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"She can't do that!"
Okay it's kinda funny when things in the execution begin going awry and Nute Gunray turns to Count Dooku and says: "She can't do that! Shoot her or something!" But it does lead us to the important question: Why didn't they just shoot them in the first place? The whole execution sequence is spent watching everyone in the balcony biting their fingernails in suspense as the Jedi and Padme escape harm. If they want them dead so bad then why did they pick this way to dispose of them. Of course the debate can be made that Count Dooku wanted to let Anakin go because he and Palpatine want him to join them. However I would counter that debate with this one: What if one of the monsters did eat Anakin?
The Titanium Crotch
There's this one scene where Padme jumps from a tall pillar and lands, legs spread, on the back of one of the execution monsters. Now I'm not a woman but I've read in medical journals that women do not have the same sensitive bits between their legs that men do. While this may or may not be true I still find if very hard to believe that a woman could perform this task and be completely unfazed by the whole thing. The jump had to have been twenty feet. I would be willing to bet that freefalling even a mere five feet and landing on your crotch would make you double over, man or woman. Of course my fourth grade knowledge of the female anatomy could be leaving me in the dark.
"This party's over."
So Mace Windu, everyone's favorite Jedi for some reason, shows up and saves the day. He puts his lightsaber in front of Jango Fett and actually says, "This party's over." It leaves one wondering if Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to be playing a Jedi in the next film. Crappy tag lines should not be permitted, this is Star Wars for God's sake!
The Rhineclone Cowboy
Yeah that title was pretty weak but what do you want from me? Maybe this is really minor but did Jango Fett really have to twirl his gun like a cowboy? Come on! Enough is enough! This is similar to one of the few problems I have with the original Return of the Jedi where Chewbacca yells like Tarzan. It's just completely kicks you in the face and throws whatever chance you have of getting lost in a fantasy world right out the window. Reminder: YOU'RE ON EARTH AND NONE OF THIS IS TRUE!!!
This is a total Hollywood action movie thing to do. Earlier on in the movie Anakin is telling Padme about a situation that required he and Obi-Wan to begin "Aggressive Negotiations". "What's that?" Padme asked. "Negotiations with a lightsaber." The scene could almost be let go except for at the end where in the middle of a battle they bring it back when Anakin asks her, "You call this a diplomatic solution?" To which she replies, "No, I call it aggressive negotiations." This may look better in print than it did on screen. Star Wars comedy has never been the pinnacle of humorous writing, but it's had its moments in the past. Now they just seem content to take punch lines from movies like Die Hard and Con Air.
Clone War Ethics/General Yoda
There's something about the scene where Yoda flies in on the ship and begins dishing out orders to clones that really sends shivers up my spine. This is the point in the movie where the real ethics behind cloning humans for cannon fodder really came into question. Yoda may not wish harm to come to his Jedi and he may want to extinguish this enemy threat before it gets even bigger but would Yoda, the all powerful and wise master of the Jedi, really stand behind an army made up of clones? Perhaps now that the Force is just some stupid things in your cells it may not matter but in the Star Wars that I remember, the Force was something a little more pure and mystical. I still think that this clone army would create some "trippy vibes" that the Jedi would not like. Yoda again falls a few notches in the respect category as this movie presses on.
After Mace Windu decapitates Jango Fett it is for some reason a big deal. They show the shock on Dooku's face as Jango's lifeless body falls to the ground. Mace Windu even seems upset by what he has just done. Why? This was a battle. Mace Windu kills plenty of other people without skipping a beat. Is it because he knows how cool Boba Fett is going to be? That can be the only explanation. Boba is upset by this, understandably, and he makes his way out onto the arena floor to mourn his father. In this scene he picks up his father's helmet and looks at it. One can't help but wonder why Jango's head didn't fall out of the helmet and roll around on the ground. It defies logic! Everyone in the theatre had to be wondering that. It would have been great because Boba would undoubtedly have been moved to hysterics.
I think I made it clear in my 78 Reasons to Hate Star Wars: Episode I article that Yoda's peculiar grasp of language doesn't seem to be the same as it is in The Empire Strikes Back. But it takes a turn for the worse in this film as he speaks almost normally at points. I still firmly believe that Yoda, who spends all of his time around people who speak perfectly, would have figured out how to talk in the 800 some odd years he spent training as a Jedi. I can see the emails pouring in right now telling me that it gives Yoda depth as a character and that it makes him unique and I understand that. I think Yoda's great but one has to wonder how Celine Dion can speak perfect English after five years and Yoda still struggles with sentence structure after 800. He gets all the words in there, he just can't seem to put the sentences together in the right order. It makes you wonder if he suffers from dyslexia. Strong is he with the force, but not strong enough to conquer his own dyslexia.
