Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace (Part VI)
It’s a momentous occasion here on this blog today: it will have taken me something like 2 years to do it, but with today’s Super-Sized Snark Wars entry, I will complete the task of recapping the entire Star Wars prequel trilogy. I’m excited! And mildly ashamed! Which pretty well describes how I feel about being a Star Wars fan overall! I want to state before I get started that A) this took forever, B) WordPress changed its editor recently and I’m still learning how to use it and it’s somewhat annoying, and C) I mildly fucked up the bulk-crop of these screencaps and didn’t notice until AFTER I’d uploaded like 200+ images, so they don’t all look as polished as usual and the image editor is being a bastard so I’ll have to come back and clean it up later BUT GET OFF MY BACK OK I WORKED HARD TO BRING YOU THIS BULLSHIT AT NO COST TO YOU, THE CONSUMER.
…OK! Previously, in the last installment of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Council had taken the idea of training Anakin Skywalker to be a Jedi under consideration, and determined that that may not be the best idea. Not to be swayed by things like “he doesn’t meet the criteria”, and “he’s kind of freaking us out”, and “the Force is basically begging us not to do this”, and “why did you even bring this child home with you without first making sure we even had a place to PUT him”, Qui-Gon Jinn had held fast to his insistence that Anakin Skywalker has to be a Jedi. (I still think it could have been funnier to send him to Jedha and make him live with Chirrut and Baze as a Guardian of the Whills, but that’s just me.)
Adding complexity to this situation is that, in case you’d forgotten, Qui-Gon already has a Padawan! His name is Obi-Wan Kenobi, and he is handsome and has never done anything wrong in his life. (Yes, that’s canon, don’t @ me.) No matter, said our Jedi Hippie Dad: Obi-Wan can graduate! He’s kinda OK at his job so it’s fine! Obi-Wan had looked…not exactly thrilled by being blindsided with all of this, and Anakin had stood there the whole time looking vaguely like he wanted to deck the whole Council. I can’t imagine why they have concerns!
Meanwhile, Sidious had spent most of the last recap feeding Fake News to Padme, and getting her to do his bidding by first having her take steps to get the current Chancellor kicked out, and then — what do you know! — getting himself put under consideration for the position. It’s almost as though that is exactly what he wanted, but of course that doesn’t sound like Our Sheev, Who Just Wants What’s Best for The Republic and Padme Of Course.
Before any final decisions could be made about The Galaxy’s Next Top Chancellor or How To Solve a Problem Like Anakin, though, Padme had decided she was done sitting back on Coruscant wearing fancy hats while her people suffered and died back home — so help her, she was going to suffer and die, too! WHILE wearing fancy hats! Against the advice of her handlers, she’s busting out of this place, and so naturally the Council is sending Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan — who are, apparently, the Jedi Order’s #1 crack team of bodyguards for outrageously-attired sassy young ladies whose planets are on fire — to protect her. Hilariously, for some reason instead of the Council offering to, say, let Anakin hang out in the Temple’s rec room or go hang out with the younglings or something while Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon took care of this, Anakin is tagging along. On a mission to an occupied planet where people are being murdered. WHY.
All right, we’re back up to speed. And I don’t wanna spoil too much here, but let’s just say I’m going to get to cover at least the third occurrence of a particularly tragic Kenobi Recurring Theme today. Brace yourselves.
Recurring Theme: I’m Sending My Apprentice So Everything Should Be Fine
On Naboo, Sidious is getting an update from the Trade Federation dudes about how they’ve successfully impounded the entire population of the planet now. Swell.
Sidious is pleased, and promises that he will keep things as they are in the Senate. I am…still not totally clear about who all knew he was the same person as Palpatine prior to and during the war, and especially so when it comes to the evil guys. Like…they can’t all be that stupid, right? (…) I reread a part in the Revenge of the Sith novel the other day where Grievous literally asks Sidious why he didn’t let him kill Palpatine when he had the chance. I mean. Honestly. I give Anakin crap for being an idiot about this (and many other things) all the time, but I feel like the longtime bad guys have even LESS of an excuse here.
The Dahhhk Lord then also tells them that he’s going to be sending Maul over to hang out with them. I kinda wonder what Maul was like before Obi-Wan fried his brain and sliced off half his body. Like, pretty much from this point forward, Obes is going to be the only thing he cares about. (Which, in fairness, is totally understandable.) I love that Anakin and Maul both met him at approximately the same time, and evidently neither of them ever stopped talking about him from then on. He’s got a way, that Kenobi.
Recurring Theme: Padme Amidala, Doesn’t Have to Listen to These Well-Thought-Out Counterpoints
On board Padme’s ship, Anakin is proving that he’s a smarty pants when it comes to spaceships:
…and Padme is being asked to not make a rash decision that might get her killed. Um, every single person in this series is really bad at that, Padme included. Panaka explains that pretty much as soon as she rolls up to Naboo, they’re going to force her to sign that stupid treaty, and that’s a bad idea because they have no army or anything. Padme gives zero shits:
Entertainingly, Qui-Gon chimes in with a reminder that he and Kenobes can only protect Padme, not fight a war for her! LOL. Yes, wouldn’t that be something. I sure hope no one corners the Order into getting involved with something like that!
Padme’s pretty uninterested in listening to any of these people with their “reasons” and “logic” and “you’ll die”s, and instead cryptically tells Jar Jar that she needs his help. Well whatever this plan is, it’s sure to be a great one, you can bet on that!
Back in the cockpit, a battle droid control station is spotted, and Obi-Wan, who kinda looks like he was hitting on Panaka before this scene started, is alarmed and notes that this means they don’t have much time.
Recurring Theme: Wistful Staring
The gang lands in a forest on Naboo, and we cut to Qui-Gon, and really: JUST LOOK AT HIM. Just standing there with his hands on his hips, posing and staring wistfully. BECAUSE OF COURSE HE IS.
Do they even teach anything else at the Temple? Is the Order even real, or just a consortium of people who look really good in robes and enjoy showing off? At any rate, Obi-Wan explains that Jar Jar’s gone back to Gungan City for whatever this plan is, and he asks Qui-Gon if he thinks Padme’s plan will work.
Recurring Theme: Force Bonding
Qui-Gon blahblahblahs about how this plan won’t be easy, and also they can’t “use their powers” to help Padme make it work. So really, I’m sorry, not to be all Anakin about this, but then why the fuck are you even HERE, Jinn? Yeah yeah, protection and mandate and jurisdiction and all that, but like…wouldn’t it be a LOT EASIER to just help Padme not be in a situation where, say, blaster bolts will be flying at her head or whatever? I’m just SAYING.
Fine. At any rate, Obi-Wan takes this opportunity to pull the old classic “Heartwarming Master Conversation That Absolutely Portends Death” maneuver, as he professes his contrition about having backtalked about The Anakin Situation:
Qui-Gon smiles warmly, and is like Oh Anakin, you are strong and wise and I am very proud of…er, I mean, he says this:
Great! This is all wonderful. Obi-Wan loves Qui-Gon, Qui-Gon loves Obi-Wan, and I would be totally certain that this means that something horrible is going to happen even if I hadn’t already seen how this movie ends 8,000 times already, because I know Star Wars.
Well This Doesn’t Sound Bad or Anything
Jar Jar returns and he’s got news: uh, nobody’s home! The Gungans are all gone! Qui-Gon and Panaka speculate on where they could have been taken:
Jar Jar isn’t convinced, though: the Gungans have a few tricks up their sleeve that might explain their disappearance in a non-“they were all murdered” way:
Recurring Theme: Not Who You Think I Am
So Jar Jar leads them further into the woods and they get to this lush green space with some ancient ruins and whatnot, and find the rest of the Gungans. They present “Queen Amidala” to Boss Nass:
He’s like “pfft, OK, whatever”, but before he can rant some more, Padme pulls a TWIST:
LOL, I love that Anakin is TOTALLY bamboozled. For someone who supposedly can “see things before they happen” and whatnot, he’s just…really getting taken by surprise a lot. I’M JUST SAYING.
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, meanwhile, share a little smirk between them that possibly suggests that at least one of them had already clued into this deception. Either that or shit like this happens on every Goddamn mission they go on, and they’re just like “of course there was a decoy. OF COURSE.” Now I really, really want Satine to have been in disguise when they met her. REPEATING ITSELF IS WHAT STAR WARS DOES, OK.
All right, so Padme’s let that cat out of the bag, and she levels with Boss Nass: she needs him. The Naboo need him!
Boss Nass hedges for a moment, and then is delighted: what do you know! The Naboo don’t think they’re better than the Gungans!
Obi-Wan smiles cutely because we all needed a little something to enjoy:
…and Boss Nass agrees: maybe they’ll be buds after all:
Everyone is happy! The day is on its way to being temporarily partially saved maybe!
