The novelization of the second film in the Star Trek prequel series continues to add depth to the story on the screen. It fills in many gaps in the story and actually helped change my appreciation for this film.
In the same setting as the film Attack of the Clones, it picks up many years after the events of The Phantom Menace. Padme Amidala, now a Senator representing the planet Naboo, returns to Coruscant for an important vote. There has still been no prosecution of the Trade Federation and they have aligned themselves with the restless evil beginning to develop on the form of a Separatist movement led by Count Dooku, believed to be a Sith Lord.
After the attack on Padme’s life, Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi are assigned to her protection, believing she will accept it better from people who are known to her. Unbeknownst to Obi-Wan, she and Anakin concoct a scheme to flush out her assassin using her as bait.
After a second attempt on her life is made – and fails – she is sent back to Naboo with Anakin accompanying her while Obi-Wan follows the trail the killer left behind.
This is the point where the book build much better on the story than the film. It’s believable that Anakin has a crush on Padme since he first met her. Other than his mother, she was the first person who was kind to him, and she was both beautiful and powerful. The novelization of Attack of the Clones delves deeper into Padme’s feelings, especially once she is back on Naboo. It’s not just that she feels an attraction to the younger Anakin, but she is among her family and getting pangs for what she missed by choosing the career of public service. That the setting isolates to two potential lovers doesn’t help the inevitable.
The attention to detail here helps the story quite a bit. The author gives more depth to the Jedi by delving into various fighting styles that they each train in. The entire story with Obi-Wan discovering the Clones is still there, but with more depth as well as he internally questions every revelation. The Jedi Council is also better fleshed out with more participants in the dialog than just Yoda and Mace Windu.
When Anakin and Padme travel back to Tatooine, there’s more to Shmi’s story than the brief tale in the film. It makes her story all the more tragic in the end as she had a good relationship with her step-son.
I have to say that reading the novelization of Attack of the Clones made the film better. It gave the characters more depth and better reasons to their actions. The story is expanded on to the point that Padme and Anakin’s relationship is believable. I highly recommend picking this up for fans of the films.