips out about this, wondering what the fuck he’s just done, which is something that would have been handy for him to be feeling like 45 seconds previously, but here we are.
Sidious is like “whatev, you done good my boy”:
Anakin, STILL with his hair blowing ever so slightly in the breeze, is like “…ok fine I’ll do whatever just save my wife for me because she’s totally gonna die I have some very flimsy evidence that suggests it so blowing up the entire universe with Ultimate Evil seems like a safe bet because I am Anakin Skywalker and I don’t ever super think things through or if I do I overthink them until I’m so confused that I somehow end up in a Vader Suit living in a Lava Castle choking random coworkers.”
OK. This next part is terrible but hysterically funny in a morbid way. Anakin has just murdered someone, and pledged his life to this guy BASED ENTIRELY ON HIS WHOLE CRAZY RANT ABOUT SAVING PEOPLE FROM DEATH, and Sidious, 20 seconds after all of this happens, now tells Anakin that he is optimistic that together they can FIGURE OUT HOW TO SAVE SOMEONE FROM DYING. OH MY GOD. HE IS TELLING ANAKIN HE DOESN’T ACTUALLY EVEN KNOW HOW TO DO IT OFF THE TOP OF HIS HEAD. Sorry, I shouldn’t laugh because this is all very sad, but this is like the MOST SIDIOUS THING SIDIOUS HAS EVER DONE. He is the fucking WORST. He honest to God pretty much just devoted his entire LIFE to fucking with this ONE GUY FOR KICKS. Ohh, Star Wars.
The best part is that of course Anakin isn’t like “Wait WHAT THE FUCK, seriously?! AFTER I DID ALL THAT YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO SAVE PEOPLE FROM DEATH YET????” instead he’s like “OK, so, what’s next on the agenda boss?” OH MY GOD SKYWALKER YOU ARE FUCKING KILLING ME HERE.
See You Later, Anakin Skywalker
So Sidious is like “nice, oh my God, you are still on board with this wow you really ARE malleable”, congratulates him on his new gig, and then does a totally creepy thing where he just sort of basks in the Dark Side fumes pouring off of Anakin (or maybe it’s the cologne from all the ads Anakin’s been doing photoshoots for the duration of this entire movie.) Then he’s like “oh yeah, you need a new name because the Sith are super cool like that…so…you look like…a…Darth Vader to me.” I love that Sidious appears to be making this shit up on the fly. People have put more effort into naming a GOLDFISH than he just did on this.
He tells Vader to get up. Then he’s like “SO: we just killed that guy and also now we know about the Evil Jedi’s Totally Real Plot to Destroy the Republic so they’re gonna be coming for us next” and Vader agrees.
Sidious, donning his hood, is like “they’re ALL suspect now! Even your BFF/husband/whatever Obi-Wan Kenobi, you GOT THAT?”
Recurring Theme: Wipe Them Out
Vader looks mildly sad about this (AGGGHH) and then is like “…k” (AGGGHHH.) So Sidious tells Vader to go to the Jedi Temple and “do what must be done” with a smirk on his face that surely does not even capture the glee this guy is experiencing today. Vader, again, is like “‘k” and then asks what’s going to happen to the Jedi who aren’t at the Temple. Sidious is like “oh don’t you worry about that, I’ll handle that one. You go to Mustafar after you’re done mass-murdering the Jedi and go mass-murder the Separatists.” He caps this off with this totally psychotic line about how once this is all done “we shall have peace” and oh my God you guys I truly cannot love the dialogue in this movie, and its delivery, more than I do. It is IMPOSSIBLE.
Recurring Theme: The Stairway Of Feelings
We cut to the Jedi Temple, and oh look: it’s a staircase. Ah, memories:
Since our last shot like this, shown above, wasn’t really sad enough, you know, we’re now treated to Anakin Skywalker and the 500-fucking-first stalking their way up some stairs to the Temple with Evil Ominous Horn Music playing. I want to hurl myself into the sun right now.
Anyways there’s nothing else I can say about this part except that I like that Anakin hardly ever wears a hood but he’s wearing one now. I guess he was feeling a little chilly.
Back on Utapau, the 212th is kicking ass and taking names and Obi-Wan comes handsomely riding along to rendezvous with Cody, whom he gives some directions to. Just as he’s about to head off again, Cody stops him: you might want this, sir!
Obi-Wan SMILES and is like thanks pal and his hair looks fantastic and then he heads out and IMMEDIATELY afterwards Cody gets a holo-Skype from Sidious: it’s Order 66 time! You know what to do.
Cody confirms, hangs up, and just…ugh.
He immediately orders a strike on Obi-Wan as he rides away, sending him toppling over a cliff and into a body of water below.
The music then gets extremely sorrowful and OH WHY STAR WARS: we now cut to other places where all of our Jedi friends are getting mowed down:
…as this all goes down, Yoda — AGGGHHH — has a Force Moment and is devastated:
More Jedi meet their fate…(PLO KOON NO WHYYYY):
…and Yoda, next in line to be executed, gets a tip-off from the Force just in time to save himself. Everything happening here is horrible except that Yoda climbs on Chewbacca’s back as he’s taken to safety, and it’s too fucking cute.
