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the Star Wars Saga

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Darth Maul
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« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2007, 04:32:08 pm »



Directed by George Lucas
Produced by Rick McCallum
George Lucas
Written by Story:
George Lucas
Screenplay:
George Lucas
Jonathan Hales
Starring Ewan McGregor
Natalie Portman
Hayden Christensen
Ian McDiarmid
Samuel L. Jackson
Christopher Lee
Music by John Williams
Cinematography David Tattersall
Editing by Ben Burtt
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) May 16, 2002 (USA)
Running time 142 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $120,000,000
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Darth Maul
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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2007, 04:36:23 pm »

The film is set ten years after the Battle of Naboo, when the galaxy is on the brink of civil war. Under the leadership of a renegade Jedi named Count Dooku, thousands of solar systems threaten to secede from the Galactic Republic. When an assassination attempt is made on Senator Padmé Amidala, the former Queen of Naboo, 19-year-old Jedi apprentice Anakin Skywalker is assigned to protect her, while his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi is assigned to investigate the assassination attempt. Soon, Anakin, Padmé, and Obi-Wan are drawn into the heart of the Separatist territories, and the beginning of a new threat to the galaxy, the Clone Wars.

Released on May 16, 2002, Attack of the Clones was generally perceived as not on par with the original Star Wars trilogy. It was the first motion picture to be shot completely on a high definition digital 24-frame system, and the first Star Wars film to be internationally out-grossed in the year of its original release; Spider-Man, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets all had higher receipts.

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Darth Maul
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« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2007, 04:37:28 pm »



Padmé Amidala's cruiser is destroyed in an unsuccessful assassination attempt.
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Darth Maul
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« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2007, 04:38:14 pm »

The opening crawl reveals that the Galactic Republic is in crisis. A separatist movement, led by former Jedi Master Count Dooku, has threatened the peace. Senator Padmé Amidala, former Queen of Naboo, returns to the Galactic Senate to vote against the creation of an Army of the Republic. Upon her arrival at Coruscant, she narrowly escapes an assassination attempt, a bomb placed on her ship. As a result, Chancellor Palpatine requests that she be put under the protection of Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. That night, Zam Wesell, a bounty hunter, makes another attempt on Padmé's life, but Wesell is herself killed (to silence her) just after Obi-Wan and Anakin capture her. The Jedi Council sends Obi-Wan to investigate the murder, while Anakin is to protect Padmé by escorting her to Naboo. Anakin welcomes the opportunity; he often becomes angry at and frustrated with Obi-Wan's criticism, and is glad to have an opportunity to be alone with Padmé. Representative Jar Jar Binks assumes the Senator's duties in her absence.

The investigation leads Obi-Wan to the planet of Kamino, where he discovers that a secret clone army is being developed for the Republic. The Kaminoan Prime Minister tells him that this army was ordered some ten years ago by a Jedi Master named Sifo-Dyas, whom the Jedi Council believes to have been killed around the same time. A bounty hunter named Jango Fett had been hired to be the template for the clones. Obi-Wan meets Jango on Kamino, and believes that he is the killer he has been tracking. After unsuccessfully trying to capture Jango Fett, Obi-Wan places a tracking device on his ship and follows him to the planet of Geonosis. Meanwhile, Anakin and Padmé spend time together on Naboo, and Anakin reveals his love for her. Padmé resists, explaining that it would be impossible for the two of them to be together; she is a respected Senator, and the Jedi Code forbids marriage or any other form of attachment. Anakin is soon troubled by dreams in which his mother, Shmi, is in danger and dying. He asks Padmé to accompany him to Tatooine. Upon arriving, he learns that his mother had been kidnapped one month earlier by local Tusken Raiders. Anakin tracks her to a Tusken camp, where he finds her in poor condition, and within moments she dies in his arms. In a fit of rage, he slaughters the entire Tusken community. Anakin brings his mother's body back to her home, where her funeral is held.

