Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

George Lucas followed The Phantom Menace two years later with Attack of the Clones. Many questioned the title chosen for this installment of the STAR WARS saga as possibly the worst title imaginable - even worse that The Phantom Menace. Some could say that none of the Episode titles have been all that strong - with the notable exception of The Empire Strikes Back - which makes the most sense of all of the Episode names to date.

Ten years have elapsed since Qui-Gon found Anakin Skywalker on the desert planet of Tatoonie. He has done well in his Jedi training under Obi-Wan's mentoring. However, he is willful and arrogant at times - believing he knows more of the Force than his Jedi Master. His is troubled by dreams he is having regarding his mother. When Obi-Wan and Anakin are ordered to protect now Senator Padmé Amidala after several attempts on her life, the feelings Anakin have for the once-Queen resurface and begin to dominate his mind. His feelings for Padmé mixed with the guilt of leaving his Mother as a slave on Tatoonie creates more internal conflict within the Padawan. All of this plays over investigations of Obi-Wan as he searches for clues to the identity of those responsible for the attacks on the Senator and the knowledge there is more going on.

This is the beginning of the "Clone War" as referenced in A New Hope. To complete this circle, we are also introduced to the man who would become Leia's adoptive Father - although very briefly. But these few threads that tie the stories together do not bridge all the gaps introduced in Attack of the Clones. It is easy to explain why a droid would have no memory of past events, but the same explanation cannot be used to explain apparent lapses in human memory. Events that have occurred in Attack of the Clones create real continuity errors in A New Hope. In watching Episode IV recently, I found it curious why Obi-Wan clearly has no memory of R2-D2. R2 has been Padmé's constant companion since The Phantom Menace and it would only stand to reason that his service to Padmé and her family - namely Princess Leia - would continue. I understand all droids look alike, but when R2-D2 appears out in the desert, sporting a message from Princess Leia, there should be some spark of recognition - even as there should have been with C-3PO. Issues surrounding C-3PO are the same - We know that Shmi completes the assembly of the droid after Anakin leaves and she takes him to the Lars moisture farm. She lives there for six years with Cliegg, her new husband and his son, Owen. Owen and his girlfriend Beru are "Uncle Owen" and "Aunt Beru" from A New Hope who raise Luke Skywalker. Why wouldn't these two people have any recognition what-so-ever of C-3PO?

Evidence mounts with the theory of Chancellor Palpatine being Anakin's father. Mull that over in your minds.

The film had a reported budget of $120 million - not bad when you consider this would be the very first film be completely shot in the digital domain. Not a single foot of film was exposed to make the film. The film opened on May 19, 2002 on 3161 screens and grossed $80 million it's opening weekend. Reviews for this installment remained mixed and while not as successful as The Phantom Menace, it still brought in $310 million during it's nearly 1 year Domestic box office run.

For the video release, LucasFilm completed eight additional scenes and included them as bonus material. He also 'tweeked' the picture slightly adding bits of dialog in two places. A change at the end of the film made for the DLP theater presentations was also changed in the DVD release.

Updated: May 28, 2005
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