View Full Version : One Guy's Review...

Rollo Tomassi
01-28-2002, 05:21 PM
Certainly, we all have opinions, but here is one fan's review of the screenplay from AOTC courtesy of Garth Franklin, the cool Australian who runs www.darkhorizons.com. (It's not Garth's review, but he's a swell guy and I like to plug his website whenever I get the chance...) AHEM. Here's the review...

"Star Wars: Episode II" - A Review by 'Ali' (Very Positive, Frequent Minor Spoilers)

By all accounts, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was a disappointment. Sure the mind-blowing effects were there; weird aliens roamed the screen; the action sequences were dazzling; Duel of the Fates a revelation in film music. Was all that enough? For many, the answer was no. Oh yes sir, just like Lucas promised us all those years ago, we did at last see what the Jedi did in their prime. And we realised that they led pretty damn boring lives. The sense of fun was gone, the feeling of a boy’s own adventure that would make Mark Twain blush was non-existent.

All this is now a thing of the past with Attack of the Clones. Unless Lucas et al somehow manage to **** this up royally, this film will be remembered as the true Episode I to the Star Wars saga.

The story is simple, yet intriguing and grabbing at the same time. It has been ten years since the events of the Naboo conflict. The heroes have all gone their separate ways. Queen Amidala is now a senator to her planet and no longer the reigning monarch. Jar Jar Binks represents the Gungans in the Senate. Palpatine has tried (or has he really???) to reform the Republic, but to no avail. And Obi Wan and Anakin Skywalker have been off in many different adventures and the training of the latter Jedi is still going on, though the padawan is plagued by nightmares about his mother. In the meantime, a once venerable Jedi Master called Count Dooku has left the Jedi Order after the death of Qui Gon Jinn and the Battle of Naboo and, backed by a myriad of corporate forces (some of whom familiar), has taken up the mantle of the leader of a separatist movement including hundreds of star systems whose sole intention is to secede from the Republic: an action that will spell a cert ain doom to the Republic. As the film starts, Padme is on her way to Coruscant (the entire planet is one big city: thank you Mr. Exposition) to vote on a new kind of army that the Republic wants to create in order to deal with a possible armed uprising. The action kicks off the film as there is an assassination attempt at her in which her decoy is killed and which, to the disagreement of all the Jedi and the Chancellor, she believes was organised by Dooku. Chancellor Palpatine decides that the Jedi should provide her with some bodyguards and Obi Wan and Anakin are assigned to the task because of their history with Padme. A second unsuccessful assassination attempt on Padme leads to a massive chase through Coruscant’s heavy traffic and just as the Jedi manage to corner the would-be assassin, she herself is killed by a toxic dart whose origins lead to an obscure planet called Kamino. The Jedi Council to order Anakin to take Padme to Naboo and stay with her until further notice while Ob i Wan is given the assignment to track the origins of this dart. Not all is well though it seems, as Anakin’s nightmares of his mother continues, Obi Wan is suddenly given the responsibility of finding out why there is a massive clone army in Kamino waiting for action that seems to have been, unknowingly to them, ordered by a fictitious leader of the Jedi in the first place…..

The difference between the second prequel and its lacklustre predecessor is the return to a sense of adventure. The second main asset of the second prequel is the introduction of a new theme in to the Star Wars series: that of the Chandleresque detective story. I will come back to that later but let’s go deal with the feeling of adventure for the time being. In TPM, the characters did not live through adventure till the last scenes of the Battle of Naboo. The two Jedi went to seek the council of, or just plain visited, all sorts of boring parties in different parts of the universe. Attack of the Clones opens with a literal and proverbial bang and it does not let go. After some necessary exposition, the flick throws at us a what promises to be an amazing chase sequence that separates the main characters who each go off in their own different adventures. They are not trying to negotiate a tax deal this time around, they are all in a real sense of danger.

In an interesting and necessary twist, we are introduced to a completely new villain this time around. The death of Maul in the first prequel obviously foresaw this but it is nevertheless not a traditional Star Wars approach. An obviously very influential new villain in the person of Count Dooku is now the main baddie of the flick and his possible ties with the Sith are not revealed either way until the very end of the movie. Lucas and his co-writer Jonathan Hales do not introduce his character to us until the last third of the film, instead focusing on cryptic dialogue about him between the characters. We hear about this Count Dooku character but his intentions and identity is a complete mystery till later on. It is an interesting approach to tackle a main baddie in any flick and in this film, it pays off delightfully. Once we are introduced to the capabilities of his evil ways and the overall plans in which he and his master plays our heores like the pawns in a che ss game that they are, we cannot let go off him. Christopher Lee is going to be a delight to watch in this role, I am sure.

