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Directed by George Lucas
(2002, 20th Century Fox)

Star Wars: Episode 2

Starring Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels

An investigation into an attempted murder leads to love for one Jedi, and the discovery of clone and droid armies.


-- 13th viewing (Download)
May 16th, 2022


I liked this movie a lot more than I remember. As with The Phantom Menace, the dialog is terrible, and there are so many illogical choices for the plot to make it's way to where the writer wanted it to go. Whiny Anakin is at his worst here, with not just terrible dialog but annoying acting. Padme has poor dialog, too, but she fares better probably because she doesn't have to whine. But the star of the movie is by far Obi-Wan, who elevates every single scene he is in. The more I see of him, the more I love Ewan McGregor's acting. I hope it all holds together in the Obi-Wan series. On the other hand, the droids material could have easily been cut without losing anything. C3PO was the worst, and I cringe every time I see the parts on the droid manufacturing floor.


-- 12th viewing (Download)
July 29th, 2020


As opposed to The Phantom Menace, this movie has a lot of good moments amid a horrible movie. I liked the beginning, where they chase Zam Wessel, and the pacing is actually good. But that degrades early. The dialog is terrible throughout, and the actor who plays Anakin doesn't do a good job. Like in Saving Private Ryan, where many people die to save one, here dozens of Jedi and clones die to save Obi-Wan (Anakin and Padme were not known to be prisoners when the mission was launched). As Tom Hanks's characters says there, I hope he's worth it -and we know it would have been better if he died.


-- 11th viewing (Blu-Ray)
July 25th, 2014


I don't really know what I don't like about this movie compared to the others. I think this time, at least, it was Anakin's whining. It's probably realistic, but it's just not something I wanted to see. Even the beautiful Natalie Portman gets a lot of clunker lines, which often enough made me cringe. But I always try to watch this movie in the spirit of an action movie, and just enjoy it.


+ -- 10th viewing (Blu-Ray)
July 17th, 2012


This movie seems to have hit a plateau with me, at 3+ stars. I think it is the weakest of all the Star Wars movies, but, as mentioned below, it still delivers a good time. It belongs in the class of non-thinking action movies.


+ -- 9th viewing (Blu-Ray)
November 11th, 2011


Star Wars all the way, though as always, the movie has so many questionable moments that it's tough to swallow. I have to remember to turn off my innate analysis of what makes sense and just enjoy the effects!


+ -- 8th viewing (DVD)
May 20th, 2009


Although this is definitely my least favorite Star Wars movie, it still has a lot of action and is very much Star Wars. If it was any other movie, I'm sure the score would be lower, but that doesn't matter. It's enough to give me a good dose of a great galaxy.


-- 7th viewing (DVD)
May 19th, 2007


There is little more I can add to my reviews below, I think. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. As I mentioned in my last review, I think the dialog could have used a lot of work. Much of it was actually embarrassing. But the rest of the movie was quite engaging, despite the many plot holes. I think it is only because these movies get more scrutiny than others that we find so many holes in them! I find it unfortunate, however, that having seen Revenge of the Sith didn't enhance the experience of this movie for me. Strange.


-- 6th viewing (DVD)
May 20th, 2005


The rating for this movie keeps going up and down, up and down. I suppose it depends on my mood. The prequel trilogy has more or less lost my interest, and that's a sad thing. The books, especially, have been less than thrilling, and often annoying, frustrating, and boring. So while I am looking forward to Revenge of the Sith, which opened recently, I did not have any desire to see it opening weekend. It will be at least another week before I see that movie.

As for Attack of the Clones, this time around, I quite enjoyed it, surprising myself because I remembered this as my least favorite Star Wars movie. I can see that it is indeed superior to The Phantom Menace in terms of atmosphere and character development. However, in many other respects, it is inferior. I still think that everything I have said in my previous reviews, below, holds true. My likes and dislikes have not changed. But overall, the movie is enjoyable.

My dislikes are many, and include the Coruscant chase (boring), the love story (not developed enough), and the Senate vote (not enough time for a vote on the creation of an army, but they can vote emergency powers in an instant?), among others. But my biggest dislike was much of the dialog, especially Anakin and Padmé's dialog. As talented as I think Natalie Portman is, the mature dialog doesn't come naturally to her. She always looks like a sweet little teenaged girl, slightly uncomfortable, rather than a seasoned senator. Compare what she says to the way Leia talks in the original Trilogy. Carrie Fisher sounded and acted so much more mature. These two look like the teenagers that they are.

Although I think the lightsaber battle between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace was better, that does not mean I didn't enjoy the ones here. Any time Obi-Wan or Anakin drew their lightsabers was amazing. Their reflexes were very natural, and none of the fighting looked like it required any effort on their part. I was especially impressed with Anakin's swordplay.

This movie also contains one of my favorite trivial uses of the Force in the whole saga so far: Obi-Wan opening the door on Kamino to enter from the lower levels where he fell during his fight with Jango Fett. It's very natural, and he doesn't have any regrets about doing it -even though it is technically breaking and entering.

And when the music was good, it was really good. There was a moment on Tatooine when Anakin leaves to find his mother when Luke's theme appears, and it is very touching. When Anakin breaks down later to tell Padmé that he slaughtered the Tuskin Raiders, The Imperial March sounds quietly in the background. And while the love story could have used some work, the love theme was amazing.

I am more primed for Revenge of the Sith after watching the first two episodes than I was last week. I am looking forward to the rise of Darth Vader.


+ -- 5th viewing (DVD)
September 1st, 2003


The director's commentary adds about as much to this movie as it did to Episode I: The Phantom Menace -not much. Much of what George Lucas talks about is process, and that interests me less and less these days. Maybe I was just spoiled by the commentary for The Fellowship of the Ring.

Several people take part in the commentaries, many of whom I am starting to get annoyed with. I have never liked Rick McCallum. He seems very pompous and arrogant, and single-minded. Every time he speaks, I find it annoying. Ben Burtt is getting more and more annoying, unfortunately. He is so close to his topic of sound that I can't relate to him when he speaks about the details. There were many exceptions in the two-plus hours, of course, as they imparted some interesting information.

Fortunately, all of the other speakers had some interesting things to say, and even found things to laugh about through the movie. I even laughed at some of the tings that Mr. Coleman and others said. For all my trying, though, I couldn't find the X-Wing being chased by two TIE-Fighters on Coruscant. One of my favorite comments, though, came during Yoda's class among the younglings: try to get fourteen toddlers to stand still and act for so long! Not possible! They took what they could, and digitally altered what they had to.

I was intrigued about some of the process of making the movie, as described, but I don't think I want to know where the digital doubles are located. The producers don't seem to think there is any difference between what we see and the real thing, but although I couldn't tell the difference by eye, I could feel that something wasn't quite right. Compare the quality of the production to The Fellowship of the Ring, and see what is digital or not. This is supposed to be a live-action movie, not an animated film.

The most important pieces of information, however, did come from George Lucas. The idea that the Jedi can reach across the border of the living to communicate with the dead will come clear in Episode III, he says. I am looking forward to that a lot. He also spoke about why he had the Geonosians as the designers and future builders of the Death Star. I think it was the movie Clerks where two characters discuss the deaths of the construction workers building the Death Star when it was blown up in Return of the Jedi. Lucas makes a direct remark towards Jay and Silent Bob, saying that the workers were actually these evil Geonosians, after all!

Of course, listening to the audio commentary means I don't hear the music or the special sound effects, or even dialog, and the movie suffers in a lot of spots for that. Star Wars movies are sound and music.

The next time I watch this movie, it will be with the full impact of the sound on.


-- 4th viewing (DVD)
February 3rd, 2003


I know that I've been trashing this movie a lot lately, especially indicating that it is inferior to Episode I. Having watched them back-to-back, I now think that they are of comparable quality, each superior in a different aspect. Watching this movie on DVD made me realize that I haven't really enjoyed it as much since the first time I saw it.

