Geeks and non-Geeks alike love to shit on the Star Wars prequels and for good reason! However, I’m not one to say that everything in the Star Wars prequel trilogy is terrible. There are lots of bits and bobs that I enjoy. I decided to cobble together a list of the few things that are actually pretty good.
1. Jango Fett
Jango Fett is a total bad ass. It’s almost like he comes from a different movie, like one about kick ass space ninjas, and not Attack of the Clones. Of course, it doesn’t take a lot to be awesome considering he looks like Boba Fett, but blue. Still, Jango holds his own in the cool department, especially in his battle with Obi-Wan on the water planet. You know the water world where the aliens from Close Encounters of the Third Kind live? If only the rest of the film held up to his standard of greatness.
2. Clone Troopers and Their Toys
Man, do I love the Clone Troopers. Sure they turn all jackass in Episode III, but they’re all hero up until that point. I’ve always been obsessed with helmeted bad dudes ever since I first encountered Stormtroopers in the original Star Wars movies up through the helmeted forces of Cobra in G.I. Joe, so Clone Troopers are totally in my wheelhouse. Even better than the regular clone troopers are all the cool elite units that have cropped up through the expanded universe and Clone Wars cartoon series.
And what goes better with Clone Troopers than awesome vehicles? The AT-TE is one of the best Star Wars vehicles to come around since the AT-AT, but it doesn’t end there. The Gunship is a fantastic sci-fi vehicle and the V-19 star fighter is right in the mold of classic Star Wars spaceship sweetness.
3. The Republic Commando Video Game
Republic Commando is one of the most underated games of all time. I don’t know why it wasn’t more popular, since it was so damned fun! In Republic Commando you control a squad of super kick ass clones. The overall design of the game is much darker than the usual Star Wars universe. For example, the design (both visual and sound) of the Super Battle Droid actually makes them frightening. Imagine that, an enemy for the Clone Troopers that isn’t a fricken joke!
Regardless, there’s never been a sequel. In fact, the canceled sequel would have been Imperial Commando which would of had the player controlling an elite unit for the Empire. It’s a tragedy that we will never get to play that game, instead getting the over the top and ridiculous Force Unleashed games.
Thankfully, Republic Commando hasn’t completely been forgotten. The Lucasfilm merchandising empire is still making toys based on the Commandos and there’s even a series of books. Still, it would be nice if we could revisit the world of bad ass clones in video game form again.
4. Christopher Lee as Darth Tyranus/Count Dooku
Christopher Lee is a cinema legend. It was brilliant casting by putting him into the Star Wars universe where he joined fellow Hammer Film alumn Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin). Sure, he could have used some more characterization and not just suddenly shown up as a main villain out of nowhere in Attack of the Clones. That’s not Lee’s fault though, that’s shitty screenwriting. Lee took the garbage he was given and turned it into pure gold.
The weakest point for the character is his death in Revenge of the Sith. For someone who seemed to have a lot to say, you’d think he’d of opened his mouth at the end, but perhaps he just knew he was screwed regardless. Regardless, a world where Christopher Lee is immortalized in Star Wars is a world I want to live in.
5. The Clone Wars Cartoons
While the CGI Clone Wars series certainly has it’s negatives, overall it’s a fun and surprisingly adult (at times) series. The space and ground battles at times are better than most other sci-fi movies.
And let’s not forget the 2d animated series that proceeded it, which is regarded by many fans as being far better than any of the prequel films.
6. Awesome Female Lady Types
Star Wars didn’t have enough ladies. Basically you had Princess Leia, Aunt Beru, and some various background players. With the Prequels you got lots and lots of ladies and a lot of them are hot. Here’s some of my favorites:
Barriss Offee: There’s not a lot of non-white roles in Star Wars and entirely not enough hot Indian chicks. Barriss Offee fills in quite nicely.
Aayla Secura: The female Twi’lek is the Swedish bikini model of the Star Wars galaxy. Pretty much the only ones you see are hot, so it’s double bonus coupon day when you get a female Twi’lek Jedi!
Asajj Ventress: While less hot and more menacing (which I guess is hot in it’s own twisted way), Ventress is an intesting character and a great off screen opponent for our heroes.
This Background Character: Hubba hubba
7. Jango Fett’s Sound Bombs
Sound in space. What a stupid idea! But the sound effect that the sound bombs Jango Fett uses in Attack of the Clones is so crazy cool. Watch the scene where he’s dropping the bombs in surround sound with a subwoofer turned way up and you’re in for a treat. Sound designer Ben Burt really did an outstanding job with those things.
8. Darth Maul’s Double Bladed Lightsaber
Before lightsabers were cool, but the double bladed saber took it up a notch. It’s crazy to think that the double bladed lightsaber didn’t make an appearance until Phantom Menace. It’s such a simple idea!
It’s a shame that Maul got taken out like a chump, but the double bladed saber lived to fight another day in multiple appearances throughout the Star Wars Expanded Universe and in toy form.
9. A New Appreciation for Ewoks
When I was a little kid, I loved Ewoks. I played with the Kenner Ewok villiage for countless hours. I had a stuffed Paplo the Ewok that was my sleeping buddy. Then as later adolescence reared it’s ugly head I came to scorn the trappings of youth including Ewoks. “Fa,” I said, “this kid’s stuff is ruins Return of the Jedi!”
And then I saw Jar Jar Binks. After Jar Jar, anything that might be deemed silly in the original trilogy became much, much better. I came to love Ewoks. Thank you George Lucas, for I now love Wicket again.
10. Darth Sideous / Emperor Palpatine
Whatever you may think of the overly complicated scheme that Palpatine had in order to take over the galaxy, Palpatine/Darth Sideous was a great character. The scene where he talks to Anakin during the space water concert is easily one of the easiest of the best in the prequel triology (although that isn’t exactly hard to accomplish). Perhaps his best moment though is his fight with Yoda in Sith. He exhibits pure joy during the fight, like a drunken old man letting loose for the first time in his life.
And even though it’s as goofy as hell in the film, it’s super fun to quote the line, “UNLIMITED POWER!”