Well. I finally started up my Great Star Wars Re-Watch again with Episode II – Attack of the Clones.
Man. This movie might actually be worse than I remembered, and I didn’t even like it the first go-round.
All kinds of SPOILERS, guys, and not just for this movie but for the entire series. You have been duly (and probably unnecessarily) warned.
Ten years have passed since the events of The Phantom Menace. Now the Republic is on the brink of civil war for poorly defined reasons, and a hit has been ordered on Senator Padmé Amidala’s (Natalie Portman) life. Young Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), now a 19-year-old whiny little shit, is ordered to protect her, while it’s up to Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) to figure out who ordered the assassination in the first place and what larger secret conspiracy is afoot.
1. We didn’t play Attack of the Clones as a drinking game, although obviously we should have. (Sip every time a main character falls/jumps off something! Sip every time Padmé has a costume change! Sip for every pun or terrible in-joke, like “This is such a drag” and “Why do I have the feeling that you’ll be the death of me?”) We did make sure to have alcohol handy, though, which was helpful during parts of this movie, particularly Anakin and Padmé’s romance.
Oh God. Let’s go through this thoroughly unconvincing love story step by torturous step.
It’s not only been ten years since the events of The Phantom Menace; it’s also been ten years since A+P have seen one another. Anakin is excited about their reunion, and by excited, I mean I suspect he’s been spanking the monkey to angel fantasies every night since he was nine-years-old–which, yeah, is the kind of disturbing image I’d rather not get from my Star Wars stories, or, you know, anywhere. It doesn’t have to come off this way, of course; I suspect I’m supposed to watch Anakin and think how his innocent puppy love has transformed into Epic True Love over the course of the film. The problem with that is Hayden Christensen typically doesn’t come off as innocent in this movie; lecherous, pushy, and sullen would all be better adjectives. Not to mention, Anakin seems to be obsessed with Padmé from pretty much the very second you see him, and I feel like the story would be less creepy in general if a physical attraction only bloomed after A+P spent some time together as grown-ups.
But anyway, Anakin and Padmé meet, and Anakin is neither subtle nor smooth when he tells Padmé that she’s beautiful. Her response?
Ha. Dude, Padmé shuts that shit down cold. She couldn’t be more clear in the first 45 minutes of this movie: she has ZERO romantic or sexual interest in this dude. In fact, Padmé refers to Anakin as a child more than once, and she’s pretty plain when she tells him that all his leering is making her uncomfortable. (Which is no surprise: his constant leering was making me uncomfortable, and I was safely on my couch where he couldn’t touch me.) And sure, I get the idea: she’s supposed to be secretly attracted to him all along and only denies her true feelings because of responsibility, duty, etc. The problem is that nothing Natalie Portman says or does before their first big kiss indicates even the slightest hint of this all-consuming passion.
Anakin ignores both Padmé’s subtle tells of disinterest and her polite request to stop acting like a goddamn creeper because he’s an entitled little bastard who, earlier, threw a mournful fit after their initial re-introduction because, supposedly, she barely even remembered him–even though she totally did remember him; she just didn’t play into his weird sexual fantasies, which I have to figure went something like this: “My God, Anakin, what a sexy beast you’ve become. I admit, I sometimes inappropriately wondered what you’d be like when you grew up. How about we go somewhere more private where you can show me your lightsaber, if you know what I mean?”
Eventually, both Anakin’s persistence and sexy come-ons (like “sand-sucks-but-your-super-smooth-skin-is-H-O-T-T”) pay off, at least temporarily: he and Padmé kiss for roughly five seconds while the score does its best to assure us this is romantic. Then she breaks the kiss, saying she shouldn’t have done that.
