Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones (Part 7)
Yet another saga movie is coming to a close here on Snark Wars, and I’ll admit to being a wee bit sad to see it go. As should surprise no one, I’m really quite fond of this film, and I’ve greatly enjoyed the chance to give it a write-up that doesn’t include the words “mishandled” or “disappointing” or “CGI” in every third sentence, or — pardon me while I clutch my pearls — the disparaging of Obi-Wan’s amazing wolfman hair. Someone has to show this film some unconditional love, and if that’s part of my job here in this fandom, well, so be it. I accept my calling gladly.
When we last left our friends here in Things Are Really Lining Up For Ol’ Sheev Palpatine, the future Mr. and Mrs. Skywalker had shown up on Geonosis hell-bent on rescuing their beloved Obi-Wan, but in the grand tradition of most Star Wars Heroic Rescues, things were gonna have to get worse before they got better. Thus, Anakin and Padme ended up very nearly dying in an arena in front of thousands of spectators in the pursuit of rescuing Obi-Wan, who — of course — seemed mostly just deeply, deeply annoyed that someone tried to rescue him, as always.
Mace Windu and a whole team of Jedi Badasses had rolled into town, too, because they also wanted to save Obi-Wan. Now that I think about it, this means the Republic technically had something like 30 (?) or so of its best people out there at least in part because one guy — Obi-Wan — got taken prisoner. Wow. I know he’s never been grateful for a rescue, ever, but that one had to make even Obi-Wan feel at least a little bit touched. (Also, I fully support this use of Republic resources.)
A huge battle had ensued, giving Padme, Anakin and Obi-Wan time to show off their fighting skills AND look vaguely sexual during the entire affair, a number of Jedi lost their lives, and Jango Fett — the DNA template for the entire Grand Army of the Republic — quite literally lost his head.
As we rejoin things in today’s final Episode 2 recap, everything’s looking mighty grim for our heroes: they’re hopelessly outnumbered by battle droids, and yet obviously nobody wants to surrender to Count Dooku, who up until now has really been having a very pleasant afternoon all things considered. But all hope may not be lost (yet, this time): our little green friend Master Yoda’s arrived from Kamino — and he’s brought some backup with him. Can they pull out a win from this disaster yet? (Eh…) Will the Clones come in handy after all? (…uh, for now?) Will everyone make it out of this installment with all the appendages they had when this movie started? (*grimaces*) Let’s get a move on: Team Handsome are gonna have some major, ridiculous work to do once this movie’s over, and time’s a-wastin’!
Recurring Theme: We Didn’t Win But Also Just Barely Managed Not To Lose
Yoda and the clones swoop in and manage to make their way to the assembled group of survivors in the middle of the arena. Everyone piles into various Republic Getaway Vans, and Oh How Handy that Anakin, Padme and Obi-Wan end up in one without any other Jedi in there. Dooku watches them all fly off with an expression that more or less says “…whatever.”
Yoda notes to Mace that if they let Dooku get away from Geonosis, things are gonna get a lot worse, and quickly. What do you know: Yoda is wise. Mace looks peeved as they continue to fly off. In their wake, Threepio announces that he’s had Quite The Crazy Dream as he comes back to himself, and Little Boba Fett starts simmering in some of his Tragic Backstory:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Obi-Wan
On the Good Ship Kenobi-Skywalker, Anakin barks out some orders on where to aim their fire, resulting in a whole bunch of droid damage as a gigantic column crushes a whole mess of them. Obi-Wan is impressed, and commends him for his “good call”, at which Anakin looks REAL pleased:
I’m Shocked, Shocked!
Back in the Evil Guy Conference Room, our pals from the Trade Federation are flabbergasted: the Jedi somehow have a huge fucking army out of nowhere? WTF!
Dooku calmly says that that just…doesn’t seem possible. Uh huh. Suuuuuure. I sometimes wonder how everyone in this universe can keep track of the twelve hundred cover stories they have going at any given time.
The Republic continues to mount an all-out attack on Geonosis, blowing shit up left and right, and the Jedi pairing up with their clone buddies already. Wow, talk about effective team-building!
Recurring Theme: Planet-Killing Superweapon
Back underground, Nute Gunray is still in a tizzy because OMG this is not good, we’re getting our asses kicked! Dooku serenely states that his Master will never allow the Republic to get away with this. Um, right. From a certain point of view, I guess.
Poggle the Lesser intimates to Dooku that they have to keep the Jedi from discovering their plans for something. Some sort of…superweapon. One might even call it…a Death Star, even. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? OK, fine, I’ll give them this: at least this was an original idea when these guys thought it up.
