There hasn't been a full scale war since the formation of the Republic. — Governor Sio Bibble
There is unrest in the Galactic Senate. Several thousand solar systems have declared their intentions to leave the Republic.
This separatist movement, under the leadership of the mysterious Count Dooku, has made it difficult for the limited number of Jedi Knights to maintain peace and order in the galaxy.
Senator Amidala, the former Queen of Naboo, is returning to the Galactic Senate to vote on the critical issue of creating an ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC to assist the overwhelmed Jedi...
The sequel to The Phantom Menace and second/fifth installment in George Lucas' wildly successful Star Wars saga. Somewhat denser and darker than The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones finally addresses Lucas' thirty-year-old plot point about what the Clone Wars really are and why they happen. The plot follows at any given time about a million plots:The attempted assassination of Senator Padme Amidala; the efforts of Count Dooku, former Jedi, to stir discontent on the fringes; Anakin Skywalker, twenty years old and full of piss and vinegar and hormones, falling in love with Padme and dealing with personal demons and the lure of the Dark Side; Obi-Wan Kenobi following clues to the far-flung world of Kamino and discovering—wait for it—A clonearmy. Developed in secret, ostensibly with Jedi support and funding, and meant to fight on behalf of the Republic in a vague and mysterious war, which Dooku also happens to be prepping for. There are other lesser plots—the decaying political situation at home, the efforts of the Jedi and the Supreme Chancellor to stem the tide, and just what the evil and charismatic Count Dooku is really trying to accomplish with Darth Sidious at his back.The three lines converge on the desert planet Geonosis, where the true extent of Dooku's machinations becomes apparent, and where the long-mythical Clone Wars finally explode violently and awesomely. The conduct of the wars and their eventual fallout is/was explored in a number of cross-media projects elsewhere—Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a CGI television show (now in its fifth season), Star Wars: Clone Wars, an animated miniseries of 5-minute "episodettes", as well as numerous other comic and novelized spin-offs covering everyone from Grievous to Boba Fett and back again.Structurally, Episode II focused on Anakin Skywalker's maturation against the political drama and personal loss, while showing decay and corruption on a galactic scale. It's purposefully a Call Forward to The Empire Strikes Back—everything from the inclusion and importance of the Fett family, to the usage of the Imperial March, and a chase through an asteroid field. Plot-wise, it hews closer to a Murder Mystery-cum-Political Thriller, and tries to inject some quiet moments in a galaxy on the brink of destruction. Critically, Attack of the Clones on the whole broke even with Phantom Menace—detractors were Hayden Christensen's acting and the leaden love story—while praise was given for the Kenobi/clone plot, the CGI, and the absolutely balls to the wall awesomeness of the last thirty minutes.
Ascended Extra: The revelation of Jango and Boba Fett's involvment with the greater story of the galaxy is certainly because of Boba's surprising popularity in the original trilogy, who was meant to be a low-key, nondescript badass.
Ascended Glitch: Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas was originally "Sido-Dyas", a pseudonym for Sidious, which became a real Jedi after a typo occurred once in the original script.
Big Damn Heroes: Twice in the final act of the film; first time occurs when Mace Windu shows up with over two hundred Jedi to rescue Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padmé from Dooku. After many of them being killed off in the following battle against the droids and Geonosians, it happens again; with Yoda and the Clone Troopers showing up (this one goes over much better; they actually win).
Body Guard Crush: Anakin re-encounters Padme Amidala, his childhood crush now having become a full-fledged infatuation. Tasked with being Padme's bodyguard following several attempts on her life by Jango Fett and Zam Wesell, he accompanies her back to Naboo, where they become closer by the day, quickly falling in love, which is against the laws of the Jedi Order.
In a deleted scene, where Anakin and Padme are put on "trial" for espionage. Padme tells Archduke Poggle the Lesser that he's committing an act of war, and says that she hopes he's prepared to face the consequences. Poggle responds with "We build weapons, Senator. Of course we're prepared!"
Yoda: "But for certain, senator. In grave danger you are."
Casual Danger Dialogue: Obi-Wan and Anakin are pretty fond of doing this. The most notable instance is while chasing Zam Wessel.
The Cavalry: The above example with the Clone Troopers.
The City Narrows: The lower levels of Coruscant's giant city towers which are in permanent darkness due to the shadows of the impossibly tall buildings.
Clone Army: Boba/Jango/Everyone Fett. Indeed, the Clones and by extension the early Stormtroopers are all clones of Jango Fett. They are genetically engineered for obedience and age at twice the normal rate, except for Boba.
