16 reasons Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is better than you think

Oh, Attack of the Clones, what is there left to say about you? You’re one of the “bad” Star Wars movies, but not bad like Phantom Menace bad, more bland and forgettably bad. To the casual viewer, you may be remembered as the one with the cringe-inducing romantic dialogue. To the more committed Star Wars fan, Episode II is still sandwiched between the Jar Jar Binks, Jake Lloyd, and cartoonish CGI-filled Phantom Menace and the darker, epic standout of the prequels, Revenge of the Sith. Well, it’s my personal view that Attack of the Clones gets a bad rap, so here are some reasons why I think it’s underrated and deserves some reconsideration.

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1. The political plot is more thought out.

Instead of Palpatine’s convoluted political machinations in The Phantom Menace, which somehow involved trying to force the Queen to stay on Naboo and sign a treaty but also getting her to flee and call for a no-confidence vote, along with some kind of poorly explained tax and trade dispute, we get a simpler scheme. Palpatine just wants to use the Separatist movement to create a civil war to grab more power, and also wants to build an army.

2. Natalie Portman’s performance.

Freed from the need to be a monotone queen for most of Phantom Menace, we get a whole movie of Padme, rather than just the middle portion of it as in the last one. She’s more interesting to watch and the movie is better as a result.

3. Natalie Portman’s costumes.

They’re like a separate character all by themselves.

16 reasons Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is better than you think

4. Watto’s cameo.

Watto, that vague ethnic stereotype, whose action figure can’t really stand up on its own feet, who somehow was one of the best and most entertaining characters in Phantom Menace, returns for a funny cameo in Attack of the Clones with older Anakin. It’s the last time we see him on screen. Bye, Watto!

16 reasons Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is better than you think

5. Anakin and Obi-Wan adventuring together.

We were told what “great friends” they were in A New Hope, yet the decision to have Ani be a kid in Phantom Menace and the decision to insert the character of Qui-Gon Jinn in the backstory meant that they had little time together in Episode I. Although they split up for most of Clones, we at least see them work alongside each other for a little while.

16 reasons Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is better than you think

6. Jango Fett.

In a fascinating tale of fandom influence, an obscure character in the original trilogy with only a few lines became a massively popular phenomenon all his own. I’m referring of course to Salacious Crumb. Just kidding; I’m referring to Boba Fett, who due to his popularity was first resurrected in Expanded Universe books, and then was given a surprisingly cool backstory here in Clones. Jango Fett’s fight with Obi-Wan is great, and Temeura Morrison gives the character weight and presence.

7. Mace Windu.

Here, he’s given more to do than stroke his chin and say bad dialogue in bland, bored tones. Windu gets in on the action at Geonosis, fights Jango Fett and the Separatists, and gets to use his awesome purple lightsaber.

16 reasons Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is better than you think

8. It’s not just about the action.

Like with Empire Strikes Back, Clones, as the middle portion of the trilogy, is given time to settle down and not be as continually filled with action as the other two. We get some character exploration in the romance between Anakin and Padme (not so good) and get to see Obi-Wan do some investigative stuff instead of just fighting (which is the much better plot line). While there’s still a lot going on here in terms of the political stuff and Jedi Council scenes, it just doesn’t feel as rushed as the last chapter of the prequel trilogy. Some criticized the structure, with the last half hour to forty five minutes being almost nothing but action, but I liked the moments taken in the middle portion to slow things down.

9. A greatly reduced role for Jar Jar.

In a clear case of wisely responding to fandom, the overwhelmingly negative reception to Jar Jar’s role in Phantom Menace led to a much smaller, toned down presence here, where the character gets few lines but still plays an important part in the events shown.

10. Count Dooku.

As a character and main villain, Dooku is fun to watch here, due largely to the charm and charisma that Christopher Lee brings to the role. Where Darth Maul was mainly a cipher with some scary makeup and a gimmicky weapon, Count Dooku has wit and elegance, and a decent motivation, as a fallen Jedi frustrated with the corruption and ineffectiveness of the Galactic Republic.

16 reasons Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is better than you think

Sure, the character was somewhat sabotaged by the way he was treated in Revenge of the Sith, dispatched as an afterthought in a way that makes him look stunningly naive in retrospect, but that’s no strike against him here. (I’m excluding Clone Wars appearances in this discussion, because I haven’t seen enough of that show to know how the character is treated.)

