Breening Thursday #55. “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” from 2002; Meeting Young Vader for The Everything Star Wars Blogathon

This article was written by Tiffany and Rebekah Brannan as part of the Breening Thursdays series.

Today is not Thursday, so why are we publishing a Breening Thursday article? We had every intention of this article coming out on Thursday, but our 4th Annual Great Breening Blogathon ended on Wednesday, so we didn’t have time to finish this post by the deadline. However, we still consider it part of that series, so we will call this a Breening Saturday article!

This article is our entry in The Everything Star Wars Blogathon, hosted by Eva-Joy Schon of Coffee, Classics, and Craziness and Katie of I’m Charles Baker Harris (And I Can Read). We think this is a phenomenal idea for a blogathon, since Star Wars is just about the most popular story, universe, saga, franchise, or whatever you want to call it. We do wonder why it wasn’t scheduled for some time around Star Wars Day, May the 4th, but any time is a great time to celebrate Star Wars! When we heard about this blogathon, we were excited to join it. Every since May, we have been breening one Star Wars film each month, skipping only July because it was #CleanMovieMonth2020. We started with A New Hope and have been moving forward chronologically in terms of when they were made. Thus, we decided to post October’s entry in conjunction with this blogathon! First, for those of you who haven’t been regular devotees of our breening articles, you might want to see how we have breened the first four entries.

Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones - Wikipedia

Today’s topic is Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones from 2002. This is the second film in the prequel trilogy, which tells the backstory of Anakin Skywalker, the future Darth Vader, who was physically played by David Prowse and voiced by James Earl Jones in the original trilogy. This is the first film to feature Anakin as a young man, so it was the first time that Hayden Christensen played the role. Hayden Christensen was our first interest in Star Wars when we began to discover it through random clips. Since then, we have become big fans of his during the last year! Thus, we were really excited to see this film in its entirety. The prequels are highly controversial, since many people hate them, while others love them. Either way, it is interesting to breen them as we continue toward the present with this galactic saga.

Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones Movie Poster (#1 of 3) - IMP  Awards

In this film, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is now nineteen years old, and he is the young but mature Obi-Wan Kenobi’s (Ewan McGregor) Padawan learner. The young man thinks he is far more accomplished and powerful than Obi-Wan does, even though he respects his master. Anakin is very excited to see Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) again, since he has been in love with her ever since he met her at age nine, when she was the fourteen-year-old queen of Naboo. Now, she is a senator who must be protected by the Jedi because of attempts on her life. When Obi-Wan and Anakin are assigned to protect her, Anakin sees it as an opportunity to investigate the assassin’s identity while renewing his friendship with Padme. He is forgetting his Jedi vows of celibacy, even as he worries about his mother. Meanwhile, the Jedi High Council struggles with difficult political issues involving the Senate including the Separatist Movement, a bill to create a Galactic Army, and Chancellor Palpitine (Ian McDiarmid) being given emergency powers. Now, come with us, young Padawan; begun the breening has.

When the Jedi, Padme, and Palpatine are meeting in the Chancellor’s chambers, a green female alien in Padme’s entourage is wearing a burgundy dress with a low neckline, which includes a keyhole slightly lower down. The neckline must be raised and the keyhole removed.

When an attempt is made on Padme’s life, it comes in the form of two giant centipedes which crawl on her bed as she sleeps. This bug-like creatures are disgusting, and the thought of them almost crawling on her is horrific, aside from the fact that they are assassins! I suggest some sort of robot replace the centipedes. However, this machine must not be too creepy, arachnid, or bizarre-looking.

After Anakin chases the assassin, he follows her into a nightclub, the Outlander Club. There are a lot of shady characters. One of them is a woman wearing a bikini with a transparent skirt. She looks like she’s wearing a cross between Leia’s chain bikini from Return of the Jedi and a pre-Code chorus girl costume. She should be wearing a decent costume which covers her torso as well as her legs.

The Outlander Club is filled with scantily clad women, many of whom seem like members of the oldest professions because of their indecent wardrobe and come-hither looks toward Anakin. Even in “a galaxy far, far away,” the sporting life is not proper film material. All the women should be wearing decent costumes, which do not expose their chests, legs, or torsos. Also, the women in the photo on the right she not be dressed, behaving, or interacting in such a way as to see like women of ill-repute.

