5. Hayden Christensen is an atrociously bad Anakin Skywalker
We should start here and get this out of the way. This is something we all know, but a few years without him in my life made the reunion hurt all the more. The romantic scenes are worse than any soap opera on television, with painfully delivered lines and these smoldering looks that make me want to put him out of his misery.
He gives off the feeling of an alien who watches clips of teenagers and then tries to mimic their facial expressions. His awkward smiles early in the movie are replaced with all of the disastrous attempts at romance later on.
The scene when Anakin returns from finding his mother should be an incredibly emotional one as he explains the massacre he committed; plotwise it’s a big deal when Padme chooses to help him justify his actions and comfort him rather than be horrified and pull away sets the path for their tortured relationship and his path to the Dark Side. Instead I just want to roll my eyes at his performance. Somehow in a competition with Jake Lloyd and young Mark Hamill he is clearly the worst actor to portray a Skywalker.
4. This movie criminally underutilized a strong supporting cast
In a 143-minute movie, there should have been significantly more screen time devoted to Christopher Lee (absent completely in the first two thirds of the movie), Jimmy Smits and Temuera Morrison. Did we really need that scene in the meadow when we had the scene on the back porch and the one slicing pears with the Force and the one in front of the fireplace? It’s not like any real development was happening there.
More from Dork Side of the Force
- Daniel José Older named a High Republic Adventures character after someone special
- How animation changed Star Wars: Ewoks and Droids
- Kelleran Beq comes to Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal becomes No. 1 on IMDb’s Starmeter for 2023
- Unwrapping the Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar: Day 7
Why couldn’t the audience see more of why the Separatists were deciding to leave, or what Jango Fett’s role was after providing his DNA? What was the political dynamic in the Senate with the anti-army group that Padme was a part of? There were pieces of the story that could have been told by excellent actors, and instead this movie gave us more of Smolder Boy.
Why cast Jimmy Smits if you weren’t going to use him? He features a bit more prominently in Episode III (still not enough), but he is basically decoration in this movie. Jango Fett gets some run in the middle of the film, but not much more than Zam Wesell. Somehow it took until 2019 for Star Wars to realize that one of its very best creations in Mandalorian bounty hunters should be featured.
Neglecting this supporting cast is more palatable if the main characters are exceptional. That is simply not the case here, as referenced above. The prequel movies in general nailed the casting for minor characters, flopped on the casting for their male lead, and were unwilling to adjust in screen time. One error compounding into more.