There are common themes in hate mail--a fact no doubt nettling to those benighted souls putting hardscrabble pen to paper for perhaps the first non-"doomed community college application" purpose of their artless lives. They are as wanting for imagination and grace as the films they choose to defend. Without logic and without information, they respond kneejerk-like, rising in defence of films that, for the most part, they haven't seen with points that are indefensible and harangues impotent, ignorant, and occasionally disturbing.
With regard to Star Wars, these delightful Hegelian critiques fall into four easily identifiable categories:
1. "You're stupid."
Generally, folks will begin by saying something about me using a thesaurus that inevitably segues into a discussion of how I only like independent films (you know, like The Fellowship of the Ring, Blade II, and Spider-Man) and am incapable of leaving my brain at the door so as to enjoy an unchallenging and laggard product. Despite first establishing that I'm too smart for Episode II and too out of touch with my inner-moron, I am also unerringly an "idiot" and in need of some kind of (retrograde?) education to better appreciate the non-intricacies and witless garbage of said picture. To which I respond, "Fair enough."
2. "You never liked it in the first place!"
Others will approach the problem by rationalizing that since I didn't like a film that clearly sucks ass, I must not have liked the first three films, which clearly didn't suck ass. (Well, except for Return of the Jedi--I liked it even though it sucks ass.) The rationale here that I have a personal vendetta against George Lucas despite being the only person on the planet who consistently mentions THX-1138 as one of the better "small" sci-fi pictures of the Seventies. I don't know the man, but I can tell you with some certainty that he can't write and can't direct. (Huxley and Kurosawa will add that he never had an original thought in his head.) What they respond to in my piece is the surprise, outrage, and passion; I hazard that a half-hearted, "Eh, I knew it was going to be this bad," probably wouldn't have spurred the barbarians on through that gate.
3. "Your expectations are too high!"
Closely related to the first, these folks operate under the kindly guise of saving my soul. They will express sadness that I can't enjoy myself whilst watching films; they will wonder aloud in moony undertones how I ever found myself in a profession I so obviously despise; they will contend that I have the unrealistic expectation to be entertained and engaged by a film; and they will convey the ardent hope that I someday lay down my sword and shield and allow swill to wash over me in a fetid wave. They might continue into a carefully wrought argument that although all of these movies stunk (sic), they loved them anyway--unable or unwilling to distinguish between campy exuberance and criminal and cynical incompetence. Disingenuousness is the rule of the day.
Though this sort of benevolent reverie will most often devolve into a round of "you're an idiot" (see above), on occasion it doesn't. Those are the ones you keep an eye on.
4. "You're a/n (expletive of choice)"
And finally, there are those who, lacking the animal cunning to disguise their dangerous sociopathology, engage in virulent and witless sarcasm before launching into scatological description and impossible invitations to engage in fetishistic sexual acts. I've been waiting, but no one has yet displayed the drollness to use the phrase "moist as a snack cake."
- - -
The great irony is that a film like Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones does indeed bring out the child in many otherwise reasonable people. (Consider that for as much hate mail as I've received for this one piece, I've also received an inordinate amount of apologies from people coming to their senses a day or two later.) It inspires in them a fervour akin to religious ecstasy, essentially blinding them to any fault and, in this case (all of these letters were received prior to the film's opening date) to any possibility of fault. The old maxim that a popular author might sell his grocery list holds particularly poignant and not only because Episode II is essentially a rambling toy commercial. Lucas could sell his unedited, unconsidered effluvium for a hideous amount of money--and tries to. That's without honour; that in the trying he succeeds is one of the more disquieting truisms of groupthink and the politics of the pod.
As if proof were needed, read on.-Walter Chaw
IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY...
