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

Hey guys, welcome back to another review! I’m continuing my reviews of the Star Wars films and today I’ll be reviewing Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. I’m still doing a Star Wars marathon and it’s always fun doing a Star Wars marathon.

I’ve watched Attack of the Clones plenty of times but after seeing it recently, I did enjoy it more than my previous viewings. However, even though I did enjoy it more this time around, it’s still my least favorite of the prequels for one main reason. I’ll explain the reason more in depth later on.

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones is a 2002 film directed by George Lucas and it stars Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Christopher Lee and Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Oz, and Temuera Morrison.

Hayden Christensen makes his debut in Star Wars and plays as Anakin Skywalker. He is currently a Padawan of Obi Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). In the previous film you see Anakin Skywalker as a young boy being recruited by Qui-Gon Jinn to be trained as a Jedi. In this film you see Anakin in his late teens as a very skilled Jedi.

Throughout the entire film (besides the main thing I disliked), I thought it was a enjoyable movie. I think it was enjoyable because it sets up what will happen in the final movie of the prequels. In the first act of the film, Senator Amidala is almost assasinated and Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) orders Obi Wan and Anakin Skywalker to protect her. Meanwhile Anakin shows hints that he’s attracted to Senator Amidala. In her sleep, she was almost killed once again, but Obi Wan and Anakin prevents that from happening. They immediately chase down the killer that hired her. Just when she reveals information to both of them once they caught her, a bounty hunter named Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) shoots a dart at her and kills her.

Obi Wan takes the dart and does some investigation of what exactly it is and where does it come from. He goes to a friend of his named Drax and he tells him it’s from a planet named Kamino. Obi-Wan does more research and is suspicious that Kamino does not show up on the records. Yoda instructs a youngling to explain to Obi Wan that someone must’ve erased it from the database. But only a Jedi has access to that sort of information so only a Jedi could’ve done that.

Meanwhile Senator Amidala goes back to Naboo and Anakin is in charge of taking her and protecting her there. They soon begin to show they have feelings for each other and have a good time being around each other. That is the problem that I have with the movie. Like I said before, I’ll explain why later on. Obi-Wan goes to Kamino since he has the coordinates regardless if its on the database or not. He finds out a clone army is being made for the Republic and he meets Jango Fett without him in the suit.

In the film, you can see Jango feels uncomfortable talking to Obi-Wan and wants nothing to do with him. He also has a clone son named Boba which was really cool to see. If you’ve seen the original trilogy, you know why it was cool to see Boba in the second movie as the son of Jango Fett. The Jedi Council orders Obi Wan to bring in Jango for questining due to something being fishy. However, Jango and Boba are ready to leave with their ship. Obi-Wan and Jango clash for a bit but Jango still manages to escape. Obi Wan throws some type of tracker to the ship obviously to see where he is headed.

Anakin on the other hand has a nightmare of his mom suffering and being in pain. Padmè and Anakin goes to Tatooine to save her. Anakin meets with his former slave owner Watto and he tells him that he sold her. They later go more further in Tatooine and they meet with with Owen Lars, his girlfriend Beru Withesun Lars and Anakin’s stepdad Cliegg Lars. For those that have seen the 1977 original Star Wars (don’t like calling it A New Hope), it’s pretty cool to see Owen and Beru in their younger years in this film. It was also nice to see the setting of Tatooine again way back before Luke was raised there. It still looks the the exact same like how it did back in the original 1977 Star Wars film. So that was cool to see in the movie. C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) also is reunited with Anakin and he looks completed as a droid. Anakin’s stepdad tells him his mom was captured by Tusken Raiders and Anakin goes off in his own to look for her.

He eventually finds his dying mom in a Tusken Raider’s campsite and they both have a moment to talk for a bit. But before her mom finishes her last sentence, she dies in his arms. Enraged, Anakin kills all the Tusken Raiders. Jedi Master Yoda senses Anakin is in pain and his hatred. Anakin goes back to Owen’s home and tells Padmè that he killed all the Tusken Raiders and he hated all of them. He even mentioned to Padmè that he’ll be a very powerful Jedi and that he’ll save people from dying. I believe once he said that, Darth Vader’s theme plays in the background for a brief moment. I really liked that part because it shows what Anakin’s current thoughts and actions is going to lead him into. George Lucas had a very good idea with that and it worked well.

Meanwhile, Obi-Wan follows Jango and his son at Geonosis. Obi-Wan discovers that there is some type of meeting between the separatists and Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). A droid army is being prepared. He learns that Count Dooku was the one that ordered the assasination on Padmè and tries to give all the information that he learned to the Jedi Council. Unfortunately Geonosis is too far from reach to transmit the information to the Jedi Council in Coruscant so he records the message to Anakin in Tatooine. That way Anakin could relay the information to the Jedi Council from Tatooine since it’s in reach.

