Star Wars rewatch: 5 thoughts on Attack of the Clones

Star Wars: Episode 2 - Attack of the Clones (2002). Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., All Rights Reserved
Star Wars: Episode 2 - Attack of the Clones (2002). Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., All Rights Reserved /
3 of 5
Attack of the Clones
Star Wars: Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones (2002). Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., All Rights Reserved /

3. The writing of this movie is incredibly hit-or-miss

The main overarching plot of this movie is a solid one, and to indulge the inner child in me, really awesome. A group of systems secedes from the Republic and hires/builds a droid army to enforce their demands, all being directed behind-the-scenes by a Sith Lord who is actually also the Chancellor of the Republic; he uses the threat of war to be given near-limitless powers of governance, nominated to commission an army by the very coalition who were outspoken about not forming an army. That army was purchased a decade earlier by that same Sith Lord, and the template for the clones is a bounty hunter hired by Count Dooku, the public face of the Separatist movement! Honestly, well done Lucas and company.

That being said, so many of the supporting strands are incredibly feeble. As previously mentioned the romance between Anakin and Padme is unrealistic and painful. Midway through the movie Padme doesn’t love Anakin enough (why she does at all is baffling to me) to keep up a secret romance. On the way into the arena she is ready to profess her undying love to him.

More from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

In between Anakin butchers an entire village of people, including the women and children, and then for some reason casually abandons her when they are in the Geonosis droid factory. Nothing Anakin did should have made Padme more in love with him. It would make more sense if she fell for R2-D2; at least the droid saves her life! In both Attack of the Clones and the subsequent Revenge of the Sith Natalie Portman is given ridiculous lines and a terrible co-star to work with.

There are other questionable story choices as well. For example, why are the Jedi keeping secret that the Dark Side has clouded their vision when the entire Republic is depending on them to use the Force to protect them? Seems like a bad idea.

Also bizarre: Jar-Jar bringing the most important vote in recent Galactic Senate history to the floor? That’s ridiculous. After Episode I no one was clamoring for Jar Jar to be in this movie as well. He should be off-screen in Naboo, not shoehorned into momentous political moments.

Finally, the Shmi storyline specifically makes no sense. A group of barbaric Tusken Raiders kidnaps Shmi, Anakin’s mother, and takes her back to their camp. Cliegg Lars and an entire group of locals, familiar with the terrain, are unable for a month to find her. It takes Anakin, who lived in a completely different city when he grew up on Tatooine, a few hours to find the camp. Alright, maybe we’re chalking that up to the Force (although the camp is in a broad open space and not hidden at all).

What is also never explained is why the Raiders kidnap Shmi? Not ransom, or they would have made demands of Cliegg. If they are “beasts” then they were likely doing something barbaric with her, which is something I never thought of us a child but it makes me very uncomfortable now. It could help explain Anakin’s pure rage in massacring them. But this is ostensibly a kid-friendly movie; if there’s another implication to be found it should have been stated.