Dude...........Lucas is a god. Obviously you don't get it. *sigh* your loss
Dear Mr. Chaw, I just read your review SWII-AOTC. Wow, talk about high standards. I think by the tone of your review you have a personal thing against GL. It seems to me that no movie is going to empress your "I am the greatest reviewer of all time/know everything about the film industry." personality. At least it comes across that way in this review. Although I have not seen SWII, I am assured that it is not the "rambling behemoth without a pilot; a sucking black hole that continues to fecklessly sully the memories of an entire generation of folks". You go on to include yourself in that generation. Well, I am of that generation also and although I see the faults in the first three films.( btw Empire is second! not first. the sappy love stuff between Liea and Solo at the end made it second. the original is first!) GL has created a world that movie goers can dive into and enjoy. We, the true fans of SW, don't have or need this high and mighty view of how true filmmaking should be or true acting should be. Stay away from Sci-fi. Maybe you should write a book on the subject and leave the "I hate GL" at home. Or look to get some help. Maybe he will go to counseling with you or something. As for SWI-TFM, I do have to agree with some"not most" of your ideas. But, maybe you could come down to earth a little and think of it this way. Try and remember the best story you ever told your friends, say when you were 15. Now try to remember that story exactly as you told it and then try to expound on it to your now 30 year old friends and see if you get the same reaction. I think it might take you one or two passes to get back that first reaction.
your review of attack of the clone was amateurish at best, is it possible to get reviews from someone who doesnt have a grudge? it destroy all credibility the review might hold.
too bad, I could have used it for our magazine.
Having seen the film myself, I must say that I completely disagree with your scathing review of Star Wars II. I've read your reviews before and I knew that you would not appreciate the type of film that Lucas was going for, but to label the film as racist is more than just a little bit over the top, IMO. While the film definitely has its flaws, as do most Saturday-matinee-popcorn-type-flicks, you definitely get the Oscar for Best Melodrama. It is an enjoyable film, to say the least, and will make millions of people happy, despite your prognostications. Lighten up.
P.S. A someone who ALSO grew up on the original trilogy, I thought the Yoda fighting seen kicked-ass
I read your review about Episode II of the Star Wars films, because I am interested in what other's views of the film will be. I have not seen it yet, but hope (and guess) that I will enjoy it more than you did. Just as a comparison, I read your Spiderman review, and found it to be quite positive. Which suprised me a great deal. You probably get these emails frequently, but I thought I would send one anyway just to say I strongly disagree with your review on that movie,and probably will on Episode II. Spiderman was entertaining at times, and Dunst and Macquire were okay for the roles, but what a weak movie. The dialogue, and character development was nothing, poor at best, and the computer effects were almost as bad as the verizon or whatever phone company commercial. I felt like I was watching an episode of the power rangers, with the Green Goblin. What a joke, he was no more scary than the guy bagging your groceries at the Dominicks. And the storyline, how stupid! I cant criticize your Star Wars review too much, because I havent seen it,and do agree that the dialogue from the SW movies isn't great, but wake up on two things. First, the dialogue in the original trilogy isn't that great, in fact it is quite comical if you watch it. It is just in the way the actors deliver the lines that make them work. Second, the original SW trilogy was almost 20 years ago. Wake up, and get in the present. they would most likely be 1/2 of the success they were then, if they were new to the theater now. Times have changed. Movies that are released today are vastly different than they were now. Some of your comments sound like Connie Chung in interviewing George Lucas on CNN, the way she asked them "After 9/11 do people still want to see movies with good guys and bad guys", get educated about what you talk about, and don't just try to impress yourself with how many big words you can use in a review.
Have a nice day.
It's very easy to fashionable slag something off just because no-one is expecting you to... I've read reviews from other journalists that are much more respected than yourself and they rather enjoyed it. My gut feeling is that you didn't actually mean what you said in that review - you just said it to go against the grain and boost your own ego.
Why even bother giving it a half of star, this movie doesn't deserve that. Why did you even bother seeing the movie? It must have been so hard to sit there and soak it all in. And you know what. I think you better watch the Empire Strikes Back once again. That movie was terrible. What passion? What energy? How does it forgive anything? Your not being realistic. Come on now. Why don't you tell everyone what you really think. Don't be the nice guy.
