Here we are again, stuck to our seats watching another Star Wars film, but this time is supposed to be the last (we'll see).

I'm not really surprised by the choices made with Episode III, given three things: Episode IV, Episode II, and Lucas' continued ability to tie his own hands regarding this series. We knew the outcome from way back, who the principal players would be - and how they would act (largely staccato and to the point). So first, the problems.

Lucas had too many ends to tie up to really give us anything new. Between formula and expectations, there was no room for exploration or more creativity than "how many light sabers can we give one computer animated character?"

Characters move from scene to scene, speaking in efficient, plot-furthering soundbites. We almost never actually feel anything when someone is talking because the movie is so busy furthering its own ends. This is very similar to Episode II, which didn't succeed one bit in trying to tell a love story... while III isn't the pinacle of storytelling, it at least doesn't fail so poorly.

On the good side, well, it's the best Star Wars film since the original (holy) trilogy. There is some space for brooding and the conflict in the story isn't drawn in such absolute and pedantic terms we can't swallow it (no, wait these were the "good" points, right?).

On its own, the movie would not score as well as a 5 with me, but its function in tying the whole series together cannot be overlooked. Sometimes it's borderline kitschy (the complete change in film look for scenes on a star destroyer toward the end, to match up with Episode IV), but it worked for me. Yes, Lucas is bending over backwards in places, and sometimes falls completely over - he tied his own hands, remember - but there's a little thread of nostalgia in there that appealed to me...

The fact is that Revenge of the Sith is pretty much the best film we could have hoped for with all the givens of the situation: I & II, and what Lucas did to his own franchise. In that sense, it is successful, but what a miserable galaxy to inhabit when the expectations are so low.

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