The second prequel to the original Star Wars
trilogy takes place ten years after the events depicted in Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace
. Now 20, young Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is an apprentice to respected Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). Unusually powerful in the Force, Anakin is also impatient, arrogant, and headstrong -- causing his mentor a great deal of concern. The pair are ordered to protect Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), the former queen of the planet Naboo, now representing her world in the Galactic Senate. Someone is trying to assassinate her on the eve of a vote enabling Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) to build a military force that will safeguard against a growing separatist movement led by mysterious former Jedi Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). After another attempt on Padme's life, Obi-Wan and Anakin separate. The young Jedi and Padme fall in love as he escorts her first to the security of Naboo and then to his home world of Tatooine, where the fate of his mother leads him to commit an ominous atrocity. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan travels to the secretive planet Kamino and the asteroid-ringed world of Geonosis, following bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) and his son, Boba (Daniel Logan
), who are involved in an operation to create a massive army of clones. A vicious battle ensues between the clones and Jedi on one side and Dooku's droids on the other, but who is really pulling the strings in this galactic conflict? In late 2002, the movie was released in IMAX theaters as Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones: The IMAX Experience
, with a pared-down running time of 120 minutes in order to meet the technical requirements of the large-screen format.