Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

I just finished watching episode 2 in preparation for running the next part of my Star Wars Dawn of Defiance Campaign. I had been working on the encounters as we gear up for our next session, and over this past weekend, I had an opportunity to visit some friends in Indianapolis. During the visit, my old Star Wars Old Republic game group was getting together to go see the re-release of The Phantom Menace in 3D – so, as much as I didn’t want to give any more money to Lucas, I wanted to share the experience with them. It was fun reminiscing about waiting in lines for 9 hours at the original release and whispering to my friends as the MANY kids in the theatre ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the spectacle – but, I still couldn’t help cringe at each mention of the midiclorians, and the “will of the Force”.

Anyways, with that background, and swinging by the Disc Replay to pick up a copy of Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 1, I thought it would flow well to watch Attack of the Clones again since I hadn’t seen it since the original theatrical release; so I picked up a DVD of that as well.

Well, I gotta say that my opinion of it hasn’t changed. The lines were so bad (especially between Anakin and Padame!!!), the storyline so contrived at times, the “wise” Jedi so clueless, and the directing so bad that it made excellent actors into bland cardboard actors, that I couldn’t help muttering and spouting off how just plain DUMB the lines were… and I thank my poor wife for putting up with me as she quietly read her kindle next to me (I was wearing earphones).

It was especially appalling as I decided to prolong the pain and watch some of the deleted scenes and featurettes.What particularly struck me, and pushed me over the edge to write this tonight instead of waiting until the morning, were the interviews with Natalie Portman. Now, she’s been one of my favorite actors since I saw her in The Professional when it came out – and it was quite telling when SHE HAD MORE EMOTION IN HER FACE DURING THOSE 45 SECONDS THAN THE ENTIRE MOVIE PUT TOGETHER.

The greatest tragedy in my opinion (and there are quite a few in the prequels)? Every action sequence is a reminder of how much cooler this whole triology could have been if Lucas had been content to let someone else write the lines and direct, and he went hands off after the initial vision… kinda like for Empire – the best of the saga.

So, I hope my players appreciate the pain I put myself through to give them a good time and immerse them in the Star Wars Universe.