On Geonosis, Obi-Wan learns that Count Dooku and Nute Gunray have built a new droid army and that Gunray has ordered the assassination of Padmé. Just before being captured, Obi-Wan relays this information to Anakin so that he can relay it to the Jedi Council on Coruscant. Once the Jedi learn of Dooku's army, Jedi Master Mace Windu leads a team to Geonosis. Meanwhile, Jar Jar Binks calls for Chancellor Palpatine to be given emergency powers, with which he can call the recently discovered clone army into battle. Back on Geonosis, Count Dooku tries to persuade Obi-Wan to join him, warning him that the Senate is secretly under the control of a mysterious Sith Lord by the name of Darth Sidious. Obi-Wan refuses to believe him, saying that the Jedi would have known if that was the case. Upon learning that Obi-Wan is in trouble, Anakin and Padmé go to Geonosis, but they are captured during their infiltration of a droid factory, despite Anakin's valiant efforts. They join Obi-Wan in an arena-like complex where three huge creatures are unleashed on them for their execution. During their struggle, Mace Windu arrives with the Jedi, and they battle the droid army. Just as defeat for the Jedi seems imminent, Yoda arrives with the Republic's new clone army.

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Darth Maul
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2007, 04:39:12 pm »



The Battle of Geonosis.
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Darth Maul
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« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2007, 04:39:45 pm »

A large battle erupts between the Republic's clone forces and the Separatists' droid army. Count Dooku attempts to escape, but Obi-Wan and Anakin track him to a secret hangar, where they engage him in combat. Dooku quickly injures Obi-Wan and cuts off Anakin's right arm. Yoda arrives and engages Dooku in lightsaber combat. Dooku, realizing he may be outmatched, causes a support pylon to nearly fall on Anakin and Obi-Wan; Yoda uses the Force to stop this, allowing Dooku to escape with the plans for a new weapon, the Death Star. In a desolate industrial district on Coruscant, he meets with his master, Darth Sidious, who is pleased that the war has begun "as planned". Dooku is revealed to be the apprentice Sith Lord, Darth Tyranus. On Coruscant, Obi-Wan informs the Jedi Council of Dooku's warning that Darth Sidious is controlling the Senate. All of them, including Yoda, are surprisingly hesitant to believe this, stating that the Dark Side is capable of creating fear and mistrust. Yoda and Windu also agree that the Dark Side is now clouding everything, and that they should closely monitor the Senate. Meanwhile, Palpatine oversees the launching of a massive clone trooper force. On Naboo, Anakin (with a new mechanical hand) and Padmé hold a secret wedding, to which only the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 are witnesses.

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« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2007, 04:41:15 pm »

Production

The Star Wars saga was written by George Lucas in the early 1970s as one large outline for six films. In 1999 and 2000, Lucas transformed his original treatment for Episode II into a screenplay, with Jonathan Hales as co-writer. The film's subtitle was met with a negative response when it was first revealed; some compared it to the title of the film Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.[1] It was long thought that the title The Rise of the Empire would be the true title of the film. As a disguise during filming, the film's "working title" was Jar Jar's Big Adventure, intended sarcastically in light of the negative fan response to the Episode I character.

Principal photography occurred between June 26, 2000 and September 20, 2000 at 20th Century Fox Studios in Australia. Location shooting took place in the Tunisian desert, at the Plaza de España in Seville, Spain, in Italy at the Villa del Balbianello on Lake Como, and in the former royal Palace of Caserta. At his own personal request, Samuel L. Jackson's character Mace Windu received a lightsaber that emitted a purple glow, as opposed to traditional blue and green for "good guys" and red for "bad guys".[2] Reshoots were performed in March of 2001. During this time, a new action sequence was developed featuring the Droid factory after Lucas had decided that the film lacked a quick enough pace in the corresponding time-frame. The sequence's previsualization was rushed and the live-action footage was shot within four and a half hours.[3]

