Star Wars, Episode II, Part III: Like Sand Through the Hourglass

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Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones (Part 3)

What majorly soapy fun we’re going to have today, my friends! Yes, at long last, Snark Wars is finally going to fulfill its destiny, and yours truly is going to recap one of the most infamous parts of the entire Star Wars canon. I’m excited!

Last time, on Days of Our Jedi, Team Handsome had set out to find out who had hired the assassin that tried to kill Padme. Naturally, this ended with them learning almost nothing, a bunch of people checking out Anakin’s hotness, and Obi-Wan doing shots and chopping off someone’s arm. Just another day on the job for these two!

After this dust-up, the Jedi Council had the brilliant idea to send Obi-Wan to do some detective work to Finally Get To The Bottom Of All This (LOL, as if anyone in this series knows how to do that), while Anakin takes Padme — oooh la la, on his very first Solo Mission — back to her home planet of Naboo, where they will totally definitely not Get Romantic with each other. Please note that given how things are going to go here, literally the first time the Jedi ever send Anakin to do something alone, he instantly breaks the Jedi Code, like, almost immediately. Oh Anakin.

I’m getting ahead of myself. First things first…

Master Yoda, Kindergarten Teacher

 

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THE GIANT STATUES THEY HAD OF THEMSELVES hahahahah

At the Jedi Temple, Obes Kenobes is fresh off of his discovery that Kamino — the purported source of the saber dart that killed Zam Wessel — is mysteriously not on the Map of the Galaxy where Obi-Wan expected to find it. He decides to seek out Yoda, who’s in the middle of teaching a class:
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He apologizes for interrupting (and oh my God these kids are too cute,) and Yoda’s like “what’s up, grandson? Something terrible happen to you again like it always does?”
aotc-part-iii-0004OK, while they are talking? I need you all to know that Obi-Wan’s robe is slightly waving around while he’s just standing there. Do they have a super-strong air-conditioning system? (No wonder they can’t afford to light the whole Temple — THAT’S where they’re burning through all their electricity!) You know what? They totally would, though. I am 100% willing to believe they insist on having a slight breeze going even when indoors. It is The Jedi Way.
aotc-part-iii-0005Aaaaanyways, Obi-Wan tells Yoda that he’s looking for a planet and it’s not in the archives so now what? Yoda, slyly, teases that Obi-Wan’s embarrassingly “lost a planet” to the children.

Tiny Child, Galactic Conspiracy Investigator

So they pull up a big star map right there in the classroom and Obi-Wan points out where, per his info from Dex, Kamino should be:
aotc-part-iii-0007Yoda throws it out to the kids: so, what do you guys make of this? One little pipsqueak pipes up that one reason it might not be there is that someone erased it from the archive on purpose. So, just so we’re all clear: this tiny kid is better at solving mysteries than literally every single other person in Star Wars.
aotc-part-iii-0009Yoda is like “man, kids are the best”. I LOVE THAT YODA LOVES THE YOUNGLINGS SO MUCH OK. Even Obi-Wan allows himself a cute little smile at all of this and ahhhhh why is this movie being this way. Remember how all these kids live long, happy lives? Me too.
aotc-part-iii-0010All right! SO! Yoda tells Obi-Wan to go to the spot where he thinks the planet should be, and it’ll probably be there. The two of them start to walk Obi-Wan out the door, and Obi-Wan comments that he thought no one could erase shit from the Archives, because GOD KNOWS there’s a lot of embarrassing photos of him that Anakin’s uploaded that he wishes he could remove but they won’t let him.


Yoda, foreboding, says that this is Not A Good Sign: only a Jedi could have removed it. Swell. He tells Obi-Wan that he’ll go meditate while Obi-Wan does the actual work. I want Yoda’s job.

Anakin Skywalker, Just Cares So Much About The Republic Yeah That’s It
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The next scene opens up right out of the gate with a little Across the Stars, which is of course the Love Theme from this movie. Uh oh!

