The second of the Star Wars prequels, Attack of the Clones, turns 20 Monday.
The film follows the now 20-year-old Anakin Skywalker, played by Hayden Christensen, and his master, Ewan McGregor‘s Obi-Wan Kenobi, trying to unravel a plot to assassinate Natalie Portman‘s Queen Padmé Amidala.
In the meantime, Ian McDiarmid‘s Chancellor Palpatine continues to pull the strings behind the scenes as Darth Sidious, which will eventually lead to The Clone Wars, and his ascendancy to Emperor.
The second film in the prequel series had some surprises for fans. It revealed that Clone troopers — the forebears of the Empire’s Stormtroopers — were duplicates based on the genetic template of Temuera Morrison‘s Jango Fett, a bounty hunter in chromed-out Mandalorian armor who was also the father of Boba Fett.
Attack of the Clones often gets dragged for its coverage of proceedings in the Galactic Senate, as Palpatine makes his machinations. However, the film ends with a breathtaking battle scene on the planet Geonosis, where an army of Jedi faces off with a legion of battle droids, only to be rescued by the clone army led by Yoda. There’s also a face-off pitting Anakin and Obi-Wan against Christopher Lee‘s Count Dooku, with the two Jedi rescued by Yoda himself, who for the first time shows off his Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-like skills with a lightsaber.
The film also ends with the secret wedding between Padmé and Anakin, which eventually leads to her pregnancy with Luke and Leia.
Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones made more than $653 million worldwide, leading to the prequel saga’s conclusion, 2005’s Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.
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