Conveyor Belt-O-Doom: Several that Anakin and Padme survive by the skin of their teeth in the droid factory on Geonosis.
Cranium Chase: C3PO loses his head (which is attached to a battle droid body) and gets himself a battle droid head instead. Both parts of C3PO than travel to the Geonosis Arena with the battle droids, where R2 and a Jedi help reassemble C3PO.
Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: The whole deal with Sifo-Dyas in the backstory seems like this but isn't; it's all breezed over so quickly that misunderstandings are inevitable.
Deus ex Machina: Just when it looks like Dooku and his cronies are going to execute the heroes and slaughter the Jedi sent to rescue them...a massive army of superhuman clone soldiers descends from the sky to rescue them, at just the right time.
Disney Villain Death: Subverted with the Nexu that was attacking Padmé. Padmé, while on top of the execution pole with the Nexu trying to eat her, kicks it off. It seems like it died from the fall, only for it to get back up and attempt to resume its attempt at eating Padmé. The Nexu is then promptly rammed by a reek that Anakin has somehow managed to tame, killing it for real.
Disposable Pilot: When Obi-Wan and Anakin board a clone-piloted gunship to pursue Dooku, said gunship is blasted into flaming scrap within ten seconds of them being dropped off.
Dual Wielding: Anakin fights Dooku with two lightsabers at one point. Unfortunately, it only lasts a short while before he's forced to switch back to one.
Dub Name Change: Count Dooku's name was changed to Dookan in the Brazilian dub, due to an unfortunate innuendo involving the character's name. The same happened with Syfo-dias, being changed to Zhaifo-Vias, for similar reasons (his original name sounds exactly like the Portuguese pronunciation for the less polite version of a famous trope)
Fanservice Extra: Aayla Secura. Although she has no lines and only appears briefly in a few scenes, in the days following the release of Attack of the Clones many Star Wars fans went online to find out who "that sexy twi'lek Jedi girl" was.
On the political side of the film, Padme is told the people of Naboo wanted the constitution of their planet amended so she could stay in office. Meanwhile, on Coruscant, there's the constitution of the Republic about to be suspended so Palpatine can stay in office.
Gunship Rescue: Yoda, Jedi Knights and a squad of Clone Troopers land gunships in the arena just in time to rescue Padmé and Anakin.
Held Gaze: This happens between Anakin and Padmé twice: once as a gentle lover's gaze into each other's eyes, and then later as an indicator they are about to Big Damn Kiss.
Hollywood Tactics: The Jedi battle in the Geonosis arena features an army of supposedly invincible Jedi getting torn apart by battle droids, because they decided to abandon sound battle tactics for a Zerg Rush. The subsequent clone trooper assault is much more effective because it uses proper combined arms tactics.
Hurricane of Puns: The arena battle is full of them, starting with Obi Wan remarking that Padme (who is climbing onto the top of the pillar she was chained to) "seems to be on top of things."
Internet Backlash: Reportedly, some of the members of NSYNC were offered small roles as background extras as a favor to Lucas' daughters. Cue a massive wave of Fan Dumb until Lucas cut their scene out of the movie, though some reacted more positively when it was mentioned they were going to get slaughtered by battle droids...
Legacy Character: This was the movie that turned Boba Fett into one; being the clone/son of Jango Fett. It was also the first time a definitive backstory was given for the mysterious bounty hunter.
Leeroy Jenkins: Anakin's initial approach to fighting Dooku. It doesn't work.
The Super Battle Droids are also like this. They're shown several times blasting or smashing aside droids that get in their way during battle.
Love Theme: "Across the Stars", a slow, appropriately melancholy, considering the eventual fates if the couple involved, piece with occasional faster, more militaristic portions reflecting a galaxy on the edge of war.
Male Gaze: When Anakin and Padme first reunite and Padme says "Ani, my goodness, you've grown!", Anakin is clearly staring at her chest when he says "So have you..."
Master of the Mixed Message: Anakin couldn't be more obvious about his attraction to Padmé if he'd tried. She turns him down, saying that they shouldn't be together... But she also takes him to a beautiful secluded lake house retreat with no one around for miles, wearing very revealing outfits.
Master Swordsman: Yoda takes on Dooku, giving us two master swordsmen for the price of one.
My God, What Have I Done?: Although he refuses to admit it, insisting he hates them, Anakin is clearly genuinely shaken up by his slaughter of the Tusken Raiders.
Mythology Gag: Jango Fett bumping his head (with helmet on) on the door to Slave-1, in a manner much like that one Stormtrooper in A New Hope, and Boba's head-bump on Slave-1's door in The Empire Strikes Back. Seems head-bumping is genetic amongst the clones.
