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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

(more for special effects than the story- which is a tad too romance novel at times)
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Lee, Frank Oz, Ian MacDairmid, Anthony Daniels, Temuera Morrison, Jimmy Smits, Kenny Baker, and Samuel L Jackson.
Directed by: George Lucas
Rated: PG


Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones is not as phenomenal as the original Star Wars, can't touch Return of the Jedi and don't even compare it to The Empire Strikes Back, but compared to that piece of celluloid poo The Phantom Menace (aka The Jar Jar Bink's Catastrophe) it's an Academy Award© winner! Fear not fellow Force followers that hideous swamp Rasta Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) is not a primary character! Thank Yoda! I guess even Lucas heard the fans loud continuing whine across the globe huh?

The story is riddled with mysteries and even goes so far as to almost make Obi Wan (Ewan -he'll always be the poor poet to me- McGregor) a semi-dime store detective as he unravels the secrets the secret people are hiding.

The story line is very predictable, but hey this is a "prequel." We've seen where these people are going, who they become, and their fates are no surprise to us. But, for those of us who adore the series SWE3AOFTC is just a chance to see how someone as noble as Annikin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) can go so bad and start sporting black on black with black and destroying those he once promised to protect….

We meet Padme Amidala the ex-Queen of Naboo who is now holding a chair in the intergalactic senate representing her planet's fine folk. Someone, or something, is trying to kill her! There are increasing attempts on her life. The Jedi Council decides she needs a couple of tough guys by her side at all times. They will protect her and keep her from the dark side of the Force. Obi Wan Kenobi and Annikin are given the duty.

Annakin has not gone a day without thinking of the Queen Amidala (dingdong) he left behind to be Obi's apprentice ten years ago (of course he was ten years old but...). Now that he is with her again his feelings can't be helped. Anni's been bitten hard by the smit bug and he wants a big old serving of Nabooean Padme. Of course that's not good because everyone knows Jedi are not allowed to love, among other things.

Lucky for him, Obi Wan has some intergalactic sleuthing to take care of and leaves phermone heavy Annakin alone with the budding chickbabe. Think they may fall in love as they prance around the galaxy? Mmmm, could be.

Obi can't be bothered with the young and the restless couple. He's discovered there's a secret army of clones being grown on a hidden planet. A planet that just isn't there...but, how can the planet not be in the federation's archives? All knowledge is known.

Well, it's hidden alright and when he gets there he finds they are using bounty hunter Jango Fett's (Once Were Warriors great Temuera Morrison) manly man DNA to create this invincible army of Jango clones. Creepy or what? Jango is paid well for his structure but also asked he have one little, unaltered, clone of his own to call son (Daniel Logan)…this son will be The Empire Strikes Back's Boba Fett when he's properly grown into his bounty hunting self.

Obi stumbles upon the possible truths behind the increasing lack of Force the Jedi feel. Alot may have to do with this new fellow in the stew, Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). This mysterious Dooku hangs out on planet Geonisis with a mutinous group of scallywags! He's is up to no good I tell ya! Hmm, Count Doodoocookaroo also looks exactly like that vampire guy from all those Hammer Studios films form the late 60's early 1970's…doesn't Lee ever age?????

The highlight of the film is truly the special effects. The cast runs around playing heroes and villains with tons of light sabers swingin' about, a gaggle of Jedi are seen in action in a great (if a tad over dramatic) fight scene, we get fantastic new creatures of the other worlds and of course spacecrafts that are so perfectly illustrated they look as if you could run over to BMW and order a model of your own.

Star Wars fans will be in heaven as Lucas coddles us with all our favorite tidbits behind the main moving the episode along story; the introduction to many future key players (look for Princess Leia's "dad" to be-she was adopted remember? Hint: Jimmy Smits), the still-cool-after-all-these-years fore mentioned light sabers, the quick bar scene with the mingling aliens — complete with intergalactic sporting events on wide screens, he's maintained the goofy foreign food entree-like names for his characters, and of course the awesome over-the-top digital billion-plus-trouper battles. And not to ruin anything for you…but, Lucas and crew finally give us a kick ass Yoda scene!

For episode after episode we have heard of the greatness of this master Jedi Yoda, yet he walks with a crutch (ala Tiny Tim) and speaks with a kindness that makes it hard to picture him in battle…well, you're getting a big old can of Yoda whoop ass in this. Admittedly at first your reaction will be to burst into loud giggles, since it is just plain old humorous, but he IS Yoda and that initial tickling of the funny bone quickly subsides as Yoda gets down to being a Jedi- finally.

SWE3AOFTC is most definitely for Star Wars fans, otherwise you may notice the colossal flaws in the oh-so-typical story or the two dimensional development of the characters. Poor Annikin (which all who follow the episodes know turns into über villain Darth Vader) seems like a spoiled teenager. He bursts into juvenile fits of anger at the drop of a Nabooian fedora then sulks and glares like some anger management class reject. He is riddled with a deep hatred for the world. Say, isn't it clearly written in the Jedi handbook of pesky Jedi rules that they are "not to know anger or hatred?" Oops looks like one little Jedi wanna be wont be...

Snack Recommendation:
Huge popcorn with platonium topping and a diet's a long film.

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