Acid Logic - Pop Culture and humor is one easy to digest package!
columns features interviews fiction acid radio blogs
We don't let the facts don't get in the way! A production

Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the Clones

In Episode II, Yoda shows fools the bitch-end of the force!

Art by Daniel Gordon
Click graphic for larger version.

Starring Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Lee
Directed by George Lucas

Reviewed by Anthony Passonno
June 16th, 2002



After three long years, and, in this reporter’s opinion, a good but imperfect first episode in the Star Wars saga, the magic that George Lucas captured in the original "Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope" has been rekindled.

Not that the film is faultless. You won’t find Oscar winning performances, Shakespearean dialogue, or complicated treatises on the alienation of the American Housewife.

What you will find is a kickass summer blockbuster, and, as some folks are saying, the best Star Wars film yet.

Therein lies the charm of "Attack of the Clones."

The story itself hearkens back to a simpler time in America.  A time when you could turn on the television or go to the theater and thrill to the adventures of brave men with rocket backpacks saving beautiful princesses from space pirates and nefarious villains.

These are the stories near and dear to the heart of many a boomer, even inspiring one George Lucas of Modesto, California to create what is arguably the most important and successful film series in the history of American cinema.

In Episode Two, we find erstwhile Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi in the center of a conspiracy involving assassination of public officials, which leads to an investigation which all too quickly makes Obi-wan a sort of intergalactic “Sam Spade.”

Old Ben Kenobi’s sleuthing leads him to the planet Kamino, home to a race of “cloners”, beings who create clones for the highest bidder. The plot unfolds dramatically as he discovers that the clones were created for the Republic itself, thus exposing the most important element yet in the saga of a galaxy in turmoil.

This may be Obi-Wan’s story, but we certainly cannot forget the importance of “the chosen one”, Anakin Skywalker, the brash, arrogant, headstrong apprentice of Obi-Wan, and, as many of the Jedi council believe, the fulfillment of prophecy.

Hayden Christensen gives what I believe to be the strongest performance yet of any actor in a Star Wars film, as Anakin, the boy who would be Darth Vader.

He is, like any young adult, conflicted, troubled, and confused.  Taken as a young boy from his beloved mother Shmi (what a name!) to a council of arrogant aesthetes in the form of the Jedi Council, he is told that he would not be able to fulfill his dreams of being a Jedi Knight. He is then granted padawan status under the tutelage of Obi-Wan only when Obi-Wan makes his defiance of the council’s wishes and his promise to his master Qui-Gon Jinn all too clear.

Imagine being told that you were possibly the most important person in the galaxy, that an entire religious order is counting on you to make things right for the cause, that you were the fulfillment of ancient prophecy, and then answer me this: How would you deal with it?

This whole point is the crux of the entire saga. 

Anakin Skywalker as Mahdi, Christ, and Shiva all rolled into one.

The ability to do one’s duty, to follow the path of one’s fate, though that fate may lie upon the road of destruction and misery, and to willingly accept all of the consequences entailed in this metaphysical rite of passage.

The thing is, Anakin does not realize this. He is simply a young man with extraordinary powers and a willingness to serve, to do good, and to do right by his master.

The young and fetching Senator Padme Amidala presents the first of many obstacles for our intrepid young hero, as Anakin is ordered to guard her after an attempt to take her life fails when her double, Corde’, is killed in her place.

It all comes down to the two of them when they are ordered to Padme’s planet of Naboo in order to safely hide.

The pieces fall into place as they both fall deeply in love with each other, only to have to deny said love in order to do their respective duties.

Many movie critics, as well as real people, have voiced their displeasure at the handling of the romance in the film. I have heard such things as “It slows down the plot”, “The dialogue is stilted”, “I hate romance because I am a fat, ugly nerd with no social life save those friends I made during my six months in line waiting for this movie I am bitching about”, and many other comments.

Did I like it?  Yeah, kinda. It was, admittedly, sort of corny in dialogue department, but we must remember that these are two young people in love. Young people really do act like that when they are in love.  Do we really need to make it more like a Showtime After Hours movie?

