Hey folks, Harry here... Ya know, yesterday took quite a swing on the ol' AICN servers. We got blasted by super high traffic loads and when I did a quick update to David's announcement of the title... I had to keep it short because there was no telling if I'd even be able to update the story, given the precarious nature of the server at that time.
So I never really got to chime in. Things are calm this morning and I figured that I would give you my thoughts on all of this.
I woke up yesterday morning to a phone call from USA TODAY's CÃ©sar G. Soriano, who after confirming that I was I, asked "What is your reaction to the announced title by George Lucas today, STAR WARS EPISODE 2: ATTACK OF THE CLONES?"
Mind you, I hadn't even opened my eyes yet, I had the phone to my ear and I heard "STAR WARS EPISODE 2: ATTACK OF THE CLONES" There was only one reaction... immediate laughter. I never fully composed myself. I had had two hours sleep and I get hit with that? Laughter was the only possible response.
A short while later I get a call from Junior Mintz... that Jersey drawl of hers licking at my ear as she sternly seems adamant at pointing out that "CLONES don't attack, they just sit there till ya tell 'em to do something. Crabs Attack, Polar Bears Attack, Martians Attack, CLONES DON'T!!!!" Again, my only response was laughter.
Last night I broke in the Geek Headquarters Screening Room here at Plaza del Knowles with a double feature of YELLOW SUBMARINE and BARBARELLA in 16mm. Before that were trailers for RAW MEAT, KING KONG ESCAPES, HERCULES AND THE GOLIATH and finally THE KILLER SHREWS! I came into the house and my internet connection was the victim of TIME WARNER's currently spotty due to updates to the system service... so I just went to sleep.
This morning I woke up and came into the living room... sat down, had a couple of swigs of Diet Mountain Dew and looked over at an Auction Catalog that Bruce Hershenson of Emovieposter.Com put on back a month or two ago. It was an auction of an amazing collection of Serial Movie Posters... Those old Chapter Plays that Annie Wilkes told us about... As I perused the catalog, my eyes gazing over to luscious and beautiful posters of yesteryear, I started looking at the Chapter Titles for the Genre Serials...
Chapter 4 of the FLASH GORDON serial - "BATTLING THE SEA BEAST"
Chapter 1 of THE UNDERSEA KINGDOM serial - "BENEATH THE OCEAN FLOOR"
Chapter 2 of DICK TRACY serial - "THE BRIDGE OF TERROR"
Chapter 5 of DICK TRACY RETURNS serial - "DEATH IN THE AIR"
Chapter 6 of FLASH GORDON'S TRIP TO MARS serial - "TREE-MEN OF MARS"
Chapter 14 of FLASH GORDON'S TRIP TO MARS serial - "A BEAST AT BAY"
Chapter 2 of THE SPIDER RETURNS serial - "THE FATAL TIME-BOMB"
Chapter 6 of CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT serial - "WEIRD WATERS"
Chapter 12 of THE PHANTOM serial - "THE FANGS OF THE BEAST"
Chapter 1 of the BATMAN serial - "THE ELECTRICAL BRAIN"
Chapter 1 of the TIGER WOMAN serial - "THE TEMPLE OF TERROR"
Chapter 5 of the BATMAN AND ROBIN serial - "ROBIN RESCUES BATMAN"
Chapter 12 of the SUPERMAN serial - "BLAST IN THE DEPTHS"
Chapter 3 of the BATMAN AND ROBIN serial - "ROBIN'S WILD RIDE"
Chapter 8 of the BATMAN AND ROBIN serial - "ROBIN MEETS THE WIZARD!"
Chapter 1 of COMMANDER CODY SKY MARSHAL OF THE UNIVERSE serial - "ENEMIES OF THE UNIVERSE"
Ya know, there's always been a silly nature to STAR WARS... The way the spaceships swoop around, the way Luke Skywalker would just inexplicably do a backflip in the midst of a fight with Darth Vader, letting the Wookie win at chess, laugh it up laser brain, how you get so big eating food of this kind, R2D2 as a chew-toy, going to pick up them Power Converters, it might not look like much on the outside, Yahoo kid now let's blow this place and go home, what a delightful smell you've discovered, I have you now, Just as soon kiss a wookie, CLOSER?!?!?!?!?
You get the point. There's a playful fun silliness to STAR WARS, of course in the great chapters, "A NEW HOPE" and "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK" there was a perfect mixture of pathos, mythos and sillios.
When George Lucas was first telling us about THE CLONE WARS, when we were all little tykes, clones were a mysterious science fiction concept. Somewhat abstract. But now that we have DOLLY THE CLONE SHEEP, well clones have a rather silly nature to them. THE CLONE WARS is a gang war over cel phone scams in Manhattan. Right now, our perception of CLONES is quite sedate and goofy. Weird Al said it best with, "I think I'm a clone now, there's always two of me just a'hangin around!"
Comedians would be having a field day with the clones concept, internet reactionaries would goof all day all night on the concept. And the general perception of CLONES is no longer BOYS FROM BRAZIL menace, but well... a sheep. So George needed to come up with a title that instantly redefines what it is his clones do that Dolly the Sheep doesn't. These clones attack.
ATTACK OF THE CLONES is actually quite heartening for me, there was a part of me that kept thinking about George Lucas' promise that this chapter was an adult romance... I kept fearing the advent of "SPACE LOVE" as a title or THE RIBALD TALES OF THE JEDI or THE SEDUCTION OF ANAKIN. ATTACK OF THE CLONES means... CLONE WAR, it means badass battles, it means enough goofy trade agreements, it's time to kick ass.
When the press release that said:
"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..."
...well, he's right. So many of us think of these chapter titles as being THE title. No, the title is STAR WARS... ATTACK OF THE CLONES is what this chapter is about. And frankly, it's a helluvalot better than non-stop robot fights. These clones aren't Dolly the sheep. These clones kill the Jedi, destroy the classic era of peace that has existed for quite some time. Clones mean blood and sadness and despair. Clones attack with no quarter, no mercy. ATTACK OF THE CLONES... Yeah, I can live with it. Why the hell not, the title makes me giggle and look forward to the film. Besides it pisses off so many, and that rules!