You heard me. I said it. Call it blasphemous, call it sacrilege, hell you can even call me a scruffy looking nerf herder. But that doesn't change the fact that #StarWars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is my favorite film in the franchise. Why, you may ask? Let me break it down for you:
1. The Best Action Of The Franchise
You could make a case for some of Episode III's set pieces, but most of the action in the franchise pales in comparison to the incredible battles and action scenes in Attack of the Clones. From the opening chase scene through the skies and streets of Coruscant, to the inimitable battle of Geonosis, to the unforgettable duel between a shockingly acrobatic Yoda and Count Dooku, this movie packed a punch.
Seeing all hell break loose on Geonosis was a sight to behold, with red and blue laser fire cutting sharp, frantic accents into the sepia tones of the desert. Fans have fantasized about what the #CloneWars was like since Obi-Wan first mentioned it in A New Hope, and with hundreds of Jedi (the largest we've ever seen onscreen) facing down thousands of battle droids in the first engagement of the war, this film delivered the kind of battle fans had theretofore only dreamt of:
2. Emotional Stakes
I'm well aware of the common complaints: "The writing was terrible! The dialogue was so cheesy! Hayden Christensen's acting is so wooden!" (that last criticism is one I'll never understand and think people just repeat because they've heard it so often it must be true). Despite all that, Attack of the Clones features some of the darkest subject matter of any of the Star Wars films.
The Original Trilogy was understandably doused in '80s camp in a good way. The Phantom Menace, though released in the last remnants of the '90s, still harbors some of that '80s warmth and lightness. Episode II eschews all of that in favor of a far darker and more mature storyline, one that features Anakin struggling not only with the burden of being the chosen one, but also with the guilt of abandoning his mother, forbidden feelings of passion and love, and overall, a desire for validation of his inner conflict, something no one in his life seems to understand. Anakin's genocidal elimination of a tribe of Tusken Raiders is a key moment that marks his first steps down a path of darkness.
3. The Best Theme In The Franchise
The #StarWars theme is iconic, "Duel of the Fates" is bombastic, but nothing holds a candle to "Across the Stars" in my opinion. No theme so perfectly captures the tragic tale of Anakin Skywalker like this one. Sweeping, majestic, romantic, but doused in sorrow and mournfulness, "Across the Stars" is John Williams's most resplendent work, if not his most enduring.
In fact, I think it's so damn good that it elevates an otherwise weak and contrived love story, just through sheer force of sound. If you disagree with all of my points above, I can completely understand why, but I implore you to listen to this piece of music and not feel your heart ache with longing for a galaxy far far away.
Do you agree with my points? Tell us what your favorite Star Wars film is in your own article and stay tuned for more #RogueOneWeek!