Star Wars, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones (Part II)
It’s time once again to visit Prequel-land (motto: “The Most Underappreciated Place On Nerd Earth”) and continue on our path down Obvious Foreshadowing Lane.
Last time we checked in with Team Handsome in this film, Anakin was making an idiot of himself in front of Padme, and Obi-Wan had spent most of the entire movie so far either frowning disappointedly at Anakin, leaning in suggestively at him, or looking like he didn’t fully understand why the Force was making him live through all of this. My favorite thing ever is when people try to tell me that these two were inconsistent throughout the saga. THEY ARE ALWAYS THE SAME IN EVERYTHING THEY ARE IN. Even in the Original Trilogy! Obi-Wan: sad, tired, kind of irritated that he can’t just be left in peace, enjoys being dramatic and wearing very long robes/capes. Anakin: a mess, concerned with Obi-Wan, angry, also enjoys being dramatic and wearing very long robes/capes. As they were, are, and ever shall be.
Ahem. I digress. At present, The Team has sauntered attractively into the Outlander, which I think was supposed to be kind of a sleazy underworld place but looks a lot like a themed nightclub you’d find on a Disney cruise ship. They’ve gone in here in search of Zam Wessel, a bounty hunter who, on Jango Fett’s orders, had just attempted to murder Padme with gigantic centipedes. (God, I just love summarizing these things into a couple sentences because it always sounds completely batshit crazy BECAUSE IT IS. BLESS THIS SERIES.)
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Has His Priorities In Order
The two survey the room and Obi-Wan asks Anakin if he sees the mysterious bounty hunter guy anywhere. Anakin clarifies that he thinks that the bounty hunter in question is a female, and a changeling.
I’m sorry but Kenobi’s face is already killing me. I know he’s supposed to look Very Serious here but he somehow STILL manages to look SUPER annoyed with life.
Obi-Wan advises Anakin to be “extra careful”, I guess because this means that the bounty hunter will potentially be harder to find. He then starts to walk away and Anakin is like Um, sir? Hello? I thought we were on a secret mission here? Like, together? to which Obi-Wan replies that he’s going to go get a drink. Yes, this is the kind of film where Obi-Wan Kenobi, Wise Wizard Vizier of the Rebellion, abandons his teenage charge so that he can go do shots at a bar on the Jedi Order’s dime. I love this movie, and also Obi-Wan.
Anakin’s face as Obi-Wan walks away cracks me up to no end, because he looks SO FORLORN. I’m not sure if this is because Anakin is a human suction cup and he can’t bear the idea of being away from Obi-Wan for 5 minutes even if Obi-Wan is literally going to be like 10 feet away, or if Anakin’s concerned because Obi-Wan is just always wandering off in the middle of a mission to go drink Jägerbombs, or if it’s some combination of the two, but either way, I’m laughing.
Anakin Skywalker, Menace to Society
Anakin struts off, Jedi Trainee Braid a-swingin’, and as he does George Lucas DELIGHTFULLY treats us to multiple bar patrons stopping mid-conversation to watch Anakin walk past. I feel like this is a good moment to mention that I recently spoke to Hayden Christensen in person, and I can confirm, Grizzled-Han-Solo-In-Episode-7-Style, that the Handsome is indeed True. All of it. So I suppose it’s not really laying it on too thick to have included this. Still. Bless you, George.
Speaking of Handsome, the Amazing Ginger Wolfman is over at the bar drinking what appears to be a shot comprised entirely of Blue Curacao, and he looks absolutely glorious. Good grief, I’m jealous of everyone in the bar this evening. He has the Famous “Death Sticks” exchange with the guy next to him, which I should point out got BIG laughs in the theater when I saw it. Everyone loves a Good Old Fashioned Kenobi Mind Trick.
Zam continues to make her way through the crowd, and as she does Anakin continues to stalk his way through as well — STILL with people going out of their way to obviously check him out. YES GEORGE WE KNOW THAT ANAKIN IS VERY HANDSOME OK STOP CALLING EVERYONE OUT LIKE THIS.
