Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
The basic issue here is: Loss. Anakin has been terribly wounded be the loss of this mother. In response to loss, he begins to control things around him. Thus, his decent into the dark side.
Review by David Bruce

Star Wars: Episode II
Attack of the Clones

(2002)


This page was created on May 14, 2002
This page was last updated on May 30, 2005

CREDITS
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Directed by George Lucas
Story by George Lucas
Screenplay by George Lucas and Jonathan Hales

Ewan McGregor .... Obi-Wan Kenobi
Natalie Portman .... Senator Padm? Amidala
Hayden Christensen .... Anakin Skywalker
Ian McDiarmid .... Supreme Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious
Samuel L. Jackson .... Mace Windu
Pernilla August .... Shmi Skywalker
Jack Thompson .... Cliegg Lars
Christopher Lee .... Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus
Anthony Daniels .... C-3PO/ Lt. Dannl Faytonni
Frank Oz .... Yoda (voice)
Andrew Secombe .... Watto (voice)
Oliver Ford Davies .... Sio Bibble
Silas Carson .... Nute Gunray/Ki-Adi-Mundi
Kenny Baker .... R2-D2
Ahmed Best .... Jar Jar Binks (voice)/Ahck Med-Beq (voice)
Jimmy Smits .... Senator Bail Organa
Ayesha Dharker .... Queen Jamillia
Joel Edgerton .... Owen Lars
Bonnie Piesse .... Beru Whitesun
Temuera Morrison .... Jango Fett
Daniel Logan .... Boba Fett

Produced by
George Lucas .... executive producer
Rick McCallum .... producer

Original music by John Williams
Cinematography by David Tattersall
Film Editing by Ben Burtt

MPAA: Rated PG for sustained sequences of sci-fi action/violence.
For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

CD SOUNDTRACK

CD InfoThere's never been anything quite like the symphonic film music series that John Williams has forged for George Lucas's sprawling Star Wars saga. By the time the sixth chapter rolls around, Williams will have created a body of work that spans fully 30 years of his career, a virtual Ring Cycle of sci-fi/fantasy soundtrack music. While Attack of the Clones again achieves the high standards of its predecessors, it also succeeds by both forging some rewarding new musical themes at the same time it begins to bring the galactic fable full circle. The budding relationship between now-teenaged Anakin Skywalker and Amidala/Padme is informed by "Across the Stars--Love Theme from Attack of the Clones," a grand romantic motif that's infused with a subtle melancholy that hints at the tragedy that must ultimately befall the young lovers. The composer's mastery of idiom and color serve him especially well in the action cues, infusing "Zam the Assassin and the Chase Through Coruscant" and "Jango's Escape" with bracing doses of 20th-century modernism and its inherent rhythmic fury performed, as always, by the London Symphony Orchestra. Williams also incorporates the "Force" and "Jedi" themes of the first SW trilogy sparingly, before "Confrontation with Count Dooku and Finale" completes the musical/thematic tapestry by interweaving The Empire Strikes Back's menacing "Imperial March" with both the new "Love Theme" and the Phantom Menace's dramatic choral showcase "Duel of the Fates." This sweeping denouement should rightfully take its place among the saga's most compelling musical sequences. Purists may grouse at the obviously abridged music here, but given history a complete/ultimate edition of the score can't be far behind. This soundtrack is issued with one of four different, collectible covers. --Jerry McCulley

1. Star Wars Main Title and Ambush On Coruscant 2. Across The Stars (Love Theme from Attack of the Clones) 3. Zam The Assassin and The Chase Through Coruscant 4. Yoda And The Younglings 5. Departing Coruscant 6. Anakin and Padmi 7. Jango's Escape 8. The Meadow Picnic 9. Bounty Hunter's Pursuit 10. Return To Tatooine 11. The Tusken Camp and The Homestead 12. Love Pledge and The Arena 13. Confrontation With Count Dooku and Finale

POSTER
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Posters click here
BOOK

Book InfoThere is a great disturbance in the Force. . . . From the sleek ships of the glimmering Coruscant skyscape to the lush gardens of pastoral Naboo, dissent is roiling. The Republic is failing, even under the leadership of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, elected ten years earlier to save the crumbling government. Separatists threaten war, and the Senate is hopelessly divided, unable to determine whether to raise an army for battle or keep the fragile peace. It is a stalemate that once broken, could lead to galactic chaos.

Mischievous and resolved, courageous to the point of recklessness, Anakin Skywalker has come of age in a time of great upheaval. The nineteen-year-old apprentice to Obi-Wan Kenobi is an enigma to the Jedi Council, and a challenge to his Jedi Master. Time has not dulled Anakin?s ambition, nor has his Jedi training tamed his independent streak. When an attempt on Senator Padm? Amidala?s life brings them together for the first time in ten years, it is clear that time also has not dulled Anakin?s intense feelings for the beautiful diplomat.

