To steal a line from Darth Vader, "This will be a day long remembered." Star Wars: Episode Three—Revenge of the Sith packs in more action than The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones combined. The opening crawl begins with the word "War!" and quicker than you can say "Into the garbage chute, flyboy!", Sith jumps into light-speed storytelling.
The opening shot (an obvious nod to the first Star Wars film, 1977's A New Hope) plunges us headlong into a chaotic combat zone. The Separatist Alliance wickedly assaults Republic ships in the skies over Coruscant, the Republic's capital city. Early manifestations of X-Wings, TIE fighters, and Star Destroyers pyromaniacally careen and collide in the biggest "star war" adrenalin-rush since the dogfights of '77. (It's a thrill, but the pilots steal so much cockpit banter from previous films, Han Solo should sue.)
In the thick of things, young Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and his bearded mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) strive to rescue Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who has been kidnapped by the snarling General Grievous. Part monster, part machine, Grievous looks like a junkyard Transformer and sounds like a Russian war veteran with smoker's lung. He also tends to turn tail and run when facing a real threat … like Skywalker.
Two things quickly become clear:
First, Sith is not another patience-trying episode in which heroes stand around and bicker ad nauseum about politics. Critics have rightfully opened fire on the prequels for lacking the snappy dialogue and the high-stakes action of Episodes 4-6. While Sith is still lacking in the dialogue department, it's a significant improvement on its predecessors.
And second, Lucas warned us that Sith wouldn't ...1