Like The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones furthered technological development, effectively moving Hollywood into the "digital age" with the use of the HDW-F900, developed by Sony and Panavision, a digital camera using an HD digital 24 frame system. This spawned controversy over the benefits and disadvantages of digital cinematography that continue to this day as more filmmakers "convert" to digital filmmaking while many filmmakers oppose it. In contrast to previous installments, for which scenes were shot in the Tunisian desert in temperatures up to 125°F (51°C), the camera would still run without complications. Lucas had stated that he wished to film The Phantom Menace on this format but Sony was unable to build the cameras quickly enough.[4] In 2002, Attack of the Clones became the second film to be shot entirely on a digital camera (the first being 2001's Vidocq.) Despite Lucas' efforts to persuade movie theaters to switch to digital projectors for better viewing of Episode II, few theaters did.
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« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2007, 04:44:02 pm »



The final computer-generated Yoda as seen in the film.
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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2007, 04:44:44 pm »

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.[3] 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. Ben Burtt then cut together this footage and sent it off to George 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 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 free will regarding events to be created within the animatic; Lucas only asked for good action shots that he could choose from and approve later.[3]

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 Empire 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.[6] 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."[7] Because of Christopher Lee's age, he was unable to perform much of the fight sequences, especially the duel with Yoda. As such, a stunt double performed the scenes instead and Lee's face was superimposed onto the double's body. Lucas often called the duel crucial to the animation department, as it had such potential to be humorous rather than dramatic.[6]

Because of George Lucas' method of creating shots through various departments and sources that are sometimes miles and years apart from each other, Attack of the Clones became the first film ever to be produced through what Rick McCallum called "virtual filmmaking".[3] The film was produced under a budget of US$120 million, making it the most expensive set budget of any Star Wars film
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« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2007, 04:45:56 pm »

Releases

After a teaser trailer premiered with the film Monsters Inc., a new trailer for the film aired on the Fox network on March 10, 2002 between Malcolm in the Middle and The X-Files,[9] was made available on the official Star Wars website the same day. The outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas from Chicago predicted that U.S. companies could lose more than $319 million in productivity due to employees calling in sick and then heading to theaters to see the film.[10]

Attack of the Clones' worldwide theatrical release took place on May 16, 2002 with an MPAA rating of PG for "sustained sequences of sci-fi action/violence".[11] Prior to the film's release, there was a string of controversies regarding piracy. In 2000, a fan offered an alleged copy of the screenplay, with an asking price of US$100,000, to various fan sites, including TheForce.Net. The scheme was subsequently reported to Lucasfilm Ltd.

A pirate copy was allegedly made at a private showing, using a digital recorder that was pointed at the screen. This copy spread over the internet, and analysts predicted up to a million fans would have seen the film before the day of its release.[13] In addition, authorities seized thousands of bootlegs throughout Kuala Lumpur before the film opened.[14] On May 23, Singapore customs agents arrested a couple that received 9,000 pirated DVDs and VCDs of Attack of the Clones that had been smuggled into the country from Malaysia.
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« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2007, 04:46:59 pm »



The principal cast members of Attack of the Clones (from left to right): Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, Natalie Portman as Padmé Amidala, and Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
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« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2007, 04:48:22 pm »

Reaction

Although many saw the film as an improvement over The Phantom Menace, initial reviews were mixed. On the Rotten Tomatoes review site, the film received a 66% favorable rating, which was slightly higher than the 63% rating of its predecessor, The Phantom Menace.[16] There was general admiration for the action sequences and special effects, and criticism of the more traditional dramatic elements, such as character development and dialogue, especially with respect to the relationship between Padmé and Anakin.[17]

Critics called the dialogue "stiff" and "flat".[18] The acting (particularly by Christensen and Portman) was also disparaged by some critics for similar characteristics.[19] Conversely, other critics felt fans would be pleased to see that Jar Jar Binks plays only a minor role.[20] He in fact makes an emotional appeal to the Galactic Senate in support of granting Palpatine emergency powers — unknowingly assisting Palpatine's rise to power. Additionally, Jar Jar's attempts at comic relief seen in The Phantom Menace were toned down; instead, C-3PO reprised some of his bumbling traditions in that role. Despite reports, McGregor did not refer to the film as "unsatisfactory". He did, however, use the word in reference to the swordplay when comparing it to the climactic duel in Revenge of the Sith as it neared release.[21]