Attack of the Clones is definitely a more glitzy, sexy movie, and I'm not just talking about Natalie Portman's wardrobe. There is more background stuff going on -every single scene has so much happening that it feels like there is no letting up. This film looks really, really good. The visuals are spectacular. The only distraction from the visuals was during the clone/droid battle on Geonosis, where it looks more like war footage- gritty, hand-held, with sudden zooms -and not true to the Star Wars universe.

The aliens felt true, though I wonder if this movie is more of an animated film than live action. The vehicles were amazing to watch. The monsters were incredible. The live performers were almost as impressive. It seemed to me that Natalie Portman had some trouble getting all that mature and political dialog out of her mouth at some times, and I didn't quite believe her "I truly, deeply love you", which sounded more like a teenager. As mentioned below, Anakin's dialog also made me cringe, but he did act aloof and angry very well. Of all the lightsaber fighters in this film, I also thought he had the best style, whether he was fighting Dooku , the Geonosans, droids, or the perverse "droids making droids". His outfit, different from other Jedi, also helped make him look good -it was more of a karate gi, which helped make his movements look more sharp. I was very impressed.

There was also one scene that really points out how a Jedi is different, and it also belongs to Anakin. While fighting on the conveyor belt, he uses a Force Push to knock Geonosans and machinery away. I thought that was terrific, especially since he didn't even seem to be exerting any effort!

My least favorite scene is still the Coruscant chase, which I found really boring, despite funny lines from Obi-Wan and Anakin. Although I seemed to like the music the first time around (see below, the first review), this time I couldn't stand it. I even skip that track when I listen to the soundtrack. Once again, except for the love theme (which I was humming for days afterwards), I found the music to be quite disappointing.

The story also has some massive holes, many of which I have alluded to either below or in the novelization, but it is no worse off for that. My latest question is how the Senate could not have the time to vote on the clone army if they could so easily vote to grant emergency powers to the Chancellor? It didn't take too long for that vote, plus they were ready to vote on the army of the republic anyway.

I wonder how much of the future Palpatine can see, as he seems to know that the clone war will start eventually. The start of the war must have been different from what he envisioned, though. It would not have started so soon if Obi-Wan and Anakin hadn't chased down Zam, and if Zam hadn't been killed by Jango, with a dart manufactured on Kamino -a planet that nobody knew about. Sidious had to have a lot of things come together just right to force his war. It makes me wonder how he originally planned it, or if he foresaw the entire thing.

The Jedi also seem to put a lot of stock into Anakin as the potential person to bring balance to the Force. Do they know what it means to bring balance? Do they realize that the Force is unbalanced because only the Light Side existed for a long time, and that both sides are needed in some way?

The ending was also something that affected me. The juxtaposition of various scenes, especially the pre-Star Destroyers and the wedding, combined with the Imperial March and Across the Stars music, with Bail Organa slamming his fist against the balcony, was an amazing way to close it off. Not at all the happiness that we saw at the end of Episode I.

The special features were all a lot of fun, with no outright bombs. I always enjoy trailers and TV spots, and these ones were great, especially the "action hero Yoda"! Of the deleted scenes, I thought the Senate chamber didn't come off very well, and most of the others were also deleted for good reason. However, I would have loved to see Padmé's family dinner, even the bedroom scene, in the movie proper. I think it was really necessary, because it adds a lot of emotion to their relationship, that is not in the rest of the movie, despite what Lucas says.

The behind the scenes feature was very interesting, although I wonder how much of the next movie will really be an animated film! I don't like the idea of digital doubles. The other small features all had some extra value, but often repeated the same scenes. The best features come from Dex's kitchen. The animation progression was a wonder, but the Sound documentary was incredible! Sound is something that we know very little about, unlike visuals, and it was amazing to see it treated here.

Finally, pressing 1138 slowly in sequence in the Options menu brings about some truly funny outtakes, much better than the ones from the Episode I DVD.

