Posts Tagged ‘AOTC’

A Look Back At AOTC & ROTS

May 26, 2017

Julian at World of Peacecraft posted his tributes to AOTC and ROTS.

Attack of the Clones also shines in its direction. While Lucas may not be the best actors’ director out there, his visual direction skills are on full display here, and they’re my favorite subtle element of this film. Look at the evolution of how Anakin uses his hands. He uses them for casual Force tricks in the first half, then looks at them in shock after murdering the Tusken Raider colony, then gets his right hand stuck in a robotic shoulder in the droid factory… the same hand that will become robotic by the time the credits roll. Look at the darkened forms of Anakin and Padmé as they kiss before being led into the execution arena, and the way that they lighten up as they’re dragged into the sun. This love may lead to a dark future, but it will also eventually defeat Darth Sidious once and for all, and I think that’s a really nice tool of visual storytelling. Look at the clouds of Naboo forming a yin-yang after Anakin has his nightmare, just before his darker side is put to its first true test. Look at Anakin’s battle with Count Dooku at the end of the film, where the only light sources are the red and blue glow of their lightsabers lighting up their faces. It’s only fitting that both of these characters’ stories when it comes to the Force have elements of both the Jedi and the Sith.

Add in Attack of the Clones‘s expert pacing, keeping the viewer involved from start to finish, and I think it ties with The Empire Strikes Back as the best directed Star Wars saga episode. It’s my second favorite film, but only slightly.

Although this one received considerably more praise than the first two films, once again the spread of anonymous sources has made sure Revenge of the Sith has “fallen from grace”, if you will, and is now hated by a lot of people. That’s a real shame, because, much like The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, this chapter is a heartfelt and above all brutally human movie. Revenge of the Sith was the first Star Wars film I was able to see in theaters, an experience that I won’t forget any time soon. Now, around this time, all the media surrounding it had come out, and I knew a lot of what would happen in the movie. But I was still so amazed by Revenge of the Sith that it quickly became not only my favorite Star Wars movie, but my favorite movie of all time, and it remains my favorite to this day. There were so many memorable moments I found just in that first viewing, and there is so much more I’ve come to appreciate about the movie after countless viewings.

15 Years of AOTC: My Thoughts & Commentary

May 16, 2017

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.

15 Years of AOTC: A Couple Of Things To Check Out

May 16, 2017

Okay, this first one is optional, heh heh. “10 Reasons Why AOTC Is Better Than You Think” is mostly positive but with the annoying laying down of cover fire. What makes it interesting is that it’s on Tor.com, sf publishers with a long LONG history of prequel bashing in its blog (basher John Scalzi is one of Tor’s “stars”). Of course the comment section is a dumpster fire.

A much better piece is this one listing 15 things she likes about AOTC.

15 Years of AOTC: Novels & Comics

May 15, 2017

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Novelization by R.A. Salvatore, released April 2002.

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Junior novelization by Patricia C. Wrede, released April 2002.

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AOTC comics adaptation (trade paperback), Dark Horse 2002.

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AOTC Movie Storybook.

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AOTC Photo Comic Book.

15 Years of AOTC: Posters

May 13, 2017

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One of several done to promote the film, especially in foreign markets. Other versions include Anakin with Padmé, Obi-Wan, Jango, Count Dooku,etc..

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The promotional campaign in Italy used the reference photo that Drew Struzan used to make the theatrical poster.

15 Years of AOTC: The Amazing Soundtrack

May 12, 2017

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I have to say John Williams recorded a strong bunch of soundtracks with the prequel trilogy, even while he was also composing for the Harry Potter films (at least the earlier ones) and other films.

AOTC was recorded January 2002 at Abbey Road with the London Symphony Orchestra and London Voices. The album was released on April 23, 2002 with four different CD covers (Anakin and Padmé, Yoda, Jango Fett, and the theatrical poster) and sold enough to earn gold status from the RIAA. The soundtrack was released on vinyl just last year! As pointed out before, only the Target exclusive CD had a bonus track “On The Conveyor Belt.”

Naturally the big knock ’em dead track is “Across The Stars,” one of Pandora’s most streamed Star Wars tracks. That is of course my favorite off of the soundtrack but I love all of it.

Here’s the video done for “Across The Stars,” similar to the “Duel of the Fates” video for TPM.

15 Years of AOTC: The Similarities With “Rio Bravo”

May 11, 2017

A film blog called Smitty’s Gelato just happened to have written this amazing piece comparing AOTC with Howard Hawks’ Western “Rio Bravo.”  This is mostly from a filmmaking perspective but it’s pretty cool to check out and I’d bet money this is absolutely intentional:

Both films follow a mentor and a student as they track the assassin. In Attack of the Clones, the mentor is Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and the student is Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). In Rio Bravo, the mentor is Chance (John Wayne) and the student is Dude (Dean Martin). We find that both mentors have concerns about their students’ capacities to embody the lucid persona. Obi-Wan’s concern is established back at Padmé’s apartment. He expresses concern over using Padmé as bait, but Anakin assures Obi-Wan that “no harm will come to her. I can sense everything going on in that room.” Obi-Wan disagrees, arguing that Anakin’s “senses aren’t that attuned.” A similar exchange occurs in Rio Bravo when Dude informs Chance that the assailant is still inside the saloon. Chance inquires, “How do you know?” Dude answers “I can see both doors from here.”

