Countdown to 'Star Wars'

Filming of ‘Phantom Menace,’ ‘Clones’ started on this date

A digital scene from "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones," is shown in this undated promotional photo. Director George Lucas shot the entire film using digital cameras and hoped to have the film shown with digital projectors in theaters.
A digital scene from "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones," is shown in this undated promotional photo. Director George Lucas shot the entire film using digital cameras and hoped to have the film shown with digital projectors in theaters. AP

It took years, but George Lucas finally started filming on ‘Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” the film wouldn’t be released until 1999.

Three years later, filming started on “Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones.”

The Fresno Bee’s Donald Munro wrote in his review of “Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace” that “So much eye candy you’ll get a sugar high. Who cares if its human story limps along? There’s a good chance you’ll get so caught up in the stunning look and feel of the film, which features more than 2,000 special visual effects, that it won’t matter that the story and acting are only so-so. Yet the solid cast, led by Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor, remains little more than tiny, molded human action figures set against a vast backdrop of special effects.”

In his review of “Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones,” Munro wrote “As a clean, fun, jigsaw-puzzle fit into the “Star Wars” canon, George Lucas’ latest installment is far more exciting -- and accessible -- than “Episode I.” It makes the effort you made marking time in that film start to pay off, and sets up a compelling “Episode III.” As spritely as a kick-butt Yoda, “Clones” has razzle-dazzle energy to spare, and Ewan McGregor is terrific as the ever-wizening Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

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