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Secrets of ''Star Wars: Episode II''

”Star Wars” experts offer a guided tour of what the new trailers tell us about the mysterious second prequel

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Star Wars, Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones
Star Wars Episode II: © 2000 Lucasfilm Ltd & ? All Rights Reserved

The clones won’t attack until May 16. But thanks to three teaser trailers for the upcoming ”Star Wars” prequel, we’ve already met a dude named Jango Fett, gotten a glimpse of the future Darth Vader’s anger-management problems, and discovered why there’s no Mrs. Yoda. But some mysteries remain. That’s why we assembled our own Jedi Council of experts to explain what the four minutes of new footage reveal about ”Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones.”

Jedi Nookie? We’ve known from the start that Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and royal-hottie-turned-senator Padmé (Natalie Portman) eventually get it on — that’s where Luke and Leia come from. But it turns out that there are significant barriers to their romance — such as an apparent Jedi ban on nookie. ”The thing I was totally blown away by in the trailers is the [seeming revelation] that these guys are like monks — they’re supposed to be celibate,” says Anthony C. Ferrante, editor of the sci-fi fanzine Cinescape.

Lucasfilm hopes that ”Episode II”’s theme of forbidden love (you know, like in ”Titanic”) will help the movie reach audiences who don’t know Anakin Skywalker from Justin Timberlake. ”It begins to broaden out what ‘Star Wars’ is really about,” says Lucasfilm marketing VP Jim Ward. ”It’s not just a science-fiction movie; it’s an epic saga. And in this case one of the major themes is a sweeping love story. I think that’s going to be appealing to a broad audience.”

Senator Jar-Jar on the Down-low Yes, Jar-Jar Binks is in ”Attack of the Clones.” But he’s hard to find in the trailers. ”We’re not highlighting him,” Ward admits, suggesting that the much derided Gungan is on the sidelines in ”Episode II.” ”We’re kind of focusing on what the main story lines are. In this case it’s all about Anakin and Padmé falling in love.”

Still, we’ll learn that in the 10 years since the time of ”Phantom Menace,” the dimwitted, drooling, clumsy Jar Jar found what appears to be his calling in life: politics. In the third trailer, Jar seems to be dressed as a galactic senator — an apparent confirmation of rumors that Mr. Binks will be headed to the capital planet of Coruscant as a representative of his species. ”He’s got his robes on. They look very regal,” says Lou Tambone, webmaster of T-Bone’s Star Wars Universe. ”If you look at all the senator guys, they all wear those similar robes.” Senator Jar Jar? Meesa demand a recount.