But Anakin definitely isn’t backing down now. He and Padmé go play in a field for a while, and to be fair, this scene actually isn’t quite as awful as I remembered it. In fact, it may be the only scene where A+P both seem to actually halfway-enjoy the other’s company, despite the fact that Anakin insults Padmé’s career choices and appears to be pro-dictator–just say, kind of of a red flag there, Padmé. Still, the scene feels awfully contrived, especially on Portman’s part. Forced laughter, stereotypical girl running (you know the kind, where girls sort of flail/float because, ha, women knowing how to use their legs, and never mind the fact that last movie Padmé led the invasion to reclaim her occupied city–she’s just going to loosely wave her arms about as she lightly bounds over to her man.) I just can’t shake the feeling that Padmé acts considerably more immature and childish in this movie than she did when she was fourteen, which annoys me.
And then there’s the bondage scene.
Oh, okay, there’s no bondage, just a seemingly OOC wardrobe choice. There is, however, some of the worst dialogue in this whole movie . . . and there is a lot of bad dialogue to choose from. For your consideration:
Anakin: “From the moment I met you, all those years ago, not a day has gone by when I haven’t thought of you. And now that I’m with you again . . . I’m in agony. The closer I get to you, the worse it gets. The thought of not being with you–I can’t breathe. I’m haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me. My heart is beating, hoping that kiss will not become a scar. You are in my very soul, tormenting me . . . what can I do? I will do anything you ask.”
Ugh. The writing is just awful, so I doubt that any actor could have made it work. But Christensen’s delivery is especially terrible, and for Christ’s sake, agony, torment? Maybe not the healthiest adjectives for a relationship that hasn’t even gone past first base. And men blaming women for how attractive they are is pretty much always going to get a big thumbs down from me, like, grow up, you big, testosterone-filled baby. Take some goddamn responsibility for yourself.
Plus, how much time has actually supposed to have passed since the beginning of the movie? It’s hard to guess, but it doesn’t seem like very long; after all, their story is running concurrently with Obi-Wan’s, and it’s hard to imagine his investigation has lasted much more than a week, right? Maybe less? It largely depends how long it takes to travel to Kamino. In other SF stories, space travel takes a considerably long time, but I’ve never gotten that impression from Star Wars, and from watching this movie, I’d say two weeks seems like the absolute max. (And my guess would still be considerably shorter.)
Padmé insists that they live in the real world and can’t get together, arguing that they’d have to throw their whole futures away, which . . . yeah, that’s a serious consideration. She abruptly changes her mind near the end, though, and admittedly, they are about two minutes away from their own execution, which is the kind of thing that will cause you to consider your regrets and reevaluate your priorities. Still, the movie never bothers to show Padmé having a change of heart. We’re just suddenly here:
Anakin: “Don’t be afraid.”
Padmé: “I’m not afraid to die. I’ve been dying a little bit each day since you came back into my life.”
Anakin:”What are you talking about?”
Padmé: “I love you.”
Okay, I just threw up in my mouth a little. Besides, what does that even mean? I know that this is ultimately a tragic love story, but does it have to be so cloyingly tragic from the very beginning, too?
In the end, A+P secretly get married, and come on. Have they even kissed more than twice at this point? Shouldn’t dating be the next step here? Secret pen pals? Shouldn’t they have a few conversations that don’t involve sand or how much agony their love causes them? Maybe my new tag should be If This Is Love, I Don’t Want It. (Or is that already covered by Squicky Love Story? Hm, decisions, decisions.)
2. I don’t know that any actor could have saved Anakin–some of those lines are pretty terrible–but in retrospect, Hayden Christensen seems like an awfully bad casting choice.
To be fair, I’ve seen him in a couple of other things besides this (Life as a House, Higher Ground) and while it appears that his entire range as an actor is limited to angsty teenagers, I feel like he wasn’t nearly as terrible in other projects. (Higher Ground, in particular . . . I seem to remember him starting out kind of meh, but then getting better with time. But maybe I’m misremembering? Not even gonna lie: I’m mostly watched that show for Goth Kaylee. But it had some pretty decent moments, not to mention Dualla from BSG and JJ from Criminal Minds.)
This, though. This is just bad. The only scene that I buy Christensen at all is the one where his mom dies in his arms (before she can finish saying, “I love you,” natch), and he goes outside to murder, like, all the people. I totally buy the rage in his face, which is great. I also think it’s worth mentioning that he doesn’t talk in this part of the movie.
