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Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

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Template:Infobox Movie Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is the fifth Star Wars science fiction movie released and the second part of the prequel trilogy which began with Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and ends with Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

It is the first Star Wars film which used a high definition digital 24 frame system for most of the movie's live action scenes.[1] (http://www.starwars.com/episode-ii/news/2000/04/news20000409.html).

The film grossed over $300 million in United States box office, a financial success which nevertheless was overshadowed by the even greater box-office success of The Phantom Menace. However, it was not the top grossing film of the year, the first time a Star Wars film has not had that distinction. That film turned out to be Spider-Man which also enjoyed a more favourable critical reception.

Contents

Opening Crawl

Episode II
ATTACK OF THE CLONES
There is unrest in the Galactic
Senate. Several thousand solar
systems have declared their
intentions to leave the Republic.
This separatist movement,
under the leadership of the
mysterious Count Dooku, has
made it difficult for the limited
number of Jedi Knights to
maintain peace and order in the
galaxy.
Senator Amidala, the former
Queen of Naboo, is returning
to the Galactic Senate to vote
on the critical issue of creating
an ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
to assist the overwhelmed
Jedi...

Cast


Plot summary

The Galactic Republic is in crisis. A separatist movement (secretly led by former Jedi Count Dooku) has threatened the peace. Senator Padm Amidala, former Queen of Naboo, returns to the Galactic Senate to offer a vote against the creation of a Republic Army, even though there are no longer enough Jedi to maintain peace and order in the galaxy. Upon her arrival at Coruscant, she narrowly escapes an assassination attempt. As a result, Chancellor Palpatine requests that Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker protect her.

That night, a mysterious bounty hunter makes another attempt on Amidala's life, and the Jedi Council asks Obi-Wan to track down the killer. Meanwhile, Anakin is given the assignment of protecting the Senator and escorting her back to her home planet of Naboo. Anakin welcomes the opportunity, as he often becomes angry and frustrated by Obi-Wan's criticism, and is glad to have an opportunity to be on his own. Representative Jar Jar Binks assumes the Senator's duties in her absence.

During the investigation, Obi-Wan is led to a mysterious planet called Kamino (missing from the Republics archives), where he discovers a secret clone army being developed for the Republic. He is told by the natives that the army was ordered some ten years ago by a Jedi named Sifo-Dyas-- believed by the Jedi Council to have died around the same time. A bounty hunter named Jango Fett was hired to be the template for the clones. Obi-Wan meets Jango on Kamino, and believes him to be the killer he has been tracking. After unsuccessfully trying to capture Jango Fett, Obi-Wan places a tracking device on his ship and follows him to the planet of Geonosis.

On Geonosis, Obi-Wan overhears conversations between Count Dooku and the Trade Federation, and learns that they are behind the separatist movement and have built up a new droid army. He also learns that it was the Federation that ordered the assassination of Amidala, as revenge for the Battle of Naboo (see Episode 1: The Phantom Menace). Obi-Wan sends a recorded message to the Jedi Council to inform them of his recent findings just before being captured.

Meanwhile, Anakin Skywalker and Padm Amidala have been spending much time together on Naboo, and Anakin reveals his deep love for her. However, Padm resists, explaining that it would be impossible for the two of them to be together, since she is a Senator and he is a Jedi. Anakin is angered by this, and experiences inner conflict between his strong desires for her and his duties as a Jedi. Eventually, however, both are embracing, unable to deny their love.

Anakin is also troubled by a newfound sense that his mother is in grave danger, and he beckons for Padm to accompany him to his home planet of Tatooine (disobeying Obi-Wan's orders to remain on Naboo). Upon arriving, he tracks down his mother and learns from her new family that she is no longer a slave and is married. But, he also finds that she was kidnapped one month earlier by local Tuskens. Anankin travels through the night to track her down, and finds her in very poor condition in the Tusken caravan camp. Within moments she dies in his arms after only a few words. In a fit of rage, he slaughters the entire Tusken community -- including the women and children. Back at Coruscant, Yoda senses a terrible darkness in the Force coming from Anakin. Anakin brings his mother's body back to her home, where her funeral is held. Afterward, he confesses to Padm that he is consumed with confusion with what he has done since he is filled with guilt, but also satisfaction.

