Director:  George Lucas

Starring:  Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman

WARNING: This article contains spoilers!



Three short documentaries, using clips from the film, interviews with the main cast and crew, and a smattering of behind the scenes material. To put things in context, there are also a few teasing clips from the first original Star Wars trilogy.

Story  [8’59”]

Each of the lead actors discusses what Attack of the Clones means for their character. The actors and key crewmembers explain how the film develops the new trilogy’s overall arc story, which tells how the dark side of the Force slowly seduces Anakin. Ewan McGregor jokes that his character is sent “on a Dick Tracy detective spree”, and Samuel L. Jackson explains how Episode II greatly expands his role, and how he wanted to make sure that Mace Windu would be alive at the end, so he could appear in Episode III.


Love  [9’30”]

A lengthy look at the romance aspect of the film, this is something for the girlies. There’s no doubt, though, that Natalie Portman’s legions of lusty male fans will enjoy it, too, especially as Attack of the presents what Portman calls her “sexed-up version of the Queen”! One of those contributing to this segment is the film’s composer, John Williams, whose beautiful love theme is one of the finest pieces of music he’s written.



Action  [8’04”]

There’s too much reliance on clips and talking heads in this segment, which uses a couple of soundbites from material elsewhere on the disc, and reveals very little (apart, perhaps from Ewan McGregor’s comment that shooting the Speeder chase was “like going on a fairground ride over and over again, only you’re not allowed to go and have a hot dog”). Four key scenes are examined: the Speeder Chase, the conveyor belt scene at the Geonosis droid factory, the arena fight (no room here for a tribute to stop-motion animation master Ray Harryhausen, sadly) and the final battle itself.

Web Documentaries

These twelve short featurettes premiered on the official Star Wars website in the lead up to the film’s release. They explore various aspects of the production, and each one is very interesting. The subtitles are generally pretty self-explanatory (each takes its title from something that’s said in the documentary).

Here We Go Again – The Digital Revolution Begins  [6’25”]

A look at the digital recording techniques that George Lucas has been pioneering since The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV series and rare theatrical flop The Radioland Murders. It bravely even includes a couple of dissenting voices (who, nevertheless, seem to acknowledge the march of progress).



Wedgie ‘Em Out – Designing the Jedi Starfighter  [4’35”]

This segment does exactly what it says on the tin. It's interesting to hear Lucas explain that the Jedi Starfighter we see in Attack of the Clones is an ancestor of the huge wedge-shaped Imperial Star Destoryer we see at the beginning of Star Wars - A New Hope.



We Didn’t Go To the Desert to Get a Suntan – Location Shooting Around The World  [6’09”]

A brief peek into the logistics of filming a Star Wars blockbuster. This contains a few shots of the location filming in Norway (for the Hoth ice planet scenes in The Empire Strikes Back), material shot in Tunisia for Star Wars - A New Hope (exactly the the same location used for Attack of the Clones), and a tiny clue about George's plans for Episode III.



Trying to Do My Thing – Haydn Christensen Is Anakin Skywalker  [4’23”]

Features a couple of clips from Haydn Christensen’s audition tape, and fulsome praise from his colleagues.



A Twinkle Beyond Pluto – Extras Fill Out The Star Wars Galaxy  [5’36”]

A peek at what it’s like to be a Star Wars extra. Did you know that even the background characters are given names and back stories? Of course they are! How else are they going to sell action figures! If you haven’t already spotted them, this featurette will show you where the Anthony (C3P0) Daniels and Ahmed (Jar Jar Binks) Best cameo appearances are.



It’s All Magic – Visual Effects Wizardry Starts on the Set  [5’02”]

Special Effects supervisor John Knoll explains how his post-production work begins during principal photography. For those of you who were wondering, this documentary explains what the odd half-mirrored, half-grey ball that you see in many behind the scenes shots is used for.




Revvin’ It To The Next Level – Sounds From A Galaxy Far, Far Away  [5’14”]

Recording vintage airplane sounds for use in the Star Wars universe.  



A Jigsaw Puzzle – Building Model Communities  [5’10”]

Why scale models still have an important role to play in the era of computer generated images.



Bucket Head –

Introducing the Fett Family  [5’15”]

Contains interviews with Temuera Morrison and Daniel Logan, the actors playing Boba and Jango Fett (including the actor who played Boba Fett in Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, British actor Jeremy Bulloch).






Good to G.O. – The Jedi Knights in Action  [5’10”]

Examines the different fighting styles of the various Jedi, and the role of the film's stunt Co-ordinator, Nick Gillard.



P-19 – The Wardrobe of Padmé Amidala  [4’49”]

P-19 is the number of the costume Amidala wears during her liaison with Anakin in the romantic meadows of Naboo. Don’t blink, because before you know it, she’ll be wearing something else!



Reel 6 – Creating the Action in the Geonosis Arena  [6’30”]

Reel 6 is apparently where the big action scenes kick in.



Trailers and TV Spots

A collection of theatrical trailers and TV adverts (eight using individual characters as their theme, and four on the movie’s action elements). This section also includes the  Across The Stars music video (in stereo, at 192kbps), which features John Williams’ epic score, inter-cut with clips from the film and shots from the recording sessions.



Dex’s Kitchen and Stills Gallery

This section gathers together a collection of miscellaneous bits and pieces, including a gallery of behind the scenes production photo’s (available with or without explanatory captions), and promotional posters (including a couple of World Cup-themed ones).  There's also a gallery of poster artwork from around the world, but since they're all fundamentally the same, this wears out its welcome very quickly.

Films Are Not Released; They Escape – Creating a Universe of Sounds for Episode II

A substantial (25'39") look at creating movie sound that complements the Revvin’ It To The Next Level – Sounds From A Galaxy Far, Far Away web documentary, this demonstrates the whole process of recording and mixing. Sound Designer Ben Burtt explains that very little on-set audio makes the final mix: we see each how individual sound (looped dialogue, especially-recorded sound effects, alien languages, library effects, etc) are created, and edited. Little mention is made of the music (except where for one scene where it is decided to beef up the score with additional percussive sounds).



Episode II Visual Effects Breakdown Montage  [3’27”]

One of the highlights of the disc, this is basically Industrial Light and Magic’s show-reel for the movie – a great montage of before-and-after shots, set to a bouncy tune. There are some lovely shots here which aren't covered elsewhere on the disc.



R2-D2: Beneath the Dome  [6’01”]

This is a preview clip for a new web mockumentary, telling the story of R2-D2 as if he was a real actor (one who found fame with Star Wars, but who struggled to maintain a career afterwards).

It’s pretty funny, considering it’s a one-joke premise. Some heavyweight talent has been roped in to add to the fun, including some of Lucas’ peers,  and actors from the original trilogy.




The DVD offers PC owners software that will give them access to a gateway to an exclusive DVD website (accessible only to the several million owners of the disc, presumably!) Apple Macintosh support is “not currently available”.  


The disc also contains at least one Easter Egg bonus feature, although you’ll have to find it for yourself. Let’s just say that your office notice board will never look quite the same again!


The Star Wars - Episode II - Attack of the Clones disc will make a fine addition to anyone’s collection. The Region 1 disc would seem to be the best available version (taking the BBFC edit and some iffy NTSC to PAL standards conversion work on some of the bonus features into account), but unless you’re a complete perfectionist, the Region 2 disc is fine.





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