Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones
What is it ? : It's the second in the prequel trilogy and picks up around a decade after the events of The Phantom Menace, a shiny Naboo Transport arrives at Coruscant, and a member of the crew informs the Senator they're about to arrive. The vessel sits down on one of the floating landing platforms, accompanied by its Starfighter escort, but as the passengers begin to disembark there is an explosion and the "Senator" dies, witnessed by the Real Senator Padme Amidala who was disguised as one of the Starfighter Pilots.
A group of Jedi meets with Chancellor Palpatine about this act of terrorism, and he suggests that Padme be assigned a Jedi bodyguard, but when it is pointed out that she will not be happy about this, he suggests it being old friends, so it is agreed that Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice Anakin Skywalker shall do the job. He also brings up the fact that Count Dooku, the leader of the group of a thousand worlds leaving the Republic, is perhaps behind this. But the Jedi are reluctant to believe that a former member of their order could stoop so low.
Anakin and Obi Wan meet with Padme, but Anakin is nervous as he has feelings for Padme even though he hasn't seen her since the events of The Phantom Menace, and when they do meet she treats him like he is still a child.
That night an attempt is made on Padme's life, as a droid releases venomous insects into her bed chamber, but the two Jedi make short work of the creatures. As the droid flies away, Obi-Wan leaps onto it being carried away, and Anakin takes a speeder in pursuit.
After the droid is destroyed by it's owner sniping it out, and Anakin catches a plummeting Obi-Wan, the chase after the would be assassin through the busy airlanes of Coruscant. Anakin leaps aboard the assassins speeder and causes it to crash, and they are forced to follow into a nightclub. They locate the assassin when she makes an attempt on Obi-Wan, but before they can question her she is taken out with a poison dart by a figure wearing Mandalorian armour who jetpacks away.
Obi-Wan takes the poison dart to the Jedi archives to be identified, but the droids there cannot recognise it's origin, so he takes it to a cafe owner, Dexter Jettster, who he is old friends with. Dexter identifies it as a Kaminoan Saber Dart, used by a species famous for being cloners, and tells Obi-Wan where the planet is.
Returning once more to the Jedi archives, he cannot locate Kamino in the records, although the star systems around it indicate there is something which a gravity well in that area.
Speaking to Yoda about the missing planet, Yoda puts the question to the younglings he is teaching, one of whom suggests it was deleted from the records, something only a Jedi could do.
With Padme still obviously in danger, they decide that she would be safer on Naboo, so she assigns Jar-Jar Binks as the representative for Naboo until she returns, and she and Anakin leave for her homeworld aboard public transport. While Obi-Wan departs in a Jedi Starfighter to discover Kamino.
When he arrives he finds the Kaminoans welcoming, as they think he has been sent by a now dead Jedi, Sifo Dyas, who hired them to build a clone army for the Republic. He discovers the template for these Clones is a bounty hunter Jango Fett, who wears Mandalorian armour, but when he tried to question him, the bounty hunter escapes aboard his ship, Slave One, but Obi-Wan manages to plant a tracking beacon on it and pursues.
On Naboo, Padme meets with the new queen, and Anakin makes himself look foolish by acting self important, and they decide to hide out with Padme's family. They spend time becoming closer, and Anakin admits that he desires Padme and always has yearned for her, but she rejects him as it would break Jedi rules, and she wants to focus on being a Senator and public service.
That night Anakin dreams of his mother, having a vision of her being tortured, so the pair decide to head to Tatooine to investigate.
Arriving there they track down Watto, who tells him he sold her to a moisture farmer named Cliegg Lars, but they fell in love and she was freed and they married. Heading to the Lars moisture farm, they meet with Cliegg, but he tells them that Shmi was kidnapped by Tusken Raiders days before and is likely dead. Anakin sets off on a speeder bike, and after questioning some Jawas he tracks the raiders down and sneaks into the camp and finds his mother.
After speaking only a few words to her son, she dies of her wounds, and an enraged Anakin slaughters the entire tribe, before taking his mothers body back to the Lars farm where they bury her and he admits his crime to Padme.
Obi-Wan follows Jango Fett to Geonosis, but ends up in a skirmish with Slave One when Jango and his clone son, Boba, notice his ship. Obi-Wan allows them to believe he has been destroyed so he can continue to follow tracking them to a giant Battle Droid foundry. He tries to inform the Jedi council of what's happening, but he is out of range, but locates Anakin's signal on Tatooine and gets them to boost the signal to Coruscant. As they watch however he is ambushed by a Droideka, and they lose the signal, so Padme decides to head to Geonosis to help, and Anakin as her bodyguard must come as well.
On Coruscant, Palpatine and his aides make pointed comments in front of Jar Jar on how they wished someone like Padme was around who would be brave enough to give the Chancellor emergency powers to deal with this crisis, and Jar Jar falls for it and introduces a bill giving Palpatine unlimited powers as Chancellor until the separation crisis is over.
