Celebrating 15 years of Revenge of the Sith, Interview #4 – Matt from Star Wars Splash Page: Comics in Review

Welcome, to week 4 of our celebration of Revenge of the Sith’s 15th anniversary.
15 different guests, 15 Interviews, 15 weeks in a row
“I sense a plot to destroy the Jedi”

Welcome, Matt to our Revenge of the Sith 15th Anniversary Celebration Series. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to answer our questions.

It’s always a pleasure to be here and to pontificate about Star Wars!

Before we get started, could you please share with our readers a little bit about yourself, your content and how you got into Star Wars?
I’m one of the old fans, having been aware of Star Wars since my mom heard about it in 1976 when publicity about the upcoming “Star Wars” was making its way through conventions and science-fiction fandom. She told me about it and, while I didn’t actually see the film — we moved to Germany in 1977 ahead of its release — until 1979 at a drive-in in eastern Kentucky. I was well versed in the story, having read the comics when they first came out at the Post Exchange magazine shop — my parents made sure I never missed an issue. Relatives stateside sent me newspaper clippings and magazine articles and, ultimately, books, including the script. I’ve been over my head ever since.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Let’s start at the beginning, when and where did you first see Revenge of the Sith?
I saw it when I was living in Germany! Which was kind of cool to see what was, at that time, the final Star Wars movie, in the same country where I first fell in love with it.

2. What was your experience like?
I saw it on the weekend it was released at a cinema that specialized in English-language films. I wanted to experience it that way instead of dubbed in German. The crowd was lively and very much into the film, which made the experience that much more enjoyable. Personally I was both excited for the film, yet dreading it, too. It was, after all, the culmination of years of school-yard discussion about Vader’s being burned by lava and the fall of the Jedi. Many hours were spent as a teenager discussing what may have happened. To see it set it out in an indelible manner was riveting.

3. What was your reaction after you saw it your first time?
I was awestruck. The film touched every nerve for me, both good and bad. It lived up to the long-held promise of transformation and change and heartbreak.

4. What is your favorite scene in Revenge of the Sith and why?
I’m torn, honestly, but when forced to narrow it down to just one it’s always where the camera pans wide onto the steps of the Jedi temple with Anakin leading the clone troopers inside to purge it of the Jedi within. The way John Williams’ score envelopes the grit and determination of Anakin hits home very hard that the change is now complete and there is no going back for him or the galaxy.

5. What is your favorite character in Revenge of the Sith and why?
Yoda. We see his failure to explore deeply his concerns and his failings as not just a Jedi Master but the de facto head of the Jedi Council. It all pivoted on him yet he was held back by fear of making a decision of any kind until it was far too late.

6. What is your favorite tie-in material (from ether Legends or canon) and why?
I’m going to go with John Jackson Miller’s superb “Kenobi” novel. While this Legends story is set between ROTS and ANH, it’s a compelling story about Obi-Wan Kenobi adapting to his role as a ronin of sorts and trying to uphold the virtues of the Jedi on a lawless world.

7. What is your favorite piece of merchandise/collectible from this film and why?
You know, I don’t have any!

8. When you think of Revenge of the Sith, what do you think about and why?
Redemption. Not the act, but the concept. To me ROTS

9. 15 years later, has your opinion changed at all on the film? If so how?
If anything, the passage of time, along with repeated viewings, has only cemented this film’s greatness. It’s a sweeping panoramic film that encapsulates so much into just just over two hours but does so in a way that still rings true today.

10. What does Revenge of the Sith mean to you currently?
It’s arguably the most important film of the Saga as so much pivots on its story: Anakin’s fall, Obi-Wan’s exile, Luke and Leia’s birth, nurturing the seed of outright rebellion. It’s literally the glue that binds the Saga together, threading itself through 4-6 and into 7-9.

11. What are some things about the Revenge of the Sith that you love, respect or hold dear that others may overlook and why?
Padme’s sacrifice. More than just the loss of her life, but slow yet steady realization that she knows Anakin is straying. Blinded by a grief that’s not there, only portended, and the loss of his mother (if only Qui-Gon had spirited Schmi away with them!). Padme was always a remarkably dynamic woman unafraid to make the hard decisions and one of those was that Anakin was beyond saving.

12. Where does Revenge of the Sith sit for you in your personal ranking of the 12 theatrical releases and why?
It’s definitely No. 2, no lower than No. 4. The emotional resonance of the film endures long after its release and it’s a pivotal chapter in the Saga.

13. What would you like to see in the future around Revenge of the Sith, ether stories, merchandise, features, interviews, etc?
I’m eager to see the upcoming Taschen book on the prequels and hoping we get lots of content about Palpatine/Sideous in the form of sketches and art. I would LOVE to see a book or comic, be it a maxi or mini-series, that detailed Palpatine’s influencing of Anakin. As well as book of stories about Padme and Anakin and how they stole their time together when they could.

14. In your opinion, what is the legacy of Revenge of the Sith?
A standout film that endcapped a remarkable trilogy and set the stage for the original trilogy.

15. What are your last words on Revenge of the Sith and/ or things you would like readers to know about this film?
It’s a firestorm of extremes — the highest highs and the lowest lows.

Thanks again Matt for joining us in this 15th-anniversary celebration of Revenge of the Sith.

I do thank you for having me! Means a great deal to me.

If people would like to find you or your content, where can they find it?
When it comes to Star Wars comics, you can get your fill and then some at Star Wars Splash Page. The podcast comes out weekly and we’re particularly active on Twitter (@SWSplashPagePod) as well as our Facebook page.

Thank you readers for joining us in the celebration of Revenge of the Sith and stay tuned for our next entry into this series, coming next Monday. Till then, we wish you nothing but the best, stay safe out there and May the Force be with you.

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