Recurring Theme: That One Piece of Obi-Wan’s Hair
Zam pulls out a gun and begins to take aim as Anakin somewhat obliviously stands around looking vaguely concerned, and that’s when Kenobi gets to partake in one of his very favorite things. No, not flirting with people or being sad…ah, yes! Lopping off part of somebody. LOOK AT HIS SWISHY SKIRT:
You know this dude means business, too, because that One Chunk of Hair is out and that always means he’s kicking ass (or, uh, getting his own ass kicked):
Recurring Theme: Separation of Arm and Owner
TO MY ENDLESS DELIGHT, as Obi-Wan helps Zam to her feet and starts to lead her out of the bar like she’s just had a few too many AND NOT THAT HE JUST SLICED PART OF HER BODY OFF WITH A SWORD, Anakin scolds the crowd that has started gawking that this is just “Jedi business” and that they should “go back to their drinks”. And the BEST PART is that here in Star Wars, THAT IS A THING THAT HAPPENS. Obi-Wan chops off someone’s limb in a bar and you can just smooth everything over by being like “OK OK nothing to see here, here’s a fiver for the mess.” WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS GALAXY.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Losing His Cool
Out in a back alley, the Boys try to figure out what Zam’s orders were and who they were from. Zam says that it was just a job; she doesn’t know why she was being asked to kill Padme. Anakin tries to play both Good Cop and Bad Cop here and to no one’s surprise, he’s bad at both of them: first being like we won’t hurt you I promise and then IMMEDIATELY being like YOU FUCKING CREEP TELL US WHO SENT YOU OR I WILL MURDER THE UNIVERSE I SWEAR TO GOD.
Recurring Theme: Person With a Jetpack Here To Ruin Kenobi’s Day
Zam is apparently swayed by Anakin’s Yelling, and begins to start answering: she was hired by a bounty hunter named…named…
…but too late! A dart comes flying out from nowhere and lands at her throat, killing her. The boys watch the assailant fly off with his Mando Jetpack, and you just KNOW Kenobi had to be like FUCKING MANDALORIANS OF COURSE JFC WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH MY LIFE.
Anakin looks over at Obi-Wan totally helplessly, and Obi-Wan pulls out the dart from Zam’s body. I love that these two of all people think they’re going to be able to solve anything. You keep at it, guys!
Recurring Theme: The Jedi Council Makes A Decision That Will Indirectly End Up Killing Them All
Eeeee it’s the Council Room! And hey, it’s daytime so you can sort of see what’s going on! AND the war hasn’t started yet so no one’s on the Skype call! A full house!
It’s what I assume is the day after Obi-Wan and Anakin’s night at the bar, and the two of them have dragged themselves in for a morning meeting with the dorks on the Council. (I presume Kenobi is feeling fine and Anakin probably has a raging hangover.)
Yoda and Mace tell Obi-Wan he needs to get to the bottom of who was behind this attack and who they’re working for, and Obi-Wan asks what this means for Padme: she’ll still need someone to be her personal bodyguard and also her boyfriend and probably get her pregnant behind all their backs, and Obi-Wan’s already too busy with this whole Poison Dart thing AND already possibly knocked up a ridiculously-dressed royal ruler once before, so he’s taking himself out of the running. Who could they send to, uh, take care of Padme, then?
LOL FOREVER AT THIS EXCHANGE. OK, so Yoda is like “don’t worry about it, Kenobes, we’ll send Anakin to do that.”
- I LOVE OBI-WAN’S FACE HERE.
- WHY DOES ANAKIN LOOK SO UNDERWHELMED? He’s getting sent on a Personal Protection Field Trip with the object of his wildest fantasies (Non-Obi-Wan Category) and he looks like this is the worst day of his life. OH MY GOD, these two have each had maybe 3 moments of happiness ever, totaling 4 minutes of happiness overall.
Mace tells Anakin to use unregistered transport to escort Padme back to Naboo, disguised as refugees. He makes a face like “you think you can handle THAT, champ?”
Anakin is like “um Padme is probably not going to want to leave, she might be mad?” Is…is Anakin kind of scared of her? I mean, I would be too. This is Princess Leia’s mother we’re talking about. She suffers no fools.
Mace looks like he’s got about as much faith in Anakin as…well, as he ever has. LOL. Yoda tells Anakin that he should tell Padme to just do what they suggest for her safety. Mace suggests that they ask Palpatine to nudge her towards accepting this plan as well. OH GREAT, GUYS: you’ve decided to send Anakin on a ROMANTIC VACATION ALONE TO NABOO WITH PADME, AND you’re going to ask Palpatine to Get Involved. I don’t have enough facepalms for this.
Recurring Theme: No One Loves You As Much As Your Wicked Uncle Palpatine
What a surprise: the next scene shows Uncle Palpy happily agreeing to tell Padme that she should totally go with Anakin and like, whatever happens happens, amirite? Anakin, as usual, is like GOLLY THANKS SIR YOU’RE THE BEST. These two. Honest to God, I love all of their scenes SO MUCH. I would watch this guy scramble Anakin’s brain forever.
