Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones was released 15 years ago today in US cinemas. It still feels like yesterday. I remember going to the toy shop buying the figures even before the movie was released and then going to the cinema and being totally amazed at what I saw – an amazing chapter of the saga! It’s a great day to celebrate. So I think it’s a fitting occasion to make some comments about the movie and return to some points where it was criticized.
– People often blame Jar Jar for giving emergency powers to the Chancellor but they forget who are really are the people to blame in that. Jar Jar may have proposed to give the emergency powers to Palpatine but in the end it’s the senators who voted yes, they share the blame even more than him.
– The Padmé-Anakin scenes have been a target of criticism, sometimes considered as cheesy but they were key scenes to Anakin’s story. Without them, the story would have ended here, he would have never become Darth Vader. It’s his relationship with Padmé that for the big part leads him to the darkside. It’s a destructive relationship they have. The way both Padmé and Anakin behaved in these scenes reflects their characters. Anakin was raised in the Jedi Temple, taught that he couldn’t love so obviously he couldn’t know how to address Padmé, he could only be clumsy in his moves, it was his first time. And let’s not forget that he was in his late teenage years during the movie, and how teens usually are? They are whiny and Anakin was exactly this whiny kid, it was made on purpose. For Padmé, she was a senator, she wasn’t allowed to have a relationship with a Jedi so it was difficult for her.
– Jango Fett proved he was more badass than his son Boba ever was.
– The movie showed how Palpatine manipulated the entire galaxy to get it where he wanted, and how he controlled everything. Slowly leading the Republic to the dictatorship it becomes in ROTS.
– We were introduced to a brand new villain – Count Dooku! There are so many great things about this character – his attitude, his lightsaber quite unique and his fighting skills are also impressive! The duel he got with Yoda was one of the best and definitely remains in the top 10 of the saga, simply breathtaking. It started by the two of them showing their abilities with the Force and then going in with the lightsabers. This line from Dooku remains stuck in my mind: “It is obvious that this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the Force… but by our skills with a lightsaber.”
– The battle of Geonosis! It was a brilliant way to start the clone wars, epic on every level! We saw an army of Jedi fighting, that was huge and at the same time, it showed that the Jedi were not invicible, they’re peacekeepers, not warriors! It was the beginning of the end for them. The arrival of the clones in the arena was beyond epic as well, it’s one of these classic scenes of the saga. It paved the way for what we saw in The Clone Wars tv series.
– Like every Star Wars movies, it was a pleasure for the eyes! It has outstanding visuals. The visuals are always important in this saga, a lot is said there, they tell a story and sometimes it’s even more important than the dialogues. And like every Star Wars movies it combined both practical effects and special effects, pushing the boundaries of CGI with Yoda for example. Movies today have the visuals they have because of what was accomplished with Star Wars!
– I can’t not mention Mace Windu. He unleashed his badassery in this movie, he slayed that battle of Geonosis, first with his arrival and then by killing Jango Fett like a boss. Samuel L. Jackson had asked George Lucas if he could have a purple lightsaber because it’s his favorite color and he got it! Mace is the only Jedi to have this color and it definitely suits him and adds to the character.
– The cast – a multi-talented cast! They all delivered great performances. Hayden Christensen surely had the most difficult job. Anakin wasn’t an easy character to play, he was quite complex and not every actor could have conveyed on screen the torment Anakin felt like Hayden did brilliantly. About, Ewan McGregor when I look at his performance, he is the ultimate Obi-Wan, and seeing Alec Guinness in the Original Trilogy is like seeing an old version of McGregor. I think it speaks volumes on how great he was for the role. Another actor I want to mention is Ian McDiarmid who plays Palpatine. He played very well that manipulative politician and his visual expressions tell their own story.
