Star Wars: Episode III, Part III
Welcome back to Episode III, my friends! Last time, on Anakin Skywalker Breaks the Universe and We All End Up Paying For It For The Next Two Generations of Skywalkers At a Minimum, The Team handsomely lavished praise on each other, Anakin found out that he was going to need to look into the Republic’s paternity leave policy, Yoda and Anakin had an unproductive, poorly-lit conversation, and Palpatine tipped his hand ever-so-slightly/extremely obviously while on a date with Anakin at the opera.
Today’s installment once again packs a ton of developments into a 20-minute segment (this recap covers approximately minutes 48 – 68 of this film): my favorite Jedi power couple has their final kiss-and-fly, Anakin — ANAKIN! — is the first person to discover a Terrible Secret that was totally super-well-hidden and it’s NOT embarrassing that it took this long to figure it out, or that ANAKIN of all people is the one who does it, and Obi-Wan shows Grievous the door on Utapau (and pretty much looks like he’s modeling this year’s Jedi tunic fashions while doing it.)
Recurring Theme: Let’s Send Kenobi
Yoda, live from Kashyyk, jumps onto a holo-Skype with the Council. There, he gets the news, via Anakin, that they know where Grievous is hiding. And to the surprise of exactly zero people, Anakin notes that the Chancellor wants him, specifically, to lead the campaign to take Grievous down.
Mace. Windu’s. Face. I love how things haven’t even totally unraveled yet and this guy is like 1500% done with everything going on. I don’t blame him. Enough years of putting up with the collective bullshit of everyone in this room alone and I’d be making that exact same face.
Eventually they all agree that they can’t afford to send more than one Jedi, and Anakin’s too green, so they all decide to send Obi-Wan (surprise!) Obi-Wan receives this news while lounging like he’s posing for the Jedi Hot Guy Calendar that they’re planning to sell as a fundraiser. JFC.
Anakin Skywalker, Real Housewife of the Jedi Order
Anakin makes a predictably pouty/introspective face about this, because OMG why don’t they see I’m the best????…
…and I would like to mention that, in the original script, Anakin makes a totally bitchy dig at Obi-Wan during this part. Hang on, let me go find it — ah, here we go:
Yoda: A Master is needed, with more experience.
Mace: Given our resources, I recommend we send only one Jedi…Master Kenobi.
Anakin: He was not so successful the last time he met Grievous.
[Obi-Wan throws Anakin a dirty look.]
Anakin: [continuing] No offense, my Master, but I’m only stating a fact.
This right here? With the totally insincere “no offense, but” and everything? Is like, trending towards Bravo-reality-show-grade bitchery. I love it. They should have set this scene at a trendy restaurant with a lot of white wine and Anakin could have flipped the table over and called Obi-Wan “fake” or commented on his constant flirting or something. (“No offense, but you hit on everything with a pulse. Everyone talks about what a slut you are behind your back.” “You’re just jealous? Because everyone thinks you’re a psycho???? And I have better hair than you do anyways, so –” “TAKE IT BACK, BITCH.”)
A dramatic Housewives-style Jedi reality show. This is something I would pay money to watch.
(I would also like to note that the script concludes this scene with “Anakin is angry.” George, you didn’t need to include this. That’s like writing “Anakin continues to inhale and exhale” into the script.)
Coming To The End, We Are
Yoda hangs up on his annoying, burdensome family and gets back to the tasks at hand on Kashyyk. Yoda and the Wookies (which sounds like a parody band that plays nerd conventions) are diving into battle alongside the clones. We see a large-scale battle ensue:
See You In Another Life, Brother
The scene that follows as Anakin sees Obi-Wan off is…oh, it’s just sad. I tried to think of a better word, but there isn’t one.
Here, despite the fact that you’d assume (especially after what happened the last time the council pissed him off,) that Anakin would have immediately launched into a giant foot-stomping snit about how they shouldn’t be sending Obi-Wan to kill Grievous instead of him, he instead rather calmly says that he thinks his buddy could use some backup on this one, and it’s too bad he can’t go with him.
Obi-Wan genially agrees, but says that the whole thing may just end up being a “wild bantha chase”, which: OK, George. LOL.
Then out of the clear blue sky Anakin starts in on this sort of…weird monologue about how sorry he is for not listening to Obi-Wan more, sorry that he wasn’t more appreciative of him, sorry that he’s been arrogant, sorry that he hasn’t been more patient. Like, it’s very sweet, but since it comes out of nowhere, at a time when you’d completely expect him to be furious, it almost comes off as alarming.
Obi-Wan is just genuinely touched by this, which is pretty much the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever seen. He warmly tells Anakin that he is strong and wise, he’s watched him grow up and he’s proud of him, that he’s taught him everything he can, that he is or will be everything Obi-Wan is and more. And then I die, because why is this movie doing this to me.
