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

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Steven Simon, May 12, 2002.

  1. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    The only things I really remember about AoTC was that it was the first film I saw in DLP, when that was a new thing for theatrical projection, and the asteroid scene when Kenobi is tracking Slave 1.

    I remember how visceral the twanging explosions from the mines he dumped were in the theater. I could feel my pant legs moving from the SPL during that scene.

    I rented it when it came out on home video because I wanted to see how that scene would play on the home system. Disappointed is the nicest thing I could say. It didn't even sound the same to me in the home version. It sounded like the sound had been edited for the home release. Anyway, I have never seen the film since.

    I might try watching it again on Disney+ sometime..
     
  2. Tommy R

    Tommy R Screenwriter

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    Was never a big fan of it, back then or now. Though in an attempt to not be toxic about it, I’ll say the basic plot of the movie is interesting, if a little hard to follow at times. There’s some legit excitement in the final act. It’s just a shame how badly Anakin and Padmé’s storyline comes off. Everything to do with them in this movie and the next are my only major gripes with anything Lucas has done with Star Wars.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm such a mental patient that I saw it 4 times in just over 24 hours on opening day. Me and a buddy went to the midnight show, we went again with another friend to a morning show, I went with my sisters when they got out of school in the afternoon and then me and my buddy went to a 10 PM show.


    Yep. I was bowled over when I first saw AOTC (hence seeing it four times in one day) and I still enjoy the movie but overall, I'd say it's the least successful of Lucas' SW movies.
     
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  4. AshJW

    AshJW Screenwriter

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    This is actually the only thing I have to complain about this movie. Everything else I like a lot.
     
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  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    What is about Padme and Annakin that people dislike? I think their dialogue was terrible and Annakin was miscast.
     
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  6. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I think it's the weakest film after TPM, but I always find a lot to like in it. I really like the opening shot of Amidala's ship coming through the clouds and flying over Coruscant. Immediately, we see that she is more grown up, which gives this movie a maturity that TPM lacked. I liked the stuff on Tatooine and it was a thrill to see the Lars farm recreated (as the Tatooine locations were this week on the Mandalorian! Wow!), and the stuff with Obi-Wan and Jango Fett is great. Love the battle in the asteroids. Of course, the battle at the end is the biggest ground battle we've ever seen in a Star Wars film.

    I always thought it's the Jedi that come off looking bad in this movie. When Padme says she thinks the attempt on her life in the beginning was Count Dooku, the Jedi say no, it was miners on Naboo. Mace Windu even says Dooku used to be a Jedi, so he can't be a murderer! This was a failing of the prequels -- Lucas is clearly showing how the Jedis' own arrogance and unquestioned belief system have corrupted them to the point where they're failing, but he never pays it off. It's all just left unsaid and the audience has to piece it together.

    Another thing that always bothered me: when Yoda is fighting Dooku, and Anakin and Obi-Wan are defeated on the ground, Dooku uses the Force to throw a big pipe or something at Yoda, and Yoda drops his saber and gently moves the pipe away from crashing on his friends, while Dooku escapes. Yoda, with his Force grip on the pipe, should have just smashed it into Dooku's ship, thus ending his chances of escape! Another instance is at the end, when the Jedi don't want to believe Dooku's claim that the Senate is under the control of the Sith lord. "We'll keep an eye on it," they say. That's it? Why not start an investigation? Sure, the first major galactic war in who knows how long has just started, but the existential threat could be under their noses and they just want to watch it? All of this is poor writing. Also, much has been said of the lack of chemistry between Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman. I agree. I also think Portman's heart is not in the role. She is a wonderful actress, but is often just not convincing. I also question making the man from whom the clones are derived the father of Boba Fett, who should have remained a mysterious character, not some kid who grew up with daddy issues. Too much background can be a bad thing. It makes the universe seem small.

    One area the movie really excels is showing us civilization for more-or-less the first time. Up to this point in Star Wars films, we'd only seen desert settlements, Cloud City with its meager population, Naboo's idyllic society and a brief look at Coruscant. This one lets us see huge parts of the population, and we get a sense of how their society functions. We even get to see an airport. Pretty much, we never see this much civilization again in the Star Wars universe.
     
  7. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    That's pretty much it for me. Plus, Christensen's and Portman's acting, in this film particularly, is just god-awful. Granted, the dialogue is preposterous to begin with, but there is absolutely ZERO chemistry between them, one of the major problems I have with the prequels. How can anyone be expected to buy Anakin's final push to becoming Darth Vader when this relationship is so completely laughable? IMO, here's a perfect example of Lucas' poor, ham-handed directing in the prequels.
     
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  8. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I don't really mind that as that's basically a hallmark of the SW movies but the actors in the other movies did handle the dialogue better than Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman did. Even when you look at Ewan McGregor in AOTC, he comes off much better so maybe Christensen and Portman suffered in comparison to the other actors because they had to create a more realistic romance and drama than the dialogue that the other actors were required to deliver.

