It sucks to be the worst. Even being the best of the group of the worst is still considered the worst. On the other hand, if you were the best of the worst then you wouldn’t be the worst because there would still be the worst of the worst. I’ll explain what I mean below. The title of “Worst Sequel” is one that is hard fought. Highlander II: The Quickening, Son of the Mask, Batman & Robin, and Speed 2: Cruise Control all have solid claims to the prize. Even Phantom Menace (PM) has a solid shot too. My money goes to Star Wars Episode II: Bring Back of the Groans.
Attack of the Clones is far worse than PM. I’ll let that sink in… The main issue here is that not only is this movie poorly written, it’s also quite boring. The pacing of this movie is just terrible. Decent action in the beginning and end but it’s a tedious sandwich with mediocrity bread. At least PM was bad enough to make fun of and had enough bad jokes to be entertaining. Attack of the Clones is just so irksome in its slowness that it’s hard to follow.
I do like digital Yoda for this movie far more than the abortion of a puppet they had in PM. Don’t misunderstand me, I love practical effects. Puppets and actually built sets are great. That dumb-ass puppet they used in PM is far lower quality than the ones they used in the original movies. I can only imagine the trying to do a lightsaber fight with a puppet Yoda vs. Dooku. While discussing puppets, I want to point out how much we need a Star Wars Muppet movie. They have all the rights and could totally pull something really corny/awesome off. Basically I really want a Pepe Imperial guard stuffed animal. Disney, make this happen. I need this in my life.
This movie starts with a car chase and ends with a really good lightsaber battle but it has a bad episode of Columbo in the middle. I like Columbo but not in my Star Wars movie. Obi-Wan is trying to find a lost star system because of the kind of dart he was hit with and then finds this missing star system that happens to have a fully grown clone army that the Jedi decide to use with no questioning where it came from. I dunno, if I ran into this too-good-to-be-true solution to my problem I would at least figure out the origin of my good fortune.
I didn’t write anything about attempting to remake PM mostly because I wouldn’t. PM was just completely unnecessary and easily could be explained with a paragraph or two. The last fight scene was good but still not needed. The most interesting characters in PM died at the end. Attack of the Clones on the other hand, could be remade into something good. I would want to split this into two movies, remove most of the middle and base a movie on either sides of it. Star Wars Episode I: Search for the Assassin (SFTA) and Star Wars Episode II: The Clone Army (CA).
SFTA would focus on the attempts on Padme’s life and give us character development for our main characters. PM focused on so many unnecessary characters that it would be much better suited to focus less on Jar Jar and Qui-Gon and more on Obi-Wan, Padme, and Anakin. The search for Zam Wesell would be stretched out in a cat and mouse game as opposed to the quick chase scene. I would end on Obi-Wan discovering the existence of Kamino. CA would pretty much be the events when Obi-Wan arrives at Kamino and the story further from there. This way there would be enough story to make a movie and allow for the expanding on some detail that was passed over.
While PM is completely skippable Attack of the Clones is a must watch but you can forward through most of the middle. I would say the best thing you can do is find a copy of Star Wars Episode 3.1: Turn to the Dark Side. It’s a fan cut that is 2 hours and 47 minutes, 8 of which are from PM, 1 hour and 6 minutes from Attack of the Clones, and the remaining 1 hour and 33 minutes from Revenge of the Sith. This will give you,what I consider, to be the best version of these crappy prequels.