We already know Anakin’s been letting Palpatine’s poisonous words rattle around in his head for a while. By this point, especially with what just happened in the council room, you sort of get this vibe that he’s all but made up his mind that he’s going to change something. Something’s going to be different soon.
I don’t even know if he consciously realizes it yet, and certainly it flies right over Obi-Wan’s head, but this conversation is him saying goodbye to Obi-Wan for now, and as it turns out it’s Anakin saying goodbye to Obi-Wan forever, too. It is probably the kindest and most brotherly conversation these two have ever had that we’ve seen. And, as it turns out, it is the last conversation they’ll ever have.
So on that happy note, Anakin first looks humbled by Obi-Wan’s kind words:
…and then the two say their farewells, exchange some force-be-with-yous, and part ways with smiles.
OK, movie: was it really necessary for Anakin to look this completely enamored with Obi-Wan here? Hmm? WAS IT?! Ahem. Anakin’s smile, however, fades to a brooding glare as soon as Obi-Wan is out of sight — but not before he makes this face at Obi-Wan’s retreating figure, and really: I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do with this. No idea.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Talks To a Friend Who’s Going To Try and Murder Him Later
As if making us watch Obi-Wan say goodbye to Anakin wasn’t bad enough, the very next scene finds Obi-Wan prepping for his departure to Utapau, giving some details to Commander Cody.
Cody, apparently having Googled “what is the saddest thing I could say to Obi-Wan here?” has a bit of back and forth with him that culminates in Cody asking Obi-Wan, “When have I ever let you down?” Obi-Wan smiles, and promises that he won’t take out all the battle droids before Cody and the crew arrive. Well. I’m perfectly OK with everything that’s happening right now.
Working Hard or Hardly Working
We now cut to Anakin’s blurry vision of Padme’s death, which sort of looks like it’s gone through one of those spin-art toys from the 80s, and this time the vision is…altered, slightly. Now, she’s still crying and suffering, but she’s holding Obi-Wan’s hand as she does.
I am very tempted to make some kind of crass joke about how surely this isn’t the first, uh, vision Anakin’s ever had that involved Padme and Obi-Wan, but that would be super juvenile, wouldn’t it? And we all know I keep these recaps as highbrow as I can. (Ahem.)
Anakin snaps out of it and we see him sitting on Padme’s couch. In the script, it says Anakin is “working”, and in the movie he appears to be playing a PSP or something.
So, Anakin’s definition of “working from home” is about what I’d expect it to be. Also, I’m dying that Padme has this hot boy toy husband who looks like he’s just hanging out on her couch during the day playing video games while she’s at work. See? It would have been so easy for them to transition to “powerful political wife/trophy husband who she trots out at charity luncheons.” If only. Sigh.
What Kind of Jedi Am I?
Anakin is like “Obi-Wan was here wasn’t he I can totally smell his cologne OMG you guys probably had sex right here on this couch and you didn’t even invite me” and Padme is like “yeah Obi-Wan was here, so what? He said he was worried about you and that you’re super stressed out and even more annoying than usual.”
They take this conversation into the other room and Anakin, despondently, laments that he feels “lost”.
Padme asks him what he means, and he tells her that the Council doesn’t trust him just because he’s been having temper tantrums in their conference room, allying himself with a wicked old man, and he stole all those pens from the supply closet in the break room that one time.
Padme counters: they trust you with their lives! You handsome idiot, you’re like…the Jedi poster boy! Get over yourself.
He also, somewhat forebodingly, tells her that “something’s happening” and that he’s “not the Jedi he should be” — he wants something more, like…I dunno, a cape that’s permanently attached to his body or an extra foot of height or whatever.
Anakin throws out there that he’s found a way to save her from his nightmares, and she brushes it off again: Anakin, FFS, I’m not going to die in childbirth — I promise. And he confirms: no, I promise you. DUN DUN DUUUUUN!
Recurring Theme: Someone’s Happy to See Obi-Wan
Obi-Wan arrives at his destination now, and is welcomed upon landing by Tion Medon, a local administrator on Utapau.
Medon initially pretends there’s NO WAR HERE NOTHING TO SEE and then, once he learns why Obi-Wan’s here and who he’s looking for, spills the beans: Grievous is here! Right now! And he’s got a LOT of battle droids with him! Obi-Wan tells him to tell his people to take shelter, and send out any warriors they have: let’s do this. They bow to each other and it’s cute:
Obi-Wan sends his ship back without him, and tells his astromech to tell Cody that it’s party time. His ship departs, and Obi-Wan hoods up and skulks around like some sort of undercover monk.
