Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (Part VI)
Well, hi there, friends! Welcome back to our continuing Journey to the Point of No Return here in Episode 2.
Last time we visited this film, Palpatine had weaseled his way into gaining even more powah than before, Padme had further secured Anakin’s heart by showing off how much she loved Obi-Wan (I hope the Skywalker Family Crest has a depiction of Obi-Wan with cartoon hearts drawn around it,) and Count Dooku had swung by to dump a bunch of Sithly Spoilers on a very dubious, and imprisoned, Obi-Wan.
This time around, impending death spurs the future Mr. and Mrs. Skywalker to decide that if they’re gonna die, they might as well make out a little bit first, Obi-Wan is once again decidedly unhappy about someone trying to save his life, Boba Fett’s going to learn to dislike the Jedi more than he probably already did, and the Clone Wars are going to get officially underway with an appropriately over-the-top opening ceremony. Yes, the party — to whatever extent one was going previously — is indeed Over. Grab your Action Shawl, try not to lose your lightsaber, and get a few withering put-downs locked and loaded for when your friends come to rescue you: it’s Closing Time for a peaceful Republic! Let’s get going.
Recurring Theme: Out on a Ledge
Anakin and Padme escape the hallway o’ creepiness where they were attacked by Geonosians in the last installment — Anakin, of course, going full-on Badass because let’s be real: he is absolutely going to be bringing his Jedi A-game to anything that comes within an inch of hurting Padme. (Well and then later the idea of Padme being hurt causes him to bring the exact OPPOSITE of a Jedi A-game, but I digress.)
The two of them flee through a door and find themselves on a Luke-and-Leia-esque Teeny Tiny Ledge Over a Big Drop. This time, however, they’re suspended above a factory floor, where an assembly line is cranking out a huge number of battle droids.
Padme takes a tumble:
I love how, just for a moment, the music goes to a sped-up version of Across the Stars. So Padme and Anakin have an Action Version of their own love theme? I mean, they SHOULD, so this makes total sense.
Anakin jumps down to go help her (and because, really, what the hell else was he gonna do up there?)
The two of them jump and dive around the various perils, and I laugh every time because they are SURROUNDED by machines that could EASILY snag them, and yet Padme continues to wear her GIANT shawl and Anakin continues to wear his unreasonably long, flowing Jedi robe. Let no one say the Skywalkers did not always bring their all to the cause of fashion, even at great personal risk.
Recurring Theme: One of the Other Great Marriages of Star Wars
Artoo and Threepio have arrived on the factory floor now, too, giving Threepio a moment to make a dorktastic Star Wars joke, and in response, Artoo literally kicks him off the ledge and then proceeds to fly off.
Padme finds herself thrown over into a giant cauldron of sorts and whisked away, and Threepio ends up getting his head swapped with a battle droid’s head.
Recurring Theme: Hero Droid
…and Anakin — oooooh! — he winds up pinned to a conveyor belt with his right hand sealed down. Well that certainly doesn’t seem to be hinting at anything good! Moreover, even Anakin seems to share that sentiment:
Meanwhile, Padme’s getting closer and closer to becoming Molten Metal Stew, when she’s spared at the very last minute — by Artoo, who takes control of the factory’s computer system just in the nick of time. Wow, how unusual.
(You know, I always loved the idea of this whole series being told by Artoo. He’s somehow always a central part of the action, and he’s so frequently the hero that I just adore the concept of him retelling this all one day and greatly embellishing his own heroics.)
Anyways, Artoo releases Padme’s cauldron, and she scrambles out of it. Good goin’, little buddy! That’s another one Anakin owes you.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan’s Gonna Kill You Except Not Really
Anakin breaks free from the conveyor belt, but as he makes to use his lightsaber, he’s given some bad news: it got squished and it’s, uh, seen better days as it sputters and fizzles out:
He laments to himself that “Obi-Wan’s gonna kill” him. Ha! Ha! Oh Star Wars. Thanks for providing me with this lighthearted moment about Anakin’s forgetfulness and propensity towards breaking things to distract me from the fact that this isn’t true at all! Anakin is BASICALLY GOING TO KILL OBI-WAN. TWICE. (I’m fine.)