    EDIT: I think Portman and especially Christensen do a fine jobs in Revenge Of The Sith when there's much less romantic scenes and dialogue for them to deal with so maybe realistic romantic drama isn't George's thing. :)
     
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  9. Chris Will

    Chris Will Screenwriter

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    This is my least favorite SW movie. I think the whole thing is terribly written, not just the love story. There is just so much cringe worthy dialogue in this movie that makes it hard to watch for me. The other 2 prequels have their fair share as well but, their set pieces are more fun to watch.

    The love story just kills this movie whenever it is on screen. One, they fall in love too fast and for no reason, it just happens. It’s not a love at first site thing because Padme dismisses Anakin at the beginning of the movie (“You’ll always be that little boy from Tatooine”). Then suddenly they are talking about how to keep their love a secret. What love? When did that happen? The love story feels like it is written by a toddler who only knows of loving his toys.

    I don’t like the Obi-wan mystery storyline as well. I just think it is poorly executed, not very interesting and a waste for the character. The 50s diner scene is the absolute low point of the movie for me. Ugh, seriously Lucas, we’re going to Waffle House in a SW movie.

    I don’t know what happened after Episode I, but the dialogue in II and III is so bad. Even with all the Jar Jar slapstick moments, TPM is still the more entertaining prequel IMO. I hate the quick turn to Vader in III. Anakin is trying to stop Mace Windu saying it’s not the Jedi way to kill. Then seconds later he abandons that Jedi way completely and becomes Vader.

    I don’t think AOTC was miscast, I think it is just poorly written and directed. They were doing the best they could with those horribly written love scenes. No actor could have made those lines feel sincere and real. Christensen and Portman have been fine actors in other films. They didn’t have much to work with here and not much direction either.

    I’m not a Lucas hater and I still enjoy parts of the prequels, not much of AOTC though. I think the prequels’ problems begin and end with the scripts. It is well documented that Lucas had plenty of help with the scripts on the OT. I don’t think that help was there for the prequels. I think the people around him were too star struck and just didn’t speak up like his friends did back on ANH. Too much “that’s gonna be great” and not enough “nobody talks like this George”.
     
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  10. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    The writing of these two character's dialogue is certainly one problem, but Natalie Portman is such an excellent actress that IMO the direction is what's mostly to blame here. Somehow McGregor was able to overcome it, and IMO his portrayal of Obi-Wan was THE best thing about the prequels.
     
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  11. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I agree and I'm a fan of the prequels. I don't really like the idea of Obi-Wan having gotten into adventures between ROTS and ANH but bringing back McGregor makes me put aside those concerns.
     
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  12. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    For me they're just a little less cringe-worthy, but still pretty terrible. ;)
     
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  13. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Well, I sat down and watched AoTC for the first time in years. Most of the film wasn't all that bad. What brought it down was the romance between Anakin and Padme.

    The real problem remains with Christiansen's performance. He was supposed to be awkward when courting Padme, but he didn't have the chops to pull it off. He just came across as stiff. He was more like a Droid than the actual Droids were.

    Also, the editing was poor. Just as the Kenobi story would pick up steam there would be an unimaginative wipe to the "love" story and the film would grind to a halt with Christensen's painful acting. I'm surprised Portman did as well as she did considering she was acting opposite a wooden man.

    The only other problem was Padme's unexplainable decision to put Jar Jar Stink in charge of heading the Naboo delegation, when it was constantly being stressed how important the upcoming Senate meeting was.

    The rest of the film was watchable, especially the arc involving Fett and Kenobi.
     
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  14. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    Wow. I saw it three times within the first week and thought that was something.

    I knew it had weak parts, but it was Star Wars, and it was pretty fun overall.

    The only SW film Ebert gave a "thumbs down". Too bad he didn't live to see the new films. I'm sure he would have loved them though.
     
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  15. JimmyO

    JimmyO Berserker
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    I wanted to contribute to this thread, but all the good points have been made. SO instead just a bad joke:

    - What do you call a space ship that prefers to dress casually?
    - A TIE fighter.

    (I'm sure I'm sorry)
     
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  16. RobertR

    RobertR Executive Producer

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    Lucas thought that people would think of this movie (or was it ROTS?) as "Titanic in space), causing me to wonder if he really was that clueless about his inability to write anything resembling a convincing love story.
     
  17. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    Yes, Padma and Anakin ruin it as mentioned, but for me what ruins the prequel trilogy as a whole was the lack of real motivation to steer Anakin to the dark side. Basically, he just comes across as a brat in the end. Perhaps such justification is probably hard to... well , justify, so maybe it would have been best to not do the prequels and leave Anakin's origin to our imagination.
     
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  18. Chip_HT

    Chip_HT Supporting Actor

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    I think that was Lucas giving the middle finger to the crowd that hated Jar Jar by giving him a pivotal role that makes him responsible for the original trilogy.
     
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  19. Message #5079 of 5081 Dec 15, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    Tommy R

    Tommy R Screenwriter

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    :laugh:

    Jar Jar never bothered me as much as everyone else seemed to be. He’s far more tolerable than 3PO.
     
  20. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    what What WHAT??!:emoji_astonished:
     
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