When most people say “Star Wars” it brings to life images of fascination, childhood whimsy and, for many of us, our first introduction into science fiction. Now throw “prequel” in there and you’ve got an abomination to God in the eyes of most nerds and the desire to force choke anyone who says otherwise.

In the opinion of controversial art critic Camille Paglia, however, one of the worst of George Lucas‘ franchise entries is actually the single greatest work of art in recent history. And given the title of this article, you probably already know what’s being brought up here is the dreaded Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

According to Paglia’s newest book, Glittering Images, the critic claims Revenge of the Sith as one of the premiere artistic works for our generation. In an interview with Vice, Camille praises the film for having some of the best examples of digital art in the modern era:

“The long finale of Revenge of the Sith has more inherent artistic value, emotional power, and global impact than anything by the artists you name. It’s because the art world has flat-lined and become an echo chamber of received opinion and toxic over-praise. It’s like the emperor’s new clothes — people are too intimidated to admit what they secretly think or what they might think with their blinders off…

I had considered using Japanese anime for the digital art chapter of the book, but it lacked the overwhelming operatic power and yes, seriousness of Lucas’s Revenge of the Sith.”

I couldn’t make this up if I tried for fear of a burning X-wing crashing on my front lawn. Did Paglia watch the same movie we’ve all cursed for the last seven years or was she on death sticks the whole time?

No, she was looking at it from an artistic angle and in her mind Revenge of the Sith held at least some kind of special meaning or symbolism that could make it the appear to be the best ever. Most of us would have never saw it the way she did, but it’s one person’s grand statement to the world. The odds of that actually being true however are approximately 3,720 to 1 and we’re not ones to listen to the odds.

What do you think? Is Camille actually making a good point or is this just an attempt to get a rise out of the art world?

Special thanks to Vice for conducting the original interview.

Category: Film

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  • Will

    If you completely ignore the bad acting and poor writing and just look at it from a visual stand point, I can almost agree with her. There is some beautiful imagery there.

  • furious orc

    This lady is an idiot.

  • “The long finale of Revenge of the Sith” If you include in this the duels between Skywalker and Obi-Wan as well as Yoda and Palpatine, then yes I can see where she is coming from. Unfortunately none of us can ever go back and unsee the rest of “Episode 3”, but I have to admit, if someone had just shown me that mash up of those two scenes happening, along with the music, I might have taken about an hour to re-hinge my jaw. Also as far as digital imagery goes its a pretty solid entry, I might get crucified for this but I think that Avatar might have been a better choice, in my opinion of course.

  • Dan

    I think that the cinematics were great. The acting and directing were sub par, but if you ignore how they tried to translate the story into a movie, the story itself is profound. I think that the giant metaphor is obvious and deliciously over-toned with fantasy. If what she is praising is the artists boldness in expressing how he sees a corrupt and crumbling world, then I see her point.

  • No question there are flaws in Revenge of the Sith. There are many scenes however, that are visually stunning, The opening space battle sequence for instance, and its flow into the crash landing of Greivous battlecruiser. Incredible sequence. The lightsaber battles are remarkable. These make up for the Anakin and Palpatine sequences at the opera, that manage to put me to sleep every time.

  • This is just pure BS like a lot of her extreme positions. Parts of the movie are visually stunning but what makes it the greatest work of art of recent memory? Art is more than just technical prowess … especially with movie making.

  • Strictly for the ending she is right, it makes the story go full circle and details Vader’s transformation which is artistically amazing. Also, if you listen to the first movie he did “fufill the prophecy and balance the force” because he slaughtered all but “one” jedi. Bad acting yes but artistically and cohesion wise it was great.