Any Star Wars fan will tell you that this was always going to be the prequel they were most interested in the final explanation of why Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader and came to rule over the evil Empire eventually to fight his son Luke for the destiny of the galaxy.

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, partly filmed at Elstree Studios, gets its worldwide release on May 19, and fans in Hollywood have already started queuing to see it.

Yet this is a film where everybody knows what is going to happen.

Herein lies the beauty of Revenge of the Sith it is the journey that is of interest, not the destination.

The film starts in an orgy of laser-beam space action, as Anakin (Christensen) and his Jedi master Obi Wan Kanobe (Ewan McGregor) attempt to rescue the leader of the Republic, Chancellor Palpatine, who has been kidnapped by the enemy.

A few fast lightsaber battles later, the audience barely has a chance to calm down before the plot thickens.

Anakin has a premonition that his wife Padme (Portman) dies in childbirth and vows not to let it happen. Then when the Jedi Council asks him to spy on his friend Palpatine for them, testing Anakin's loyalties, Anakin really begins to wrestle with his inner demons.

It is here that the movie comes to life in a more rich and complex manner than any of its predecessors. It is where the Star Wars saga grows up and comes of age. Star Wars started as a fairytale of a princess being rescued by a blue-eyed Prince Charming character and a fight against an evil masked warlord and ends as something of a violent philosophical debate about the essence of good and evil, human nature, politics and fate.

Lucas also seems to have drawn parallels between the Star Wars universe and our world there are similarities between the rise of Vader's Empire and Hitler's Nazis, and there also seems to be a veiled critique of President George W Bush.

Yet this does not mean the movie is boring for one moment. Aside from a few clunky lines of dialogue, and a few computer-generated moments 84-year-old Christopher Lee in a somersault-filled lightsaber duel occasionally looks a little odd it is hard to find fault with this movie. The actors do well despite the limitations of the script, the film looks amazing with spectacular action and scenery.

Like the best of the Star Wars films, this is a movie you will want to see again and again. It breathes new life into the series and makes you want to watch Star Wars Episode IV and the rest of the saga again even the first two prequels.

Time will tell, but it seems that Lucas has exceeded all expectations and come up with a cinematic event that compares favourably with the original three movies.