A Saga In Review: Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones

 Matt shows his five year old son Attack of the Clones for the first time. The results are mixed.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is one of the best Star Wars movies of all time.  It had no parts that my son didn't like. It's just a solid movie from beginning to end.  He especially liked the bad guy because he was strong, and the best part was where the bad guy beat up and “almost killed” Anakin Skywalker.  Oh, that Anakin. What a pantywaist.

"Let's just sit here and give each other
crazy eyes for a while.
Then you can run off and ride that
 CGI beast in the background.
But first, let's get drunk on Romulan Ale.
Whoops. Wrong franchise."
But despite my 5-year-old son's glowing review, I did detect a few problems with Attack of the Clones, and it really goes to a bigger issue that plagues a lot of movies these days.  It doesn't make any sense.  When asked what were the bad guys doing, George really didn't have much of an answer.  I don't attribute that to the limited story comprehension of a kindergartner, either.  He gets what's going on in The Avengers and The Lego Movie, but why didn't he get Attack of the Clones?  Why couldn't he give at least a partial explanation of what the movie was about?  Well, that's because it's a mess.  I'm not really gonna spend any time going over the myriad plot holes, the inconsistencies in the characters, and how nothing anybody does makes any sense whatsoever because that's been done to death.  We all know all of that already.  Two major things bother me, though, and I'm gonna talk about them because I can't help myself but to be more than a little offended by them.

First, Yoda.  Let's take a look back at The Empire Strikes Back.  “Wars not make one great.”  “No!  No different.  Only different... in your  mind.”  “Judge me by my size, do you?  ...And well you should not.  For my ally is the Force.  And a powerful ally it is.”  That last one especially gets to me, I get chills just thinking about it.  That whole training montage is so incredibly powerful that people built almost an entire fake religion on just those bits we got to see.  And then we get the prequels, in this case, the damned Clones movie.  Yoda fighting with the Force (why was Yoda straining to use the Force to keep Obi-wan and Anakin from getting smooshed?  Doesn't “size matters not?” Whatever).  Yoda saying dumb things that make no sense.  Yoda whipping out his light saber and jumping and flipping all over the place wipes out all that magic in a few short minutes.

"They just called me a pantywaist.
I think it's time to execute some
little kids."
Yoda should never have been portrayed as a violent, ninja-like maniac.  Mr. “Wars not make one great” should never even touch a light saber.  Why not give the movie some interesting moments and have him take on Count Dooku in a creative, non-fisticuffs/lightsaber duel way?  Well, obviously it's because George Lucas just wanted to see the little green imp go out and fight this ridiculous battle.  Plus, thinking up something original, something we've never seen before is really hard work.  It takes a lot of time and effort, and I'll be honest and say that as a novelty, it is a little amusing to see him move like that (like I said, my 5-year-old son loved it) and violence can get you out of a boring jam really easily.  But does it make for a good movie?  Nope.  No transcendent wonderfulness here.  Nothing in this movie means anything.

And I'm going to completely ignore a smooth transition and just start complaining about the other thing that bothers me about not just this movie, but a lot of movies these days: the origin story.  I don't need to see Boba Fett's origin story.  The fact that we didn't know quite where he came from made him even cooler.  The same goes for Stormtroopers.  Had Lucas decided to keep doing Star Wars movies, would we have gotten origins for those two Stormtroopers from Ep. IV on the Death Star who were talking about the new model of speedsters coming out?  We don't need to know where everything comes from, even if the idea is good, the stories pale in comparison to the interesting or powerful things they do later.  Another good example is Spider-Man.  Peter Parker getting bitten by that spider is not as interesting or compelling as him fighting Dr. Octopus or Venom (also, Spider-Man, just like Star Wars, was ruined by clones, you can do no good with clones).  And the same is true here.  Anakin and Obi-Wan squaring off with Count Dooku just isn't as interesting as Darth Vader fighting Luke Skywalker for the first time in The Empire Strikes Back.  Anyways, origins for everything sucks.  Just tell a good story. There are plenty of good examples of telling us about a character without resorting to clunky exposition or a long, boring, nonsensical origin story like this thing.

"Artistic integrity be damned!!!
This paycheck will support me for years!"
And even though my son said that there were no parts of it that were bad, he got bored.  I give the kid credit. Man, he was determined to sit with Dad and watch the whole thing from beginning to end, but there is so much boring dialogue for looooooooooooong stretches of this movie, and his determination only stretched so far before he took a break to run a marathon around the living room before he could sit back down and watch bugs... do... something.  Do the bugs have a name?  I don't know, probably they do.  It doesn't really matter, they were on some fire/desert planet.  That's another thing, the settings for this movie were so dramatically different from each other, if you wandered out at one point and came back 20 minutes later you'd think that a different movie had come on.  It doesn't make any sense, there's little in the movie that strings it together.  But hey, not all is lost. My son loved it. For a 5-year-old, there were no parts that were bad.

Go and re-watch Attack of the Clones through the eyes of a kindergartner, you may be less disappointed, although no less confused.  Hell, all the actors on screen looked confused the whole time. So, you'd have company.


-Matt Streeter

Like clones? Want to win a vacation to Tattooine? Share this review, rebel scum.
StumbleUpon Reddit Pinterest Facebook Twitter Addthis