Attack of the ranks! We’re back and discussing the most romantic, lightsaber-packed episode in all of the saga: Attack of the Clones. Surprisingly, every one of us talked-up this film, having many fond memories while watching it. We even bumped up our scores during the conversation! Is Jango Fett the best character? Should his ship now be called Firespray instead of Slave I? Is Padme’s ship the coolest looking one in the galaxy? Tune in to this week’s fun episode obsessing over lore.
“I think it’s fantastic.” - Charley
Charley said it best, it’s a fantastic bridge between the two. He ranks AotC higher than everyone else, but only 0.5 higher than what I ended up with. He loves half of the movie; the other half (the love story) is cringy, which we all concur and we’ll get into later. For him, seeing the arena battle in the theater was amazing, and I agree. We see a lot more Jedi in action, the most lightsabers on-screen at any given time. And we get the cool execution animals! Charley also enjoys the debut of the brilliant and iconic line, “I don’t like sand.” For Amanda, it’s a fun script and a fun story. She loves those B1 battle droids, Kit Fisto, and she thinks Sifo-Dyas has the coolest name in all of Star Wars. Brody loved this movie the most as a kid. The nostalgia of the merchandise and toys runs deep in his memory. I’m in the same boat; I loved my arena action figures. This is the first one I owned on vhs so I watched it the most and memorized every line, which would’ve saved me in trivia but it was rigged this week!
“I’m so much more excited to talk about this one than Phantom Menace.” - Amanda
There should be lightsabers in every scene. The more the better.
Anakin should’ve killed Watto.
Padme’s ship is the coolest looking one in the galaxy.
AotC introduced the best character in Star Wars history: Jango Fett, played by Temuera Morrison.
For the lightsabers, who wouldn’t want more? I think they’re sufficient for this particular story, and Amanda says they are more colorful in this film. We do get Mace Windu’s purple blade for the first time, because Samuel L. Jackson willed it into existence! For the suggested death of Watto, this is payback for Anakin and all his years of slave-service to him. Once Anakin finds out Watto sold his mother, I think there’s room for a good ol’ beheading. Charley got really excited about this one and took over from here suggesting that Anakin could kill him after his mother dies, or in the shadows, away from Padme. Charley had many ideas. You’ll have to excuse my mistake in this recording: I said Padme’s ship was the Naboo Royal Starcruiser. I was wrong. It is the H-Type Nubian Yacht…aka the Naboo Yacht. Forgive my grave sin. Brody raises a good case for Temuera Morrison’s portrayal of the Fett’s and all of the clones. Charley said it best, “From one character you have an army of characters to choose from.”
“Is this my hot take or your hot take?” - Christian
Overall Score = 72.5
“It is very clear that George Lucas does not know how to write or direct romance in any fashion.” - Amanda
Now for the romance. We all know it wasn’t executed well. Per Amanda, “the lasting impression it left was just cringe. I feel like you can’t talk about this movie without using that word.” In the post me-too era, this would not age well. Although, we’re somehow still able to enjoy it. Despite the cringe moments, she and the gang love that it’s in there. However, she and Brody think it’s best viewed as a Shakespearean over dramatization. We all agree, the song Across the Stars raises the bar in terms of ranking the music. It’s so emotional, and it will play during Amanda’s wedding! That fireplace conversation though, “tormented by the kiss…” Charley says you’re afraid for Padme in that scene. I think Anakin cutting the pear was a crime. But maybe he knows best. After all, he can sense everything going on in that room.
“Episode II was Star Wars for me as a kid.” - Brody
Where this movie really shines is the lore. Brody would go as far as saying it propelled Star Wars the furthest in that area. This movie is like Obi-Wan’s cool little marble expanding into the galaxy map. Brody mentions his love for the execution animals (especially their sound effects), tons of Jedi igniting their lightsabers, an actual clone army, Jango Fett, and much more. I enjoyed the planet Kamino, the beginnings of Boba Fett (even though he’s kind of a snotty child), the seismic charges, and the concept of bounty hunters pursuing politicians and then fleeing into crowded space kenos, hence showing more of the crime-ridden side of Coruscant. Charley was entertained with the death star hologram and Anakin losing his arm. It’s not a good episode without a good amputation. He also loves the piloting, action sequences, and colors so much that he changed his technical aspects score from a four to a five! Amanda loves the costumes and dresses: “Sleeping in pearls!”
“I love it because it does more connecting than bringing in new things.” - Christian
Amanda also points out that we get to see the classic duo of Anakin and Obi-Wan in action as well as them getting separated, taking on their own obstacles. Speaking of, what if it was Anakin who was captured by Count Dooku and not Obi-Wan? Or what if Obi didn’t refuse to entertain Dooku’s ideals? The Count raises the bar as not just a simple black & white bad guy. He has a history with both Qui-Gon and Yoda. “He’s a political idealist, not a murderer.” He’s trying to change things on a bigger level, and Amanda rightly suggests that Anakin would’ve probably been swayed by him.
“This old philosopher wields it, and kills.” - Christian
I love Attack of the Clones. It really is a fantastic bridge, but it still stands strong by itself. For Amanda, The Clone Wars series has made her love this movie more. In theaters, it was hilarious as a kid seeing Yoda flipping around and shouting while fighting Dooku. Maybe he should’ve done less flipping and more questioning of all the dark shrouds surrounding these events. We get a deeper dive into Anakin and his internal conflict between saving his mother, fulfilling his duties as Padme’s protector, and of course their forbidden love. Brody says the story definitely moves the needle forward. You cannot skip it like Phantom Menace (gasp). Though, he believes Phantom’s practical and digital effects hold up better than Attack of the Clones. Too much green screen! I disagree, the CGI for Zam Wesell’s face changing upon her death was awesome.
“It is corny as hell.” - Amanda
Sure, the script and the romance may be corny, but Charley said it best: It’s fantastic. Despite Brody’s mentions of hollow characters, and Lucas not directing Hayden well, there’s a lot to be happy with in this film. He said it himself; Ewan McGregor is fantastic, Duel of the Fates during Anakin’s crime against the Tusken Raiders was perfect, and the Clones’ theme is…”fantastic.” Brody even dropped some knowledge on the team, sharing that a Jango Fett video game sheds more light on the backstory of his meeting with Count Dooku. I personally think it’s cool that Jango kept an unaltered clone for himself, and he treated him like a son instead of a servant or secretary. That father-son relationship was a great touch. Maybe he is the greatest character of the Star Wars universe? Don’t knock it until you’ve explored it.
*For our trivia segment:
“Watch the movie, she says Corde.” - Christian