Editorial II: Attack of the Sucky Title
Me: "So, did you hear the new official title of Episode II?"
Friend: "No. Do you know what it is?"
Me: "Yes. It was just announced at starwars.com. It's Attack Of The Clones."
Friend: "You're kidding, right?"
Like the poor, confused victim of this news, I once again find myself asking why. The official site explains that this new title "harkens back to the sense of pure fun, imagination and excitement that characterized the classic movie serials and pulp space fantasy adventures that inspired the Star Wars saga." I think it harkens back to killer tomatoes.
An alternate title, which has been rumored for some time now, is "Episode II: The Clone Wars." It goes without saying that "The Clone Wars" would have pleased many a fan. It suggests we're getting back to the business of the Star Wars universe we all know and love. Indeed, "The Clone Wars" seems so simple, elegant, and obvious that you have to conclude Lucas purposefully chose not to use it.
I suspect this title reflects Lucas' response to the fan reaction to Episode I. Perhaps it's Lucas' way of saying "Don't take this stuff so seriously." Or perhaps he's still wishing he'd gotten the rights to Flash Gordon.
I believe Mr. Lucas is underselling his work. The old pulp serials of the 1930s were fun, but they were also hokey, cheesy, and probably the result of three drunk guys dropping marbles on typewriter keys.
Star Wars is much more than just a bunch of cool aliens, spaceships, and lightsaber battles. Whether intentionally or not, the Star Wars saga has become a rich morality tale of good, evil, and redemption. If you've been to the Smithsonian's "Magic of the Myth" exhibit, you know what I'm talking about.
Now, I know I may be over-reacting to this. And it's way too early to give the movie a bad rap. Aside from the title, most of what I've seen about Episode II looks pretty good.
All I'm saying is, I've got a bad feeling about this.