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Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones
A 12:01 Showing Hurrah

by david    May 15 & 16, 2002

Wednesday, May 15, 7:08 PM

Once again, my geek flag flies high. here I sit in line for Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones (could the title be any longer?). Sadly (depending, of course, upon your point of view), I was not able to wait in line for 4+ weeks at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood to see the first show. Instead, I'm waiting in line for 6 hours at the Pacific Theaters in the Sherman Oaks Galleria for its 12:01am showing. So far, at 7pm, there are about ten of us in line (though I'm guessing that most of us, like me, represent more than one person). We are a jovial bunch, talking among ourselves, some playing cards, some reading. I am, of course, typing on my PowerBook, in true antisocial fashion.

My anticipation is high. The final trailer (the one which showed the big arena battle, and the circle of Jedi fighting back to back) really got me jazzed for this flick. It can't help but be better than the Phantom Menace, and it may well push itself past ROTJ. I don't expect it to pass Empire, or the original (Star Wars, or A New Hope, depending upon your generation). Maybe I'll be surprised.

I don't expect to write anymore while in line, but I'll write a quick review when I get home, if I'm not too horribly tired. We'll see how it goes.

7:45 PM

One quick update: A guy in full Jedi robes just showed up. I'm a bit surprised -- I expected that most of that type would have gone to the Chinese.

My wife won't let me go out in Jedi garb. I mentioned this to the guy next to me, who asked, "Would you if you could?" I think the answer is, "yes." How sad for me.

And more so for my wife.

Thursday, May 16, 3:20 AM

The movie is over, and I'm home. I know you're dying to know how it was. Well, it was ... good. Better than good, really. It's frustrating -- there is so much just really kick-ass stuff in this film: character stuff and, of course, killer battles. But the rest just lacked something. Passion, I guess. Lucas is just so enamored of his new technology -- digital landscapes, etc -- that he lingers on these things too often, and for too long, at the expense of pacing and sustained drama. There is a "passionlessness" reflected in his characters' dialogue as well. Only the greatest of the actors onscreen (Ewan McGregor, Christopher Lee, Frank Oz) are able to infuse the sometimes limp dialogue with a sense of urgency. Those parts of the movie are disappointing. Not Jar-Jar Binks disappointing, but not what a fan hopes for.

That said, much of the movie kicks ass. The ending battles, and the action sequences throughout are truly excellent. The digital landscapes and creatures are beautiful, beyond a doubt. The requisite big lightsaber battle at the end is extraordinary -- really extraordinary. The backdrop plot -- political maneuvering and the manner in which the Clone Wars begin -- is very engaging: the events do not unfold in the way I'd always imagined, and much of what happens is surprising, at least. And Yoda ... Yoda ... I have no words.

Anyway, there's no question that you should see this movie. It is undeniably important in the scope of the Star Wars universe, and a good, fun action movie, to boot. Go see it, preferably on a big, loud screen, and do it soon.

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