George Lucas agrees some Star Wars prequel dialogue is pretty corny

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

George Lucas, Star Wars, prequel, Attack of the clones

Star Wars is known for many things and is one of the most lucrative franchises in the entire world. Its fandom is massive and it continues to be a brand that expands upon its insanely vast universe. This doesn't mean that the franchise is void of criticism and likely the most criticized of the bunch is George Lucas' prequel trilogy. One particular problem has been an issue with the dialogue in the films and that has led to some questioning Lucas's ability as a writer. In an interview with Paul Duncan, the director admits that some of the dialogue is "pretty corny" but, particularly with Attack of the Clones, the prequels follow a specific format of adventure films that lends itself to a dialogue of that nature.

"[Episode II] is presented very honestly, it isn't tongue-in-cheek at all, and it's played to the hilt. But it is consistent, not only with the rest of the movie, but with the overall Star Wars style. Most people don't understand the style of Star Wars. They don't get that there's an underlying motif that is very much like a 1930s Western or Saturday matinee serial. It's in the more romantic period of making movies and adventure films. And this film is even more of a melodrama than the others."

Lucas chose to explain himself in response to a notorious scene in Episode II where Anakin (Hayden Christensen) tells Padme (Natalie Portman) "I am haunted by the kiss that you should never have given." The dialogue is often accused of being corny and unrealistic but Lucas maintains he was being faithful to the overall tone of the films, which were modeled after old-school Westerns and soap opera dramas. The style of filmmaking that Lucas is referring to, featuring dramatic exchanges and overly-earnest performances, went out of style in the business decades ago. By the time his prequel trilogy arrived, this style had certainly gone extinct which makes the films feels as if they're a bit behind the times. Even though some of us have cringed at some of the dialogue in the prequels, it appears that Lucas was not phoning it in because he explained that a lot of time went into rehearsing each scene with the cast before the cameras started rolling:

"There's a bit more soap opera in this one than there has been in the past. So setting the scenes up and staging them was more complex than it usually is. Normally, we would have rehearsals at the beginning of the film. We would read through and then rehearse certain scenes that were tricky. Then, we would work out staging on the set as we were shooting each day, and do the rehearsal as we shot it. This one, because there was a lot more complex staging, I would take the week's work and on the previous Saturday, I would spend all day rehearsing with the actors and the cameraman, and we would stage the scene the scene and rehearse it a couple times. So for the rest of the week, we would have a very clear vision of what we were doing, and didn't have to spend time on the set trying to figure things out."

I believe Lucas isn't lazy about his writing but he seems to embrace a style that hasn't been relevant in cinema for quite some time. Attack of the Clones definitely has some corny lines that make you hold your head in shame but it appears Lucas wrote all of this with the best of intentions. That being said, lines like "I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere", still can't be forgiven.

What are YOUR thoughts on George Lucas' writing style?

Source: Syfy

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