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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones 11 out of 1011 out of 1011 out of 1011 out of 1011 out of 10+
Rated: PG
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Current Voter Rating: 8.613 (1,066 votes)
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In this world, there are two kinds of people: those who are Star Wars fans and those who are not. Those who are not Star Wars fans have no business reviewing a Star Wars movie. I, on the other hand, do.

I have been anticipating the release of this film for years. I have been reading up on productions notes and interviews with creator/writer/director George Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, and the cast in magazines and on the Internet. I have been discussing the Star Wars universe with my friends. I bought my ticket for this movie over a week in advance. I skipped work on opening day with some of my friends to see the first show of the day. I am a huge Star Wars fan and I wasn't going to allow the chance for someone else to see it before me.

Needless to say, my expectations were high. But I was not disappointed in the least! In fact, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones was better than I could have hoped! It was AWESOME! It rocked! It blew me away! It kicked ass! It thrilled me. It chilled me. It surprised and tantalized me. It is a feast for the eyes, a rush for the senses, and a beacon for the spirit. (If you have a superlative phrase that you think I have left out, click here). In short, this is one of the most entertaining movies that you could ever see.

What other movie is going to give you such adventure, romance, and excitement complete with lightsabers, starfighters, alien creatures, and sinister villians? What other film could transport you not only to another place but another galaxy far, far away? What other movie can paint such a good picture of not only the differences between good and evil but also the fine line separating the two? What other movie can get your heart pounding from suspense, romance, action, and fear all in the same two hours and twelve minutes? The answer is obvious.

collage of Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

(Hey, by the way, I put together the above collage myself from different images that I have collected from Episode II. Feel free to download it!)

Attack of the Clones takes place 10 years after The Phantom Menace, and we witness a reunion of characters in Coruscant, the capital of the Rebuplic. Anakin Skywalker, the little boy whose pod-race victory years ago marked the beginning of a most remarkable story, is now a young man (played superbly by newcomer Hayden Christensen whose unfamiliar face will now be one of the most recognizable on the planet). Anakin is studying the ways of the Force under his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). They are reunited with Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), the former Queen who is now a Senator, under grave circumstances. The Senate is voting soon on the establishment of a grand army, and assassination attempts are being made on Senator Amidala. Obi-Wan and Anakin have been assigned to protect her, much to the delight of young Skywalker who is infatuated with her.

Anakin has much to learn however, not only in the ways of the Force but in the ways of love as well. Padme is somewhat condescending and keeps her distance. Meanwhile, Anakin is frustrated with his progress as a Jedi, and we find that he has little patience. There is little time to reflect on this however, as soon we are taken on a wild chase through Coruscant as Obi-Wan and Anakin hunt down the bounty hunter who has been after Padme Amidala.

Chase in Coruscant from Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

In this movie, we see many familiar faces such as Obi-Wan, R2-D2, and C-3PO, and we are taken to familiar places as well such as Coruscant, Naboo, and Tatooine. However, as in any Star Wars film, there is always something new.

For example, Obi-Wan finds his way to Kamino, a very wet and rainy planet with long, thin, and polite inhabitants. He discovers that on Kamino, plans are underway to build a clone army based on the DNA of the bounty hunter, Jango Fett (Temura Morrison). Here we meet Jango whose unaltered clone will become the ruthless but revered Boba Fett in Episodes V and VI. Boba is however just a young boy in Episode II learning first-hand the ironfisted ways of his father.

Obi-Wan, who seems always composed and without fear, learns what he can from this unauthorized construction of a clone army and winds up confronting Jango Fett and son in the rain as they attempt to flee Kamino. Below is a clip from this intense and thrilling altercation. This scene is one of many adventures which lie in store for us in Episode II.

Obi-Wan Kenobi faces an enemy in the rain in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

The movie does not dwell on long, drawn-out scenes filled with dialogue. Quite the contrary, it gets to the point and moves on. And that right there is one of the things that really makes Attack of the Clones one of the best in the Star Wars saga. There is no chance at all to be bored. We are entertained throughout.

The overall tone of this movie, however, is pretty dark. After all, we know much of what must inevitably happen by Episode IV. The Republic will be replaced by the Empire. Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) will become the evil Emperor. And our hero, Anakin Skywalker, will fall to the Dark Side to become the dreaded Darth Vader. That's not exactly something to look forward to. But what is both fascinating and frightening at the same time is HOW it happens.

In Episode II we witness the deception and trickery of the Dark Side. We see the crumbling of democracy in the Republic spring forth from the notion of safety and protection. We see the trusted Chancellor hailed as a hero for opposing the evil which he himself has created. All are blind to such covert dealings, even the Jedi. It almost serves as a warning for our own nation, lest we suffer the same fate.