But I digress.

To make a long story short and complicated, Anakin has a bad dream about his mommy, he defies (Shocking!!) the Jedi Council when he travels to Tatooine to find her, then has the great displeasure of finding her already dying in the clutches of a Tusken Raider encampment. (Note that he meets Owen Lars, his stepbrother, his girly friend Beru, and Owens pappy Clieg before this happens.)

Shmi dies, and our boy Anakin loses it.  What happens next I will leave to your imagination and not spoil for those whom have yet to see it, but I will say that we finally (!) get to see glimpses of Anakin’s ultimate descent into fear, anger, hate and suffering.

In a word. The Dark Side!

Meanwhile, our man incognito, Obi-Wan Kenobi, gets in a fight with the fella who was copied to be used for the clones, one Jango Fett (love that name), galactic bounty hunter and doting father to some kid named Boba.

Jango escapes; Obi-Wan follows in close pursuit, to the planet Geonosis, where he discovers something nasty: A scheming Count by the name of Dooku (FUCKING CHRISTOPHER LEE, GODDAMMIT!!!!!) is chatting up a bunch of intergalactic businessmen and bankers, gettin’ ‘em all hot and bothered about their little plan to secede from the Republic and form their own government.

Our Master Sleuth Jedi informs Yoda and Mace Windu of these sinister doin’s, but is quickly captured and is interrogated by Count Dooku. 

I can’t say enough about Christopher Lee in this movie.  He is one of my favorite actors of all time, and the delicious irony of his character being a Count only makes it that much more fun.

Count Dooku informs our hero that not only have the dreaded Sith, or for expediency,” Dark Jedi” returned from exile, but a Dark Lord of the Sith is actively in control of the Republic through influence of The Galactic Senate.

We then get the familiar “Join me, and we can end this now” speech once used by Darth Vader against his son in Return of The Jedi.

Of course, Obi-Wan refuses, and thus the final set piece is set into motion.

After the burial of his mother, Anakin and Padme travel to Geonosis to “rescue” Obi-Wan, only to be captured themselves. They then are prepared to be eaten by various ugly beasts, Padme finally confesses her love to Anakin, and the real action begins! (No, not THAT kind of action!)

Things go well for our heroes, as they ably dispatch the wretched monsters meant to eat them, and for a time, things are looking up for the good guys.

In what has to be the most memorable finale in a movie this summer, a whole shitload of Jedi Knights join the battle.  The battle ensues, with great losses on both sides.

So, there’s a standoff, and things look grim. 

In comes the Cavalry, commanded by none less than Jedi Master Yoda, fool!!

The surviving Jedi are lifted to safety, and the major ground battle begins.

I must admit that I quite enjoyed the fact that we get to see Yoda in command of what becomes the Stormtroopers, as the Republic wages war for it’s very existence in a spectacle never before witnessed on the silver screen.

On to the finale, as Anakin and Obi-Wan meet their match in the powerful and charismatic Count Dooku.

They definitely saved the best for last though, as we see the shadow of a familiar short pointy-eared fellow enter the scene.  The crowd absolutely went nuts when they figured out it was Yoda, about to kick some Sith ass. 

They have a force showdown of sorts, which was fun, but not what we were meant to go apeshit over.

I ain’t lying when I tell you that Yoda puts the smackdown on that old fool Dooku.  This has to be the SINGLE GREATEST STAR WARS MOMENT EVER!!!!

Kudos to ILM for making what could have been strange and silly something spectacular and wondrous.

So Yoda saves the day, Anakin loses half an arm, but gains a wife, and our buddy the venerable and selfless Chancellor Palpatine is voted emergency powers to fight the separatist threat.

I almost forgot. You know who proposes these emergency powers in the Senate?

“Meesa no sayin!”



Columns - Features - Interviews - Fiction - Acid Radio - GuestBook Sign/View - Blogs
View for more sin and wackiness!

Email Publisher