Recurring Theme: Going To Mustafar Sounds Well-Advised
Obi-Wan gets himself a ride in the form of Boga…
…and as he heads off to find Grievous, we cut to the man himself conducting a Separatist meeting. I love their open-air conference room here, and that their seats are arranged classroom-style so that Grievous has plenty of room to gesture wildly, which is exactly what he’s doing here.
He lays out the latest: the Republic’s going to find them here soon enough, so he’s sending the rest of them to the Mustafar system — home of broken hearts, missing limbs, a facility to hold kidnapped children, and my Christmas 2016 gift from Lucasfilm, Darth Vader’s Incredible Castle of Dramatic Bullshit — among other things. He caps this off with, verbatim: “It is a volcanic planet. You will be safe there.” Oh sure, I’d feel super safe if someone framed it up for me like that. Seems legit!
Meanwhile, Obi-Wan creeps in the background, stroking his Beard of Contemplation:
Recurring Theme: Oh My God The People In These Movies
Grievous shoos the rest of the Separatists outta there, and Kenobi takes this as his cue to jump down from the ceiling and announce himself: Hello There!
Grievous is like “oh hey, it’s this guy again. Time to die, Obes!” Obi-Wan makes short work of a handful of droids, and the Swagger involved in this sequence is not something I can convey to you with words and pictures. It must be experienced. Let’s just say it is in full effect here.
George Lucas, knowing the key to my heart, then has Grievous say the following line: “I will deal with this Jedi slime myself!” as he prepares to square off. Oh, God bless this script. Between the Drama and the Hilarious Villainy, John Williams practically ought to have scored this thing with one of those dramatic organs they used to use for the soundtrack to old soap operas.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi Hates His Job, But Ewan McGregor Loves His
Obi-Wan tosses back that it’s Grievous’ move, and Grievous responds by STRIPPING OFF HIS CAPE, and unleashing his extra arms:
Obi-Wan gets totally into this and you know what? I’m gonna blame this one on Ewan, because this guy looks like it is taking all of his willpower to not be like YEEEEAAAAAHHH I GET TO BE A JEDI AND THEY PAY ME FOR IT YOU GUYSSSSSS. He is like, visibly having WAY too much fun here. They dive in:
Eventually a bunch of blaster shots ring out, and the 212th arrives to help kick some ass (AND BREAK MY HEART LATER):
Obi-Wan and Grievous continue their fight…
…and after a while Grievous tries to make a getaway on his wheel bike, with Obi-Wan, riding Boga, hot on his heels. As Obi-Wan goes riding off, he drops his lightsaber (gasp! That weapon is your LIFE, young man!) and Cody happens to grab it because this show hates me.
Too Little, Too Late
Cody is now holo-Skyping with Mace Windu, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Yoda, Aayla Secura and Anakin and lets the gang know that Obi-Wan’s engaged Grievous. They thank him for the update, and Mace instructs Anakin to go tell Palpatine the news: his reaction will help them read the situation.
Anakin, darkly, agrees and leaves without further comment and Mace watches him with not-even-thinly-veiled suspicion. As soon as he’s gone, he announces that he senses a plot to destroy the Jedi. He elaborates that Palpatine reeks of Eau du Dark Side.Well that would have been handy information to have…15 years ago, when you guys could have still done something about it.
Ki-Adi-Mundi says that once Obi-Wan’s done kicking Grievous’ ass, if Palpatine STILL won’t give up all his extra legislative powers, he should be removed from office. Yoda, making that sad “I already know we are so completely fucked” face that he makes through most of TCW, says they need to proceed with caution.
Recurring Theme: No Really, No One Loves You As Much As Your Wicked Uncle Palpatine
Anakin arrives in Palpatine’s office, where he appears to be looking at some kind of dashboard report. Anakin tells him that Obi-Wan’s gotten to Grievous and is fighting him right now. Palpatine, turning around, says he just hopes Obi-Wan’s up to the challenge, and I have to ask: what the hell kind of console is he sitting at? What room is this? Is that supposed to be like, his work computer? WHY ARE THERE SO MANY BUTTONS? Is his office also a spaceship?
Anakin, looking like he’s going to cry, says he should be there with Obi-Wan. Aww.
In response, Palpatine, who is all but pouting and saying “OH, YOU POOR BABY“, asks Anakin if he doesn’t wonder WHY they won’t make him a Jedi Master.
Anakin looks like a complete brat as he complains that he “wishes he knew”, and that “more and more he gets the feeling that they’re excluding him” and CRAM IT, ANAKIN. Obi-Wan? Was a PADAWAN WHEN HE WAS YOUR AGE. YOU’RE ON THE COUNCIL. YOU’VE ONLY BEEN ON THE COUNCIL FOR LIKE 2 DAYS. “Excluding” you. Pfft. Yes, I bet they all totally went out to lunch one day without you. They tried to blame the fact that you never got the invite on an “email issue”, but you knew they were lying. WHATEVER, SKYWALKER. I have no time for this nonsense.