Shortly thereafter, both Anakin and Padme get surrounded and taken into custody (in Anakin’s case, by Jango Fett.) Not to be all Kenobi about this, guys, but your rescue mission really isn’t going very well.
Recurring Theme: Arena Throwdown
Ah, yes, time for yet another Star Wars trope: the good guys getting rounded up and forced to fight for the bad guys’ amusement! Anakin and Padme now find themselves in a Space Chariot (God, how much do I love writing these recaps,) about to be hauled out into an honest-to-goodness coliseum setup to battle for their lives.
Anakin advises Padme not to be afraid, and she’s like “whatever, I’m not afraid to die” and I laugh for twelve thousand years because Anakin’s reaction is somewhere between unsettled, sad, and “this is the hottest thing anyone has ever said to me”. Anakin has so many issues; I can’t even begin to unpack all this.
Padme Amidala, Resigned One Way or The Other
Padme then goes all-in on the Romantic Pronouncements: she’s been dying a little each day since the day Anakin first showed up at her apartment and made a total and complete fool of himself. Seriously, I love this. You see, people? Sometimes you don’t HAVE to be smooth or eloquent or have even the tiniest bit of chill at all: when it’s a match, it’s a match, and evidently Padme has accepted her fate here. She truly, deeply loves Anakin — and here I want you to picture me throwing my arm dramatically over my forehead while throwing my head back as I continue — and before Padme DIES tragically, she wants Anakin to know! OH MY GOD, STAR WARS IS SUCH A SOAP OPERA. It really doesn’t even have anything to do with outer space. This show is literally just a drama about Some Guy and his family (secret wife! Surprise twins, separated at birth!) and his coworkers.
Anakin Skywalker, Surprised Anyone Would Sign Up For This Because Even Obi-Wan Can Barely Tolerate Him Sometimes and That Guy Will Put Up With Pretty Much ANYTHING
Anakin is stunned: OH MY GOD YOU LOVE ME? WHAT THE FUCK? HOW??? He reminds her that they’d promised not to fall in love, and that they’d be forced to Live a Lie and you know what? You should presume that Anakin is also doing the dramatic-hand-to-his-forehead thing. They both might as well have been for how completely and wonderfully over-the-top this all is.
Padme quietly observes that they’re preeeeettty much probably about to be killed anyways, so what the fuck: when you’re staring down certain death and there’s a guy who looks like Anakin Goddamn Skywalker standing next to you pledging his soul to you or whatever, you have no choice but to crank up your custom Romance Theme Music and go for it:
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Questioning All Of His Life Choices
So the two of them get trotted out into the arena, and they pass Obi-Wan on the way in and I’ll just let these two expressions speak for themselves:
LOL. THESE TWO.
As each of them gets chained to a post, Padme sneaks something into her mouth.
I would like to note for everyone right at this moment that when faced with Likely Death, Padme’s reaction was:
- Make out with hot Jedi Boyfriend super dramatically;
- Start formulating plan to escape death.
Obi-Wan and Anakin’s plan, thus far, appears to be largely:
- Find a way to wordlessly bicker with one another.
- Then actually bicker with one another.
I’m just saying. I know which person in this group I’d like to model my behavior after.
Recurring Theme: Thanks For Rescuing Me, Loser
Obi-Wan snarks that oh GEE he was WONDERING if Anakin ever got his voicemail!
Anakin, looking chastised, is like I FORWARDED IT ON…and then we came to save you.
Obi-Wan, because he has literally never once appreciated anyone trying to save him (he possibly has a death wish,) assholishly looks up at his chains and FOR-REAL bitchily says, “Good job!” LOL. The best part of this portion of our program, BY FAR, is the facial expressions of each of them:
I swear to GOD, these guys will literally be the death of me. I am not sure how it is possible to not love them, or at least find them hilarious.
Recurring Theme: Space Monster Attack!
And now the Count, flanked by a bunch of associated baddies, arrives to observe as the show gets underway. We get introduced to today’s monster offerings:
Anakin is informed by his lawyers that it’s time to recite the Star Wars catchphrase or face a stiff penalty, so he helpfully notes that He’s Got A Bad Feeling About This.
