Attack of the Klonk

A Star Wars fan speaks out. Kind of.

And in the spirit of continued bashing, and so as not to tire the people reading the other thread, here's somthing someone posted in another forum that I'd like to share with you:

(I'd like to see a Star Wars' fan's assessment of the film that is sensible and coherent enough to impress me. I haven't seen one yet.)

This film makes the first three movies better. You can't watch this movie without the first three in the back of your mind, and the mythological significance of the first three in the back of the back of your mind. This is not an easy film. It is not for the weak-minded. It is plot saturated, uncompromisingly deep, and it is ciphered in the language of subtlety - the meat of the film is impressionistic, occluded, and fragile. At times it is as elusively open-ended and coded as Muholland Falls, but without the funky narrative warps. The implications of every twist and turn extend before the movie, after the movie, and beyond the movie. It is a rich film, and if you go to end just to have a fun ride you'll miss out entirely.

 So what happened with the original--no, the first three star wars flicks? They're lesser films because there's less seriousness to them?

You must prepare to leave with questions, lots of questions, and you must get ready to concentrate for two hours in a wild and rooty rain forest of plot. While watching it, I was catapulted into a narrative that left me without predictions.

Pretty weak with the predictions--everything was pretty much telegraphed about fifteen minutes in advance. I even knew that Yoda was going to kick ass (it was the point in time and the music that cued me--the worm was about to turn).

I was making false starts, reexamining characters, trying to decide where blame should fall, and I was tingling because of the blossoms of high road symbolism and the mythological undertones.


The Seventh Seal--heck, about 60% of Bergman. Faust (Svankmajer and Murnau). Excalibur. Almost anything by Dennis Potter. Krzysztof Kieslowski. Anything by Bunel and Godard. Emir Kustarica.

That's just off the top of my head. If I really wanted to exert the effort, I'm sure I can come up with a page or two...

This film is full of echoing stanzas, parallels and parables - but they are not delivered to you on a silver platter. They are embedded. Even the architecture contains signifigance.

It kept screaming at me "I'M NOT REAL! I'M NOT REAL!!!" That seemed pretty significant.

I imagine many people will see this movie and think 'needlessly byzantine' and then promptly shelve it,

Never occured to me at all. Dumb, yes. Corny, yes. Flat, yes. Oh, I could go on all night...

 or get bogged down in the action and figure that that's the point, that's why they are expected to enjoy it. What they won't realize is that this film is as demanding as any of the art-house movies that have come out in the last twenty years.

He's SEEN every art house film of the last twenty years? I doubt that very much.

It is also one of the first movies to create a macro-political scope that harmonizes with the personal dramatic narratives of the main characters.

The Godfather. Visconti's The Leopard. Land of the Pharoahs. Spartacus. Intolerance, though clumsily. Nausicaa, of the Valley of the Wind. Princess Mononoke. Underground.

The list is almost endless. In fact, I'd argue the ONLY epics worth watching are those that "create a macro-political scope that harmonizes with the personal dramatic narratives of the main characters. "

They blend in and out of each other uniformly. You get to watch the movie from below and above. Dimly, you see how whole plot arcs and 'good guy' victories could just be the progress of a hidden villain, and in the grave silence throbbing under everything you find all the threads in conclusion. You don't know who is good, who is evil, who is right, who is wrong; and every good intention and Jedi confidence is in the shadow of certain corruption, but nothing in the movie ever admits this to you. The Jedi assume falsely that the enemy will not come from within - and thus they betray their own principles. "The Dark side clouds everything", says Yoda, and he means it. There is no enemy here, only tragic figures sealing their own fates.

The closer you look at Episode II and the more effort you put into trying to understand it, whether politically, symbolically, or mythologically; the more rewarding it will be. It is best to take a classical approach to this film. Read it like the Iliad,

You know, the Iliad is more color, imagination, fun, drama, violence, and non-stop action than this film. Has HE read the Iliad, or did he try the Comics Illustrated version? Maybe he saw it on the Hallmark Channel?

not like a sci-fi popcorn-chomping show. The film is as layered as you allow it to be, and riddled with gems and clues and cold cold very cold intimations. I have a feeling that this film will be misunderstood and that lots of intelligent folks will ignore the invitation to get enmeshed in dark matter of Clones, glossing it over instead and ridiculing it as a sappy movie with a tangled too-ambitious plot. They'd be right, but they are allowing themselves to miss out. The accurate judgement about the gross mistakes and stupidities in the film can fog your mind and obscure the much more important and delicate triumph of Attack of the Clones. (Read this last sentence again after you see the movie. Yeah? Yeah.) A movie like this has not been done before - it is a one of a kind. People will have a hard time with it if they refuse to re-categorize it. You have to erect some new standards in order to judge this one.

I tried--Lord knows I tried.

Half way through the film, I thought I had been let down - but the movie is haunting me, burrowing, worming in.

That sounds serious. Has he taken something for that?

Digestion and interpretation is revealing its true colors.

The DVD had a bootlegged quality to it. It was far better than many bootlegs, but the picture was still dirty. Unexpectedly, this almost improved the movie for me on my second screening. I couldn't be blitzkrieged by the special effects. It was just gritty enough to muddle the distinction between CGI and reality, and that made quite a difference as I watched it. The dirty resolution even seemed to make the wooden lines seem warranted and natural. I'm not sure why this is.

I suppose, in order to understand Star Wars, you might have to be a certain kind of person. Someone with a feeling for epic drama and mythopoetry who can have a semblance of piety and sensitivity to the underlying gnosis in contemporary mythology.

Someone like that just upchucked this movie like an maggoty piece of pork meat. That must account for all the burrowing being felt.

(guide by Dragon Monkey)

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