11. Anakin’s “seduction by the Dark Side” arc gets the best treatment of the trilogy.

Whereas in The Phantom Menace, the character is too young, and in Revenge of the Sith, the arc is far too rushed due to the need to conclude the trilogy, and makes Anakin look far too stupid and gullible, in Clones we see an Anakin struggling with his own temper and chafing under external authority. The effect is marred by horrible and at times ludicrous dialogue, as well as a weak performance from Hayden Christensen (how much of that is due to the awful lines he’s given is a legitimate question), but it’s still something this film has over the other two.

12. Ian McDiarmid’s performance.

He’s effective at conveying Palpatine’s false sincerity while not ruining the effect by overdoing it. With the character he’s given, it would have been easy to go overboard, frequently winking at the audience. Instead, it’s a balance between the audience seeing the falsity without rolling their eyes at why the other characters in the movie around him wouldn’t.

16 reasons Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is better than you think

13. The “death sticks” scene in the Coruscant nightclub.

Three things make it great: the guy’s confused look during the mind trick, McGregor’s offhand, dry delivery, and the lines themselves. I like to imagine more going on that we don’t see, such as Obi-Wan casually using the Jedi mind trick in other trivial but beneficial ways. (“You don’t want that second order of cheese fries. You want to grab an apple and take a nice walk.”)

16 reasons Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is better than you think

14. The scene between Palpatine and Anakin on Coruscant.

It’s unfortunate that these two characters didn’t get more scenes together in the first two prequel movies, considering the importance of their relationship. I suppose it wouldn’t work in Phantom Menace because Lucas decided to make Anakin nine years old there. Still, we get this scene to show how Palpatine plays on Ani’s resentment and frustrations toward the Jedi, and uses flattery to get on his good side. Given this, the audience can extrapolate and assume that this is a pretty typical interaction between them. It would make sense that after an argument between Anakin and Obi-Wan for example, Ani goes to Palpatine for compliments and reassurance. Although the manipulation might seem obvious, Anakin is young and naive enough to make it believable that he doesn’t see it.

15. The Kamino scenes have a great feel to them.

From the stormy ocean exterior to the clean, shiny interiors, the foreboding music, and Obi-Wan’s uneasiness during his time there, everything about the scenes on Kamino just clicks with the viewer, and it has since my initial viewing of this movie in the theater.

16 reasons Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is better than you think

16. The Geonosis first encounter between Obi-Wan and Dooku.

The way this is staged is clever, with Obi-Wan suspended above, while Dooku circles around him and talks. This scene annoyed me when I first saw the movie, because I thought it was stupid for Dooku to give Kenobi so much information, just to assume that through mistrust he would reject it. It seemed too close to Bond villain territory, and spilling an evil scheme to an opponent just to gloat.

Now, looking back on it, I appreciate the scene, because I think Dooku just wants to sow mistrust, confusion, and doubt in Obi-Wan, doesn’t really care whether he’s believed, and also mixes truth with lies enough that he’s not exactly giving all his secrets away. It sets the stage for the Jedi to finally become more suspicious of Palpatine in Episode III, which by that time, is what Palpatine actually wants, so he can force a confrontation.

16 reasons Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is better than you think

The flaws of Attack of the Clones are glaring. The dialogue is frequently awful, especially in the romance scenes, and some of the performances are awkward and difficult to watch without squirming. In a smaller-scale, character-driven film, these flaws would sink it, but Clones is not that type of movie. As a fun, visually-driven space opera that fixes a surprising amount of things that The Phantom Menace got wrong, Star Wars Episode II merits another viewing from those who haven’t taken a look at it in a long while.

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  • Jonathan Campbell

    With regards to TPM, Palpatine never intended for Amidala to escape the planet. The Jedi were supposed to die and Palpatine would have drawn the crisis out. When she showed up on Coruscant he made up the “vote me Chancellor” scheme on the fly.

    Also according to Harden Christensen, George Lucas told him to act that way, over protest.

  • Darknight

    You, sir, are completely and utterly full of bantha poodoo. 😀

  • Immortan Scott

    I will say this about Christensen: he’s a great face actor. He’s good at conveying the rage that’s going through him after his mother dies. The problem is that he’s given dialogue so mind-bendingly bad, that not even the greatest actor could deliver it well. When he’s given good dialogue, you get a performance like his in Shattered Glass.