Now that the Jedi Council knows of Dooku's army, Jedi Mace Windu leads a team to Geonosis. Unbeknownst to them, Anakin and Padm also make their way to rescue Obi-Wan. Meanwhile, a suggestible Representative Binks calls for Chancellor Palpatine to be given emergency powers, with which he can call the recently discovered clone army into battle.

Back on Geonosis, Count Dooku tries to persuade Obi-Wan to join him, warning him that Darth Sidious is now in control of the Senate. Obi-Wan refuses to believe him, saying that the Jedi would have known if that was the case, which is a death sentence.

Anakin and Padm arrive on the planet, but are quickly captured and also sentenced to death, joining Obi-Wan in an arena-like complex where three huge lizard creatures are unleashed on them as sport for the local population. During their struggle, Mace Windu arrives with his Jedi, and they battle Dooku's droids on the field. Even though Windu kills Jango Fett, defeat for the Jedi seems imminent. Luckily Yoda unexpectedly arrives with the Republic's new clone army.

A large battle ensues between the Republic's clone army, and the Separatist's droid army. Count Dooku attempts to escape, but Obi-Wan and Anakin track him to a secret hangar, where they engage him in combat. Unfortunately, they are no match for Dooku's mastery of the Force and the lightsaber, and in short order he injures Obi-Wan and cuts off Anakin's right arm. Yoda appears just as Dooku is about to finish them off, and the two masters of the Force go head-to-head in lightsaber combat. Dooku seems to sense he may be outmatched, so he uses the force to topple a massive pillar onto the incapacitated Obi-Wan and Anakin. When Yoda responds, focusing his attention on using the force to slow and divert the plummeting structure certain to kill them both, Dooku uses the distraction to quickly hop into his ship and escape. He meets up with his master, Darth Sidious, who is pleased that the war has begun -- as planned.

Back in Coruscant, Obi-Wan informs the Jedi Council of Dooku's warning that Darth Sidious is controlling the Senate. Yoda is hesitant to believe this, stating that the Dark Side is capable of creating fear and mistrust. But, he and Windu also agree that the Dark Side is now clouding everything, and that they should closely monitor the Senate.

At a large landing field, Palpatine, Bail Organa, and the other Loyalists watch as clone troopers and weapons of war board their starships, moving off to fight the Separatists.

Back on Naboo, Anakin (with a new mechanical hand) and Padm hold a secret wedding, with only C-3PO and R2-D2 as witnesses.

Selected plot elements

Anakin's mechanical hand

Anakin has his right forearm cut off by Count Dooku, just as Luke has his hand cut off by Darth Vader (who is Anakin) in The Empire Strikes Back. This dual hand severing becomes important later on in Return of the Jedi, when Luke fails to kill Vader when he sees they both have a cybernetic hand. It is worth noting that Luke's electronic hand is far more sophisticated than Anakin's, which is perhaps due to development of technology between the two movies, although it seems that most major medical advances would have been made long before during the 25,000 year history of the Republic. The artificiality of Anakin's hand may have at least partly been a personal choice. The composition of the group of C-3PO, R2-D2, Anakin and Padm on the balcony at the end of Attack of the Clones is similar in nature to the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

Political atmosphere

The political atmosphere in Attack of the Clones is similar to the Cold War, except that it eventually escalates to a real war. Since the original drafts for Star Wars were written in the 1970s, this could have been a political statement as to what a nuclear war would mean.

Other observers believe that Palpatine's power grab is very similar to Hitler's climb to power in Nazi Germany, since he, as Chancellor of Germany, was granted "emergency powers" like Chancellor Palpatine of the Republic. Lucas himself points this fact out in the DVD commentary of the film. Parallels also exist to Octavian, who became Augustus, the first emperor of Rome. Octavian was responsible for the deaths of several hundred political opponents well before he was granted tribunician powers, and the civil war between Palpatine and the Republicans in the Galactic Senate vaguely resembles the civil war between the Triumvirs, although the former is less morally ambiguous.

Geonosian style execution

Within the movie, Geonosian style execution is a form of capital punishment practiced on the planet Geonosis. The origin of the term is that it was originally employed by the Geonosians. The scene depicting this method takes place in the Geonosian arena with the condemned chained to a pole, awaiting execution. The beastlike creatures approach from the arena door, and attack and eat the condemned persons in the manner of a wild beast. Count Dooku sentenced Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Padm Naberrie Amidala to be executed in this method. However, the executions were nullified by the timely arrival of Jedi reinforcements, led by Jedi Master Mace Windu. This scene appears to be influenced by an execution method employed by the ancient Romans at the Colosseum where lions and other dangerous predator animals were permitted to have their way with condemned prisoners. The scene also seems to reference some of Ray Harryhausen's special effects scenes of the 1950s, particularly the fight with a giant crab in The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958).