I don’t just say that to be an asshole. (Well, not entirely.) I’m bringing it up because I stop buying his rage the very second he starts talking about it. What was once fury and despair becomes incessant whining, and I get it; Anakin is supposed to be a little whiny. He’s supposed to be this cocky, emo teenager who’s being manipulated by Palpatine into slowly embracing the Dark Side . . . but that doesn’t make him any less excruciating to watch. Anakin is flat as hell, and seeing a relatively cute, too-innocent kid suddenly turn into a petulant pain in the ass whose favorite hobbies are uncomfortable leering and occasionally dabbling in mass murder is jarring. Of course, I understand that ten years have passed, but that’s the problem with time jumps. If you don’t go back at some point and effectively bridge the gap, you have significant problems.
Also, just going to throw this out there: while Anakin’s rage after finding his dead mother is understandable, Padmé’s response to the violent deaths of men, women, and children? A little less so. Because while it’s true that feeling anger is, indeed, part of being human, the appropriate response to ‘I killed kids’ really shouldn’t be ‘well, people get angry and make mistakes.’
3. And I see the Jedi are continuing their reign as total incompetent assholes.
It’s not just the whole “the Dark Side is clouding our vision” thing, although that definitely feels more like a plot convenience than a plot development, like the writers were like, “Oh shit, maybe we should explain why all these wise, powerful Jedi dudes who know the secrets of the universe have somehow failed to sense that the most evil motherfucker in the galaxy is currently the leader of the Republic and is conning the shit out of everyone.” No, it’s their continued establishmentarianism bullshit that is the source of both my interest and vexation. Case in point: in the beginning of the film, Padmé tells the Jedi Masters that she thinks Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) is behind the assassination attempt on her life. This doesn’t mean much to most of us, since we have no real idea who Count Dooku is– other than a brief mention in this movie’s opening scroll–but Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) immediately discounts her theory:
And I’m like, um, that’s awfully elitist of you, you smug, dismissive bastard. Seriously, that kind of reasoning? That’s the kind of shit you see in old Hercule Poirot or Dorothy Sayer mysteries, when the detective proposes that a rich guy could be the killer, and someone’s immediately like, “A noble? Murdering someone? Pish tosh, sir! Gentlemen don’t do that sort of thing. It must have been a poor person.”
When I think of the original Star Wars movies, I always imagined that the Jedi Order were these wise, benevolent, badass monk-soldiers who were betrayed by one of their own and tragically wiped out. (Okay, mostly wiped out.) But the Jedi I’ve seen thus far in the prequels have mostly struck me as aristocratic, not particularly compassionate, often downright rude, and wholly convinced that they know what’s best. Basically, they’re dicks–well-intentioned, yes, but definitely dicks–which might be a little more interesting if I thought it was intentional, but that’s not usually the impression I get. We’ll have to see if I change my mind when I get around to watching Revenge of the Sith, but as is, I remain unconvinced by the Light or Dark Side of the Force. I’m still waiting for my Morally Gray Side to appear. I suspect we’ll have patterned lightsabers. Like, checkered. Yeah, I want a black and white checkered lightsaber. I’ll call it Skippy.
4. Shall we discuss the good things about Attack of the Clones?
Well, unfortunately, I don’t think there are all that many of them. However, I definitely think the movie is at its most entertaining when it’s focused on Detective Obi-Wan and the Mystery of the Missing Planet. After all, mysteries are just sort of engaging by their very nature, especially ones that involve secret conspiracies and bounty hunters and clone armies and planets that have vanished without a trace. But a few things worth mentioning:
4A. Obi-Wan isn’t the most intuitive detective. After discovering that the Jedi Archives have no record of a planet that ought to exist (and after accidentally insulting the archivist by suggesting someone there made a mistake), Obi-Wan has to go to Yoda and the Jedi Kids to get the obvious solution: someone deleted the records on purpose, and he needs to fly his ass out to where the planet’s supposed to be and see for himself.
Like, come on, dude. This isn’t that difficult. Occam’s razor this shit, and let’s go.
