The first 20 minutes were terrible. When I think back now, they just blur into this mess of silly dialogue (although that was to be expected, it’s Star Wars after all ;) ) and fight after fight after fight. But it was absolutely worth enduring it all. Absolutely. Because that looong first part was followed by some of the best scenes not only of the “new” trilogy but in all of Star Wars.
That scene with Anakin and Padmé looking out onto the city in different buildings at sunset was absolutely breathtaking! It was probably the quietest scene in all 6 episodes and made it perfectly clear that it marks the turning point in the first (chronologically speaking) trilogy and is, after all, the reason for the existence of the second (“old”) trilogy. So atmospheric and touching. It was absolutely amazing.
I simply loved the last third (or second half?) of the film. It was dark, visually impressive and surpisingly violent; fatalistic in the sense that it was obvious how everything would end, you could see everything coming (because we know “the future”, episodes IV-VI) and just had to accept everything. No happy end could spoil this, although there is hope and, of course, knowledge that everything will turn out well in the end.
Yoda, Anakin killing the children, the whole volcano and “transformation” scene, Padmé’s funeral… highly impressive stuff.
My temporary favourite Star Wars episodes list (subject to change):
Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Episode IV – A New Hope
Episode I – The Phantom Menace