15 Years of AOTC: My Thoughts & Commentary

Of every Star Wars film that has been released, I think AOTC has probably received the rawest deal of the whole bunch, Disney flicks included. It was probably the worst promoted film of the entire series, it had the rotten luck to be released on the heels of Sam Raimi’s “Spider Man,” and since its release it has become a popular piñata for hate boys and Darth Media. For a few days after it came out, it seemed like fans loved it…that is until they folded like cheap suits to conform with the rest of the hater pack.

Well, I loved AOTC the first time I saw it and loved it the other 10 times I saw it in the theater, including two times on IMAX. It’s strange, romantic, epic, and beautiful all of the way through. There hasn’t been a movie like it since. People can whine about “faults” but it seems to me there’s a lot of harping on minor things that I could point out in any of the other Star Wars films, in the Harry Potter films, or any given superhero flick or people completely misunderstand the film. It seems to me that today’s culture wants sameness and nothing too challenging or interesting.

AOTC also marked a turning point for me creatively. I’d been writing fan fiction since 1992 and most of what I’d done up until AOTC came out was based on the OT until I hit a writer’s block in 2001. From 2002 up through 2014–I’ve been focusing on writing my own stuff since–most of my fan fiction was based on the PT, especially on Anakin/Padmé. I was not really a shipper writer before then. I wrote a few Han/Leia fics (I loved reading them) but it was just part of my output. The Anakin muse abducted me. What can I say? Because of that I met a lot of other fans who were on the same wavelength.

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34 Responses to “15 Years of AOTC: My Thoughts & Commentary”

  1. Pedro Felipe Says:

    The way I see it, honestly, is that Star Wars is just on another level, I dare not compare it to your average superhero movie. More and more I feel like what I look for in a movie is very different from the way the hateboys do.

    • Pedro Felipe Says:

      Under the thin guise of analysing “acting” and “plot”, the only they really care about is blood, “darkiness and gritness”, etc.

      • joe Says:

        yes and some want an r rated film in this case the rumored darth vader spinoff i would love a spinoff film about vader weeks ago i read many youtube comments saying it should be rated r seriously lucas created star wars for the younger people i’m tired of fans wanting star wars to be dark all the time it seems they forgot the sense of awe and wonder of the original film i hope you’ll agree with me when i say I DON’T WANT AN R RATED STAR WARS!!! sorry for the caps and you have entertainment weakly saying aotc was a disappointment which is a load of crap it made over 300 million at the box office second only to spider-man (which i saw at the show four times) aotc in my opinion should have won the oscar for visual effects i thought it was better than the tpm (in the long run i think rots is my favorite of the prequel trilogy but i love them all) sorry for the long post again happy 15th anniversary to attack of the clones and may the force be with you

      • Independent Radical Says:

        True, I’m wondering if these people have watched Empire Strikes Back recently. They act like it’s the darkest thing ever, but aside from a few slightly gruesome bits (hands being cut off and Luke being placed inside a dead creature to keep him alive, which was actually a touching act of friendship on Han’s part) and two characters getting Force choked, it isn’t really that dark, not compared to the gore-fests the prequel haters want to see (just watch a typical horror or war film if that’s what you want).

        No planets are blown up and no important good guys even die in Empire Strikes Back (Han is only frozen temporarily). The ending even shows that Luke, with new mechanical hand, and Leia are perfectly fine after confronting Vader.

        I agree with joe. An r-rated Star Wars would be a terrible idea. I am an adult and I can’t tolerate the violence in MA15+ (the Australian equivalent of R) films. That stuff makes me react physiologically. I break out in sweat and struggle to breath (as much as I love Vader, I don’t actually want to be Force choked by a film, LOL). This isn’t a disorder on my part. I just didn’t grow up watching violent films or playing violent video games like other people did, so I haven’t been desensitised to it. Simply being an adult doesn’t suddenly make you like that stuff. The “blood and gore” crowd believe that all adults want that sort of content, but we don’t.

        It doesn’t make sense in terms of Vader’s character either. He isn’t the Joker or Bellatrix Lestrange. Vader uses brutal violence to keep the Empire in power and destroy any threats to it. It’s a cold, efficient and, from his standpoint, necessary kind of violence. He isn’t excessively aggressive for fun, but what he’s willing to do to maintain order is still terrifying. His character shows that empires are inherently brutal. Having him be a blood-crazed individual psychopath would ruin that for me (and make him too similar to other characters).

