Recently I checked out Star Wars I – VI from my friendly neighborhood library. I thought I’d brush up as preparation for the December release of The Force Awakens. Since it’s been awhile since I watched the movies, I noticed things that I’m almost ashamed to admit I’d never noticed before.
I’ve also recently come across this interesting fan theory: Jar-Jar is actually the Phantom Menace. Now listen, I know it sounds crazy, but the post I read was really compelling. One of the strongest points in favor of this theory is that Lucas created the prequels to mirror the Original Trilogy. He had very specific views about Yoda being this minor, inconsequential character that’s later revealed to be a powerful Jedi Master. So with that logic, Jar-Jar could be Yoda’s Sith doppelganger, but Lucas chickened out of the reveal because the fans hated Jar-Jar so much. Again, I know it sounds ridiculous, but you should read the post which explains everything with observation, examples, and logic. I will be watching II and III with this theory in mind. At the very least, it might make Jar-Jar less annoying. I hope.
But enough chit chat. I give you my observations from rewatching Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones.
- Scrolling text. Again.
Dummmmm dummmmmm, dada dadummmm dummmmm…
- Reading the introductory text, I am reminded that I have completely forgotten almost all of this movie. So Amidala is a Senator now, returning to the Galactic Senate to vote on the issue of creating an ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC (all caps, just like in the text), because the Jedi are being overwhelmed by all the separatists. And the separatists are led by Count Dooku. Right, got it.
But why do they want to leave the Republic?
- And the first familiar character we see in the movie, in Coruscant, is R2! And second is Amidala, speaking to her dying bodyguard when the ship is blown up. So I’m guessing someone doesn’t want her to vote.
- Palpatine doesn’t want the thousand year old Republic to split in two. Surprise, surprise.
- “We are keepers of the peace, not soldiers.”
Oh Windu, are you really?
- “You know, milady, Count Dooku was once a Jedi. He couldn’t assassinate anyone. It’s not in his character.”
Windu, Windu, Windu…you’re batting zero today, aren’t you?
- Now I remember, this is the movie where Amidala loses the weird hat and wig collection, because she had to look oh-so-pretty for Anakin.
- Yoda looks awfully suspicious of Palpatine, when he suggests that Obi-Wan be Amidala’s bodyguard. I suspect the future isn’t quite as clouded to Yoda as he says it is.
- Ah, yes, the introduction of Hayden Christensen as the newly hunky Anakin. You know, now that he’s not a little kid anymore, they can play up the romance—the weirdly inappropriate romance. Thanks, Lucas.
- And now Jar-Jar introduces Padme to Obi-Wan and older Ani. Possibly sinister?
- “Ani, you’ll always be that little boy I knew on Tatooine.”
After Anakin compliments her on her beauty. What a lovely way to reject someone making creepy advances.
- Wow, and then he throws a temper tantrum because Obi-Wan disagrees with him and doesn’t want to investigate the assassination attempt. Way to impress the lady, dude.
- And the possibly sinister Jar-Jar is comforting a pouty, whiny Anakin. Guess that sort of thing runs in the Skywalker family, but I am wondering why Jar-Jar is still around if he’s such an idiot. Hmmm…
- Anakin: “She covered the cameras. I don’t think she liked me watching her.”
Obi-Wan: “What is she thinking?”
Maybe she didn’t want the guy that just hit on her watching her sleep?
- “Don’t worry. No harm will come to her. I can sense everything going on in that room. Trust me.”
Not creepy at all.
- Anakin: “I don’t sleep well anymore.”
Obi-Wan: “Because of your mother?”
Anakin: “I don’t know why I keep dreaming about her.”
Obi-Wan: “Dreams pass in time.”
Have I mentioned how much I dislike Obi-Wan?
- Anakin: “I’d much rather dream about Padme.”
- More of creepy stalker Anakin. What a turn on.
- So they tried to assassinate her by worms? Well, that’s original.
- And now the exciting chase scene, where Obi-Wan grabs ahold of the drone that brought the assassin-worms, and Anakin… hey, is that a Dug driving that speeder? Thrills, people. Thrills.
- Bicker, bicker, bicker. It’s almost like Anakin is a kid rebelling against his dad—well, father-figure anyway.
- I just want to flick that spot off the middle of Ewan McGregor’s head.
- In a seedy bar, into which they’ve chased the murderous changeling–
Weirdo: “You wanna buy some death sticks?”
Obi-Wan: “You don’t want to sell me death sticks.”
Weirdo: “I don’t want to sell you death sticks.”
Obi-Wan: “You want to go home and rethink your life.”
Weirdo: “I want to go home and rethink my life.”
I may not like Obi-Wan, but he has his moments.
- After Obi-Wan cuts down the changeling in the middle of the nightclub–
Anakin: (gruff) “Easy. Jedi business. Go back to your drinks.”
I’m getting the feeling the Jedi are bullies on Coruscant.