I am speechless to say the least, which was obviously your goal in writing this ridiculous review. By displaying your avid hatred and discontent for Attack of the Clones, not only do you come off as a cocky pessimist who obviously wants to debunk all the happy hype around you, but it also seems, though it is your job to an extent, that you just take movies way too seriously. I feel sorry for you because it seems that you're almost having a heart attack as your hatred for this film seems to drain you of energy. Also, your writing is absolutely horrid. Though it may feel good to display your intelligence and worldly knowledge with terms like "peculiarly misanthropic agoraphobia", it's just bad formula. Any good writer knows using anything more than common terms in a written piece meant for public eyes is elitist and exclusive. Not to mention the terrible use of compounded adjectives, "most inept piece of hubristic garbage I've ever had the alarming misfortune to see realized", stacked like pancakes in a lame attempt to make the sentence somehow more insulting... ridiculous. The racism issue: It's political-correctness-guardsmen such as yourself that will one day make modern society a completely white-washed and sterile place to reside. I am half Korean, and while I do find some racial connotations with certain characters in the films, I, in no way, think it's a bad thing. I think they make the movie better. If given the chance, I bet you would jump right up to sue Lucas for his "misuse" of racial characterizations in these films. More power to you in trying to rid the world of race. More power to you in your attempt to make everyone white. Without the characteristics that each of our separate races avow, we are all sterile white men. If this is what you want, press on brother. It is obvious that you wanted to hate Episode II before you even sat down in the theater chair - the quintessential naysayer at every movie. The guy who sits down and rolls his eyes even before the lights dim. The hype is driving you insane, and for this I am all the more chipper. This is our time, Mr. Chaw. The time for legions of avid Star Wars fans to rise up and love the films that we grew up on, and it's driving you mad. Your review stinks of preemptive hatred and it's apparent that you are simply jealous of Lucas' billions made off good, yet simple, storytelling. FINAL THOUGHTS: I think it's absolutely hilarious that your scathing review is drenched with Star Wars promotional advertisements for posters, action figures, and soundtracks. It provides those who find your review to be as trivially full of hatred as I do a direct link to the great products of LucasFilm Ltd.
I find it hard to believe your review. It seems that you hated star wars from the very beginning. I don't think you would know a good movie if it slapped you in the face. You're an idiot and I can't beleive your even allowed to review movies. I can't wait to see Attack of the Clones now because I know it will be the best movie I've seen in a long time after reading your review. Only becuase I know you are the biggest dumbass who ever wrote a review. Star Wars has always had corner lines even in the originals. Do us all a favor and never write another review for any movie. Reading your review makes me believe you are jealous of George Lucas. Have a great day!
Star Wars Fan forever
" Chaw ", You wish !!! Oooh boy, you are the dumbest fool i've ever come across. I like how you have all the Ep2 items for sale as you are trashing the movie. 1/2 a Star ? Damn, you are a bitter, bitter " man ". You should run off to some retreat for angry assholes and purge yourself of all of your negative energy. After doing that go back to the theater ( not asking - telling you, dipshit ) and keep your eyes off the picture that you keep in your wallet of that " damn bitch wife " who left you for a Star Wars geek , sit back and relax - allowing that bug up your ass to finally escape and enjoy the best damn summer movie of the new millenium. Ok, pukeface ? Huh, you ugly and horrid piece of shit ?
Your Bitch Momma (who hates you )
You need to seriously get a life. By your CLONES review it seems that you don't do much else with your time aside from sitting around and trying to be as mean and vindictive as possible. If you don't like the movie, then fine. Say so. But to rip people apart like that? I feel sorry for the hard life you must have had growing up. Peace out!
To Mr. Walter Chaw
What a quaint little speck of unjournalistic vomitis
that you have graciously spewed forth. Did your
mommy help you write this ungodly Victorianesque
tripe, or was it the thesaurus for dummies. You
truly impress us with your extensive vocabulary and
snide remarks....truly, but your vacuous points lose
audience. I do not know who is worse in society?
