Yearly Archives: 2002

Send in the Clones

Attack of the Clones (George Lucas, 2002)

Part I: All Things Star Wars (The Story So Far)

I’m an unabashed fan of Star Wars… but lately when I say that, it always sounds defensive. I grew up with the original trilogy: while I was too young to enjoy the first two films’ release, they were a video fixture throughout my youth and I remember the excitement of seeing Return of the Jedi in cinemas in 1983. When Lucas re-released the trilogy in hacked-about versions in 1997, my disturbance at his poor creative decisions could not entirely stifle my excitement. As an adult cinema buff, this was my chance to experience the thrill of enjoying Star Wars properly, as a cinema experience. I knew the new trilogy was coming, and that every few years until 2005 I would get a new chance to relive the magic. In 1999, however, The Phantom Menace let me know I was in for a bumpy ride. A film so wretched in so many areas it almost defies any attempt to catalogue its faults (click here for my own attempt written at the time), it was particularly had to take because of the way it seemed to undermine the foundations of the earlier films. Entering the cinema hoping to be reunited with familiar characters, instead I had C-3PO with his skin ripped off. Wanting more quasi-mystical dialogue about Jedi knights sensing the “Force,” I instead was shown Obi-Wan Kenobi doing blood tests for “midi-chlorians” like an intern at the pathology lab.

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