Attack of the Clones

Star WarsTen years after the invasion of Naboo, the Republic continues to crumble. Many star systems are leaving the Republic, flocking to the leadership of former Jedi Count Dooku. The growing tension prompts some senators to propose that the Republic create an army for itself, an unprecedented step that draws opposition from Senator Padme Amidala, the former queen of Naboo. She reluctantly returns to Coruscant to vote against the measure; her ship’s landing is met with an explosion that kills several members of her entourage. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine insists that Padme receive protection from the Jedi Knights, and assigns two Jedi who are old acquaintances with the former queen – Obi-Wan Kenobi and his padawan, Anakin Skywalker.

Eager to impress Padme, Anakin promises to uncover the identity of the would-be assassin, despite Obi-Wan’s warnings to keep his focus on their mission of protection and to stay in control of his feelings. Control does not come easily to the young Jedi – already troubled by dreams about his mother, Anakin’s affection and desire for Padme threaten to overwhelm him. He and Padme decide to take the initiative in order to lure the assassin into the open – a plan which almost succeeds too well when an assassin droid arrives at Padme’s chambers. Obi-Wan and Anakin chase the droid back to its owner, a changeling bounty hunter named Zam Wesell. Before they can interrogate her, another bounty hunter kills her with a poisoned dart. Palpatine urges Padme to return to Naboo for her own safety until Obi-Wan can complete his investigation of the bounty hunters. Reluctantly, she agrees, leaving her Gungan aide Jar Jar Binks as representative in her stead. Despite Obi-Wan’s misgivings, the Council sends Anakin to serve as Padme’s escort . . . to the approval of Palpatine, who has fulfilled his promise to pay close attention to young Skywalker’s progress.

One of Obi-Wan’s sources identifies the source of the dart as a planet named Kamino, but Obi-Wan can find no mention of it in the Jedi Archives. With help from Yoda and some young Jedi-in-training, he discovers that the records of the planet’s existence have been erased, and sets out to find the planet. Upon his arrival, he is welcomed by the Kaminoans, who seem to have been expecting a visit from a Jedi and are ready to show him the status of their latest project – an army of hundreds of thousands of clones, apparently ordered by a long-dead Jedi a decade ago. The template for the clone troopers is a bounty hunter named Jango Fett, whose evasive answers fuel Obi-Wan’s suspicions. Jango and his son Boba (actually a clone of Jango, devoid of the accelerated aging and psychological modifications of the troopers) manage to leave Kamino, despite Obi-Wan’s attempts to detain them . . . but they find the Jedi to be a most dogged pursuer.

On Naboo, Anakin and Padme retire to her lakeside retreat, momentarily out of harm’s way. The two discuss their lives and their views on the current political situation, as Anakin expresses his frustration with democratic squabbles and his wish for a strong will to force the galaxy along a better path. He also expresses his feelings for Padme, which she insists she can not return – their responsibilities as Jedi and senator make that impossible. To make matters worse, Anakin’s nightmares grow stronger, beyond the point of his endurance. Padme agrees to accompany him on his return to Tatooine.

Obi-Wan tracks Jango to the planet Geonosis, where he discovers Dooku cultivating an alliance with the Trade Federation (contingent on Dooku arranging Padme’s death) and several other crucial guilds, as well as an army of droids. Obi-Wan attempts to transmit these findings first to the Council on Coruscant, then to Anakin on Naboo, but is soon captured and brought before Dooku. The former Jedi, who once trained Obi-Wan’s master Qui-Gon Jinn, offers an invitation: the Sith have gradually been exerting their control over the Republic; the Sith Lord Darth Sidious has much of the Senate in his sway, and the Dark Side clouds the Jedi’s ability to see through the deceptions and manipulations. Join me, Dooku says, and we will defeat the Sith once and for all.