– Now I want to finish with poetry. Star Wars is poetry and the movies rhyme with one another. It goes back to what I said earlier, the visuals tell their own story. And this video is very representative of this, there is a lot of shots from AOTC in it:
George Lucas is turning 73! Without him, we wouldn’t be here today still talking about Star Wars, it’s all thanks to him! We owe him so much and I’ll forever be grateful for these brilliant movies he has given us! Happy Birthday George Lucas!
We have news for you, I have finally changed the address to the site and it is now themidichloriancenter.wordpress.com
All the old links in fanofstarwars.wordpress.com will now automatically redirect to the new one. It will need a few days or weeks for the change to be done in the Google research tool so the old address is redirecting to the new one and it will continue to do so even after so you don’t have to worry about finding the new address.
During an interview with Joe Posnanski, Trevor Bauer, a professional baseball player for the Cleveland Indians, revealed that he was a Star Wars fan. He said that he doesn’t have a least favorite SW movie and that for him they’re all 1A, 1B (meaning in terms of grade it’s between 9.5/10 and 10/10). And during this interview, he said his favorite SW movie is The Phantom Menace.
For saying TPM was his favorite SW movie, Bauer was mocked by sports journalist, starting with Posnanski who posted this tweet:
Trevor Bauer's favorite Star Wars movie is Phantom Menace. Wow. I don't even think it is Darth Maul's favorite. pic.twitter.com/cvAb0q2cZ2
It then followed with other sports media outlets reporting the news and bullying Bauer for his opinion. That’s exactly how the media are today, they have helped building that hate trend in the pop culture and everyone who doesn’t fit in their correct and only possible opinion is considered a non-fan, a moron and a list of countless insults. There was absolutely no need to make the headlines of articles with that but that’s what it is today, it’s just calling for hate.
However the thing is, Everyone has an opinion and even if people disagree with it, they should at least respect it. The media are not aware of that but people, normal, descent people should be.
Bryan Young who writes columns on the official Star Wars website came to the defense of Bauer on twitter:
Dear @BauerOutage, Phantom Menace is rad. Don't let bullies tell you otherwise. If ever you wanna talk Star Wars on @FullOfSith, let us know
I took a moment to write about it because I’m a proud Prequel lover and my website is also in defense of the Prequels so it was worthy to mention this. Hopefully Bauer will ignore these trolls, it’s better to do so, they are not worth it.
The Star Wars Prequels have been a subject of division among a certain part of the Star Wars fandom especially with men who grew up with the Original Trilogy when it was first released. So let’s take a look at the situation regarding the Prequels. This category of “fans” who were ten years old when the first trilogy was released, grew up with Han, Leia and Luke and over the years these people elevated the Original trilogy to some kind of movies made for grown-ups, forgetting that themselves were kids when they first saw these movies. The movies were made for kids to quote George Lucas: “When I did [Star Wars], I said, ‘This is a film for 12-year-olds, and it’s a kids’ movie.’ But then somehow over the years, people have sort of driften away from that and tried to make it into something other than what it actually is … [Star Wars] is a Saturday afternoon serial for children. People forget what the movies actually are.”
The behavior from this particular “fans” lead to this backlash against the Prequels. Those people when they went to see The Phantom Menace in 1999, they expected to see a movie for adults which the movie wasn’t at all so they ended up being disappointed, the movie couldn’t be what they wanted because it never was. They totally forgot the age they had when they watched the Original Trilogy and then disappointed by TPM, they tried to find any excuses to hate on this new Star Wars movie. They accused it of being entirely made of CGI while it was a total lie. The entire Star Wars Prequels used more models and miniatures than the Original Trilogy. The Prequels used a lot of practical effects, it was a mix between practical and visual effects like in every Star Wars movie and yes the Prequels also used real actors, amazing actors. As a reminder, Lucas always used visual effects to serve the story, not the contrary. What is crazy is those haters are fine that another scifi movie uses a lot of CGI but they’re not okay if Star Wars does which actually proves that they don’t make any sense and they contradict themselves by saying that.
