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We're dying to see ''Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith''

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Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, ...
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith: © & TM Lucasfilm, Ltd.

We’re dying to see ”Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith”

RELEASE DATE May 19

WHY WE CAN’T WAIT Because George Lucas is finally going to answer the question that has puzzled moviegoers for nearly three decades. And that is?

THE PREMISE How does Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) become Darth Vader? Apparently, it’s a process that involves his exploitation by power-hungry Senator Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), his betrayal of his fellow Jedi knights, his wife Amidala (Natalie Portman, left, with Christensen) giving birth to future heroes Luke and Leia, and a galactic war involving clone soldiers. Call it Extreme Makeover: Clone Edition.

SOURCE The five previous Star Wars movies, as well as the expanded universe of George Lucas-approved spin-offs

THE BACKSTORY The filmmakers have been warning us for months that, unlike the previous installments, this one may be too brutal for the kiddies. Says producer Rick McCallum, ”[For] fans who may have been disappointed, say, dealing with an 8-year-old boy when they wanted a more adult story, this kind of fulfills everything.” It’ll be violent, he says, but not too violent. ”We never have any blood. But there is a lot of… interesting stuff.”

BURNING QUESTION After the disappointments of the last two episodes (two words: Jar Jar), can Lucas redeem the franchise with a winning finish?

COME FOR That long-awaited, epic-length lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his turncoat protégé, in which Anakin is likely to suffer the injuries that ultimately imprison him in Darth Vader’s bionic armor

STAY FOR Chewie’s bacc-a! Peter Mayhew reprises his role as everyone’s favorite ”walking carpet,” seen this time among an army of Wookiees on their home planet of Kashyyyk.