Nice Hat: Watto looks better with his WWI-esque metal hat.
Anakin Skywalker: And then we decided to rescue you. Obi-Wan Kenobi:Good job.
A Nazi by Any Other Name/Putting on the Reich: The ending where Palpatine is observing from a balcony regarding the Clone Troopers departing from Coruscant in the beginning of the Clone Wars gives some similarities to Nazi Germany, particularly Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will.
Noodle Incident: Obi-wan and Anakin's prior assignment (the "border dispute on Ansion"). Also the time they fell into a gundark nest.
Off with His Head!: Mace Windu finally defeats Jango Fett by beheading him with his lightsaber.
Oh Crap: Kenobi gets this when he kicks Jango off the miles-high landing platform... and then realises he's still attached to him by a grappling hook.
Oh, No... Not Again!: Anakin dives off a speeder in the middle of aerial traffic and all Obi-Wan can come up with is a mildly disgruntled "I hate it when he does that." Anakin also commented that his lightsaber had been destroyed once before.
One-Dimensional Thinking: Seen in the Force duel between Dooku and Yoda, where Yoda never thinks to push a falling pillar off to the side instead of keeping it suspended in midair.
Only 0.2% Different: The clones. Lampshaded in one of the animated series when three clones are alone with Yoda, Yoda explains that though their faces may be alike (being clones of Jango Fett and all), through the force he can see their minds are as diverse as other human groups.
Pet the Dog: Sure Jango's a ruthless bounty hunter who's probably killed hundreds of people for money and sold his genetic legacy as a slave army, but you can't deny he's a pretty decent father for little Boba.
Psycho Strings: When Anakin begins his rampage against the Tusken Raiders.
Ramming Always Works: This is how Anakin saves Padmé from the Nexu: He manages to tame a Reek via the Force, and then promptly has it ram into a Nexu just as it was getting up from surviving a huge fall.
Red Herring: When Anakin is trying to fight against the Geonosians inside of the Droid factory, he at one point gets his arm trapped within a piece of molded armor, and is drawing closer and closer to a crushing machine/cutting machine, causing the audience to think he'll lose his arm as a result of the battle. Turns out, he actually loses it during the battle with Dooku.
Redshirt Army: The Jedi strike team that raids the Geonosian Arena.
Retcon: Mace Windu's lightsaber was originally supposed to be blue; his Phantom Menace toys came with a blue lightsaber, and he also had a blue blade in the Jedi Power Battlesvideo game. Samuel L. Jackson requested a purple lightsaber to make him more distinct.
Revenge Before Reason: Nute Gunray wants revenge against Padmé for stopping him when he, you know, invaded her planet and enslaved her people. Talk about a sense of entitlement.
Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Killing the Tusken Raiders is Anakin's first openly evil act, specifically intended to foreshadow his eventual fall.
Soft Glass: Obi Wan jumps through one to go after the droid.
Something Only They Would Say: Kind of: When Anakin meets Watto again and asks where Shmi Skywalker is, Watto wonders if he is Anakin, but then decides he really is Anakin after he notices that his pit droid was fixed.
Spheroid Dropship: The Lucrehulk-class Core Ships are dual purpose ships. They're the central "command" core of the Trade Federation ships, but can also detach to serve as landing craft, or fly independently. This makes sense since they are supposed to be space tractor-trailer cargo haulers that the Trade Federation quickly slapped some guns on when they needed a war fleet.
Most of the women in the nightclub that Zam Wessel hides in.
Solar Sail: Count Dooku flees in a ship that is at least partially propelled by a small solar sail.
So Last Season: During the Battle of Geonosis, destroying Core Ships proves to do nothing to stop the battle droids; in the novelization the first time this happened the droids would shut down briefly, then reactivate when their built-in processors kicked in.
Supernormal Bindings: Obi-Wan, when captured by Count Dooku is held captive, suspended in midair in a containment field that also rotates him slowly. It has several features designed to make Jedi less able to use the Force to escape.
Tantrum Throwing: Anakin does this while ranting about how Obi-Wan's "holding him back."
Tempting Fate: "I guess I was wrong. There was no danger after all." Literally one second later...KABOOM!
These Hands Have Killed: The first thing Anakin says when he looks at his own hands is to admit that he killed the Tusken Raiders.
Throw It In: Nick Gillard mentioned that he had worked on developing a signature lightsaber style for Mace Windu but Samuel L. Jackson had already devised the very smooth and efficient style you see in the film. "It's Sam Jackson, he has a style all his own."