Maybe it's because I've studied acting or maybe it's just because I'm a chick, but as much as I love the action I tend to focus more on the performances, emotion and personal histories in the Saga. So here's what I think is a different perspective on "Attack of the Clones" than the one's I've been seeing. I know it takes repeat viewing to really know a movie but as of the screening I saw yesterday afternoon this is what I thought if it: The title of this film could have been anything and it wouldn't make me love it any more or any less. I've never seen this much emotion in a Star Wars film before. Hayden Christensen in particular gives a great performance. When Anakin holds his dying mother she reaches up to touch his cheek. He grabs her hand and kisses her palm. It seemed so honest and unscripted and I was surprised that a moment so tender was in a Star Wars movie. When Anakin sits Padmé down and expresses his feelings for her there are some flowery phrases that could have sounded lame if not for Anakin?s intensity and total comfort with what he's saying. Anakin is no longer a sweet, innocent boy. When he barks, ?TELL US!? at Zam Wessel so much appropriate emotion comes out of Hayden I could see how Ani would one day choke his admiral. Anakin knows what he wants and he wants it RIGHT NOW. Yoda counciling ?Patience? to Luke in ESB takes on a whole new meaning after seeing this character flaw in Anakin. Anakin is not some generally nice kid who shows flashes of the Dark Side when under stress. He?s got the Dark Side running through him all the time. Hayden doesn't ?play evil,? instead he gives Anakin a justification for his attitude: he's better. In Anakin?s mind, he's surpassed Obi-Wan and feels it's Obi-Wan?s jealousy that keeps him from advancing as a Jedi. Anakin never makes reference to being the Chosen One, though you can tell he knows how special he is. But in spite of all that, when he says, ?I try Master? you believe him. I never got the sense that Anakin loved Padmé in a conventional, movie "love story" way. Anakin wanted Padmé even when he didn't really know her so his feelings seem pretty close to obsession. I never saw Padmé fall in love with Anakin. She grows to like and appreciate him. She's flattered by his interest. She is a bit in awe of his Force abilities. He turns her on and challenges her, and while she might love him I don't think she was in love with him. Tragedy and proximity forged a bond between them but there's nothing touching about their relationship. Obi-Wan rocks. He has friends outside of the Jedi Temple. He doesn't always know what's going on. He's cool under pressure. He doesn't always believe the truth when he hears it. And I think a fundamental problem between Obi-Wan and Anakin was made clear: Both of them expect their relationship to be different. Anakin refers to Obi-Wan as ?the closest thing I have to a father? and ?like my father? and it makes sense: Anakin had a mother. He had friends who had fathers. He knows what a father is. Obi-Wan probably never knew his family. He knows what it is to be a Padewan and a Master but he doesn't think of Anakin as a son in the same way Anakin thinks of Obi-Wan as a father. Anakin has to be hurt by that. Yoda is shown kicking @$$ in the only way it would make sense: The scene acknowledges that the audience thinks the concept of a little green guy wielding a lightsaber is silly. I think they cover this by presenting Yoda as a bit of a dual personality. He's not 100% Mr. Spiritual Sweetness by any stretch. When he kicks @$$ he does it as a Yoda we've never seen before: a quick-as-lightening Jedi who has a limit for the amount of crap he'll put up with. This is the Yoda that will come back in the ?You will be? moment in ESB. The final battle scene is a real military clash. These are two grown-up armies with lots of weaponry going head to head and we've not seen anything like it. In this battle the sky is red, you can see exhaust trails from the rockets and Obi-Wan is shown checking for someone's pulse. I can't say I followed everything that was going on but I think that may have been the point: it was chaos for them as well. Stuff I found thrilling: The whole opening as Padmé?s ship heads toward Couascant and lands in the fog. The shots themselves combined with the digital projection made for a beautiful sight. C3PO identifies Anakin as ?my Maker.? Now hearing C3PO say "Thank the Maker!" in the OT will never be the same. As Jango Fett flies to Geonosis thinking he's lost Obi-Wan in an asteroid field, we see Obi-Wan attach himself to an asteroid to wait it out. Just as The Millennium Falcon waited it out before detaching with the garbage before Boba followed Han & co. The sound of Jango?s bombs in the asteroid chase. There was a delay to the sound as if it were underwater. Thank goodness for: Less Jar Jar. I pretty much shrugged him off. No Midichlorians. Johnathan Hales. Digital projection. The movie did have its problems. The CGI has some bad spots. There was plenty of stuff that could have been edited out like Anakin's nightmare, half of the meadow picnic and most of the droid's factory scene. Natalie Portman's performance was uneven; at times there was just nothing there. All in all it wasn't a perfect movie as regards script or performances. But it gave me what I needed as a StarWars fan, if not everything I wanted as a movie fan. ------------------ I am a French journalist and I saw Attack of the Clones yesterday. The movie is brilliant, there is no doubt about this. It is dark, thrilling, entertaining and I almost cried like a girl during all the scenes in Tatooine. The work done on Anakin's character is absolutely wonderful, and the movie would not work as well as it does without the Phantom Menace. In Episode I, Anakin was a perfectly innocent boy who dreamt to fly away from his planet and become a Jedi. Ten years later, Anakin feels that his training prevents him from being complete as a man. He cannot help thinking about Padme and his mother, and eventually wants to go back to his home planet. More than a very spectacular summer movie, Attack of the Clones is a deeply moving tragedy. This being said, I must admit that something has bothered me during the awesome finale of the film. It has been announced that John Williams and the London Orchestra had recorded about 125 minutes of music. During the Jedi Battle in the arena, the copy that I saw (which is supposed to be the one which will reach the screen in a week) presented a rough cut of music from The Phantom Menace (including the return to Naboo and the Gungan Battle). I do know every note of Episode I by heart, and I can swear that these were not pieces written for Episode II. Now I do have another motivation to see the movie again as soon as it is released. If anyone noticed this, please don't leave me alone!