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Ep II Clone War Trailer - Staff Reaction

We've assembled a few early reactions to the Clone War Trailer everyone will get to see this weekend. The TFN Staff was excited to get a chance to see this 2.5 minute look at Episode II in advance. Here's the reaction:

SPOILERS!! Beware of the dark side, we won't be hiding these!

Josh: Best. Trailer. Ever. Will the magic be returning to theaters this May 2002? If this trailer is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes. The trailer is all about contrasts. Let me explain.

The start of the trailer is foreboding and tense, though much of these few opening scenes are familiar, so it builds the intensity to stuff we've been waiting to see for three years. The look over the shoulders of the muttering Genosians into the Arena is exciting, sending Gladiator chills up my back. Mace Windu mutters about Jedi's being "keepers of the peace," a startling contrast to what we will see him doing in a moment, making all out war against evil and the Separatists. We watch as Obi-Wan and Anakin banter back in forth, the fabric of their personalities sharply dividing them.

We watch as poor Anakin is hopelessly lost to the wicked ways of Palpatine when just previously he was instructed not to do ANYTHING without the Council's approval. We continue to see Supreme Chancellor Palpatine looking like the savior of the galaxy he would someday rule as Emperor with infinite powers of evil. Contrast the sweet almost innocence of Padme against the reckless Jedi Anakin now in charge of security, and again when it appears that emergency powers are necessary for peace when instead they will be used for war.

And let me just say this. The Republic gunships are flat out stunning. I love the use of missiles, especially since they wind out of control, drunk on thrust with a thirst for their target. Their smoke trails litter the sky, and shockwaves rip apart those unfortunates still on the ground. The Asteroid chase will make your head spin in the theaters no doubt this May, and the fierce creatures that taunt the heroes in the arena are as daunting as the task of creating them. The vehicles are sharp with many connections to the Classic movies, the influences of the Death Star in the bridge can be seen, the scale of the Star Destroyer is hinted at as the clones load up and the small scale AT-ATs are intriguing.

Absolutely, flat out this trailer has restored my faith in this franchise. For a long time I've felt that Episode II had to make it, or break it, and let me tell you it has ... and then some.

Scott: This is probably the best of the trailers simply because it is so revealing. There's a lot to soak in with this trailer.

I like the tips o' the hat to the classic trilogy such as the Mos Eisley style hangars, the bridge pulling out from under Padme, the look of the clone troopers, and the AT-AT style walkers. I love the incredibly wide variety of new ships. The Attack gunships are my favorite new vehicle in AOTC. They look incredibly formidable and are featured in some wonderful action.

The Jango Fett scene and the asteroid chase look really promising. I like the extensive use of missiles in this film. It never occurred to me that everything in the way of weaponry (except the proton torpedoes in ANH) were lasers in the classic trilogy.

The Coruscant chase DOES look a lot like The Fifth Element. Yoda looks pretty darn good considering he's all CGI. I wonder how he'll hold up on the big screen. The new Jedi also look really promising. They have a variety of fighting styles and lightsabers. It really improves on the Jedi lore. I was worried about how Count Dooku fighting would look in the new film, but the ever-so-brief glimpse of the final battle looks pretty good (though a lot like the fan film Duality).

The battle scenes all look truly epic and spectacular. However, it looks a little too busy at times. Many of the scenes look like millions of ants all moving and crawling around. It's a lot to take in. There's just so much happening on the screen at once that it's hard to focus. The scene cuts away before you can figure out what you're seeing. That's good for ticket sales, but a little disorienting.

Overall, this film makes me more hopeful that Episode II will be better than Episode I. Up until now, honestly, I'd been looking forward to Spider-Man more than Star Wars. (Yes, blasphemy, I know.) This restores my faith that Lucas will deliver. It has the action, humor, and grand effects that we expect from Star Wars. I believe the statement that this will be closer to the Classic Trilogy now.

Anthony: Some irritation points: Some of the dialog was a flat. What's up with the "I hate flying" bit?? The music didn't seem to sync well with the action. The positives: Loved the imagery, the action scenes look very intense, the pacing of the scenes was good, and the hinting at the major plot points was teasing enough to be intriguing. My wife laughed out loud when she saw Jimmy Smits.

Jeff: George Lucas appears to have returned to the great art of imagery. The buildings and streets of Coruscant are now dark and gloomy. The Chancellor's office is covered in war red (with the Imperial Guards in the background). The barren planet of Geonosis appears hard and desolate.

The effects are nothing less than spectacular. Bluescreen filming and CGI seem to meld together perfectly. The space battle between the Jedi starfighter and Slave 1 are a credit to the original asteroid field chase of TESB.

The final battle scene just looks fantastic. The Assault tranports have the Hind look and feel to them. The also move like an attack helicopter. The AT-TE work very well. The transition to the AT-AT looks like a natural stage of development.