4B. Obi-Wan also isn’t the best actor in the world. He’s not exactly smooth when the Kaminoans assume he’s the Jedi they’ve been waiting for, and he’s basically all like, “Uh, yes. Yes, that’s me. By the way, would you mind answering these questions that I should obviously know if my master commissioned this order in the first place?” This isn’t an actual complaint, mind you. Actually, I find Obi-Wan’s poor acting skills kind of charming. But the dudes on Kamino must be the most gullible and unobservant people alive.
4C. Secret clone armies are obviously the best, but I find that I’m still deeply underwhelmed by the revelation that Jango Fett was the original clone template, all so we could provide a backstory for one of the most overrated character of all time. Which, I tell myself, isn’t fair. Fandom obviously plays a part in Boba Fett’s popularity, and I am certainly not immune to fandom, nor would I want to be. Inception, for instance: I always enjoyed the movie, but I didn’t become passionately excited about it and all its possibilities until I really got into reading Inception fanfiction. In fact, this is true of The Force Awakens, too, especially when it comes to Poe. I liked Poe pretty much immediately, but the guy’s got, what, eight minutes of screentime? And yet somehow–through the power of fanfiction–he may have become my favorite character in the whole movie. And that’s interesting; I love how fandom can make you reevaluate or reinterpret a story on multiple viewings, how much more you can delve into something that you merely enjoyed before.
So I know it, and I get it, or I should get it, and yet . . . I just can’t get past how worthless Boba’s character is. All I want to do now is make a list of all the fictional bounty hunters who are way more awesome than Boba Fett; instead, I will continue writing this review because it’d be cool to someday finish it, preferably before the 10,000 word mark.
5. Let’s see, what else works about this movie?
I kind of enjoy the flying car chase at the beginning. The city sorta reminds me of The Fifth Element. There are some great costumes and hairdos. Like for some reason, I’m just all about this updo:
And the fight scenes are okay. The colosseum stuff is enjoyable enough, although you’d think Count Dooku, having been a former Jedi himself, might realize the best way to execute his once-brethren would be to bind them, blindfold them, and shoot them from a distance with poison darts, rather than send a few monsters that they can easily Force jump around.
The best fight scene, of course, is Yoda vs Dooku.
I was 16 when Attack of the Clones came out, and I didn’t like it anymore then than I do now. (Pretty much for the same reasons: I thought the action stuff and the clones were cool, but so thoroughly despised Anakin and Padmé’s relationship that I lost all desire to watch the next movie.) However, I do remember watching Yoda flip around like a baby green ninja and thinking, That’s awesome. It may very well be the one moment in this movie that feels truly iconic to me, when you realize that holy shit, that little muppet can actually kick ass!
6. As far as Dooku is concerned, er. His motivations are not entirely clear to me?
The internet assures me that this is normal, although I’ll freely tell you all that I was fully prepared to blame the alcohol for being slow on the uptake. At first, I just figured Dooku was the Emperor’s current right hand, not unlike Darth Maul in the last movie or Darth Vader in future movies–only with way less screen time. (Actually, Darth Maul doesn’t have a whole lot of screen time himself, but somehow feels like a much bigger presence, perhaps because because it doesn’t take him an hour and a half to appear. Dooku, on the other, feels out of balance with the rest of the film and we’re given just enough background to make him feel incomplete rather than mysterious. So despite the late Christopher Lee and his truly magnificent voice, I don’t have anywhere near as much love for Dooku that I have for Darth Maul.)
Anyway, here I am, thinking Dooku is your typical goatee-stroking baddie, until he starts talking to Obi-Wan about how the Dark Lord of the Sith are controlling the Republic, and Mekaela and I are looking at each other, like, “Uh, if he really is working with Palpatine, this seems like a spectacularly dumb play.” And I was super intrigued, actually, because I was much more interested in the idea that Dooku was a bad guy working against Palpatine, that he’d raised his droid army to fight against the clones and the Dark Side, even though he’d clearly gone a little Dark Side himself in the attempt. Those who gaze into the abyss, and all that. It’s cool because it’s surprising: you don’t really see a ton of ambiguity like that in the Star Wars universe, at least not with Force users.