  • Cameron Vale

    What really shocked me about 16 was that there was some earlier dialogue about Dooku being too idealistic to turn villain, which I initially dismissed since you can safely dismiss pretty much all of the dialogue in the prequels, so when he had Obi-Wan suspended in that thing I expected a stock villain speech. Instead he was almost contrite, like he realized how bad this looked and was trying to explain himself, so that earlier hype about him actually made sense and informed his character. Then he attempted to turn Obi-Wan by revealing the discovery that turned him, that the Republic is totally controlled by a Sith named Sidious. And Obi-Wan rejected it, which makes sense since this was far too extreme and dark a thing for him to comprehend… but of course, we know that this is actually true! For just this one scene, the entire movie almost passes for clever and dramatic. Christopher Lee’s performance helps a lot obviously, but Ewan also sells this scene fairly well with visible growing discomfort throughout.

    • Except at the end of the movie he is talking to Sideous and is fully aware of the greater plan. If he actually were a Jedi trying to do the right thing against all appearances that would be interesting. But he isn’t.

      • Cameron Vale

        He was most definitely aware of the greater plan, but he felt that Sidious had basically won already so he had very limited options. This is probably also why he wanted Obi-Wan to join him.

        • Jonathan Campbell

          I think he was just trying to seduce him to the Dark Side. He is already a committed Sith by this point and is fully preparing to start an intergalactic civil war, after all. “Together we can destroy the Sith” is just the start of a corruptive process that would have ended with Darth Obi-Wan standing by his side. Remember the Rule of Two- a true Sith is someone who spends half their time plotting to kill their master, and even if Dooku honestly believes that the galaxy would be better off with Sidious dead (as Vader does), that doesn’t mean he thinks the Sith would do a bad job if a more benevolent Dark Lord (say…a certain Darth Tyrannus) was the one holding the power.

          Though more likely, as Yoda said, Dooku never expected Obi-Wan to join him and was just planting seeds of mistrust in the event that Kenobi somehow escaped (he may even have been planning that all along- any appearances to the contrary might just have been theatre, and he could have known full well that the Jedi was coming to Geonosis with the Clone army if Palpatine somehow found out and told him). The fact that it was true, that the Republic really is under the control of a Sith, might only make Dooku MORE of a bastard since he himself is Sith and he just knows the effectiveness of telling a sinister truth over a sinister lie, twisting the knife further. And again, there is always the possibility that he was just hoping that what he said might eventually lead to Palpatine being exposed and killed by the Jedi, leaving him as the new Dark Lord of the Sith, ’cause thats what Sith do.

          Though the more you consider all these different factors, the more complicated and multi-faceted Dookus’ game becomes anyway, so its all good.

          • Cameron Vale

            I always took the Rule of Two as a hint that the Sith don’t think very much about anything at all (it seems unlikely that anyone would kill their own master simply for the privilege of being killed by their student). In which case, it’s possible that Dooku literally believes (or somehow rationalizes?) that he’s defeating the Sith by becoming one himself. Or in other words, never his mind on where he was, and what he was doing.

          • Jonathan Campbell

            The Master is supposed to guard themselves against the student and is supposed to do everything in their power to stay alive- a student is a tool and a possible successor, but you aren’t supposed to simply “let them kill you”. In fact the masters sometimes kill their students when they have “outlived their usefulness” (case in point- Palpatine offing Dooku, then later telling Luke to kill his dad and become his new apprentice).

            It’s an ideological thing. The Sith know full well how dangerous the Rule of Two is to themselves, but they reason that its worth it since the alternative is to a) have many students (which only increases the chances of them killing each other and you), b) make everyone equal (which dilutes the whole philosophy and point of the Sith, and still might lead to infighting) or c) have no students at all (which handicaps the master who has to either do everything on his own on rely on less skilled / less useful non-Sith servants, plus risks the annihilation of the Sith order if the master is killed by some other means).

            Indeed, the danger is kind of the point- a master who does not fear their servants is a master who grows complacent and weak. Knowing that there is someone out there who wants to kill you, needs to kill you and is fully capable of killing you, and knowing that “out there” means “in the next room” means the master will be kept on his or her toes and thus, the Sith will be kept strong.

