After “The Phantom Menace” was released worldwide, George Lucas immediately begins a follow up called “Attack Of The Clones.” Lucas wrote the script in 2000, based on his notes he was writing at the time he was working on “The Original Trilogy.” He finished writing it, thus, the project was being developed for two years. Returning Cast Members from The Phantom Menace, reprise their roles including, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, & Ian McDiarmid. While newcomers to the series such as Hayden Christensen, Temuera Morrison, & the late Christopher Lee, signed on to partake in the second installment of “The Prequel Trilogy.”
Attack Of The Clones was released on May 16, 2002. (thirty-five years after A New Hope came out) It received mixed reviews from both fans and critics. Unlike The Phantom Menace, it didn’t earn this much money than the previous installment, despite the fact it was a box office success.
With The Last Jedi coming out this December, here’s my take on what’s good and what’s bad about Attack Of The Clones.
This article contains potential SPOILERS. If you’ve haven’t seen any Star Wars film, read at your own risk.
Mystifying & Pathetic Qualities
Mystifying: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Temuera Morrison, Samuel L. Jackson & Christopher Lee all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Action Sequences were cool, such as Obi-Wan’s fight with Jango & Boba Fett on Kamino, a Space Battle between them, a Battle Arena located in Geonosis, a factory scene resembling Minority Report, (this also came out the same year as Attack Of The Clones) and Yoda’s confrontation with Count Dooku. I’ll give Yoda, Bonus Points for using his lightsaber for the first time in Star Wars history.
We finally get to witness where Boba Fett actually comes from Jango Fett’s DNA, by cloning exact duplicates of himself.
Fun Fact: This isn’t the first time that Sam Jackson’s character, Mace Windu, fought a bounty hunter named Jango. Jackson went on to co-star in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” in which his character also encounters the title character, who almost has the same name as Jango, except the D is added, plus, the D is silent.
Some of the C.G.I. looked impressive for each planet’s environment including Coruscant, Tattooine, Naboo, Kamino and Geonosis.
A Wilhelm Scream is heard. Let’s be honest, you can’t have a Star Wars movie without a Wilhelm Scream.
I gotta love the part with Obi-Wan using his mind trick to persuade a death stick dealer into quitting his career as drug smuggler. I guess Obi-Wan must’ve taken Ronald & Nancy Reagan’s advice saying “Just say no.”
The only good part with Anakin, is when he sees his mother one last time, as he watched her die, due to her wounds from a couple of Tusken Raiders. As a result, he goes on a cold blooded rampage against them.
Count Dooku’s backstory was really interesting. He reveals to Obi-Wan that he was once Qui-Gon Jinn’s former master. I would definitely like to see a solo film about young Dooku during his early years as a Jedi Knight, prior to joining The Separatists and becoming Darth Sidious’ apprentice filling Darth Maul’s role.
John Williams’ Musical Score, has a decent soundtrack.
The Best Line in this film is, “This party’s over.” The Line is delivered by Mace Windu, after saying it, a swarm of Jedi Knights appear by igniting their lightsabers, by making me say “Oh heck yeah!”
On the 1:55:40 mark, there’s a Pause Worthy Moment, showing Ewan McGregor, who accidentally spots a watch. Does this mean, watches are part of the Star Wars canon? I thought it was clever to see McGregor wearing a watch as Obi-Wan.
An important scene with Dooku cutting Anakin’s hand, parallels between his hand got cut in “Return Of The Jedi,” as well as his son, Luke, in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Both Anakin, & Luke got their hands chopped off, due to being less experienced in combat, when it comes to a more powerful Sith Lord, and learn the true meaning of loss both externally and internally. I’m saying this because Loss is one of the Primary Themes of the Star Wars franchise.
Pathetic: Hayden Christensen’s performance as Anakin Skywalker, was horrendously bad. He’s like a whiny prom queen who’s seeking attention. Why did George turned one of the greatest villains in cinematic history as a male diva? Good lord! The American Film Institute (AFI for short) ranked Vader as one of the most iconic antagonists! George why didn’t you use your brain to make Darth Vader a tragic villain?
