Call it "Prequels Week." Two films took viewers back in time, offering prologues to legendary blockbusters from the late 1970s, both of them exploring shadowy spiritual territory and characters who are drawn over to "the dark side."

Star Wars: Episode Three — Revenge of the Sith continues to kick life into a box office slump, earning a head-spinning $158.5 million in four days, annihilating the former four-day record set by The Matrix Reloaded ($134.3 million) in 2003. The Force is strong in this one.

Meanwhile, more Christian press critics are responding to Sith. (We featured the first wave of reviews last week.) Their differences of opinion are as striking as the difference between the original Star Wars trilogy and the new trilogy.

Gene Edward Veith (World) argues that Revenge of the Sith "has many fine moments … and none of the annoying sidekicks and sappy sentimentality that marred the first two episodes. Is the movie an allegory critical of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq, as some liberals and defensive conservatives interpret it? Not really."

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) raves, "Visually, Sith is the most stunning, if at times overwrought, of the entire series. Lucas strikes a balance between technical video-game-style wizardry and human drama, bringing all the loose story threads to a coherent ending (or middle). [It's] more fun than a barrelful of Wookiees. As the final curtain falls, it's nice to see a film that finally captures the true force of his vision!"

"The film's opening is filled with the unexpected promise of a return to the action-packed fun of the original movie," says Michael Elliott (Movie Parables). "Lucas, in addition to providing the brilliant special effects that has ...

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