Obi-Wan gets captured while recording the message for Anakin and he meets Count Dooku. Count Dooku reveals to Obi-Wan that a Sith Lord named Darth Sidious is now in control of the Republic. Obi-Wan doesn’t believe it and he is scheduled to be killed. Anakin and Padmè sees Obi-Wan’s message and he does exactly what Obi Wan tells him to do. Chancellor Palpatine decides to use the clone troopers in action and Anakin and Padmè goes to Geonosis to rescue Obi-Wan. But with no luck, they are also captured. C-3PO also accidentally ends up being part of the droid army. His head was in a droid’s body and one of the droid’s head was in C-3PO’s body. I thought that was pretty funny. I don’t think that had to be necessary in the film but it was still funny nonetheless.

Before Anakin and Padmè goes into the death arena to be killed, Padmè reveals to him that she loves him and they kiss. They meet Obi-Wan at the death arena and Anakin tells him he did everything he was supposed to do and he and Padmè came here to rescue him. Obi-Wan looks at himself being tied up and says sarcastically to him “Good job.” That was a funny scene. It was nice to see a little humor in the film. It wasn’t one of the things that hurted the film so that was good.

Anakin, Padmè, and Obi-Wan manages to stall time and survive for a bit in the death arena. Mace Windu walks up from behind at the place where Nute Gunray, Jango Fett, Count Dooku, and the rest of the separatists are looking down at the arena. He takes his lightsaber out and holds it in front of Jango Fett. He says to all of them “This party is over.” That was a great line. Mace Windu is one of the good things about the prequels. All the Jedi of the Republic arrive and aid Padmè, Anakin, and Obi-Wan. The clone troopers arrive as well with Master Yoda and they show what they are made of. From that point on, we see the battle between the droid army and the Clones with the Jedi on their side. Mace Windu kills Jango Fett during the battle. R2D2 manages to also help C-3PO get back to his original droid body during the battle.

Count Dooku on the other hand tries to escape from all of this but Anakin and Obi-Wan stop him. They engage in a lightsaber duel with him and Anakin loses his arm during the battle. Yoda comes to the battle and stops Dooku from escaping once again. They both show what they are capable of when they use the force. They decide to settle this with a lightsaber battle. You get to see Yoda in action for the very first time in this movie. He takes out his green lightsaber and the battle begins. The battle doesn’t last too long however and Dooku finally manages to board his ship and leave. Dooku goes to Coruscant and meets up with Darth Sidious. He gives him blueprints of a superweapon. For those that’ve seen the original trilogy, you know what superweapon it is.

Back at the Jedi Council, Obi-Wan tells him what Count Dooku told him about a Sith Lord named Darth Sidious now having full control of the Republic. Master Yoda insists that they should now keep a closer eye on the Senate. The film ends with Anakin marrying Padmè secretly at Naboo and you also see he has a metal arm.

That’s basically the entire film. Now I’ll explain why this is my least favorite Star Wars film out of all eight current films. As I’ve stated earlier, my only problem with this movie is the romance between Padmè and Anakin. I don’t mind the romance between them in general but the way it was executed I had a problem with. There is one scene where Anakin is keeping Padmè company at Naboo and he pretends he’s unconscious/dead. Padmè rushes to him and she sees that he was fooling around and they both end up rolling on the grass. Like seriously? Scenes similar to that makes you wander is this a Star Wars film or a fairy tale film? I understand that George Lucas had to explain the romance of him and Padmè but I expected a similar romance like Han and Leia in the original trilogy. I have no problem how the romance was executed of Han and Leia in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi because it perfectly fitted with the story. In this film, I feel the movie is at times shows it’s a Star Wars movie but at times it shows it’s going to a whole different direction.

In this movie, it makes you wonder at some scenes of how Anakin becomes Darth Vader eventually. I’m saying that in a bad way because the way he shows his feelings to Padmè makes him look like he is not fit enough to become a Sith Lord. In the original trilogy, Han and Leia expressed their feelings to each other in a much better way. I just wish it was something similar to that in this film. But if the romance between Anakin and Padmè doesn’t bother you, then that’s fine. I’m just saying what my opinion is. Thankfully, Anakin proved himself a lot better in the third film why he turns into Darth Vader.

However there are good stuff in this film that I liked. One of the best parts of the film, in my opinion, was the chemistry between Obi-Wan and Anakin. In the film, you can tell they really act like brothers. It was like seeing a buddy cop movie. Anakin was really obedient to Obi-Wan since he is his master and the movie shows what did they go through together. One of the scenes that I liked between them was when they were chasing down the killer that was trying to kill Padmè in her sleep. There was one part where Obi-Wan was blaming the shortcut Anakin used to chase down the killer but before Obi-Wan could finish his sentence, Anakin jumps off the flying vehicle and dives down to chase her her. As Obi-Wan looks down at him he says ” I hate it when he does that.” I thought that was a funny line. They made a very good team in this film.