Anakin and Padme have arrived on Naboo at last, after what I am sure was more of Anakin’s thinly-veiled professions of eternal love. Right now these two crazy kids are just walk-and-talking about some backstory about how Padme decided to become a Senator after she was Queen and Anakin is like GOSH PADME I’M SO GLAD YOU BECAME A SENATOR and he frames this up as something that is good because it’s good for the Galaxy, but we all know it’s because he’s just jazzed that he gets to hang out with her this way.
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They meet up with the Queen of Naboo, and Padme tells her colleagues that if the Republic creates an Army, the Separatists will surely see this as an aggressive move and war may not be far behind. Sio Bibble is like PSHAW! There hasn’t been a full-scale war since the Republic was formed! So naturally war can never happen again!
aotc-part-iii-0016I’m sorry, but LOL FOREVER that Anakin is standing over her. I mean, yes yes, he’s her bodyguard and all, but the dude is a Jedi. Can’t he just spring into action faster than an average person? He really needs to be standing? Anakin can’t have a chair? Sigh. Apologies. I get distracted easily.
aotc-part-iii-0017Anyways everyone discusses how the Separatists probably can’t be coaxed back into the Republic, and Sio Bibble is like “hey you know what is some absolute BULLSHIT? Nute Gunray’s been on trial like 500 times since The Phantom Menace ended and that dude STILL HAS A JOB like WTF.” No one has any good comebacks to this. The Queen, resignedly, says that they’ll just have to Keep the Faith and hope that Padme’s little poncho-wearing boytoy over there doesn’t go bananas and help Ultimate Evil enslave everyone at some point.

Padme Amidala, Actually In Charge Here

So now the conversation pivots to Padme’s safety: Sio Bibble asks Anakin where he thinks Padme should go to stay safe, and in doing so refers to him as “Master Jedi.” Padme, AMAZINGLY, is immediately like “Jedi?! Oh, who? This guy? Newp, Anakin’s just a Padawan so ANYWAYS I was thinking –”
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…and Anakin is like WTF, and then declares that, and this is an actual quote, “I’m in charge of security here, m’lady”…
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and I laugh and laugh because what a bunch of pompous dweebs the Jedi are. Bless ’em.

The Eternal Suffering of Anakin Skywalker

Padme is taking no shit and is like “Um hello, I live here? So I think I know the best place for me to hide out and also be seduced by you? PUH-LEASE, Skywalker.”
aotc-part-iii-0020Poor Anakin. Once again someone he’s super attracted to is giving him the sass in this movie. To Anakin’s credit, he gives her no further backtalk even though his face is utterly amazing as he suppresses a hissy fit.
aotc-part-iii-0021 The best part of this exchange is that after Anakin apologizes for cutting in and questioning her choices, Padme doesn’t even say “thank you” or “it’s OK”, she just gives him a look that’s like “That’s RIGHT you’re sorry!” LOL
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Obi-Wan Kenobi, Wet and Wild

So! While Anakin suffers, Obi-Wan is off to Kamino. He lands, and finds that the planet is quite a dark and stormy place:

He walks over to the Kaminoans’ front door (how did he find this place? Is this the only building there? Has he been out there ringing doorbells in the rain all night and finally found a house willing to let him in?) and a strange, lithe figure lets him in.

OK, I thought Kamino looked so freaking cool when I saw this movie in the theater. (I still do, but I like to point this stuff out sometimes because Some People would like the younger folks in this fandom to believe that every single person who grew up with the Original Trilogy and saw a prequel film in the theater walked out a bitter, sobbing mess whose childhood had been cruelly stolen from them, resulting in trauma they are still working through with a skilled therapist. I promise that some of us nerds were just there on a date with our equally-nerdy boyfriends, and we actually enjoyed our moviegoing experience, thanks.)

AN-Y-WAY. So Taun We answers the door and is like “Hi there, Jedi! The Prime Minister’s been expecting you!” and Obi-Wan is like, “Buh? You were expecting me?”
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She’s like “Duh! We were starting to worry you weren’t coming!” She guides him down a super-fancy hallway to a room where he gets to sit down with the Prime Minister, Lama Su, in a room that appears to be made entirely of white glass.
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Kamino, Probably Goes Through a Lot of Windex
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The PM is pleased to inform Obi-Wan that things are on schedule: they’ve got 200,000 units of whatever the fuck he’s talking about ready, and a million more on the way. Obes is like “oh…hooray”. LOL, for being such a storied Negotiator, he’s sure as hell coming off as someone who is bad at hiding that he doesn’t know what the hell is going on right now.
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Lama Su continues: you make sure to tell Sifo-Dyas that we’re totally going to hit this project milestone!

