When Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith hit theaters in 2005, fans were bracing themselves for what they knew would be an emotional and epic conclusion to the prequel trilogy. With the fate of Anakin Skywalker and the Jedi Order hanging in the balance, it was a film that promised to deliver on all fronts.
But once the credits rolled and the lights came up, many fans were left wondering: is this really it? Is Revenge of the Sith truly the last Star Wars movie?
At first glance, it might seem like a strange question to ask. After all, Revenge of the Sith was marketed as the final chapter in George Lucas’ epic space saga, with the tagline “The Saga is Complete” emblazoned across posters and trailers. The film wrapped up all of its loose ends nicely, showing us how Anakin became Darth Vader, how Emperor Palpatine seized power, and how Obi-Wan went into hiding on Tatooine.
And yet..there was something about that final shot of baby Luke Skywalker being held up against a sunset that felt like a promise. A promise that there could be more stories to tell in this galaxy far, far away.
Of course, at that time no one could have guessed just how many more stories we’d get over the next 15 years. In 2012 Disney acquired Lucasfilm and announced plans for a new trilogy of films set after Return of the Jedi. The Force Awakens hit theaters in 2015 and kicked off a whole new era for Star Wars storytelling.
But what about those prequels? Was Revenge of the Sith really meant to be their swan song?
It’s worth remembering that George Lucas himself had always intended for there to be six Star Wars films – three prequels and three originals. In interviews leading up to Revenge of the Sith’s release he spoke frequently about how excited he was to finally complete his vision for the story. He even hinted that there might be more Star Wars content to come, but made it clear that he had no plans to direct any more movies himself.
So in a sense, yes – Revenge of the Sith was always meant to be the last Star Wars movie directed by George Lucas. However, that doesn’t mean it was necessarily intended to be the end of the story altogether. As we’ve seen with Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and subsequent expansion of the Star Wars universe, there are always new avenues to explore and stories to tell.
In fact, in recent years we’ve seen a renewed interest in the prequel era thanks to projects like The Clone Wars animated series and its follow-up The Bad Batch. These shows have delved deep into the characters and conflicts introduced in Revenge of the Sith, giving fans a chance to see more of Anakin Skywalker’s journey and explore the wider galaxy during this tumultuous time period.
So while Revenge of the Sith may have been marketed as “the end” back in 2005, it’s clear that there was always potential for more stories to be told in this world. Whether or not we’ll ever see another prequel-era movie remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Star Wars will always find new ways to capture our imaginations and keep us coming back for more.