Recurring Theme: Hey Everyone Check Out This Kid’s Show For Kids
The Temple is a massacre site now, with tons of clone troopers taking out tons of people. Where’s our friend Vader, you ask? Well you know, Star Wars really likes to keep things light and airy and cartoony and the prequels are for children and Star Wars has never really gotten DARK, MAN, when am I ever gonna see it be DARK, so Vader’s just hanging out in the Council room murdering a room full of preschoolers who were all hopeful when they saw him and knew him by name and thought he was coming to rescue them. OH MY GOD.
The Unbearable Sadness of Padme
Padme, wearing the aforementioned new nightgown that also has a cape, is watching the Temple burn from her window. Ouch. Threepio is like “oh don’t worry, Anakin went back there but I’m sure he’s FINE” and Padme cries and there aren’t enough capital letters for me to get through this recap.
Recurring Theme: Bail Organa, Humanitarian
Bail arrives at the Temple to figure out WTF is going on, and he’s not-so-politely ushered away by the clones at his landing pad.
He’s about to leave when a padawan fights his way through the troopers, and then gets murdered in front of Bail’s face.
I have a lot of feelings about Bail Organa that I do not have the space to go into here but just know that there are only a handful of people in this universe about whom I am like “he is pretty much the best actual person ever” and Bail Organa is one of them.
Recurring Theme: You Can’t Kill Obi-Wan Kenobi or Yoda
Hey look! Guess who’s not dead: Obi-Wan! Big surprise there (as if the Force would actually let the man rest in peace.) He swims his way out of what was intended to be his watery grave. He scales a rock wall to climb to safety, narrowly avoiding a probe droid.
Speaking of people who were almost murdered, on Kashyyk, Yoda is bidding his final farewell to his Wookie pals and aww, I kinda like that they made him be friends with them. (FINE, I am kind of a sucker for fan service WHATEVER it’s not like I’m here because I take Star Wars super seriously, people.) He gets into his little Yoda Escape Pod and leaves.
Over by Bail, meanwhile, it’s beginning to look a lot like the Original Trilogy Era in here!
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Fugitive
Obi-Wan sneaks his way past his former troops, overhearing one of the clones insist that “no one could have survived that fall” despite the fact that they didn’t find his body. Really, 212th-ers? You guys honestly don’t buy that KENOBI could have survived something unsurvivable? I choose to believe they were like “OH SURE HE’S DEFINITELY DEAD WINK WINK” because I don’t wanna think about this any other way.
Obi-Wan sneaks into a ship and flees the planet. He dials an emergency frequency and is surprised to have Bail take the call. He WEIRDLY CALMLY states that his clone troops turned on him and he needs help. I guess Obi-Wan was so used to everything being terrible by now that maybe he’s just not even surprised by anything anymore.
Bail tells him they’ve just rescued Yoda, and that this ambush has happened everywhere.
Darth Vader, Lying Spouse
Vader arrives at Padme’s apartment and she’s like OH THANK GOD and OK, Artoo cracks me up in a sad way (like most of this movie) here. He turns to Threepio and is quite clearly saying the astromech equivalent of HOLY FUCKING SHIT DUDE SOME BAD SHIT IS HAPPENING.
Vader tells Padme that he OMG SAW, with his OWN TWO SEXY EYES, Mace Windu try to kill Poor Innocent Chancellor Palpatine. Now, he leaves out the part where Palpatine was trying to kill him and oh yeah Palpatine is actually a Dark Wizard and bee tee dubs I’ve made an EENSY WEENSY CAREER CHANGE, honey. I guess Anakin really was trained by Obi-Wan “LOL here’s like 25% of the accurate story” Kenobi.
So, here is where Padme should have clued in (and probably does) that something was MAJORLY wrong. Vader is like “well anyways I won’t betray the Republic or the baby or you” and she (understandably because Padme’s been paying attention) is like “What about Obi-Wan?” and Vader’s entire reaction is a blase “I dunno”.
THIS IS NOT AN ANAKIN SKYWALKER REACTION TO THE QUESTION “do you care about staying loyal to Obi-Wan?” He blathers on about how they can only hope Obi-Wan’s stayed loyal to the Republic, but that “many Jedi have been killed” and again: Anakin Skywalker would not just be like “whatever maybe Obi-Wan’s dead who knows what’s on TV tonight?” You can see it on her face: RING THE ALARM BELLS, SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT HERE.
Vader tells her he’s off to Mustafar to “end the war” and I love that he doesn’t super-duper specify what that entails or really anything beyond just “it’ll be OK, brb, leave some leftovers in the fridge for me.” He hops back in his ship, Padme looks worried as hell, and this scene — and today’s recap — comes to a close.
Next time, on What The Hell Star Wars I Thought We Were Friends: The Clone Wars officially end, Obi-Wan gets the worst possible news, and then Obi-Wan gets even worse news, and then Obi-Wan gets given the absolute worst assignment. If I have to recap it, you have to join me. See you then! (Bring wine.)