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After tackling the Light Side of the Force with our white-food menu for Episode II: Attack of the Clones, it is time to look at the other side of the Force coin and spend our fair share with the Dark Side. The Force, after all, flows through everything, and at times, that everything can be feelings such as hatred and fear. The Dark Side of the Force is powerful and can lead Jedi astray. It is all-consuming. Thus, we needed to balance our white-food menu from before with its natural opposite: a menu featuring black food.
First up, delicious ale-steamed mussels with garlic and mustard. Add a bit of toasted bread on the side, and you have one delicious dish. In each of the dishes we chose for Revenge of the Sith, we made sure it was a compliment to the light side dish we created for the previous film. With a seafood dish to start us off last time, it was still important that we looked to the sea again for this dish. The dark shell on the mussels allowed us to create a dark, black dish, and it was so good it would make us go to the Dark Side.
After a creamy fettuccini alfredo for Attack of the Clones, it was time to make black pasta the only way we know how: squid ink. The cuttlefish smell that soon penetrated the surrounding room was an interesting surprise, but the process and the end result made it all worth it. We went simple with this dish, allowing for the flavor of the squid ink to be more pronounced. We added just a little bit of homemade chili oil, some parmesan and some sliced jalapeño. A surprising and exciting dish with such a strong black color coursing through the pasta, it had become completely consumed by the Dark Side, and it was completely consumed by us.
To finish the meal off, we had to create a Dark Side answer to the vanilla ice cream. There are not many food and ingredients in this world that hold the black hue, but black sesame seeds happen to be in that exclusive club. Using them to make a wonderful black sesame ice cream was a treat. The nuttiness of the those seeds combined with the sweetness of the ice cream is quite the combination.
Luckily enough for us, the Gather Journal had a darker cocktail recipe for us in the form of the Night Owl. Two rums in a constant fight for victory as a swirling fire, in the form of Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, scratches at their legs. Add in a little bit of vermouth and an expressed orange peel and you have quite the drink. The citrus from the orange peels breaks through the strong alcohol allowing you to find satisfaction in the deeper flavors and complexities of the competing rums. A stiff drink like this would be in order after tapping into the Dark Side of the force for a day.
No really, trust us, these rules are dangerous for these films. While we figured they would be fine for the original trilogy, each one of these is amped up in the prequels. So, proceed with caution.
- Drink whenever someone says The Force.
- Drink whenever someone fires up a lightsaber.
- Drink whenever a Stormtrooper/clone dies.
Revenge of the Sith was definitely the best of the prequels, although that’s not saying much. The highlights were the lightsaber fight choreography, which was so great, and some of the cinematography, which felt very powerful and impressive (we are looking at you Mustafar). Unfortunately, the Darth Sidious reveal was pretty disappointing and almost comical. You know, with the over the top and repeated “Noooooooooooo” and subsequent Dark-Side-electricity-induced gross face melting. Still, we all left the movie feeling pretty okay with it. We recognize that “pretty okay with it” isn’t the biggest endorsement, but it was a big moment when we compared our thoughts on the film. We aren’t sure if that was because we just came off of Episode II and the heaping space junk that it was, or if Episode III is actually an okay movie.
While none of the fights in Revenge of the Sith were as emotionally charged as the Vader/Luke fight in The Empire Strikes Back, we feel like it is worth mentioning that some of battles that were actually pretty cool, at least visually. Each fight was epic in scale, from the fight between Obi-Wan and General Grievous across a strange and crater filled planet; to Yoda and Palpatine’s fight in the Senate, complete with flying senate pods, which you can easily see representing the end of the Republic; and finally we would be remiss to not mention the Anakin/Obi-Wan battle on the hellish surface of Mustafar. That final fight was epic – the two battled across a lava factory of sorts, and the environment itself became a very large part of the fight. As the two fight styles become more savage, the structures around them deteriorate, an incredible moment. This was the only fight between two humans, and it was impressive to see how highly choreographed the fight was. We all knew how the fight would end, but seeing Obi-Wan cut down Anakin was still tough to watch.
Darth Sidious though. What a disappointing head honcho. He corrupted Anakin surprisingly all too easily and while it was revealed that he was extremely powerful, both with regard to the Force and his lightsaber skills, it was hard to believe he was really that powerful because it was all revealed so quickly. Furthermore, we had very little explanation into his backstory and how he came to be a Sith Lord. While we know he was taught by a previous Lord of the Sith and then eventually killed his master, the movie didn’t do a solid enough job at making us believe he was more powerful than Yoda and as skilled with a lightsaber as Mace Windu. We just weren’t buying it.
In any case, Revenge of the Sith was still a fun movie to watch, and was certainly more enjoyable than any of the other prequels. While it is hard to forgive the convenient tying of loose ends that happens at the end of this film and how they don’t tie them up as neatly as one would hope, Episode III is a decent film even if it does pale in comparison to the original trilogy.
Andre: I liked it. Revenge of the Sith managed to capture sci-fi cool better than any of the other Star Wars movies, and almost stood up to the original trilogy in terms of character. It was a little heavy-handed at times, but overall a pretty good movie. So yeah, I liked it.
Leanna: It still surprises me how heart-wrenching the Obi-Wan/Anakin battle is. Going back to my previous review and Hayden Christensen being the Hottest Boy on Earth, his final scenes in this movie with fire blazing in his eyes definitely solidified that opinion in my youth. Cut to a few scenes later when Obi-Wan has literally dismantled him and leaves him for dead among the flames and swirling magma, you can’t help but feel for Obi-Wan when he says, “You were the Chosen One! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them.” Devastating and iconic.
Ben: 75%. Revenge of the Sith isn’t a bad movie by any means. But by far the fights scenes in this film are some of the best in the Star Wars films whether you like it or not. For the first time in the franchise, fighting with lightsabers actually looks cool. And the intense fight at the end of the film is a decent farewell to an unfortunate trilogy of prequels. Although, I would have loved to see the descent to the Dark Side be more difficult for Anakin: for him to tap into the Dark Side and realize its power, but also how destructive it could be. Deal with that guilt, realize his addiction, but then make the decision to fully embrace the Darkness. What we actually see is a change that seems to happen in mere minutes and is hardly satisfying. Let me be clear: this film isn’t good, though. Darth Sidious isn’t the greatest character and isn’t as menacing as I would hope he would be, and Anakin is his usual self. But after coming off of Episode II, this movie was a breath of fresh air.