Today we celebrate 20 years of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.
The second film in the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy and the fifth released film in the series. The story follows Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker assigned to protect Senator Padme Amidala as a number of recent attempts on her life force her into hiding. Meanwhile Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi uncovers a conspiracy connecting former Jedi Master Count Dooku aka Darth Tyranus to a Clone Army created for the Galactic Republic.
The film released on May 16th, 2002 and brought in $301 Million at the domestic box office with a total $653.8 Million worldwide against a $115 Million budget.
Upon release the film was criticized for the poor dialogue, the overuse of CGI special effects and the awkward acting. The main reason can be attributed to George Lucas having sole control of the film. Lucas usually works best working off of other creatives, like with the first Indiana Jones film. With nobody offering any constructive criticism his problems as a writer tended to shine through.
Despite the mixed reception at the beginning, upon revisiting the film, there are definitely some positives and highlights you can take from it.
First, there is definitely a lot more action sprinkled throughout when compared to The Phantom Menace. Not only is there the two encounters between Obi-Wan and Jango Fett, but of course we have the Jedi Arena battle, showing off what a small army of Jedi would look like in battle.
Then the absolutely massive land battle on Geonosis. Next to Pelennor Fields in Return of the King, this was one of the largest land battles in cinema history; So large it would give 1970’s Waterloo a run for its money.
And of course there was the epic battle between Master Yoda and Count Dooku.
Second would be the new worlds and locations. We get to see more of the city-planet of Coruscant, the inside of the Jedi Temple and how they train and operate, the clone making planet of Kamino and the droid building planet of Geonosis.
And lastly would be what the film gave us afterwards. Not only did it set things up for the 2003 – 2005 Clone Wars micro-series on Cartoon Network, but also the eventual Clone Wars television series that ran from 2008 – 2013. retroactively you can thank Attack of the Clones for setting things up for those two fan favorite series.
Overall while not a good film it’s not necessarily all that bad. Yes you do have to endure clunky dialogue like the infamous “I don’t like sand” line, but the film defiantly has plenty of action, especially in the third act, and sets up a brighter future in both Revenge of the Sith and the Clone Wars shows.
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