Money whores like Lucas who have bastardized an
incredible saga from childhood memory, or
fecal-mouthed cybercunts like you who flaunt their
dry opinions in bolshy tongue as if they matter. The
common people will decide what they feel-and in the
words of my more meager colleagues( who like me, are
hard working blue-collars).......GET A FUCKING JOB,
GET FUCKING LAID, AND KEEP YOUR MEANINGLESS BANTER
Oi you tosser!!!!!! Oh, and if I misspelled
Mr. Reviewer: It is sad that someone who is going to be so belligerant in their criticism is also so ignorant. You write first that "Episode II, you see, is more a sequence of events related to an assumed knowledge of the Star Wars universe than a proper narrative," meaning, I assume, that you must have a knowledge of Star Wars to understand the movie. Then you say, "Episode II was executed in a vacuum, having no relationship to anything save itself." How can both of these statements be true if the first implies a connection to other movies and the second professes that EP2 exists solely in a vacuum? And if you want to talk about "displaying peculiarly misanthropic agoraphobia" check out your OWN language. I am a Star Wars fan burned by Episode I, so I can fully understand being let down by another Star Wars film ... but you sound like a two year old having a temper tantrum just because someone took your twenty year old lollipop (called Star Wars) away. It's terribly unbecoming.
Good luck with your therapist ...
I thought your review of Episode 2 was pure genius. I mean your incredible use of dramatic "big words" and your complete disrespect and even racial allegations are just damn peachy. Go watch a chick flick and suck some "moist cock" until you have no feeling in your mouth anymore. After all it is what you are best at.
99% of the reviews i've read were all positive of episode2:Attack of the clones. You'r review is the only one that was negative so that leads me to believe you either hate the success and rave reviews that this movie is and will receive or you just have a problem with that fact that your a critic of movies and not a real journalist. Just so you'll know, i am not your typical fanatic fan that is rebutling you'r review, just wondering why the harsh attitude toward the movie? So you will know i am a producer/song writter / musician with a hit song going to be released this summer on one of my close friends new cd which is under a major label and have had a huge following or loyal fan base for there music for 22 years now. By the way i will be retireing next year at age 30 but still continueing my music career. Will you still be downing peoples films on the net or get a real job and try to retire if your lucky at 60 years of age?
P.S. Hope you can take critism and sarcasm. If you can't, then don't dish out what you can't take in return, O.K. Buddy!!!!
In the fear that you might stop reading after this, F&%K You. I have just finished watching the second installment for the secong time in 12 hours. Fisrt of all, let me tell you that I am not a die hard, dress up as Vader for Halloween, camp outside the theater type. I am a normal person who had the opportunity to see this movie a few days early. I have to admit, that the Phantom Menace, never really seemed like a Star Wars movie. I am happy to say that this one did. About half way through I really felt like I was watching another chapter in the trilogy, which is what most fans really want.While I agree that the first 45 minutes may be a little slow, I , unlike you, happen to realize that a three movie franchise of the scope of Star Wars (IV, V, & VI), not only begs for but requires some backround storytelling, it's not Lucas's fault that it doesn't have the suprise ending of an M. Night movie. Everyone around the world knows how this story ends. There are few ways he can suprise us in that respect. Had there been three movies about a dead shrink that helps the living, the Sixth Sense would have sucked as a movie, because there was no secret to figure out. Lucas is instead, forced to try to tell a known story with the occasional twist and turn. He rationalizes Jar-Jar's existence in this movie. Now we know why we had to even have that character. And while the chases are very breath taking, I dare you to try to do something inventive, with the expectations that Lucas has been saddled with. Had this been the first in the series, it would have been ground breaking, even with effects as they are today. You are talking about a man who's opening weekend box office, as well as budget per film average, both exceed box office reciepts from almost every Woody Allen movie he has ever made. And no offense to Luke, but watch the original trilogy again. Hayden is no more wooden and hammy than Hamill was.
