The Star Wars prequel trilogy — Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) — hit theaters, the trio of films was met with a somewhat chilly reception.
The Phantom Menace introduced Star Wars fans to Darth Maul (Ray Park) and young Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), and even gave them a glimpse of Anakin Skywalker’s (Jake Lloyd) childhood on Tatooine.
In the second installment, Attack of the Clones, moviegoers saw a grown-up version of Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) as he fell in love with Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), starting down the path that would lead him to become Sith Lord Darth Vader.
Finally, in Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars creator George Lucas took fans on a journey that culminated with the execution of Order 66, and Kenobi and Skywalker’s epic lightsaber duel on Mustafar, before Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid) “saved” Skywalker, officially turning him into the Dark Lord of the Sith.
Fans and critics alike slammed the films, largely for the existence of Jar-Jar Binks (Ahmed Best), but for other reasons as well. However, retrospectively — particularly in light of Disney’s divisive Star Wars sequel trilogy starring Daisy Ridley (Rey), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), and John Boyega (Finn) — nostalgia has gotten the best of many fans and the prequels don’t seem as dismal as they once did.
In fact, as Christensen prepares to reprise his role as Vader in Deborah Chow’s Obi-Wan Kenobi special event series on Disney+, some Star Wars lovers have reignited a Change.org petition for Lucasfilm to release the four-hour cut of Revenge of the Sith.
The description reads, in part:
Hello there! The original Star Wars: Revenge of The Sith (2005) cut was over four hours long, and we think that George Lucas should do the right thing and give the fans what we deserve and what is rightfully ours. We love democracy, and we hope he does too. By signing this you are letting your voices be heard.
It is worth noting that, when Lucas sold Lucasfilm, Ltd. to The Walt Disney Company in 2012, he gave up rights to control distribution and release schedules, so it is likely that the creator of a galaxy far, far away can no longer release the lengthy cut of ROTS on his own.
Nonetheless, the petition currently has 41,874 signatures, with a goal of 50,000. Although the petition was started three years ago, it has recently become popular again, with numerous signatures added within the past few days.
More on Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
The official description of Revenge of the Sith reads:
Discover the true power of the dark side in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Years after the onset of the Clone Wars, the noble Jedi Knights lead a massive clone army into a galaxy-wide battle against the Separatists. When the sinister Sith unveil a thousand-year-old plot to rule the galaxy, the Republic crumbles, and from its ashes rises the evil Galactic Empire. Jedi hero Anakin Skywalker is seduced by the dark side of the Force to become the Emperor’s new apprentice — Darth Vader. The Jedi are decimated, as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi Master Yoda are forced into hiding.
Do you want the four-hour cut of Revenge of the Sith to be released?