Palpatine continues: WELL! I see they’ve FINALLY given you an assignment like GEEZ THAT TOOK FOREVS, YOU KNOW?! You’ve been so PATIENT!
Anakin, an idiot, is like “it’s all thanks to you, Excellency”. ANAKIN. NO.
The music goes all Daaaahhk and Foreboding and Palpatine is like “oh NO, you don’t NEED guidance, you don’t NEED anyone bwahahahahahaahhahaha have you ever heard the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise etc etc etc” and he caps this off with telling ANAKIN SKYWALKER to trust his feelings because when he does that, he’ll be “invincible”. Now, of course this bit of advice comes back to bite Palpatine in his ass later when Anakin finally DOES that and hurls that wicked old creep into a void, and I’m sure that’s kind of what they’re getting at here, but I’m still laughing because half the time I feel like most of Anakin’s feelings boil down to “I’m hungry”, “robots are cool”, and “I’m super confused and need Obi-Wan to help me”, none of which especially seem like they’d be instrumental in making him a being of supreme power.
He finishes their little chat here by telling Anakin that he thinks that someday Anakin will be more powerful than Yoda.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Concerned Parent
Obi-Wan, meanwhile, is having a walk-and-talk with Yoda and Mace, and he opens this up by saying that he’s concerned about Anakin. NO, really? Whysoever would you be worried about ANAKIN? That guy totally has his shit together.
Obi-Wan says he doesn’t think Anakin is ready for a solo mission, and OK, I know that Obi-Wan’s backstory isn’t canon anymore but OH MY GOD THIS IS SO RICH coming from a guy who got into a fistfight with a Hutt at age 12 while on a solo journey to a planet mired in some kind of Space-Mining-Related Civil War. Sure, Obi-Wan can fly a giant space freighter away from a bunch of murderous pirates AS A TWEEN, but NINETEEN YEAR OLD ANAKIN can’t handle basically HELPING TO MAKE SURE A GROWN-ASS WOMAN GETS BACK TO HER OWN DAMN HOUSE SAFELY. (Amusingly, this is actually pretty much the truth.)
Runs In The Family
Anyways, Mace and Yoda tell Obi-Wan not to worry: they feel good about their decision to send Anakin, and Mace adds in that he thinks Anakin’s skills are exceptional. Let me be clear that I do not at all subscribe to the idea that if only the Jedi Order had given Anakin more gold stars and pats on the back, none of the Bad Things would have happened, but it does make me a little sad that they all seem to have a lot of really nice things to say about him…just not usually to his face. TELL ANAKIN THESE THINGS GUYS YOU WILL THANK ME FOR IT LATER.
Obi-Wan elaborates: Anakin still has a lot left to learn, and the fact that he IS such a badass has made him kind of an asshole. Well then he’s going to fit right in with this family, isn’t he?
Yoda is like, well YEAH: that’s something that like…a lot of Jedi have a problem with these days…even the older ones. And he makes this pointed side-eye as he says this. LOL, did Yoda just heavily imply that Obi-Wan is also an asshole? Despite my deeply-entrenched Kenobi stanning, this is objectively humorous. Bravo, Master Yoda.
Mace tells Obi-Wan to buck up: if the prophecy is true, then Anakin’s the only one who can perform the Force-Balancing Act. So, this guy really changed his tune by the end of the war on this topic then, huh?
The Eternal Obsession
Back at Padme’s, she’s handing off some of her work to Jar Jar, and preparing to Flee in Secret to
Anakin’s Pants, er, Naboo. She marches into her room to start packing what I presume was Bag 1 of 50 that just included headdresses and ostentatious nightwear, and she frets to Anakin: she hates this stupid dumb handsome plan of theirs.
Anakin is like “don’t worry, Obi-Wan’s working on finding out who tried to kill you so of COURSE it won’t be long before he does because he’s the smartest and the best and I love him.” Padme is pissed and continues to maintain that this right here is some bullshit: she’s not even going to be there to vote on the decision of whether or not to create an Army for the Republic!
ANAKIN SKYWALKER tells her to let go of her pride. What the hell is even going on right now. This is like that time in TCW when he tells Ahsoka to calm down.
Padme’s impressed, I guess, and tells him appreciatively that he’s grown up. Thankfully, he doesn’t just launch back into another one of his “so have you, FOR A SENATOR” Smooth Operator Lines.