At the Outlander Club, Obi-Wan goes over to the bar while scoping out the situation. A slythmonger, Elan Sel’Sabango (Matt Doran) walks up to him and tries to sell him death sticks. Although not described in this film or, as far as we know, any mainstream Star Wars film, death sticks are understood to be a form of illegal drug in the Star Wars universe. A Wookiepedia page describes them as “a mild hallucinogen drug primarily sold on Outer Rim worlds, but could be found in abundance on Coruscant.” The depiction of hallucinogenic drugs of any kind is forbidden by the Code, even if they are fictional, since that can produce potentially dangerous curiosity in the youth. We would prefer to not remove this whole exchange, since it is very humorous and an excellent example of Jedi mind tricks. Also, according to IMDb, this was a social commentary from George Lucas against cigarettes, the health danger of which concerned him greatly. If death sticks were obviously galactic cigarettes, they could remain. Perhaps Elan could be smoking one, showing what it is. If it is impossible to remove the implication that death sticks are hallucinogenic, the situation must be removed.

The assassin the two Jedi were chasing is a Clawdite female bounty hunter named Zam Wessell (Leeanna Walsman). They catch her, but before she can reveal anything to them, she is shot. As she dies, her once beautiful female face changes and contorts into a grotesque green alien face. This is extremely distasteful and unsettling. This horrific transformation is because, as a Clawdite, she can change her appearance. If she reverts to some other creature after dying, the camera must not focus on the transformation. It should just show the faces of Anakin and Obi-Wan as they watch her change, horrified. Then, after the transformation has finished, the camera could show her. However, she should not look as horrible and must not have the large scratch-marks on her left cheek.

When breening The Phantom Menace, we mentioned a member of the Jedi Council who has unaccepotably grotesque long fingers. In this film, we see this character again the Jedi High Council Chamber. This time, we can see his whole body, and we realize that he was not sitting cross-legged. Instead of legs, he has a serpentine tail. This is really disgusting. Instead of the tail, he should have normal legs and be sitting cross-legged.

In the Jedi High Council Chamber, we briefly see a Jedi between Anakin and Obi-Wan. He is very strange-looking, with an oddly-pointed, dinosaur-like head. This creature’s appearance needs revision.

Obi-Wan later goes to Dex’s Diner, an eating establishment in Coruscant. At this restaurant, they are playing rock n’ roll. This form of music is unacceptable for inclusion in Code films, since it stimulates the baser element. Instead, I recommend some more galactic form of background music.

In Dex’s Diner, we see head waitress Hermione Bagwa (Susie Porter). She is a female human. She is wearing a very low-cut and extremely short blue dress. This costume is unacceptable. The neckline must be raised and must not reveal her cleavage, and the skirt should reach to her knees. When we first see her, she is adjusting the stylus for taking orders, which she keeps in a garter on her right leg. It is surprising to see such a common pre-Code device as a garter in a 2002 film, especially one with a Space Age setting! She must not keep her stylus in a garter, and her skirt should be long enough to cover this area.

The proprietor of the diner, Dexter Jettster (Ronald Falk), comes over to Obi-Wan’s table. He is a friendly, amicable alien of the species Besalisk. Despite his cordial personality, I found this character frightening because of his grotesque appearance. He has a strange head with bizarre ridges and four arms. His head should not be so strangely lumpy and should not have all those ridges, and his teeth shouldn’t be so grotesque. Also, he should only have two arms.

As Dex hugs Obi-Wan hello, his pants start falling down. He pulls them up with one of his extra arms. This is in very poor taste and must be eliminated. It seems even Besalisks can use belts. His pants in general should be shown, keeping his stomach from being visible beneath his shirt.

As Obi-Wan and Dex sit in a booth and talk, a Dug is shown leaving the diner. We described what is unacceptable about this species in our breening of The Phantom Menace when describing one particular Dug, Sebulba (Lewis Macleod). The same applies here.

As Dex and Obi-Wan are talking, Dex tells the Jedi about Kaminoans as he explains the weapon that killed Zam Wessell, a saberdart. “They’re cloners,” he says. “- good ones, too.” The dash doesn’t stand for darn. At first, one can miss this line, since Dex has a slightly murky accent. This is the first instance of actual profanity which we have encountered in the prequel trilogy so far. The profane word could be replaced with darn or mighty, or the adverb could just be removed.

