Critical Consensus: "Revenge of the Sith" Tomatometer Update

by | May 18, 2005 | Comments

Now that the critical dust has settled, it’s time for a final consensus on "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith." After George Lucas’ first two "Star Wars" prequels received lukewarm responses from fans, he finally ends the series on a triumphant and satisfying note.

Reviews from the nation’s print, online, and broadcast critics are enthusiastic for "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith." This grimmer chapter, chronicling Anakin Skywalker’s descent into the dark side and transformation into Darth Vader, has scored an outstanding 83% on the Tomatometer. Despite some clunky lines and generally wooden acting, critics think the character-driven Episode III will please die-hard fanatics and non-believers alike – thanks to a more interesting story arc, technically awesome digital effects and the sheer power of a 28-year old mythology embedded in the fiber of American culture. "Episode III" also has a couple key performances to write home about – Ewan McGregor as the betrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi and, especially, Ian McDiarmid as the menacing Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.

Compared to the previous two prequels, both of which are in the low to mid-60s on the Tomatometer, the 83% of "Episode III" is a major improvement, and the only prequel chapter to be Certified Fresh (Rotten Tomatoes’s seal of quality). It’s also the second best reviewed film in wide release behind "Kung Fu Hustle" (90%) and ahead of "Sin City" (78%). For comparison, "The Empire Strikes Back" scores 98% on the Tomatometer and the original "Star Wars" scores 93%, both of which are based on reviews from mostly current active critics.

The Star Wars Series Ranked by Tomatometer:
(Based on reviews by mostly current active critics)

98% – The Empire Strikes Back
93% – Star Wars
83% – Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
80% – Return of the Jedi
65% – Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
62% – Star wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace