"The Phantom Menace" made almost $1 billion worldwide and was the fourth highest grossing film ever, yet it tarnished the franchise it was born from. Even more harmful was the damage done to the fan base, many losing their faith in the franchise.
Would Lucas listen to the fans? Will "Attack of the Clones" repair the damage? Sources close to Lucas say yes, reports from those lucky enough to have seen the new movie before its release back this up.
To the annoyance of most, Jar Jar will appear in the new movie, but his appearance is reported to be brief. Likely to be most significant however is the scaled down merchandising with a 2/3 slash of merchandise licensees.