Things started to smell bad back in September, 1998, when George Lucas announced the title for the first film of the Star Wars prequel trilogy — “The Phantom Menace”. It still sucks, doesn’t it? And the half-baked film that bears that half-assed title… I can no longer bear thinking about it.
On Monday, Lucasfilm announced the title for the sequel prequel, the film that fans hope will revive the series and restore credibility to the whole Star Wars mythos — “Attack of the Clones.” No, this is not good: this is definitely, unquestionably, a symptom of something. Senility? Denial? Erosion? Stubbornness? Indifference? Well, it’s either one or all of those.
Now, it’s not as if we want to hate everything that leaves Lucas’ incubation chambers for the harsh cruel world of public opinion, it’s just that some still want to believe that Episode I (I refuse to refer to it using its other title) was just George’s embarrassing attempt at trying to get his groove back. Ewan McGregor thinks the script for “Attack of the Clones” is superior to the script for Episode I, but he hates the title: “It’s a terrible, terrible title.” Ewan obviously has a free-speech clause in his contract. As for the rest of us, well, we’re free to give Uncle George a little feedback! And boy, is he getting some!
The following, er, comments were culled from the Internet.
“Attack of the Clones, George? No, no, I think it’s a, uh, GREAT name! Yes sir! There’s no arguing with your genius, George!” Good lord… Somebody needs to slap George Lucas back in to reality. I’m sure the movie will be great… I’ve read all the spoilers I can get my grubby little hands on, and it really sounds… er, looks like its going to be a great movie. But, good God… “Attack of the Clones”? Was there just a dart board with a bunch of possible names or something?”
“g’head george… just reach into my chest and rip my lungs out so i can not catch my breath to tell you how utterly repulsed, ill, aghast, dismayed, ashamed, i am at the insane choice that has been made… too late. Why not just title it “ATTACK OF THE KILLER CLONES FROM OUTER SPACE”… I-D-I-O-T !!!!!”
So what’s wrong with “Attack of the Clones”? It’s not that it harkens back to the spirit of these old serials that you can’t get on video, it’s because it’s a bad title, even for a serial-esque one. It’s banal; it’s a title any writer worth their salt would try and forget they ever thought of; it evokes the depressing oeuvre of Ed Wood, and it promotes the fact that Lucas — an undoubtedly talented man — is no longer an inspired filmmaker.
Monitoring Lucas’ creative moves for the last four years has been akin to watching documentaries on beached whales, or sitting across from an Alzheimer’s-stricken relative who wants to talk about old times. You feel angry; you feel helpless. As Star Wars fans, we’re powerless, no more so when George starts making those final decisions. We craved more films, and grudgingly, George picked up the bat to try and hit another three homers in a row. So far, he’s 0-for-1; the title for his second ‘swing’ is a foul ball. To milk the baseball metaphor for all its worth, let’s hope — let’s pray — that the film that wears this shoddy title is a bleacher-reacher.
Check out FILMTHREAT.com’s FEATURE ARCHIVES and read more insightful stories, expert analysis, gut-busting satire and caustic commentary!