(You can click on the pictures to see them in real size)
The “It’s a kid movie”, the “It’s all CGI” were on the big arguments of the haters on why the Prequels “sucked” and there was also another huge element that was the Midi-Chlorians. According to the haters, this was an invention of the Prequels and it changed their entire childhood because they apparently couldn’t be jedi anymore. However, those haters never thought for a minute what the Midi-Chlorians really were. First of all, the Midi-Chlorians were created back in 1977 when Lucas made A New Hope to quote him“It is said that certain creatures are born with a higher awareness of the Force than humans. Their brains are different, they have more midi-chlorians in their cells.”(found in page 353 of The Making of Star Wars by J.W. Rinzler), just with this little quote it says everything there is to say. Furthermore, the Midi-Chlorians changed nothing, nothing at all to what was stated in ANH, it just added more information. Midi-Chlorians are “intelligent microscopic life forms that lived symbiotically inside the cells of all living things.” So here’s another lie of the haters that is being thrown right into the trash. Those people of thirty/forty years old were predisposed to hate the Prequels because they always wanted it to be something it couldn’t be. They even criticized the look of these movies but then again they forgot that the story of the Prequels took place around 20 years before the Original Trilogy, it was a different era, different political settings, it couldn’t visually look the same, it had to be different. George Lucas’s Prequels and Original Trilogy had both an innovative visual imagination, he created a lot. And if those haters had really taken a look at the designs of Prequels ships, they would see some actually mirror the OT designs and it connects them and shows the evolution between the two but then again the haters never gave a chance to the Prequels, they decided they would hate it from the beginning.
The politics were also one of the points the haters attacked while in reality in TPM for example, there’s like 10 minutes of so-called politics for a movie that is more than 2 hour-long. The Prequels were not about politics like the haters liked to claim nor they were movies in which it was all about politics. There was political background in the Prequels to explain the state of the galaxy and how the Republic went to become the Empire but never the movies were 2-hour-long movies about politics, they just didn’t watch the same movies. They hated also Jar Jar because he was a funny clumsy character but Jar Jar was just the way C-3PO was for the Original Trilogy. I could go on with a lot of examples but I think these are the main points. It’s just exactly as I explained these thirty/forty year old men didn’t give a chance to like the Prequels, they didn’t want to like them, they wanted to hate them, they put the Originals on a pedestal saying these movies were for grown-ups and the new movies were for kids while Star Wars had always been made for children and themselves were kids when they first saw the Originals.
And so how do these people have to do anything with the Geek culture? It’s exactly those “fans” fueled geek culture with hate towards the Prequels, it’s those people dictated what to like and what not to like. The problem with geek culture is that people in there spend most of their time hating on something rather than focusing on what they love, they don’t listen to other’s opinions and state that their opinions is the rightful one and the only one that exists so discussion is not possible as they take the biggest space on the Internet trolling people who love things they hate. Then, there’s the RLM videos that were published after the Prequels were released. These videos really lead to this hate culture in the geek culture even more than the little bunch of manchildren haters. Their video of TPM was around 90 minute long, it was all about hating on the Prequels, the haters used it to spread their biased agenda and create their “Empire of terror and hate” within the geek culture. A majority of the haters probably never watched the videos because not a lot of people would watch a 90 minute-long video of someone talking how bad a movie is but that’s when the sheep culture appeared. With those forty years old haters spreading their hate, some people just acted as sheep and followed the hate movement because they were afraid to be rejected from the group because they had a different opinion so they just started to hate like the others told them and when being confronted on their hate, those people were not able to build an argument, they just referred to the RLM videos and the forty years old haters who told them to hate. The geek culture got corrupted and sank into the hate and sheep culture. And the haters owning some blogs and sites who call themselves journalists (but that’s not journalism at all) take every occasion to read between the lines (while there’s nothing to read) and spread more hate on the Prequels with their click-bait sites, they don’t care about information or news, they just care about getting more views and spreading lies. Kevin Smith has a good definition of the haters: “men and women who marched into the prequels demanding that Lucas recapture their lost Star Wars youth for them – that simple time in their lives when they had the excuse of prepubescence to explain why they were still virgins. With that much investment in make-believe, it’s little wonder they emerged as more twisted by the darkside than young Skywalker himself.”
