Star Wars Throwback Thursday: Revenge of the Sith

by Todd King, contributing writer
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Before the Throwback

Last week, Disney Parks Blog announced the opening dates for Rise of the Resistance, the newest ride going in to the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in both California and Florida Disney parks. First to open is the version in Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida, on Thursday, December 5 (on Walt Disney's birthday). It then opens in Disneyland in California on Friday, January 17.

Disney provides this newest description of the attraction's story:

"Guests will be recruited to join Rey and General Organa at a secret base. Along the way, they will be captured by a First Order Star Destroyer. With the help of some heroes of the Resistance, they break out and must escape the Star Destroyer, protect the secret base, and stay one step ahead of Kylo Ren."


The first poster for Rise of the Resistance opening in Walt Disney World on December 5, 2019, and in Disneyland on January 17, 2020. Photo by Disney.

I'm excited that Rey, Leia, and Kylo Ren are all part of the experience and that it will "blur the lines between fantasy and reality," which is, I believe, the highest principle in Disney Imagineering. This ride has a lot more mystery around it than did Smuggler's Run, which is wonderful in its simplicity (fly the Falcon), so I'm very curious to learn more. Keep in mind that in the midst of these openings is the release of The Rise of Skywalker to theaters, so Star Wars will certainly be at a fever (dream) pitch level at that time—and this could also greatly influence the attendance numbers in Galaxy's Edge.

We're only in July here, folks. Strap in before the jump to lightspeed!

In other news, July 23, 2019 will see the release of the novel Thrawn: Treason, a sequel to Thrawn: Alliances, by Timothy Zahn. Thrawn must deal with the battles for power in the Empire as its dictator, Palpatine, shifts priorities to their super weapon, the Death Star. This puts Thrawn in the middle of hard decisions about his loyalty. Fans of this sinister character, and of Zahn's books, are sure to enjoy this story that complicates the famous Grand Admiral.

Taking the Tragedy with the Comedy

Star Wars is fun. George Lucas never left out humor even in the most serious of times. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was not only the first Star Wars film rated PG-13, it is considered the darkest of the entire saga. The cold tone is not surprising because this was the chapter responsible for the fall of Anakin Skywalker, the seizing of power by the Emperor, and the destruction of the Jedi. It was never going to be a complete space romp. However, the movie is not devoid of fun, and much of the humor that does unfold is pretty hilarious. But how do you add some light into such a dark journey?

Lucas kept the characters true to themselves but presented them here as more mature than in the previous adventure. Some time has passed, and we see our people older and wiser. That idea makes them more familiar to each other and therefore appear emotionally closer. With that established, they are free to cut up and have fun with each other. This is evidenced in the friendship between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker—at least this is how they interact with each other at the beginning.

Most of the comedy takes place in the first third of the movie to start things off on a high note, instead of the other way around. By the end of this movie, the feeling is much more somber than in any previous episodes. This makes the tragedies at the end all the more impactful; we see what could have been had everything worked out for the better. It makes us truly feel like we have lost something that was special and good. It makes for an effective story of loss and of the difficulty of finding evil. With that said, I'm not here to dwell on the downward spiral of the Old Republic; I'm here to find the humor even in the cheerless of places and please enjoy these frames from Revenge of the Sith that are worthy of remembering for their true levity.

Space Battles Don't Have to be Stressful

The movie throws us straight into the Clone Wars where a major battle explodes in the space above the city-planet of Coruscant. It's utter chaos but the camera pans in to follow our intrepid duo of Anakin and Obi-Wan as they get into their mission. Amid the confusion of the battle we can focus on our familiar characters and their troubles through missiles, lasers, droids, and doors.


"This is where the fun begins," a line from Han Solo in the original trilogy, now spoken both ironically and unironically by Anakin as he and Obi-Wan fly their way through a chaotic space battle. © Lucasfilm.


"I'll try spinning that's a good trick," said Anakin in The Phantom Menace while flying in a space battle to avoid laser fire. Here, he spins to successfully detonate missiles tailing him, complete with pod race engine sound effects. © Lucasfilm.


"Oh, this is going to be easy," says Obi-Wan sarcastically as he and Anakin must run a gauntlet through enemy ships and through, what video gamers would call, a bullet-hell. © Lucasfilm.


In Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan hates flying and once again shows his disdain (not fear) by exclaiming again, "Flying is for droids." © Lucasfilm.


Flying is for droids, you say? Obi-Wan's starfighter is soon overrun with "buzz droids" on his wing that immediately attack the astro droid that was helping him fly. © Lucasfilm.


The buzz droids live up to their name and saw off R4's head, providing Episode III's first decapitation. © Lucasfilm.


Obi-Wan just witnessed his companion astro droid, R4, get its head cut off and hurtle into space. He has no time for sentiments and simply mutters a deadpan, "Oh dear." © Lucasfilm.


However, R2-D2 is not going to put up the buzz droids, and electrocutes them with one of his many Swiss army knife gadgets—the same shock device later used to ward off curious ewoks. © Lucasfilm.


This time, "I have a bad feeling about this," comes from Obi-Wan as they must race to enter the command ship as the blast doors are quickly closing. It ended better than expected. © Lucasfilm.