            In other words, the one thing the Sith are supposed to care about more than themselves is the Sith Order itself. Also, each student tends to have their own particular goals and ambitions that they bring to the Sith- Dooku does genuinely want to destroy the corrupt Republic and replace it with something better, and he does think that he can achieve this by becoming a Sith and perhaps, one day, getting rid of his evil and untrustworthy master; same with Vader, who wants to kill Palapatine so he can “end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy”.

            Dooku and Vader both know that Palpatine is evil and that they can’t make the galaxy better so long as he is breathing, but they also believe that they need to learn from him to become strong enough to achieve their ambitions- which includes killing him. Palpatine, in turn, knows exactly how much his students hate him and enjoys the game he is playing with them- and they know it too. But they go along with it because he is genuinely that powerful and scary and if they are going to kill him they need to do it right, and only after he has taught them enough.

            All this means that, even if they are against the Sith order, they end up perpetuating the cycle- and no, the irony is not lost on them, since they still feel that even if the Sith philosophy is selfish, it is still the best and surest way to real power, the power to achieve their ambitions, for all the risks they are taking with their lives and their souls.

            In that regard, it wouldn’t be hard to see at all why Dooku would believe that he can defeat (or perhaps, “change” is a better term) the Sith by becoming one himself, since if you believe that the Dark Side is stronger than the Light (which should be simple since we are told its power is intoxicating and is quick and easy), then of course you can be tempted to take lesson and instruction from the Dark Lord himself, since in your mind that is the only way to beat him- and if you are Dooku, beating Sidious is only part of the goal, if the real one is exactly what he says about saving the Republic from the corruption within it (and not just the corruption Palpatine represents). Not to mention that by the time Palpatine is a master of tempting his apprentices when they are “in too deep”, like the way he recruited Anakin when he had slaughtered a tribe, murdered a Jedi master, and feared the death of his wife.

            Its a game they all play for high stakes. Its not that they haven’t thought it all through; its that they think it through every day and decide its worth it. They are gambling, because the prize is that damn tempting. And they know damn well that the Sith and Palpatine were counting on this and that they are perpetuating the cycle, but they think it is worth it regardless. They might plan on continuing the Sith after they take over, and even the Rule of Two, just under a slightly different philosophy and direction, since they think that the strong still need to rule the weak in order to protect them and that the Rule of Two is the most efficient way to be “strong”.

          • Cameron Vale

            Is this an expanded universe thing?

          • Jonathan Campbell

            Actually no. More subtext.

  • Gallen_Dugall

    Frankly I gave up trying to rationalize the love/hate for these films. None of them are that good or bad.
    If forced to rate them I liked each of the prequels less then the one that preceded it. The first was marred by a blundering attempt to make it appeal to tiny tots (because kids like mindless dumb right?) but is the most watchable even if I do dose off during the endless NASCAR routine. The second one is okay but there’s massive backstory that is missing, it’s all “things happened off screen and now you get to see us react to those things” but at least they gave up trying to appeal to the tiny tots. “Revenge of the Sith” was nonsensical fan service which The Clone Wars series did a lot to rehabilitate.

    • Gallen_Dugall

      “Anakin and Obi-Wan adventuring together”

      This. We won’t get it now but a series bridging the gap between episode one and two in The Clone Wars style would have been welcome for backstory that gets hand-waved in the film.

    • Jonathan Campbell

      I think it would have made more sense if Episode II was actually Episode I, and the ACTUAL Episode II was set during the Clone Wars, showing us some of the stuff that ultimately happened in the shows and comics, so that characters like Grevious and Dooku got more actual screen time and development (we could have got Durge and Asajj Ventress as well, even).

      Maybe Episode II, then, could have ended with the climatic battle we see at the start of Episode III, Anakin murdering Dooku in cold blood and starting his fall to the Dark Side (that slaughtering an entire tribe of men, women and children apparently didn’t precipitate) and Anakin having his fight with Obi-Wan and becoming Darth Vader actually takes place only halfway through Episode III, so that we see more of Vader and more of the Jedi Purge, and they moved some plot elements around to make it work. Maybe a time-skip of something during the third film.

      Just brainstorming. Mostly I would have simply liked to see more of the actual Clone Wars on the big screen.

      • danbreunig

        Now *that* could have worked.

        I’m so used to the six SW movies as they are, but just to think how slick it would’ve worked if Attack Of The Clones were Part 1, Revenge Of The Sith stayed Part 3, and Part 2 would be The Clone Wars as a single stand-alone movie. And we already kinda had something like that.

