star wars episode II

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is almost upon us and you know what that means… it’s time to revisit the rest of the Star Wars saga for the thousandth time (give or take a few viewings). To get through the final days leading up the biggest movie geek event of the past decade, we’re dedicating each day this week to one of the other six Star Wars movies. It’s time to chat about what we love about each movie and what we don’t love. It’s time to bring up the common nitpicks and the most beloved scenes, the tiny little details we love and the the concepts that don’t get enough attention.

Consider this your invitation to use the comments section below as a catch-all for any kind of Star Wars conversation you desire. This week is for you. The fan. Enjoy it.

Yesterday we took a look back at Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Today’s subject: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Christopher Lee

WHAT I LOVE

Christopher Lee Makes Dooku Look Good

If you want us to take a character named “Count Dooku” seriously, you had better cast him with a damn fine actor. By casting the legendary Christopher Lee, George Lucas showcased an incredible amount of taste. Here’s an actor who built his chops by transforming low-budget horror movies into bonafide events through sheer force of will. Of course he’s a welcome addition to any movie’s cast. Lee’s history of lending gravitas to genre projects makes him perfect for a Star Wars movie. He’s comfortable with the strange dialogue, unashamed to wear a goofy costume, and totally comfortable wielding a lightsaber. He knows exactly what kind of movie he’s in.

Ewan McGregor Gets Comfy as Obi-Wan

Ewan McGregor Gets Comfy as Obi-Wan

Episode I never gave Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi enough action, frequently confining him to spaceships while other characters ventured out to do something interesting. Episode II works to rectify this, plunging the future Jedi master into action as quickly as possible. It’s easy to imagine McGregor’s take on the character – cool, brave and rational – growing into Alex Guinness’ original take on the character. And that’s probably the best compliment we can give him.

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The Sheer Variety of Aliens

The world-building is strong with Attack of the Clones. Every frame of this movie jam-packed with aliens of all shapes, sizes and dispositions. From the crowded streets of Coruscant to the rainy cloning labs of Kamino, this Star Wars chapter really ups the ante for sheer number of aliens onscreen at all times. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the gigantic preying mantis starts wreaking havoc in the arena filled with winged, insect-like aliens.

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WHAT I DON’T LOVE

CGI Warrior Yoda

The Yoda of The Empire Strikes Back didn’t need a lightsaber. He didn’t even need to get into a fight. He was too powerful, too wise, too at-one-with-the-Force to consider violence the first solution to any problem. It’s hard to reconcile the Yoda who displays his power by lifting an X-Wing out of a swamp with the computer-generated Yoda who battles Count Dooku in a flashy lightsaber battle. It’s disappointing – the Yoda we knew seemed above this, somehow.

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Jedi Romance

“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here.” Fans who thought Jar Jar Binks was the lowest the Star Wars series could get weren’t prepared for Anakin’s romance with Padmé, which plays less like a doomed love affair and more like an irritated woman finally giving in to her stalker and marrying him just to get him to stop. It’s cringe-worthy at best and embarrassing at worst.

CGI Clone Troopers

CGI Clone Troopers

What? The gigantic budget didn’t have room for a few Clone Trooper costumes? Watching the live-action actors interact with CGI characters who could have easily been actors in practical costumes is baffling and a little embarrassing. Every scene with Clone Troopers has aged worse than anything else in the Star Wars saga.

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