As Obi-Wan walks through the Jedi temple, we see a blue female alien Jedi briefly. She is wearing a small top which is too low-cut and reveals her midriff. She should be wearing a full top.

Obi-Wan goes to see Master Yoda (Frank Oz), who is instructing Jedi younglings in the ways of the Force. Two of the younglings are rather frightening aliens, although they are slightly cuter because they are children. The boy in the middle of the above picture has a frightening face like a crocodile snout. The boy on the far right also looks strange, with orange skin and a strange, nose-less face. Both these strange children should be revised to look less grotesque.

In search of the origins of the saberdart which killed Zam Wessell, Obi-Wan goes to the remote Outer Rim planet of Kamino. As soon as he enters the automatic doors of the pristine, sleek, bright white building, he is greeted by an elegant female Kaminoan, Taun We (Rena Owen), an administrative aide. She is the first Kaminoan we see. She is both eerily frightening and

mermaidia | Tumblr

strangely beautiful. She is extremely tall and thin with a very long serpentine neck. Her head is small and resembles a snakes, with a flat, U-shaped nose, a skeletal face, and huge, black, globose eyes. Her voice is so soft and soothing and her gait so graceful that this creature is almost attractive even as she is chilling. Ultimately, the Kaminoans could prove frightening to some children and to those afraid of snakes. Thus, I suggest some revision to her appearance. Firstly, her head shouldn’t look bony, like a bare skull. Instead, it should be smooth and soft, as though covered with supple white skin. I suggest that her head look similar to that of the turtle in Barbie Mermaidia, which is pictured at right, only white instead of purple. Also, she should have a more prominent nose, something like the turtle’s, perhaps. The eyes are also very chilling. They should look a bit more human. The body structure is fine except for the neck, which should be shortened to make the creatures look less like snakes. Also, this particular character wears a skintight turtle neck garment which covers her whole neck; because of the garment’s lines, it looks like her skin is strangely ridged. The turtle-neck should be smooth.

Taun We brings Obi-Wan to see Lama Su (Anthony Phelan), the Prime Minister of Kamino. Since he is also a Kaminoan, his appearance is also frightening. His head, neck, and face should be similarly revised while retaining more masculine features such as the different facial structure and the ridge on the top of the head. Interestingly, Lama Su looks closer to the revised appearance we have in mind in terms of the softer-looking head, so he needs less revision.

Padme’s costume on Naboo needs revision. As you can see from the above pictures, it has practically no back at all, leaving her skin bare all the way down to the waist. This is very indecent. The backline should be no lower than her upper shoulder blades.

Anakin and Padme end up kissing in this scene. It’s no wonder that the young Jedi forgets his oath of celibacy when the beautiful Senator wears such an alluring dress! This kiss is open-mouthed, especially on the part of Padme, and is thus unacceptable. This kiss must be close-mouthed.

Lama Su and Taun We take Obi-Wan on a tour of the cloning factory. This huge building is filled with jars, test tubes, and cylinders that hold fetuses, many of which are only partially formed. This is very unnerving and distasteful. It also presents moral problems, since it dehumanizes babies by making them look like a product in a factory. Of course, the whole idea of cloning people is morally controversial. I think the concept of the clone army is acceptable is it obviously is backed by sinister people for sinister reasons. However, no fetuses in test tubes should be visible. Instead, we should see them as fully-formed babies in long rows of incubators, similar to what you see in hospitals for newborn infants. They could be squirming, kicking, and crying in their little cubicles. Then, we could see the next group, who are boys, as in the film.

Later, wee see Anakin and Padme in a field on Naboo. Grazing in the field are giant creatures nearly the size of elephants which resemble ticks. Many people find such giant versions of the parasites disgusting, so they should look more like bovines of some sort, rather than giant insects.

During their playful outing in the field, Anakin and Padme end up rolling over each other down the grass. This is down in a fairly innocent spirit of fun, but it is always unacceptable for a man and woman to roll over each other, no matter what the circumstance is. Instead, they could perhaps fall over laughing near each other, although they shouldn’t lie right next to each other.

