Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Welcome to Star Wars week. On Friday, Episode VII: The Force Awakens opens in theatres around the world. In anticipation of this historic event, I’ve decided to rewatch the original six and review them here, with a new review coming out every day this week.

Well there’s no point sugar coating it, Attack of the Clones is the worst Star Wars movie ever made… so far.

When developing the original trilogy, George Lucas made an incredible story with a lot of mysterious references to the past. But making that past fit into a coherent movie has proven to be very difficult, as Attack of the Clones shows.

No matter what, Anakin Skywalker was going to fall in love, because as we already know, he has a son. But Jedi are not allowed to do that, for reasons not made that clear. They just aren’t.

That won’t stop Anakin however. He’s been waiting 10 years (he’s definitely aged more than that) to profess his love to Padmé and no matter the cost, he’s going to do that. The result is a movie where Anakin spends a lot of his time complaining about his emotions and frankly being very annoying. Characters are allowed to be emotional for sure, but the combination of a terrible script and bad acting from Hayden Christensen makes those scenes cringe worthy.

Thankfully, the consistency of the movie is so bad, Anakin only is emotional half the time. The other half, he’s actually enjoying life as a Jedi, smiling and cracking jokes. His emotional range is that of a light switch, on and off, on and off. Natalie Portman as bride to be Padmé doesn’t help matters. After Anakin confesses to the murder of hundreds of Tusken Raider men, women and children, she confesses that she loves him. Padmé never once thinks Anakin’s emotions are dangerous, she just thinks he’s cute.

The movie isn’t completely terrible of course. Obi-Wan Kenobi is a bad ass, easily the best character in the prequels. Also for the first time in the series, an army of Jedi are seen fighting together, including Master Yoda, who has become more energetic now that he’s a CGI character and not a puppet. And we see how the Stromtroopers came to be, an army of clones from who else, but Bobba Fett’s dad. Everything is connected. These higher points in the movie are fun, but unfortunately are few and far between.

It is an impossible task to connect all the dots in a universe as large as Star Wars. Lucas had to both start the Clone Wars and move Anakin down the path to the dark side in this movie. That’s hard to balance and unfortunately he didn’t succeed. While the events of the film do have important consequences for the films that follow, the execution of this movie as a stand alone experience is very bad. A low point in a great series for sure.

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