I am very happy to have finally watched the movie at this time, for the DVD has restored my faith in this episode. I don't know why I had such a low opinion of the film between my first time seeing it and now, especially on IMAX. It's true that this film, especially the love story, has more moments that make me cringe than the others in this series. However, it is visually spectacular, which is mostly what a Star Wars movie is about! I can't put this up to the level of the Classic Trilogy at this time, but it is definitely the equal to The Phantom Menace.


-- 3rd viewing (IMAX)
November 16th, 2002


Definitely not worth seeing on IMAX, for more than one reason.

The producers of the IMAX features say that they have perfected the technique of enlarging a movie that was not filmed with the IMAX camera. I say they still have a ways to go. Any close-ups of actors, whether they were real or computer-generated, were grainy -or perhaps pixilated would be a better word in this case. The wide shots were fine, but otherwise bluescreen edges and slight blurring were easily visible in many shots.

The other thing that attempts to ruin the movie is the fixed length of the IMAX spool. It is said that an IMAX film cannot exceed two hours in length, because the spools cannot hold any more film, whether due to weight or space considerations. This means that a full twenty minutes of the film was missing, and it was noticeable. So many important shots were simply gone, like convincing Padmé to accept Obi-Wan as bodyguard, or manipulating Jar-Jar into calling for emergency powers. Others may not have been missed, like Anakin and Padmé's romp around the green grasses of Naboo. And many other scenes were simply trimmed down, so that the casual viewer might not notice it.

The only things that benefited from the larger IMAX screen were the battles. Watching a war movie, essentially, on Geonosis, was pretty cool, and the lightsaber shots were neat. But the chase through Coruscant (I still found it really dull) was way too fast for the giant screen, so that much of it was a blur, even from the back of the cinema.

In short, the IMAX treatment isn't so great, mainly because of the loss of some of the movie, but also because the screen actually seems too large for it! Since this has been my least favorite Star Wars movie, I think I'll have to wait for the DVD to gain a better appreciation for it.


-- 2nd viewing (Theatre)
July 6th, 2002


I had planned on reviewing this movie in full again, this time with spoilers, but I don't have the energy, and I figure I'll be watching it again and again, so I can create a running review every time I see it.

Normally, on second viewing of any movie like this, I am more impressed, because I can see where it is going, notice more detail, and so on. This time, however, I felt exactly the same as I did the first time. There is not actually too much I would add to the review below, except for some plot-specific points.

I found the beginning to be too long and slow. The chase through Coruscant went on for too long -it was no podrace, which was more interesting, even though that was longer.

The love story seemed a little inert, especially after reading the novelization. I could see where they were going, but I didn't recognize it as a logical outcome. And I have to ask why Padmé would wear such revealing outfits in the presence of a young man who adores her so much. I suppose it's because deep down, she knows that she will love him. Still...

The movie picks up once we reach Geonosis. I don't know how Obi-Wan managed to hide his presence from Dooku, who must have been alert for treachery -the novelization specifically mentions that he was captured because the Geonosians picked up his communications signal as he tried to reach Coruscant, not because of his presence in the Force.

The one singular thing that impressed me the most was Anakin's fighting ability. Every time he took out his lightsaber, he looked like he knew how to use it. He was confident, moved with a grace that even Obi-Wan and Dooku didn't have -that Vader didn't even have. He was just amazing!

Then, of course, there was the other lightsaber fight -Yoda was fabulous, though at one point it looked like he had just watched The Matrix. But it was mesmerizing to watch him. Unfortunately, I think Dooku made his point -the Sith are stronger. Although I wonder if Yoda wasn't trying to take Dooku alive, I still think the green Jedi should have cut Dooku's arm or hand off, showing who is the master.

Still, Yoda's fighting wasn't as impressive as Anakin fighting with two lightsabers -totally awesome. But still not as good as the fight with Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.

Which brings me to the music. I have bought the soundtrack CD, and have listened to it numerous times. I am totally obsessed with the Across the Stars love theme. It is a wondrous piece of music. But the rest of the CD is pretty boring. The only interesting parts come when the love theme is intermixed, or when we get music from another movie, like Vader's Imperial March, or Maul's Duel of the Fates. So although I had a new appreciation for the music in the movie, I still wasn't impressed. I understand why the asteroid chase didn't have music -those seismic charges were impressive, even if that implies sound traveling in space- but it could have used something more.