In an evening scene, Anakin and Padme talk beside a fire. In this scene, she wears a black dress which George Lucas himself designed. Aspects of this dress are very pretty and flattering, such as the corset-like bodice, which really compliments her figure. However, her chest is busting out of the top. The neckline should be raised so that none of her cleavage is exposed. I suggest that the top of the bodice be given a sweetheart neckline or come to a high halter neck, attaching to the shimmery scarf around her throat. Not only would this be more decent, but it would also be more attractive, since the top of the neckline is straight and very harsh compared to the rest of the dress.

The next day, Padme talks to Anakin on the balcony early in the morning while still in her nightgown. This nightgown is a bit flimsy and low-cut. Also, it is questionable for her to be casually talking to a young man in her nightgown. Her robe should be tightly tied on, covering her nightgown completely.

When Padme accompanies Anakin to Tatooine, she wears a two-piece outfit which shows her navel. If she wears a two-piece ensemble, the waistband must be at her waist rather than her hips, high enough to cover her navel.

Obi-Wan later goes to Geonosis in search of answers. Once inside an important building, he hides behind a pillar to eavesdrop. As Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), the Geonosis leader, and Viceroy Nute Gunray (Silas Carson) walk by Obi-Wan’s hiding place, the Viceroy says, “I am not signing your treaty until I have her head on my desk.” This is obviously a reference to Padme’s assassination, but the discussion of her decapitation is too gory. Instead, he should say, “I am not signing your treaty until she has been eliminated.”

Soon after that, we see a meeting of the Confederacy of Independent Systems on Geonosis. At this meeting, we first see Archduke Poggle the Lesser (Martin Csokas), leader of the Geonosians. This creatures is very strange-looking. He has an ugly, squid-like face with a long chin that resembles a beared and two tentacles hanging down. Like all Geonosians, he has very uneven, lumpy, hard-looking skin, and he resembles some kind of insect. George Lucas supposedly based these creatures’ appearances on termites after the pests invaded his home. They should not look like termite or any other kind of insect, since this could be disturbing to entomophobes. He could be dark and perhaps somewhat lumpy, but he shouldn’t have the strange tentacles. The basic design of all Geonosians needs to be revised.

At this meeting, there are other bizarre looking aliens. There are the creatures in the upper picture, which have gray skin, glowing eyes, wrinkled faces, and no noses, and the creature in the below picture, which has a long, skull-like face with no nose and strange bony hands, making him look like a corpse. The first aliens shouldn’t have skin of such a sickly gray color; their eyes shouldn’t glow, and they need noses. The below creature should be completely redesigned to escape the appearance of a corpse.

Anakin eventually finds his mother, Shmi (Pernilla August), enslaved by Tusken Raiders. When he first discovers her, she is tied to a post, badly beaten and bloody from her wounds. With large scratches and scars on her face and blood on her hands, back, and face, she looks very gruesome. Just the events in this scenario are disturbing enough. She should not look so grotesque. There shouldn’t be visible blood on her, and the scars should be lessened.

When Shmi dies in her son’s arms a few minutes later, her eyes are open as she expires. Anakin then closes them. It is unacceptable for a dead person to be shown with open eyes. She should close her eyes before dying.

Enraged by his grief, Anakin proceeds to kill all the Tusken Raiders. This scene shows great restraint in the fact that it fades out after the first two killings, leaving the rest of the massacre offscreen. However, we do see Anakin lop off two Tusken Raiders’ heads. This is unacceptably violent. If any actual killings are shown, Anakin should just stab his victims rather than dismember them.

When we next see Padme, she is wearing a blue outfit with another low neckline. Like her previous costumes, this must be raised to an acceptable level.

At Shmi’s funeral, Padme wears her white jumpsuit which has now become famous. She obviously is wearing this tight pant outfit in this scene because it immediately precedes the departure to rescue Obi-Wan, which culminates in the Petranaki arena scene. However, that is the only reason why she is wearing it. Throughout the film, she has worn elaborate dresses and skirts. Now, she is suddenly wearing pants, at Shmi’s funeral yet! This presents a few problems. First, the outfit itself is indecent. The entire outfit is too tight, especially over her chest. There are unacceptably-placed darts on the top, which draw attention to her chest, which looks unsupported in this outfit. Secondly, this is a totally inappropriate outfit for this solemn occasion. This isn’t really our concern, but it bothers me immensely. Since this outfit needs to be changed for decency, it should be revised to fit the theme of her other costumes. I suggest that she be wearing an elaborate, galactic version of a hostess outfit, which includes pants under some kind of dress or coat, often with a high-low cut. She should be wearing some type of jumpsuit, perhaps with long sleeves, although it must not be too tight. Over that, she should be wearing a decorative long coat with a very full skirt, which is fitted and fastened in the front, almost looking like a dress but showing a bit of the pants in the front. We’ll address how this could be functional in the arena scene when we reach that part.

