The Force Awakens is largely accepted as a successful Star Wars movie on the grounds of both monetary success and audience reception. The film sits at a strong 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and is accepted by fans as a fitting sequel to Return of the Jedi.
Revenge of the Sith however, is a different story. This #StarWars film, which was the immediate live-action predecessor to #TheForceAwakens, received heavily mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a decent score of 79 percent, but the audience score is only a 65 percent. While these aren't bad reviews, the movie still remains controversial. From poor use of CGI, to scenes with mediocre acting, the film definitely has its flaws.
#RevengeoftheSith is almost 12 years old, and this has given fans time to look back and view the film with a fresh perspective. Now that they have, support for the film has seemingly increased! While many critics and fans have previously panned Hayden Christensen's role as Anakin Skywalker, when the news hit that he would be showing up at Star Wars Celebration this year, the fans were overwhelmingly supportive, with many even hoping to see him in future Star Wars films. Overall, support for Revenge of the Sith has grown over time. In light of that, here are three things Revenge of the Sith got right that The Force Awakens didn't.
1. Relationships Between Important Characters
One of the most frustrating things about The Force Awakens occurs near the end of the film, after the climactic battle when Rey returns to The Resistance's base. She is greeted by Princess (now General) Leia, and the two embrace in a hug. They are clearly bonding over the recent death of Han Solo. However, to many fans' agitation, Leia walks right past Chewbacca! How could this be?! Chewbacca and Leia share a long history, and Chewie was Han's best friend! J.J. Abrams later admitted that while this seemed like a snub, he wasn't really thinking about that at the time, and it most definitely was not intended to be a slight.
But, this is not the only instance in the film where character relationships are not built up. While Han Solo's death was incredibly tragic and hard to watch, it would have made it so much more impactful if we knew more about the relationship between Kylo Ren (Ben) and Han. It's hard for us to feel bad for Rey and Finn in this respect, as they only just recently met Han Solo. Because the characters' relationships weren't properly developed, Han's death was not as impactful as it could have been.
On the flip side, Revenge of the Sith got character development right! In this respect, the film did exactly what it was supposed to do. By creating a strong bro-mance between Anakin and Obi-Wan, we really feel sad when the two meet for the first time as enemies. Right from the start of the film, we watch in excitement as the two embark on a mission to save the Chancellor from the clutches of Count Dooku. After this, we are treated to conversations between the two that give us insight into how strong their friendship really is. Finally, as Obi-Wan goes off to hunt down General Grievous, the two part ways as friends for the last time.
By the time Obi-Wan finds Anakin on Mustafar, he is completely changed by the dark side. The two battle it out, and Obi-Wan cuts Anakin down, leaving him feet away from a river of lava. Anakin is filled with hate for his former friend, and Obi-Wan is heartbroken. Anakin shouts at Obi-Wan,
"I hate you!"
To which Obi-Wan responds,
"You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you!"
This scene is heartbreaking, and arguably serves as one of the best Star Wars scenes to date.
2. Epic Lightsaber Battles!
Granted, their wasn't much room for The Force Awakens to engage in epic lightsaber duels. Nevertheless, it was extremely lacking in this department, and fans felt it. While most Star Wars films can be classified by their epic duels, The Force Awakens cannot. We do get a few great scenes involving lightsabers, but never an epic duel that makes us stand up and jump in excitement.
Revenge of the Sith on the other hand, gives us not one, not two, but six epic lightsaber duels! The first of these is the duel between Anakin, Obi-Wan and Count Dooku, where Count Dooku is killed by Anakin. We are then treated to the battle between Obi-Wan and General Grievous, which results in the death of Grievous. Next, we have the battle between Mace Windu and Chancellor Palpatine, which unfortunately results in Palpatine gaining a new Sith apprentice (a.k.a. Darth Vader). Finally, the duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan is watched simultaneously with the duel between Palpatine and Yoda — epic! These duels aren't younglings play either, these are full-fledged Jedi duels!
3. Connecting The Films Together
While there are a lot of call backs to the Original Trilogy in The Force Awakens, there is little connection between the film and the rest of the Star Wars movies. The Force Awakens has a new "Death Star," Original Trilogy characters and familiar spaceships, but it does little to bridge the gap between itself and Return of the Jedi. Many years have come and gone between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and little information is given about the time in between, leaving much open for speculation. However, that's not to say books, future films, television shows, etc. won't cover that.
Revenge of the Sith does an excellent job of bridging the gap between Attack of the Clones, itself, and A New Hope. When the film starts we jump right into the action. Obi-Wan and Anakin are fighting together side by side, and throughout the movie we are given multiple references to their previous battles/adventures. Towards the end of the film, we also see Vader being put in the suit, as well as an explanation of how Leia ended up on Alderaan and Luke grew up on Tattooine.
Is 'Revenge Of The Sith' A Better Movie Than 'The Force Awakens'?
The answer to this question depends on who you ask. I imagine the general consensus would be no. But, this doesn't mean Revenge of the Sith isn't a great film containing a lot of great elements that could potentially give future Star Wars films some direction.
Overall, both films will be viewed differently, and both will continue to be enjoyed by fans. Whether you think The Force Awakens is better or not, let's just hope that The Last Jedi is just as good!
Which of these films do you think did a better job of relating to the overall Star Wars franchise?