A 10 year old Han Solo was going to appear during the Battle of Kashyyyk as an orphan being raised by Chewbacca. He would have helped locate General Grievous by finding part of a transmitter droid that was sending signals from Utapau, allowing Obi-Wan to find and confront the villain.
Liam Neeson has said that he recorded a cameo as Qui-Gonn Jinn, which was to feature in a scene with Yoda, further explaining the concept of a Jedi communicating from beyond the grave. In the script, the dialog (in which Qui-Gonn is heard, not seen) appeared in the scene in which Yoda is meditating on the secret asteroid base, just before Bail Organa informs him of Obi-Wan's return with Padme. The scene does not appear in the deleted scenes section of the DVD, however an unfinished version was included in the Blu Ray Release Box Set.
George Lucas allowed his friend Steven Spielberg to help design some sequences during pre-production. This was partly because Spielberg wanted the experience of using the 'pre-visualisation' techniques pioneered by ILM as he was going to use them for War of the Worlds (2005). It was also because Lucas felt that his roles as Writer, Director, Executive Producer and Financier were taking up too much of his time and he needed another director to bounce ideas off. Spielberg's main contribution was in the climactic lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin.
The subtitle "Revenge of the Sith" is a play on the working subtitle for Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983), "Revenge of the Jedi". For episode VI, that title was abandoned because George Lucas determined that revenge was not a suitable attitude for a Jedi. Since this film, however, is about the triumph of the Sith, "revenge" is entirely appropriate.
In the battle duel scene with Count Dooku, the imprisoned Palpatine originally had more dialog which he was to shout at Anakin. One of his lines pertained to Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) in which Palpatine exposed Dooku as paying the Tusken Raiders to kidnap, torture and kill Shmi Skywalker.
In 2007, Dr. Eric Bui, a psychiatrist in Toulouse, France, co-wrote a study that diagnosed Anakin Skywalker as having borderline personality disorder. When the authors reported their findings at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association they stated that Skywalker fit the diagnosis criteria: difficulty controlling anger, stress-related breaks with reality, impulsivity, obsession with abandonment and a "pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of ideation and devaluation".
In the opening sequence when the second Separatist ship is destroyed, a piece of debris flies into the Clone Star destroyer that shot it. That piece of debris is a Kitchen Sink. It was put in there by ILM as a joke from someone saying, "We're throwing everything in the sequence but the kitchen sink."
The film's final shot is meant to mirror the famous shot of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). when he looked out on the two sunsets. It is the only shot of the film kept in wide screen format on the pan and scan DVD release.
For some shots during the birth scene, the infant Luke and Leia are portrayed by an animatronic puppet. As this puppet was operated by Ewan McGregor, the cast jokingly referred to it as "Foamy-Wan Kenobi."
General Grievous's breathing problems in this film, as well as his exposed gut-sack (later exploited by Obi Wan) are caused by his brief encounter with Mace Windu in Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003). Mace Windu "force-gripped" Grievous as the General was making off with Palpatine, crushing the cyborg's chest panel. However, in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) Grievous is seen to have always had breathing problems prior to this.
One of the early concepts for General Grievous was a small child sitting on a floating chair, guarded by two IG88 droids from Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). George Lucas rejected this look as a child would not be taken seriously as the deadliest hand to hand fighter the galaxy has seen, which is how he wanted Grievous to be portrayed. Instead, part of the final look for General Grievous' face was inspired by the shape of a bathroom detergent spray nozzle.
Apart from providing the voice of R2D2 and the heavy breathing of Darth Vader, which he has done since Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Ben Burtt provided the voices for every Battle Droid, Super Battle Droid and Buzz Droid in Revenge of the Sith.
The scene of Vader and Obi-Wan using the "force push" on each other and knocking each other back originally had a force field graphic effect added, but George Lucas was not satisfied with its inclusion, thus the final shot did not have this effect added.
When Obi-Wan finds General Grievous on Utapau, his first words are, "Hello, there." In Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), when Obi-Wan is first introduced, his words to R2-D2 are, "Hello, there."
Body count: 171, the highest of any Star Wars film. This only counts bodies that are seen. If implied deaths are counted, the highest would be either Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) with the destruction of Alderaan and the Death Star, or Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) with the destruction of another Death Star, any ships near the explosion and construction workers.
All shots of C-3PO had the entire green screen set reflecting in his shiny gold armor, so digital effects artists in post-production had to digitally repaint C-3PO's armor frame by frame to remove any traces of the set.
