Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)

For many years, I staunchly defended Episode II as my favourite of the Prequel Trilogy, for many reasons usually relating to how awesome the rain planet of Kamino looked.  I mean, none of the Star Wars movies before it had anything really remotely resembling weather.  Yeah, there was a dust storm in Episode I, but really, it’s just wind, and Hoth in Empire Strikes Back was just cold, with another wind storm.  ANYWAYS, after watching it for the first time in years, well, it really isn’t as good as I originally thought it was, I still enjoyed it slightly more than Episode I, if only because of the payoff of Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) being the one character that is responsible for the downfall of the Jedi Knights.

The inherent problem with a Prequel Trilogy that isn’t a reboot, is that while yes, it is cool to see how these characters grew to end up as the ones we loved, there’s a lot less mystery to the story.  When Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) jumps out of a window on Coruscant to grab an assassin droid, I know that while he’s in a dangerous situation, he’s still going to be around come Episode IV.  This may shed some light onto why it seems McGregor is nearly always bemusedly smiling in every scene.  He has no fear, because he knows the history of his character has been written.  Kinda like another McGregor character, from Big Fish.

The Blu-Ray version is stunningly gorgeous, however director and writer George Lucas’ insistence on shooting nearly everything digitally looks downright terrible in some scenes.  Namely the digital stand-ins ones, like when Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is riding that animal but it’s not really Christensen, just a terrible-looking digital replicant.  Or at least to my eyes it appeared that way.  Lucas still doesn’t know how to direct actors, or write for actors, as is evidenced by many painfully written scenes and directing choices he was completely fine with.

Episode II is kind of the weirdest of all the Star Wars movies, as it is essentially a companion piece to Episode I and III, not really the truest of sequels.  It seems to be filled with half ideas that will bear fruition in the future, but it doesn’t feel like a whole product itself.  It’s hard to explain.  There’s the weirdness of the Coruscant scenes – namely the fucking bizarre and wholly out of place Dexter Jettster diner scene – as well as the action sequence with Anakin, Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), C3-P0 (Anthony Daniels), and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) on the planet Geonosis.  That scene is straight up a video game level and it is preposterous.

I balance all that terrible shit with the awesomeness of the rain sequence, the light shed on Boba Fett’s origin, the epic Jedi battle at the conclusion, where we finally see Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) whip out his purple lightsabre, and the sort of silly Yoda (Frank Oz) and Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) lightsabre fight.  All in all, the Star Wars movies are popcorn movies, epic space operas, and this one certainly is another one.  I rate it the same as Episode I, but I enjoyed it a bit more.

2 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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