Finally, I want to make two points. One, despite what the credits might say, Han Solo and Darth Vader were the stars of the first three movies. Unfortunately, there is no acceptable way to include these two characters in the newest trilogy. Without them, there will always be a piece missing. This is not Lucas's fault, unless you would rather him bring in Harrison Ford as Han Solo's cocky, balls to the wall father, and I can't think you would refrain from bashing that concept. But most importantly is point two. Lucas made this film for me, not for you. I didn't want to critique every nuance in the film. I wanted to see a vestige of the original series with some new stuff thrown in. I loved hearing, as did everyone I watched the movie with, the bitching and cheesy lines of C3PO. We all cheered with big smiles on our faces when Yoda went Matrix on Count Dooku. And I would rather look at Natalie Portman in a mid-driff for 30 minutes, than Carrie Fisher in her cinnamon buns anyday. In short, this isn't Schindler's List or Annie Hall or Godfather, this is Star Wars. It is good versus evil in a galaxy far far away. It is meant to entertain and awe, and in both of these categories, I and everyone else who I have talked to so far, agree that this hits the mark dead-on. And we are not in need of fundamental rules of storytelling and coherence, we have appreciation for the art of filmmaking and acting, a sense of grace, and patience for the subtleties of tension and character development. But most of all we want to see the worlds we remember, and the characters we remember, all the rest is icing on the cake. If Phantom Menace was a C, Attack of the Clones is an A, which sets up Episode III, for an A++
To quote Seinfeld: "How's this for criticism. YOU STINK! How do you like
Just read your review of Star Wars Episode II. I'm
just curious but since you
seem to resent Lucas so much is it because he's
created one of the most
beloved movie franchises of all time and your a
hopeless hack of a critic who
babbles for a website noone has heard of? You
obviously know less than
nothing about film.
Walter Chaw, In terms of the review, you are a reviewer and are doing your job. But how can you expect anyone to take any of your opinions on films seriously when you are selling merchandise for the film literally IN YOUR REVIEW! If I were you I would consider a new employer because I plan on relating the absurdity of your site to my associates. Its just too absurd not to. Certainly the same level of absurdity as you say the new Star Wars film has.
Just read your review of Star Wars. It sounds to me like your a frustrated little man. Your the kind of guy that expects every movie he sees to be a potential academy winner. The original Star Wars was one of those rare films that became a cult classic. There wasnt any fantastic acting or dialogue in it. And over the years the release of each film is more of an event than anything else. There just plain fun to watch. And like the rest of them, this film will do very well. Try relaxing a little bit, go to the movie and just enjoy it for what it is. I swear sometimes you critics say things just to justify your existence. I'm happy to say in this case no matter how you bad mouth this film, people will still come out to see it.
Walter Chaw, you sir, are a dickhead.
"I could politicize here, but what's the use of lamenting the franchise's continued vilification of Asians, Jews, and Blacks in "wink wink" alien lingo and caricature if no lessons were learned from Episode I?"
Oh wow. I'm trying to keep an open mind, please elucidate on why you played the racism card, as quoted above.
Hello Bill, I read a few of [Walter Chaw's] reviews and one thing is clearly apparent, he has a real problem with blockbuster type popular films. Every movie is not designed to be Citizen Kane or The Godfather. These are great, truly special films that succeed on many different levels. No, some movies are made to be pure, raunchy, cinematographic offenses that are made to meet one goal, to entertain. In reviewing some of these films, it is clear that Walter just missed the point. He was not a fan going in and he let his prejudgement cloud his ability to enjoy some of these "easy readers" that were never indended to send their cast to center stage at the Oscars. It is unfortunate that he missed the opportunity the just sit back and let some of these films grab him by the shirt and bounce him around for a few hours. Walter should stick to reviewing Indie films written by guys wearing black that try, sometimes woefully, to make a movie so far over everyone's head that is scares reviewers into saying it is a masterpiece because they didn't understand it (sse the children's story The Emperor's New Clothes) or were so dreadfully bored that they figure they must have missed some deep meaningful message. Secret for you Walter, your positive reviews of such films bring hours of laughter from the writers and directors of these films as they pat each other on the back, having got "another one" to fall for their little joke. Stick to what you know Walter, it obviously isn't film. If you hurry right now to the library, they probably have some Jack Kerouac or Henry Miller you can beat against your head until some "hidden meaning" falls out onto your lap. Good luck with your life, it will apparently be devoid of fun for fun's sake.