Ian McDiarmid is doubled by a trained stuntman for his light-saber battles and more physically demanding shots, such as when Palpatine scrambles away from Mace Windu. As with Christopher Lee, computer effects were used to put the actor's face over the face of the stunt double. McDiarmid stated in numerous interviews that he was pleased that his character, even if not himself personally, was finally involved in some action sequences. For the sword fight between Windu and Sidious, however, the demands for camera angles and close-ups meant that stunt coordinator Nick Gillard had to teach the two actors the entire fight sequence, which was then shot partly with the stunt performers, and partly with Jackson and Mcdiarmid.
The final "Star Wars" film to be distributed by 20th Century Fox, which permanently holds the rights to the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and hands over rights to the prequel trilogy and the final two installments of the original trilogy to Walt Disney Studios after May 2020, due to the Walt Disney Company's acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012.
After the opening battle, as the transport lands at the senate building in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen the Millennium Falcon (or a ship of similar model, Corellian Engineering Corporation YT series YT-1300 Transport) can be seen landing. In the Expanded Universe Star Wars story outside the movies, the YT-1300 has been confirmed as the Millenium Falcon, then named Stellar Envoy, long before Han Solo owned it.
The squadron of blue-striped clone troopers that Darth Vader leads into the Jedi Temple is called the 501st Legion, named after an organization of costume fans, also known as Vader's Fist. It's members include Mike Johansen and Jeffrey M. Miller.
Gary Oldman had agreed to be the voice of General Grievous, but pulled out of the film because it was being made using actors who are not part of the Screen Actor's Guild, of which Oldman is a member. The role was read by Duncan Young on set, and finally voiced by Matthew Wood, who, being a Lucasfilm employee, submitted his reading under the name of Alan Smithee.
George Lucas originally intended have Peter Cushing reprise his role as Tarkin, years after his death, through the use of stock footage and digital technology. However, the idea was scrapped when the footage of Cushing was deemed unusable.
The Darth Vader mask for this film was rebuilt from scratch, using a new digital design to computer-lathe the base master, from which molds were made to cast the on-screen costume masks. The resulting masks are, for the first time in Star Wars history, truly symmetrical.
The opera house dialogue between Anakin and Palpatine was originally going to be set in Palpatine's office. This idea was aborted because the crew felt the characters had spent too much time there already.
Hayden Christensen's cockpit shots were filmed from just outside the front window of his Jedi fighter. When he put his feet in the proper position for operating the fighter, his knees covered up his face, so he actually had to stick his legs out the end of the fighter to get the proper shot.
As Yoda has been created digitally since Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002), one of the puppets of Yoda created for the filming of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) was used as a reference point for the ease of actors on-set during re-shoots in late summer 2004. Time in the Lucasfilm archives had not been kind to the puppet, which had acquired an incidentally comically contorted look on its face.
Bai Ling had filmed several scenes for the movie that were later cut. There was a rumor that George Lucas cut these scenes after Bai Ling posed for Playboy. He has, however, denied this rumor and has said that her scenes were cut 8 months before she posed for Playboy, and the photos had nothing to do with his decision.
Many viewers were surprised that Grievous could be trained in Jedi arts, much less wield a lightsaber. The answer is that when Grievous was constructed, he was given the blood of a Jedi Master, who had a high midichlorian count. With this connection to the Force, Grievous had no difficulty learning Jedi ways.
Near the end of the film C-3PO is to get his memory wiped by Captain Antilles. This is most likely why C-3PO does not know Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) as well as not being familiar with his home planet Tatooine or the Larrs who took him and Shimi Skywalker in during the previous film.
According to the extra material, the climactic fight between Vader and Kenobi took upwards of 70,000 man hours to create - doing the math, this constitutes the work of one man for more than 25 years, given roughly normal hours per day (which probably no one ever did working on this production).
This film more or less backs up Leia's claim in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) that she vaguely remembers her biological mother Padme. Though her face is not seen before Padme dies she is seen with her eyes wide open when she is adopted by Bail Organa and his wife implying Leia did see her mother's face. Luke's claim he has no memories of their mother is also supported as his eyes were closed after he was born and was seen fast asleep when Kenobi hands him over to Beru Larrs at the end of the film.
The planet name "Utapau" appears in the early drafts of two previous Star Wars films. In Lucas's first draft of the very first movie, Utapau was the home planet of Kane, Anakin and Deak Starkiller. The planet's desert terrain eventually became the planet Tatooine. Utapau was also the original name for Naboo in the first draft of the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).