On Tatooine, Anakin discovers that Watto sold his mother years ago to a moisture farmer named Clieg Lars, who soon freed and married Shmi. Upon arrival at the Lars homestead, Anakin meets his stepbrother Owen and Owen’s girlfriend Beru and reunites with C-3P0, but also receives terrible news from Clieeg. A band of Tusken Raiders captured his mother a month ago, and repelled all attempts to rescue her. Anakin immediately sets off in pursuit, but finds his mother just in time to share her final moments. Enraged, Anakin turns his vengeance on the entire camp of Sand People, leaving no survivors. At the homestead, he bemoans his inability to save his mother, blames Obi-Wan for holding him back and declares his intention to one day be the most powerful of all Jedi. His mourning is cut short by Obi-Wan’s message, and Padme’s decision to launch a rescue attempt with 3PO and the ever-loyal R2-D2.

As the two head for Geonosis, the Jedi Council and Palpatine’s Loyalist Committee (including Alderaan’s Bail Organa) react to Obi-Wan’s news. It appears impossible to deny that the Republic needs an army, and good fortune has provided one on Kamino. But the Senate is still locked in debate over the creation of such an army, with no end in sight. Only through a granting of emergency powers to the chancellor can the situation be addressed in time, but such action would require the initiative of a senator willing to take the political risks involved. When Palpatine suggests that Padme would, if only she were present, Jar Jar takes the bait and makes the motion – to near-unanimous acclaim in the Senate. Vowing to renounce his new powers as soon as the Republic is restored, Palpatine authorizes the Grand Army of the Republic. Yoda travels to Kamino to inspect and gather the clone army, while Mace Windu and the other Jedi travel to Geonosis to aid Anakin and Padme in their rescue.

As it turns out, their assistance is very much required, as the two are captured shortly after their arrival. Sentenced to die in the Geonosian arena, Padme admits her love for Anakin . . . but their future will depend on the skills and sacrifice of many Jedi. True loyalties are revealed and plans set in motion, as the galaxy plunges into war . . .

Order the DVDswritten by George Lucas and Jonathan Hales
directed by George Lucas
music by John Williams

Cast: Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Natalie Portman (Padmè), Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker), Christopher Lee (Count Dooku), Samuel L. Jackson (Mace Windu), Frank Oz (Yoda), Ian McDiarmid (Supreme Chancellor Palpatine), Pernilla August (Shmi Skywalker), Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett), Jimmy Smits (Senator Bail Organa), Jack Thompson (Cliegg Lars), Leeanna Walsman (Zam Wesell), Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks), Rose Byrne (Dormè), Oliver Ford Davies (Sio Bibble), Ronald Falk (Dexter Jettster), Jay Laga’aia (Captain Typho), Andrew Secombe (Watto), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Silas Carson (Ki-Adi-Mundi / Nute Gunray), Ayesha Dharker (Queen Jamillia), Daniel Logan (Boba Fett), Joel Edgerton (Owen Lars), Bonnie Maree Piesse (Beru), Anthony Phelan (voice of Lama Su), Rena Owen (voice of Taun We), Alethea McGrath (Madame Jocasta Nu), Susie Porter (Hermione Bagwa), Matt Doran (Elan Sleazebaggano), Alan Ruscoe (Lott Dod), Matt Sloan (Plo Koon), Veronica Segura (Cordè), David Bowers (Mas Amedda), Steve John Shepherd (Naboo Lieutenant), Bodie ‘Tihoi’ Taylor (Clone Trooper), Matt Rowan (Senator Orn Free Taa), Steven Boyle (Senator Ask Aak), Zachariah Jensen (Kit Fisto), Alex Knoll (J.K. Burtola), Phoebe Yiamkiati (Mari Amithest), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Jerome Blake (Oppo Rancisis), Hassani Shapi (Eeth Koth), Gin (Adi Gallia), Khan Bonfils (Saesee Tiin), Michaela Cottrell (Even Piell), Dipika O’Neill Joti (Depa Billaba)

LogBook entry by Dave Thomer

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