In the Jedi High Council, we see an alien who looks like a goat with three eyes. We addressed another creature in this species in The Phantom Menace. Like that other creature, this one would be fine if it just had two eyes instead of three.

When Anakin and Padme go to Geonosis to rescue Obi-wan, we see more Geonosians. As we discussed regarding Poggle the Lesser, these creatures are horrifying because of their bumpy skin and termite-like appearance. Their skin should be changed, and they shouldn’t resemble termites or any other insect. Also, when we first see a far-away shot of the Petranaki arena, there are hundreds or thousands of Geonosians flying into and around the stadium. This swarm of the insect-like creatures was really disgusting. If the revised characters still have wings, they shouldn’t look so much like insects when they fly.

In the Galactic Senate, we see many different species, which represent different regions. Among them are three aliens with squid-like faces. These are grotesque-looking and must be revised.

We also see three aliens with walrus-like faces which resemble one of the troublemakers in the Mos Eisley Cantina from A New Hope. As in that previous film, their faces look too bizarre and should be revised.

When Anakin and Padme arrive on Geonosis, they land inside a giant exhaust vent. They then find themselves in a clone factory, where several Geonosians try to shoot them. We see one Geonosian get smashed on the conveyor belt. It looks like some sort of insect getting squished. This is much too grotesque. If a Geonosian is seen getting crushed by any apparatus, that machinery must be big enough to completely cover, thus keeping us from seeing any part of its body getting smashed.

Anakin and Padme are sentenced to death in the Petranaki arena. Thinking that their lives “are about to be destroyed anyway,” Padme confesses to Anakin that she returns his love. They kiss, thinking it will be their last time. Like their previous kiss, this is open-mouthed, which is visibly inappropriate even though it is shot almost entirely in silhouette. Their mouths must be closed during this kiss.

In the Petranaki arena, three monsters are brought out to torture and kill Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme in front of the morbid crowd. These three creatures are an acklay, a reek, and a nexu. The acklay and the reek are grotesque. The acklay looks like a giant spider with crab legs and a dinosaur’s head. The reek looks like a cross between a spiny dinosaur and a vicious dog. The acklay shouldn’t look so arachnoid, especially in the way it walks. It would be better if it looked like a crab instead of a spider, which could be disturbing to arachnophobes. Also, it’s mouth is frightening and should be made smaller. The reek’s claws, teeth, and spines on its back should be minimized. Also, it appears to have more than two eyes. It should just have a normal set.

In the arena, the vicious reek attacks and kills a Geonosian guard. This is too brutal. If it kills it, this should be seen from farther away and must be less violent.

The reek is the monster pitted against Padme. The vicious creature scratches Padme’s back, making bloody scratch marks on the white fabric. Miraculously, that single scratch rips the entire bottom half of her top and most of her right sleeve off. The garments barely look tattered afterwards. We don’t see any blood after this, and there is no evidence of the shredded fabric. Basically, with one swipe of its claws, the monster completely redesigned Padme’s costume! We don’t care for the Reek’s taste in fashion. The already unacceptable costume now reveals her navel, making it even less decent. If the costume were originally as I described it earlier, this costume alteration would have to be very different. Since Padme would be wearing an elaborate coat dress, the Reek could grab the skirt of that and rip it off her, leaving it realistically shredded on the ground. Padme would then be left wearing just her jumpsuit, which would not be too tight, low-cut, or indecent in any way. Thus, she would be wearing a pant outfit that would enable her to move while having been fancier in the earlier scene. It is still very convenient, but hopefully a little more believable. She probably decided not to change before the adventure because she knew she had on the jumpsuit.

Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and several other Jedi arrive to rescue the threesome just in time. Among them is one Jedi with a squid-like head. This is unacceptable, looking more like something of Pirates of the Caribbean than Star Wars. This character’s appearance should be revised.

