Political intrigue, fantastic action, and wonderful tragedy all make Star Wars: Attack of the Clones better than you remember
Often lauded as the most boring of the Star Wars movies, Attack of the Clones is too often overlooked. Revisiting it reminds us that it actually contains some of the greatest story moments, action sequences, and intrigue the Skywalker Saga has to offer.
Here’s why you should give it another go.
More from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- Theory: Are Anakin and Padme closer in age than we thought?
- How many Oscars has Star Wars won?
- Star Wars: 3 best duels of the Prequel Era, ranked
- Is Omega headed for the dark side?
- Who is CT-1226? An Attack of the Clones callback you didn’t expect
Star Wars: Attack of Clones: Political Intrigue
Attack of the Clones has a lot of negotiations, discussions, and, basically, talking. But if one really engages with these scenes, a gripping tale of political intrigue is uncovered.
From the mystery of who instigated that epic assassination attempt on Padme, which opens the movie to the enigmatic appearance of the clone army to Palpatine’s augmentation of power, Attack of the Clones has intrigue aplenty to keep the viewer interested.
I have found that really concentrating on these storylines, instead of viewing them as detracting from the action, leads to a much more exciting viewing experience.
Another criticism that is often levied at these storylines is that they are confusing. And there’s no denying this. But that’s the point!
The confusion the audience feels watching these storylines unfold mirrors the confusion of the Jedi who are completely unable to unravel the political mysteries to reveal the rise of Darth Sidious. The Republic is in a state of bureaucratic and institutional chaos at this time and by feeling a degree of misunderstanding, the viewer better understands this.
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: Action
Alongside the fantastic political intrigue, Attack of the Clones also contains some of the best action the Saga has to offer.
The finale of the movie is so exciting and for those viewers who are less gripped by the politics of the galaxy, it makes the wait completely worth it. After having watched a fantastic man-vs-beast sequence, we witness more Jedi than we have ever seen before, alongside the mysterious clones, drop into Geonosis to do battle! What’s more, this is intercut with the first time we ever see the legendary Yoda take part in a lightsaber duel.
And what a sight it is.
These action scenes combine galaxy-spanning drama with personal conflict, heroism with tragedy, and, on a basic level, are incredibly satisfying to watch.
And that’s not all! The movie also delivers a fantastic speeder chase and Jango Fett (we finally see the origin of Boba!) vs Obi-Wan and the amazing sound of those seismic charges. Attack of the Clones really does have a fantastic spread of diverse action sequences that are enough to keep anyone engaged.
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: Tragedy
Of course, the prequels are first and foremost about tragedy. And Attack of the Clones delivers this by the bucketful, giving us some emotional beats that ensure the movie has a lasting impact.
Anakin’s final moments with Shmi are some of the most heart-wrenching in Star Wars (it’s a scene one has to revisit if ever Hayden Christensen is charged with bad acting) and his slaughter of the sand people is intensely emotional. Anakin is clearly dealing with growing panic and anxiety throughout the movie, and to see this manifest in the worst way possible is truly tragic to watch.
In addition, seeing the blossoming love between Anakin and Padme is bittersweet as whilst it’s the only time we see either of them truly happy, we know it cannot end well.
The shadow of Vader is omnipresent throughout Attack of the Clones (literally so when we see Anakin’s silhouette on the Lars homestead), adding a darkly gripping edge to the whole tale.
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The Clone Wars
A final point must be made about how this movie links in with the recently-completed, utterly fantastic Clone Wars TV show.
By fleshing out the stories of Padme, Anakin, and Obi-Wan, as well as introducing personable clones, the series has done a fantastic job at enhancing the themes and overall tragedy of Attack of the Clones. One cannot help but watch the movie and be reminded of the upcoming adventures of Anakin and Rex or wonder how the introduction of Ahsoka will change things…
If you have not revisited Attack of the Clones since finishing The Clone Wars, I highly recommend it. You will find an engaging tale of political mystery, galaxy-spanning drama, love, and, above all, tragedy. A tale that has been enhanced by the fantastic story-telling in The Clone Wars.
Attack of the Clones is now available to stream on Disney+.