The veteran characters from The Phantom Menace also get slightly more to work with. Anakin has developed from his whiny annoying self of TPM into a very, very troubled young man. He manages to take his first step into the wider world of "The Dark Side" in a sequence that is surprisingly macabre yet touching knowing what has happened before and is to happen afterwards to this very character in the centre of the saga. Padme is still feisty and idealistic but this time it is obviously more believable. Her character develops much more than it did previously as the story takes her from her picturesque home to the nadir of the galaxy. The love story angle, one so blatantly pushed to its limits in the trailer for the flick, is quite well handled yet very different to the one in Empire Strikes Back. Anakin wants her and wants her bad whereas Padme does not want to give in to her feelings straight away: she knows that the couple have too big responsibilities to throw their li ves away. In a very Joseph Campbellesque twist, the two travel to hell (with its fiery sun, rocky surface, demon like, ugly inhabitants, the planet Geonosis where the climax of the film takes place is pretty much as close to Hell as anything seen before in Star Wars without naming the ******* place "Inferno") and come through as lovers that will never be split up. Obviously we know what Padme does not but this additional sense of hindsight and "schadenfreude" is what adds to the pleasure of watching this doomed romance. (Pretentious? Moi?)

Obi Wan and the other Jedi also get do some serious and this time, interesting, Jedi work. Yoda probes the dark side (no pun intended), Mace does some serious conferring with Obi Wan and they both get to whoop some serious *** alongside with about two hundred other Jedi. Obi Wan is, however, the main Jedi in the centre of the flick and this is where the previously mentioned notion of a detective story comes back. This part of the story line is really enjoyable juicy stuff. When Obi Wan is puzzled about the origins of the weapon that kills the first assassin, he takes it to an old contact of his, an ex-mercenary now running an intergalactic seedy burger joint of sorts. Having found out where the thing was made, he now has to locate the planet, and so on, and so on. The story of Obi Wan is truly a very original sequence and I cannot wait to see Macgregor flex his acting muscles tackling the seedy underworld of Coruscant or trying to get to the bottom of the clone conundrum.

As you could briefly see in the trailer, Jar Jar is not a thing of the past in this flick, though his role has been seriously reduced to that of a background character. Although his actions lead to a major step in the road to the rise of the Empire, he is nevertheless seen for only about ten-fifteen minutes. He does have some silly lines but he is a silly character. Making him spurt out lines that would suit Iago is not necessarily the best way to approach his character, one thinks.

Two words. Jango Fett. He is a relentless bounty hunter who gives two Jedi Masters a run for their money, has an army of clones based on his essence and is the father to one Boba Fett – though in a very unconventional way. Interestingly enough, he is not a totally evil character. He is a mercenary and clearly wants to have some kind of a family, some kind of a future after he is gone. He gets more screen time than Maul did and rightfully so, he is a very interesting character on his own without the cool gadgets and things he comes with.

Finally, the action set pieces are going to be as awesome as ever. There is the aforementioned assassination attempts and the chase sequence, three duels, two aerial battles, one massive land battle, three massive monsters – you name it this film has it. This is definetely the most action packed of all the Star Wars films yet. And don’t even get me started on the clones. When they eventually attack, this film is going to look so amazing that any other name except for Attack of the Clones will seem utterly inappropriate…

This script delivers: it delivers all the things that Lucas promised to with The Phantom Menace but failed. An old fashioned and sometimes cheesy adventure and love story, it was an immensely enjoyable read and I can not wait to see it on the big screen! Well done George, you have, at last, excelled yourself!!!!

Co Jo-Da
01-28-2002, 05:35 PM
The folks TheForce.net have reported a script review (of sorts) so check it out: http://www.darkhorizons.com/reviews/t020128a.htm (WARNING: BAD LANGANGUE AND GRAMMAR). I found what the reviewer's report interesting and I could tell that he/she was very excited about Attack of the Clones and can't wait to see the film it-self…

I know the feeling and I too can't wait to see the movie.

108 DAYS LEFT...

01-28-2002, 05:44 PM
All stuff I already knew, but who knows how long this info will be able to remain here?

Its going to be a good film. Better than E1 and I could tell that from what I had read before reading any actual reviews.

At least his review is even further confirmation.

Man. I have totally spoiled myself to death on this film. :)

Co Jo-Da
01-28-2002, 05:45 PM
I could tell the reviewer was excited about Attack of the Clones and couldn't wait to see the movie for his/her self.

I know the feeling and I too can't wait to see the movie.

108 DAYS LEFT...

01-28-2002, 05:54 PM
He saw Padme in the tight white suit and then made up the rest. :D

Rollo Tomassi
01-28-2002, 06:16 PM
And now I must seriously apologize to Co Jo Da for posting the exact same thread he did. A BSLOS for the occasion "Please hand me a towel, Mr. Tangerine Speedo..."

Moderator, feel free to combine the two threads at your earliest convenience...

Sorry, CJD:p :cry:

Co Jo-Da
01-28-2002, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by Rollo Tomassi
"Please hand me a towel, Mr. Tangerine Speedo..."

No sweat Rollo... :crazed: :cry: :crazed: :D