…BUT WAIT: he may not be about to go back to his Bad Pickup Lines book, but he IS going to go back to another one of Anakin’s favorite places: Complaining About Obi-Wan WHILE Also Heaping Praise on Him. (Please note that he continues to do this well into the Original Trilogy, e.g. “Obi-Wan Taught You Well But Also He Sucked And He’s Dead Now And I Hate Him By The Way Did His Ghost Mention My Name At All”.)
He whines that Obi-Wan manages not to see what a cool grown-up he is now with his ability to almost maybe grow a beard and stuff. Immediately after complaining about him, he then is like “I mean OBVIOUSLY he’s amazing I mean have you even seen him oh my God,” and I am dying because Padme is making this face at Anakin right now. GIRL, if you think this shtick is confusing and old NOW, just wait. You are in for a long few years.
Anakin is then like “but like even though Obi-Wan is obviously incredible, like, I’m maybe also better than he is? No, I TOTALLY AM OH MY GOD I AM SO FAR AHEAD OF EVERYONE AND WHY DON’T THEY SEE IT” and he starts to get all huffy about this while talking. Anakin, angrily bitching about your job IS NOT FIRST-DATE MATERIAL.
Padme Amidala, A Girl After My Own Heart For So Many Reasons
Padme, in that tone of voice you use when you just want a conversation to end, is like “Huh, that sucks…” and Anakin, unable to pick up on this, is like OH IT GETS WORSE: HE’S OVERLY CRITICAL! He thinks I’m unpredictable! I know I could pass my Jedi Entrance Exams but HE WON’T LET ME DO IT! He always picks the movies when we go out! He makes me watch documentaries when I just wanna watch my soaps! HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND! IT’S NOT FAIR! Oh my Lord. More than half of what I just wrote is THE ACTUAL SCRIPT. Anakin, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
Padme replies to this, winning 50 points in my heart, by calmly saying that mentors have a way of seeing our faults more than we’d like. HAHAHAHAHAHA OH MY GOD. Anakin just had a shit fit about Obi-Wan and PADME TOOK OBI-WAN’S SIDE without hesitating for a second. I love her, and this movie, so much.
Anakin huffs that he knows she’s right.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Impressed With Himself
Padme gently admonishes him to not be in such a hurry to grow up. He stands up and is like heeeeey girl, but I am grown up. *eyebrow waggle* Um, so she just basically shot down your whole hissy fit and YOUR NEXT MOVE is to be like “but look at what a MAN I am now”?
Padme is like “uhhh…I’m going to pass on this for now, thanks”, telling Anakin he’s making her uncomfortable. He apologizes, but then is like quietly high-five-ing himself after she leaves the room.
Dear Lord. Anakin needs like…Romance Boot Camp? KENOBI, PLEASE: GET OVER HERE AND FIX THIS DISASTER. You cannot possibly be OK with your student having THIS kind of a flirtation game.
Maybe Just Don’t Do Anything
It’s…the next day? Later that day? Whatever? and Padme and Anakin are setting off on their Couples’ Getaway that will literally have a direct impact on the overall fate of the universe. I cannot say that I have ever been on a date with the kind of galactic implications of this one.
Padme bids a teary farewell to Dorme and Typho, and Dorme worries for Padme’s safety. Padme’s like “nah don’t worry: I’ve got this hot Jedi with me, it’ll be fine. It’s not like he’s going to fall in love with me and then I’m going to fall in love with HIM and then we’re going to almost die and then we’re going to get married in secret and THAT’S going to be a key reason why the government falls in a few years!” ANAKIN’S SMUGNESS IS KILLING ME:
Obi-Wan does not allow Anakin to revel in this moment long, because he is quickly pulling him aside to be like I SWEAR TO THE FORCE, SKYWALKER, DO NOT FUCK THIS UP:
LOOK AT HIS FACE. This movie is a treasure trove of amazing facial expressions.
He warns Anakin not to do anything without talking to him or the Council first. RIGHT, because you guys are always on top of things. Anakin agrees without argument. (First time for everything.)
Obes Kenobes is like “welp, I’m just gonna go figure out this whole Death Plot thing for you; should be done around lunchtime or dinner at the latest”. This is especially funny because as we learned from TCW, the Jedi do not entirely figure out what is going on in this plot for several YEARS, and even then, they don’t get all the way there.
