Nov 10, 2015
This week on The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast, Jonathan and Rem dig deeper into "Star Wars Episode III Attack of the Clones" from 2012 and directed by George Lucas.
When talking about the Star Wars, it's important to distinguish between the prequels (1-3) and the original trilogy (4-6). When discussing the prequels, the conversation usually turns to 'which one was least bad', and you'll find most people split, half think 'Clones' was better than 'Sith', but the other half hold the opposite opinion. Jonathan thought Clones was the best of the bunch, and Rem prefers 'Sith'. If we were to remove the awful attempt at a romance between Anakin and Padme, Clones actually becomes a tolerable story about an attempt to assassinate Senator Padme and the search for the culprit. John Williams turns out a fantastic music score as usual, and there were some very interesting sound desgin.
As we said, the romance between Padme and Anakin was poorly written, and the actors did their best with very poor dialogue. We'd love to have had more development of the Count Dooku character and his story line. Even though there was less Jar Jar Binks, there was a noticeable increase in the annoyance factor of C-3PO. Over all, Clones is a film that wasn't necessary, and didn't understand what it was trying to accomplish.
Considered one of the least worst of the prequels, "Attack of the Clones", like the other prequels really isn't required viewing. If you've not seen the prequels, good for you. Best to keep it that way.
By far, the WORST of the series!
I still cringe thinking about the scene where Anakin and Padme are in that field and Anakin starts riding on the back of some kind of giant cow-beetle. The special effects looked horrible here and I feel sorry for Natalie Portman having to share the screen with one of the worst actors ever in Hayden Christiansen.
I loved this episode! The realistic CG environments really pull you into the action plus we get the benefit of watching the chemistry between Hayden and Portman just sizzle on-screen. Just watching Anakin leer at Padme while monotoning: "From the moment I met you, all those years ago, not a day has gone by when I haven't thought of you. And now that I'm with you again... I'm in agony." Well that doesn't give me the creeps at all!
Episode 2 made me want to try some "Deathsticks"
I'm finding as time goes on, this is the episode that's the hardest to defend. George Lucas should never be let anywhere near a screenplay when romantic dialogue is needed. Just... no. Padme and Anakin's story the worst until it gets to Tatooine and it's no longer just them.
BUT, there are some cool things this film has to offer. I enjoy the story following Obi-wan as he investigates the clone army and chases Jango Fett. And I really love the battle in the arena at the end. That whole sequence progressing from execution to huge Jedi battle is actually one of my favourite scenes in a Star Wars movie, second only to the battle on Hoth.
The major downside is I feel that there was a missed opportunity here. I would have really loved it if it turned out that Count Dooku was actually a renegade Jedi who knew where the Republic was heading and turned out to be the beginning of the Rebel Alliance! In this movie he would be treated as a bad guy, but as an audience member, we see tragedy unfold as his attempts to expose Palpatine are thwarted by Obi-Wan and Anakin as those two try and do the right thing. I think that would have been a much stronger, bolder choice. But alas...
I mean, come on, since it's a prequel and we know how things are going to play out, might as well use that as an advantage.
I believe this episode inspired the documentary film The People vs. George Lucas.
Gentlemen and possible guest of any gender, I'm not sure if this is worse than Episode 1, (at the very most it is on par with that trainwreck). I remember when I went to see this at the Cinema, thinking how it was better and how cool the Yoda fight scene was, having revisited the film as a more discerning adult, I can't believe I was ever so naïve, maybe it was just the hopefulness of youth. With the exception of Ewan McGregor turning himself into Alec Guiness playing Obi Wan, there wasn't much to like about this film. Hayden Christensen was stiff and boring most of the way through, they didn't need to bring in baby Bobo Fett, and yes they had less Jar Jar Binks, but then went and added more of the second most annoying character in the series C3PO. Yes I said it. Deal with it and keep up the great work
Ton de Witte
I enjoyed the action scenes. The romantic stuff? Well, not the strongest stuff by Lucas. What I liked was count Dooku trying to recruit Obi Wan to the dark side. Those Siths are always busy trying to become the big boss and betraying the other Sith, just like Vader wanted to recruit Luke and Sidious having Anakin kill Dooku. Overall this movie is a victim of having to be a bridge, like I and III to the original trilogy.
Oh man, this is probably the hardest Star Wars movie for me to watch. Like Episode I there are a few good things to enjoy, I like the battle at the end with all of the Jedi (and can't complain about how Natalie Portman and her costume look during their "execution") and the really metropolitan world at the beginning I enjoyed. However, the good parts of this film are few and far between, and nothing as cool as Darth Maul shows up. Lucas makes these prequels focus on Anakin, but somehow finds the worst actors to play him...a huge failure considering this shifts the whole view of the original trilogy as well. I can forgive Jake Lloyd more than Hayden Christensen, because Jake was just a kid and it's harder to find good child actors I guess but ugh Hayden Christensen wtf. How could anything that Lucas saw in auditions make him want to cast this guy with no likability or charisma, then again I'm making the assumption that Lucas knows what to look for in actors. History shows that Lucas doesn't know how to direct actors and it really shows, also a lot of the effects are pretty bad so quite a fail all around on this one.
Also to answer the question you asked...no, this is not better than Episode I to me. Hayden Christensen's horrible acting really tips the scale and makes this the worst of the series for me. On the flip side Darth Maul helps me enjoy Episode I more, even if he was criminally underused.
I've been re-watching these with my daughter. Every time I see any of Episodes I, II or III I have a harder time listening to the dialogue. I think I would describe the feeling as increasing disappointment.
I think this was the best of the prequels. If you ignore the love story (no aspect of which isn't horrible) then it's a really good film. It has a real film noir mystery component which admittedly is hard to recapture on subsequent viewings but Obi-Wan as the gumshoe (a bizarre cross between Sam Spade and a Priest which I think really works) trying to unravel a mystery all leading up to an epic battle is a real strength of the film. I don't care how cool you were on the outside, when Yoda showed up and said "Around the survivors, a perimeter create" your inner child was yelling "F yea! Kick some ass Yoda!". And then he follows up this brigade commander badass-ery with a person lightsaber duel unlike any other. And the cinematic moment before that when Mace reveals himself by activating his purple lightsaber from just out of frame...these are some great Star Wars moments. Don't let that horrifically written and performed love story totally kill the film. I want a Phantom Edit that removes the love story and then you'll have a truly great film. I'd do the edit myself if I wasn't a year behind in editing on my YouTube Channel Vacation Impossible and deathly afraid of a lawsuit
I'm waiting with baited breath for the new movie - Star Wars: The Return of Jar Jar Binks!
worst of the prequels by a lot.
The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast is a member of the Podcastica Network, visit Podcastica.com