        I do admit that any aesthetic concerns are secondary though. The idea of there being a Star Wars film I physically can’t watch, because I have too much empathy for other human beings, bothers me. Star Wars should be everyone who likes science fiction stories and/or exploring the conflict between good and evil. People who dislike violence, whether they are children or adults, should not be excluded.

        There are already plenty of films, television shows and video games that are exclusively for gore-loving adults (Games of Thrones, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, etc) and there is nothing stopping them from sitting through films that don’t feature such gore. Can those of us who don’t like that content (and in my case also can’t stand sexist Disney crap) please have at least one currently popular franchise that doesn’t exclude us?

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I don’t see the point to R-rated SW either. It’s completely against Lucas’s intentions for his story in the first place: he wanted this for kids. It’s as nonsensical as an R-rated film based on The Chronicles of Narnia.

      • joe Says:

        empire was dark for it’s tim but rots was much darker anakin killing kids (which we don’t see fortunately ) choking his pregnant wife and his horrible injuries that turn him into the masked figure with heavy breathing who tals like james earl jones lol on the last one back to aotc it was the only film of the sixtet to not be the highest grossing film of the year second only to spider-man and yet some people called it a disappointment what’s up with that?

      • joe Says:

        sorry it should have read dark for it’s time and talks like james earl jones back to atoc it has some dark moments too shmi being found haven been tortured (off screen) her death and anakin’s slaughtering the whole camp of tuskin raiders including the men women and children (again were spared the gruesome outcome though i’m sure some fans would have wanted to see it idiots) when anakin confesses to padme what he did they play the emperor’s theme rather than the imperial march which was a nice touch i think the theme for the emperor is also the theme for the sith then after anakin finishes telling padme what he we then hear the imperial march aka vader’s theme which was a nice touch along with foreshadowing anakin’s turn to the dark side

      • joe Says:

        what’s next ? will people demand an r-rated star trek? an r-rated james bond? an r-rated disney cartoon? enough with these idiots wanting every thing to be dark it didn’t work for fantastic four it hasn’t worked for superman it certainly didn’t work for power rangers they are meant to be bright and cheerful not dark and gritty sorry for the rant but i hope you see where i’m getting at and i was referring to the last 3 i mentioned (ff superman and pr) may the force be with you

      • Marshall Says:

        Actually “Man of Steel” did better at the box office than BvS and compared to the disturbing Nolan films MOS was a tea party. What irritates me about today’s fanboys is how wishy-washy they are about movies. They nag about the prequels being too kiddish, then nag about their ruined childhoods, then nag about how kids wouldn’t understand the “politics” in the PT. They nag about James Cameron’s Avatar being unoriginal then lap up every remake (*cough* TFA *cough*) reboot and sequel released. They argue that Batman would beat Superman in a fight because Batman is more “badass” and relatable then whine when DC tries to do a fresh take on Superman. And since we’re on the subject of DC, fanboys complain about DC films and TV being too gritty and wanting DC to be more “lighthearted” like Marvel. So DC releases “Supergirl” and along comes Marvel’s gritty “Jessica Jones”. Guess which show gets more praise? There’s just no pleasing these jerks.

      • joe Says:

        i know man of steel did well but superman is not batman he’s not a dark tortured soul moping about dead parents he’s supposed to represent hope not the version hack snyder gave us and i’m tired of people wanting every superhero film to be dark there meant to be escapist entertainment most of the time and man of steel was pretty controversial on release the same with star wars didn’t fans start bitching about the dark stuff in the old eu from new jedi order on ? what hypocrites

      • joe Says:

        i think we should stop now before it turns into a dc vs. marvel debate this is the star wars prequel appreciation society after all hopefully the prequels will get more respect as time goes by may the force be with you

      • Marshall Says:

        Frankly I wish Batman would lighten up…

      • joe Says:

        i just heard zack snyder’s daughter committed suicide back in march it was kept private until i feel stupid may the force be with him

    • fundhund Says:

      I have noticed for some time now that I seem to like very different things in Star Wars than the majority of people (even those who like the prequels). For example, I thought it was a great decision to kill off Darth Maul in Episode 1. I really love the cheesy Star Wars dialogue (don´t read: I tolerate it, or don´t mind it) and honestly think it adds to the saga´s overall charme. I love (not: don´t mind) the relationship between Anakin and Padme. I prefer Hayden Christensen´s acting in ROTS to that of Ewan McGregor, and I always thought that Natalie Portman´s portrayal of Padme was outstanding throughout. And speaking of Padme, I liked that she died of a broken heart. There I said it!
      And as a matter of fact, I could write a book on the aesthetic sense of George Lucas. The worlds he created are so stunningly beautiful and interesting, I could look at them all day!

      • Pedro Felipe Says:

        Yes, that’s it!!! The things the hateboys use to bash the Prequels are actually wonderful! To me Hayden’s acting in Attack of The Clones is perfect, he really conveys his character, a transition from the sweet little Ani from The Phantom Menace into the fearsome Sith Lord Darth Vader. He’s still a good person, but is reckless and gets consumed by pride, lack of self steam, desire for recognition, etc. I love how he conveys the sense of rebelliousness and the chemistry between master and apprentice. His entonation, his gaze and his delivery of the lines. The way he awnsers when Obi Wan says: “Don’t do anything without first contacting either myself or the council.” “Yes Master”. The way he gets the audience to look through his aswers and realize very quickly that his yes means no and no means yes: “No, you’re right, it would destroy us.” You can tell he really doesn’t think that. Having sad that, I also think Ewan Mcgregor’s performance is stellar and I really wouldn’t use cheesy to describe the dialogue in Star Wars, it’s a derogatory. I love the writing in the Star Wars Saga, I don’t need Kasdan’s sitcon level jokes, okay they’re are really good when in the right dosage, like in Empire, but they’re not enough to be the core of a movie script. I particularly love George’s writing, there’s is a quality in that it is simple yet profound, it really remenbers me of the great writers of antiquity, in fact that shouldn’t be surprising if you take a look at his bookshelf. These haters have no intelligence to judge the quality of writing and this is a matter that I really think “depends greatly upon your point of view”

      • fundhund Says:

        I completely agree, and I didn´t mean to sound derogatory at all. Normally I would refer to the style of dialogue in Star Wars as regal or something to that effect (“you may dispense with the pleasantries”, “it is you who are mistaken..about a great many things”, anyone??).
        It´s just that for me “cheesiness” is not a bad thing per se. For example, I love rock bands like the Rolling Stones, but I can hardly think of anything more “cheesy” than their stage antics.

        Speaking of Star Wars, the single most cheesy moment (even “cringeworthy”, if you will) of the whole saga probably has to be “I love you. I know” from episode 5, and yet we all love it.

        Concerning the dialogue in the new movies I also agree. It´s sitcom level indeed, and I really don´t like that everyone in these films has to be constantly funny, and crank out one-liners by the minute. Hell, they even turned Darth Vader into a wordplay comedian.

      • Pedro Felipe Says:

        You said it fundhund, it’s just that I get really mad when people start bashing the Star Wars dialogue and calling it “cheesy”. People seem to assume “George is not a great writer”. Well, the problem is that the definition of a “Great Writer” varies wildly and in the case of the haters and the sort of “writing” they praise I can say with 100% certainty they would call the great ancient greek tragedies “cheesy”, and “horrible”. By their standards the Iliad would be “horrible writing”. It seems they only like canned stories and dialogue designed for the a mass dumb market with short attention lifespan. That’s not to say they don’t like complexity, they love baroque dialogue, full of platitudes and progressive overtones (this is not an opinion nor a criticism, it is an observable fact), that they really don’t understand and actually doesn’t mean anything but makes them feel smart. Just because the dialogue is written plainly and clearly doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean it isn’t deep, important and carefully crafted. One of the greatest texts of all time honestly (regardless of religion) is The Gospel of John for example. Yes, you wouldn’t know reading it in the fancy KJV translation today, but it was written in “popular greek”, indeed considered “poor greek” at the time, yet it is carefully crafted and contains parallels, very important themes and thematic structure, etc.