Chemistry between Anakin & Padmè, felt awkward and stiff like two six-year-olds partaking in a “Romeo & Juliet” play. In The Original Trilogy, Han & Leila’s chemistry in The Empire Strikes Back, was executed carefully, because the two have known each other during a gap between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, it worked out pretty well with Han’s likable masculine charms and Leia’s no nonsense personality as she’s really capable of taking care of herself. Unlike Han, (his future son-in-law) Anakin, was kinda creepy towards Padmè and she immediately falls in love with him. Nobody becomes attracted to a horny stalker in Real Life! Care to explain Helga from “Hey Arnold?” She wasn’t that unsympathetic when it comes to that one episode from “Helga On The Couch.” So Luke & Leia’s parents are unintentionally a stalker and a bimbo. Way to go George for ruining Anakin’s personal backstory!
Anakin’s nickname is still “Ani,” every time I hear that, I roll my eyes in disgust. As I have mentioned on my review for The Phantom Menace, hearing that nickname automatically plays “The Song’ll Come Out Tomorrow” in my head. I would rather listen to Dr. Evil singing “It’s A Hard Knock Life!”
For the love of cinema! The Biggest Con, that got me enraged as a Star Wars fan, is a scene with Anakin & Padmè having some sort of picnic together. As the scene continues with them talking, they both begin to giggle at each other, then the scene cuts to a whimsical running around in the grass sequence, then the two roll around together, to put salt in the wound, the scene ends with something that resembles an inappropriate image. As Doug Walker/Nostalgia Critic once said, “You know for kids!” I’m gonna have to Triple Down this horrifying con because the question is, “Am I watching an Epic Sci-Fi Fantasy Action-Adventure War Film, or a cheap knock-off of “Bridget Jones’ Diary?!” Could be worse, if they showed a scene that resembles Natalie Portman in “Closer.” I refuse to tell you what it is because you don’t wanna know! Luke, Leia, or Kylo Ren would be appalled or suffer a heart attack like Dick Cheney.
The Worst Line for the film is “I hate sand, it’s rough coarse, irritating and it gets everywhere.” The Line was delivered by Anakin. That’s not how you say a lame pickup line to get a girl to like you. Darth Vader use to have the coolest dialogue in The Original Trilogy, until George decided to come up with a lame one. Seriously, Anakin really needs a date doctor.
Although most of The C.G.I. looks immersive on a specific planet, C.G.I. however, looks very dated, as you can tell that the actors are in front of a blue screen, rather than an actual set or filming location to make it look realistic enough for the viewer. This makes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s C.G.I. form in as “The Scorpion King” from “The Mummy Returns” look more Oscar worthy to easily win “Best Visual Effects!”
When Anakin is making a dramatic speech on why he wants to save his beloved ones in order to prevent his precognitions (visions) from coming true, because of Christensen’s god awful performance, it becomes unintentionally funny to see him rambling about his flaw on witnessing his loved ones dying. When he’s finished with his speech, “The Imperial March” plays in the background after his hissy fit. I unexpectedly laughed. If you’re gonna play The Imperial March, you have to play it if Vader acts like Jason from “Friday The 13th” or brutally Force chocking someone for napping on the job or something like that!
Jar Jar was the one responsible for giving Palpatine/The Emperor, “emergency powers,” or in this case, to create a clone army of Jango Fetts. Congratulations Lucas, you just had to use that wild card on Jar Jar for giving him a prominent role for The Emperor’s prototype of The Galactic Empire!
When Obi-Wan questions Anakin on why Padmè is important to him, Anakin replies. By saying “She would do her duty.” I’m sorry but duty rhymes with something brown as in the candy bar scene from “Caddyshack.” If I wrote the script, I would’ve written the words, “Because she’s a valuable ally.” Screenwriting 101, George if I were you, give the script to your peers, in case they want to give you feedback. That’ll help you rewrite a couple lines to make it feel alright.
The Final Verdict: C-
In my opinion, I think this picture was a colossial disappointment of excrement. If it wasn’t for Anakin & Padmè’s romance, Christensen’s acting, or the fake looking C.G.I. the film could’ve improved if George had given his script to his peers to see if he needs to rewrite certain elements. There were good parts of Attack Of The Clones including Yoda’s fight with Dooku, Geonosis Battle Arena, Droid Factory scene, Obi-Wan’s fight with Jango Fett in Kamino and space.
Disney, if you’re reading this, take notes on what not to do if you’re making a prequel to a beloved franchise. Look at The Phantom Menace, and Attack Of The Clones, as grand examples to not screw it up.