Target Audience: Phantom Menace vs Attack of the Clones

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Nov 23, 2002
Something that struck myself as a little strange today - IMO child as its key audience: a young boy as a main character; "cute and silly" Ja Ja; plus the Gungans and a pretty queeny pricess person. There's very little violence, no one really gets hurt - and what violence there is, is directed almost entirely at those rather flimsy looking droids, that seem barely capable of holding a blaster, let alone use one effectively.

But then Attack of the Clones is more than a shade more grown up: cute characters discarded; the boy is almost a man; mad violent revenge; extensive fighting and violence (especially the rather pointless and gratuitous light show at the end); people getting their heads cut off...

What strikes me is that the two films are entirely aimed at different target audiences, with Attack of the Clones almost certainly targeting the young teen rather than little boy.

Does anyone see that?

If so, why? Is it because Lucas saw greater merchandising power? Is is simply undirected scripting? Or - perhaps more interesting - is it because he's writing specifically to grow with the audience who saw Phantom Menance? If so, what does that suggest for the last film? Or is that simply wishful thinking? :)
It may be wishful thinking, but if all the rumors are true, then the final movie is going to be incredibly dark. Fortunately, the people who were kids when Phantom Menace came out, will be at least 6 years older by then. I am hoping that if he aims it at an older audience, that it will lack the sillyness of the last two.

No more groan-inducing, happy rolls down the hill, please.

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