Another Jedi who is briefly visible next to Squid Head is also unacceptable. He has a small head shaped like a potato with large eyeballs sticking out on either side of his chin, replacing the eyes he doesn’t have above his nose. If he has eyes which stick up off his head, they should be on the top of his face, not the bottom.

In the arena, bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) gets involved in the fight. Mace Windu cuts his head off with a single stroke of his light saber. There is no blood or gore involved with this decapitation, and we never see the severed head. In fact, this death looks more like the destruction of a droid than the execution of a person. Nonetheless, this is still too violent. Instead, Macu should just stab him, causing him to fall to the ground. As he falls, his helmet could fall off. Then, later, his son, Boba, could still hold the helmet to his head, signifying his future as a bounty hunter.

When the Jedi throw a lightsaber to Obi-Wan, he uses the weapon to kill his foe, the acklay. However, he kills the acklay too violently, hacking off its limbs and stabbing its body. Instead of showing this brutal attack in such close focus, Obi-Wan should just be shown stabbing the creature once from a distance.

Poggle the Lesser wears a pin on his tunic. Although he is wearing this same outfit the first time we see him, the pin is not really obvious until this scene. This pin is rather grotesque. It looks like a large beetle and could be disturbing to some viewers. It should be eliminated.

In the First Battle of Geonosis, the Dark Side uses DSD1 dwarf spider droids, giant droid walkers which look like spiders. There are other large battle droids with multiple legs, but the dwarf spider droids are the only ones which are unacceptable because they appear to have heads with glowing eyes and a tusk of sorts sticking out at the front. Also, they crawl around like living creatures. These should be revised to look more like the other droids, which you can see in the background of the above picture.

In this same battle, there are more machines involved, including the All Terrain Tactical Enforcers (AT-TE). These machines look like giant grasshoppers. As with the other objectionable creatures, droids, and objects which resemble bugs, these machines shouldn’t look like grasshoppers or any other bugs, since that could be disturbing to children or entomophobes. Their design needs to be revised.

Later, Anakin and Count Dooku have a fierce light saber battle. During this fight, Dooku cuts off half of Anakin’s right arm. Although there is no blood involved with this dismemberment, which is typical of the prequel trilogy, this is very violent and grotesque. Also, because of the increased computer technology by the 21st century, this film was able to actually show Anakin with less than a whole arm, which is very gory. For this scene to be acceptable, the injury must be more like Luke’s in The Empire Strikes Back, when he loses just his right hand to Darth Vader’s lightsaber. Since it was difficult at that time to make actors look like they had less than all their limbs, we did not see Luke’s severed wrist. Although the technology could be a bit more sophisticated, it should not be used for excessive violence. His hand should just be cut off, but there should be not focus on it. Also, his sleeve should cover the wrist, so we won’t actually see his arm after the accident. As an aside, we think this would actually be more dramatic, since this would be a foreshadow of Anakin (Darth Vader) cutting off his son’s right hand.

Despite the tragedies of war, or perhaps because of them, Anakin and Padme decide to secretly get married. In their wedding scene, Padme is wearing a white dress with a very indecent neckline, which is extremely inappropriate for a bridal gown. This neckline must be raised about six inches! It must not even suggest exposure of her figure.

Their wedding culminates in the inevitable bridal kiss. However, like Padme’s wedding gown, this kiss is indecent and improper. Like their two previous kisses, this seal of their wedding vows is open-mouthed and actually quite disgusting. In addition to that, we, as Code film fans, find this open-mouthed labial activity very unsatisfying. They never actually press their lips together! Just kiss tenderly for a few seconds instead of nibbling at each other! Compare this kiss with any Code wedding kiss, and you will see what we mean.

