So you made it through the gut-wrenching disappointment of THE PHANTOM MENACE and survived the still worse clusterfuck that was ATTACK OF THE CLONES—but here you are again, a relapsing nostalgia junkie yearning for the concluding act to the story you’re not even sure you like anymore. This is your wake up call; you’ve been duped yet again. Though you thought you were going to see a STAR WARS movie, you’ve actually been snared in a tractor-beam sent by the Bullshit Mothership, which, upon your arrival, will make a light-speed jump directly into George Lucas’s supermassive black asshole. If it wasn’t already clear, RETURN OF THE SITH is super duper shitty, but there’s still a lot you can learn from its steaming wreckage.
The first lesson, which becomes painfully obvious during the big space battle in the first ten minutes of the film, is that CG effects don’t age well. Though the visuals might have been top of the line in 2005, now everything seems plastic and uncanny. When I was looking up reviews after re-watching all the films, I thought I was going completely nuts; for the most part, critics laud EPISODE III as return to form for the franchise, largely due to its supposedly impressive aesthetics. I mean, fuck—in the scene where Darth Sidious parkour-fights Samuel L. Jackson, their CG representations look so cartoonish and low-res they might as well be Nintendo Mii. Then again, considering that this piece of shit also made its big debut in 2005, it probably didn’t take that much to blow everybody’s mind.
The second truth that you can pick from this movie’s rubble is unquestionably the most important: never hire Hayden Christensen, ever. Did you think his acting was unbearable in EPISODE II? Well get ready to deal with his stupid face and distracting mullet in nearly every scene! Listen George, I can suspend my disbelief through whatever kind of sci-fi nonsense you throw my way. The X-Wing ships from the original trilogy are somehow more advanced than their ornate six-winged predecessors? Fantastic! Not only is there a Wookiee home world, but Chewbacca also seems to wield significant social authority there? Sounds good! A Jedi’s ability to use the force is governed by the quantity of midi-chlorians found in his blood? That’s fucking fine by me! But don’t you dare put me in a position where I have to pretend that the dude from JUMPER is good at anything. Anakin, there’s a reason nobody wants to make you a Jedi Master: it’s because you look like a wimpier version of the lead singer from Whitesnake*.
But Neezer, what about all the important plot resolution? How do Luke and Leia get separated at birth? How does Anakin become Vader? Does somebody kill Jar Jar? Here's the thing: you’d honestly be better off not knowing. Sure, you find out how Padmé dies and why Yoda goes into exile, but in the end, is seeing the mask get drilled on Vader's face better than imagining it? By eliminating the mysteries within STAR WARS, Lucas doesn’t enhance his world—he shrinks it. By the end of the film, I felt so betrayed that it was hard for me to accurately express my exasperation. I just wish someone had called for an Order 66 of this movie.
* Neezer freaking loves Whitesnake and sincerely apologizes for making such a disturbing comparison.