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So who's Hayden Christianson you ask? Until May 16, 2002, just about, well almost, nobody.

What a difference a day makes, especially when that day marks the highly anticipated release of Episode II of George Lucas film extravaganza Star Wars: Attack of the Clones . On that day, film history was made and the young 20-year-old was propelled from virtual anonymity to worldwide fame as the Jedi-warrior in training Anakin Skywalker-future father of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia-and even more ominously- the future Darth Vader.

Attack of the Clones is rich with themes we've come to recognize in all of the Star Wasr films: continual discovery, personal aspirations, heroism, duty and honor. EPISODE II of George Lucas'’ six-chapter epic features passion, love, and adventure. Interwoven with these familiar themes is one new to the saga – forbidden love – as well as the notion of Jedi heroism on a scale previously unseen in any Star Wars film. In one heart-stopping sequence, hundreds of Jedi battle powerful and seemingly innumerable forces.

The title itself hearkens back to the sense of imagination and excitement that characterized the classic movie serials and pulp fantasy adventures from which the Star Wars saga draws inspiration. "Attack of the Clones is a big, wide-eyed adventure film in the tradition and celebration of the Saturday matinee serials of Hollywood's golden age," says Lucas. "They were unpretentious and designed to thrill with lots of energy, suspense and excitement. You went to those movies to escape and enjoy yourself, and that's what I wanted to capture with Attack of the Clones."

Adroitly, the film leads one to the notion of 'connections' that resonate backwards and forwards through the saga, linking motifs, themes, actions, attitudes and phrases. Most importantly, they tie together the story's memorable characters: the feisty Princess, Leia, who is the daughter of the strong-willed queen, Padmé Amidala; that queen's son, Luke Skywalker, a young farmboy whose yearnings for adventure lead to the end of an Empire and revelations of family secrets; Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Padawan who becomes a Jedi Knight and connects father to son; and Anakin Skywalker, a young Podracer who travels a tortuous path to the dark side before ultimately finding redemption at the hands of that son.

The character of Anakin Skywalker is central to Attack of the Clones , and indeed to the saga itself. "What drove me in the first place to create this new trilogy," says Lucas, "was to create a story about somebody who starts out as a good person, but is seduced by the dark side and becomes evil. And is ultimately redeemed. That's the reason I started the story where I did in The Phantom Menace, with nine-year-old Anakin being a wonderful, normal kid. I wanted to explore how somebody like that turns bad." Adds producer Rick McCallum: "We obviously know Anakin’s ultimate fate. With these new films we explore the 'How' and the 'Why.'"

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 23 - September 2018
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