Revenge Of The Sith is arguably the only Star Wars prequel that’s genuinely good. The story itself is fundamentally unnecessary: While it adds a slight bit of depth to Vader’s character in A New Hope, there’s nothing here we need to actually enjoy said classic. But on its own merits, it’s a fun slice of self-serious pulp.
Unless, apparently, you are noted feminist author and social critic Camille Paglia.
To be fair, Paglia is, in addition to being a controversy magnet, a respected academic and most of the time not nearly as daffy as she’s normally portrayed once you bother to read her work. And she’s not arguing that Revenge of the Sith is the best movie of the last thirty years.
She’s arguing it’s the best work of art created, period, in the last thirty years.
Well, what about Revenge of the Sith? You say it’s the greatest work of art, in any medium, created in the last 30 years. It’s better than… uh, Matthew Barney or Rachel Whiteread or Chris Ware or Peter Doig?
Yes, 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.
Then the interview turns to discussing why artists can’t take penises seriously. Which is actually part of Paglia’s ongoing work. Makes you wonder what she thinks lightsabers are.
There is, of course, more than a hint of “You goddamn kids” in this opinion, considering that Revenge Of The Sith is made by somebody roughly Paglia’s age in a mode that the word “old-fashioned” doesn’t begin to truly describe. She’s also willfully ignoring a lot of artistic work in film in favor of a movie almost nobody else actually thinks about all that much anymore.
On the other hand, it is fairly safe to say that Revenge of the Sith is better than a series of avant-garde movies named after a muscle found in the nutsack and filling a house with concrete. So we’re with you that far, Professor Paglia.