On the last rewatch, I said that Episode II was the worst movie of the entire saga. I was not…disappointed. Or whatever the opposite of disappointed is. Let’s make up a word – propointed. I was not propointed by the Attack of the Clones. The entire movie is overshadowed by the dreadful acting of Hayden Christensen and horrific dialogue. Literally everything is wrong with the love story between Anakin and Padmé – from the creepy obsession that Anakin has with Padmé to the terrible cheesy dialogue. I have seen over 100 Hallmark movies, so I feel I am well qualified to opine on terrible cheesy dialogue. Attack of the Clones makes Hallmark movies look like Shakespeare. I am fairly certain a five-year-old could write a better love story. It is a pity because their love is such a vital part of the saga.
They did get something right, and it is even more pivotal to the saga than the love story – the death of Schmi (Anakin’s mother). Her death is the moment that Anakin begins his path to the dark side. His hatred and anger consume him and he slaughters every sand person in the encampment.
Even as a nine-year-old, Anakin is “too old” to begin the Jedi training. I don’t remember if it is explicitly stated, but it is because he has formed an attachment to other people, specifically his mother. Because of this attachment, it can lead to pain, fear, and anger – the path to the dark side. However, it is Luke that proves otherwise, because it is love that saves him and destroys the emperor.
For all the attempts at parallels between Anakin’s story and Luke’s story (and there are a lot of them), the one thing that does seem to be missing is the loss of his mother. The closest analogy here is Luke losing his uncle and aunt – he shrugs that off and says, “Good, now I can go off and join the rebellion just like I always wanted.”
One thing I forgot to mention about Phantom Menace which reoccurs here in Attack of the Clones is the prophesy “Anakin is the Chosen one, he who will bring balance to the Force.” I love prophecies, I think they bring something extra – they are usually cryptic and don’t exactly turn out the way you expect, but this prophecy makes no sense. Is the Force out of balance? It seems like that if anything the Force is out of balance in the Jedi’s favor, so anything that would “bring balance” would not be in their favor. This is clearly not thought out very well and probably could have been dropped completely.
With a competent love story, Attack of the Clones could have been a decent movie. As it is, though, the dreadful acting and dialogue sunk this movie – overshadowing anything they might have done right. Up Next: Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. I recall liking this movie far more than Episodes I and II. We’ll see if it holds up before we really get into the good stuff.
WWYT Rating: 5.0
IMDB Rating: 6.7