As Jedi and Storm Troopers patrolled the crowded aisles of the San Diego Convention Center in homemade uniforms, attendees packed into a crowded room to witness exclusive behind-the scenes footage from the next installment and to hear the heavily guarded title revealed. Representing the opposite side of the coin from Return of the Jedi, Episode III will be Revenge of the Sith.
The title, Revenge of the Sith, reflects the darker nature of the third episode in the Star Wars saga. In fact, Return of the Jedi was originally going to be called Revenge of the Jedi, but went through a subtle change when studio execs feared audiences would find it too negative.
Star Wars: Episode III will see the rise of Darth Vader as disillusioned young Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker is seduced by the dark side. In addition to seeing star Hayden Christensen don the dark helmet, fans are looking forward to the triumphant return of actor Peter Mayhew as hairy Wookie Chewbacca, a character that hasn’t been seen since 1983’s Return of the Jedi. Also returning for the final installment are Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Natalie Portman as Padmé, Christopher Lee as Count Dooku, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Kenny Baker as R2-D2 and Frank Oz as the voice of the computer-generated Yoda.
In addition to the introduction of Lord Vader, the film will give rise to an all-new villain named General Grievous. The fresh baddie made his first appearance in Cartoon Network’s animated microseries Star Wars: Clone Wars. The series of three-minute episodes was produced at Cartoon Network Studios.
Star Wars–Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, is scheduled to hit theaters with a nearly simultaneous worldwide release on Thursday, May 19, 2005.