Recurring Theme: Death Star Plan Hand-Off
Dooku is given the Death Star plans, and he assures Poggle that he’ll take them to Coruscant, where they’ll be safe with his Master. I love the idea that the plans for this thing are just in a constant state of being shuffled from one person to another, like this is the SLOWEST, WORST file-sharing system of all time. (Also, as an aside to the Empire: you guys and I need to have a chat about how you’ve planned out your file backup system. Because I have a LOT of questions.)
The rest of the bad guys take off, and Dooku hops onto a speeder bike with his cape dramatically flying around behind him. I honestly don’t even know why I bothered specifying this, since we all know to which clan this guy belongs.
Maybe If We’re Talking About Hair
Team Handsome and Padme spot Dooku making his Great Escape, and Anakin is like GET HIM SHOOT HIM DO THE THING at their clone pilot, only to be informed that they are out of rockets. So, theoretically EVERYTHING could have been different if the Republic had stocked one single extra rocket on this ship. Sigh.
Padme notes that they need help, and Obi-Wan is like NO WAY THERE’S NO TIME. He then, to my GREAT AMUSEMENT, announces that “Anakin and I can handle this!” WHICH IS TRUE ABOUT SO FEW THINGS EVER, but it’s cute that Obi-Wan thinks that.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Padme
Recurring Theme: Obi-Wan Loves Anakin
They keep on Dooku’s tail, and as their ship turns, Padme slips and tumbles out of the doorway and out onto the sand. Anakin, obviously, is horrified because not only is Padme hurt, she is also undoubtedly COVERED IN HORRIBLE HORRIBLE SAND. Frankly, I think it speaks to his level of devotion that he’s so willing to try and basically dive out of the ship to save her considering how likely he was to get sand on his person.
So, yes, as I was saying: Anakin flips the hell out and is like OMFG GO BACK LAND THE SHIP WE HAVE TO SAVE HER, and Obi-Wan is thisclose to honest-to-God slapping him across the face all PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER MAN. I was going to illustrate this with a single screenshot, but when I saw what the ones I had obtained looked like, I knew I needed to share them all with you guys. Enjoy: The Range Of Faces Obi-Wan Makes At Anakin:
Anakin’s like BUT SHE NEEDS ME and Obi-Wan is like YOU’LL GET YOUR ASS THROWN OUT OF THE ORDER [AND THEN I’LL HAVE TO LEAVE TOO JUST LIKE I SAID I WOULD IN THAT ONE COMIC] — I NEED YOU!! and just…*sigh*. You said it, Obes, not me. He points out to Anakin that if they kick Dooku’s ass now, they can end this whole thing BEFORE it becomes a tragedy-filled, but admittedly delightful AND frequently hilarious, multi-year animated series.
He asks Anakin: what would Padme do if she were you? Anakin, chastised as he recalls what a badass Padme is, hangs his head and acknowledges that she would do her duty.
I want to call out that it is at this exact moment that Yoda makes a face which is probably supposed to be about the Encroaching Darkness or whatever but plays completely like he’s just picked up on Obi-Wan and Anakin’s Couples Spat through the Force. Again. God, I hope Yoda didn’t have to sense this every single time it happened, and if he did, I think we can all understand how he wasn’t able to sense a lot of other things over the next few years.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Human Lightning Rod
So eventually the boys find themselves confronting their deeply annoyed Sith Grandpa — and guess who is just ITCHING to show off how he’s more powerful than everyone and therefore stupidly plunges himself into a 1×1 duel without so much as a half-second heads-up to his partner?
…yeah. So Anakin tears off towards Dooku after a pronouncement that is Vaderesque perhaps not in its content but in its borderline-comical wording — that Dooku’s “gonna pay for all the Jedi he killed today” — and things get off on the wrong foot:
Yes, Anakin charges right in there and IMMEDIATELY gets electrocuted for what is NOT EVEN REMOTELY the last time. The Chosen One, ladies and gentlemen!
Recurring Theme: Count Dooku, Totally Has A Favorite Grandkid
Dooku does some grandstanding: his powers are like, AMAZEBALLS now that he’s a Sith, see? He knows LIGHTNING and everything!
Dooku dryly observes that he’s disappointed in Obi-Wan — he expected better! — but of course given the context and everything it almost comes off like a compliment. Also I’m laughing because here is yet another person in this Jedi lineage who has a favorite grandson, and once again it is 10000% NOT ANAKIN. (Don’t worry Anakin, you’re Obi-Wan’s uncontested favorite Jedi, so.)
