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

Qui-Gon John

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TravisR said:
This really wouldn't make any sense though. All the Jedi would know "Sido-Dyas" and recognize him when he emerged as Senator Palpatine. It really seems more like Sifo Dias was just a Jedi on the Council who was killed, perhaps under strange circumstances, (though it really couldn't have been someone recognized as a possible Sith who killed him, otherwise just a relatively short time later, when Darth Maul emerged, they would not have been unsure about him being a Sith...I think Windu says something like "the Sith couldn't have possibly returned without our knowing"). Then some time after Sifo Dias was killed, Dooku impersonated him in dealing with the Kaminos.
Other saga issues, (all relate to the approx 17-18 between III & IV - based on Luke's presumed age):
1. They did a great job with McGregor playing the younger Obi-Wan. But still, most men around Obi's age at the end of Sith, don't get quite so old looking and so much change in appearance over this time. Would be a bit more believable if like 30 years were between episodes.
2. I know the Death Star is huge, but it still seems a bit of a stretch it would have taken that long to complete it, remember, at the beginning of A New Hope, it is still not quite operational.
3. It seems a little strange that so many years later the Emperor is just dissolving the Senate.
4. Also, Luke mentions going to the Academy. Most likely he doesn't mean with the Empire, so the Rebel Forces have their own acadaemy? OK, but how can they have an Academy on some world, and be safe, and yet their main Rebel Forces are always on the run and in hiding.
5. I know C3PO's memory was erased, so his first discussion with Luke, some of what he said, like not knowing what planet he was on, makes sense. But he knows Leia, (on the ship, he says "there will be no escape for the Princess this time"). But when Luke asks who she is in the recording, he says he's not quite sure, a passenger on their last voyage, someone of importance he thinks. So why does he engage in this bit of deception or manipulation of the truth? Has he been programmed to be guarded against revealing certain details?
6. While Obi-Wan may not have ever technically owned R2-D2, he worked with him quite a lot, especially in ROTS, so he too seems to be holding a bit back by not acknowledging any of this to Luke. Also,Obi-Wan used quite a bit of force pushes and kinesis of objects throughout the PT. So how come now in Ep. 4, he never uses any of this? Did he forget? I doubt it.
7. I still don't really get Vader's dying after killing the Emperor. He got less force lightning than all Luke endured. And his equipment still seemed to be working, you could hear the breathing apparatus, etc. Looks like a quick contrived plot point. Also, if the Emperor was so powerful with the force, couldn't he have broken his own fall?
 

Greg_S_H

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Whoa. This started not long ago on Cinemax HD. And, it's OAR. We're up to the assassination attempt scene (apartment).
Still the best of the prequels!

Edit: In fact, it's the entire saga airing. Sith to follow, ANH to follow that, etc. Man, that would just eat all my HD space if I recorded them all. I heard it was going to be on OnDemand, so I'll check.
Edit 2: Ugh. All six are available on demand in pan-and-scan.
 

Jesse Blacklow

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Greg_S_H said:
Whoa. This started not long ago on Cinemax HD. And, it's OAR. We're up to the assassination attempt scene (apartment).
Still the best of the prequels!
Just posted a longer version of this theory at AVS, but Is it just me, or are all the movies extremely soft and poorly detailed for HD? Just for giggles, I compared my HD DVR versions from Cinemax with my DVDs upconverted through HTPC, and there's almost no difference. The films were shown in HD in Europe over the summer, and judging by the screencaps, they look much better than what we are getting. Are these upconverts? 'Cause they sure as hell look like it.
 

Simon Massey

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I still don't really get Vader's dying after killing the Emperor. He got less force lightning than all Luke endured. And his equipment still seemed to be working, you could hear the breathing apparatus, etc. Looks like a quick contrived plot point. Also, if the Emperor was so powerful with the force, couldn't he have broken his own fall?
2 things here. The physical side of it - yes the lightning would have affected all the circuitry of his suit and once he took his helmet off, he couldn't survive for long without it. Also, the spiritual side - he was kept alive by the Dark Side of the Force since ROTS, and once he turns back to the light, he can no longer live in the physical world.
I am sure like Mace Windu, there are limits as to how far a Jedi/Sith can fall before they die.
 

Cees Alons

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He got less force lightning than all Luke endured.
I'm sure the Emperor was only torturing Luke ("And now my friend..."). At that moment, his force lightning certainly wasn't set to 'kill'. Anakin most certainly got more.

Without his armour (and own command of the force) he wouldn't even have stood a chance.