        Before the 2008 movie actual titled “The Clone Wars” (i.e. Jabba’s Kid Is In Trouble: The Movie), Cartoon Network had a two-part miniseries taking place between movies 2 and 3. Collectively at around two hours it makes it standard movie running, plus we see plenty happening in the SW universe you know happens in the background but isn’t visually seen in the main six films (a lightsaber actually being assembled, for example), and the whole story ending with the “capture” of Palpatine and then turning into a segue of the galleon-style battle at the beginning of Sith. It fills the gap between Clones and Sith nicely, so much that I strongly prefer this miniseries to the entirety of the more famous Clone Wars series. Personally I found plenty of sufficient closure in this crudely drawn and animated in comparison two-parter, and it only took two hours as opposed to the more famous cgi series which stretched seven years.

        I’m just saying there already was something like what you’re talking about, but I’m guessing you’ve seen it already–and if not, it’s worth checking out to see what The Clone Wars would be like in a much more condensed package. The long Clone Wars series didn’t do much for me because it was way too much diving into one tiny span in the entire Star Wars history, when the same treatment could be applied elsewhere–i.e. why not a similar whole gigantic series about what happened between Sith and A New Hope? Apparently that will be rectified with the planned movies over the next few years.

        • Jonathan Campbell

          Yeah, I saw that mini-series- it was awesome. It also had a much, much better General Grevious (and like many, was my introduction to the character) than the rest of the movie verse had.

          Still, I do think the CGI series has a lot going for it. Main problem with doing a movie in the style of the mini-series would have been that said mini-series almost had TOO MUCH action; the CGI series is better for character development and drama and other such things. Needs some kind of balance. But yeah, that’s sort of the type of plot I was talking about.

          As for “why not a similar whole gigantic series about what happened between Sith and A New Hope?”…it’s called Star Wars: Rebels. It exists, it’s ongoing, and it’s the sequel to the CGI Clone Wars series. I suggest you check it out, since I heard good things about it.

          • Gallen_Dugall

            You guys are talking about the Tartakovsky series right? That series was terrible. It’s just storyless over the top pointless action. It’s actually worse than any of the prequels in how dumb it is. As I recall Mace Windu destroys an entire army with one move because “AW3SOM3!” I put that right next to Ewoks and Droids in the pit of Star Wars awful. It’s not quite Holiday Special bad. Not quite.

          • Jonathan Campbell

            “It’s just storyless over the top pointless action…As I recall Mace Windu destroys an entire army with one move because “AW3SOM3!”

            I KNOW! IT WAS INCREDIBLE!

          • Gallen_Dugall

            The Tartakovsky series is Star Wars Micheal Bay style.

          • Jonathan Campbell
          • Gallen_Dugall

            a dead link? No, a dead link is better than the Tartakovsky series. It took three determined efforts and a lot of booze for me to be able to sit through the entirety of Star Wars ANIMATED ‘SPLOSIONS!!!!

          • Jonathan Campbell

            Doh. Fixed.

        • NameWithheldByRequest

          I’ve been told that Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars has been thrown down the memory hole à la The Star Wars Holiday Special by Lucas. It’s unbelievable. I consider Clone Wars to be a minor masterpiece, not as good as Samurai Jack, of course, but it’s up there.

      • Gallen_Dugall

        I’m not enthralled by the “Live Action Movie” as it seems to be inferior to animation as a story telling medium, but certainly most of Ep I is pointless.

        But it will never happen.
        The films were made first and foremost to underwrite special effects R&D which is why they are so wonky. A lot of care went into the effects. The story is just there to string things together. We won’t see a reboot anytime soon since rabid fans claim the films are practically divinely perfect and can’t be improved upon… unless George gets bored again. If the new films bomb we might see a re-envisioning within our lifetimes but more likely the films will be okay and the franchise will continue to limp along.
        The best you could hope for is something to fill the bizarre gap between ep 1 & 2.

      • PhysUnknown

        Yes! Of the many problems these films had, one of the major ones was the pacing. I’ve always felt like Lucas didn’t think through the entire series before starting Episode I, and as a result, it plods along, and then rushes to tie everything up. Why do we need two hours of 6-year-old Anakin? How about a 30-minute intro, and then time-jump to young adult Ani (maybe meeting Padme then)? Show more of him doing Jedi things, and being an actual badass Jedi. Show more of his fall to the Dark Side (instead of, “whelp, I killed Mace, I’m evil now. Guess I’ll go kill some kids and then wait for Obi-Wan on this lava planet.”), and his evil actions as the non-masked Vader, or even as the masked Vader.

