Reviewed by Ivana Redwine
Tagline: "A Jedi shall not know anger. Nor hatred. Nor love."
"Star Wars: Episode II" is the sequel to "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (1999), and Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman reprise their roles as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala, respectively. Of course, several other characters from previous "Star Wars" films are back, including Yoda (Frank Oz), R2-D2 (Kenny Baker), and C-3PO (Anthony Daniels). Also, Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best), the most widely reviled character in "Episode I," reappears in "Episode II," but he gets very little screen time.
Ten years have passed between the end of "Episode I" and the beginning of "Episode II," and during that time Anakin Skywalker has become a young adult and is now played by Hayden Christensen. Young Skywalker is apprenticed to Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. Also in the intervening decade, Padmé Amidala, who was formerly Queen of Naboo, has become a senator.
As "Episode II" opens, the stability of the Republic is threatened by a separatist movement led by the evil Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). When Senator Amidala arrives on Coruscant to cast an important vote in the Galactic Senate, there is an attempt to assassinate her. Soon the Jedi Council tasks Obi-Wan with finding out what's behind the assassination attempt, and Anakin is assigned to protect Padmé.
It's not long before Anakin and Padmé fall in love, and young Skywalker goes through some experiences that reveal his dark side is beginning to emerge. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan uncovers a diabolical plot involving a vast army of clones. Eventually Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padmé end up in a fight for their lives that will determine the future of the Republic.
Lucas is brilliant at making his fantastic worlds and imaginative creatures come alive on the big screen, and DVD is a great medium for his visual sense. "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" is a visually dazzling spectacle with terrific sound and music, which translates very well to DVD.
Although I enjoyed the backstory on Anakin Skywalker in "Episode II," the overall story seemed a little weak to me. Also, much of the dialogue delivery seemed wooden, and the love story between Anakin and Padmé was unconvincing. I thought Hayden Christensen had the right screen presence for Anakin Skywalker, but his line readings fell flat.
"Star Wars: Episode II" comes packaged as a two-disc DVD set. Disc 1 contains the movie and a scene-specific, feature-length audio track with seven filmmakers, including George Lucas. Disc 2 contains a ton of bonus materials, and I've listed most of them below.
Selected Special Features on the DVDs:
Commentary Track With 7 Filmmakers, Including George Lucas
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