Full disclosure. This is not my favourite Star Wars film. In fact its my least favourite. But I still enjoy it. It’s just that sometimes I’ll struggle to watch it. Take my recent re-watch. I started it a couple of weeks ago. I watched about 45 minutes (around the Anakin/Padme picnic scene) the next time I put it on I got to Anakin searching for his mother.
I finished it a couple of days ago.
When it first came out I had already read the script and didn’t didn’t really have a problem with it, I was sixteen, I wanted to see the Battle of Geonosis so much, I was intrigued by Jango Fett, I was really excited to get more Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan and Yoda fighting, top of my list.
I already had tickets booked to see it twice on opening weekend but I happened to be in town the day it opened, just in time for the first showing and my friend asked if we should go. I of course leapt at the chance and on that viewing… and the three other theatrical viewings I loved it.
But something changed. I had a bunch of the action figures, and that summer I sold them. I have never done it with figures from any of the other films. When the DVD came out, I had it in my hand and I actually had to decide between that and Spider-Man (the first Sam Raimi film). Of course I bought Attack of the Clones but it was touch and go for a moment there.
I wrote about it in an exam essay on how digital technology could help and hinder art. I wrote about the CGI in AOTC and by god I wrote way too much and pretty much ranted about the film, but then praised it for how the CGI made the whole story possible.
Even to this day, even though I have made my peace with the idea, I still can’t get behind the CGI Yoda. Puppet all the way, well the OT puppet. The Phantom Menace Yoda puppet was awful, thank god they changed it to CGI for the TPM Blue-Ray release.
When 2015 came around and I rewatched the saga in the April I came to the conclusion that AOTC is my least favourite of the Star Wars films. I have learned to accept the poor dialogue, CGI Yoda and the massively implausible love story and now watch it with my own mental prism, it’s a great story but its poor execution with a bit too much fan service for my liking.
Did we really need to find out about Boba Fett’s origins as a clone of Jango Fett who is the DNA basis for the whole Clone Army? Not really on my opinion. I liked the mystery of Boba Fett.
The Yoda/Dooku lightsaber fight. After seeing Revenge of the Sith I think I would have like to see the Yoda lightsaber reveal with him fighting Darth Sidious rather that Dooku. Have the Force duel by all means but the lightsaber duel could have waited.
The waste of Christopher Lee. I wanted to see so much more of him.
All of Anakin and Padme’s romantic dialogue. All of their scenes start with uncomfortable silences that seem to go on forever with pained looks on their faces. A tad over dramatic for my tastes.
The overuse of CGI. Still not as much as ROTS but on Blu-Ray the backgrounds look a bit cartoony. I know they looked amazing at the time but it’s not aged well.
But it’s not all bad is it. The Battle of Geonisis, from the beginning of the arena battle to when Dooku escapes Yoda is phenomenal. The Speeder chase is great fun. I really love Obi-Wan’s storyline, going off on his investigation.
Despite my gripes I really do enjoy this film but it’s the toughest one of the films for me, I just need to be in the right mood.
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