        There’s a great case that another blogger made that Episode I is completely pointless. Everyone introduced in that movie is either re-introduced in Episode II, killed off, or is Jar Jar. His point being that you could have no knowledge of the prequels and start with Episode II without missing anything important except a really cool lightsaber battle that is interrupted way too often with boring crap.

    • Cameron Vale

      Phantom Menace is a pretty good Star Wars cash-in, but a pretty bad part of the official Star Wars film series. So the love/hate divide there could depend on how you see it. After that though, I’d have to agree that there were diminishing returns, to the point that I’d say Revenge of the Sith is objectively terrible.

  • Gearóid

    I re watched Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith but just couldn’t watch The Phantom Menace and having hated the prequels for years I genuinely thought that they had somthing going for them after watching them that I missed all those years ago, there’s a lot more to them than I had previously thought.
    I personally think that Star Wars is overrated and prefer say Star Trek or Babylon 5, but by god when that new trailer came out for the force awakens I was blown away and hit the roof when I saw Han and Chewie.
    I never thought I would have buzz for Star Wars ever again and I agree with all the negative things said about J.J. Abrams but I am really hopefull now.
    Maybe it takes a few years to look at the prequels differently due to the unbelievable amount of expectation for them at the time.
    Here’s hoping that the franchise can get back its former glory that the fans deserve.

  • I’m with you on enjoying the Kenobi parts. Well…apart from the scene with Dex. Shudder.

    But even the investigation had the irritating aspect of tossing in “Sifo-Dyas” and never actually resolving anything satisfactorily. At least author James Luceno had the chance to do it himself later in Labyrinch of Evil and Darth Plagueis.

  • The_Stig

    Yeah, no.

    Though I will say II is a better film than I for one simple reason: It may be awful but for the most part it isn’t boring. Things actually happen in Attack of the Clones. You can’t say the same thing for TPM where all you’re doing is sitting through some lame kiddie movie with some bizarre subplot about galactic politics nobody gives a crap about while waiting for Darth Maul to show up and make the movie cool again. And no, the podracing scene isn’t that good.

  • PhysUnknown

    Going to have to respectfully disagree with you on most of this. Pretty much everything you mention is good…on paper. More Ani and Obi-Wan? Yes! Better acting? Yes! More backstory? Yes! Less Jar-Jar? HOLY CRAP YES! Unfortunately, in execution, it’s still terrible. Is the acting (particularly Portman’s) better in this movie? Sure, but that’s like saying the average February temperature in St. Paul is higher than Minneapolis. It might be true, but it’s still effin’ freezing!

    The second line of your closing paragraph nails it. The writing is terrible. Awful. Just…utter crap. Not just the dialog, but the plot, too (maybe it’s just me, but I find the political plot more convoluted than thought out). Add to that the horrible directing (shooting just to get the shots on film and moving on), and the movie is nigh-unwatchable.

  • Jonathan Middleton

    I agree with a lot with what you say for all its faults its a lot better than Episode I

  • jokmank

    Can I ask what is the point of these articles? That a movie most people agree is bad, is not AS bad as the writer’s imaginary idea of the reader’s opinion is? Why are people so obsessed with convincing the internet that there HAS to be SOMETHING to like in the SW prequels? I you like them, or find some value in them, that’s awesome. But actively arguing that there’s something positive in them, or that it’s less bad than some other movie, doesn’t prove the movie’s quality, but the arguer’s need for approval of watching or liking the movie. If you really like the prequels, that’s great. You don’t have to justify that to anyone. But if deep inside you know they don’t bring you joy or pleasure, or some other positive value, why forcing yourself into liking it or commiting to it, just because it has the name of the franchise that you are a fan of?

    • Gallen_Dugall

      “Can I ask what is the point of these articles?”
      Either click baiting or push back against the consensus of the hater majority.

      Maybe both.

    • Jonathan Campbell

      “You don’t have to justify that to anyone. But if deep inside you know they don’t bring you joy or pleasure”

      How do you know that?

