Although it’s widely regarded to be the worst movie in the Star Wars saga, there’s a lot to love in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. Labeling it “the worst Star Wars movie” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad movie. It’s just not as good as those other trips to a galaxy far, far away.
Attack of the Clones recasts Jake Lloyd’s eight-year-old Anakin Skywalker for an older version played by Hayden Christensen. His Jedi training is moving along, but he’s not really progressing, because he keeps letting his emotions get in the way. Here are the 10 Greatest Moments In Attack Of The Clones, Ranked.
10 Mace Windu decapitates Jango Fett
Whenever the childish comic relief in Star Wars films is criticized, George Lucas defends it by claiming that the movies are primarily for 12-year-olds. Any adults watching a Star Wars movie are just nostalgic about their childhood and enjoy the pure escapism. Kids are the real target audience of the saga.
With that in mind, it’s particularly shocking that Attack of the Clones contains a gruesome, graphic decapitation. During the battle on Geonosis, Jango Fett swoops in to fight for the Separatists and Mace Windu lops off his head. Jango’s severed head rolls into the hands of his infant son, Boba.
9 Obi-Wan fights Jango Fett on Kamino
George Lucas’ main criticism of The Force Awakens is that it didn’t introduce us to any new worlds. It gave us yet another desert planet, with yet another plucky scavenger, with yet another Death Star for them to blow up. Lucas was so committed to creating unseen worlds that in Attack of the Clones, he gave us a whole planet predicated on the concept of perpetual rain.
It’s always raining, so the surface is always flooded and all the structures are built up high. This planet, Kamino, was the location of an awesome fight between Obi-Wan Kenobi, equipped with his lightsaber and Force abilities, and Jango Fett, equipped with cunning gadgets.
8 Anakin slaughters the Tusken Raiders that killed his mother
In one of the darkest, but also most compelling moments in Star Wars history, Anakin Skywalker returns to his home planet of Tatooine and learns that his mother was bought from Watto by a man who intended to marry her. However, when she was with that guy, she got abducted by some Tusken Raiders and taken to their camp.
Anakin rushes out to the camp to see if he can rescue her, but it’s too late. He only arrives in time to hear his mother’s last words. Fueled by vengeful rage, Anakin goes around the camp, slaughtering every Tusken Raider in sight.
7 Yoda arrives on Geonosis with the Clone Army
Throughout Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan investigates the missing information from the Jedi Archives and finds that a Clone Army is being created to protect the Jedi Order. During the climactic battle on Geonosis, in which the Jedi Knights are outgunned and outmatched by armies of brainless droid soldiers, Yoda triumphantly arrives with the Clone Army to save them.
The shot of Yoda standing on the edge of a ship, looking down on the battleground, as he brings the cavalry to save the day, is simply iconic. It’s one of the character’s finest all-time moments, exemplifying his conflicted drive to do good.
6 The Death Star begins construction
The fact that construction on the Death Star is well underway by the end of Revenge of the Sith creates somewhat of a plot hole, because it means it took around thirty years to complete. But it was an interesting way to bridge the gap between the prequels and the original trilogy.
And in Attack of the Clones, work on the Death Star was teased when the plans for the superweapon were first presented in a board meeting with the top bad guys. It’s a nice little nod from George Lucas to let us know that all of these stories are deeply connected.
5 Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme fight giant creatures in the Petranaki arena
Before the best-known gladiatorial match in space fantasy cinema was Thor’s fight with the Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok, that title went to the Petranaki arena sequence from Attack of the Clones. Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme all get separately captured and brought to a gladiatorial arena in Geonosis, where they’re chained up and forced to fight giant creatures.
There’s a horned reptilian beast, a furry carnivore, and a razor-toothed lizard. Obi-Wan ends up riding one of the creatures in his quest to kill another one. The spectators were lapping it up. They wanted to see the three get eaten, but this is just as entertaining.
4 “Begun, the Clone War has.”
The Clone Wars are one of the most extensively covered periods in Star Wars’ fictional history. Between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, the Jedi Order combined forces with the Clone Army in an attempt to bring lasting peace to the galaxy.
That didn’t work out, of course, but there are plenty of interesting stories from the Clone Wars that were covered in animated series (and even an animated movie) beforehand. At the end of Attack of the Clones, we see the beginning of this ill-fated conflict as the armies of Clone Troopers are shipped out to fight and Yoda declares, “Begun, the Clone War has.”
3 Jango Fett chases Obi-Wan through an asteroid field
In one of the most riveting chase sequences in the Star Wars saga, Jango Fett pursues Obi-Wan Kenobi through an asteroid field. As we all know, the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field are 3,720 to one, so it’s a pretty high-stakes sequence. This is a prime example of George Lucas properly utilizing the CGI effects he pioneered.
When Obi-Wan’s starfighter drops that “seismic charge” into the vacuum of space and an explosion of blue wipes out dozens of asteroids in its path as Obi-Wan zips to safety, Star Wars fans across the world lost their minds. Ben Burtt’s sound design for the scene was utterly mind-boggling.
2 Yoda beats Count Dooku in a lightsaber duel
When we first met Yoda in the original trilogy, he was old and frail and barely able to move. So, it was fun to see him slightly younger and more virile in the prequel trilogy. In the climactic moments of Attack of the Clones, Anakin finds himself hopelessly outmatched in a lightsaber duel with Count Dooku.
Then, Yoda steps in to show him how it’s done. Yoda’s unparalleled command of the Force, his near-impossible levels of stealth and agility, and his intense Jedi-powered concentration meant that he could easily take on Dooku – a man three times his size – in close-quarters combat.
1 Obi-Wan, Anakin, and all the Jedi unite against the Separatists’ armies
After escaping the trappings of the gladiatorial arena, Obi-Wan and Anakin become a prime target for the Separatists. They send their armies of Battle Droids, Super Battle Droids, and Droidekas into the arena to fight them. And then, just in the nick of time, the entire Jedi Order shows up to give them some backup.
Seeing dozens of Jedi Knights fighting side-by-side was a dream come true for Star Wars fans. This scene was the reason that Samuel L. Jackson asked George Lucas to give Mace Windu a unique lightsaber color (purple) – he wanted viewers to be able to spot him in the crowd.