Recurring Theme: Bad Guy Conference Call
Everyone’s on the horn with Sidious, AGAIN, for like the 800th time in this movie. I was going to make a joke about how I hoped he had good service on his Secret Sith Phone Line since he seems to be making a lot of calls, but let’s be honest here: in this galaxy? Sidious was probably making his Evil Calls not only FROM SHEEV’S OFFICE, but also probably on his actual Republic phone line. He probably answered the phone with “Darth Sidio–I mean, Chancellor Palpatine here” twelve million times and nobody ever thought anything of it, because every single person in this galaxy IS VERY DUMB.
So. Maul has arrived on Naboo, and they’re informing Sidious about how they’ve found Padme’s ship in the swamp. Sidious is surprised:
He tells Maul to be mindful, and Maul is like “roger that, big guy”:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Less Chill Than Everyone
Hahahaha, OK, so some reinforcements are spotted on the horizon here at the good guys’ base camp, and Anakin is like AGGGGGGHHHH ALERT ALERT THEY’RE HEEEEERE:
…while Padme, with the level of enthusiasm one might show when being informed that, say, the mail just came, is like “…Oh good that makes me feel very neutral-to-positive.”
Recurring Theme: Literally Everyone Made General
As everyone assembles, Boss Nass heaps praise on Jar Jar for having brought the Naboo and the Gungans together, and declares that he’s giving Jar Jar a title:
Jar Jar is overwhelmed, and passes out, and I laugh, because apparently every single person who ever lived in the GFFA was eventually promoted to General.
Padme and co. get an update from Panaka: most everyone’s in prison camps right now, but a few people have been able to cobble together a Ragtag Resistance Out of the Scraps! WHAT A SURPRISE I AM VERY SHOCKED WHO KNEW SUCH A THING WAS POSSIBLE.
Recurring Theme: A Naberrie Lady Bosses Everyone Around
Panaka tells Padme, further, that the Federation’s army is pretty damn good, and that’s a concern:
Padme explains that the battle isn’t really the point here: it’s meant to distract the enemy! They’re gonna use the opportunity to bust into the palace and kidnap the Viceroy!
Qui-Gon says it’s a good plan, but risky. Obi-Wan chimes in that, should she fail to take down the viceroy, he might send yet another wave of battle droids. Padme, giving Obi-Wan this mildly exhausted look, is like YEAH WELL THEN WE BETTER NOT FAIL, right dummy?!
Please also enjoy this image of Anakin listening to these two chatting back and forth:
Recurring Theme: Sheev Palpatine’s Failed Effort to Kill Obi-Wan Is Gonna Come Back to Haunt Him
Sidious is on a holo-Skype AGAIN (or I guess it’s possible that he never hung up, hahaha) and he’s like “…the fuck is that girl doing?!” about Padme’s latest moves. He’s told that most of her backup seems to be comprised of “primitives”, because the evil guys in Star Wars are assholes. Sidious smirks: OK, actually, this might be perfect. Gunray asks if this means he’s got permission to engage:
Sidious affirms: yes indeed…
Joke’s on him! That ain’t happening. Please note this is the second time, just in this movie, that Sidious has ordered Obi-Wan’s murder. Then there’s at least two other times where he’s, at a minimum, indirectly involved in an attempt on Obi-Wan’s life in Attack of the Clones. Then he tries to get him killed in roughly every other episode of The Clone Wars for six-plus seasons. Then he tries to get him killed in Revenge of the Sith at least three times. I am dying. HE TRIED SO HARD TO KILL OBI-WAN YOU GUYS, AND OBI-WAN JUST. KEPT. NOT. DYING. FOR OVER A DECADE. You know that when Sidious showed up on Mustafar and found Anakin’s charred semi-corpse, he was internally screaming because JESUS FUCKING CHRIST FUCKING KENOBI WALKED AWAY FROM THIS, AGAIN, DAMN IT ALL TO HELL I NEED A VACATION. I’m starting to wonder if Vader actually wasn’t the one who was the most concerned about there being no body when Obi-Wan finally died in A New Hope. I feel like that little detail probably kept Sidious up on more than one night. Because if history had taught that man anything, it was that there was virtually no chance that an attempt to kill Obi-Wan had worked.