I felt Obi-Wan stood out the most in the movie. Ewan McGregor proves in this movie once again why he was so fit to play as Obi-Wan. There’s a scene that I like of him using the Force on this seller who wanted to sell him death sticks. He uses the Force on him and says the seller doesn’t want to sell him death sticks and that he wants to go home and rethink his life. The seller repeats what Obi-Wan said and he doesn’t bother him. I thought that was a really funny scene and very cool to see that in this movie. In the 1977 original Star Wars film, you see Obi-Wan doing something similar so it was nice to see him do that in his younger years. But his best performance in my opinion is of course is in Revenge of the Sith.

Hayden Christensen was good as Anakin too. Other than the romance between him and Padmè, he did show in some scenes that he is fit to become Darth Vader eventually. As I stated earlier, the scene where he kills the Tusken Raiders in rage and explaining his actions to Padmè  was one of the good things about this movie. However just like Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen nails it as Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. I will explain more in depth of both their characters in that review.

My other favorite part of the film was seeing Yoda in action for the very first time. Even though the duel between him and Count Dooku wasn’t that long, it was great to see what Yoda was capable of. I also liked what Yoda told Obi-Wan about a child’s mind when Obi-Wan needed answers of why Kamino was not appearing on the archives. Yoda basically told Obi-Wan “Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is”. That was also another good thing about this movie. The quote is great and very true. We can all learn something from kids if we feel stressed out or if we need suggestions/help. They usually give the simplest answers and that’s what the youngling did when he told Obi-Wan that someone must’ve erased Kamino from the archives.

Jango Fett was one of the good things about this movie too. If you’ve seen the original trilogy, his combat skills and the way he talks is a lot similar to the bounty hunter in that trilogy. Like I said earlier, it was great to see his son in this movie too.

Jar Jar Binks is in this movie but I would say he’s only in the movie about 15% of the film. I’m not sure if back at the time, George Lucas listened to the fans criticism of Jar Jar, but thankfully he doesn’t have a major inpact in this film.

It was good to see Count Dooku making his debut and seeing him in action. Christopher Lee played the role well and he’s a terrific actor. As I stated in my previous review, I wish we got to see Darth Maul return in this movie since in the Canon Comics (I think) or the clone wars tv show (I think) he did survive and he wanted revenge against Darth Sidious. If George Lucas included him in this film, I think it would’ve been a lot better film. Seeing the beginning of the Clone Wars in this movie was pretty cool to watch. Mace Windu was pretty good in this movie as well. I don’t think we see him in action in The Phantom Menace so I believe in this film we got to see him in action for the first time like Yoda. Throughout the entire prequel trilogy, Mace Windu never plays around. He’s always very strict and he’s always very loyal to the Jedi Code.

There’s really nothing to say much about the music in this film because in all the Star Wars films, the score is phenomenal. Of course during the opening crawl, you hear the iconic Star Wars theme which is such a great piece of music. It was nice to hear the Binary Sunset theme song playing in this film too when Anakin leaves Tatooine to go save his mother. I also liked that the duel of fates theme was playing as Anakin was riding his vehicle to look for his mother. I’m gonna say this in all of my Star Wars film reviews; John Williams nailed the score once again in this movie. It’s not just in this movie but in all the Star Wars films. Even besides Star Wars, he composed other iconic themes from other film franchises. He’ll always be one of my favorite composers of all time.

But anyways guys that is it for my review of Attack of the Clones. If George Lucas could’ve executed the romance between Anakin and Padmè in a much better way, then I think this movie would’ve maybe been up there with Revenge of the Sith. Lucas could’ve maybe included the romance not too heavily and maybe could’ve added something much more interesting instead to make the film a lot better. As I’ve said before, he could’ve maybe included Darth Maul coming back or something else unique to fit with the story. But other than that, the plot of this film was solid. I forgot to rate The Phantom Menace in my previous review so I’ll rate that film along with Attack of the Clones in this review. I think the Phantom Menace is a slightly better film than Attack of the Clones because it was nice to see how the saga really began. However as stated in my previous review, that film has problems as well. So I would rate both films three out of five stars. I am more neutral when it comes to these first two movies. I can watch the first two films only because the final movie in the prequel trilogy makes the first two worth watching. Speaking of the final film in the prequel trilogy; stay tuned because next I’ll be reviewing the best and my favorite of the prequels…Revenge of the Sith! 🙂

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