Obi-Wan is like “uh, who?” and Lama Su is like, “you know, Sifo-Dyas? Leading member of the Jedi Council? That guy?” Obi-Wan’s like “I’ve got some bad news for you, then: that guy’s been dead. For like a DECADE.”

Lama Su doesn’t seem all that flustered by this, and offers his condolences. Well then, he notes, I’m sure he’d have been proud of the army we created for him! DUN DUN DUUUUUN!
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Obi-Wan, once again, is like “?????” I love that Obi-Wan has all but admitted he just showed up here without having ANY idea what the Kaminoans were up to, and they’re just like “Aaaaaanyways guess you didn’t read the mission briefing, here’s all the secret stuff we’re doing”. They didn’t even ask him for a Jedi ID badge! Obi-Wan could be anyone! LOL. Oh Star Wars.
aotc-part-iii-0039 Obi-Wan asks: did Sifo-Dyas tell you who this army was apparently for? Lama Su is like “The Republic? Duh? Anyways you must be ready to check out the units for yourself — and get used to them now because these guys are gonna be like BFFs with you and Anakin real soon (until they’re not anymore!)” Obi-Wan, hilariously, is like “right that’s totally why I came here in the first place obvs!” and they head out.

Recurring Theme: No Way This Can Get Sexy

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Oh good LORD. OK, so we’re back on Padme and Anakin’s Totally Platonic Business Trip, and they’ve arrived at a fancy-ass palace on a swanky lake and Padme is honest-to-God wearing a BACKLESS FORMAL GOWN right now. Yes, nothing says “let’s keep things strictly professional” like a romantic gondola ride to a posh seaside getaway while one of you is dressed to seduce and the other one of you is so into it that his eyes have practically formed into the shape of actual hearts. I don’t see how any funny business can happen with this kind of a setup!

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Doing His Best He’s Trying
Recurring Theme: Your Author, Always Willing To Go To Bat For This Nonsense

All right, everyone sit down because it’s finally time for us…to talk about sand. Yes, the exchange that launched a thousand memes (and a thousand angsty fanboy rants, to boot.)

Padme, stepping out onto a balcony facing the water, recalls that as a kid she and her rich friends used to hang out here at the beach and lay around on the sand being fancy. Anakin, you may recall, spent his childhood doing one of the following:

  • Being enslaved on a miserable, lawless desert planet;
  • Living with a bunch of extremely repressed space monks.
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I want you all to really take a minute to appreciate that before you completely excoriate our beloved disaster for what comes out of his mouth next. Anakin, obviously desperate to connect with her, awkwardly remarks: he doesn’t like sand, because it’s annoying as hell and he was probably picking it out of his scalp for at least 2 months after joining the Jedi Order. The sand Anakin is used to isn’t anything like what things are like here — everything’s soft and smooth and Padme-shaped and OH MY GOD HELP HIM HE IS SO INTO HER. Also I feel sort of sad for him, because what prompts this whole thing is Padme going on about her posh childhood of lake swimming and fancy outfits and…like, what is Anakin going to say to that? “Oh cool, when I was a kid I spent my summers fixing machines for the people who had purchased me and my mom”? I mean…he was trying, OK? He was trying.

I think maybe my favorite result of this conversation is that the Star Wars fandom has taken a SINGLE LINE ANAKIN SAYS, which I will remind you is simply “I don’t like sand”, and turned it into this fanon thing about how Anakin is terrified/enraged/disgusted by sand. Leave it to this fandom to take things to a ridiculous extreme.

