The Bombs: Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002)

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The chunk blowiest Star Wars of them all this is.Minor spoilers follow.Everybody told me how awful The Phantom Menace was, and while it was certainly the worst of the (at the time) four, it was watchable enough. In fact, if you'd taken out Jar Jar entirely and swapped Jake Lloyd for an actor it would have worked pretty well. Attack of the Clones, on the other hand, was damned with the faint praise of "it's better than The Phantom Menace" but for me it didn't even live up to that weak billing. My wife and I got all our entertainment out of the movie by making fun of it. Various issues:

  • A joke Yoda's grammar has become.
  • The first hour, except for one chase scene, is spent either politicking or building perhaps the most implausible wooing ever contrived. As bad as the wooing was, that "I killed them all. And not just the men, but the women and children too" was followed by wedding bells rather than warning bells boggles the mind.
  • The script, oh my god, the script. Even if Lucas insists on writing his own plots couldn't somebody else (anybody else!) help out with the dialogue?
  • Hayden Manfredsinjinsin.
  • Except for swashbuckling, the Jedi have to be the most incompetent intelligence agency in the universe.
  • All the ships look better than they will in 30 years. I understand that effects are better now, but the liquid metal T-1000 crafts are just incongrous. I was highly aware of every. single. dazzling effect.
  • Jar Jar's few appearances are, ahem, more jarring than they are in TPM where you are constantly bombarded by his annoyingness, and thus rendered numb.
  • Obi-wan shows up at the hidden planet and they just tell him everything! So the bad guys go to the trouble of deleting the whole planet from the Jedi archives (a feat marvelled at for it's impossibility) but there's no security at the site itself? A retinal scan? A password? A secret handshake? A doorman? For pete's sake, SOMETHING?!
  • It's a good thing Obi-wan inspires such trust as a spy, because as a mentor he's completely unable to notice Anakin exhibiting pretty much every taboo emotion in the book.

On the bright side, while my wife had some zingers, I think I scored the line of the night. Here's the scene. Yoda hobbles in, leaning heavily on his cane, his breath labored. As his big lightsaber duel is about to begin he sets aside the cane, straighens up, and neatly levitates his lightsaber out from under his robe and into his hand. He then proceeds to flip and pinball around the room, slashing at his much taller opponent. An impressive display, I must concede. After his opponent escapes, he holsters his saber, levitates his cane to his hand, and hobbles off, breathing slightly labored, a bit of an osteoporostic bent to his walk. My line, delivered in my best Yoda-voice (which is fair at best): "Mmm, sore tomorrow I will be."I guess you had to be thereYou know what the worst part is? I'll still see Episode III when it comes out. I despise myself.

Beware folks Jim had his wheaties this morning. Dont you feel better after a good rant?

Of course I kind of liked Clones so I can not agree with your opnion but I certainly appreciate the sentiment. Hayden did suck though...

Yup, nothing like a good rant to get the blood flowing. I have to add that my wife and I had quite a bit of fun watching the movie, it was just for all the wrong reasons.

[comic book guy impression] Worst Star Wars ever![/comic book guy impression]
Worst film of 2002 by far.

Too easy to please I must be.

You and about a third the population, it seems. From my highly unscientific research, it seems a third hated it, and third liked it, and another third thought it was so-so. So at least you're not alone. :-)

I will concede that it was spectacular, and the effects might have suffered a bit on my tiny little TV screen, but in my book it's been a steady and steep decline for Lucas over the course of this series. Thank goodness for Irvin Kershner.

I did advise you to see it on the big screen. The chunks are much more impressive there.