Bail Organa's Corellian Corvette (the one with the white interior walls), the Tantive IV, then a CR70 model, was later retrofitted into a CR90 model and repainted. It was given to Princess Leia, and is the same ship that was captured at the beginning of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
When Vader is being fitted with the helmet and subsequently breaks free of the shackles, George Lucas decided at the last minute to change the position of Vader's arms from up to down by his side (the original shot can be seen in the trailers). This is why, after breaking free from the bonds, Vader appears to raise his arms, when in fact it is the necessary transition from computer-generated arms to live action arms.
At the end of the film Owen and Beru Larrs are seen looking at the twin suns of Tatooine before the closing credits. This scene is very similar to the more famous scene in the original Star Wars film where a fed up teenage Luke Skywalker does the same thing after he is refused by Owen to join the Imperial Academy.
The scene of Anakin and Padme at Padme's Coruscant apartment following his return to the planet early in the film was added long after principal photography. The scene was intended to lighten the mood of an often "dark" film, and helped with pacing in the film.
Prior to the official announcement of this movie's subtitle to be "Revenge of the Sith", several rumors had circled about as to speculation of the final prequel's subtitle. Such speculations included possible subtitles as "Rise of the Empire" and "The Creeping Fear".
The name of the Varactyl that Obi-Wan rides is Boga. Boga is the name of a popular soft drink in Tunisia, which George Lucas has also filmed scenes in. He even named a planet after a city in this country (Tatooine).
Contrary to some belief, General Grievous, while trained in lightsaber combat by Dooku, knows nothing about the Force and is not Force-sensitive. By saying "trained in the Jedi arts," he meant lightsaber combat only.
Members of starwars.com's "Hyperspace" determined the look of Obi-Wan Kenobi's new astromech droid R4-G9 by entering a poll on starwars.com between July and August of 2003. Presented with four different color schemes, they picked the bronze and copper design (not unlike the red domed R4-P17 from Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)). Naturally this droid became one of the earliest action figures released for Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005).
Anakin Skywalker is depicted three times on the film's official poster, more than any other character ever in a Star Wars feature: once portrayed by Hayden Christensen between Padmé and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor); once in a lightsaber fight with Obi-Wan, and once in the background, wearing his iconic Darth Vader helmet. Obi-Wan Kenobi is thus the runner-up with two depictions on the same movie poster.
Although no live-action location filming was done during principal photography, post-production filming was done in Thailand, Switzerland and China to represent background plates for the Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk.
WILHELM SCREAM: Early on in the film during the dogfight, as a laser cannon is destroyed, one of the clone troopers running by is sent flying from the explosion and the Wilhelm Scream is heard. In the original showings in theaters a Wilhelm Scream was also heard when a clone is shot out of his fighter in the dogfight (as the camera makes the long shot watching him float through space) - while the shot remains; the scream was removed.
The entire movie was shot on the Sony HDC-F950 High Definition camera, using Sony's HDCAM SR digital video format. The Camera itself retails for about US$150,000. George Lucas has said that he plans to never shoot a movie on film again.
The Clone Trooper vehicles featured during the battle on Kashyyyk are the ten-wheeled HV6 Juggernaut armored personnel carriers, while the mini two-legged AT-RT light walkers, and the AT-AP pod walkers are forerunners to the Imperial AT-ST mini walkers featured in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). In fact, the Juggernaut (also known as the Turbo Tank) is based on designs for the AT-AT Joe Johnston made for The Empire Strikes Back.
While sitting together with Organa in the senate listening to Palpatine declaring the new empire, Padme is wearing a circular hair decoration with an embossed wing pattern. This hair decoration is very similar to the rebel symbol which Luke Skywalker is wearing on his helmet in the older movies.
As Anakin settles into Palpatine's viewing box, take a look at box adjacent to the Chancellor's. It is filled with notable names from Industrial Light & Magic. Seated from left to right (first row) are Visual Effects Producer Jill Brooks, Animation Supervisor Rob Coleman, Visual Effects Producer Janet Lewin, (and back row) Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett, Visual Effects Producer Denise Ream, and Visual Effects Supervisor John Knoll. If you look at the shots that favor Palpatine during his wistful retelling of the Darth Plagueis yarn, you'll see Knoll sitting over his shoulder.
According to Ahmed Best, there was a deleted scene where, before he crowned himself Emperor, Palpatine mockingly thanked Jar Jar Binks for granting him the emergency powers that allowed him to take over the Galaxy.
In the german dubbed version, the Super Battle Droid that gets electrified by R2-D2 has added dialog. Right before he kicks R2-D2, he utters the line "Du spinnst wohl!" ("Are you crazy?"), making the scene more humorous and child-friendly.