The Death Star
They showed it very briefly on a computer screen and it became evident what they were working on. I couldn't believe it. Lucas continues to amaze me with how much he can cheaply insert into this movie from the first three movies for no good reason. Then after this they showed the plans for the Death Star yet again but for a much longer time in case you were just too dumb to have noticed the almost subtle appearance of it a few moments earlier. What was even worse was the guy sitting behind me in the theatre that was genuinely amazed by this turn of events. The thing is that it just doesn't even make any sense anymore. Qui-Gon was Dooku's apprentice, Dooku was Yoda's apprentice, Vader was Luke's father, Boba Fett was a clone, etc. It's just so inane and boring now. What's next? Jar Jar was Chewbacca's father, Admiral Akbar was a test tube baby, Captain Panaka's illegitimate son is... Lando Calrissian! It doesn't matter anymore. The only thing at this point that could shock me is finding out that Palpatine isn't the emperor. That would genuinely shock me and could possibly be cool since it would be a twist. Everything else is just people mentioning shocking things as quickly as they can think of them without any regards to the plot. Plus, if it took them thirty years to build the first Death Star how come it took less than a year to build the second Death Star. An argument could be made that they begun building them simultaneously but I'm not buying that for a second.
Remembering Admiral Motti
An inconsistency side note
Admiral Motti, as you may remember, is the person in A New Hope that becomes frustrated with Darth Vader and says: "Don't try and frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Rebel's hidden fort..." and is subsequently choked by Darth Vader. Admiral Motti has got to be in his mid to late forties. Being a high ranking officer in the Empire he most certainly remember a time not to long ago (when he was about twenty) when there were thousands of Jedi who wandered the galaxy and were known by EVERYONE. He is undoubtedly from Coruscant, the home planet of the empire and former seat of the Jedi Council. If he really stretches and delves deep into the recesses of his memory he may even remember the Jedi having a huge part in Galactic Government. Admiral Motti is even credited with constructing the Death Star. We now know that he must have received those plans from Count Dooku, a former Jedi master.
In a much anticipated scene Yoda finally decides that he is going to kick some ass when he sees that Anakin and Obi-Wan are in trouble. So we see a struggle between Yoda and Count Dooku that while it is kinda boring shows them tossing lightning back and forth at each other and throwing around giant stone fragments. After a while of this going on Count Dooku says, "It is obvious that this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the Force but by our skills with a lightsaber." They don't bother explaining why this is. The only reason to assume they wouldn't be able to settle this with their knowledge of the Force is that it would be cooler to see Yoda fight with a lightsaber. Yoda should be above using a lightsaber, plain and simple. This battle sequence is simply pandering to the lowest common denominator because Lucas thought it would be funny and cool. Part of me even wants to think that this is cool but then I remember that it's really stupid. Yoda's Grover-like battle cry as he launches into action adds more insult to injury. His insane cackling makes you afraid of Yoda and even more afraid that you are really witnessing this and that it's not just a sick and twisted nightmare.
The Imperial March
Putting in the Imperial March is yet another way this movie incompetently combines things from the first three movies and completely ignores subtlety. As if the fact that the clones look exactly like Imperial stormtroopers isn't enough we are kicked in the side of the head by the Imperial March.
While I appreciate George Lucas' attempt at trying to rekindle the emotions felt by Star Wars fans at the end of The Empire Strikes Back I think that possibly it could have been done in a way where it wasn't just EXACTLY the same ending! Cut to guy with his arm around a girl, cut to prosthetic hand, cut to C3P0 and R2D2 making noise. It was the same damn ending. It wasn't nostalgic. It wasn't cute. It was cheap, repetitive and just plain bad.
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Jonathan Hales co-wrote Attack of the Clones with Lucas. I was very, very, very skeptical about this movie until I heard that Lucas had hired a co-writer. I then became merely very, very skeptical. After seeing the movie I am left with just one questions: What did Jonathan Hales do? This seems exactly like The Phantom Menace. This man is obviously nothing more than a yes man for Lucas. If he were a real co-writer with any sort of power he would surely have argued many points to Lucas. A New Hope was a good movie but what really made it and even Return of the Jedi stand out was the brilliance of The Empire Strikes Back. What made that movie great is that Lucas mapped it out, Lawrence Kasdan wrote it and Irvin Kershner directed it under the supervision of Lucas. That kind of collaboration turned an otherwise ordinary movie into a great movie. The fact that Lucas was naive enough to think that he could do everything himself with the first movie is absurd. After the failure of that movie that he tried again to do everything with no help or suggestions is preposterous! No matter how good Episode III is it is undoubtedly powerless to save the franchise. The final scene of Episode III has long been known to fans as the scene where Anakin puts on the Darth Vader mask for the first time. This sounds like it could potentially be an amazing and powerful scene to conclude this prequel trilogy. Unfortunately it's going to be handled by the one man who could possibly ruin something that conceptually great... George Lucas.
Reasons to Hate Star Wars
Episode I (78 Reasons to Hate!)
Episode II (64+ Reasons to Hate!)
Episode III (91 Reasons to Hate!)
The Nitpicker's Guide to Star Wars
Episode IV: Special Edition (12 Nitpicks!)
Episode V: Special Edition (8 Nitpicks!)
Episode VI: Special Edition (17 Nitpicks!)