Sam and Zach’s Star Wars Countdown: T-minus 5 Weeks

As Sam and Zach continue the countdown to The Force Awakens, they review their second movie, Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Attack of the Clones ratcheted up the prequel trilogy, barely saving George Lucas from the utter failure of Menace.

Attack of the Clones include a wide variety of references that foreshadow the events that occurred in the original trilogy. These include original Death Star plans and the backstories of many characters. For example, fans learn more about original trilogy icon Boba Fett’s backstory when they meet spectacular Mandalorian mercenary Jango Fett, the father(ish) of Boba Fett. Also, another great nod to the originals is the final scene of the film, in which fans saw massive armies of clones, the Stormtrooper’s ancestors, and Republic Cruisers soaring above them, which are the predecessors of the Empire’s Star Destroyers.

Clones culminates in the titular attack on the Separatist base on Geonosis in a crazy, awesome fight scene, which is the CGI of the prequels done right. In this epic scene, fans truly got to witness the power of both the Old Republic and the Jedi, as Republic Gunships drop soldiers onto the battlefield and an abundance of colorful lightsaber blades erupts from the crowd of evil Geonosians.

Just as suddenly as Jango was brought into the saga of Star Wars, he was removed (as was his head) by Jedi Master Mace Windu’s amethyst lightsaber, in one of the coolest fight scenes of the prequels. We see more of Windu’s fighting skill and his implacable courage in the assault on the arena, proving that he is the most badass of the Jedi Masters. The ending to Clones is essentially a high-budget, science-fiction action movie with not a lot of plot. Essentially, it is Lucas’ attempt to shove as many cool special effects as he can into a small space. On the surface, the scene is epic and enjoyable to watch, but there is little substance behind it because all of the movie’s plot had been dragged out in the earlier scenes.

A problem with Clones is its molasses-slow plot, as much of the dialogue is dedicated to providing exposition and relevant information, setting the stage for galactic level conflict in the next movie, Revenge of the Sith. Although the tradeoff of action for these two movies is a good balance for fans, the slow boil of Clones is an almost painful experience for the viewer. The movie builds up the battle at the end, but by this time, the viewer has already endured over an hour of mediocre dialogue and bad romance.

Clones depicts an aging and annoying Anakin, who won’t stop complaining about how the Jedi Order mistreats him. Anakin should be grateful that the Order took him in despite protocol against accepting someone that old, a protocol that, if followed, would have prevented trillions of deaths and (arguably worse) the viewer from having to deal with one of the worst written romance in all cinema. Instead he spends the movie complaining about Obi-Wan’s ‘harsh’ tutelage. What infuriates me beyond this is the lost opportunity. Obi-Wan and Anakin could have had a witty and enjoyable bromance to justify Obi-Wan’s brilliantly acted sense of betrayal depicted in the original trilogy.

If his whiny attitude isn’t enough to make the viewer despise Hayden Christensen’s portrayal of the future-Vader, then the cheesy romance between Padme, portrayed by the talented Natalie Portman, and Anakin should do the trick. Lucas spends far too much time trying to develop a romance that ends up feeling more like a sappy teen drama than a science fiction epic. The excessive use of cliché romantic phrases was a painful attempt at showing the love between to characters. In the original trilogy, fans clearly understood the romance between Han and Leia without having to endure copious amounts of slow-paced and drawn-out flirting.

High Points: Battle of Geonosis, Foreshadowing, Supporting Characters

Low Points:  Bad Romance, Slow Plot

Summary: 2 out of 5 Battle Droids

About the Authors:

Sam Swoap, aka The Delivery Guy, is a Formula One driver/international art thief who uses his car to smuggle stolen paintings across international borders. He once outraced all of Interpol in a high-speed car chase down the autobahn. He enjoys working on his car and watching Real Housewives of Miami.

Zach Armet, Codename Pegasus, is the single greatest and most dangerous spy the world has ever known. His favorite food is artichoke quiche. I’ve said too much.

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