Review By LIAM O’BRIEN, 4 out of 5

I will be the most powerful Jedi in the Galaxy…..
Ahhh, Christmas.

Time for family, friends, and that really nasty mulled wine stuff. Oh and of course, the obligatory wave of summer blockbusters released on shiny disc. Although, this year, the game has changed a little.

The big releases of 2002 (and even some 2001) have been set upon us almost at once, and with more to come (Spiderman, Minority Report) the signs are good that this year you can expect to have at least one dvd you really want in your stocking. But which one? So far in the span of a month, releases have included Oceans 11,Lord Of The Rings Extended edition, (and although not strictly a new release) the buy one get one free offer on James Bond discs is absolutely stonking value.

And, to add to that, comes Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones.

The double disc set, that seems to have crawled out of no where (unlike Episode Ones loud, proud entrance onto the silver screen and video, and later, dvd) has all the hallmarks of a highly polished disc, that can proudly rank among one of this years best releases. Why? Well, for a start, the incredible menu screens- on the first disc, the setting of the menu changes (to Courascant, Kamino, Geonosis) every time you start off watching the disc, the menus excite and explode around you etc.

The excellent second disc offers (like Episode One’s discs) exhaustive insight into every angle of production, crammed to the full with featurettes, documentaries, trailers, poster archives, music videos, deleted scenes, dvd rom sections, visual storyboards, production galleries- the list goes on.

But as good as the two discs are, they have to be accompanied by a strong film to make unqualified classic status. The answer? Episode Two is a good film, a very good film, and at times, a classic film. But it suffers from having to follow on from Episode One, which though not dire, was hardly fantastic. Had this film come out before Episode One (chronologically impossible, yes, but stay with me here) it would have been hailed as excellent! A Triumph! But, not so in the case of this film.

For, it seems to me, in a way, The Phantom Menace turned a lot of people of Lucas’s vision, and it has taken the intervening years to make the fans believe again. But believe they did, and this time, they were rewarded.

This film is the total opposite to Episode One, fun, punchy, exciting, everything a good summer blockbuster should be. But lurking beneath the surface are problems. The special effects are fantastic, but, as many of the ‘sets’ have been put in digitally, then this sometimes seems ‘hyper real’ and just looks fake. The dialogue still errs on clunky and unreal. But, unlike many reviewers, I have no problem with the central romance. It had to happen, and Lucas could have done it better, but who can deny to me that the scene where Amidala and Anakin confess their love for each other didn’t tug at the heartstrings?

Lets face it, Lucas could never re do another Empire Strikes Back. That’s in the past- let the man move on. After Episode Three, that’s it for Star Wars- the end. What hell do next- only time will tell.

Attack Of The Clones is not a perfect film, and lets face it, the many left the cinema screaming it was the best Star Wars flick ever (myself included) now see this film in a slightly dimmer light.

But, on the whole, this film is a fun, exciting addition to the Star Wars canon- and who cant say that this film contains what HAS to be the most startling, exciting moment in STAR WARS history?

Mmmm kick ass I do………

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