While the boys stand there freaking out (and/or LOOKING LIKE A TOTAL FOX as the case may be), Padme has already freed herself and is making her way up to the top of the pole she was chained to. Hahaha, I know it’s not like she had time to help the boys out or anything, but I love that SHE DOESN’T EVEN SPEAK TO THEM. She just frees herself and then is like BYE GUYS.
Obi-Wan points this out to Anakin as the monsters move in on them. Obi-Wan manages to partially free himself, and Anakin — in a move that undoubtedly contributed to the fact that he and Padme didn’t have kids for a few years after all this — jumps onto one of the monsters and breaks his own chain off:
The bad guys continue to observe as several Brushes With Death occur — Padme gets part of her outfit artfully sliced off…
…and Obi-Wan almost gets his head stomped on.
Nute Gunray is pissed at Padme’s perseverance and at one point insists that they just shoot her.
I love this because Star Wars more or less just went out of its way to wink at me here. YOU GUYS: WHY IS ANY OF THIS HAPPENING? This whole setup? Is why Star Wars is the best — it adheres to that totally cartoony “this would absolutely not be the best way to carry out ANYTHING, but we’re doing it anyways” approach to villainy. NO REASONABLE BAD GUY WOULD BOTHER WITH THIS. In the time they’ve wasted watching this spectacle, Jango could have just shot them all to death and had them buried in the desert by now. But nope! This is Star Wars, and so we’re going with “we’ll spend an HOUR watching them get attacked by these monsters in front of thousands and thousands of spectators.” DOOKU: for fuck’s sake, you WERE a Jedi! You of all people should know that you really shouldn’t give them opportunities to escape their death, because there’s a pretty good chance they’ll figure it out.
Recurring Theme: Hilarious Backstory
Padme frees her other hand, and Anakin — miraculously, given his track record in the comics! — is able to use the Force to get back on that monster he was riding before:
Padme jumps down to join him, and gives him a quick smooch on the cheek as they head off to save their boyfriend.
Obi-Wan, meanwhile, is hurling a spear at one of the monsters. Do you ever think about how Obi-Wan failed to mention THIS PART OF THE STORY to Luke? LOL. There are just SO MANY GOOD STORIES he could share. I hope his ghost got around to it eventually.
Recurring Theme: God Help Me
I feel like I owe it to a certain subset of my readers here (and really, given the content of this blog I assume it’s a not-small subset,) to acknowledge that YES, Kenobi is a fucking badass here AND his face and hair in this entire sequence makes me feel unbalanced. WAS IT NECESSARY FOR HIM TO BE LIKE THIS? God, George Lucas is a genius. He is my plaid-wearing patron saint.
Obi-Wan tears off handsomely towards Anakin and Padme, and joins them. Awww.
Recurring Theme: Death of a Party
As Nute Gunray once again laments that these idiots are supposed to be DEAD by now, damn it, an uninvited guest drops by to add a little more chaos into the mix.
Yes, it’s Anakin and Obi-Wan’s Angriest Uncle, Mace Windu, here to throw down!
God, I love Dooku’s “whatever” reaction here. WHY IS EVERY STAR WARS VILLAIN THE BEST THING EVER. They are the funniest, smirkiest, evillest little shits ever and I love each and every one of them.
Jango, for his part, is mighty unimpressed.
Dooku, reading from The Complete Collection of Delightful Villain Cliches: Tenth Edition, smugly tells Windu that it’s so nice of him to join them. In response, Mace informs him that This Party’s Over:
And hey! He’s brought some friends with him! I can’t even begin to tell you how much my young son loves this sequence. There are so many Jedi, mom!
Behold — The Badass Brigade:
Recurring Theme: A Sort-of Rescue
The Prequel Trio pause from posing for a family portrait to gawk in relief at the help that’s shown up for them.
Dooku commends Windu for his bravery — but dryly notes that it’s a foolish move. They’re hopelessly outnumbered! Windu is NOT BUYING THIS:
So then he starts fighting some droids, and Jango uses that thing the Mandos have that shoots fire at people (because OF FUCKING COURSE the Standard Mando Getup comes equipped with a fucking FLAMETHROWER good GRIEF those people are intense.)