As I alluded to below, I was impressed with the fact that the clone army came in as good guys. The title implies that they are bad guys, and the use of Clone Wars in A New Hope also implies this -although we may change our mind once Episode III comes along. I always like a twist! But for now, I can see that it is true that Obi-Wan fought beside Leia's father in the Clone Wars. He and Anakin fought side-by-side!

The other major event that I desperately wanted to mention below was the fate of Boba Fett. I seriously think that Boba Fett will end up killing Mace Windu in Episode III. He saw that Jedi kill his father, and I am sure that will help cement him into the Bounty Hunter he will become, and I am sure he will have revenge! I look forward to the young reader books that are coming out concerning this boy.

The costumes were impressive, the clone troopers were also impressive, and the battles were impressive. But I found the pacing was off. There appeared to be too much time given to "beauty shots", of people entering a room, with no dialog or other sounds, just to show off the settings.  I found something lacking throughout most of the movie. I loved all the Jedi lighting their lightsabers in the Geonosian arena, and the massive fight that ensued -only dozens out of the original 200 Jedi survive?  But I still found that there was something missing, though I can't point it out.

I think I will have to see Episodes I and II back-to-back to figure out which one I like better. Come Christmas-time, I think I'll have to make that experiment.


-- 1st viewing (Theatre)
May 18th, 2002


As I have come to expect from these movies, there was way too much to soak in at one sitting.  This movie was a mixed bag.  There were some terrific moments, and there were some that could have used fixing.  The main attraction here are the special effects, which are outstanding.  It is only the plot that seems to be a little lacking.

I am going to attempt my very first non-spoiler review.  Since I plan to see this movie again in the theatre, and then several times on DVD, the spoiler parts can wait for another review.  Minor spoilers follow.

When I heard of the title to this movie, I didn't really like it.  Of course, by now, I am used to it, so it doesn't bother me.  I was surprised that George Lucas would give the movie a name like that.  But what surprised me more was the way the clones attacked.  I certainly didn't expect them to attack the adversaries they did.  In that, I am impressed.

The acting was far above what I came to expect from watching the trailers.  The main concern was Hayden Christensen in the role of Anakin Skywalker.  I am pleased to report that he does an excellent job.  The only point at which he seemed strained beyond his abilities was when acting childish and petty, in the whining scene we saw in the trailers.  He does anger extremely well.  I even like his quirky smile as he tries to get Padmé to open her heart to him, or at least reveal her feelings.  As for Padmé, Natalie Portman did an amazing job.  She has really grown up; she is a mature woman in this episode, and knows when to get involved and when to stay aloof.  It is only when she believes they are going to die that she starts opening up.  And, of course, she is beautiful.  At one point, I caught a glimpse of her that I swear was a young Carrie Fisher!  And she wasn't kidding when she stated that there is "more skin" in this movie.  Personally, I liked the bare-backed dress.  Apparently, Anakin did as well.

Ewan McGregor is Obi-Wan Kenobi.  He mastered the role so well that I could easily believe that he was simply a young Alec Guinness.  He smiles a lot, and frets a lot.  He looks like he is a great Master.  But we have to remember that he learned how to teach from his own master, Qui-Gon, who was a very reserved man.  From the Jedi Apprentice series of novels (which are an excellent read, even if they are meant for 12 year olds), we know that Qui-Gon was extremely tough on his Padawan, and rarely complimented him.  At least Anakin gets compliments here.

The other characters have smaller roles, but much larger than secondary characters did in The Phantom Menace, and they mostly come into play during the battle scenes.  It was nice to see Watto again -I love his line "a Jedi!  What do you know!"  It was so amazing.  It was also nice to see Ki Adi Mundi in action, but I wish we could have seen Adi Gallia instead -I'm just in love with her!  Unfortunately, she just gets a tiny non-speaking part in the Council Chambers.  I couldn't find her during the climactic battle.

