With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Friday, December 18th, I thought I would take a look back at all of the previous movies from the beginning starting with the prequels and then the original trilogy. If you would like to read any of my previous reviews, click here. Try to ignore this, or not while watching the prequels. I’ll probably be treading through familiar territory with most people as well.
Set ten years after the events of “The Phantom Menace,” the Republic continues to be mired in strife and chaos. A separatist movement encompassing hundreds of planets and powerful corporate alliances poses new threats to the galaxy that even the Jedi cannot stem. These moves, long planned by an as yet unrevealed and powerful force, lead to the beginning of the Clone Wars and the beginning of the end of the Republic.
I’ll be treading though familiar territory again but here I go anyway. This is the second of three prequel films taking place before the original trilogy of films from the late 70s to early 80s. For those who don’t know the story (essentially those who probably weren’t alive), when Jedis Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) are tasked to protect now Senator Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) falls victim of an assassination attempt. This leads to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) to build a mysterious army to stand against rising separatist forces. While investigating Amidala’s assassination attempt, Obi-Wan led by the bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) to the planets of Kamino and Geonosis where he further explores this conspiracy. I will admit that this story sounds promising but one of the biggest problems I’ve had with this film is that it seemed like we were holding Anakin’s hand a little too long. It felt like the story focused too much on Anakin and also Padme and not enough on the other sub-plots in the story. But what made this even worse were the performances of both Christensen as Anakin Skywalker and Natalie Portman as Padme Amidala as I found them both terrible. What didn’t help their cause was that their dialogue was just so cheesy to the point that it was almost unbearable. It sounds like I’m picking on them but I was just bored by both of their stories as I was far more interested in the conspiracy subplot. I was more interested but I didn’t find it that much better. I’ll just pretend that I haven’t seen all of the films before and say that the reason behind the plot didn’t make too much sense to me as it did not feel earned. As always the film had a great amount of action, more than the previous film and the big battle scene at the end was exciting. I did find it a little distracting that moments where CGI was used were so obvious. One thing I did like were the expanded roles of both Yoda (Frank Oz) and Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) as they were a bright spot. McGregor, like he was in the previous film, was good and he just seemed better as a master than an apprentice. Overall, this film does not surpass the previous film in any way by having its own problems but it is still very watchable.