Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Director:- George Lucas
Producer:- Rick McCallum
Story by:- George Lucas
- Ewan McGregor
- Natalie Portman
- Hayden Christensen
- Ian McDiarmid
- Samuel L. Jackson
- Christopher Lee
- Anthony Daniels
- Kenny Baker
- Frank Oz
Music by:- John Williams
- May 12, 2002 (Tribeca)
- May 16, 2002 (United States)
Country:- United States
Budget:- $115 Million
Box office:- $649.4 Million
Ten years after the Trade Federation‘s invasion of Naboo, the Galactic Republic is threatened by the Separatist movement organized by former Jedi Master Count Dooku. Senator Padmé Amidala comes to Coruscant to vote on a motion to create an army to assist the Jedi against this threat. Narrowly avoiding an assassination attempt upon arrival, she is placed under the protection of Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. The two Jedi thwart a second attempt on her life and subdue the assassin, Zam Wesell, a shape-shifter who is soon killed by her bounty hunter client before she can reveal his identity. The Jedi Council assigns Obi-Wan to identify and capture the bounty hunter, while Anakin is assigned to escort Padmé back to Naboo, where the pair develop a romantic attraction towards each other.
Obi-Wan’s investigation leads him to the remote ocean planet Kamino, where he discovers an army of clones are being produced for the Republic, with bounty hunter Jango Fettserving as their genetic template. Obi-Wan deduces Jango to be the bounty hunter he is seeking, and follows him and his clone son, Boba, to the desert planet Geonosis via a homing beacon placed on their ship, the Slave I. Meanwhile, Anakin becomes troubled by premonitions of his mother, Shmi, in pain, and travels to Tatooine with Padmé to save her. They meet Owen Lars, Anakin’s stepbrother and the son of Shmi’s new husband, Cliegg Lars. Cliegg tells Anakin that Shmi was abducted by Tusken Raiders weeks earlier and is likely dead. Determined to find her, Anakin ventures out and finds Shmi at the Tusken campsite, where she dies in Anakin’s arms. Enraged, Anakin massacres the Tuskens and returns to the Lars homestead with Shmi’s body. After revealing his deed to Padmé, Anakin says that he wants to prevent death.
On Geonosis, Obi-Wan discovers a Separatist gathering led by Count Dooku, whom Obi-Wan learns had authorized Padmé’s assassination and is developing a battle droid army with Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray. Obi-Wan transmits his findings to Anakin to relay to the Jedi Council, but is captured mid-transmission. With knowledge of the droid army, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is voted emergency powers to send the clones into battle. Anakin and Padmé journey to Geonosis to rescue Obi-Wan, but are also captured. The three are sentenced to death, but are eventually saved by a battalion of Jedi and clone troopers led by Mace Windu and Yoda; Jango Fett is killed by Mace during the rescue. As the clone and droid armies battle, Obi-Wan and Anakin intercept Dooku, and the three engage in a lightsaber battle. Dooku injures Obi-Wan and severs Anakins right arm, but Yoda arrives and duels Dooku himself. The battle ends in a stalemate, as Dooku flees to Coruscant, where he delivers blueprints for a superweapon to his Sith master, Darth Sidious. As the Jedi gravely acknowledge the beginning of the Clone Wars, Anakin is fitted with a robotic arm and secretly marries Padmé on Naboo, with C-3PO and R2-D2 as their witnesses.
- Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi Master and mentor of Anakin Skywalker.
- Natalie Portman as Padmé Amidala: The former Queen of Naboo, who has recently been elected the planet’s senator.
- Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker: Obi-Wan’s Padawan apprentice, who has grown into a powerful but arrogant Jedi.
- Ian McDiarmid as Chancellor Palpatine / Darth Sidious: A former senator of Naboo and secretly a Sith Lord who has recently been elected Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic.
- Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu: A Jedi Master sitting on the Jedi Council who warily watches the Galactic Senate’s politics.
- Christopher Lee as Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus: A former Jedi Master who now leads a Separatist movement and is Darth Sidious’ new Sith apprentice.
- Anthony Daniels as C-3PO: A protocol droid built by Anakin for his mother.
- Kenny Baker as R2-D2: An astromech droid often seen on missions with Anakin and Obi-Wan.
- Frank Oz voices Yoda: The centuries-old Jedi Grand Master of an unknown species who, in addition to sitting on the Jedi Council, is the instructor for young Jedi.
