Movie: Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
Release Date: 16 May 2002
Runtime: 144 Minutes

IMDb Synopsis: Ten years after initially meeting, Anakin Skywalker shares a forbidden romance with Padmé Amidala, while Obi-Wan Kenobi investigates an assassination attempt on the senator and discovers a secret clone army crafted for the Jedi.

Frank Oz in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

AKA: Star Wars, The Love Story

I had never seen this movie until this viewing. I went in with full on dread. It was not the all time worst movie I have ever seen. I kept getting the feel of a “made for TV movie”.

Was not a Hayden Christensen fan. At all.

I LOVED Yoda battle.

I do not regret watching it. Would be hard pressed to see it again though.

Running at two hours and twenty-two minutes, this was the longest of the Star Wars films until Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), which runs at two hours and thirty-two minutes.

Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

Just before Anakin goes to search for his mother on Tatooine, he has a conversation with Senator Amidala. The camera pans to their shadows as they talk, and Anakin’s resembles that of Darth Vader. According to the DVD commentary, the Vader-like shadow that Anakin casts was not a visual effect, but a coincidence.

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When Jango Fett gets into his ship after his fight with Obi-Wan, he bangs his head on the partially open door. This was intentional, and is a reference to a famous goof from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), where a stormtrooper accidentally bangs his head on a door.

Temuera Morrison in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

According to George Lucas, Obi-Wan’s hiding in Geonosis’ asteroid field teaches young Boba Fett a lesson that he uses to his advantage during adulthood. Having learned how Obi-Wan hid from him and his father, Boba knows the trick Han Solo is using to hide in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and is able to find him.

The Jedi Archives are modelled on the highly distinctive “Long Room” in the Trinity College library in Dublin, Ireland, and in fact appear to be nearly identical with only a minor change, and blue lighting. Apparently, LucasFilm denied this was deliberate, and said it was purely a coincidence, and Trinity College Dublin didn’t follow up with legal action, possibly as it worked as a bonus marketing opportunity for tourism.

Frank Oz in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

Several subtle visual clues were incorporated into the design of the shots to help audiences keep track of who’s who. The good guys, the Republic Clones Troopers, always move from screen right to screen left, while the Separatist Battle Droids moved from screen left to screen right. The sun is behind the clones, resulting in a gloomier sky behind the Separatists. Finally, the missile contrails were color-coded to denote allegiance: the Republic rockets leave clean white trails, while the villains launch missiles that leave noxious black/purplish exhaust.

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

According to visual effects supervisor John Knoll, a big cow-like creature with which Anakin and Padmé frolic around in the fields can be seen in the asteroid belt through which Obi-Wan flies. One asteroid has legs.

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DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (George Lucas): (1138): The LEDs on the back of the clone trooper helmets display a serial number. Although illegible, they all read “THX 1138”.

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

The alien creatures that attack Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padmé in the arena on Geonosis, are an Acklay, a Reek, and a Nexu.

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

When Anakin is slaughtering the Tusken Raiders, Qui-Gon’s voice can be heard in the background. This is no accident. According to Star Wars canon, Qui-Gon’s Force-ghost tried to stop Anakin’s rage, but failed. If you look closely when Jango is killed by Mace Windu you will see two shadows flying from the floor of the area: one is from his helmet and a second, harder to notice, is for his head, which falls out of the helmet.

Samuel L. Jackson in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

Jar Jar Binks, standing in for Senator Amidala, puts forth the motion that gives Palpatine supreme powers. This means that Jar Jar, the most hated character in the Star Wars canon, is indirectly responsible for the fall of the Old Republic and the near-annihilation of the Jedi order. Interestingly, George Lucas said during the storyboards pre-production of Episode I: “Jar Jar is the key to all of this.” Though it meant he wanted the character to be likeable, it now means Jar Jar’s decision basically affected the entire series till Episode VI ends.

Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

The first hour is in blue locations, and the last hour in red locations. This is the same pattern as Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), but the locations reverse. The opening scene is in a cloudy city. The same type of place that Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) ended. Since ice cannot be red, unlike clouds being sometimes red or blue, the last location is the desert that opened Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)’s first action sequence . Notice Luke and Anakin were similarly held captive, and use green light-sabers instead of blue. Jango Fett’s death is similar to Boba Fett, and so is when Padmé and Leia each used a chain to strangle a character.

Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

Starring:

Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, and Jack Thompson in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)
Ewan McGregorObi-Wan Kenobi
Natalie PortmanPadmé
Hayden ChristensenAnakin Skywalker
Christopher LeeCount Dooku / Darth Tyranus
Samuel L. JacksonMace Windu
Frank OzYoda (voice)
Ian McDiarmidSupreme Chancellor Palpatine
Pernilla AugustShmi Skywalker
Temuera MorrisonJango Fett
Jimmy SmitsSenator Bail Organa
Jack ThompsonCliegg Lars
Leeanna WalsmanZam Wesell
Ahmed BestJar Jar Binks / Achk Med-Beq (voice)
Rose ByrneDormé
Oliver Ford DaviesSio Bibble
Temuera Morrison in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)
George Lucas and Anthony Daniels in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

IMDb Plot Breakdown:

The opening crawl reveals that the Galactic Republic is in crisis. A separatist movement, led by former Jedi Master Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), has threatened the peace. Senator Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), former Queen of Naboo, returns to the Galactic Senate to vote against the creation of an Army of the Republic. Upon her arrival at Coruscant, she narrowly escapes an assassination attempt, a bomb placed on her ship. As a result, Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) requests that she be put under the protection of Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen).