Tiffany’s Conclusion: I really enjoyed this movie. From an artistic standpoint, I was delighted to see the development of major characters, especially Anakin. As a writer who loves complicated stories and complex backstories, I appreciate how detailed and comprehensive this Darth Vader backstory is, since every point beautifully connects to something from the original trilogy. These details are so helpful and informative that I feel like Episodes I-III were actually made before Episodes IV-VI, since there is so much that you don’t know just from seeing the original trilogy. This supports George Lucas’s statement that the saga should best be watched I-VI. From the viewpoint of a classic film fan, I was very pleased by how traditional and classic many aspects of this film are. In fact, I think that the prequels are more similar to Golden Era films than the originals, since they rely on romance and complex story rather than action and adventure, although there is excitement in the prequels, too! From a Code standpoint, I was pleased to see that many of the very unpleasant objections which were sprinkled throughout the last two Star Wars films we have breened were not in this film. For instance, the wanton eating of whole, often live creatures, comedie de toilette, and comedie de digestion which made Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace unpleasant to watch at time were absent in this film. I have a strong stomach, so violence doesn’t make me sick, although it offends me. However, just looking at some of the screenshots from the two aforementioned films of creatures eating disgusting things made me feel ill while writing these articles. I am pleased to say that I never felt queasy during this breening project. The main objections in this film were violence, indecent costumes, some grotesque looking aliens and droids, and three open-mouthed kisses. These were very few unacceptable lines. There was one four-letter word in this film, which there wasn’t in the previous one. However, I personally found this film less offensive, disgusting, and at times uncomfortable at times than The Phantom Menace, which I appreciated.

Rebekah’s Conclusion: I was looking forward greatly to watching this movie, and I am happy to say it was just as wonderful as I expected! While I had watched multiple scenes from it over and over again, it was still entertaining to see it all strung together with new scenes in between the familiar ones. After watching the film in its entirety, I must say that I simply cannot understand the criticism it receives. The story was intriguing, the special effects were overall very good, and the acting was above reproach. Hayden Christensen gave an absolutely brilliant performance, perfectly embodying the character of a troubled young man torn between love and duty. What I think many fail to see is that the character is supposed to mildly awkward, especially when romancing Padme, since he has practically been raised by the Jedi Order. He has been brought up since he was ten years old in an environment rather like a monastery, where he is supposed to repress all feelings. It is only natural that he would be uncomfortable and perhaps even a bit clumsy when trying to express his feelings for Padme. However, in the fireside scene, his romantic confessions of love are certainly enough to make any woman swoon! The film also had impressive action, featuring three wonderfully choreographed lightsaber battles at the film’s climax. From its first moment to its last, I think it can certainly be considered a masterful addition to the Star Wars saga. As I have said before, while the prequels may have a very different feeling from the originals, that doesn’t mean they are necessarily inferior. They are set in a different time, when much was different in the galaxy, so it is only natural that they should be different. However, as much as I liked it, I’m sure I would have found it even more enjoyable if it had been made under the guidance of the PCA, with our suggested changes. Once again, I hope we have not offended any of our Jedi, Sith, bounty hunter, and smuggler friends with our changes. Now, I believe this party’s over! I’ll see you on our next trip to a galaxy far, far away!

We hope you like our breening of this film! We both agree that Attack of the Clones is significantly better than The Phantom Menace, but we don’t mean to say that the predecessor was bad in any way. This second film built very effectively on what was begun in The Phantom Menace. This repeats what happened in the original trilogy, in our opinion. A New Hope was a good beginning, setting the scene and introducing us to our main characters, just as The Phantom Menace set the scene for the prequels and introduced us to the main character. Then, like The Empire Strikes Back, Attack of the Clones became much more mature. It developed the romance, introducing the love theme as well as unacceptable kissing. Both also introduced darker themes, such as war, plotting, and facing death. Because of this, we found both films more mature, more sophisticated, and thus more reminiscent of Golden Age swashbuckling films, like Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland costume dramas. What it lacks in realism, due to the fact that it was made twenty years later than the original trilogy, it makes up in dramatic elegance. All that it lacked to be a really good film was the PCA’s guidance, which would eliminate all the objectionable, offensive, and improper elements from the film, making it reasonably acceptable to reasonable people. Please come back in November to join us as we breen the third movie in the prequel trilogy! Until then, may the Force be with you.

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The Third Annual Claude Rains Blogathon!

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5 thoughts on “Breening Thursday #55. “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” from 2002; Meeting Young Vader for The Everything Star Wars Blogathon

  1. Pingback: the Everything Star Wars Blogathon is here! – coffee, classics, and craziness

  2. Pingback: The Everything Star Wars Blogathon: Round-Up! – I'm Charles Baker Harris (And I Can Read)

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