Anakin Skywalker is on a mission in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Even more disturbing for me however was watching the restless Anakin Skywalker. His powers are good, his potential is enormous, but his patience and understanding are thin. He feels that he has outgrown his master, Obi-Wan, and his frustration is mounting. Meanwhile, his attachments to his mother and his intoxication with and pursuit of Senator Padme are deemed dangerous and forbidden as a Jedi. Slowly we see his fear and frustration lead to anger. We are reminded of Yoda's admonition from The Phantom Menace, "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

What is worse, however, is that Anakin's feelings and actions are quite natural. As I look inside myself and into my past, I can see many similarities. I would imagine that many others could make the same discovery. For we all have the Dark Side calling to us, and we must learn to recognize it, even though it can be so deceptive. Of course, Anakin's master Obi-Wan, along with Yoda, are starting to notice some of this and it must be up to them to help stop it. Unfortunately, Anakin is at a stage in his life where he feels as though he does not need anyone's help. This defiance winds up haunting him several times throughout the movie.

While Palpatine may be yet unrevealed as Darth Sidious, his new apprentice, Darth Tyranus makes himself known. He is Count Dooku, a fallen Jedi who has not been seen for quite some time. Dooku is played by Christopher Lee, who was Saruman in last year's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. His visage is haunting, and his cool confidence and evil motives are both frightening and chilling. He does not seem quite as menacing as his predecessor, Darth Maul, but is actually much more powerful.

Natalie Portman is Padme Amidala in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the ClonesThere are however, some bright spots in this film that fill us with something other than dread. First and foremost is the lovely Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), who can be seen to the left. She is so pretty. I had always liked Princess Leia from the original trilogy (even though she was at times a bit rude), as has most every other guy I know (who wouldn't like those hair buns, her shiny lips, or her metal bikini from Jabba's palace?). But there is something about Padme Amidala. She is more mature now than in the last film, and her beauty, wisdom, courage, and love are so overwhelmingly attractive, that you can see why Anakin can't help but to be absolutely consumed with her. I mean look at her! She is beautiful! And what is more, she is ripped (her belly is on display in several outfits in this film, which demanded my full attention).

Other joyful moments of this film involved the classic droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO. They are great to watch they begin in this episode a lifelong friendship. C-3PO also has quite an experience towards the end. He also has some great one-liners which I simply loved! There are also some other great one-liners from other characters such as Obi-Wan, Anakin, Palpatine, and Mace Windu (the omni-cast Samuel L. Jackson). Many critics do not like one-liners. Why? Because they are losers. One-liners are entertaining, memorable, quotable, and fun.

But what everyone will be talking about for weeks, and even for years to come, is Yoda. Yoda rules! Until now, Yoda has been the wise speaker of inverted sentences. His power of the Force is legendary, but we have never seen him in action. Not only have we not seen him in action, but we have admittedly often wondered to ourselves, "How can that little old green guy possibly fight anyone?" Also, "Does he use a lightsaber as all other Jedi seem to?" The answers finally come in a climactic scene where Yoda rescues Obi-Wan and Anakin from the powerful Count Dooku. This scene was definitely the crowd's favorite. There were cheers and hushed, "Oh yeah"'s heard throughout the theater. It was funny, in a way, yet awesome. In either case, it definitely will bring smiles and cheers from audiences across the globe. Once again, Yoda rules!

Anakin Skywalker is on a mission in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Everything about this movie was just perfect. The story was interesting and exciting. The characters are multi-faceted and supported by a superb cast. The special effects were of course better than anything to date. John Williams' music was thrilling and nostalgic as old themes were woven into this new and fresh score. The costumes were great, the new aliens were intriguing, the fight choreography was intense, and the sets and places were out of this world (you gotta like that one). The love scenes were passionate and moving without overdoing it. It was not predictable even though the final outcome is ultimately known (for instance, there are many unexpected things which happen such as Padme falling off a landing reminiscent of Luke and Leia swinging across the chasm in the original). In short, I love Attack of the Clones. I need to see it again.

How much did I love this movie? First of all a little tidbit of advice. Even if you don't have to go, be sure to make yourself go to the bathroom before seeing a movie. I didn't. And I had to pee SO BAD by the end of this film. Halfway through, I was feeling the urge. With 10 minutes to go, it was all I could do to keep the Dark Side from convincing me to leave. How much did I love this movie? Almost to the point where I would have been willing to soil myself just so that I wouldn't miss anything. Good thing that it didn't come to that! As the credits rolled, I was pushing my way towards the bathroom, walking quite like C-3P0 but howling like Chewbacca.

May the Force be with you.

thumbs up!Could this be the greatest Star Wars film ever? Time will tell.

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So far, the average rating for Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones is: 8.613 (1,066 votes)

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Anakin and Padme embrace on Tatooine in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
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