The boys say their Force-be-with-yous, and Obi-Wan appears INCREDIBLY AMUSED by all of this now for some reason:
Padme notes, as they step away, that suddenly she’s feeling kind of nervous about this whole thing. Can’t imagine why. Anakin is like “don’t worry, I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing either! Also Artoo is here!” at this, they both laugh like this is the greatest thing anyone has ever said. OK then; you kids do you, I guess.
Back at the transport, Obi-Wan and Captain Typho are lamenting that they both totally know those crazy kids are going to do something stupid. Obi-Wan smirks at this. KENOBI, THIS ISN’T FUNNY. Maybe he’s just getting excited because he’s got Anakin out of his hair AND he’s off to play detective.
One of the Times Obi-Wan Was Happy
Obi-Wan heads to Dex’s Diner in the next scene, and I would like you all to know that he seems genuinely happy to be there:
So he has a sit-down with Dex and starts chatting with him about the Mysterious Dart that killed Zam Wessel. He doesn’t know where it came from, but Dex does: it’s a Kamino Saber Dart. They have some banter and Obi-Wan busts out that eyebrow he always deploys when he can’t suppress his urge to hit on someone and/or is feeling especially into himself:
He says he’s not familiar with Kamino: is it in the Republic? No, says Dex: it’s beyond the Outer Rim, and the Kaminoans keep to themselves. They’re cloners — damn good ones too! (They made Rex, you know, so I guess we can consider this confirmed as fact.) They’ll be friendly enough — if you’ve got the cash to get their attention.
With that, Obi-Wan does what any good nerd does: it’s off to the Library!
Obi-Wan Kenobi, P.I.
In the Jedi Archives, which make me laugh because OF COURSE the Jedi Temple’s LEAST-LIT ROOM EVER IS THE DAMN LIBRARY. Obi-Wan, staring meaningfully at a bust of Count Dooku (the guy left the Order AND is leading the Separatists AND THEY STILL HAVE A BUST OF HIM IN THE LIBRARY?! Good grief!), has summoned Jocasta Nu for help: he can’t seem to find Kamino in the archives! DUN DUN DUUUUN!
She’s also unable to locate it for him, and suggests that his information is faulty. He’s like maybe YOUR information is faulty, and that goes over just about as well as you’d guess. He’s left to stroke his beard in contemplation.
Anakin Skywalker, Doing His Best He’s Trying
Anakin and Padme, meanwhile, are sitting down for some crappy snack bar food on a space bus en route to Naboo. Padme keeps things light and airy by being like “your life must suck, having to be a space monk and all, not being able to do whatever you want…” and Anakin, Subtle Casanova that he is, appends, “…or be with the PEOPLE I LOVE”, desperately, to this thought. I am just going to be over here, burying my face in my hands. You guys go on without me.
All right, all right: onward I must go. So Padme handles this smoothly enough though, and says that she thought they weren’t allowed to love. I do so appreciate that the myth in the universe is that the Jedi are dispassionate and stoic, when in actuality ALL OF THEM CARE SO MUCH ABOUT EVERY DAMN THING.
Anakin senses a chance to say something totally suave, and so he gives her this series of lines about how they’re not supposed to be passionate or possessive, but they ARE supposed to COMpassionate towards like, everything? So like, in a sense, they’re ENCOURAGED to love? Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen: this is a guy who has indeed been raised by Mr. Certain Point of View himself, hasn’t he? I’d know that logic anywhere.
Padme tells him that he’s changed so much, and he honest-to-God says that she hasn’t: she’s exactly the same as she is IN ALL OF HIS DREAMS. I’m…I’m sorry, I think I need to go bury my head in my hands again. ANAKIN: maybe save that for like…MUCH later on. Blurting out that you repeatedly dream about someone you haven’t seen in a decade, TO THAT PERSON, is…wow.
Padme seems to agree with me, because she SAYS NOTHING IN RESPONSE, and looks down at her food. LOL. Anakin, for his part, BLESSEDLY stops digging his own grave now and looks chastened. HE IS THE MOST AWKWARD PERSON EVER I LOVE HIM BUT SOMEONE PLEASE GO HELP THIS BOY AND ALL OF THE REST OF US BY EXTENSION.
And with that, it appears that Anakin’s A-Game has singlehandedly depleted my Recap Reserves for today. Join me next time, when Obi-Wan will first flirt with, then fight, a Mandalorian (one of his many special skills, evidently,) and Anakin will famously share some important feelings with all of us about a certain granular substance that is known for being not especially smooth or prone to staying all in one place.