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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Release: May 16, 2010
- Author: VideoRaider
- Translator: Muddi
- external link: IMDB
On May 16, 2002 a new chapter of the Star Wars Saga was opened: after more than 26 years, the famous Clone Wars were about to begin, those Ben Kenobi had been telling farm boy Luke Skywalker about in Episode IV. Ever since many myths and rumors have existed about this galactic war that eventually caused the rise of the Empire and the fall of the Old Republic. George Lucas had forbidden any depiction of this conflict, whether in comics or novels. So this time had always been a constant black hole in the ever expanding Star Wars universe. Whereas Jedi and Sith were crossing lightsabers even in 5000 B.B.Y (Before the Battle of Yavin, see Episode IV) and Han Solo's children traveled through the galaxy as Jedi Masters, all events directly before Episode IV could never be touched. This world should be created by Lucas himself because it was supposed to be the main element of the whole saga. Like the very center of the whole Star Wars universe. George's intentions being good as ever, the second episode of Star Wars remains highly controversial among fans. This could even be seen at the worldwide box-office. Among all Star Wars movies, Episode II is dead last with its box-office result of 649.398.328 US-$ and the only Star Wars movie that has not become the most successful movie in U.S. theaters in the year of its release. Among critics, the movie didn't score much, either. In general, the action scenes and special effects (which 80% of the movie consist of) made by Lucas' own company ILM impressed critics and led to three Academy Award nominations, but unfortunately no trophy. However, on the story side, it had to blow. Too many locations, characters, and plot lines had to be fit together in a satisfactory kind of way. On the other hand, younger Star Wars fans, whose first Star Wars contact was with the prequels, didn't give it such a hard time. After Episode II there were two animated series, functioning as link between Episode II and Episode III. The second one of these series even took the leap onto the big screen in 2008.
There are several cuts of 'Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones', but the differences are small. A short overview of the different versions:
II. a) Theatrical release (2002)
Runtime: 137 mins.
The theatrical release could only be seen in cinemas and is slightly different from the DVD release (see II.c)
II. b) IMAX version (2002)
Runtime: ca. 117 mins.
On November 2, 2002, 'Attack of the Clones' had an exclusive IMAX-release in USA. For this version about 20 minutes were cut from the movie, as (back then) this was due to a limitation of the platters (film transport mechanism) used for IMAX movies at the time. IMAX platters were upgraded to larger decks and can now easily accomodate more film. This started with the very next movie: 'Superman Returns'. Meanwhile, IMAX auditoriums have converted to DLP digital projection.
The IMAX version is missing for example following scenes:
Anakin and Padme's first encounter - after the ride on the elevator you already have the scene of the security talk in Padme's apartment
in the IMAX version, Anakin isn't allowed to ride the cow on Naboo anymore, as well as the meeting with the queen of Naboo had to go
political discussions in Palpatine's office were cut, Jar Jar Binks' being declarated a senator as well
This version has only been shown in IMAX theaters. A home video release will not be made.
II. c) Digital theatrical release / international VHS- and DVD-release (2002)
Runtime: 137 mins.
In 2002, only few auditoriums were equipped with digital projectors. Nevertheless, Lucasfilm had produced a digital version of the movie. It wasn't of significance on a financial basis, but as Lucas wanted to give digital cinema a shot in the arm, he decided to release it in digital form as well.
This version is identical to the international VHS- and DVD-releases (as they are all from the same master), however not identical to the classical theatrical release which was shown to the major part of the audience.
In the regular theatrical version a short part of the dialog between Anakin and Padme, after the young Padawan has killed the Tusken raiders, is missing. Further, two small but significant digital changes were made. Shortly before his death, Jango Fett tries to escape Mace Windu - you can see it by the starting jet pack. During the chase on Coruscant some speeders flying around in the background were removed. When Jedi Trebor Coleman attacks Count Doku, he is shot by Jango Fett. In an alternative take of this scene you see Doku smiling at Jango. During the wedding scene, now Anakin's artificial hand is holding Padme's hand (there seems to have been an alternative take before). On the soundtrack, there is a change of a short phrase of Padme when she falls from the pod into the sand and a clone warrior asks her if everything is fine.
Also, there's the interesting fact that for the USA, Canada, and Great Britain a full screen version of the movie had been released on DVD and VHS. In Germany, for example, the movie was only released in a widescreen version (contrary to Episode I).
II. d) British and Irish VHS- and DVD-release (2002)
Runtime: 137 mins.
For its release in Britain and Ireland, the movie had to be cut a little bit for a PG rating. As this is an official release, this version is seen as officially yet another version of the movie. The following report is about this version.
By now, 'Attack of the Clones' has been released uncut on DVD in Great Britain as part of the Prequel Trilogy Box.
British DVD version
Runtime: 136:34 mins
uncut DVD version
Runtime: 136:36 mins
The British DVD has just one little cut in one scene and has a runtime difference of 2 secs.
The fight between Jango Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi on Kamino was cut. During their fight on the landing platform and while Boba is watching them from the Slave-I, there have been two seconds cut out of the scene. A head-butt from Jango against Obi-Wan has been removed. This is not unusual for Great Britain - similar scenes had to be cut for a lower rating in 'Spiderman 2'
or 'The Matrix'