15 Years of AOTC: Digital Cinema

May 10, 2017

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AOTC wasn’t THE first film shot digitally to be released; some Friday the 13th movie beat it out by a couple of months.  But it was the first one shot and the first major release.

This was a controversial idea back then and it remains somewhat controversial even now.  It’s kind of like the division between people who LOVE old school vinyl vs.  those who prefer downloading tracks off of iTunes or Amazon, or people who read electronically vs. those who insist on still buying physical books.  Film critics and filmmakers took sides, with many of them favoring film.  If you ask me, I think a big part of it was people not wanting to change their craft.  The American entertainment industry has been that way a long time; the Japanese were using high quality audio tapes and CDs while the U.S. recording industry resisted them.   It went after Napster, taking a long time to figure out the best way to fight illegal downloading was to offer legal downloading.  Hollywood fought tooth and nail against Betamax and VHS.  New tech scares them.  Star Wars films made more than a decade after the last one Lucas directed are shot using 20th century technology because reasons.

But other filmmakers have taken up digital cameras.  James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez won’t use anything else.  And digital presentation is a given now, even with films shot traditionally.  When AOTC came out, there was a handful of theaters in the entire Washington, D.C. metro area showing it in digital.  When ROTS came out, there were dozens showing it in DLP throughout Southern California.  When TFA came out, I don’t think there was a single theater in my area that didn’t have a digital presentation.  Moviegoers used to watching pristine pictures on DVD, Blu-Ray, or digital on their own devices don’t want fading, scratches, dust, etc..

I saw the difference right away with my second viewing of AOTC, which was the first time I saw it in DLP.  It was like watching a DVD on the big screen.  The picture was incredibly clear and the sound was better.  When I saw it in digital again in July, it looked  just as good.  Usually movies that had been playing that long started to look worn out.  To me it was a no-brainer.

George Lucas had tried to drop kick the movies into the future just as he had done before with the pioneering effects created for ANH.   Even while there is still resistance to what he tried to do, a lot is now taken for granted today.

 

 

15 Years of AOTC: Premiere In Toronto

May 9, 2017

Lucky fans in Toronto were the first in North America to see AOTC with the very first charity screening before the film’s official opening on May 16. Of course the main star to show up was Hayden Christensen, who grew up in the Toronto area.

Kudos to this t.v. report for its straightforward and positive coverage.

15 Years of AOTC: My 10 Favorite Collectibles & Tie-Ins

May 8, 2017

What’s a Star Wars film without brand new merchandise? Not nearly as much was made for AOTC as was for TPM, something I found frustrating when I went to look for new t-shirts at the time. While they were light on the tees and there was no fast food tie-in, there were still plenty of goodies hoping to drain my bank account.

10. Frito-Lay Buckets Target Exclusive

I wasn’t able to find a photo and mine is in storage, but Target had these colorful lidded buckets that had photos from all of the existing films including AOTC. Inside the buckets were snack-sized bags of chips, Cheetos, and Fritos. Even in my pre-weight loss state I was not about to eat all of those snacks myself, so I brought the bags to work, waited until about 10-11 a.m., dumped them in the break room, and sent out an e-mail. Problem solved.

9. AOTC Mini Puzzles

These little suckers were around 99 cents at Wal-Mart and each had poster art of various characters. They were so cheap and so small, I bought the whole set.

8. Star Wars Attack of the Clones Visual Dictionary

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Your quick and dirty guide to everything in the movie with colorful photographs, helpful descriptions, and details that may or may not be canon anymore.

7. Star Wars Celebration II T-Shirt

It took over two hours to buy this shirt and the exclusive Jorg Sacul action figure from the Celebration store. Some things never change! Again, no picture but it was blue with the Celebration II logo on the front and on the back a split image of Darth Vader and Anakin, with the convention dates and location (Indianapolis). A few months later I was walking through a Marshalls when a kid saw my shirt and went nuts. Heh heh.

6. SH Figuarts Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padmé

I don’t have all of these yet but I love what I’ve seen so far! The Japanese make the best Star Wars stuff.

5. Anakin Skywalker Lightsaber (Master Replicas)

Not the kiddie plastic version, but the cool light up collectible version that went for a pretty penny. But I got a good deal on mine from FAO Schwarz when it was closing at Tysons Galleria.

4. Padmé Amidala Paper Doll Book

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I loved the TPM Queen Amidala Paper Doll book, so I snapped this one up in a hurry. Sadly they didn’t do one for ROTS.

3. Gentle Giant Mini Busts

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Gentle Giant was a new licensee and its first gig was making mini busts of the film’s Big Three, using a new 3D modeling technology that required parking the actors in a booth and having their features scanned.

2. Senator Theater Exclusive T-Shirt and Ticket

The Senator Theater in Baltimore, MD used to make special posters, tickets, and t-shirts to celebrate a new movie release. I went up to Baltimore for a showing of AOTC that summer and of course bought the shirt, featuring Anakin/Vader looming over the theater with “Episode II” on the marquee and Yoda working the ticket booth.

1. Anakin and Padmé Wedding Action Figures

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Officially known as Secret Wedding Anakin and Secret Wedding Padmé and sold separately (you’re cruel, Hasbro), they seemed ready more for love than anything else. Basically a wedding cake topper for fangirls, it doesn’t have the most awesome sculpting and it can be tricky to get Anakin to stand, but I love an action figure set devoted to a ‘ship. Plus if you look up Padmé’s skirt, you can see her underwear and a garter belt. It’s canon.