OBIWAN: Ewan is looking more and more like the Obiwan we all know and love from the original trilogy. I think it's great to see him doing justice to the part played by sir Guinness. He looks the part, he talks the part, and he is very believable as a younger version of the old coot, hinting at the qualities we know he will take on later.
ANAKIN: There is a lot of potential for him to be a better character, which is mostly hindered by Hayden's acting. The lack of chemistry between him, Portman and Ewan is especially daunting, since the 3 of them start to develop a sarcastic banter not unlike that of Luke, Leia and Han. Unfortunately, everytime someone passes a ball to Anakin he seems to be looking the other way, or realising it way too late. Bad acting notwithstanding, the characterisation of his seeding into the eventual Dark Lord still feels inconsistant. The emotions he displays are not uncommon among youths his age, and people tend to grow out of this phase as they mature. If this juvenile resentment is what fuels his turn to the Dark Side, does it mean that he doesn't mature? Or does the Emperor catch him while he is still in his adolescent mindset?
AMIDALA: A role carried relatively well by Portman, but still suffers from a lack of emotional content.
R2: Same as ever, with a few more surprising gadgets and a whole lot more to do.
C3PO: It's so good to see 3PO again! He's certainly a large part of what makes Star Wars Star wars, and he fills that role well. His major scene in the battle droid attack is a riot to watch, and proof that Star wars can be funny with being stupid and anal.
YODA: So much more of this old master is developed in this movie, and it's one of the best kept secrets ever, since it needs to be seen to be experienced. He is wise, witty, humourous, and finally fulfills his part as the old master sage that is more than meets the eye. He's probably the highlight of the film. The theatre went wild when he reveals his abilities in the Force.
MACE: He still doesn't appear to be much of a character, apart from being a foil to Yoda. But he is fun to watch at the Geonosian attack just because he is Samuel L Jackson. "This party's over!"
PALPATINE: The leader of the Republic and the main suspect for the identity of Darth Sidious shows visible signs of aging...or is it the Dark side?
JAR JAR: he's back, with his Gungan tomfoolery speaking style and little else. The poor fool has ben emasculated, and only serves a small but important role with none of the idiotic slapstick humour that fans had hated him for in Episode I. Strange, but now that his part has been cut down, I actually feel like something was missing from his appearance. You never know what you have until it's gone, and Jar Jar is certainly testament to that. Frankly I wouldn't have minded a little stupidity...
COUNT DOOKU: A very late appearance in the film makes him a little difficult to emphatize with as a villain, but a very strong presence created by Lee's powerful acting fixes that well. This is the gentleman Dark Jedi, a darker version of Guinness' Obiwan. I wasn't impressed by him in the trailers, but he's a pleasure to watch, and he really does a great job of creating a good climactic force battle. That, and the parallel between him and Obiwan and the later Vader and Luke relationship is a nice tie. The ambiguity of his loyalty to Sidious is also aninteresting subplot that should prove important in the next movie. I certainly look forward to seeing more of him again.
JANGO FETT: He certainly does a lot more than his son, and shows himself to be a relatively capable bounty hunter, even managing to take out a few lower-ranking Jedi here and there. Unfortunately, being very open about his identity, there isn't much of the mystery that drove the popularity of Boba Fett in the original trilogy. And as a character, he comes across as flat and 2-dimensional. We see only glimpses of what he's like as a character, and as a father. Also, it makes one wonder about Boba, and his reuse of such an unreliable flight pack.
CLONETROOPERS: They are very cool, once they're in uniform. It is a bit odd to hear them all speak with an NZ accent, and even odder to see that they were on the side of the Jedi this time. I did not see that one coming! It was extremely amusing and satisfying to see Amidala and Yoda commanding platoons of Clonetroopers. I also love the way that the Clone uniforms and military equipment are extremely reminiscent of the technology of the Empire, creating one of the first major bridges between the 2 trilogies.
ZAM WESELL: A disappointment. With all the hype about her being a new, deadly and sexy bounty hunter, you'd think she's do a little more than stand around and play speed demon. Granted, she can shoot hellava lot better than any Stormtrooper. She's a great design, and I had hoped she'd return, but alas. I guess Aurra Sing may return after all.
Kit Fisto: This guy is Coolio, or at least some happy Jamaican guy. He's quite funny to watch coz he appears so happy-go-lucky, but he doesn't say or do anything really outstanding. He shouldn't have been in the first wave of figures. The spot should have gone to Dooku.
THE JEDI COUNCIL: Only Mace, Yoda and Ki Adi Mundi seem to be significant. Again. The rest are silent, and hardly noticeable even in the Jedi fight scenes. I didn't not even notice Saesaetin in the entire film, and Plo Koon just sat there!
The LARS: I think they deserve special mention, as the casting was perfect! Cliegg Lars looks very much part of the same family tree as Owen, and the young Owen and Beru are really amazing as the younger versions of the people who will eventually adopt Luke Skywalker.
Captain Typho: Flat acting, absolutely characterless, and a meaningless eyepatch. I wish they had brought back Panaka.