The title of my post is “Love, hate and Geek Culture,” I have talked a lot about this hate but hate is just a minority that takes the biggest place on the Internet because trolls tend to take a lot of space on Internet and have a need to express their hate but at the end of the day they end up being just a minority that is more vocal than the majority. However, this majority who loves the Prequels starts to be more and more vocal nowadays on the Internet. Before really getting into that, I want to talk about what happened in the past two years with blogs and websites. This generation of kids who grew up with the Prequels are now going on the Internet and start being vocal. Some, in the past two years started writing articles in the defense of the Prequels. However, most of these articles weren’t in the defense of the Prequels at all, they were validating the haters’ claims by saying “oh yes that sucked and that too but, but there are some good aspects in these movies.” These people were clearly afraid to state what they were really thinking because they knew they would be attacked by the geek culture who had set up that Prequels were bad so instead these people tried to go in between hoping they wouldn’t be attacked. But that’s not the right thing to do, people who love the Prequels don’t have to hide from the haters, if they love the Prequels they shouldn’t be afraid to say they do, and they shouldn’t be afraid to write articles about the Prequels, on the contrary if they want to write articles about their loves of the Prequels, they totally should write!
This finally leads me to the love for the Prequels. We’ll start with a video showing the initial reaction of the fans after seeing The Phantom Menace in 1999.
In the reactions, we see a lot of love from the fans, there’s also a screening showing a review of the people who saw it with 10 loved it, 7 liked it, 2 hated it. 2 that’s the number of haters comparing to the love 17 (liked and loved) where this is clearly the majority. That was the initial reaction to TPM, the initial results were fans love it! It was all before the sheep culture. Then there is a tweet from Pablo Hidalgo (working at the Story Group of Lucasfilm) talking about the fans nowadays (this tweets comes after the release of the RLM videos and rise of the hate and geek culture, it comes after the initial reactions) (this is about the fans, I’ll talk about the general audience later):
This tweet proves lot of fans still love the Prequels.
So now let’s talk about the general audience, casual moviegoer. It’s these people who generate the high numbers on box office and the general audience does love the Prequels. A movie doesn’t do a HUGE performance at the box office if people don’t like it. If people don’t like it, it’s going to spread and not a lot of people would end up seeing a movie while if people love a movie, you’ll see that a lot of people will see the movie and the box office results will be huge. If we look at the box office results of the Prequels, they are indeed HUGE: $1,027 billion for Episode I The Phantom Menace
$649,4 million for Episode II Attack of the Clones
$848,8 million for Episode III Revenge of the Sith
In comparison, the Original trilogy numbers:
$775.4 million for A New Hope
$538.4 million for The Empire Strikes Back
$572.6 million for Return of the Jedi
I know some haters would say that AOTC got a lower box office result than TPM and ROTS because it sucked, that would be their typical answer but they should look at the box office results of the OT before saying another lie. Indeed, the OT had a lower box office result for ESB than ANH, the same way AOTC had a lower box office result than TPM. The reason is simple, the first of a trilogy always do a bigger number at box office because it’s the first, it’s new so it draws more people than its sequels. Nevertheless, AOTC did a huge number at box office. Comparing the OT results with the PT results, the PT beats the OT.
So yes the Prequels are loved by the general audience and this statement from Lucasfilm is another proof of it:
I did this post to deal with the problem of hate towards the Prequels in the geek culture and also to prove that the haters were just this delusional minority, a group of sheep and that the fans who love the Prequels shouldn’t be afraid to talk about these movies because some trolls would insult them. If fans love the Prequels they should tweet about it, write about it. The majority of people, the general audience love the Prequels.