Padme and Anakin, Sittin’ in a Tree

And you know what? It totally doesn’t even matter if Anakin is awkward as hell here because GUESS WHAT? Sometimes the other person likes awkwardness! At least, it’s totally working on Padme, who goes with the flow when Anakin boldly swings in for a smooch:
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…but then she gets a hold of herself (for now), and pulls away and LOL FOREVER THAT JOHN WILLIAMS ABRUPTLY CUTS THE MUSIC TO SILENCE HERE. He practically put in a RECORD SCRATCH. God, I love these movies.
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Padme scrambles back: I shouldn’t have done that! Oh, girl. No. No, you should absolutely always kiss a member of Team Handsome if they’re into it. That’s my important Life Advice for today.
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Anakin, looking hilariously confused and like his brain is in the process of rebooting after this very intense series of events, apologizes to her — even though I think we can all agree that there is at least a part of him that is not even a little bit sorry. This glorious scene ends with them BOTH STILL STANDING THERE NEXT TO EACH OTHER SUPER-AWKWARDLY. I wonder how long they stood like that while they both tried to get their hormones under control. Let’s hope for their sake (especially Anakin’s) that there was a nice stiff cold breeze coming off the lake.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Clone Inspector

As usual, while Anakin gets to go do something fun like kiss a girl or win a podrace or be a supervillain, Obi-Wan is stuck doing actual work. He’s still on Kamino, getting his grand tour of the under-construction Clone Army:

Lama Su explains that the clones are going to be total badasses and the Republic is going to love them, both accurate statements, as we see a few shots of different age groups:

Obi-Wan asks who the genetic structure for the clones came from, and is told they’re modeled off of a bounty hunter called Jango Fett. Like…OK. So out of the ENTIRE universe, the BEST option they had was to use some shifty bounty hunter — you know, the people who are PRETTY MUCH CONSTANTLY CAUSING PROBLEMS FOR THE REPUBLIC? All right then, Star Wars, you’re the boss. Lama Su explains that Jango lives here on Kamino with a Clone of His Own — one that he asked not be modified in any way. Yes, part of this insane story is that Jango Fett is literally raising himself.

Obi-Wan requests an audience with Jango, and Taun We agrees to arrange it. Then, looking like a total babe, Obi-Wan walks out onto a balcony and looks down at the army that he’s going to end up in charge of a fairly sizeable chunk of:
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Recurring Theme: Anakin and Obi-Wan Totally Hate Politicians

Anakin and Padme are working SUPER HARD back on Naboo, where they’ve decided to go roll around in a meadow and flirt. Padme’s even made sure to put on yet another Glamour Gown to mark the occasion.
aotc-part-iii-0059As we join them, Padme is being teased into spilling the deets on her first crush, some guy she knew from Naboo’s Weird Junior Government Program who then became an artist. She goes on and on about how hot this guy was until Anakin poutfully regrets having brought it up. Ladies and gentlemen, Luke and Leia’s mom and dad on a date:

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Anakin’s FACE

Anakin, at learning that Padme’s old crush became an artist, bitchily comments that maybe he was the smart one, since he didn’t become a politician. Yes, insulting the career of the object of your desire! There’s a surefire way to weasel your way into her heart! Also, this is 10000% a conversation that Satine and Obi-Wan had as young people, verbatim, I will put money on it. You KNOW this move came direct from the Kenobi playbook.

Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker Wants to Fight The Power
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Padme balks: wow, you do hate politicians don’t you?! He teases that he likes two or three, but isn’t sure about one of them. Oh my Lord. Padme laughs, because unlike me she hasn’t sat through this exchange a zillion times to the point where she can more or less recite this scene from memory.

Anakin says flatly that he doesn’t think the system works, and when Padme tries to explain the basic mechanics of democracy to him, he preeeeetttty much tells her that he wishes the galaxy was ruled by a dictator. Oops! Anakin, you skipped ahead a few too many pages, sweetie. We’re back here, on page 143? Where you’re not insane yet? Thanks.

Padme accuses him of mocking her, and he’s like nooooooo, I’d be way too scared to tease a Senator! and I’ve officially had enough.

They round out this slightly unsettling sapfest with an honest-to-goodness run through a meadow. Anakin fakes Padme out at one point, feigning injury:

…you know who thinks this scene is AMAZING? My young son. He thinks Anakin HAS SKILLS OMG HE PLAYED A TRICK ON HER SHE LAUGHED HE’S HILARIOUS. So, my son and Anakin have about the same sense of humor. Seems about right to me.

Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi vs Mandalorian

Back on Kamino — where, again, Obi-Wan is doing real work while ANAKIN LITERALLY ROLLS AROUND IN A FIELD WITH A GIRL — Taun We escorts Kenobes over to Jango Fett’s apartment, and it’s Boba Fett, at this time a small boy, who answers the door.
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So Obi-Wan gets introduced to Jango here and I don’t even really know what to say, but he spends a LOT of this conversation smirking at him? IS THERE NO ONE THIS MAN WILL NOT FLIRT WITH?
aotc-part-iii-0070Obi-Wan asks Jango if he’s ever been to Coruscant. Jango admits that he has, “once or twice”, possibly recently.
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Obi-Wan is like AH-HA! Then you must know Sifo-Dyas, yes? At this, Jango looks totally up to something, and tells Boba something that is not translated for us and we spy The Jetback in the corner:
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Then Jango steps into Obi-Wan’s space because he’s got some Mandalorian things going on here and we all know that they cannot ever stay away from any of the Jedi but ESPECIALLY OBI-WAN, and tells him that he was recruited “by a man called Tyrannus”. LOL, what a name. SOUNDS TOTALLY NOT AT ALL SHADY. I love how many of the bad guys in this series have names that might as well be like “Bloodthirsty McEvilguy” for the amount of subtlety they’re providing.
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Aaaaaanyways, Jango asks Obi-Wan if he likes his army, and Obi-Wan nods with a smirk that he is still wearing for some reason. (Well of COURSE he likes the clone army! WHO WOULDN’T!)

They say their farewells, both totally distrusting of the other. As soon as Taun We and Obi-Wan are gone, Jango tells Boba to pack his bags: they’re outta here.

Recurring Theme: Darth Vader, Dinner Date

Oh hey! Were you wondering what Anakin was up to while Obi-Wan faces off with a shady bad guy? Were you assuming it was something helpful, or did you assume he was floating chunks of fruit over at a girl he has a crush on while she wears one of the most ridiculous getups she’s yet sported?

Ah yes, dinner time with our pal Darth Vader. At any rate, this time it’s a LOT more lighthearted than in the middle installment of the NEXT trilogy, where he tries to kill his kids and their friends. Also, Anakin OBVIOUSLY makes sure to mention how peeved Obi-Wan would be if OMG SAW ANAKIN FLOATING FRUIT AROUND. Fine, maybe he would be, but also? We all know Anakin just felt like it had been awhile since he’d mentioned Obi-Wan.

Anakin looks like he is more proud of himself for this Smooth Move than he is of anything else he’s ever done in his life as this scene ends.
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The Skywalkers, Built on a Solid Foundation of Drama
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Hahahaha, oh this scene. Man, today’s recap is spoiling me. So they’re in some kind of sitting room at Padme’s place? And they’re sitting in the dark save for a dim fireplace (was this to make Anakin feel more at home?) and Padme is now wearing a stripped-down version of the outfit she was wearing before from her We’re Just Friends Collection. Padme. I’m begging you, for Anakin’s sake: the poor boy cannot take much more of this. LOOK AT HIM. Please put him out of his misery for everyone’s sake.
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They are just sitting there, alternately looking Desperately at each other and then looking away with Sadness, because the Skywalkers have always been this way.

Anakin then preeeeeettty much just spills his guts out at her: he’s loved her forever, the fact that she kissed him is HAUNTING him, he’s basically on actual fire and physically tormented from loving her so much. Wow. Just…that sounds very uncomfortable, Skywalker. My condolences. He begs her to tell him if she “is suffering as much as I am”. Hey, Anakin? What about me? Because this whole thing is causing me pain over here, too.
aotc-part-iii-0086Padme explains that she Can’t: it’s the old classic “I’m a Senator, You’re a Space Monk” trope that so many Great Love Stories revolve around.

At one point in this conversation, Anakin literally says “you are asking me to be rational: that is something I know I cannot do”. WELP, there you have it, folks: right from the man himself. He said it, not me. We can all go home now.

Finally, Padme insists that Anakin come back to ground level and realize that the world they live in will not allow for them to have lots of sexy sex and supernaturally-gifted children. They’d have to live a lie! And who could do that? CERTAINLY NOT EITHER OF THEM OH HEAVENS NO. Anakin agrees with her and looks absolutely not a little bit convinced.
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And that, my friends, is a wrap for this installment! When we return, Obi-Wan gets rained on and has to fight a bad guy because his life is always just the best like that, while Anakin gets sweaty and shirtless but not in the context that Anakin (and Padme) is obviously wishing for.  Til next time!