Wow your of EP2 review was the worst piece of critic drivel i've ever READ!!i just recently seen this movie a test screening,and its by FAR a much better movie than EP1.ALL STAR WARS films did not really get great reviews,but you think thats going to stop the fans from seeing it NO!!WHO CARES ABOUT perfect acting,if you want go back and watch RAGING BULL ,this is a SCI- FI adventure did the flash gordon serials in thirties have great acting noo!!you sound like utter bore ,and comparing this film to BATLEFIELD EARTH you should cut the dose of whatever drug your using you old fart.
May the Force Be With You.
Why so bitter, especially to a star wars movie?
Your review is total garbage, and I guess it was just an attempt to generate some visits for your pathetic website.
You, sir, are lucky to even be paid, even if one could say a internet film critic(and a not very good one at that) could be lucky.
For your public whoring though, I wish you a long life filled with disease, pestilence, and sexual dysfunction.
That Star Wars EII review of yours...... YOU ARE ONE SCREWED UP SOUL! For one how watches films and does reviews every week for the Hawaiian Bulletin you are one sick bastard with the crap you wrote about this film. What in the name of God took over those hands of yours when you wrote suck shit! Hey I saw it THREE times now...I broke it down...Yeah it has problems, yeah the dialogue isn't great...Yeah it has its great points and moments....but what you wrote.....you are one anal screw off that really shouldn't be writing anything. For your information Star wars is for 12 year olds and for you not to see this since 1977 you are pretty stupid! You have looked into this way to much! You must be some kind of geek Lucas passed on for an autograph or something. Maybe you just haven't got laid since 1977....yeah that's it....its the getting laid thing..... Keep writing your shit...sooner or later no one will be reading it...believe me. P.S. Since the start Lucas did these films the way he wanted... not the way I wanted ...not the way you wanted. If you want to get on your high horse and bash this movie to hell how about this...Get off that fat ass of yours...sit on the fucking computer and start spending a few years writing a good script. In the end of the 140 or more pages you write...lets see what kind of masterpiece you have! Do you have an editor? Hint from a fellow writer...You need one.
Hula from the Harley.
The movie was fantastic and frankly am sick and tired of petulant snobs that for some reason have a personal grudge against Lucas,with some of them actually making it a personal duty to not simply attack the movie but going so far as to question Lucas character. This people are truly pathetic lifeforms that left behind their chilhoods a long long time ago, and exchanged that for a deep deep cynical attitude towards everything, they fail to see what one reviewer rightfully called this movie which is ultimately a matinee movie with a tad of a message and a whole lot of fun, for some perverse reason I suspect that this people would only be pleased if this movie was dark and ugly,with human relations that are complex, messy ultimately doomed, perhaps more in alignment with their own souls, I suspect that too much latte and cappuccinos have made them ultimately bitter. But lets not forget that ultimately professional critics are nothing more than what I call "parasites of art"
AND ON OUR SIDE... (THE DARK SIDE?)