Recurring Theme: Padme Amidala, A Fan of The Team
Meanwhile, as Anakin sort of half comes back to consciousness, Padme does the same and is assisted by one of the clones. She gets to her feet and insists that they’ve got to get to the boys — and she barks this order out in a way that shows SHE MEANS BUSINESS. Oh Padme. You and I are of a kind.
Recurring Theme: Separation of Arm and Owner
Obi-Wan and Dooku continue to duel, and Dooku lands a couple blows on Obi-Wan which, frankly — given everything else I’ve seen or read about this guy surviving — seem pretty superficial. Nevertheless, they apparently succeed in forcing Obi-Wan to collapse on his side on the floor.
With Obi-Wan incapacitated (REALLY Kenobi, this is twice in this situation, and both times end up with Anakin a LOT worse off than when he started. Please try to time your blackouts/serious injuries better,) Dooku prepares for the killing blow. BIG SURPRISE, this causes Anakin to rally.
He starts fighting Dooku, and Obi-Wan tosses Anakin his lightsaber from his place on the floor, either because he thought it would be helpful, or he wanted to symbolically hand his life to Anakin, or he just thought it’d be pretty fucking sweet to see Anakin do some Jar’Kai. Regrettably, he loses his extra green blade almost immediately, largely for mirroring purposes…
…yes, because George Lucas and I understand each other on a fundamental level, Anakin preeeeeetty much goes OUT OF HIS WAY TO CUT THE LIGHTS FOR DRAMA AND ALSO TO MAKE SURE WE GET ANOTHER BLUE-RED FIGHT IN THE DARK. And, y’know, I assume also because low to no lighting is how Anakin, as a Jedi Temple resident, feels most at home.
Eventually this all leads us to one of Star Wars’ favorite places: Someone Losing a Limb.
Team Handsome ends up in a sweaty pile (but not like that, HOW DARE YOU,) and Dooku observes them…actually looking kinda sad.
OH COME ON STAR WARS, must you be forever making me feel ways about literally everyone’s sad story? God.
Things sure are looking bad for our guys, aren’t they? If only someone would come and help them!
Recurring Theme: Beware The Small Badass
OK: I need to tell you all that before this movie came out, one thing that bounced around in the fandom was whether or not we’d ever see Yoda throw down during the prequels. I speculated about this while on a date with my now-husband a month or so before this film’s release date, because obviously I was as cool as a college student as I am now.
Anyways, when this part started in the theater when I saw it during its opening weekend? People cheered. It was hilarious. ADULT PEOPLE WERE EXCITED THAT THE SWAMP MUPPET WAS GOING TO KICK SOME DARK SPACE WIZARD ASS. Star Wars is so silly, I can’t even. It kills me how much it gets us all to play along with it. This movie came out a million years ago now and I am still entertained by this.
So: just when things are looking bleak for Team Handsome (and really, guys, that was…kind of a pathetic display for The Chosen Hero With No Fear and the Literal Best Person In The Universe Who Kicked Maul’s Ass Before. I’m with Dooku: you were both a little disappointing here), the boys get an assist in the form of their 800+ YEAR OLD GRANDPA.
Yoda hobbles in and is like “well well well: if it isn’t my disappointing punk kid.”
Recurring Theme: Father vs Son
Their face-off begins with the two of them just lobbing shit that’s in the room at each other or at the walls. HONEST TO GOD: the property damages ALONE inflicted by the Sith and Jedi combined has to be staggering.
This goes on for a bit and Yoda, sighing, says that he senses the Dark Side in Dooku. He says it with this sort of like “…goddamnit, not ANOTHER ONE” tone of voice that is both making me sad AND making me laugh.
So then they switch to lightsabers as their weapon of choice, and honestly it’s GREAT FUN because Yoda is just this teeny little dude flying all over the damn place.
They both hold their own, but then Dooku decides to use the Force to push a pillar down onto Team Handsome, who are still laying there on the floor.
Recurring Theme: Yoda Has To Save His Kids From His Other Kids
Yoda sees this about to happen, and is forced to scrap his efforts to kick Dooku’s ass in order to use the Force to keep the pillar from falling on Anakin and Obi-Wan. I love how it looks like this takes a TON of effort, but that ultimately Yoda handles it. This delay, however, allows Dooku to get into his ship and take off just as Padme and the troopers arrive, and let me tell you: I laugh every time at Padme being like WELL FINE I’LL SHOOT AT HIS SHIP EVEN IF IT WON’T DO ANYTHING PEW PEW PEW TAKE THAT.
