Monday, May 28, 2012

It May Be Difficult to Secure Your Release...

I've been celebrating the 10-year anniversary of "Attack of the Clones" everywhere lately. I've already poured my heart out to The Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Society for their "Memories" contest. Here, for my Anniversary Review of AotC, I am going to reprint my entry:

"I remember I was seeing it under a bit of subterfuge. My mother had scored tickets for opening weekend but just for us. We knew my father would be upset if I saw it first without him but, just this once, my desire to see it sooner rather than later won out.

As the opening crawl went up and Senator Amidala’s ship entered the fog of Couriscant, I realized I was not feeling the same emotions as I had with the other four films up to that point. With the others, especially Phantom Menace, the feeling was unbridled excitement. With this, it was almost like being in a dream. I had the strange sensation of not being able to determine whether I was really in the theatre watching this film play out as it did, or whether I had fallen asleep and my subconscious was weaving together what it apparently thought the next chapter should be.

I recall being puzzled in that delightfully maddening way a good mystery puzzles you. I was delighted to see Christopher Lee again so soon after The Fellowship of the Ring and his portrayal of Dooku sealed him as one of my favorite performers. I found Jango Fett infinitely more interesting and likable than fan-fave Boba (and with a cooler color scheme). I found Anakin kind of bland at first, though repeated viewings showed me the true genius of his performance.

And then there was the moment. I think it fits that both “middle” Star Wars films have a moment that can be described as “The” moment and most fans will know what you mean. In Empire, it was Vader’s revelation. In Clones, it was Dooku’s line “It is obvious that this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the Force…but by our skills with a lightsaber” followed by his Makashi salute. Then Yoda opens his robe, Forces a lightsaber of his own to his hand, and becomes the whirlwind of destruction that no doubt earned him his reluctant reputation as a great warrior. The entire audience cheered and whooped (though how many of them will admit to that now?) and while it ended too soon in a stalemate, it left us all breathless.

Our hearts sank as the clone Wars begun and the Imperial March blared on the speakers, and we had bittersweet feelings watching Anakin and Padme wed, knowing that it must soon meet with disaster. We left the theatre knowing we had just seen another Star Wars masterpiece. Keeping my mouth shut for a week until I could see it again with my father was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. I can’t imagine how I managed it. In fact, I don’t recall if I actually did.

This is the first time in a long time that I really recalled my experience to the full extent of my memory, and I feel relieved that it’s such a good one. Because it was shortly after this that I first started to become aware of the hatedom, which soiled any positive feeling associated with this story for a long time. Lately I’ve been revisiting it and really seeing just how spectacular it is for the first time since my initial screening. I even convinced my wife to let us use “Across the Stars” as our Wedding Processional (appropriately, that was the one part of the wedding that got messed up; the person we got for CD duty didn’t turn it on until the processional was almost over, but we did get the first “verse” at least).

Happy 10th Anniversary, Episode II!"

I do have much more to say on this wonderful film as well as the rest of the series, but that will be saved for future entries.

You don't want to sell me Deathsticks. You want to go home and rethink your life.

No comments:

Post a Comment