George Lucas had previously promised fans that he would explain the mystery behind the erasure of the planet Kamino from the Jedi Archives in the previous film. However, Lucas abandoned this plot thread in order to devote more time to Anakin's story, leaving the matter unresolved on film. As a compromise, Lucas permitted author James Luceno to explain the mystery of Kamino's erasure and the origins of the Clone army in his expanded universe novel Labyrinth of Evil.
Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor began rehearsing their climactic lightsaber duel long before it was shot. They trained extensively with stunt coordinator Nick Gillard to memorize and perform their duel together.
This film marks only the second appearance of Tantive IV the ship that R2-D2 and C3-PO escaped from in an escape pod in IV. Ironically the ship is seen in both the first Star Wars film and this film which was set to be the original final Star Wars film.
The newest addition to Separatist army are the Crab Droids seen at the battle on Utapau, as well as the flying droid gunships and the NR-N199 Tank Battle droids at the battle on Kashyyyk which are in fact amphibious versions of the Corporate Alliance Tank Battle droids first mentioned in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002).
There is a rumour that Fox is legally fighting Disney to obtain the permanent rights to this film and its predecessors in spite of the fact that George Lucas sold the rights to the "Star Wars" name, concepts and characters. This rumour is fuelled by the fact that the "Star Wars" films are 20th Century Fox's highest grossing franchise.
After principal photography was complete in 2003, George Lucas made even more changes in Anakin's character, sharpening Anakin's motivations for turning to the dark side. Lucas accomplished this "rewrite" through editing the principal footage and filming new scenes during pick-ups in London in 2004. In the previous versions, Anakin had a myriad of reasons for turning to the dark side, one of which was his sincere belief that the Jedi were plotting to take over the Republic. Although this is still intact in the finished film, by revising and refilming many scenes, Lucas emphasized Anakin's desire to save Padmé from death. Thus, in the version that made it to theatres, Anakin falls to the dark side primarily to save Padmé.
The speed at which Anakin and Obi-Wan engage in their duel is mostly the speed at which it was filmed, although there are instances where single frames were removed to increase the velocity of particular strikes. An example of this occurs as Obi-Wan strikes down on Anakin after applying an armlock in the duel's first half.
At the time it was filmed, the prop representing Bail Organa's speeder was built from the windshield to the rear. It wasn't until post-production that the front of the vehicle's design was chosen. Lucas based the hood and front of the speeder on the design of the Tucker automobile. Unlike the Tucker, Bail's speeder only has the 'cyclop's eye' headlamp, and not the outer two headlamps.
While sitting together with Organa in senate listening to Palpatine declaring the new empire, Padme is wearing a circular hair decoration with an embossed wing pattern. This hair decoration is very similar to the rebel symbol which Luke Skywalker is wearing on his helmet in the older movies. This could be a visual reference to her being the first rebel, together with her comment about the death of liberty as Palpatine seizes power as emperor. Padmé is also giving birth to the two people who will play a significant role in overthrowing the empire years later; her being the mother of the Rebel alliance is therefore further emphasized by her wearing this hair decoration.
In Czech dubbing, both Darth Sidious' apprentices has the same voice. Bohumil Svarc dubbed Darth Vader in the original trilogy and in Revenge of the Sith as well. He was also regular dubber for Christopher Lee, including Count Dooku.
A glimpse at the original backstory as seen in the novelization of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) (as well as strongly implied by Leia's lines in said film) shows us that her mother, who is now known to be Padmé, was originally meant to survive Anakin's turn.
There exists concept art of a teenage Boba Fett killing Mace Windu during Order 66. Windu's killer was changed to Palpatine, as George Lucas felt Boba was far too young to believably pose a challenge to a Jedi Master.
Over a period of months, George Lucas would approve hundreds of designs that would eventually appear in the film. He would later rewrite entire scenes and action sequences to correspond to certain designs he had chosen. The designs were then shipped to "pre-visualization" to create moving CGI versions known as "animatics". Ben Burtt would edit these scenes with Lucas in order to previsualize what the film would look like before the scenes were even filmed. The pre-visualization footage featured a basic raw CGI environment with equally unprocessed CGI characters performing a scene (typically an action sequence). Steven Spielberg was also allowed to assist both the art and pre-visualization department's designs for several action sequences in the film. Later, the pre-visualization and art department designs were sent to the production department to begin "bringing the film out of the concept phase" by building the various sets, props and costumes. To determine the required sets, Lucas analyzed each scene with the staff to see which moments the actors would come in most contact with the set, warranting the set to be constructed.
