Jedi’s, and Sith’s, and Clones, oh my! In this chapter, we meet Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and his young apprentice Anakin (Hayden Christensen) once again on a mission. There is a conspiracy in the republic; Someone is trying to kill the now Senator Amidala. They suspect a traitor within the force and they do not know who it is. Now, the republic assigns Obi-Wan and his defiant padawan Anakin to investigate. Unfortunately, Anakin and Amidala are falling in love, something that is strictly forbidden in the Jedi order. Ewan McGregor once again gives great merit to the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi by showing great humility in his role and giving Obi-Wan a warrior-esque look. Natalie Portman returns to the role of Amidala or Padme with more life to her role. Where as “Episode one” lacked life and structure, this one improves on it supremely.
Natalie Portman is a great supporting cast member and helps move the story along. Samuel L. Jackson returns to the role as Jedi master Mace Windu and gives this movie the life it needs with his bad-ass character. Check him out as he duels with light sabers, exchanges words with the evil Count Dooku, and takes on Jango Fett. Ah, the force is with this one. Okay, I confess, I’m a Star Wars geek. So sue me. We see the addition of a new character, Count Dooku, played by Christopher Lee, A warrior and evil Jedi who wants to helps the evil Darth Sidious consume the republic with the dark side. He is a great character, though Christopher Lee isn’t new to playing villains. You might want to check him out in his definitive role as Dracula in the old Hammer horror films, and as an evil wizard Sarumon in Lord of the Rings. Anyways, I’m leaving the newest cast member for last. Hayden Christensen now takes on the role as Anakin Skywalker, the future Darth Vader.
Christensen, in my opinion, is perfect for the role as the young Darth Vader. He gives off many personas in this entire movie; arrogance, humility, charm, and best of all darkness. He is great in giving off the evil look while flinging his light saber with great skill. He was a great choice. The choreography in the Jedi knight battle scenes are excellent and have a certain John Woo style. My favorite scene in the entire film is when we get to see the elder character, Master Yoda, kick ass with his light saber as he battles against Count Dooku in the end. If you’re a bit skeptical about whether or not this was executed well, put your fears to rest, this scene will not disappoint. Jar Jar Binks, a character recently added to the series, a character that every Star Wars fan, including me, has hated is in this again.
Never fear, though, Jar Jar Binks has a combined screen time of five minutes, and even then, he is not as annoying as in the first one. As for the story, I have to say that it is a lot less confusing than episode one which left me perplexed as to the actual purpose to the entire movie. It has a very good and original feel to it. I thought this plot was a lot better. The landscapes are extremely beautiful. The different lands that George Lucas gives us are great and candy for the eyes. I thought Lucas’ imagination was a lot better in this one. In conclusion, this movie is far more superior to episode one and will leave Star Wars geeks in awe. Watch a great intergalactic car-chase, find out the connection between Jango Fett and the young boy Boba Fett, see how Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen are connected to the prophecy and to Anakin, and watch Anakin Skywalker give a glimpse of his conversion to the dark side. People, this is indeed a movie chock full of the force!
The first half of the movie is very lackluster. Immediately in the the beginning I was becoming worried. We have poor character development with the adolescent Anakin, poor introductions with each of the established characters, and Jar Jar Binks. Worst of all, I felt that the blossoming romance between the young Padme and Anakin Skywalker was… tedious and lacking in any real depth. I’ve seen the romance thing millions of times, and Lucas really lays it on thick in this one. I rolled my eyes so many times that I began getting a headache. We get these long overstretched drawn out subplots where Anakin and the stale Amidala fall in love. At least the romance between Han and Leia in the original trilogy was enjoyable; this was just there. It felt like a plot device. Though, the whole romance is pivotal to the story and to the original trilogy’s storyline, it felt so forced. It seemed Lucas was pressed to include this and never seemed too determined to make it enjoyable. All in all, a far more superior film than its predecessor. Though, lacking in plotline it makes up for in action and entertainment. I’ll be watching for the last part, but Lucas should stop at that.