Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones

directed by George Lucas

Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones poster  
The Attack of the Clones. As titles go, it's right down there with Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and Double Gloucester for cheesiness. But just as The Phantom Menace was no ghost story, this is no B-movie.

Anyone who has seen the first Star Wars trilogy knows who Anakin Skywalker will become. This film goes some way towards explaining his fall to the dark side. It opens with a plot to assassinate Amidala. Anakin and Obi-Wan investigate this, although it's not clear who is ultimately behind it. The political situation is uncertain. Between the Trade Federation, the Republic and the various alien factions, it is difficult to make out what is going on and who the bad guys are. Helpfully some of them wear black.

The growing but forbidden love between Anakin and Padme Amidala is a major feature of this movie. Christensen is at turns gauche and childish, then self-assured and competent as the teenage Padawan. Anakin's powers have grown, but so has his arrogance. Christensen is fascinating to watch in this role.

The relationship between Obi Wan and Anakin is beginning to show strain. Their differences grow the closer Anakin gets to Padme. Ewan McGregor doesn't turn out his best performance as Obi Wan. His delivery is stilted, and touches on the wooden. Whether this was because of his lines, trouble overcoming his broad Scottish accent or the weight of his beard I couldn't say.

The effects are breathtaking, as we have come to expect. The galaxy is huge and teeming with different alien lifeforms. Incredible attention has been paid to the details, from immpossibly shiny ships docking to elaborate costumes that may be glimpsed for only a few seconds. The first chase takes place on Coruscant, where the air and streets are so busy it makes you wonder what difference one person can make at all.

The second half is more action-packed, and full of surprises. Yoda has a hilarious scene towards the end that comes entirely unexpectedly. But as usual most of the comic relief characters fall flat. Jar Jar Binks is there, as are R2D2 and C3PO, and their lines are pretty dumb.

Rated PG, there is a lot of violence for a children's film, and the politics may be a bit confusing. What does anyone hope to gain by starting a war? This isn't really explained except by reference to the dark side. It's accessible on more than one level though.

Is it any good? It manages to keep the look and feel of the first films without being dated. It surpasses The Phantom Menace, being more complex and less cosy. Mercifully there are fewer Jar Jar moments, so in spite of a few flaws it is a great film.

Film Details

Year: 2002

Categories: Films

  Kids     Science fiction

Classification: PG

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars cover    

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4 star rating

© Ros Jackson

More about George Lucas


Johnny Pim     19th October, 2004 22:00pm

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. please no more of this mind numbing sh1te. take a hint lucas. star wars died when he who shall not be named entered the scene. you know who i mean. he bad bombad rasta lizard. no more, i'm begging you.