Revenge of the Sith appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was the best of the Star Wars bunch, as it presented a consistently stellar image.
Across the board, sharpness was excellent. Virtually no instances of softness materialized here, as the flick remained tight and concise at all times. I saw no jagged edges or edge enhancement, and shimmering failed to occur. No source defects appeared either, so the movie was always clean and fresh.
Since Sith took place in many different settings, it offered a great deal of visual variety. That meant a broad palette that encompassed lots of vivid hues. From the searing rears of Mustafar to the lush jungle of Kashyyyk to all points in between, Sith boasted dynamic hues that popped off the screen. The colors consistently looked great.
Blacks demonstrated excellent depth, while shadows were clear. Low-light shots depicted solid delineation of the elements and never came across as too thick or dense. Sith looked stunning and gave us a dynamic, dazzling visual presentation.
I awarded “A+” grades to the audio of both The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. I hate giving “A+” grades but couldn’t see anyway around it in regard to those excellent mixes. Did the DTS-HD MA 6.1 soundtrack of Revenge of the Sith match up with its predecessors? In a word – yup.
Sith featured the same audio production team as its predecessors, and that consistency showed with its smooth and seamless soundfield. From start to finish, the movie demonstrated a broad affair that utilized all the available channels. That didn’t mean it was stupidly active, though; it backed off appropriately during the film’s quieter dialogue sequences.
When it needed to kick into higher gear, though, the soundtrack was more than up to it requirements. The mix contributed a strong sense of place at all times and made the various settings come to life. Occasional examples of directional dialogue occurred, and the score offered a dynamic presence with good stereo imaging as well as support from the surrounds.
Of course, the effects created the best parts of the track, and they worked exceptionally well. All the many action sequences offered great definition and scope. They also blended smoothly and came together quite nicely. If forced to pick my favorite sequence, I think I’d go with Obi-Wan’s battle against General Grievous. Both their saber fight and their chase opened up the spectrum very well and turned into a demo-worthy scene.
No problems with audio occurred. Speech was crisp and natural, and I noticed no intelligibility problems or edginess. Music was bright and bold throughout the movie, as the track replicated John Williams’ score well.
Effects depicted the expected levels of detail and aggression. They were lively and accurate as they presented strong definition. Highs sounded concise and tight, while lows were rich and firm. There was virtually nothing about which I could complain, as Sith ended the Star Wars saga with yet another standout soundtrack.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the original 2005 DVD release? Both demonstrated upgrades. Audio was great on the DVD, but the Blu-ray seemed richer and smoother. Visuals gave us a strong shot in the arm, as the Blu-ray appeared tighter, more dynamic and clearer. I liked the DVD a lot, but it couldn’t compare with the killer presentation of the Blu-ray.
This Sith Blu-ray comes as part of a nine-disc package called “Star Wars: The Complete Saga”. It features one disc each for the six movies and three additional platters of extras.
Because so many of the film’s supplements show up on other discs, I won’t give Sith a specific grade for its bonus materials. I’ll wait until I get to a single “wrap-up” page to look at the three discs and award an overall supplements mark.
We do find some extras here, though, via two audio commentaries. The first comes from the original DVD and features director/writer George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, animation director Rob Coleman, and ILM visual effects supervisors Roger Guyett and John Knoll. Although the commentary remains fairly screen-specific - the speakers clearly watched the movie as they spoke - most of the participants appear to have been recorded separately. I get the impression McCallum and Guyett sat together but the rest remain on their own, though I could be mistaken.
Two subjects dominate: story/characters and visuals. That breakdown makes sense given the work done by the participants as well as the nature of the film itself. Lucas provides quite a lot of good notes about the plot, the roles, and connected elements. He gets into a nice discussion of how the whole six-part saga fits together as well as character concerns, story points, homages, allusions to other flicks, and general production notes. He even offers a humorous explanation of why it took so long to build the first Death Star. Lucas provides the strongest material in this track.
Not that the others were chopped liver. They offered good notes about technical challenges and the movie’s design choices. Some good trivia appears along with the nuts and bolts of creating the effects and issues connected to the visual decisions. Another very good commentary, this one ends the series well.
New to the Blu-ray, a second commentary collects material from archival sources. This one features George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Ben Burtt, Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, Ben Snow, John Knoll, production designer Gavin Bocquet, composer John Williams, costume designer Trisha Biggar, stunt coordinator Nick Gillard and actors Ewan McGregor, Ian McDiarmid, Temuera Morrison, Anthony Daniels, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Jimmy Smits, Samuel L. Jackson, Silas Carson and Christopher Lee. As was the case with the other two archival prequel commentaries, this one uses outtakes from the sessions for the 2005 DVD and mixes them with other interviews.
The various elements combine well. The commentary hits on a lot of the same general topics discussed in the 2005 piece, but it adds new details and alternate perspectives. As always, it’s good to hear from the actors, and the other new participants help deliver many useful notes. This “archival commentary” serves as a solid compliment to the 2005 track and is a worthwhile listen.
How history will view the Star Wars “prequel trilogy” remains to be seen. However, it seems likely that Revenge of the Sith will go down as the strongest of the three. While it suffers from some of the same flaws that marred its two predecessors, it packs much more of an emotional wallop and ends the series well. The Blu-ray boasts top-notch picture and audio along with two useful, intriguing audio commentaries. I’m pretty happy with the movie and its presentation on Blu-ray.
Note that Revenge of the Sith can be found in two different packages. As mentioned when I went over the supplements, my copy came from “Star Wars: The Complete Saga”, a nine-disc set with all six movies and three platters of extras. However, it also appears in a package called “The Prequel Trilogy”. That one only includes the three prequel movies: Sith, 1999’s The Phantom Menace and 2002’s Attack of the Clones. It throws in the audio commentaries found on the movie discs but none of the other “Complete Saga” supplements show up on it. It’s the way to go if you only want to own the prequels – and I’m sure someone out there likes those three movies and not the Original Trilogy – but realize that you lose a lot of extras in addition to the other flicks.
To rate this film, visit the orignal review of STAR WARS: EPISODE III - REVENGE OF THE SITH