Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones | 2002
- DIRECTOR |
- George Lucas
Yes, of course we were all disappointed that there's so little of the delightful Jar Jar Binks but, apart from that, Clones is a vast improvement over The Phantom Menace.
But first the team returned to some familiar locations: once again 'Tatooine' is represented by the desert landscapes and native architecture of Tunisia, where the original Star Wars (now Episode IV: A New Hope) and Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It's a return to the Sidi Driss Hotel, Matmata for the interior of the 'Tatooine' homestead. The exterior was a set built on the Chott el Jerid near Nefta.
And the Palazzo Reale, the Royal Palace, Piazza Carlo III, in Caserta, near Naples, Italy, again becomes the interior of ‘‘Theed Palace’ on ‘Naboo’, as it for The Phantom Menace. The Palazzo was more recently seen as ‘The Vatican’ in both Ron Howard’s film of Angels And Demons and in Mission Impossible III.
This time around, though, the exterior (which was entirely computer-generated in The Phantom Menace) is the Palaçio Español, a semi-circular arcaded building in the Plaza de España, Seville, built for the 1929 Spanish-American exhibition. The Palaçio Español was largely empty when I visited a few years ago, and a bit dilapidated. It's since been restored and now houses council offices.
The Plaza itself is open to the public and here you'll find the canal with its elegant 'Venetian' bridges crossed by Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Padme (Natalie Portman), and the pillared colonnade through which the pair stroll.
You may remember the Palaçio as the ‘Cairo’ hotel, where TE Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) ruffles the feathers of the British officers by demanding lemonade for his Arab companion, in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia.
As the 70s generation of ‘movie brats’, including George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, are such fans of David Lean, it's difficult to dismiss this as mere coincidence (Spielberg, similarly, revisits a David Lean location in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).
The stunning lake retreat is on Lake Como in northern Italy near the Swiss border. The summer palace is Villa del Balbianello, near the village of Lenno, about 15 miles north of the town of Como on the lake’s western shore. The villa, with its unique loggia commanding views north and south, stands on the tip of a steep, wooded promontory.
It is open to the public. You reach the villa by boat from Lenno or nearby Sala Comacina. On Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays it’s possible to walk from Lenno. It’s about 15 minutes, and quite steep, from the southern end of the bay or from the wooded path leading up from Via Degli Artigiani, at the southern end of Lenno.