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The Star Wars films are enormously popular, however, George Lucas feels most people don’t understand them. More specifically, he feels people misunderstand an aspect of the movies’ style. Here’s a look at the film in the franchise he considers the most melodramatic.

C-3PO and R2-D2 in Star Wars
C-3PO and R2-D2 | FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images

George Lucas said the infamous ‘Star Wars’ line isn’t tongue-in-cheek

To understand Lucas’ comments, we must look at Attack of the Clones. While all of the Star Wars films have their fans, Attack of the Clones isn’t one of the more well-regarded Star Wars films — at least by critics. It has a middling 65% score on Rotten Tomatoes. One of the common complaints about the movie is that its dialogue is cheesy. For example, Anakin Skywalker compares Padmé Amidala’s body to sand in one scene. In another scene, he says Padmé is in his “very soul, torturing [him].” He also tells Padmé “I am haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me.”

According to MSN, Lucas discusses the latter line in the book The Star Wars Archives 1999-2005. “It is presented very honestly, it isn’t tongue-in-cheek at all, and it’s played to the hilt,” he said. “But it is consistent, not only with the rest of the movie, but with the overall Star Wars style.”

George Lucas wearing a collar
Georges Lucas | Pool BENAINOUS/DUCLOS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

George Lucas on the ‘underlying motif’ of the ‘Star Wars’ style

In addition, Lucas said his saga, in general, is misunderstood. “Most people don’t understand the style of Star Wars,” he said. “They don’t get that there’s an underlying motif that is very much like a 1930s Western or Saturday matinee serial.” Careful viewers will note Star Wars contains many homages to older films like the Flash Gordon serials and John Ford’s The Searchers, so it makes sense the dialogue is consistent with the films which inspired it.

Notably, the dialogue in Attack of the Clones has garnered criticism to a degree the dialogue in most of the other films in the saga have not. Lucas also explained why Attack of the Clones is different from the other Star Wars films. “It’s in the more romantic period of making movies and adventure films,” he said. “And this film is even more of a melodrama than the others.” To this day, Attack of the Clones is the most melodramatic film in the saga, perhaps explaining some of the negative reception. After all, it’s not exactly what people came to expect from the franchise. 

A trailer for Attack of the Clones

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How the world reacted to ‘Attack of the Clones’

So, dialogue aside, did Attack of the Clones resonate with the public? According to Box Office Mojo, Attack of the Clones earned $653 million. In a vacuum, this amount of money might seem impressive. However, it’s important to note Box Office Mojo says the previous film in the saga, The Phantom Menace, earned $924 million. Lucas said most people don’t understand his saga — and it’s impossible to know if that is the case. However, it’s clear they were relatively uninterested in Attack of the Clones.