Recurring Theme: Master Yoda, Can Already Tell They’re Doomed
Dooku’s solar sailer takes off as he smirks to himself, and back in the hangar Anakin regains consciousness:
YODA. YODA LOOKS ABSOLUTELY CRESTFALLEN as he reflects on what just happened, and it’s killing me:
He hobbles over towards the boys, who OF COURSE are now BOTH getting onto their feet like WAY TO GO GUYS THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN HELPFUL EVEN LIKE ONE MINUTE AGO.
Naturally Padme tears in there, too, all OMG ANAKIN and embraces him (and maybe kisses him somewhere on his face? I can’t tell from here, but whatever.) I do love how many people are like LOL OMG HOW DIDN’T THE JEDI SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON BETWEEN THEM simply because Padme purs her arms around a guy they all know she is friends with, who has been bodyguarding her for days and whose arm has just been lopped off. YES, clearly everyone in the room was supposed to just assume they were boning just based off of this exchange. (And yes, I say this fully aware of how very not subtle Anakin and Padme are in general. I’m just saying, THIS ALONE is not ironclad evidence of an affair. And at any rate, they don’t seem to have been fooling people much anyways, if we’re gonna use Wild Space as a reference, hahaha.)
Recurring Theme: My Ridiculously Circuitous Plan Is One-Quarter Complete
Dooku arrives to rendezvous with Sidious, and he’s quite pleased to announce to the big man that the Force is indeed with them: the war’s begun! Sidious is like NICE: everything’s going as planned. Oh good.
Back at the Jedi Temple, Mace and Obi-Wan are wistfully staring out the window IN THE COUNCIL ROOM WHICH HAS NO LIGHTS ON JUST SAYIN’. Obi-Wan asks: do you really think Dooku was telling the truth? About there being a Sith in control of the Senate?
Yoda, from his little council chair, looking forlorn, pipes up: Dooku’s a fucking Darksider now, and everything he says is therefore suspect.
Is That What They’re Calling It These Days?
Mace is like “OK fine, true enough, but I still think we should keep a closer eye on things around here.” Whatever, Windu. It’s not really gonna do you guys a damn bit of good anyways, so frankly if you want you guys could just peace out for a few years at Club Med or something and the end result’s gonna be about the same. He then asks Obi-Wan where Anakin is, and his answer is that Anakin is “escorting” Padme back to Naboo. Uh huh. Sure. Whatever you need to believe, Obes.
Obi-Wan then takes a moment to acknowledge that DUDE THANK THE FORCE THAT MYSTERIOUS GIANT ARMY OF DUDES GOT MADE FOR US, amirite? We wouldn’t have had a victory without them!
At this, Yoda scoffs: that right there? WAS NO VICTORY, KENOBI. Ominously, he announces that “the shroud of the Dark Side has fallen”, and that the Clone Wars are hereby officially underway. DUN DUN DUUUUUN! I like that Yoda already has a name picked out for this conflict. Anyways, I’ll go grab my martini and settle in for the impending years of nonsense.
Recurring Theme: The Wrap-Up
We then hit this episode’s wrap-up sequence, where we first get a sweeping shot of the Clone Army of Much Fame:
…followed by Sidious, flanked by several people INCLUDING A VERY SAD LOOKING BAIL ORGANA, observing it all as the Imperial March proper blares just in case you’re THAT far behind the comprehension curve:
Recurring Theme: ‘Til Darth Do Us Part
But on Naboo, nothing is gloom and doom! We find Padme and Anakin standing at the lake yet again, but this time they’re not just standing there making Meaningful Faces at each other — they’re doing that AND getting Secretly Hitched!
You know what? People (read: me) give Anakin a lot of crap for being an impulsive doofus, but he’s not exactly alone in this regard, Padme. It takes two to tango here, y’know — it’s not like Anakin’s marrying himself (LOL, oh but what a dramatic ceremony that’d be if he was). So it is with this solid foundation of extremely well-thought-out decision-making that we find Anakin and Padme tying the knot after like 2 whole entire weeks of dating, or however long it took before Anakin’s new arm was done and they cleared him to leave the hospital. (YES I KNOW, ANAKIN, NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN AS IN LOVE AS YOU GUYS ARE. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME HATE MAIL.)
I’ll…I’ll just wish you luck, you crazy kids. You’re really gonna need it. Like, a lot.
And so it is that we find ourselves at the end of this movie, my friends! Obi-Wan was worried and injured, Anakin was a dramatic disaster who made several questionable choices, Sidious got everything he wanted and the clones, indeed, attacked! We’re done with this saga installment, but fear not: Star Wars always has more to give, and so I’ll see you next time for wherever my recapping journey takes me next. Thanks for reading!