Mirroring/Reference of original Star Wars trilogy

  • A character has an arm amputated by a lightsaber (all Star Wars films)
  • A character says "I have a bad feeling about this" - Anakin in the Geonosis colosseum (all Star Wars films)
  • Anakin is told by Palpatine to "trust your feelings". In "The Empire Strikes Back" Darth Vader uses a similar phrase; "Search your feelings," when he is revealing to Luke that he is his father. In "A New Hope" Kenobi tells Luke to "trust your feeling".
  • Kenobi uses Jedi Mind Trick (A New Hope)
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi travels to a floating city where he is met by a seemingly benign administrator who gives him a tour of facilities but an enemy is nearby (The Empire Strikes Back)
  • The hero hides from an enemy in an asteroid field (The Empire Strikes Back)
  • R2-D2 repairs C-3PO (The Empire Strikes Back)
  • Owen Lars asks Anakin where he is going when he gets up from the table at the Lars farm after talking with Cliegg about his mother. Owen asked Luke the same question in A New Hope when he got up from the table at dinner, and Luke had been sitting in the same place that Anakin had been in Episode II.
  • As an in-joke Jango Fett hits his head on the entrance to Slave I, a reference to the goof in "Star Wars" when an Imperial Stormtrooper hits his head.
  • As an in-joke Padme's blaster makes the sound of a .44 Magnum. In "Star Wars" Leia's blaster can be heard to make a gun shot due to a mistake in sound editing.
  • As an in-joke an asteroid is shaped like a cow. In The Empire Strikes Back an asteroid is actually a potato
  • Obi-Wan lands on an asteroid to evade Jango Fett. In The Empire Strikes Back, Han lands the Millennium Falcon on the conning tower of the Avenger to evade the Imperial fleet.
  • Characters from the original trilogy that make their first chronological appearance in this movie include Boba Fett (A New Hope Special Edition, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi), Beru Lars (A New Hope), and Owen Lars (A New Hope).

Filming

Filming primarily occurred at 20th Century Fox studios in Australia, with additional location shooting in the Tunisian desert, at the Plaza de Espaa in Seville, Spain, and in Italy at the Villa del Balbianello on the Lake of Como, and in the Royal Palace in Caserta.

Reaction

Initial reviews of the film were mixed, with general admiration for the action sequences and special effects, and criticism of the more traditional cinematic elements such as character development and dialogue, particularly with respect to the relationship between Padm and Anakin. The marketing of the film reacted to this by downplaying the subplot by the time of the DVD release and emphasizing Yoda's popular fight scene.

The dialogue was noted to be "leaden" and "flat" by critics. The acting was also disparaged by some critics for these same characteristics.

Some fans consider the visual effects superior to The Phantom Menace, and many were pleased to see that Jar Jar Binks plays only a minor role. He, in fact, makes an emotional appeal to the Galactic Senate (during Senator Amidala's absence) in support of granting Palpatine emergency powers, quietly laying some of the guilt on his shoulders. Also, Jar Jar's attempts at comic relief seen earlier were toned down, with C-3PO reprising some of his bumbling traditions in that role.

References

  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Retrieved Dec. 10, 2003 from http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/s/sw_attack.html
  • Saxton,Curtis John, Hans Jenssen, Richard Chasemore. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: Incredible Cross Sections. Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2002.

External links


Star Wars

Episodes
I: The Phantom Menace | II: Attack of the Clones | III: Revenge of the Sith
IV: A New Hope | V: The Empire Strikes Back | VI: Return of the Jedi

Spinoffs
The Star Wars Holiday Special | The Ewok Adventure | Ewoks: Battle for Endor | Star Wars: Clone Wars | Droids | Ewoks

da:Attack of the Clones

de:Star Wars: Episode II – Angriff der Klonkrieger fr:L'Attaque des clones hu:Csillagok hborja II: A klnok tmadsa it:Episodio II - L'attacco dei cloni nl:Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones ja:スター・ウォーズ エピソード2/クローンの攻撃 pt:Star Wars Episode II - The attack of the clones sk:Star Wars: Epizda II - Klonovan točia

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