Cees
 

Grant H

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If Princess Leia was well guarded (we don't see if she ever had an entourage that was mercilessly gunned down by Imperial troops, possibly stalling them for her to slip out on her own), it's quite possible C3PO had never been in the same room with her and didn't know what she looked like. But he'd have still known of her existence. If a bunch of the important people traveled in packs on the ship, he wouldn't have necessarily known SHE was the princess ihad he seen her, provided she didn't have a sign on her (assuming other women were aboard). This would explain why he knows she's a passenger of importance, but doesn't realize she's the Princess.
She served in the Senate, which you'd think people would see on TV, but Palpy may have shut down the cameras. The least public knowledge the better as far as he's concerned.
3PO wouldn't have known a female senator from the Princess, especially as it's likely her senator title that held weight, at least beyond Alderaan.
 

Grant H

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Jesse Blacklow said:
soft and poorly detailed for HD? Just for giggles, I compared my HD DVR versions from Cinemax with my DVDs upconverted through HTPC, and there's almost no difference. The films were shown in HD in Europe over the summer, and judging by the screencaps, they look much better than what we are getting. Are these upconverts? 'Cause they sure as hell look like it.
When you say, "all the movies" do you mean you've seen all of them or just some of them? I'd like to know which you've seen. Episodes II and III might look a little soft due to being shot on video, but should still look rather good. I'm guessing they had to do a new transfer of I (does this have the CG Yoda?). If they used the anamorphic transfer from the original DVD (pre-downconverted), that was flawed.
I have my theory that the 04 HD transfers of the OT won't look good on HD because they're totally screwed up color, brightness, and contrast-wise, pretty much sucking all the detail out of the films. They're clean, but that's about it. I wonder if the Cinemax HD releases are just another way of milking some more cash out of obsolete transfers?
 

MielR

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I'm curious about the HD presentations as well- I was just in the HDTV forum, and didn't find any threads there (I think that speaks volumes about peoples' attitude towards the ever-changing prequels and OT).
It's really too bad that the O-OT isn't getting the HD treatment. I think the fact that they're just showing the SEs and the Prequels has alienated a lot of die-hard fans, and really put a damper on what would normally have been a very exciting event.
 

Tim Glover

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Always fun to re-read these discussions...
Regarding the Death Star and it's slow to build issue. Lucas mentions on the Sith commentary that it was probably a stretch but the Empire had some labor and parts issues too that prevented it from being built sooner.

AOTC was alot of fun during it's theatrical days for sure. I got my money's worth and then some
Later on, home viewings and the excellent Revenge Of The Sith kind of dampened my view of it though. For some, Sith being so good helped smooth over I & II, but for me it created a rather large gap.
Need to give it a spin soon. Haven't seen it in awhile. There are some warts, but there is ALOT to love about Attack Of The Clones
 

Simon Massey

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AOTC was alot of fun during it's theatrical days for sure. I got my money's worth and then some Later on, home viewings and the excellent Revenge Of The Sith kind of dampened my view of it though. For some, Sith being so good helped smooth over I & II, but for me it created a rather large gap.
After seeing all 6 together, my issues more centre on The Phantom Menace than AOTC, largely because AOTC and ROTS are intertwined and central to the story. AOTC only has 2 principal scenes that really grate with me - the fireplace scene, and the "soft and smooth" crap. There are other little moments scattered about all the film I am not keen on, as there are with all 6 of them, but they are few and far between.
TPM has a larger number of scenes that are not necessarily bad but seem wasted time. ROTS is such a great film but it could easily have been made into 2 films with Anakin's turn happening at the end - story structure and some plot points would have to be changed but this for me was more central to the story than wandering through Mos Espa looking for spare parts for a ship.
 

Tim Glover

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Simon Massey said:
TPM has a larger number of scenes that are not necessarily bad but seem wasted time. ROTS is such a great film but it could easily have been made into 2 films with Anakin's turn happening at the end - story structure and some plot points would have to be changed but this for me was more central to the story than wandering through Mos Espa looking for spare parts for a ship.
Good assessment.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Ahead of The Rise of Skywalker two weeks from tomorrow, I'm attempting to re-watch all of the previous live action Star Wars movies in chronological order.
I attempted to watch Attack of the Clones last night, fell asleep during the speeder chase through Coruscant, and watched the film properly this morning.

The first thing that struck me is what a technical step down it is from The Phantom Menace. On DVD, I never really noticed so much, but in 4K streaming via Disney+ it's really obvious. There is no question that George Lucas transformed the process of making motion pictures with the prequels, just like he did with the original trilogy. One of the most transformative decisions was to film Episodes II and III digitally. That paved the way for the era of RED cameras and Arri Alexa cameras that have become the industry standard.