A Star Wars movie typically travels to three planets in two hours.  I think that is the limit of what we can handle.  Here, we travel to five planets, and I think it's too much.  We spend so much time traveling that we hardly see people doing anything else.  And that is my first complaint about this movie.  It is hard to get settled, because even on one planet, we visit many different locales.  When the scenery doesn't stay put, it is hard to get emotionally tied to the setting. 

One thing this movie got right was the humor.  This sounds like a major, major spoiler, but it is not -but it is something that I must say:  the Rise of the Empire is directly the fault of Jar-Jar Binks!  Of course, if he didn't do it, then somebody else would have.  But the fact remains that he put the motion forward!  Back to humor, Jar-Jar never bothered me during The Phantom Menace.  But for everyone who hated the Gungan, he has only three or four scenes, and he is neither clumsy nor too talkative in either one of them.  Jar-Jar is not the humor in this movie. 

The problem that I had with the humor in the previous film is that often it was based on body language.  In this film, it is much more subtle (for the most part).  Lines like "Anakin, you will be the death of me" have a feeling of foreshadowing to them, coming from Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Anakin's look when he loses his lightsaber yet again is one of exasperation.  And Anthony Daniels is a comic genius!  I have read his ravings, seen him perform, and, of course, watched him in four other movies as C-3PO.  Here, he was hilarious, mostly because of what we know from the other movies, but often he's funny in his own right.  Lines like "what a drag" or "I'm beside myself" deserve groans from the audience, but are funny nonetheless.  But to have C-3PO apologizing for shooting his weapon was worth the scene in itself.  Obi-Wan gets in many other subtle lines and body language, like "Padmé is on top of things" and so on. 

I will have to see the movie again to notice more, but after a first impression, I was not happy with the original music in this movie at all. The most noticeable music comes from the other movies.  The Imperial March was introduced at just the right moments, cranking up the tension.  Luke's Theme is also prevalent.  Both of these come from the superior Empire Strikes Back.  Elements were borrowed from the Duel of the Fates, the brilliant track that accompanies the Qui-Gon-Obi-Wan-Darth Maul lightsaber battle at the climax of The Phantom Menace.  While the chase scene on Coruscant seemed well-scored, where was the music during the asteroid chase?  Something reminiscent but different from the one used in Empire would have been nice.  But it seemed completely unscored!  And I didn't notice anything in the other battles, either.  Mostly, I heard sound effects.  But, of course, I can't notice everything on one viewing.  Perhaps I missed it.  Time to buy the soundtrack, I guess!

The battles were good, but not the best that we've seen.  They are all much bigger than anything we've seen before, though.  Unfortunately, bigger is not better.  The battle with the Gungans in The Phantom Menace was quite impersonal, which is why we needed Jar-Jar as a general.  Still, it was just droids blowing up nameless Gungans.  It was less personal than any previous battle, mainly because there was so much going on.  In Empire, the Hoth battle included only Luke, but because he could keep track of everything, it seemed very personal.  In Attack of the Clones, the battle was so grand that it lost my interest, except in viewing the special effects. 

Even the lightsaber battle got bigger.  It was really nice to see the Jedi in action, especially Mace Windu.  But at one point it degenerates into a free-for-all, which once again dulls the senses.  The more personal battle between Obi-Wan, Anakin and Count Dooku was much, much better, but never reaches the energy level of the Darth Maul battle.  All I can say about this battle without giving anything away is that every element shocked me!  From Dooku's Dark Side powers, to the results of Anakin's second offensive, to Yoda's entry (spectacular, but I thought he should have inflicted at least some damage!), to the end result, I was not prepared for any of it.  And I was pleased (except for what I mentioned above).