As to why Dooku would want to crush Palpatine, well, that’s interesting. The movie never really bothers to give much explanation for why Dooku quit being a Jedi (which–you can just stop? Rip up your time card and say, “Peace out, bitches, I’m done?”) or why he and his people wanted to secede from the Republic in the first place. The internet, on the other hand, tells me that he was disillusioned after the death of his once-padawan, Qui-Gon Jinn, and sought bloody revenge. Which is . . . interesting, and a little funny, if only because everybody kept turning out to be somebody else’s apprentice. Take a sip!
But then at the end, we see Christopher Lee talking with the Emperor (who, of course, is the dude who hired the dude who murdered Qui-Gon), and they’ve clearly been in cahoots this whole time. So then I thought, “Well, maybe Dooku doesn’t know that the Emperor is also Palpatine, and has been duped into working for his enemy?” But Dooku seems like he’s a little smarter than that; I mean, he’d kind of have to be, right? And the Emperor addresses Dooku as Darth Tyrannous (a name I’m simply incapable of taking seriously, because I know I’m supposed to hear ‘tyrannical’ but all I actually hear is ‘tyrannosaurus,’ and now have no other choice but to refer to Dooku as Darth Rex for the rest of this review). And since a dude named Tyrannous ordered the clones (or, at least, according to Jango Fett–I’ll admit to still being unsure where the hell Sifo-Dyas fits into this), I have to assume that Darth Rex is the man who deleted Kamino from the Jedi Archives and ordered both the drone and clone armies, putting him pretty squarely on the side of Non-Ambiguous Evil. Which I find much less interesting and makes his whole scene with Obi-Wan pretty dumb. Perhaps Revenge of the Sith will clear up some of this for me, but I’m not exactly holding my breath here.
7. Muddled as he is, Darth Rex isn’t terrible . . . but he’s still no Darth Maul. In a way, that’s also how I feel about Natalie Portman’s character: Padmé isn’t the worst, but she’s no Queen Amidala, either.
Like, Padmé’s fine–when she’s not comparing romantic feels to slow death or quickly absolving Anakin for child murder, that is. I do enjoy little moments with her. When she shuts Ani down, for instance, or when she frees herself from her chains. When she decides that she’s not going to hide out while Obi-Wan’s been kidnapped; rather, she’s going to go rescue him, and Anakin will just have to come along if he wants to protect her. But of course so much of her storyline in this movie is about her BS romantic feels, and anyway, I just feel that Amidala was so much more fascinating. I miss the commanding, regal teenage queen I fell in love with, and honestly, I wish she never became a senator in the first place. (I get why she has to for the plot and all. I just don’t find Senator Padmé Amidala as dynamic or iconic of a character.)
8. I have to say, the whole idea of a queen with term limits seems very strange to me. Maybe that’s an actual thing and I just don’t know about it? My initial instinct was to wonder who the hell would elect a random child to be queen anyway, although Star Wars Wikia informs me that queens are elected from royal houses, which I feel makes at least a little more sense. Apparently, teenage rulers are just super common on Naboo, which I find fascinating and wish was discussed more in the movie. Alien monarchies, you guys. It’s interesting stuff! (I acknowledge I may be alone in thinking it’s interesting stuff.)
Related: while it’s cool to see Rose Byrne for a hot second, I also miss Keira Knightley because, damn it, the AWESOME UNTOLD ADVENTURES OF AMIDALA AND SABÉ. There was so much potential here. (I am happy, though, that the decoy who bites it in the beginning isn’t Sabé, just because I’m so invested in the fanfiction I have running in my head. Poor random decoy. She’s all like “I’ve failed you” while she lies dying in Padmé’s arms, and I’m like, “Sweetheart, that makes absolutely zero sense. You just took a bomb blast for Padmé; you are literally doing exactly what they hired you for. You have failed no one, poor thing.”
9. Here are some random notes that don’t quite fit in anywhere:
9A. I keep trying to decide if this movie is intrinsically better or worse than The Phantom Menace. On one hand, there’s no one section that drags out as long as Tatooine. And mercifully, Attack of the Clones doesn’t have a terrible comic relief, i.e., Jar Jar. (Although I see they’ve set up Jar Jar to be the reason the Republic falls, which feels a little bit mean spirited, like the political equivalent of having someone drop a piano on your character’s head.)
On the other hand, this movie is still way too long (there’s absolutely no reason it needs to be over two hours), and I actually find A+P’s romance even more excruciating than anything Jar Jar ever did. Plus, I miss Amidala. And Darth Maul. And there’s no new song anywhere near as cool as “Duel of the Fates.” (Though I did appreciate the little snippet we got on Tatooine.) I feel like the plot of this movie starts better, but am frustrated by how little information we get and how muddled certain things feel by the end.
Ultimately, I think this one was a quicker watch, but with surprisingly less to recommend.
9B. This reminds me, though . . . Padmé, you left your senatorial responsibilities to Jar-Jar? Jar-Jar? WTF, lady?
9C. There is actually a minor character in this movie named Elan Sleazebaggano. He isn’t named in the film itself, but apparently, that’s what he’s called. I assume his parents hoped he would grow up to be a drug dealer, with a name that literally has ‘sleaze’ in it, and if so, they were very proud, at least until he ran into Obi-Wan. (I like to think our Jedi hero was like, “Go home and rethink your life,” and Elan was like, “I’m going to go home to rethink my life . . . man, I want to be a serial killer! That would be awesome!”
I’m saying, if someone would like to write me this fanfiction, I would read it. (Although I’d still rather read the awesome adventures of Amidala and Sabé.)
9D. Speaking of pretty small parts, I enjoyed the lady assassin!
She wasn’t around for long, but she was fun. Also, there were a couple of super briefly glimpsed lady Jedi too! I had forgotten this, and I was happy to see them.
9E. When Anakin finds his mother, he’s like, “I wasn’t strong enough to save you.” And I’m like, “No, you just weren’t on time. Haven’t you been having these nightmares for a month? Couldn’t you have come to check on Shmi a mite sooner? I mean, sure, Obi-Wan probably wouldn’t have let you, but please, let’s not pretend you would have given a damn what Obi-Wan said. You would have snuck out like the defiant little shit you are.”
I get that Anakin’s not supposed to initially realize why he’s having these dreams, but then, what makes him suddenly figure it out? The timing seems a little convenient. I feel like this whole movie might have been a bit better if Anakin wasn’t so damn whiny and morose from the get-go, if you could see he was still struggling with his emotions, but was a relatively decent, upbeat kid–until he failed to save his mother, and then things start going downhill in a hurry. Of course, that still puts Shmi squarely in a refrigerator, but I think it would have made the transition from Innocent Child Anakin to Skeevy Homicidal Anakin a bit less jarring. Not to mention, while Anakin has an immediate and terrible reaction to his mom’s death, once Padmé forgives him, everyone basically forgets about Shmi and the whole subplot for the rest of the movie. Which is kind of lame.
You deserved better, Shmi.
9F. Mace, who I’m increasingly taking issue with in this movie despite his awesome purple lightsaber, says that Jedi are not soldiers but “keepers of the peace.” And all I’m saying is, for just “keepers of the peace,” the Jedi are sure decent at killing folk. I mean, seriously. Mace decapitates a dude! Not soldiers, my ass.
9G. While I’m on the subject of violence, Anakin gets his arm chopped off! Woo hoo! It really is a Star Wars movie, after all!
I’m not gonna lie: if no one loses their arm in Episode VIII, I’m going to be a little disappointed. I don’t think it should be Finn, either; poor boy already got his back all sliced up. Let the man rest, you know what I’m saying? I’m thinking Poe or Rey, and while I’m leaning towards Poe, that’s probably just because I like boys in pain. Don’t judge me. (Rey would be okay, too. It’s just that several years of fanfiction have taught me that I prefer my men emotionally traumatized and my women competent as fuck. Though obviously there’s no reason you couldn’t have a chopped off arm and still be competent as fuck. In fact, that’s the best. I just have a weird thing for fictional emotional trauma.)
