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STAR WARS: EPISODE 2-Attack of the Clones (2002)

Ten years have past since the victorious defeat of forces of evil on Naboo. Times are again tumultuous. The Republic is on the brink of war, as a separatist movement is gaining steam and support. When former Queen, now Senator Amidala, is a target for an assassination plot, Master Jedi Obi-wan Kanobi, and his apprentice learner, Anakin Skywalker are assigned to protect her. Obi-wan goes hunting for the truth on who is responsible and why, and love-sick Anakin is assigned to protect his Padmé, going back with her to Naboo. Surprises, life-threatening situations and major battles are just around the corner for our heroes, not to mention a slippery slide toward the dark side of the force and forbidden love.

The cast includes: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Christopher Lee, Samuel L.Jackson, Anthony Daniels, Frank Oz, Ian McDiamid, Pernilla August, Temuera Morrison, Jimmy Smits, Jack Thompson, Leanna Walsman, Ahmed Best, and Daniel Logan.

Directed by: George Lucas. Screenplay by: George Lucas and Johnathan Hales.

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The Saga Continues... "The Clones Are Coming."
"A Jedi Shall Not Know Anger. Nor Hatred. Nor Love."

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In this second installment, it is ten years later and plots are a foot to break apart the Republic, with the ultimate goal down the road (in the next installment of the Star Wars saga) of transferring power to an evil Sithe wanna-be emperor, creating an evil empire that the children of the next generation will suffer because of and fight against.

Because of an important vote pending in the Imperial Senate, Senator Padmé Amidala's ship is seen landing on the deck on the planet Coruscant, the home of the Republic. At this time, an assassin-laid bomb explodes, hurting /killing her entourage. Luckily, Padmé Amidala was in another smaller plane. Alarmed, the Jedi Council, at the urging of Chancellor Palatine (Ian McDiamid), sent Jedi Obi-Wan Kanobi (Ewan McGregor), and his apprentice learner, the now 19 year old Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) to protect Senator Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman).

The audience recognizes that there is a friction that exists between Obi-Wan and his apprentice learner, Anakin Skywalker, who impatiently, perhaps arrogantly thinks that he has the skills to take the Jedi test. Anakin is frustrated because Obi-Wan thinks that Anakin has a lot to learn first. Anakin feels Obi-Wan is holding him back unnecessarily. After all, the political wily Palatine had said to him, "You don't need guidance Anakin. I see you becoming the greatest of all Jedi."

One evening, while these two are protecting her, another attempt is made on her life sent by a capsule- carrying remote, that deposits two poisonous worm-like creatures, in her bedroom as she slept, which starts an exciting action sequence. Luckily for Amidala, Obi-Wan and Anakin stop arguing just in time to rescue her from certain death. After Anakin kills the crawling nasties, Obi-Wan hangs onto the remote, as it flies back to the assassin who sent it. When she sees Obi-Wan hanging on to it, she shoots the remote, sending Obi-wan flying downwards into traffic.

Thank goodness that Anakin shows up in a speeder, and catches the free-falling Obi-Wan, who is slightly disgruntled that Anakin took so long. They then pursue the female assassin in a wild speed chase through city air traffic. After losing the assassin's speeder, Anakin free falls downward and falls onto the top of the assassin's speeder, and manages to disable her craft before being thrown free. Obi-Wan and Anakin track her down to a futuristic bar, where they wound her, capture her and start to interrogate her when she is killed by a mysterious dart., shot by her boss, another unscrupulous character, dressed in space armor, who rockets away. Obi-Wan suspects this character to be a bounty hunter, hired to oversee the attempted assassination attempts.

Afterwards, Obi-Wan and Anakin are temporarily separated when Obi-Wan is assigned to find this bounty hunter, and Anakin is assigned to escort and protect Senator Padmé Amidala, traveling with her back to her home planet, Naboo, with R2D2 to help. Uh oh! You know that these two are going to get into trouble big time; not only emotionally but will find themselves in dangerous pickles. Both aren't known to follow the advice of their superiors. Their forbidden love will grow, and Anakin will suffer a personal tragedy on Tatooine, which pushes him towards his inevitable walk toward the dark side of the force. They also wind up joining Obi-Wan as fellow prisoners, facing death, when they try to rescue him.

Soon after, Obi-Wan is on the trail of this bounty hunter. From an old friend that owns a futuristic cafe, Obi-Wan learns that the dart that killed the assassin came from the planet of Kamino, whose existence was mysteriously erased from the library's maps of the heavens. This doesn't stop Obi-Wan. With the help of Yoda, he finds out where this planet is located. He arrives on Kamino, and is in for a great surprise. He finds that the people there were expecting him, and were pleased to show him a huge clone army, that was ordered 10 years earlier by a Jedi. Obi-Wan asks to meet the human who was cloned, which happens to be a slimy character, bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison), who Obi-Wan immediately knows was the one who had hired the assassin.