As for the love story, it was quiet, but the two leads never seemed to have enough on-screen chemistry to show me that they were falling in love.  Of course, Padmé was trying to keep her distance.  But we should have seen the barriers falling down a little more.  Perhaps less traveling around and more romantic lines, because I was surprised at the way the romantic moments that we got actually worked, for the most part.  The best romance, however, comes when Padmé is consoling Anakin in the Lars homestead on Tatooine, in complete silence, with only a hand on his shoulder.  Speaking of the Lars homestead, Owen was amazing, and Beru Whitesun, (why do guys always introduce women as "my girlfriend", so as to avoid confusion?) was stunning, even with her one line of dialog.  I hope we see them again in Episode III.

The best scene in the movie has to be Anakin's hatred and his first major step to the Dark Side.  After a very sweet and sentimental scene with his mother, which ends with terrible, terrible acting for half a second, Christensen does his finest acting, and Lucas his finest directing. 

The special effects are second to none, I think.  So much of the movie is computer generated (CG), unfortunately, but fortunately it is first class stuff.  There are many moments when we know characters are CG, but that is only because there could not possibly be an actor doing these parts.  And that is unfortunate, because they don't look CG, but the brain processes them as such, because we know so much about it.  The creatures, especially in the arena, were amazingly done.  I truly believed that the Jedi (and Padmé) were fighting giant creatures.  The planets were all CG, but they were rendered very life-like.  Coruscant was beautiful, even in the fog, as it was in The Phantom Menace.  Naboo was also beautiful, except in the unrealistic scene where Anakin stands on a creature's back.  I couldn't see the wires, but I could see their effect on the actor.  Tatooine looks no different from in The Phantom Menace or A New Hope, which is nice.  The two new planets, Kamino, full of water and incredibly large waves, and Geonosis, another desert world, were seen less, but were still quite impressive. 

Which leads me to the bad guys.  Without spoiling the movie, it is difficult to talk about Jango Fett and Count Dooku.  Actually, aside from being a separatist and a Jedi, we don't know much about Dooku anyway.  And Jango... well, he is very impressive, especially in the battle on Kamino.  And I have an idea of who will kill Mace Windu in Episode III, assuming Mace doesn't survive the trilogy (which is just a guess on my part, completely unsubstantiated from any reports).  The Clones enter very little into the actual movie, and in a way that for me was quite unexpected.  I like the way they are good shots, much better than the stormtroopers in the classic trilogy!  I also did not expect to see the droid army from The Phantom Menace again.  As for Zam Wesell, she was almost completely wasted.  A good shot with the rifle, an amazing pilot, she didn't seem all that smart when it came down to it.  Better luck next time.

I had many little problems in details with this movie, many of which were cleared up by simply flipping through the novelization.  One was the idea that Owen Lars was Anakin's half-brother.  He is much older than Anakin -but the book explains that Shmi was not his birth mother, but the only mother he really knew.  Among others is the way Anakin and Padmé simply took off with C-3PO and never even said goodbye to their hosts.  In the book, they still don't say goodbye or thanks, but Owen gives the droid to Anakin.  I have not yet read the novel, but I am tempted to do so sooner than I would have otherwise, now!

And finally, I still don't like the thought of a Jedi being forbidden to love.  I can accept it only if it applies solely to Padawans.  A Jedi should be able to love, especially to pass on his genes.  What is the reasoning?  Distraction?  A Padawan should avoid distraction, but a Jedi?  Distraction will exist anyway, if only when trying to avoid it.  Maybe I'll understand more with the Episode II era books that will now enter the market, but for the moment, it looks to me like a rule simply for the sake of creating conflict.  And I dislike that.

In short, the beginning was a little slow, with so many people traveling, and not doing much.  But the tension was ratcheted up and by the end, it was quite exciting.  A weak beginning is easier to forgive than a weak ending, which haunts movies forever.  The acting was good, the dialog could have used a little more work at times, the special effects were really good, and there were enough excellent scenes that I like this movie more and more as time passes.  There is one really bad scene, but only one.  And to see Yoda in action is worth the price of admission alone!

There is a lot more that I want to say about this movie, but that will have to wait for subsequent viewings.  Most people regard this movie as superior to The Phantom Menace.  When I walked out of the theatre, I wasn't so sure.  Now, I think it is.  But since I actually enjoyed Episode I, the gap between them is not so great.


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