Recurring Theme: Everyone Loves Me But Not Enough
Anakin keeps bitching: I KNOW they totally know how to save pregnant Senators from dying and shoot Force-Lightning and the perfect recipe for guilt-free cheesecake but they just won’t TELL ME and I bet they’re all hanging out together behind my back, raising the dead and having game nights and WHY, UNCLE PALPY? WHY? When will someone please think of poor Anakin?
Ian, as Palpatine, is amazing here and gives him this face of utter sincere sympathy, as he flatly tells Anakin that they don’t trust him, clearly.
The Victory of Darth Sidious the Smug
So then these two head down Palpatine’s ostentatious hallway, which I adore, and Palpatine is like “they’re just freaked out because they know what a badass you’re gonna be. Don’t listen to them! Let me…illuminate the Force for you.”
And Anakin. LOL. OK, Anakin is basically like “huh, you know about the Force? That’s weird…” in like THE MOST UNDERWHELMED WAY EVER.
Annnnyway, Palpatine is like “oh yes, my MENTOR — HINT HINT — taught me everything…even about that whole Dark Side thing,” and ONCE AGAIN: ANAKIN. OMFG. His reaction is “You know the Dark Side?” ANAKIN FOR GOD’S SAKE THE MAN IS A SITH LORD. HE COULD NOT BE MAKING THIS CLEARER. *hurls a shoe at his head*
Palpatine busts out yet another of his best lines ever and tells Anakin that if one is to “understand the great mystery”, they need to know about everything — not JUST the dorky bullshit about chastity and doing good deeds and saving poor orphans that the stupid Jedi are into. You also need to know about bitchin’ stuff like stewing in your own angst in a bacta tank while the universe goes to shit around you, and cackling evilly, and wearing a lot of black!
Anakin just keeps making this face that is part “uh oh”, part “I am so confused because I’m Anakin”, and part “this sounds fucking sweet” as he and Palpatine circle each other.
Finally, Palps sticks the landing of this crazy ramble with this: only through working with meeeeee can you learn what you need to know to save YOUR WIFE from CERTAIN DEATH. And ohhhhhh boy, is this guy having a good time with this:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Slow On The Uptake
Anakin is stunned: WHAT ABOUT WHAT? What did you say?! Palpatine expands: use my knowledge; I beg you! It’ll be sweet! I’ve already thought up a sweet Sith name for you and I’ve got an appointment with a tailor for your cape and EVERYTHING COME ON JUST DO IT YOU KNOW YOU WANNNNNNAAAAAA.
Anakin, killing me, ignites his lightsaber and ONLY JUST NOW is like “…you’re the Sith Lord!” OH MY GOD, ANAKIN. This is like that episode of Rebels where everyone finally figures out that the Republic and the Separatists were getting played by the Emperor in the Clone Wars SEVENTEEN YEARS AFTER THE WAR ENDED.
I am completely dead at Anakin’s face. HE IS SO CONFUSED.
So then Palpatine asks Anakin if he’s gonna kill him, and Anakin says he’d like to, but doesn’t, while Sidious pretty much gets a Dark Side contact high from Anakin’s Rage Waves here:
Finally Anakin declares that he’s going to report Palpatine to the Jedi Council, and, I am not making this up, also that he “will soon discover the truth” about all of this and HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, oh man. That is rich. Oh Anakin. You slay me. Never give up hope, sweetheart.
Palpatine closes this out by mentioning one last time that he’s the only way Anakin can save his wife, before this scene ends.
Sometimes The Garbage Will Do
Back in Grievous v. Obi-Wan, things are getting rough for ol’ Obes Kenobes, who is getting tossed around pretty violently and getting his face smashed and whatnot. This man really donated his body as a punching bag so many times.
He manages to pull Grievous’ robo-rib-cage open, exposing what remains of his organic parts…
…before ending up hanging from a ledge. Then, just as it’s looking especially bad for him, he Force-grabs a blaster (so you KNOW he was desperate), takes aim, and blows the Droid General to smithereens:
Pulling himself back up with a unbelievable level of sass, particularly for someone who almost died 15 seconds ago, he struts away, disdainfully leaving the blaster behind and declaring it (of course) “uncivilized”.
That concludes today’s installment of I’m Not Crying About Star Wars, You Are. In our next edition, Anakin stares out a window and then makes his very worst choice yet, several of our closest friends are shown to the exit, and I wonder what we all did to deserve this pain. Sounds pleasant! I’ll see you then.