In the latest entry of our ongoing series, Screen Rant’s Ryan George reveals what (probably) happened in the pitch meeting for Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. The middle entry of George Lucas’ ambitious but ill-fated prequel trilogy, Attack of the Clones mostly deals with getting Padme and young Anakin Skywalker together so that they can eventually make smaller Skywalkers.
At this point in the history of Star Wars, The Phantom Menace had already dampened some of the rampant fan enthusiasm for the prequel trilogy, but many were holding out hope that the franchise would get back on track after a rocky start. Unfortunately, Attack of the Clones didn’t swoop in to save the prequel trilogy. Instead, it is considered by many to still be the worst Star Wars movie ever made, and provided the world with the now-infamous scene in which Anakin seduces Padme by explaining the various reasons he doesn’t like sand.
Attack of the Clones also suffers from perhaps the worst over-reliance on blue screen of the entire prequel trilogy. Director George Lucas was flush with excitement over the wonders of CGI and, having already tinkered with the original trilogy for the Special Editions, believed that he could forego most of the trouble of building sets by simply hanging big blue sheets up behind the actors and filling in fantastical landscapes afterwards. CGI also allowed Lucas to take Yoda, a character who had originally just been a puppet and therefore somewhat limited in movement, and put him in an epic lightsaber battle with flipping and twirling. Even the clone troopers were CGI, despite the fact that they were just regular dudes in armor.
Since the early 2000s, however, we’ve learned two important things about CGI: that it’s always improving, and that using it for absolutely everything doesn’t necessarily make for a good movie. Attack of the Clones has its moments (some fans genuinely love the CGI Yoda flipping around in a lightsaber battle with Count Dooku), but it wasn’t well-received by fans upon its release and has only gotten worse-looking with age. It did end up scoring an Oscar nomination for its visual effects, but while it might have won if the Academy based its voting on quantity, it ended up losing to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Back in the present day, Star Wars fans recently got their first look at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – the ninth and ostensibly final movie in the saga. Much of the plot is still under wraps, but the trailer did have a pretty epic homage to North By Northwest… set on a desert planet covered in coarse, rough, irritating sand. That stuff gets everywhere.