- Yoda: “Track down this bounty hunter, you must, Obi-Wan.”
Windu: “Most importantly, find out who he’s working for.”
I can almost feel Anakin thinking, I told you so…
- Palpatine: “And so, they’ve finally given you an assignment (to guard Amidala). Your patience has finally paid off.”
Saying Anakin has patience? That should have been a tip off!
- So Yoda thinks Obi-Wan is arrogant too? Maybe they should have let Anakin train with someone else. Actually, how cool would it have been if Yoda had trained him?
- Now Jar-Jar is appointed to take Amidala’s place in the Senate during her absence?
But WHY??? He seems like such an idiot, but if he was using the dark side to gain influence…
- Anakin: “Sometimes we must let go of our pride and do what is requested of us.”
Padme: “Anakin, you’ve grown up.”
And then he starts whining to her about how Obi-Wan doesn’t understand and isn’t fair.
Way to show her you haven’t grown up, numb nuts.
- Padme: “Please, don’t look at me like that.”
Anakin: “Why not?”
Padme: “It makes me feel uncomfortable.”
And then he stares at her butt as she walks away.
- Oh no, I stand corrected. She must have a special hat collection just for when she travels.
- “Don’t worry. We have R2 with us.”
Thank the Force that R2 is there to chaperone those crazy kids.
- Obi-Wan, talking to his buddy about the investigation: “Well, if droids could think, there’d be none of here, would there?”
Really, Obi-Wan? How enlightened of you.
- Obi-Wan: “Cloners. Are they friendly?”
Weird alien friend: “Oh, depends.”
Obi-Wan: (smiles) “Depends on what, Dex?”
Weird alien friend: “On how good your manners are…and how big your, uh…(looks Obi-Wan up and down) pocketbook is.” (creepy chuckle)
Did that guy just hit on Obi-Wan?
- “If an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist.”
It seems arrogance isn’t strictly a Jedi trait.
- Padme: “Are you allowed to love? I thought that was forbidden for a Jedi.”
Anakin: “Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love… is central to a Jedi’s life. So you might say that we are encouraged to love.”
What a wonderful way to describe the Jedi precepts, so similar to the teachings of the Buddha. Suffering is caused by our attachments, our desires, specifically to our concept of our own ego. However, if you learn to live in the moment, enjoying what you have while you have it and accepting that all things are impermanent, you can be selfless and happy, you can care and be compassionate for others without getting caught up in how no one is around forever. You can live in the present.
Of course, Anakin mucks it up at the end by using the “encouraged to love” line to hit on Padme, but it’s still eloquent.
- “Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.”
So Obi-Wan asks Yoda for help finding a missing planet, a planet (if I remember correctly) Yoda and the rest of the Council erased from the archives so no one would find it, and Yoda has a youngling give Obi-Wan the answer. Now that’s what I call panache.
- “Only a Jedi could have erased those files.”
Yeah, Yoda, you go meditate on that. Quite the conundrum, huh?
- And Anakin is showing barely suppressed rage at Padme in front of the new Queen. What a turn on.
- So Ani and Padme go to the incredibly romantic hideaway—you know, for her “safety.” Yup, nothing can possibly go wrong there…
- Oh, so the Jedi Master, Sifo Dyas, ordered the creation of the Clone Army ten years previous? So maybe Yoda didn’t already know?
- “No, I shouldn’t have done that.”
So she kisses him, after strolling around the super romantic setting in her shoulderless rainbow dress, talking about beaches. Really?
- It’s just so weird seeing the Clone Army in their white stormtrooper uniforms.
- And they’re talking in a meadow about past romances. And politics. Ah, you can practically smell the pheromones.
- Padme:“Sounds an awful lot like a dictatorship to me.”
Anakin: “Well, if it works.”
And looooooove is in the air…
- Running to him in the meadow in your bare-shoulder gown. Rolling around in the grass. Really? Come on!
- Awww, little Boba Fett. Is he the parallel to little Ani or maybe teen Luke? If I remember correctly, he watches his “father” die.
- I know they’re setting up the whole romance, but does it really need to be this thick? One minute he’s using the Force for cheesy parlor tricks over dinner, the next they’re in a darkened room on a couch before a roaring fire. And dear Thor, did she pack any dresses with shoulders?
So, in the beginning of the movie she’s telling him his stalking makes her uncomfortable, but now she’s pulling out all the stops. She already knew how he felt about her. She couldn’t possibly be this stupid, unless it was on purpose.
- Anakin: “And now that I’m with you again, I’m in agony.”
Maybe because she’s practically falling out of that dress? Seriously. I have bras that cover more cleavage.
- And as Obi-Wan leaves the Kaminoans, he tells R4 to send a message care of “the old folks’ home.” First thought? That droid is toast. There’s no way it’ll survive, because if it was meant to be successful, it would have been R2—robot chaperone of the future.
Second, I wonder why he’s using code? “Old folks’ home” can’t be good.
