Movie Name: Star Wars—Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Release Date(s): May 16, 2002
MPAA Rating: PG
Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) continues his training under Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) as a Separatist movement rises up against the Republic led by a former Jedi named Lord Dooku (Christopher Lee). While the Jedi help to quell the uprising, Anakin is sent to protect Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman) from assassination attempts. Obi-Wan investigates a planet called Kamino and learns that an army of clones made from a bounty hunter named Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) and commissioned by a Jedi who was believed to be dead might be what the Republic needs to stop the uprising. As Anakin falls in love with Amidala, he’s forced to return to his home of Tatooine where he faces his past. When Obi-Wan is captured by Dooku, only Anakin and the Jedi can save him.
George Lucas return to direct Star Wars—Episode II: Attack of the Clones (also just known as Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones). After the disaster that was The Phantom Menace in 1999, fans were pretty wary of a new Star Wars film. With a downgraded Jar Jar presence, Attack of the Clones sought to undo some of the damage done by The Phantom Menace…and of course like everything Star Wars…made a ton of money. The money made by Attack of the Clones will continue to climb however…Lucas also intends to release all the films in 3-D.
Attack of the Clones is an improvement, but it isn’t perfect. This movie also was filled with wordy, flowery speeches from Anakin…this time played by Hayden Christensen instead of Jake Lloyd. Talks about freedom, etc. just don’t seem right and they don’t flow. It is the heavy handed dialogue that drags the movie down. Though Jar Jar has been eliminated, C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) have been forced into a more slapstick role than they were in when the first trilogy was made.
The action continues to be strong in this film. The opening pursuit of the bounty hunter is fun and fast paced. Obi-Wan’s battle with Jango Fett on the water world of Kamino in the rain continues to provide different locals for the the film. Plus, with the advances of special effects, we finally get to see Yoda fight. The end battle on Geonosis with all the Jedi and clone troopers also has a real battle feel (interesting fact that all the clone troopers are computer generated and none of the armor was made).
George Lucas continues to contend that he makes these movies for kids, but the plot with the Separatists and the clone army is so hard to follow. The story with Empire and the fallen Republic in the original series wasn’t a major plotpoint…it was occurring but it wasn’t central to what is going on in the story.
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clone is a better movie and is almost on par with Return of the Jedi. There are definite flaws in the movie, but it isn’t too bad. If you can get past the frolicking on Naboo between Amidala and Anakin or just fast forward any of their discussions, it isn’t that bad. It is a better than average but not great movie. Star Wars—Episode II: Attack of the Clones was followed by Star Wars—Episode III: Revenge of the Sith in 2005.