The previous Star Wars film, 1999's Episode One: The Phantom Menace, has become the most successful of the entire series. Ironically, it is also considered one of the most disappointing—and even despised—adventure movies of all time. Three years have passed, and we now have Star Wars, Episode Two: Attack of the Clones. In this chapter, young Anakin Skywalker starts giving in to his foolish impulses, rejects the counsel of his teachers, and responds to the temptations that lead him on the path of the Dark Side. His primary weakness is his infatuation with the beautiful Senator Padme Amidala.

Most critics are thankfully saying Attack is not a clone of Episode One. But does that mean Lucas has found his "space legs" again? That's a matter of heated debate.

Those religious press critics who have spoken reflect the same spectrum of opinions that the series has generated since 1977. Most are thrilled with the action and effects. Some express reservations about the quality of the writing and the acting. And a few are worried that the messages about belief in the Force are not sufficiently Christian.

Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films) joins the chorus lamenting the film's weak dialogue and acting. But he has much more to say: "If [Clones] doesn't quite recapture the charm of the original trilogy, it does combine more enjoyable characterizations and dialogue and better paced storytelling with even more dazzling imagery. [Lucas] may have the tone-deaf ear for dialogue of a dime-store pulp novelist, but he's still got the visionary eye of a technological Tolkien, and the worlds he creates are pure magic. When Lucas creates visuals like these, he's doing something quite simply unmatched by anything anyone else in Hollywood is doing, or ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.