Attack Of The Clones Is The Only Star Wars Movie To Give Fans What They Really Want

By Zack Zagranis | Published

Before The Rise of Skywalker became the de facto “worst Star Wars movie,” there was Attack of the Clones. One part badly written romance, one part half-baked detective story, Clones occupies a spot near the bottom on nearly every Star Wars fan’s ranking of the saga. And yet there is one thing that Episode II gave fans that no other movie has before or since: a boat-load of Jedi kicking butt at the same time.

Full-Blown Battle Royale

Over 200 Jedi appear onscreen during the Battle of Geonosis—far more than we ever see gathered together in combat throughout the rest of the saga. By my count, the closest any other film gets to the Attack of the Clones Jedi jamboree is when Mace Windu brings three other Jedi with him to arrest Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith. If my math is correct, that makes the Battle of Geonosis 50 times bigger than the second-largest live-action Jedi skirmish.

Not that the duel in Palpatine’s office was much of a fight. It would be more accurate to call it a slaughter, but that’s beside the point.

Less Political Science, More Action

When George Lucas first announced the prequels, I, like many fans, couldn’t wait to finally see the Jedi in their prime. I was champing at the bit for a chance to watch a noble group of warrior monks keep the peace on a galactic scale. Unfortunately, I would have to wait until the second prequel—Attack of the Clones—before I could fill my hungry eyes with a visual feast of sweet Jedi action.

It’s not that there were no Jedi in The Phantom Menace; the film technically featured more Jedi than the previous three films combined. The problem is most of them just sat in a circle talking. Great for a political science class masquerading as a sci-fi epic but not so great for a franchise dedicated to space wizards swinging around laser swords.

The Battle Of Geonosis

Thankfully, Attack of the Clones decided that the fandom deserved to see a few hundred Jedi dropped into an arena and made to fight thousands of battle droids. Sure, George made us work for it—I still have PTSD flashbacks whenever I hear anyone mention sand—but it was worth it in the end.

I’ve often said that while Attack of the Clones isn’t very good as a movie, there are several scenes that, when taken by themselves, rival anything from the original trilogy. The Battle of Geonosis is one of those scenes. From the very moment you see Mace Windu slowly sneaking up behind Count Dooku’s entourage, you know you’re in for something special.

Windu Vs Fett

From the cool way Mace says, “This party’s over!” to the sight of a few hundred Jedi igniting their lightsabers and running headfirst into a sea of blaster bolts, the Attack of the Clones arena battle is a unique experience in live-action Star Wars media. The way random Jedi toss droids around like rag-dolls while Mace Windu faces down Jango Fett … you can’t see me doing the chef’s kiss thing with my fingers, but I assure you I just did it.

And speaking of Windu vs. Jango Fett … I know the point of this article is the scale of the Jedi battle that takes place during Attack of the Clones‘ climax, but can we take a second to appreciate how awesome this one-on-one fight is?

Jango draws first blood early on by attempting to roast Mace alive with his flame thrower. Windu escapes, only to later find Fett on the arena floor firing his pistols directly at him. Being the absolute tough guy that Samuel L. Jackson is, Mace walks directly up to Jango even as the bounty hunter continues to fire at point-blank range.

Are You Not Entertained?!

When Mace Windu gets close enough, he swings his lightsaber twice: once to disarm Fett and again to decapitate him. If that’s not sick enough for you, Jango’s helmet goes flying you can see the shadow of his head fall out (if you look close enough).

Many fans consider Attack of the Clones to be an objectively bad film for a number of reasons—I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t. But while parts of it suck, Episode II is also the only movie to ever show us just what the Jedi are capable of in large numbers.

For that reason alone it gets a pass in my book.