Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)

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Dave’s 3-Word Review:
It’s getting there.

Star Wars is an interesting series. No matter how much people hated the original series, they continued to go to the theaters hoping it would get better – which in my opinion, it did. At the same time, the original trilogy should stand a bit separate from the prequels in general, because the stories in the original were more, almost post-apocalyptic in nature, while the prequels were the political stories that got them to that point. That shouldn’t really be an issue, but it is for a lot of people. I may have agreed with the majority of people about the first episode, but to be honest, I honestly enjoyed Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. It was really important for the overall Star Wars collection, and it was quite fun.

This time around, Senator Amidala’s life has been targeted, as she plans to participate in a certain political vote that would hurt the empire. Anakin, now ten years older, is tasked with taking care of her while Obi-Wan investigates who was behind the attacks on her life, which leads him to discovering a hidden planet manufacturing clones…apparently for the republic, but Obi-Wan is weary of that. As Anakin cares for Padme, the two grow intimately closer together, but nightmares of his mother plague his mind.

This film can be separated into two basic stories that focus either on Obi-Wan or Anakin. The story with Obi-Wan feels very much like Star Wars, but Anakin’s story doesn’t…but they couldn’t get away without telling it. This film is part romance, the only film in the whole saga that is part romance – and I’m not saying they did it wrong, but it does feel a little foreign to see it in Star Wars. Not only that, but they switch it between the romance and action a lot – which feels a bit strange. John Williams does a great job transitioning the two polar genres together with his score, but you just can’t escape how wrong some of the romance feels. Like I said though, it was important to the series that it happened.

What I wanted to mention most of all, though, is that the story is much more grounded than the last. The last movie didn’t really even make sense – they needed to introduce Anakin, and get him to the point of being Obi-Wan’s padawan – but past that, the movie was more or less annoying and unnecessary. This one makes sense, and takes you to a place that’s important for the series – including the introduction of the clones – later to be known as Storm Troopers and even Boba Fett. It may not be the best Star Wars film, but it’s not one that you should miss, either.

Some people might have issues with what they did with Yoda in this film, let’s just say they made him more active in this one. Some may say it was out-of-character, but once it happens, I was blown away in the theaters – and I thought it was the coolest and smartest thing I’ve seen them do in a while. The lightsaber duel in this movie wasn’t the best…it was against a really old actor that has trouble moving around…kind of like in the original Star Wars film, but there are some nice visuals to make up for it.

The Good:

For the most part, Attack of the Clones is highly important for the entire saga, and has a lot of unique and original content that basically feels like a very fun science fiction film.

The Bad:

I hate to say it, but Hayden Christensen isn’t the best actor – he’s loads better than Jake Lloyd or Jar Jar, but I still think they could have hired someone else. I also had a problem, somewhat, with the balance between the action/adventure/mystery and the romance – especially when they kept switching it back and forth constantly.

The Random:

Paul Walker auditioned to be Anakin Skywalker?!!

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One thought on “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)

  1. I have stayed away from this film for years. My abiding memory is watching the relationship between Anakin and Padme develop into an horrific saccharine affair and I couldn’t shake the thought that wasn’t he like five years old in the last film?

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