Thanks for telling the truth about this piece of shit ! I'm amazed at the clips they have been showing in the TV ads. The dialogue is as awful as the acting. I thought that Episode 1 was an accident and hoped that AOTC would be as good as The Empire Strikes Back. But now I won't even go to see it for the special effects ... Thanks again,
Curious as to how those who have seen the movie, "Attack of the Clones," so far have reacted to it, I visited TheForce.net, and went to your critique first, being that it was labeled, "Negative." And indeed, it was negative. And I have absolutely no problem with that, at all. I think that it's great to have people who will point out the negative aspects of the movie, to balance out all of the good reviews. (Though, half of those reviews will be disguised ass kissing towards Mister Lucas) When you come right down to it, I feel that this is something that was done to appease George Lucas himself, to quench the thirst of the geek spirit within him. However, it also quenches the thirst of every other geek spirit who sees the movie. (Including myself) While I feel that the Star Wars movies are spectacular, and I did not particularly mind Episode I, I will be among the first to agree with you that the dialogue has always been rather weak. (Mark Hamill's dialogue in Return of the Jedi seemed as if he was tiptoeing around the actual lines. And Anakin's constant, "Yipee!" gets to everyone) When it comes right down to it, to fully enjoy the Star Wars series, you have to have some geek within you, somewhere. And those are the people whom are going to love this movie. And also, those are the people it was made for. As an independent film maker, I am incredibly grateful for your review. Because now, I will go into the theater, and not analyze the directing, nor the writing, for now I know that's where it's weakness lies, and instead, I will watch it as a geek, to be entertained. And I have no real problem with that. In short, thank you for your honest about the movie, and thank you for pointing out for us where the weakness in it lies.
You are a credit to the entire site you work for.
Walter - Just wanted to drop a line to let you know that I was practically cheering by the end of your ATTACK OF THE CLONES review. Sheer brilliance.
Eat that, Lucas!
I just finished reading all the negative email you received since reviewing Attack of the Clones (what a terrible, terrible title), and am laughing nearly too hard to type. My, my...one would think these fans had actually written the script themselves, from their hysterically shrill accusations! The truth of the matter, whether anyone wants to admit it, is that Lucas is killing the Star Wars franchise. In waiting 15 years before completing his vision, he screwed up royally. The kids that we were when we sat open-mouthed in the theatre in 1977, have grown up. George himself claimed many years ago, after Return of the Jedi, that he would never make another Star Wars film...and we believed him. Taking that statement to heart, people began to flesh out his universe themselves; books and comics followed, and Star Wars took on a life of its own...a better, more fully rounded life than it had. Now, George returned with the frivolous, insulting, and just plain boring Episode I...and people scratched their heads in puzzlement. We remembered the previous movies as being entertaining, fun, and riveting. Because George had presented his universe - for the very first time, I might add - as a place where machinery actually broke down; spaceships could be hunks of junk, and not everything was pristine and untouchable, ala 2001 - A Space Odyessy, it drew us in and made it seem "real" from that perspective...and all the credit goes directly to George, and rightfully so. He ushered in a new era of SF movies, that were realistically portrayed, for the most part. His movies had an old-fashioned feel to them, where the bad guys were bad, the good guys good, and you knew how it all was going to turn out. He didn't paint racially insulting characters; to place "Earth-based" patterns of dialogue and slang on aliens, fer chrissakes, didn't seem to have occured to him. Too bad he didn't stick with that. Star Wars was groundbreaking, because it wasn't aimed at any particular demographic...young, old, in-between could enjoy themselves. However...it's no longer new, nor groundbreaking. To catch the consumer's attention, his reliance upon CGI and special-effects have overwhelmed story and characters, which was TRULY what drove the movies in the first place. Luke Skywalker's character was the straight-man, and playing off him was the inimitable Han Solo - there is no equivalent Han in this new series; no sympathy-generating characters nor those who shine simply because of their presence. You might as well populate the new movies with CGI generated characters, (oh, wait - he is; my bad) since the dialogue and unfortunately, the actors themselves, have little to no charisma. It isn't their fault - they didn't write the script, and a Harrison Ford or Alec Guiness isn't easy to find. I wish I could sit down with Mr. Lucas, and try to explain to him that he really shouldn't have done it...and with each new movie, he kills Star Wars just a bit more. There are plenty of 5 year olds who will love Attack of the Clones, and plenty of persons who misguidedly believe that George can do no wrong; (Howard the Duck, anyone?) many of the rest of us, will continue to shake our heads, and wish he had left well enough alone, because these Episode I and II suck...and it's a damn shame.