November Writing Challenge Day 29: Attack of the Clones

I’m blogging every day this month. Some will be game-related, but this challenge is different than my most recent play-a-game-and-blog-about-it challenge. I’m writing a single post every day: no topic guidelines, with some posts being a collection of random thoughts. Click here to read yesterday’s post.

Earlier during this challenge I announced my next challenge: watching all of the Star Wars movies and TV series on Disney+ in chronological order before watching Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker on December 19th.

I jumped right in, watching Episode I: The Phantom Menace for the first time in years (and I think my third time overall). The passage of time did nothing to change my opinion of the movie (it’s terrible) and I wondered how Episode II: Attack of the Clones would fare. I remember seeing this one in the theater and actually enjoying it. It’s diminished over the years, though, to the point where I can understand why people think this is the worst Star Wars movie of them all.

Of course, Anakin’s “sand” speech is laughably bad, but one thing that made the prequels unbearable for me is the overabundance of CGI. At the time, this new generation of special effects was set to change movie making, but I feel the same now as I did then about the prequel special effects: just because you can show all of these amazing details like a planet full of spaceship traffic doesn’t mean you HAVE to.

I may have mentioned this before, but I remember reading Liam Neeson talking about his frustration with acting in front of green screens all of the time, with Lucas’ special effects teams filling in the background later. Although Neeson and Ewan McGregor are just fine in Episode I, almost every other actor wasn’t and Episode II has some forgettable performances by Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman.

So, I made it through Episode II and thankfully The Mandalorian was available to get the first two prequels’s taste out of my mouth. I appreciate that a whole generation of fans got into Star Wars through the prequels and I’m certainly not one to gate-keep Star Wars fandom or keep people from enjoying what they enjoy. Just know that I’ve given the first two episodes multiple chances, still think they’re awful, and realize they’re not for me. I’m done with them.

Continuing the action chronologically, I started watching the Clone Wars series. I liked the first Clone Wars series on Cartoon Network back in the day and was bummed when I learned it was no longer canon. I’ve watched a handful of the “new” Clone Wars series so far and they’ve been okay. I’m not a fan of the animation style and it’s definitely skewed toward a younger audience with characters like the Padawan Ahsoka, but at least they seem like they’ll be more entertaining than the first two movies.

If not, then I’ll skip the rest of the series and amend my original challenge to include only the movies.