The Bad? Well, it wasn't made clear up front that General Grievous wasn't a robot (or not entirely a robot), so the first time you see him he's walking with a limp and coughing. My initial reaction—a coughing robot. Cute (blech). Also, R2-D2 got on my nerves, fighting and rocketing his way through the first half of the film (really—apparently by the time “Star Wars” happens, he's run out of rocket fuel and has to be manually lifted into Luke's X-wing fighter). The rather quick conversion of Anakin Skywalker from Jedi Knight to Sith Lord (although the moments leading up to it were wonderfully done). Natalie Portman—C-3PO had more presence in this film than she did. And I'm having a hard time rationalizing why Darth Sidious had Count Dooku kidnap Senator Palpatine (if you've seen the film, or don't mind spoilers, I do go into some more depth).
Several of the fight sequences head off into woosia territory (woosia is the term applied to martial arts film where the participants in a fight run up walls, jump between buildings, walk along tops of trees, leap tall buildings in a single bound, that type of silliness) and in some cases, it just seems way over the top, especially given the participants.
Darth Vader's first Frankensteinian steps.
And the midi-chlorian issue is raised yet again in a conversation between Senator Palpatine and Anakin.
The Good? Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen (a bit less whiny than in “Attack of the Clones”), especially their duel on the volcanic planet of Musatafar. The scenery and special effects were wonderful (with a few exceptions, like the giant lizard Obi-Wan rides in the second half of the film). Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine.
The Eh? Yoda. Sadly, Samual L. Jackson as Mace “Jules Winnfield” Windu (if only!). The fight between Yoda and Darth Sidious (starts out good, then goes woosia). The fight between Darth Sidious and Mace “Jules Winnfield” Windu (starts out woosia, then gets better). The chemistry between Anakin and Padmé. And Bail Organa's ship, which was the original ship being attack in “Star Wars” (they recreated the sets which just looked so anachronistic compared to the rest of the computer generated sets it was jarring).
Overall, I liked the film, and I agree with the placement of it in the Canonical List of Star Wars Ordering. And hopefully, this will put to rest “Star Wars.”
I can only hope.
And younglings? Younglings? George, they're called “children!”