Windu goes flying down into the arena where he FLINGS OFF HIS ROBE IN ONE FELL SWOOP because God forbid any of these dramatic idiots have a fight without properly undressing first.
A whole slew of battle droids take the field now…
…and a whole mess of Jedi go flying at them from the opposite direction…
One of the Jedi on the ground throws a couple extra lightsabers over to Team Handsome, and Anakin uses his to cut Obi-Wan’s hands loose:
Recurring Theme: Hijinks!
Threepio and his head-swapped battle droid get into some predictably silly shenanigans in the midst of all of this:
Then everyone really just starts throwing down — Anakin and Obi-Wan are their usual total badasses, kicking ass and taking names:
And Padme starts awesomely riding around on a monster and firing wildly into the fray. God, no wonder Luke and Leia are the way they are. LOOK AT THEIR PARENTS.
Recurring Theme: Hey Everybody Check Out This Kids’ Show For Kids
Mace and Jango face off, and things do not end well for our Clone DNA Donor:
Dooku looks a wee bit stricken as he sees this go down:
Mace looks a little bit uneasy with having done this, too:
And Boba, of course, is deeply affected at becoming YET ANOTHER KID IN STAR WARS WHO HAS TO WATCH THEIR PARENT GET MURDERED. (Kids’ show!)
Recurring Theme: More Hijinks!
Threepio finally gets taken out of the melee by a grinning Kit Fisto and I die:
And Anakin and Padme have a chance to have some witty banter about whether this is truly the Diplomatic Solution Padme has sought, or if she had indeed succumbed to using the Kenobi-Skywalker Method of Aggressive Negotiations:
Anakin is such a completely lovestruck doofus in about 80% of this movie and I CANNOT HANDLE IT. HE’S IN THE MIDDLE OF A FIGHT FOR HIS LIFE, and he’s STILL like OMG GIRL LIKES ME AGGGHHH STILL BEST DAY EVER.
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Remover Of Limbs
Guess who’s busy being a sexy, sexy menace? Yes, it’s this guy, tearing his way through the arena:
Finally, facing off with the beast from before, he slices off a couple of its legs…
…then slashes at its throat…
…then finishes it off needlessly attractively. (I had to include these shots or I’d have lost my Star Wars Recapping License.)
Artoo then rolls over to Threepio’s head, pulling it off of the battle droid body it got switched with, and rolling away while Threepio complains. LOL.
Recurring Theme: Things Aren’t Looking Good For The Jedi
Everyone keeps fighting, but the Jedi are up against a seemingly endless wave of droids. Eventually, the remaining Jedi (plus Padme) find themselves completely surrounded, while a smug Dooku announces that they’ve fought a battle worthy of inclusion in the Jedi Archives that he stole from that one time: but it’s over now!
Anakin looks predictably confused, and Padme looks like she’s trying to see if looks can actually kill while staring up at Dooku:
Dooku offers them a deal: surrender and we won’t kill you. Windu counters that the Jedi won’t be hostages:
Dooku replies that that’s really too bad, because that means only one thing: time to die, then!
The group starts to get into battle stance again (LOL forever that Anakin requires ostentatiously twirling his lightsaber above his head as part of getting in the zone.)
Obi-Wan, for his part, appears to have given up all pretense of being a Jedi in a battle and has decided to welcome death while leaning into looking sexy and disheveled:
Recurring Theme: Here Comes The Grand Army of the Republic To Save Some Jedi Ass
…and just when things are looking utterly grim, Padme suddenly notices that someone’s coming to rescue them — it’s Yoda! And the GAR, making their galactic debut!
And that’s a wrap for our fun for today! Join me next time, when the clones prove to be as much of a bunch of badasses as advertised, Anakin has at least one more emotional episode before this movie concludes, Team Handsome does little to bolster the idea that Sith Lords Are Their Speciality, and Yoda sends us all home with some foreboding words of wisdom. See you then, and thanks for reading!