That night, Zam Wesell, a bounty hunter, makes another attempt on Padmé’s life, but Wesell is herself killed (to silence her) just after Obi-Wan and Anakin capture her. The Jedi Council sends Obi-Wan to investigate the murder, while Anakin is to protect Padmé by escorting her to Naboo. Anakin welcomes the opportunity; he often becomes angry at and frustrated with Obi-Wan’s criticism, and is glad to have an opportunity to be alone with Padmé. Representative Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) assumes the Senator’s duties in her absence.

The investigation leads Obi-Wan to the planet of Kamino, where he discovers that a secret clone army is being developed for the Republic. The Kaminoan Prime Minister tells him that this army was ordered some ten years ago by a Jedi Master named Sifo-Dyas, whom the Jedi Council believes to have been killed around the same time. A bounty hunter named Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) had been hired to be the template for the clones. Obi-Wan meets Jango on Kamino, and believes that he is the killer he has been tracking. After unsuccessfully trying to capture Jango Fett, Obi-Wan places a tracking device on his ship and follows him to the planet of Geonosis.

Meanwhile, Anakin and Padmé spend time together on Naboo, and Anakin reveals his love for her. Padmé resists, explaining that it would be impossible for the two of them to be together; she is a respected Senator, and the Jedi Code forbids marriage or any other form of attachment. Anakin is soon troubled by dreams in which his mother, Shmi (Pernilla August), is in danger and dying. He asks Padmé to accompany him to Tatooine. Upon arriving, Anakin learns that his mother was sold by his former master to a moisture farmer who lives outside of Mos Esley. Anakin and Padame arrive at the Lars farm where he meets his stepbrother Owen and his fiancee Beru as well as his stepfather Kleg Lars, who married Shmi. Anakin learns that his mother had been kidnapped one month earlier by local Tusken Raiders. Anakin tracks her to a Tusken camp, where he finds her in poor condition, and within moments she dies in his arms. In a fit of rage, he slaughters the entire Tusken community. Anakin brings his mother’s body back to her home, where her funeral is held.

On Geonosis, Obi-Wan learns that Count Dooku and Trade Federation Vicreoy Nute Gunray have built a new droid army and that Gunray has ordered the assassination of Padmé. Just before being captured, Obi-Wan relays this information to Anakin so that he can relay it to the Jedi Council on Coruscant. Once the Jedi learn of Dooku’s army, Jedi Master Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) leads a team to Geonosis. Meanwhile, Jar Jar Binks calls for Chancellor Palpatine to be given emergency powers, with which he can call the recently discovered clone army into battle.

Back on Geonosis, the manipulative Count Dooku tries to persuade Obi-Wan to join him, warning him that the Senate is secretly under the control of a mysterious Sith Lord by the name of Darth Sidious. Obi-Wan refuses to believe him, saying that the Jedi would have known if that were the case. Upon learning that Obi-Wan is in trouble, Anakin and Padmé go to Geonosis, but they are captured during their infiltration of a droid factory, despite Anakin’s valiant efforts.

They join Obi-Wan in an arena-like complex where three huge creatures are unleashed on them for their execution. During their struggle, Mace Windu arrives with the Jedi, and they battle the droid army. Just as defeat for the Jedi seems imminent, Yoda (Frank Oz) arrives with the Republic’s new clone army.

The Battle of Geonosis. A large battle erupts between the Republic’s clone forces and the Separatists’ droid army. Count Dooku attempts to escape, but Obi-Wan and Anakin track him to a secret hangar, where they engage him in combat. Dooku quickly injures Obi-Wan and cuts off Anakin’s right arm. Yoda arrives and engages Dooku in light saber combat. Dooku, realizing he may be outmatched, causes a support pylon to nearly fall on Anakin and Obi-Wan; Yoda uses the Force to stop this, allowing Dooku to escape with the plans for a new weapon, the Death Star. In a desolate industrial district on Coruscant, he meets with his master, Darth Sidious, who is pleased that the war has begun “as planned”. Dooku is revealed to be the apprentice Sith Lord, Darth Tyranus.

On Coruscant, Obi-Wan informs the Jedi Council of Dooku’s warning that Darth Sidious is controlling the Senate. All of them, including Yoda, are surprisingly hesitant to believe this, stating that the Dark Side is capable of creating fear and mistrust. Yoda and Windu also agree that the Dark Side is now clouding everything, and that they should closely monitor the Senate.

Meanwhile, Palpatine oversees the launching of a massive clone trooper force. The great and terrible Clone Wars have begin.

In the final scene set on Naboo, Anakin (with a new mechanical hand) and Padmé hold a secret wedding, to which only the droids C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) are witnesses.

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