Vol. 3, Issue 11, April 12, 2005
Episode III Darker Than Anyone Thought: It's Darth Vader, Esq.
Star Wars fans have known for months that the sixth and final film in the series would be "darker" than the previous films. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith is the first installment to earn a PG-13 rating. But virtually no one had anticipated just how dark it would be, and fans everywhere are reeling from the recently revealed plot twist which transforms Anakin Skywalker into a corporate lawyer.
"My God," whispered Philip Wise, webmaster at theforce.net, a leading Star Wars fan site. "It's... it's so much darker than we'd ever imagined. The genius of George Lucas truly knows no bounds."
Revenge of the Sith focuses on Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker's journey toward the dark side and eventual transformation into Darth Vader. Hayden Christensen, who plays Skywalker/Vader, believes it's not a film for the little tykes.
"We've seen a lot of conflict in Anakin's life, a lot of temper, and I think the groundwork is made very clear in the first two films as to how he becomes Vader," said Christensen. "He's done some morally questionable acts. But when he hits the courtroom, you really know it, you really know he's gone all the way over to evil."
The film takes place several years after the conclusion of Episode II. During the interval, it is revealed, Anakin Skywalker earned a law degree from the University of Coruscant in order to better be able to support his new wife, Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) in the style to which the former queen was accustomed.
"Oh, what a slippery slope that is," said Wise. "And this ties up so many loose ends, such as Anakin's piloting skills: now we know that he earned his title as "best pilot in the Galaxy" from chasing galactic ambulances through space."
One particularly compelling scene leaked to the web shows Anakin - already clearly in the grip of the dark side - striding into the Jedi Temple in a black Dolce & Gabbana suit, fire blazing in his eyes; taking his lightsaber out of a very expensive briefcase, he tells Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) "Habeas corpus? Don't you worry: there will be plenty of corpus when I'm done."
However, news that the evil Emperor Palpatine takes over the Republic primarily through litigation has some fans wishing that George Lucas had taken a different creative route.
"I prefer my evil villains to be less realistic," admitted Wise. "The Star Wars universe is supposed to be one of escapism and fantasy. Up until now, the image of Anakin Skywalker emerging from a lava pit reborn as Darth Vader has always been a mythical, almost miraculous event. But you know, if Anakin's a corporate lawyer, it just makes sense that dunking him in lava would only make him stronger."
The film is rated PG-13 for gratuitous litigation, several violent affidavits, and gross judicial impropriety.