- So Yoda and Windu didn’t know about the clone army, but Sifo Dyas died over ten years ago? So who ordered the army?
- “I think it is time to inform the Senate that our ability to use the Force has diminished.”
- And she comes out to see him on the terrace, during sunrise, in her satin nightgown. For a second, I thought she had found a dress with shoulders, but it turned out to be a robe.
- I’m so confused. Obi-Wan thinks Jango is the assassin trying to kill Amidala, but why? And why attack him in front of his kid?
- The happy couple arrives back on Tatooine to rescue Ani’s mom. Lucas sure made use of that set, didn’t he?
- Watto: “Ani! It is you!” (chuckling)
All I can think is his unspoken, Remember the good ol’ days when I owned you?
Is he this stupid, or is he playing dumb because he’s afraid of Jedi Anakin?
- How come Jango Fett has an accent but little Boba doesn’t?
- Owen Lars and his girlfriend, Beru. Are we meeting all the young versions of the original characters?
- So they grew mushrooms on the vaporators at the moisture farm. I guess that answers my question about at least one type of food on a desert planet.
- The scenes of Anakin looking for his mother are absolutely stunning, his dark silhouette against the vivid sunset background. Could it also be the beginning of the sunset of his life as a Jedi?
- So the Viceroy hired Dooku, head of the Separatists, to assassinate Amidala. And all the Separatists are planning to combine their droids to make an army against the Republic?
- Evil music after Ani’s mother dies. That can’t be good.
- Wait, Obi-Wan is on Geonosis? The droid foundries on Geonosis?
- Padme: “To be angry is to be human.”
Anakin: “I’m a Jedi. I know I’m better than this.”
And that’s your problem. That, and your recent murder spree.
And your need for acting lessons.
- “R2, what are you doing here?”
Did they think they’d given him the slip?
- Giving the Chancellor emergency powers to create an army? Sure, that’s not a bad idea.
- Holy crap, Qui-Gon was Dooku’s padawan?
- I’ve got to admit, Dooku makes a lot of sense.
- Jar-Jar addresses the Senate and convinces them to grant emergency powers to Palpatine. Jar-Jar. And he does the hand wave thing, like a Jedi. With Dooku’s previous reveal about Darth Sidious being in charge of the Senate, it seems like the Sith Lord Jar-Jar theory could easily be true. The way it’s timed in the movie, it makes sense.
- C-3PO: “What does that mean? That means I’m in charge here.”
R2D2: (beeps and whistles)
The closed-captioning for R2’s response read raspberry. So are the captions trying to translate R2’s noises? I always suspected they were bleeping out profanities.
- Fleeing from the bad guys, Padme in her suspiciously Leia-ish white outfit, gets caught with Anakin outside a closed door on a bridge that needs to be extended. I have to admit, I’m starting to like finding the repeated scenes of the Original Trilogy. They’re like Easter Eggs.
- So Jango captures Anakin at the droid factory. I still don’t get it.Why is Jango involved with the bad guys if he’s the template for the Jedi’s clone army? I know he’s a bounty hunter, but what does he gain? Why would the bad guys hire him at all? I don’t understand.
- Finally, some female Jedis kicking butt! Yes!
- Lasers everywhere, and somehow none of them hit our heroes. Did the droids train the stormtroopers?
- “Oh, this is such a drag. I’m quite beside myself.”
Who knew C-3PO had a sense of humor!
- Yoda shows up to save the day with the clone troopers! That’s my favorite scene in this movie. It’s one of the few I hadn’t blocked out of my memory. I still remember how excited I was when I first saw them.
- Dooku cut off Anakin’s arm? I didn’t remember that!
- Now we get to see Yoda actually fight Dooku. There’s something supremely awesome about seeing a little green muppet kick Christopher Lee’s ass.
- “Fought well, you have, my old padawan.”
Oh, COME ON. This is getting ridiculous. So Yoda trained Dooku…who trained Qui-Gon…who trained Obi-Wan…who trained Anakin.
So basically, if you think about it, Darth Vader is all Yoda’s fault.
- “Lies, deceit, creating mistrust are his ways now.”
I know Yoda’s talking about Dooku there, but meanwhile Anakin’s sneaking off to get married.
- And they get married at sunset. How symbolic.
The prequels may not be the best, but the movie ends with the Jedi marrying the Senator—or rather the knight marrying the (former) princess. I know people think of these movies as science fiction because of all the tropes, but they are fantasy! Mythic themes, knights and princesses, sword fights, and good against evil. What more do you want?
Oh, and they’re awesome.*
I hope you enjoyed this. I will post my next review next Wednesday. May you come visit my blog again, and May the Force be with you.
*My thanks to D Paul Angel for suggesting I create this post.
**Though I had originally thought I’d watch the series beginning with Episode I, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So my observations may change as I remember or misremember things from the prequels.
***I know I say “awesome” a lot, but I’m an 80’s girl. Deal with it.