An A-to-Z primer of ''Star Wars'' lore -- We explain ''Episode II'' from Anakin to ''zzzzz...''
Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, ...
Credit: Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones: © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

BE FOREWARNED: This article contains SPOILERS!

A is for Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), who spends much of ”Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones” either throwing petulant temper tantrums or smirking lasciviously at Senator Amidala (Natalie Portman) in her skimpy space outfits (including a kinky leather corset). But he also shows flashes of genuine evil that portend his future as Darth Vader — like responding to the death of a loved one by initiating an orgy of violence.

B is for Beru Whitesun (Bonnie Piesse), Luke Skywalker’s doomed Aunt Beru from the original ”Star Wars”; she shows up here as the young girlfriend of Luke’s Uncle Owen. She doesn’t get to do much, besides serve up some of that yummy blue milk in the same Tatooine homestead seen in ”Episode IV.”

C is for Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), a renegade Jedi who commands a droid army against his former comrades. The 79-year-old Lee looks downright sprightly in his fight scenes, mostly because it’s not really him leaping about (the special effects guys put his head on another body).

D is for Dexter Jettster, a four-armed slob who, like the derided Jar Jar Binks, is an entirely computerized creation. Wearing a stained undershirt and running a ”Jetsons”-like diner, Jettster is nearly as silly as Binks, but not to worry — he’s in the movie for less than five minutes.

E is for the Emperor’s Royal Guard, those ominous, red-costumed guys from ”Return of the Jedi,” who make a quick reappearance in ”Attack of the Clones.” You need Jedi-level concentration to catch a glimpse of them, but their presence in Chancellor Palpatine’s chambers provides a nice hint of his apparent future as the galaxy’s evil Emperor.

F is for Jango Fett, father of the fan-worshiped Boba Fett from ”The Empire Strikes Back” and ”Jedi.” Not only does ”Clones” show Jango doing what fans always wanted to see Boba do — i.e., USING all his weaponry in battle, rather than standing around and displaying it — but the movie reveals Boba Fett’s origins.

G is for Geonosis, a dusty planet where the biggest battle ever seen in a ”Star Wars” movie takes place. The world’s buglike inhabitants must be Russell Crowe fans, because they force the Jedi to fight off alien monsters and droids in a massive, ”Gladiator”-like arena.

H is for Jonathan Hales, the writer who helped George Lucas finish the ”Clones” screenplay (Lucas wrote ”Phantom Menace” on his own). It’s tempting to credit Hales with some of movie’s snappier laugh lines, such as when Obi-Wan asks his future foe Anakin, ”Why do I get the feeling you’re going to be the death of me?”

I is for the Imperial March, the ”dun-dun-duh-DUH” theme from ”Empire Strikes Back,” which composer John Williams brings back several times in the movie as an unsubtle but effective means of evoking the dark future in store for our heroes.

Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones
  • Movie
  • 142 minutes