I’ll never forget the first time that I watched the original Star Wars. I was stuck at the YMCA summer camp, going into 6th grade. I was memorized by it, and quickly watched the rest of series. The 4th, 5th and 6th movies were all classics in my book. I became a dedicated Star Wars fan, even attempting to create Star Wars stuff with my Lego’s. (I was in 6th grade, yous.) Fast Forward a few years, Episode I comes out. To put it nicely, Star Wars and I had a falling out after that train wreck. Hoping for a better movie this time around, I ventured to the theater.
Episode II is basically a special-effects showcase that lacks substance. The events in this movie take place 10 years after Episode I, and go pretty much like this: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his new apprentice Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) are assigned to protect Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) who is now a Galactic Senator and is about to vote on whether or not to create an army to protect the Republic, which is facing a threat of thousands of star systems breaking away. Somebody is trying to kill Padme, and it’s up to the Jedi to protect her. Meanwhile, Padme and Anakin fall in love! Sounds exhilarating, right? The middle really seems to drag, held together by extended action sequences in the beginning and end.
Christensen’s last role was as a troubled teen in Life as a House, and he pretty much reprises his role here, “starting to turn to the dark side.” He comes off as an unlikable arrogant asshole with anger problems. Regardless, Padme falls in love with him, and they literally roll around in the grass. Ah, young love – er not. The love scenes don’t really come across well at all, because George Lucas has this tendency to not be able to direct actors. The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi weren’t directed by Lucas, and were better movies because of this. Nobody in this movie really seems to be enjoying themselves, or even get into their characters.
Lucas’s script fills in minor plot holes (Anakin is going to turn evil? No way…) and has some cheesy one-liners, Obi-wan to Anakin: “You’re going to be the death of me.” The dialog isn’t exactly great, and at points is just bad. There is a whole lot a political mumbo-jumbo in this movie, added to let us know that there is serious inter-galactic stuff going on here! The worst part of the film might be that Jar Jar Binks is in it again, except this time he’s Senator Binks. Oye. And he doesn’t even die. I was hoping his head would explode, or Jango Fett (Boba’s dad) would shoot him or something.
Despite its shortcomings, the movie is pretty entertaining, it just doesn’t seem to have a point. It’s an improvement over the first film, but not by much. It doesn’t even have a real ending, pretty much a cliffhanger, if you care to call it that. But after the last two films, I might be waiting until Fox airs it.