Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Directed by George Lucas
Starring Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDirmand, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Christopher Lee, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Three years ago, I remember standing in line with about a dozen people, as we were all hoping to be the first to see Episode I. It was a grand day, ending in what I thought was a good movie. Most of the world (and a few of the people I went with) felt Episode I to be quite the let-down, and only I remained to be defender of the faith. But now, as Episode II approached, most of my friends just weren’t as hyped as they were three years ago. Even I found myself lacking in excitement, and instead of gathering a dozen followers of the faith, I decided it was better to just go with one close friend. The build up for Episode II was different that the one for Episode I, and that resulted in my views becoming a little more mature.
It’s 10 years after The Phantom Menace. Unrest once again grips the Senate. A fromer Jedi by the name of Count Dooku (Lee) is leading a seperatist movement. The Jedi find their resources stretched to the limit defending the Republic against this seperatist foe, and so the Senate is considering the unthinkable: raising an army. Things come to head when the leader of the opposition to this army proposal, Senator Amidala of Naboo (Portman) barely escapes an assination attempt. To defend the senator, a Jedi Knight and his padawan learner, two people she is very familiar with, are assigned to protect her: Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Christensen). Anakin is now all grown up from when we last saw him, and is harboring a deep secret: he is madly in love with Amidala. But, the Jedi forbid romance. When Obi-Wan and Anakin foil the second assisnation attempt, the duo is split up for the first time. Obi-Wan is ordered to track down the assasin, while Anakin is ordered to safely see Amidala back to Naboo and continue protecting her. Obi-Wan soon traces the assasin back to a bounty hunter named Jango Fett, and the chase is on through the galaxy. Meanwhile, Anakin and Amidala, holed up together on Naboo, soon make their true intentions known to each other. But they cannot live in peace, as Anakin is haunted by nightmares of his mother, and is driven to return to Tatooine. In what condition will Anakin find his mother? Will Anakin and Amidala find love and happiness? Can Obi-Wan capture Jango Fett? It all builds up to a massive showdown in which even Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Yoda must pick up a lightsaber and defend the Republic.
There’s only one thing I’m sure people are hoping to hear abou this film: it’s better than Episode I. The plot seems to be more consistent, and the action scenes are just bigger and better. I’m sure that, when you first heard of Yoda’s fight scenes, your first instinct was that it was going to look ridiculous. Well, it actually comes across quite cool. There’s even a chase through a droid factory that seemed like it came from that other trilogy George Lucas gave us, Indiana Jones. There are some flaws. George Lucas just doesn’t know how to do romance. When Anakin begins professing his love for Amidala, brace yourself for some of the cheesiest pick-up lines ever! But, since that’s the only complaint I have, I’m willing to overlook it. Besides great action, there’s also wonderful little character moments between Anakin and Obi-Wan. There is even a few strangely appropriate “cute moments.” (Like a 1950s style diner, complete with droid waitresses that say “What can I get ya, hon?”) Better than Episode I. Better than Spider-Man I dare say. Go see it.