The film grossed $310,676,740 in the United States and $338,721,588 overseas, a huge financial success that nevertheless was overshadowed by the even greater box-office success of The Phantom Menace.[22] It was not the top grossing film of the year, the first (and only) time that a Star Wars film did not have this distinction. The films with higher earnings were Spider-Man and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, both of which enjoyed a more favorable critical reception. Adjusted for inflation, Attack of the Clones is the lowest-performing Star Wars film at the North American box office.

In following suit with the previous installments in the series, the Academy Awards presented Attack of the Clones with a nomination for Rob Coleman, Pablo Helman, John Knoll, and Ben Snow for Best Visual Effects at the 2003 Academy Awards.[24] Natalie Portman was also honored at the Teen Choice Awards, and the film received an award for Best Fight at the MTV Movie Awards. In contrast, the film also received seven nominations from the Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Screen Couple and Worst Remake or Sequel. It took home two awards for screenplay (George Lucas) and supporting actor (Hayden Christensen).
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« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2007, 04:49:48 pm »



Clone troopers march onto their starships in the same light as Nazi Germany's army marched through streets in various World War II films.
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« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2007, 04:51:09 pm »

Historical and cultural allusions

Observers believe that Palpatine's rise to power is very similar to that of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany; as Chancellor of Germany, the latter was granted "emergency powers", as was Chancellor Palpatine.[32] Comparisons have been made to Octavian — who became Augustus, the first emperor of Rome — and to Napoleon Bonaparte, who rose to power in France from 1796 to 1799. Octavian was responsible for the deaths of several hundred political opponents well before he was granted tribunician powers; Bonaparte was appointed First Consul for life (and later Emperor) by the French Consulate after a failed attempt on his life and the subsequent coup of 18 Brumaire in 1799.[33] Some have drawn parallels to the American Civil War, likening the Separatists to the Confederate States of America; the official name of the Separatist group is the "Confederacy of Independent Systems". The name of the government Army, the "Grand Army of the Republic", is the same in both Star Wars and the American Civil War, and both Palpatine and Lincoln took extensive warmaking powers and suspended many civil rights.

War journalism, combat films and footage of World War II combat influenced the documentary style camera work of the Battle of Geonosis, even to the point that hand-held shakes were digitally added to computer generated sequences. In addition, much World War II footage features the German army's marches through the streets of Nazi Germany. In a similar fashion, Clone troopers march onto starships toward the end of the film on the planet Coruscant.[33]

In the film, the Geonosians have their own style of capital punishment. The scene depicting this method takes place in the Geonosian arena with the condemned chained to a pole, awaiting execution, which is carried out in bloody fashion by assorted carnivorous beasts. Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padmé were sentenced to be executed in this method. This scene was influenced by an execution method employed by the ancient Romans at the Colosseum where lions and other dangerous predatory animals were permitted to have their way with condemned prisoners.


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« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2007, 04:52:11 pm »

References to the original trilogy

The prequel trilogy films often refer to the original trilogy in order to help connect the films together. Lucas has often referred to the films as a long poem that rhymes. Such examples include the now-famous line of "I have a bad feeling about this", a phrase used in each film, and battles, namely lightsaber duels, that almost always occur over a pit.

As with Attack of the Clones, The Empire Strikes Back was the middle film in a trilogy; therefore, of the original trilogy films, Empire is the object of the most references in Attack of the Clones. In both films, an asteroid field is the backdrop of a major star battle in the middle of the film. Obi-Wan Kenobi escapes Jango Fett by attaching his spacecraft to an asteroid in order to disappear from the enemy sensors; Han Solo uses the exact same tactic by attaching the Millennium Falcon to a Star Destroyer in Empire. As a retcon, John Knoll confirms on the film's DVD commentary that Boba Fett, who would later catch Solo in the act in Empire, "learned his lesson" from the events of Attack of the Clones.
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