      • Gallen_Dugall

        Meme truth. Once something becomes a meme it has a weight of fact that is totally independent of… facts. Attack of the Clones is the worst Star Wars movie and you just have to accept it. CONFORM!

        • Jonathan Campbell

          NEVER!

    • Isaac Khan

      Well put. I agree with you that you should not have to justify your answer for liking them

  • Endorenna

    You know, this article and other like it sadden me. Because I really WANT to like Attack of the Clones, for many of the reasons listed above, because it does some things right and has some great casting and interesting plots… and then it was all mangled by horrific dialogue and a lousy director who’s only good when talented people are checking everything he does, at least at this stage in his life.

    But, that gives me hope for Episode VII! Maybe this time, now that great Star Wars movies, bad Star Wars movies, and mediocre Star Wars movies have been made, maybe people with actual talent and skill can make Episodes VII-IX amazing. 🙂

    • PhysUnknown

      Yes! Most of this list showcases things that COULD have been awesome in this movie, but were never quite fully explored. Jango Fett shows up and has a kick-ass fight with Obi-Wan, introduces Boba, but we don’t actually learn anything about the character (other than his head being easily removed via lightsaber).

  • NameWithheldByRequest

    Saying that Attack of the Clones is better than Phantom Menace but not as good as Revenge of the Sith is kinda damning with faint praise, don’tcha think?

    The points in the article are well made, and I agree, as far as it goes. However, the prequels are still excruciating to watch, so boring, so overloaded with CGI, and, of course, the dialogue, my god, the dialogue…

    • ieyke

      The funny thing is that it’s NOT really worse than Revenge Of The Sith.
      There are a couple scenes in Attack Of The Clones you can cut cleanly from the movie, and then you’re left with a fairly okay movie with a little bad dialogue.

      Revenge Of The Sith has its shitiness infused throughout it. The entire movie is full of awkwardness, cheesiness, and dumb clumsy moments. They’re so woven into the fabric of every scene that they can’t be reduced or removed without breaking the movie.

      AotC is kind of a Star Wars noir movie that turns into a war movie.
      RotS is a clumsy, rushed, cartoonish, exaggerated caricature version of Star Wars. The actual Star Wars cartoons are significantly better than it.

      The Anti-Cheese Edit of Phantom Menace is a DRAMATICALLY better movie.
      The Anti-Cheese Edit of Attack Of The Clones is a better movie.
      The Anti-Cheese Edit of Revenge Of The Sith is still the same basic mess because the problems are so pervasive that they can’t be excised. You still have Obi-Wan riding chicken lizards, Greivous being crap, Amidala being whiny and useless, Anakin not making sense, Mace Windu dying a stupid death, a stupid video gameish lightsaber battle on Mustafar, a terrible origin for Darth Vader, plot holes, terrible dialogue, bad acting, etc etc etc.

      • NameWithheldByRequest

        I won’t defend any of the prequels because they’re all varying degrees of utter shite. We could argue over which exactly is worse than any other, but it would be like arguing how much crap you’d like to eat for breakfast. (My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that the Phantom Menace is the worst of the lot. The other two aren’t as bad, but that ain’t saying much… ) In any case, I wasn’t commenting that Revenge was better than Clones, only that praising one as better than the other isn’t saying anything complimentary about either film.

        • ieyke

          Fair enough.
          I agree.

    • Spn-86

      Except no, no, and laughably no again.

      Genuinely being dumb enough to complain about the overuse of special effects in a STAR WARS movie??? LOL

      what’s next; WAY too many guns in every world war 2 film??? SMDH moron

      • NameWithheldByRequest

        The problem with overusing special effects, especially in the case of the prequels, is that they are there for their own sake, not for the sake of the story. As George Lucas famously said, “Special effects are just a tool, a means of telling a story. People have a tendency to confuse them as an end to themselves. A Special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing.” Yes, George, exactly. The special effects in the prequels don’t add to the story, they detract from what’s happening in the story. In comparison, Star Wars had a ton of special effects, but they were in service to the story, not “an end to themselves” And, yes, if a WW2 film had guns everywhere or at least to the extent that the prequels overuse special effects, then I’d be complaining about that too. Because having too many guns without a story is a pretty boring thing…

  • What I like about Episode 2 is the costumes. Its the first time Ive seen a blog that would give credits to the costumes being used in this Star Wars series. Great observation!