Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

  • Review Date: October 30, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 146 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Anakin moves to the dark side in moody, graphic sequel.
  • Review Date: October 30, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 146 minutes

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Unlike other films in the series, the messages in this installment aren't quite as clear, perhaps because the storyline focuses so sharply on a leading character's fall from grace, so the movie must embrace shades of grey in terms of morality. At the same time, the lines between good and evil are clearly defined, even if evil seems to win in the film's final act.

Positive role models

These are the same brave, self-sacrificing, noble characters we have come to know from previous films. But because the film's story chronicles a leading character's descent into evil and darkness, there are far fewer strong role models here.

Violence

As with other entries in the series, the violence in this film is primarily centered around sci-fi battles in space and characters using blasters and laser swords. But there are a few powerful moments of specific violence -- for example the off-screen death of children and the beheading of a central villain. Perhaps most graphic is the final visual transformation of the film's hero into an iconic villain, which begins with the character burning on screen in a lava pit before being grafted to robotic arms and legs, all while visibly squirming and screaming in pain. It's a disturbing sequence; only you know if your kids are ready to experience it.

Sex

Two of the film's leads are secretly married, and there are occasional romantic moments and mild kissing. The female lead is pregnant and gives birth on screen near the end of the film in a relatively antiseptic sequence with no graphic depictions of the birthing process.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Although there's no real-world product placement in the film, this series is known for its extreme merchandising, encompassing everything from toys and books to backpacks, clothing, and school supplies for children.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the third and final film in the Star Wars prequel trilogy contains a few moments of graphic violence, as well as the transformation of a beloved character from good to bad. The movie chronicles the fall of Anakin Skywalker and his transformation into Darth Vader. The plot and characters grapple with some complicated moral issues and occasionally embrace shades of grey. In a sequence of surprising detail for a Star Wars film, viewers see Anakin burn in a pit of lava, with his skin turning into cinders. This particular scene earns the film its PG-13 rating; we recommend extreme caution and consideration when deciding whether younger children can handle viewing something that's this emotionally and graphically violent.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

REVENGE OF THE SITH shows how young, ambitious, and idealistic Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is convinced that using the dark side of the Force will benefit his community and Padmé (Natalie Portman). They have married in secret (as a Jedi, he's supposed to remain single); to make matters even dicier, she's now pregnant with the twins Luke and Leia. Anakin's desire to not to lose Padmé (and, oh yes, to gain power) leads him to the dark side -- and his destiny of becoming Darth Vader.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The origin story of the infamously heavy-breathing, black-caped villain Darth Vader isn't uninteresting, but neither is it innovative. Anakin's motivations are conventional (even if he doesn't bother discussing his decisions with Padmé, not showing his very capable and intelligent partner much respect). In fact, the movie's most compelling angle is that Anakin is so young that his thinking is immature: Afraid of loss, he can't accept what happens and so changes the shape of the entire galaxy essentially to get his way.

 

Like the other Star Wars movies, this one is filled with great special effects: Though the futuristic urban sets look rather flat, the space-fighting scenes are very video-gamey. Yoda is especially well rendered here, and a scene in which Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) rides a giant lizard and battles enemies in a multi-legged mechanical vehicle is lively and sometimes funny but also involves violent fighting, which might worry some younger kids. As much as this story focuses on Anakin's dilemma, the secondary characters are often more compelling, especially Obi-Wan, again revealing patience, wisdom, and charisma, and Padmé. Palpatine is convincingly vulnerable just before he becomes utterly fearsome, but Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and Senator Organa (Jimmy Smits) have very little to do, embodying the predominant problem in the Star Wars franchise -- too much emphasis on technical displays and "universal" plotting, and not enough attention paid to character details.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the movie's violence impacts the story. Was it disturbing to watch Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader? Why or why not?

  • How does this movie compare to others in the series? Do you think each movie should be equally intense, or was it OK that this film be more violent and darker than the others?

  • How does Anakin deal with anger in this movie? What are some other options for managing frustration and disappointment? What are the two sides of the Force?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 19, 2005
DVD release date:November 1, 2005
Cast:Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson
Director:George Lucas
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:146 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sci-fi violence and some intense images

This review of Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byamheusser April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Are you kidding?!

I can't believe there has been no outrage over the issue of Anakin killing frightened children!!!! The scene was left intentionally vague, but then was clarified several times, just in case you weren't sure. Why not just have him blow up the Jedi temple, without getting specific about who was in there? Otherwise, the good/evil message was a little mixed - it was interesting that they showed atrocities in the name of 'galactic peace.'
Kid, 10 years old August 9, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
if you have a kid under 10 that wants to see this, only let them if there a huge star wars fan. its violent, with notstop starfighter battles, lightsaber duels, deaths, injuries and betrayels. it is also sad when all the jedi are muderd (in my opinion)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written by8colony8 February 1, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Wonderful!!!

A great movie! There is lots of fighting. Anakin gets burned severely, showing graphic injury. Sidious gets scarred by lightning. One guy gets an arm cut off, but with no blood. Another man has his hands and head cut off, but still with no blood and it's barely seen. General Greivous may be scary to children, as he's basically a robot with (showing) alien organs. Many are stabbed and shot, including children. A must see for Star Wars fans!
What other families should know
Too much violence

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