Elevator Antics

From the space battle we get into a battle on-foot and our heroes, still sticking together, face a whole new set of challenges and we're barely minutes into the film. The pacing of this first act is fairly relentless in a good way. There is plenty of action, but also gags, character-building, and R2-D2 kicking butt, too. There have been a lot of battles of the Clone Wars going on and by the time we see this were reaching their end but not before some business to be finished, namely: rescue the Chancellor and kill General Grievous. To rescue the Chancellor of the Republic, the Jedi must first endure the trials of the lift.


We first saw Anakin and Obi-Wan in Episode II in an elevator. Here they are again in an elevator but with much more camaraderie and comedy. The board without knowing a host of battle droids saying "Drop your weapons!" are already there. © Lucasfilm.


The Jedi do not have time to deal with an elevator full of battle droids so they ignite their lightsabers and dispose of them so quickly there is no time even for an uncomfortable silence while muzak plays. © Lucasfilm.


Slicing up battle droids are like morning calisthenics for Jedi. © Lucasfilm.


The elevator comedy of errors is not done. When it suddenly stops, Anakin knows there's a way out and while most movies show that every elevator has a trap door, Anakin makes his own by slicing through the ceiling with his lightsaber and the falling "hole" provides a quick funny moment. © Lucasfilm.


After Anakin jumps into the elevator shaft, Obi-Wan laments that his padawan continues to lack patience by muttering, "Always on the move." © Lucasfilm.


Instead of jumping around, Obi-Wan's approach to the situation is to rely on Artoo as a resource for help. He shouts over the comlink that they need to be going up, not knowing that his voice is heard by super battle droids putting R2-D2 in danger. © Lucasfilm.


Artoo, of course, gets the elevator working properly but it starts up quickly and knocks over Obi-Wan in a great slapstick moment. © Lucasfilm.


As R2-D2 restores the elevator to its proper direction, it takes off the heads of two onlooking battle droids in the film's next decapitation. © Lucasfilm.


Anakin returns to the elevator surprising Obi-Wan who almost cuts him down, but instead thankfully says, "Oh, it's you!" © Lucasfilm.


Obi-Wan starts to explain that R2 almost screwed things up when Anakin comes to the little droid's defense and tells his master, "No loose wire jokes." © Lucasfilm.


In some funny banter between the two, Obi-Wan says, "I didn't say anything!" in his defense against Anakin's accusation that his master was being too hard on little R2-D2. © Lucasfilm.


Just like in the previous films, battle droids are to Jedi like butter is to hot knives. © Lucasfilm.

Our Speciality: Springing the Traps

It can be argued that by now the Jedi have lost their way because they've engaged as leaders of war. Some would argue the Jedi were already lost by the time they first found Anakin in The Phantom Menace. In hindsight, we can see the sub-story of the film being the nearly undetectable Darth Sidious and his subtle machinitions having already clouded the Jedi's vision probably as soon as Palpatine became a senator and got close to the Jedi. In Attack of the Clones, the Jedi play right into the trap, use the clone troops, and join the war. Here, Obi-Wan senses a trap so naturally, his advice is to walk into it.


Before their elevator adventure, the Jedi both feel the presence of Count Dooku on the ship. "I sense a trap," says Obi-Wan. "Next move?" asks Anakin. "Spring the trap," is Kenobi's idea. It's funny on the surface, but also funny that it basically sums up the flaws of the Jedi--play into enemy hands. © Lucasfilm.


Although R2 is put into danger by helping his friends, he really is no match even for two super battle droids that he not only causes to slip on oil, but engulfs them in tremendous flames in a matter of seconds. Don't mess with this glob of grease! © Lucasfilm.


With some gravity problems on the ship, R2's fall is broken by the pile of battle droid debris, most of which he caused. The popping up of Artoo's sensor scope is reminiscent of his near-fatal run in with a monster in the swamps of Degobah in Empire Strikes Back. © Lucasfilm.


When our heroes finally face Count Dooku for the second time, Obi-Wan brings up their first failure saying, "This time we'll take him together." "I was about to say that," replies Anakin showing a degree of maturity. © Lucasfilm.


Palpatine adding fuel to the fire of his contrived plan says, "You're no match for him, he's a Sith Lord." Obi-Wan retorts in a bit of arrogance with, "Sith Lords are our specialty." Ironic that Kenobi was saying this directly to a Sith Lord's face. Oh, how the Jedi were ripe for defeat. © Lucasfilm.


This may not necessarily be a funny moment, but when Palpatine suddenly turns on Count Dooku, his apprentice, and urges Anakin to murder him, Palpatine takes such glee in the moment saying, "Kill him," that it's weirdly fascinating just how delighted he is in being evil. © Lucasfilm.


Obi-Wan, having been knocked out from the lightsaber duel with Count Dooku, suddenly wakes up to find he's barely hanging onto Anakin high above the elevator shaft. Finally a Jedi shows real emotion. © Lucasfilm.


Anakin informs his now-conscious master, "We're in a bit of a situation," to which Obi-Wan questions, "Did I miss something?" It's a quick delivery but a funny moment amid the tension. © Lucasfilm.


"Ray shields? We're smarter than this!" Too late, Obi-Wan, too late. The dark side even clouds their premonitions. © Lucasfilm.


Trapped in the ray shields, they wait for R2, who promptly arrives, albeit uncontrollably from the hallway and crashes into the wall. © Lucasfilm.


Droids hate droids. This super battle droid finally gets revenge by kicking R2 in frustration. I love these "punch and judy" moments of violence just to get another character to "shut up!" © Lucasfilm.


Seeing that Artoo won't be able to help them this time, Obi-Wan asks Anakin, who finally tried to rely on Jedi patience that didn't pay off, "Do you have a plan B?" Keep watching and he does indeed. © Lucasfilm.


The "plan B" freed the Jedi from their bonds and that's bad news for all the droids, especially this fearful battle droid who tries to run away from certain death by lightsaber. © Lucasfilm.

Anakin Saves Palpatine, the First Time

Anakin Skywalker often had a tendency to save people's lives. As Darth Vader he would set out to destroy lives and at the end did both and which untangled the web of the Empire. But in a really quick moment, he was probably a centimeter from killing the most evil creature in the galaxy.


I only caught this next moment when going frame-by-frame. Anakin goes to free Palpatine from capture, but it almost seems for a moment that Palpatine is worried Anakin might kill him. His face starts here with slight fear at first. © Lucasfilm.


Palpatine closes his eyes hoping Anakin finds his mark, but maybe also hoping that Anakin doesn't sense the dark side in him and doesn't decide to end the Sith quickly. © Lucasfilm.


I don't believe Palpatine is sure if he's getting hit or not in this moment but can certainly feel the heat of sparks as the perpetually useless battle droids are broken like toothpicks around him. © Lucasfilm.


Ah good, thinks Palpatine, Anakin *is* freeing me, whew! He really could have ended this whole thing if he wasn't as good as I thought. © Lucasfilm.


No wait! I just saw Anakin cut off Dooku's hands! Good-bye force-lightning abilities! Well, no, Anakin is precise and removes Palpatine's bonds. That was close on so many levels. © Lucasfilm.

We Lost Something

The rest of the film takes a dark turn, the darkest of the saga. There is much less room for laughs, but they are there and are used quite effectively so that the entire thing isn't complete despondence. The moments are balanced and not over the top--perhaps the Emperor falling over his chair is a bit much but that wrinkle-face deserved it.


Half the ship just fell off and Anakin, being the great pilot knows this and informs his crew, "We lost something." © Lucasfilm.


"Another happy landing," says Obi-Wan after a rather harrowing experience. That's pretty much the last of any "happy" moments, not to mention landings, that any of them will have from here on in. © Lucasfilm.


Obi-Wan's fight with General Grievous looked like it was beginning as a sneak attack. Instead, Kenobi goes for the surprise, um, "attack," with a good-mannered, "Hello there!" The same greeting he gives R2-D2 in A New Hope. © Lucasfilm.


Oh silly Obi-Wan, kicking the metal legs of General Grievous was not a good idea. Jedi should wear shin guards. © Lucasfilm.


When introducing the lightsaber to us and to Luke in A New Hope, Obi-Wan described it as, "not as clumsy or random as a blaster, an elegant weapon from a more civilized age." Here a blaster saved his Jedi hide and yet he still tosses it aside calling it, "So uncivilized!" © Lucasfilm.


The last two-thirds of the movie are mostly devoid of humor (for good reason) but there are a couple moments like this entrance by Yoda who wipes out the royal guards with one swift stroke. © Lucasfilm.


The royal guards not only fall, but flail about so hilariously before they fall that it shows how powerful Yoda can be with the smallest of actions. "Surprised?" © Lucasfilm.


The last couple of humorous moments involve C-3PO who has been "helpless" in the story until he states he's finally figured out this piloting business. This is just before his memory is erased. © Lucasfilm.


Senator Bail Organa puts Threepio and Artoo into the care of Captain Antilles and his first order of business? Have 3PO's mind wiped. That explains a lot later on, even his line in A New Hope, "I've forgotten how much I hate space travel!" © Lucasfilm.

Before the Plus

Disney Plus will start November 12 (I thought it was coming in September) and there is a lot to look forward to especially, from a Star Wars perspective, The Mandalorian, which premieres with the service, and The Clone Wars season 7, which will hopefully come out soon thereafter (not to mention the Cassian Andor series to come later). I will continue my Throwback Thursdays for the rest of the year to cover the TV series (The Clone Wars, Rebels, and Resistance), The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi and bring up the humor in them all. I haven't yet seen all the TV series episodes so this will be a bit of new journey for me. What should you Iook forward to in the series?

 

Comments

  1. By Pammer

    Thanks Todd...I really enjoyed remembering the funny lines of this movie!

  2. By foxtwin

    Quote Originally Posted by Pammer View Post
    Thanks Todd...I really enjoyed remembering the funny lines of this movie!

    Thank you, too! There are many great lines, not all of them funny, but funny to say out of context like, "Unlimited Power!" by the Emperor, or really just everything the Emperor says.

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