The attack on Senator Amidala just before a crucial vote thrusts the Republic even closer to the edge of disaster. Masters Yoda and Mace Windu sense enormous unease. The dark side is growing, clouding the Jedi?s perception of the events. Unbeknownst to the Jedi, a slow rumble is building into the roar of thousands of soldiers readying for battle. But even as the Republic falters around them, Anakin and Padm? find a connection so intense that all else begins to fall away. Anakin will lose himself?and his way?in emotions a Jedi, sworn to hold allegiance only to the Order, is forbidden to have.

Based on the story by George Lucas and the screenplay by George Lucas and Jonathan Hales, this intense and revealing novel by bestselling author R. A. Salvatore sheds new light on the legend of Star Wars?and skillfully illuminates one of our most beloved sagas.

About the Author
R. A. Salvatore was born in Massachusetts in 1959. He is the acclaimed author of the DemonWars trilogy: The Demon Awakens, The Demon Spirit, and The Demon Apostle, as well as Mortalis, Bastion of Darkness, Ascendance, and the New York Times bestseller Star Wars? The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Diane, and their three children.

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SYNOPSIS

A Jedi Shall Not Know Anger. Nor Hatred. Nor Love.

Click to enlargeTen years after the events of The Phantom Menace, not only has the galaxy undergone significant change, but so have our familiar heroes Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) as they are thrown together again for the first time since the Trade Federation invasion of Naboo. Anakin has grown into the accomplished Jedi apprentice of Obi-Wan, who himself has transitioned from student to teacher. The two Jedi are assigned to protect Padmé whose life is threatened by a faction of political separatists. As relationships form and powerful forces collide, these heroes face choices that will impact not only their own fates, but the destiny of the Republic.
REVIEW
By David Bruce

How Evil Distorts Reality.

Click to enlarge"THE DARK SIDE HAS CLOUDED THE FORCE... MASKING THE FUTURE, IS THIS DISTURBANCE IN THE FORCE."
Yoda speaks these prophetic words as the story begins. The dark side of the force has obscured the future -as it always does. People in the Republic are in denial and have distorted views of the danger all around them.

In America, it is a time unlike any other in history. Americans had a sense of security until 9/11 happened. 9/11 opened our eyes. There is evil. It surrounds us. Its intent is to destroy us. This is especially true in a spiritual sense.

The Attack of the Clones deals with how subtle evil can be. Anakin Skywalker is enticed to the dark side slowly over time in subtle ways. The question in this episode is: Why does Anakin choose the dark side of the force?

Click to enlarge"I GUESS I WAS WRONG. THERE WAS NO DANGER AT ALL."
Senator Padme Amidala guard's words in the opening scene underscore how the dark side had clouded truth. Just after he speaks these words an explosion goes off killing many around them including Amidala long time best friend Corde.

Click to enlarge"I WILL NOT LET THIS REPUBLIC THAT HAS STOOD FOR OVER A THOUSAND YEARS BE SPLIT IN TWO."
Chancellor Palpadine declares his intentions loud and clear to the Jedi Knights gathered in his office. He seems genuinely concerned for the republic. How subtle evil is, Chancellor Palpadine is really a wolf in lamb's clothing. He is Darth Sidious -as we learned in episode I. The point here is how deep rooted and present evil can be without being detected -- not even by Jedi masters like Yoda.

BTW: An ongoing theme in this film is to never trust a politician.

Click to enlargeAN OLD FLAME IS REKINDLED.
Anakin and Amidala are reintroduced to each other. They have shared strong feelings toward each other throughout their long years of absence from each other. As a Jedi, Anakin is unfortunately prohibited from having any attachments to possessions, property and romance.

And thus begins the legacy of losses, which triggers his decent toward the dark side.

The idea of certain spiritual leaders not having possessions goes back to Jesus who commissioned 70 men to go out from city to city on a special spiritual mission. He told them, "Go now, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. Don't take along any money, or a traveler's bag, or even an extra pair of sandals." (Luke 10:3-4 NLT) Sounds very Jedi to me.

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FOLLOWING THE HEART INSTEAD OF THE HEAD?
Jedi Masters are trained to follow their feelings: "Don't think, feel." Yet they are forbidden to follow their hearts in areas such as romantic love. A Jedi is a follower of the spirit (inner self) rather than the passion of the flesh (outer self). Anakin gives into the driving passion within him toward Amidala. I must say that this is a little confusing to me in that I do not see appropriate and passionate love as inconsistent with spirituality. In fact, I see them as complementary to each other.

Jedi Masters are the spiritual leaders in the Lucas' universe, and they are celibate just as Roman Catholic priests are. This is interesting in light of Lucas' Protestant background.

I could not help but think of the current predicament of the Roman Catholic Church with Priests who break the rule of celibacy and dishonor themselves and the church by giving into the darker passions of the flesh with underage youth. Following unchecked passion is not a good idea. Personally, I believe that both the heart and mind should be involved in all decisions.

Perhaps, celibacy is not a good policy for spiritual leaders. How do you feel about this?