The only complaint would be the music does not always appear to match the action on the screen. The opening shots are the best example. The music only works to a point here because there is nothing to be anticipating (which is the intent of the original music).

Spell: Overall it was very exciting. I enjoyed the quick scenes between Obi-Wan and Anakin and liked the sneak peek at the student-teacher relationship between them. I also thought the dialog between Palpatine and Anakin was cool. I especially liked that throughout the trailer you can clearly see the seeds of Anakin's eventual downfall being sown.

The special effects are of course wonderful, especially the shots of the big climatic battle. Actually seeing the Jedi duke it out and kick butt is fantastic!

The only thing I didn't like at first was Yoda saying "Begun, this Clone War has." It just came off a little corny to me. But I am getting used to it :-)

Carter: Simply put, "Clone War" trailer will knock your socks off. Where "Forbidden Love" focused on the romantic aspect between Anakin and Padme, "Clone War" dives into the political maneuverings of the Republic handled ever so smoothly by Palpatine, who delivers exceptionally well.

The spaceships are fantastic as usual with the Solar Sailer being the most elegant spaceship to come along since the Shuttle Tydirium from ROTJ. The heavily armed Attack Gunships in battle make it to be a fearsome arsenal for the Republic. You'll see many visual cues in the military hardware of the Republic as embryonic precursors to the Empire's arsenal in the OT.

If there's one thing I couldn't get enough of from Episode I, it was Coruscant. The additional scenes including the dizzying night chase will leave you hungry for more.

If there's one thing you won't be disappointed about, it's lightsaber battles and laser battles. While the fight between ObiWan and Jango Fett appears to be the scene stealer for one on one duels, the end battle between the Clonetroopers and the Droid army looks to be the mother of all Star Wars land battles. You will be blown away.

My only criticism is the dialogue and the music. Some of the dialogue is dry and they're delivered plainly. The music from the OT seemed somewhat out of character for Episode II and it would have been great to have new music accompany the footage.

"Clone War" trailer looks to restore the magic and the mysticism that we've all come to expect in a Star Wars movie, in that galaxy, far, far away.

Chris: There's a building crescendo with Episode II trailers, beginning with "Breathing" and climaxing with "Clone War": this trailer doesn't just strangle the toad, it incinerates the cow!

Best scene: the clone attack. Where I watched the trailer about 5 times, the attack scenes I watched about 20. It's VERY dense and hearkens back quite a bit to The Empire Strikes Back. Of all the Star Wars trailers to date, this one is my favorite.

Maryann: Expectations are very high for the fourth AOTC trailer and I think most of them will be met. Overall "Clone Wars" is an awesome trailer and blows you away with the visuals. Anakin falling through the Coruscant sky was incredible, as was the Solar Sail. The end battle sequence looks awesome.

There was a good blend of action sequences and dialogue, and enough plot information to let the general public know what the film is all about. Even with all the visual goodies, the two scenes that really stand out to me are Palpy talking to Anakin and Dooku asking Obi-Wan to join him. Those two parts just hint at what's to come and seem like classic SW moments.

My only criticism is that it just didn't seem as smoothly edited together as some of the other trailers and a few of the lines weren't that well delivered. But overall, things are looking very promising for AOTC.

Seb: I love this trailer. I think it gives an amazing look at what promises to be an amazing movie. Everyone at the Ranch should be really proud of the work they've done. The trailer gives a good impression of the plot threads of the film without revealing too much. It's certainly going to excite hardcore fans as well as the general public.

My favourite part is when Anakin and Palpatine are together. They walk along, shrouded in shadow, and it's just like the scene from ROTJ when Palpatine arrives on the second Death Star. McDiarmid even has his hands raised slightly in the air, just as he does when playing the Emperor in ROTJ. The shadow makes Anakin's Jedi robes look like Vader's costume, and Palpatine's robes resemble his Sith garb. Great!

Other stand out parts: the asteroid field, watching Slave I speed alongside the surface of a large asteroid and seeing Obi-Wan's starfighter zoom away from an exploding asteroid; Anakin falling from the speeder and Obi-Wan's reaction to it; Imperial March going in the background as Dooku says "You must join with me, Obi-Wan"; and last but not least, the Battle of Geonosis. This looks like every battle in Star Wars combined together with the added element of hundreds of Jedi. Smoke pours into the sky and laser blasts fly in all directions. Wonderful.

Criticisms? Well...I don't really have that many. Some of the deliveries may not be perfect, but they're not seen in the context of the film. Not to mention they may end up being dubbed (some from the final Episode I trailer were changed for the film). The music choices aren't so good, although I did like hearing that bit of Imperial March. Still, this isn't going to affect the final film, so it's not a big worry. Yoda looked really good in some shots, but the final shot of him looked a little weak.

If it's coming to a TV station near you, make sure you watch it. And if it's not, make sure you download it. Then watch it over and over again.

TFN Staff
March 8th, 2002

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