Film: Star Wars: Episode 2. Attack of the Clones

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Film:

Star Wars

Series: Episode 2. Attack of the Clones
Director: George Lucas
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

If The Phantom Menace was the setup, then Attack of the Clones is the plot-progressing payoff, and devoted Star Wars fans are sure to be enthralled. Ten years after Episode I, Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), now a senator, resists the creation of a Republic Army to combat an evil separatist movement. The brooding Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is resentful of his stern Jedi mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), tormented by personal loss, and showing his emerging “dark side” while protecting his new love, Amidala, from…

Reviews

Amazon.com

If The Phantom Menace was the setup, then Attack of the Clones is the plot-progressing payoff, and devoted Star Wars fans are sure to be enthralled. Ten years after Episode I, Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), now a senator, resists the creation of a Republic Army to combat an evil separatist movement. The brooding Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is resentful of his stern Jedi mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), tormented by personal loss, and showing his emerging “dark side” while protecting his new love, Amidala, from would-be assassins. Youthful romance and solemn portent foreshadow the events of the original Star Wars as Count Dooku (a.k.a. Darth Tyranus, played by Christopher Lee) forges an alliance with the Dark Lord of the Sith, while lavish set pieces showcase George Lucas’s supreme command of all-digital filmmaking. All of this makes Episode II a technological milestone, savaged by some critics as a bloated, storyless spectacle, but still qualifying as a fan-approved precursor to the pivotal events of Episode III. —Jeff Shannon

Barnes and Noble

Writer-director George Lucas’s fifth entry in the Star Wars saga (actually the second, chronologically speaking) is by far the richest since 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. The overall production value and special effects are spectacular—that’s par for the course—and the narrative thrust and emotional resonance far surpass that of Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It picks up the story ten years after the action in the previous film, as Annakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), now a Padouin apprentice to Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), is impatient to become a full-fledged Jedi knight and find his long-lost mother. Meanwhile, he is assigned to safeguard Senator Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), the former queen whom he has loved since he was a young boy. Separatist forces led by the sinister Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) threaten the peace of the galaxy, and a full-fledged war seems imminent. Lee offers strong, charismatic villainy with Dooku. It’s a trait sorely missing from the previous film, and film buffs will enjoy it as a reference to the cold presence of the late Peter Cushing, Lee’s former Hammer Studios costar, in the original film. For the Star Wars universe, Attack of the Clones is a stirring, powerful movie and an important turning point in the saga. It’s also a major crowd-pleaser for fans of Yoda and Boba Fett alike. Among the supplemental features on the double-DVD set is a detailed commentary featuring Lucas, producer Rick McCallum, sound editor Ben Burtt, and effects supervisor Rob Cohen. The disc also affords several informative documentaries: “From Puppets to Pixels,” describing the evolution of character animation; “State of the Art: The Previsualization of Episode II,” including never-before-seen animation effects; and “Films Are Not Released, They Escape.” There are also three behind-the-scenes featurettes, a gallery of poster art, and other incidental materials. Ed Hulse

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