On May 16 2002, Lucasfilm released the second Star Wars Prequel into theaters and Attack of the Clones kicked off The Clone Wars.
The film went on to be yet another controversial entry into the Prequel Trilogy, and even those who like the Prequels will usually rank it below Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith. However, Lucasfilm did make a shorter version of the movie for IMAX cinemas and that cut of the film is vastly superior to the one we got in theaters.
In 2002 IMAX movies weren’t allowed to go beyond two hours in length, so any movie that was released on the format had to be edited down. The IMAX cut of Attack of the Clones cuts out most of the wooden love story dialog (such as the fireplace scene!) and it just moves much faster as a result. It is the superior version of Attack of the Clones, and it’s a real shame that Lucasfilm has never released it officially on home video.
Universal released the IMAX cut of Apollo 13 on DVD a few years ago prior to the first Blu-Ray of that movie, so it’s not uncalled for to see an IMAX cut released out of IMAX theaters. One can only hope that Lucasfilm will find some way to show fans the IMAX Attack of the Clones in the future as it could change some opinions on the movie.
I also have a funny story about my experience watching Attack of the Clones. Back then I was living in the Bay Area and decided to camp out at the official line at the famous Coronet theater. That’s the theater where Lucasfilm liked to hold their employee screenings, and one day when I was in line I decided to go home to take a shower. I chose the wrong time. I found out when I returned to the line that Lucasfilm held their company screening that night, and they invited the line in to see the movie early. D’oh!
I would see more movies at the Coronet (such as The Two Towers while sitting behind Robin Williams), but I missed out on a cool opportunity to see Attack of the Clones there!