Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is a 2005 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the third prequel to the 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope, the third and final installment of the Star Wars prequel trilogy and the sequel to Attack of the Clones (2002). Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Ahmed Best, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and Frank Oz all reprise their character roles from the previous Star Wars movies with Hayden Christensen and Christopher Lee who reprise their roles of Anakin Skywalker and Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones, along with James Earl Jones and Peter Mayhew who reprise their role as Anakin's Darth Vader voice and Chewbacca (who makes a cameo appearance here) from the original trilogy.
The film begins three years after Attack of the Clones and nineteen years before A New Hope. The Jedi Knights are spread across the galaxy, leading a massive war against the Separatists. The Jedi Council dispatches Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to eliminate the notorious General Grievous, leader of the Separatist Army. Meanwhile, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker grows close to Palpatine, the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and, unknown to the public, a Sith Lord. Their deepening friendship threatens the Jedi Order, the Republic, and Anakin himself.
Lucas began writing the script before production of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones ended. Production of Revenge of the Sith started in September 2003, filming in Australia with additional locations in Thailand, Switzerland, China, Italy and the United Kingdom. Revenge of the Sith premiered on May 15, 2005 at the Cannes Film Festival, then released in theatres worldwide May 19, 2005, six years after the release of the first prequel trilogy film The Phantom Menace (1999). The film received generally positive reviews from critics, especially in contrast to the less positive reviews of the previous two prequels, receiving praise for its storyline, action scenes, John Williams' musical score, the visual effects, and the performances of Ewan McGregor, Ian McDiarmid, Frank Oz, and Jimmy Smits. It is the final film in the Star Wars franchise to be distributed by 20th Century Fox before the acquisition of Lucasfilm by The Walt Disney Company in 2012.
Revenge of the Sith broke several box office records during its opening week and went on to earn over $848 million worldwide, making it, at the time, the third-highest-grossing film in the Star Wars franchise, unadjusted for inflation. It was the highest-grossing film of 2005 in the U.S. and the second-highest-grossing film of 2005 behind Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The Star Wars saga continued with the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the first installment of the sequel trilogy, in 2015.