________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 6. . . . November 15, 2002

cover Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Patricia C. Wrede.
New York, NY: Scholastic (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2002.
167 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-439-13928-7.

Subject Headings:
Star Wars-Fiction.
Science fiction.

Grades 5-8 /Ages 10-13.

Review by Helen Arkos.

* /4


Why do I always let him drive? "I'm crazy," Obi-Wan muttered, dripping his head onto his hands. "I'm crazy."

"I got us through that one all right," Anakin said in a satisfied tone.

Obi-Wan raised his head angrily. "No, you didn't! We've stalled. And you almost got us killed!"

"Oh, I think we're still alive," Anakin said absently as he fiddled with the controls. The engine coughed, then roared back to life, and he smiled.

The smile made Obi-Wan furious. Anakin wasn't even listening."It was stupid!" he said.

His tone finally seemed to get through to his apprentice. Anakin blinked, then hung his head. "I could have caught him..."

"But you didn't!" Obi-Wan glared at Anakin. "And now we've lost him for good!"

Attack of the Clones is the title of Episode II of the Star Wars series. Its timeline is two episodes earlier than the original Star Wars movie in which Darth Vader and the evil Empire hold the reigns of power while the Jedi Knights, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker search for a way to undermine them. In Episode II, Anakin Skywalker is apprenticed to the Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and has not yet succumbed to the dark side of the Force to become Darth Vader. His assignment to protect Senator Padm‚ Amidala, who is under threat of assassination by those who would like to see the Galactic Republic at war with its Separatist factions, leads to the two of them falling in love.

     The origin of the Clone army, whom we know better as the white armour-clad Imperial Stormtroopers from the original Star Wars movie, is explained. An army of two hundred thousand soldiers are all cloned from a single man, Jango Fett, a bounty hunter with exceptional talents. Fett had agreed to be used as the genetic source for the army in exchange for a considerable fee and for one unaltered clone that he would raise as his own son.

     An investigation into an assassination attempt on Senator Amidala reveals the existence of the Clone army to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Plots and deceptions, captures and dramatic rescues form the basis of the storyline.

     This edition, copyrighted by Lucasfilm Limited and apparently intended for a younger audience, is based on the story by George Lucas and the screenplay by George Lucas and Jonathan Hales. In fact, it seems to be little more than a narrative of the events on the movie screen. The story offers little or no further insight into the characters or their motivations. Even their dialogue is characterless and appears to be transcribed directly from the screenplay.

     Children who compare books they have read with the movie version are often disappointed by the move. They can see from an early age that the richness found in the print version does not translate well to the screen, given the constraints of time. I cannot see who the audience would be for a book transcribed from the screen. Better to wait and rent the video.

Not Recommended.

Helen Arkos is the teacher-librarian at École John Henderson School in Winnipeg, MB.


To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364