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Wowsville in Space:
A Review of "Attack of the Clones"

by Margaret T. Minnick

6/24/02

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ... there were fake 50s diners. At least, that's what George Lucas would have us believe.

In the latest installment of what was once (a long time ago) a good movie franchise, George has Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) seeking advice from an old buddy who is a fry cook at a 50s diner on Coruscant, the planet that serves as the Galactic Empire's headquarters. This "old buddy" is a fat alien with a crewcut who comes complete with falling down blue jeans and a greasy t-shirt. I think I even detected a bushy moustache tucked atop his digitally animated fleshy lips.

And the fry cook is not where the 50s diner stereotypes end ... there are even robotic waitresses with short skirts and wheels for feet, reminiscent of 50s car-hops. And the diner is housed in what looks unmistakably like The Fog City Diner in San Francisco. The whole scene would be more appropriate in an episode of The Jetsons than a Star Wars movie.

I know George must think he's having fun, but this is just lame, lame, lame! Didn't he dish up enough 50s nostalgia in American Graffiti? A fake 50s diner has no place in a sci-fi movie, especially one that doesn't have anything to do with Earth (that's what the "long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" is supposed to imply, isn't it?). And besides, George should have learned by now to be more careful when he's having fun -- after all, isn't that how we ended up with Jar Jar Binks?

Happily, Jar Jar is mostly left out of this movie, though George didn't have the balls to ditch him altogether. For some unexplained reason, the "political prodigy" Senator Amidala (Natalie Portman), has kept him in her entourage for the last 10 years. From what I can tell, the only purpose he serves is to really screw things up in order to move the plot along.

Speaking of Natalie, she's really been working on her abs (maybe she bought a CableFlex?) and George takes full advantage of this fact during the Big Battle Scene, having her no-nonsense shirt strategically tear to bare her midriff. I suppose George probably thought that was fun, too!

Amongst the myriad things I find irritating in the newfangled Star Wars movies, the one that tops my list is the hairdo that the Jedi "Padawan learners" have to wear. It's a double-whammy of bad hair choices. First, they have a ridiculous little ponytail on the back of their heads, that looks like what happens when a balding middle-aged man starts growing a ponytail to show his masculinity. And, to add insult to injury, they also have to wear a little braid behind one ear, which is reminiscent of 80s New Wave hairdos, but not nearly as stylish (they could at least dye it platinum blond, for god's sake!).

It's like belonging to a cult that makes you grow a mullet. Is it really worth it? And what, pray tell, do Padawan learners that belong to species with no hair do? Must they glue on a little ponytail and braid? Maybe that's a question that will be answered in Episode 3. I can hardly wait.


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My favorite Star Wars character ever.


How convenient of her shirt to tear there.



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