While shooting key dramatic scenes, George Lucas would often use an "A camera" and "B camera", or the "V technique", a process that involves shooting with two or more cameras at the same time in order to gain several angles of the same performance. Using the HD technology developed for the film, the filmmakers were able to send footage to the editors the same day it was shot, a process that would require a full 24 hours had it been shot on film. Footage featuring the planet Mustafar was given to editor Roger Barton, who was on location in Sydney, Australia cutting the climactic duel. All other footage was forwarded to lead editor Ben Burtt at Skywalker Ranch in California.
A significant number of fans speculated online about the film's subtitle; rumored titles included Rise of the Empire, The Creeping Fear (which was also named as the film's title on the official website on April Fool's 2004), and Birth of the Empire.
Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu) said he knew that he must die in this film, so he told George Lucas he would only do the film if Mace Windu goes out in a blaze of glory and not "like some sucka". On an American late-night talk show, he confirmed that he did indeed have a meaningful death scene; and he does not go out like "some punk".
Anakin was originally supposed to just watch the entire fight between Palpatine and the other Jedi Masters, with Palpatine even having stolen Anakin's lightsaber to do so. The entire fight would have had Anakin debating on which side he was going to choose. They even filmed it, but they figured that Anakin simply watching the fight meant that he had already made his choice, so it was refilmed to the current one. Further, the final fight between Windu and Palpatine was supposed to be an all-over-the-place masterpiece, but due to George Lucas wanting Ian McDiarmid to do as many of his own stunts as possible, it was reduced to, largely, Windu forcing Palpatine down the hallway and then a bit of a scrap in the office before Anakin showed up and both started talking to him.
Palpatine's lightsaber fight with the other Jedi reveals a completely different technique than has been seen before. The chancellor uses his weapon like a fencing foil, striking with the tip. Since the beam cuts through any substance, this makes even a small strike a killing blow. Except for Mace Windu, all the other Jedi use the edge, which requires a wide space to deliver a stroke. This explains why Palpatine was able to kill so many Jedi in such a short amount of time.
The first draft of the script also explained the mystery surrounding Anakin's conception. In the confrontation scene between Anakin and Palpatine (where Palpatine confesses to Anakin he is Darth Sidious), he would also explain that his master, Darth Plagueis, used the power of the Force to will the midichlorians to start the cell divisions that created Anakin. This explanation was later deemed unnecessary by George Lucas and subsequently cut.
Chancellor Palpatine's strategy for maintaining power is known to political scientists, and is called Perpetual War. He comes to power through conflict with the Trade Federation, gains greater privileges through the Clone War, and solidifies his position through war on the Jedi.
A short clip of Yoda arriving with his ship on the planet Dagobah for his self-chosen exile was filmed, but not included in the final scene. According to producer Rick McCallum, he liked the shot very much, and he practically begged George Lucas to include it. However, Lucas preferred to keep the focus of the epilogue on the members of the Skywalker family (in order: Padme, Anakin, Leia and Luke). Yoda's deleted scene is included as a bonus on the DVD release of the movie.
The final scene on Tatooine, where Obi-Wan Kenobi delivers the infant Luke to his aunt and uncle, is often referred to as the "Harry Potter scene". Composer John Williams included a small 11-tone musical cue in the scene reminiscent of his score for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001). It can be heard when Obi-Wan arrives at Owen and Beru's house.
During the lightsaber duel scene with General Grievous, it is briefly shown that the second hand that Obi-Wan cuts off is holding a duplicate of Obi-Wan's lightsaber. This is, in fact, the lightsaber belonging to Jedi master Shaak Ti, who is seen being killed by Grievous in a deleted scene set aboard the Invisible Hand during the Chancellor's rescue.
In the first draft of George Lucas' screenplay, the movie was to open with a huge montage sequence showing the end of various battles of the Clone Wars on seven different planets across the Galaxy. Each planet was to be distinctly different from the other and was described as "Bridge world", '"Ring World", "Crystal world" and "Kelp world" amongst others. This idea evolved into the sequence where we see various Jedi dying at the hands of the Clones on different planets. Four planets made it into this montage: Mygeeto (Crystal world), Felucia, Saleucami and Cato Neimoidia (Ring World).
As the Darth Vader mask is being lowered onto Anakin's face at the end, there is a shot from his P.O.V. of the inside of the mask. There is a triangular silver item between the eyes of the mask. This item is the actuator (read-write mechanism) from a computer hard-disk drive.
When Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Palpatine are landing near the politicians in the transport ship, in the shot where they fly to the landing pad, you can see the Millenium Falcon docking into the bay at the bottom left side of the shot.
Silas Carson has two death scenes in this movie. One as Ki-Adi Mundi and the other as Nute Gunray. This is the third time he's died in a Star Wars movie. He was killed at the beginning of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) where he played the pilot blown up in the Trade Federation hanger.