After an exciting fight with the psychopath Jango, and his creepy little cloned son, Buba (Daniel Lewis), Obi-Wan manages to slap on a tracking device onto Jango's ship, and tracks him to Geonosis. After nearly getting shot out of the sky by Jango, Obi-Wan continues in his investigation on this planet, figures out that the coalition behind the separatists, led by the evil Count Dooku, were not only behind the assassination attempts, but are creating a robot army there to attack the Republic. Unfortunately, Obi-Wan is captured, but not before he reports these disturbing facts to Yoda.

Well, the party of course moves to the planet of Geonosis, with a spectacular fight scene or two in their Roman-style arena, and elsewhere. The first clone / robot army fight takes place on this planet as well with exciting, dangerous light saber fights / gun battles between good and evil. All this excitement, suspense makes a very entertaining, action adventure yarn in this second episode in the Star Wars epic.

This is an entertaining, Science Fiction action / adventure film classic because of its well done screenplay, its fine direction, great special effects, wonderful digital photography, its moving, expressive John Williams musical score and its great cast of actors and actresses. Comic relief is offered by the dynamic duo, R2D2 and C-3PO, who first become a team when Anakin and Padmé return to Tatooine.

The screenplay, by George Lucas and Johnathan Hales was a clever blend of action adventure, humorous and poignant dramatic moments, as well as a second storyline of a growing love story, between Anakin and Padmé (which is an important development, or else Luke and Leia wouldn't be born in the future.)

It is evident that George Lucas really knows how to direct this type of film genre very well, bringing the best performances out of his talented cast, to bring his saga to life.

Ewan McGregor gives a great portrayal of a dedicated Jedi Knight who has his hands full trying to guide / train young Anakin Skywalker, and in carrying out this vital investigation for the Jedi Council and Republic.

Hayden Christensen is very convincing as the strong-willed, troubled Anakin Skywalker, who realizes that he is gifted in the force, but is frustrated because Obi-Wan is quick to point out big flaws in his character that need fixing. His other problems are his love for Padmé, and an emotional chip on his shoulder, left over from his past life. Christensen does a great job giving the audience glimpses of Anakin's darker side, as well as his strong points.

Natalie Portman is very convincing as well as Senator Padmé Amidala, a young woman who bravely faces challenges, and struggles against the love she feels for Anakin, because she realizes it would cause both their downfalls.

Christopher Lee had a great time playing convincingly the evil, dastardly Count Dooku, who is a servant of the wanna-be emperor, who delves in the dark force, orchestrating events, so he can eventually take over.

Samuel L. Jackson does a great job playing Jedi Mace-Windu. He is convincing in the light saber fighting scenes. My favorite scene with Jackson is when the Jedi come to Geonosis to try to rescue Obi-Wan, Anakin and Senator Padmé Amidala from certain death. As Count Dooku and his fellow separatists watch from their viewing box in the Roman Arena, Mace-Windu strides into their box, just as our three heroes are cornered and about to be killed. Mace-Windu announces, "This party is over!" Shaft couldn't have said it any better!

Ian McDiamid is excellent in his reoccurring role as the slippery politician Palpatine, portraying a man one can't quite trust completely. When it became evident that the Imperial Senate was not going to be able to make a needed decision, Palpatine, on an emergency vote is made Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, with a temporary power to make decisions to see them through this mounting crisis. Hmmmmm!

Yoda, with the wonderful voice of Frank Oz, is represented visually through computer and digital means, which gives his character a reality and freedom to show more expressions, and participate in more life-like endeavors. My favorite scenes with Yoda are when he is confronting Count Dooku on Geonosis, after Dooku defeats both Obi-Wan and Anakin in a light saber fight; (Anakin isn't a good team player). The light saber battle between these two, Yoda and Count Dooku, is quite entertaining, as Yoda flies around, in a spectacular show of skill and prowess. This little guy can really move, thanks to special effects / computer animation / digital recording!

The great Cinematography was by David Tattersall, on a digital camera. If you haven't already, be sure to see Episode II: The Attack of the Clones in a theater that has the equipment to show digital films. The difference in quality of the picture, between the traditional film and digital recording is incredible! Digitally-filmed movies will be the wave of the future.

If you enjoyed STAR WARS - ATTACK OF THE CLONES you may like the first Star Wars episode: STAR WARS: EPISODE I- THE PHANTOM MENACE, and the future sequels in this story, STAR WARS, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and/or THE RETURN OF THE JEDI.

Quotes:

Padmé Amidala: "You're not all-powerful, Annie."

Anakin: "Well I should be. One day, I will become the greatest Jedi EVER! I will even learn how to stop people from dying!"

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