But those excellent cameras didn't exist when Lucas set out to make this movie. So he was stuck using 1080p cameras from Sony that just weren't ready for prime time, so to speak. The contrast range between white and black is much more limited, with lost detail at both ends. The live action elements are smoother than the live action elements from The Phantom Menace, but the picture quality just isn't there. Even though the compositing is solid, there's no getting around the fact that the live action elements are lower quality than everything around them. In fact, the scenes that were shot on location become more obvious, because suddenly the backgrounds are as low quality as the live action characters.

It was also the first Star Wars movie shot in Australia, and there is a technical stepdown that comes from shifting from the very mature filmmaking talent pool in the UK to a much less experienced filmmaking talent pool down under. The sets here aren't as good, and the supporting actors struggle to disguise their Australian accents.

All of that would be easier to overlook if the movie itself were better. The biggest problem is that nothing about the central love story between Anakin and Padmé works. The dialog is terrible, and Hayden Christensen was tragically miscast as Anakin. But the problem runs deeper than those execution issues. The movie never earns Padmé's decision to throw caution and sense to the wind and marry Anakin. All he does throughout the movie is have unattractive tantrums and express autocratic opinions that run counter to everything Padmé had been shown to care about. At one point, he confesses to mass murder, and she just comforts him like a little kid that accidentally threw a ball through a neighbor's window!

It's a tricky thing, because if Anakin had been shown as unabashedly heroic in this movie, his descent into the dark side in the next movie wouldn't have felt earned. But I think the movie needed to find a way for the audience to see the growing number of red flags, without Padmé knowing about them. In particular, his confession about the slaughter should have been to Owen instead of Padmé. The only thing she should have known about was that Anakin just lost his mother.

The villains' plot in this one is probably the most murky of any of the Star Wars movies released to day. It's not bad -- the logic of it all holds together -- but there's a lot to keep track of and a lot of dangling threads. Count Dooku is both the leader of the separatists and Darth Sidious's apprentice. Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas secretly commissioned the clone army behind the Jedi Council's back before his death, unwittingly playing into the Sith's hands. The assassination attempts on Padmé's life serve to both placate the Trade Federation, seeking revenge for their defeat at Naboo in The Phantom Menace, and to reunite Anakin and Padmé -- part of Darth Sidious's long-range plans to alienate Anakin from the Jedi maneuver him into being his new apprentice. The entire war between the Republic's clone army and the separatists' droid army is a fabrication to expand the power of Chancellor Palpatine. For a movie series that Lucas insists is for children, there are a lot of moving pieces to keep track of.

On the positive side:
  • Yoda is terrific in this movie. His scene with Obi-Wan and the younglings is one of my favorites in the entire prequel trilogy. And I'm firmly on the side of the Yoda-Dooku battle being awesome rather than ridiculous.
  • We get a bunch of new environments here that are pretty spectacular. I like how each planet and culture has its own aesthetic, with Coruscant being modern and neon-y, Kamino being retro-futuristic, and Geonosis being very earthy and integrated into the environment.
  • Far less Jar Jar Binks.
  • The fight scene in the arena is really effective. If we were really invested in Anakin and Padmé's relationship by that point, it would have played even better.
  • There is a wonderful foreboding quality to the movie. Each apparent Jedi victory feels like another nail in the coffin of our heroes' defeat. The audience feels it, and the characters feel it. But all are powerless to stop it.
  • The obvious choice would have been to have the Republic defeated by an external enemy. Having the Republic lay the seeds for its own destruction is a much more effective and interesting story.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I still love this movie.

I saw this four nights in a row the week it came out. I only had pre-bought the opening midnight tickets in advance, but kept getting invited by different groups in the following days and had no reason to say no.

What amazes me about that experience in hindsight is how all of those people said they loved it when we saw it, but now say they hated it. I don’t object to changing tastes but it’s a sign to me of how toxic this fandom has become in some quarters that some people can’t even admit they had fun 17 years ago even if they wouldn’t today. (I wouldn’t spend money on the Power Rangers movie in 2019, but I have no problem admitting I enjoyed it in 1995.)

Maybe it’s partly due to being locked into the age you were when you first saw a thing, but I don’t care about the film’s technical or dialogue shortcomings. I think, like all the Lucas supervised entries, that it’s a structural marvel, and Obi-Wan’s thread plays just as well today as it did then. The love story is corny, but I firmly believe that the intention was to craft a love story that had the corniness of the old serials that inspired Lucas. The dialogue could be better but the structure works, and that’s more important to me.
 
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