Arriving on Geonosis, Padme and Anakin are chased through the Droid foundry, but eventually are caught and taken to the arena where they are chained to pillars along with Obi-Wan. The three battle the beasts unleashed against them valiantly, but they are soon worn down, but the Jedi arrive and a battle breaks out. However even the Jedi aren't enough against the hordes of Battle droids which have been discovered and Count Dooku gives them a chance to surrender, which Mace Windu refuses. As they are about to be exterminated, vessels arrive overhead, and Yoda lead the Kaminoan Clone Army in an assault on the planet. Jango Fett attempts to fight the Jedi, but Mace Windu easily defeats him, slicing his head off, which separates from his helmet, which is discovered by young Boba later.
As the battle goes badly, Dooku takes plans from the Geonosians of a large moon sized battle station with a superlaser dish on its northern hemisphere, and flees towards his ship. He is spotted by Anakin and Obi-Wan who pursue, and get into a lightsaber battle with him.
Dooku out fights them, severing one of Anakins hands, but before he can leave, Yoda enters the fight and after an exchance of force lightning, the two fight with their sabers, a fight Dooku only survives by distracting Yoda by putting the unconscious Obi-Wan and Anakin in danger, forcing Yoda to save them giving him the chance to slip away.
Dooku returns to his master, Darth Sidious, on Coruscant and tells him that the job is done, while in the raging battle on Geonosis between the battle droids and the Clone Army, Yoda declares, begun this clone war has.
Later in a secret ceremony, Anakin and Padme marry, and his new droid hand holds hers as the movie ends. . . .
High Points : Well its a massive spectacle, with Coruscant being fast moving and full of life like we've not seen a sci-fi city before, and the Clone War itself being huge in scale with thousands of combatants in action. But the special effects haven't aged particularly well, and it looks a little like a video game cut scene now, but you can't be too harsh on what age has done to a movie.
On rewatching I realised the brilliance of Palpatines plan. He has Padmes life threatened, knowing that Anakin and Obi-Wan will investigate more carefully as she is a friend. The assassin uses a droid to plant the venomous insects, but lets it wait so they can follow it back to her, and then she is killed by a traceable dart instead of a blaster, so they can follow the clues and discover the Clone Army.
Jango then flees to Geonosis on purpose, so Obi-Wan can find the droid army which will give cause for the Republic to use the Clone Army and start the war, which will give the Republic reason to give Palpatine unlimited powers. It's all a trail for the heroes to follow, and they do, all perfect little puppets for Palpatine.
On previous watchings, I mistook this for bad writing, and that it was all just too convenient, but now I realise that's the idea not a mistake.
Low Points : But despite that, the movie is still riddled with problems, and within the first 5 minutes of my rewatch I'd began to regret not keeping a notepad on hand to remember everything I was noticing. Not even the scrolling text had ended when I was questioning why the Republic was voting to create an army because "Several thousand solar systems have declared their intentions to leave the Republic.", they've not actually left yet, they've not actually declared war, they've just declared their intention to leave, and the Republic has therefore decided, lets make an army.
Definitely made me realise the Republic isn't the good guys here.
But I'm not going to go over every problem I saw, such as Obi-Wan contacting the Jedi from Geonosis, he is out of range so searches for Anakin's signal, which he finds on Tatooine. But it's Amidala's ship he contacts instead? A ship that he has no way of knowing they're aboard, since the last time he knew, they left aboard public transport, and they only got the ship later on Naboo. But perhaps Anakin registers his comlink on every ship he boards, and Obi-Wan knew that!
At the very beginning, the movie tries to fool us that Padme has been killed in the starship explosion, because we see a figure from behind on the ship, who gets addressed as Senator, and the scroll text told us that Padme was now a senator and was returning to Coruscant. This is just a fake out, since she is pretending to be one of the Starfighter pilots. But this raises the question, as to why the crew of the ship is addressing her double as Senator, when its really obvious to them that it's not the same person?
But I said I wouldn't go over every fault I spotted, or this would be the longest review ever.
So what do you really think ? : So lets leave it at I still don't like this movie, even if I do now have the slightest glimmer of respect for it. The terrible dialogue "I don't like sand", the way Padme falls for Anakin after he admits "I killed them. I killed them all. They're dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children, too. They're like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals.", so she decides that he's marrying material. It's just not a good movie at all.
Final Words : Attack of the Clones is still my least favourite Star Wars movie, while I don't like The Last Jedi, at least I feel that with it there's a good movie trying to get out from behind editing problems, Attack of the Clones is just pretty irredeemable.
But to give it it's dues, Attack of the Clones is pretty much the only Star Wars movie to show off the genius that Palpatine is supposed to be.
Score : 5/10
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