9H. I kind of forgot to mention the part where you hear Qui-Gon Jinn’s voice briefly yelling, “Anakin!” while he’s slaughtering the people who killed his mom, probably because I’m not entirely sure what to do with it. Can I assume that this is supposed to be QGJ’s Force Ghost? On one hand, I guess it’s sort of nice he has one; I had kinda assumed he’d done something to piss off the Jedi Council, so he wasn’t allowed in Ghost Club. On the other hand, with no one acknowledging it in any way, shape, or form, it feels a little . . . odd. Is it too much to hope that QGJ will appear in some form in Revenge of the Sith?
9I. Finally, Palpatine remains awesome.
There’s so much malicious smirk hiding in his line delivers. He is a magnificent bastard, and I adore him desperately.
Before I wrap up, here are a few horrible quotes I would like to discuss further:
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
I know, I get it. It’s the LINE. And I like the line. You can’t have a Star Wars movie without someone saying it; it’s even more important than arms being cut off or people falling from ridiculously high places. Still, the thing about the line is that it’s all a matter of timing. You say, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” when you hear the ominous sound of something growling offscreen. You don’t say the line when three giant monsters have already been visibly released into the gladiator pit you’re currently chained up in. I desperately wish either Padmé or Obi-Wan had turned to Anakin and said, “No shit, Ani. Why don’t you go back to talking about sand, you little jerk?”
“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth.”
I know, I already mentioned this one earlier. But I didn’t actually quote it, and it’s bad enough that it deserves its own specific sub-note. Cause, look, sand can get annoying, sure. It definitely gets romanticized sometimes, and let’s be real here: sex on the beach sounds pretty awful, right, whether you’re into sex in the first place or not. There are definitely places you don’t want sand to go. But this is not a great pickup line, and the delivery of it is so skeevy, I tried to melt back into my crappy couch and hide from it.
“I’d rather dream of Padmé. Just being around her again is . . . intoxicating.”
Ew. Again, the delivery is gross, and dude, you were just talking about your mom. Transition better.
“Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi’s life. So you might say that we are encouraged to love.”
Okay, that isn’t horrible, but I’d call it an extremely optimistic interpretation of the text. I’d be interested to come across it again in a Star Wars story where the Jedi actually did strike me as compassionate and the guy speaking wasn’t using the line as a come-on almost as bad as the one about sand.
ACTUAL GOOD QUOTES:
Elan Sleazebaggano: “You wanna buy some death sticks?”
Obi-Wan: “You don’t want to sell me death sticks.”
Elan Sleazebaggano: “I don’t want to sell you death sticks.”
Obi-Wan: “You want to go home and rethink your life.”
Elan Sleazebaggano: “I want to go home and rethink my life.”
Yoda: “Lost a planet, Master Obi-Wan has. How embarrassing.”
Obi-Wan: “I was beginning to wonder if you got my message.”
Anakin: “I retransmitted it to Coruscant, just as you requested, Master. Then we decided to come rescue you.”
Obi-Wan (looking at his handcuffs): “Good job.”
Yeah, not good. I like the idea of the plot: half a mystery, half a love story. But the mystery isn’t complex or entertaining enough to make up for the fact that the love story is one of the most unconvincing ones I’ve ever seen. The script and acting are generally weak, and while I like moments here and there, overall, it’s an okay story with pretty lousy execution.
Ewan McGregor, probably. But a special shout out to Ian McDiarmid, too.
Hm. Evil will always triumph because good is dumb? I mean, I know that’s not true eventually because of Episodes IV, V, and VI, but it feels fitting here with Anakin the Whine Monster, Yoda’s Mostly Incompetent Band of Jedis, and Padmé and her decision to leave Naboo in Jar Jar’s capable hands.
Also, ladies: some men are husband material and some aren’t. Learn the difference. If your man is a pro-dictator, anti-sand guy who slaughters whole families when he’s really unhappy? Snatch that man up and get him to put a ring on it.