The idea of Spiritual people being single can, in part, be attributed to St. Paul who said, "Now, about the young women who are not yet married... Because of the present crisis, I think it is best to remain just as you are." (1 Cor. 7:25-26 Msg). Mostly, I think it was the early Stoic Philosophy and its influence on the church fathers. Many of them had been Stoic philosophers and hence, celibate. St. Augustine is a prime example of the mixing of the Stoic idea of celibacy with Christian faith. From the third century on Christian Priests tended to be celibate.

Click to enlargeANGER AGAINST A SETTING SUN.
Symbolism in background scenes abounds in this film. For example, as Anakin sets out to save his mother from death, we see his anger set against a lifeless desert landscape with a setting sun. This is very suggestive of a bleak soul descending into the depths of spiritual darkness.
Click to enlargeROMANTIC LOVE ON A LUSH GREEN HILL SIDE NEXT TO A CALM LAKE.
"Beautiful" is the only word to describe the breath taking landscape in which Lucas portrays romantic love. It seems to contrast the bleak love-less landscape of Anakin's anger.
Click to enlargeLOSS TURNS INTO A CONTROL FACTOR.
Anakin's attempt to save his mother does not work out. She dies in his arms while he is freeing her from a tribe of Tusken Raiders. The scene is set in a remote wasteland valley in the darkness of night. Again, it is highly symbolic. In his anger and hatred of her captors, Anakin kills all of the Tusken Raiders, including the women and children. He lays waste to the wasteland in the dark of night.

Click to enlargeANGER CONTINUES TO GROW.
Anakin confesses to Amidala his slaughter of the Tusken tribe. "I hate them! I killed them all... I couldn't control myself..." He continues to speak from the darkness that is growing within him. "Why did she have to die? ...Why couldn't I save her? ...Some day I will be! I will be the most powerful Jedi ever! I promise you, I will even learn to stop people from dying."

Anger, hate and self centeredness grows in Anakin.

JEALOUSY CONTINUES TO GROW.
Anakin goes on in his confession of soul: "It's all Obi-Wan's fault! He's jealous! He knows I'm more powerful than he is. He's holding me back." Anakin fails to see his own jealousy.

The basic issue here is: Loss. Anakin has been terribly wounded by the loss of this mother. In response to loss, he starts to control things around him. Thus he begins his descent into the dark side.

OTHER ISSUES:

Click to enlargeCLONES -MANUFACTURED HUMANS.
Lucas gives us a rather chilling view of the meaning of cloning. In the future will human clones be grown to fight our wars? Will we manufacture humans for slave-like tasks? How do you feel about the issue of human cloning? Is there a danger of cloning a race of "sub-human" disposable people?

Click to enlargeTHE MULTI-ETHNIC MAKE UP OF THE JEDI MASTERS.
In this episode, Lucas gives us a view of the Jedi as multicultural. They come in all kinds of shapes and colors. Everyone is included. Spiritually, God's kingdom is inclusive too. All are included. God is "not a respecter of persons."

Click to enlargeYODA AND GENERATION X
I asked a Gen-Xer to describe his generation to me. He said, "We are the Star Wars generation!"

I thought, "Wow, he's right."

The ongoing Star Wars series supplies a framework for an entire generation. It has evolved with that generation. Yoda is a case in point. He starts out as a Frank Oz Sesame Street type of puppet and evolves into a high tech computer generated character.

Likewise, Gen X started out on Sesame Street and graduated to computers.

In the seventies, when Eastern religion was popular in the West, Yoda is a Buddha like monk - a symbol of spirituality; (Beatle George Harrison reflected this trend as well). Yoda was withdrawn from society. Inner meditation was his thing. Violence was not a part of his makeup.

In this episode everything changes. Yoda becomes involved in the world around him --big time. He becomes a warrior capable of marshaling an army into war, literally. Speaking of changes, wait until you see Yoda in a lightsaber duel. We experience a Yoda that reflects the spiritual journey of a generation. Like Yoda, today's spirituality is a mixed bag. A little of this and a little of that. "I'm a born again Christian, and I believe in reincarnation." "I am Jewish, but I don't believe in God."

Yoda no longer reflects a monk-like loner living in a swamp somewhere. In this episode, he is a person with close friends and involved in the real world. "There has been a shift in the universe." Yoda reflects our changing times.

Click to enlargeTHE ISSUE OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE.
While in a bar, Obi-Wan is approached by a drug dealer. "Wanna buy some Death Sticks?"

Using the force, Obi-Wan replies, "You don't want to sell me Death Sticks."

Under the hypnotic spell of the force, the drug dealer replies, "I don't want to sell you Death Sticks."

Obi-Wan: "You want to go home and rethink your life."

Dealer: "I want to go home and rethink my life."

Wonderful little scene I thought. And perhaps good advice for all of us. Isn't it time for all of us to rethink our life? In what ways do anger, jealousy, self-centeredness and control issues drive us toward the dark side of the force?

 
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