  2. Kim Says:

    I love every minute of AOTC, its scope, its palette, its atmosphere, its charm. Just such a great, epic journey from the first frame to the last. I didn’t care for the IMAX cut because of the cuts that were necessary for it to fit the running time, but it was a fun experience. Can’t believe it’s been 15 years.

  3. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    I cannot help but wonder if a lot of fans had expected “Attack of the Clones” to feature the ultimate downfall of the Jedi, with the next movie focusing on Anakin and Palpatine hunting them down.

    I never understood the hostility toward “Attack of the Clones”. Perhaps I don’t understand, because it’s my favorite Prequel movie and one of my top two favorite SW movies ever. My sister once pointed out that she could watch it forever. One of the reasons is that it had such an epic scale.

    Sometimes, I get the feeling that many fans were frightened by the Prequel movies. They are the only STAR WARS movies that had a truly downbeat ending with Palpatine ruling the galaxy as an Emperor. Worse, this came about not only from his scheming, but also from the mistakes and flaws of the “heroes”. It’s possible that was something many fans could not stomach. Every time I had brought up the mistakes of the Original Trilogy leads – especially in “The Empire Strikes Back”, many would dismiss it. If many fans were unwilling to deal with the protagonists’ mistakes in “ESB” (and that was one movie), it is not surprising to me that they were unwilling to deal with the protagonists’ mistakes (which were not so easy to dismiss) in the Prequel Trilogy.

    • joe Says:

      fans are idiots and didn’t they read the memo that episode 3 would be where the jedi order fell apart? (and has to recover unfortunately)

  4. Sham Ti Says:

    I love the choice of dialogue during the fire place scene. I always felt Anakin was prophesying his own demise caused by his attachment to Padme. “I’m in agony….I can’t breath……If your suffering as much as me”. Padme sees where this is taking him…”it will take us to a place we cannot go.” Visually it is a very romantic scene, but is intentionally awkward and unsettling.

  5. Sham Ti Says:

    One of the more fascinating scenes to me is when Padme falls from the gun ship. Anakin doesn’t jump. Early in the film he jumps and soars through the Coruscant sky as Obi-wan says, “I hate it when he does that.” Point being he wanted to land the ship, save Padme and save Obi-wan. If he jumps, Obi-wan most likely will be slain by Dooku. Hayden captured very well the look of anger, confusion and fear. Yoda senses earlier that young Skywalker is in terrible pain and seems to sense the disturbance when he doesn’t jump.

    • joe Says:

      i always thought taht he sensed count dooku

      • Shak Ti Says:

        Yeah, i think it could be interpreted either way. Yoda sensed his presence was needed and knew where to go. That is a loaded sequence in the film imo. I also thought Obi-wan was remembering watching Qui-gon lose to Maul when he said “I can’t take Dooku alone”. Just a lot to AOTC to like. I don’t think a casual viewer sees the depth.

      • joe Says:

        dooku was his padawan after all

  6. Sanka Says:

    I’m so happy to see I’m not the only one who loves Aotc, I totally fell in love with it when I saw it for the first time. When I realized so many people were hating it, I was totally shocked. I thought this can’t be true, where does this hatred come from? I love this movie just for the reasons these haters hate it. And I think there really are no flaws, it’s just the way it should be, the dialogue and everything. This movie is so misunderstood by the haters, it’s so sad…

    • Shak Ti Says:

      I think AOTC has the best ending with the majestic music and powerful visuals. From when Yoda says, “begun the clone wars have” it is the best.

      • Pedro Felipe Says:

        The most applauded movie ending in my experience, to be honest…

      • joe Says:

        same thing happened to me on opening day when the credits started the crowd applauded

  7. phen Says:

    YODA grabbing his light saber was the most excited i have ever been in a theater. The Jedi FIGHTING. i love AOTC. but i love the prequels. i don’t need to rank them because they all ROCK

    • Pedro Felipe Says:

      Yes, I also don’t get this obsession people have with ranking. If I am forced to I can do it but I don’t even think it’s objectively possible to do it because it depends so much on mood, taste, etc.

  8. Stefan Kraft Says:

    I remember reading two first reactions on a German SW fan site (maybe by US moviegoers who were in one of the previews for charity). It would be interesting to explore when and why the “overal consensus” in the geek media changed. (On the other hand, why expose yourself to bashing…)

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