The film relied almost solely on digital animatics as opposed to storyboards in order to previsualize sequences for editing early on in the film’s production. While Lucas had used other ways of producing motion-based storyboards in the past, after The Phantom Menace the decision was made to take advantage of the growing digital technology. The process began with Ben Burtt‘s creation of what the department dubbed as “videomatics”, so called because they were shot on a household videocamera. In these videomatics, production assistants and relatives of the department workers acted out scenes in front of greenscreen. Using computer-generated imagery (CGI), the previsualization department later filled in the green screen with rough background footage. Burtt then cut together this footage and sent it off to Lucas for changes and approval. The result was a rough example of what the final product was intended to be. The previsualization department then created a finer version of the videomatic by creating an animatic, in which the videomatic actors, props, and sets were replaced by digital counterparts to give a more precise, but still rough, look at what would eventually be seen. The animatic was later brought on set and shown to the actors so that they could understand the concept of the scene they were filming in the midst of the large amount of bluescreen used. Unlike most of the action sequences, the Battle of Geonosis was not storyboarded or created through videomatics but was sent straight to animatics after the department received a small vague page on the sequence. The intent was to create a number of small events that would be edited together for pacing inside the finished film. The animatics department was given a free hand regarding events to be created within the animatic; Lucas only asked for good action shots that he could choose from and approve later.
In addition to introducing the digital camera, Attack of the Clones emphasized “digital doubles” as computer-generated models that doubled for actors, in the same way that traditional stunt doubles did. It also furthered the authenticity of computer-generated characters by introducing a new, completely CGI-created version of the character Yoda. Rob Coleman and John Knoll prepared two tests featuring a CGI-animated Yoda using audio from The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda’s appearance in Episode V also served as the reference point for the creation of the CGI Yoda; Lucas repeatedly stated to the animation department that “the trick” to the animation of the CGI Yoda was to make him like the puppet from which he was based, in order to maintain a flow of continuity. Frank Oz (voice and puppeteer for Yoda in the original trilogy and The Phantom Menace) was consulted; his main piece of advice was that Yoda should look extremely old, sore, and frigid. Coleman later explained the process of making the digital Yoda like the puppet version, by saying “When Frank [Oz] would move the head, the ears would jiggle. If we hadn’t put that in, it wouldn’t look like Yoda.” Because of the acrobatics of the lightsaber fight between Count Dooku and Yoda, the then 78-year-old Christopher Lee relied on a stunt double to perform the most demanding scenes instead. Lee’s face was superimposed onto the double’s body in all shots other than close-ups, which he performed himself. Lucas often called the duel crucial to the animation department, as it had such potential to be humorous rather than dramatic.
The soundtrack to the film was released on April 23, 2002 by Sony Classical Records. The music was composed and conducted by John Williams, and performed by the London Voices and London Symphony Orchestra. The soundtrack recreates “The Imperial March” from the film The Empire Strikes Back for its first chronological appearance in Attack of the Clones, even though a hint of it appeared in the previous movie in one of the final scenes. A music video for the main theme “Across the Stars” was produced specifically for the DVD.
On March 15, 2016, a limited edition vinyl version of the soundtrack was released. Only 1,000 copies were pressed initially.
On September 28, 2010, it was announced that all six films in the series were to be stereo-converted to 3D, and re-released in chronological order beginning with The Phantom Menace which was released on February 10, 2012. Attack of the Clones was originally scheduled to be re-released in 3D on September 20, 2013, but was postponed due to Lucasfilm’s desire to focus on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, the 3D presentation of the film was shown at Celebration Europe II in July 2013.
The film grossed $310,676,740 in North America and $338,721,588 overseas for a worldwide total of $649,398,328. Though a huge financial success, it was nevertheless overshadowed by the even greater box-office success of The Phantom Menace three years earlier. It was not the top grossing film of the year, either in North America (where it finished in third place) or worldwide (where it was fourth), the first time that a Star Wars film did not have this distinction. In North America it was outgrossed by Spider-Man and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, both of which were more favourably received by critics. Worldwide, it was also outgrossed by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, though Attack of the Clones performed better than The Chamber of Secrets in North America. Adjusted for inflation, Attack of the Clones is the lowest-performing live-action Star Wars film at the North American box office, though is still among the 100 highest-grossing films of all time when adjusted for inflation. It sold an estimated 52,012,300 tickets in the US in its initial theatrical run.