Recurring Theme: Questionable Parenting
The Gungans and the droid army meet on a giant open field to throw down:
…and as this is happening, the gang is carrying out Padme’s plan to sneak into the palace. Qui-Gon, suddenly remembering that OH YEAH, he brought a FUCKING NINE-YEAR-OLD CHILD HE BARELY KNOWS WITH HIM TO A WAR ZONE FOR SOME REASON, crouches down and tells Anakin this:
I’m just cackling here. I mean, at this point it’s not like he could have done much more to keep Anakin safe beyond telling him to hunker down, but I am cracking up that he was all “nah don’t sweat it Ms. Skywalker, we’ll take care of your boy” and then proceeded to IMMEDIATELY put Anakin in danger of being killed in a battle. WHY DIDN’T THEY JUST LEAVE ANAKIN AT THE TEMPLE?! It’s not like Yoda told Qui-Gon that they wouldn’t put him up for a few nights! They might not have wanted to train him, but given that he was just an unarmed small child, I’m pretty sure the space monk order who have compassion for all living things would have let him play video games in the common room until Qui-Gon got back! I guess it’s possible that Qui-Gon was concerned that they might, like, try to reunite him with his mom or something if he left him behind, but even still. MASTER JINN: WHAT THE FUCK.
Recurring Theme: The Hangar of Destiny
Oooooh things are about to get HAIRY in here, guys! The crew makes their way, shooting and dodging and lightsabering, into the Hangar of Destiny:
Things are crazy and chaotic, and Qui-Gon screams at Anakin to take cover as Padme screams at her pilots to get to their ships so that they can attempt to take out the droid control station. All these Important People, dramatically yelling stuff! Anakin must have been in heaven.
Naturally, as everyone else is shooting at stuff and making a scene, Anakin isn’t about to be upstaged — so he and Artoo jump into a Naboo starfighter and buckle up. Uh oh! I sure hope nothing comes of that!
Recurring Theme: Giant Space Battle
So we’ve got Naboo’s pilots flying all over the place:
And the Gungan and the Federation duking it out, when the Federation decides that it’s time to unleash the droids, and the internet can kiss my ass because this scene looked genuinely cool when this movie came out and I still think it looks fine and I LIKE THESE MOVIES SO JUST DEAL WITH IT.
Recurring Theme: The Beginning of the End, Again
Back in the hangar, Padme posits that the Viceroy is in the throne room, which is literally what she already said before when formulating this plan but OK, sure, thanks for reminding us, George.
Anakin, probably out of some visceral, deep-seated need to protect Obi-Wan and Padme at all costs even though he has zero training and is so small that the two of them could play catch with him, yells out that he wants them to wait up:
Qui-Gon shuts him down in the MOST dad-like style ever:
…and he means BUSINESS, mister!
Recurring Theme: We Make Entrances in This Galaxy, Damn It
OH MY GOD. What a delight this part is. So Anakin stays where he is, and the gang goes moseying towards a giant two-door entryway, and it slowly opens to reveal…
LOL! The music starts up the fanfare of Duel of the Fates, which I am going to say with authority is the best piece of Star Wars music that has ever existed and nothing will ever be better than it. Thank you; I will not be taking counterarguments.
Maul…he’s just…standing there. I AM LAUGHING. He just needed some dry ice clouds to complete the Look! God, the Force just turns everyone into the biggest drama nerd EVER.
Taking this in, everyone is standing there all “…what the fuck is this thing?” and Qui-Gon, sealing his fate, announces:
DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN! OH DAMN HERE WE GO.
Recurring Theme: Dramatic Disrobe
There is quite sincerely nothing I dislike about this sequence.
A) I love that everyone just gets the fuck out of the way immediately when Qui-Gon calls dibs on Maul. No one else other than maybe Padme even really knows what the fuck Maul’s deal is, right? WHY IS EVERYONE SO SCARED OF HIM IMMEDIATELY; HE IS ONE GUY AND ALL HE’S DOING IS STANDING THERE.
B) Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan doing this whole little Strut of Serious Business over to Maul.
C) Maul’s Dramatic Un-Hooding
D) THE DUAL DRAMATIC DISROBE
E) The music becoming more and more insane with each passing second
Honestly. What is not to like?!
Behind them, Anakin is, naturally, getting himself into trouble, because Oh No Padme I’ve Gotta Do Something:
THIS FIGHT. I can’t. I’ve been waiting for years to recap it, and now that the moment is here I’m not even sure what to do. I can perhaps best explain my feelings by telling you all that every time I see it, I cannot stop smiling. It’s so incredibly over the top, the soundtrack is SO SO UBER-SERIOUS, the guys did SUCH a great job and seem so into it and I JUST LOVE EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF THIS.
Recurring Theme: Anakin and Artoo, BFFs
Anakin sees a chance to help Padme et al by firing on the droidekas that have shown up and are preventing her and her crew from getting into the palace. Artoo is yelling at Anakin, and Anakin’s all like DUDE I’M TRYING:
Of course, because this is these two, Anakin’s attempts to help end up with them going on a wild joyride. His ship starts moving, and he’s able to take out the droids, but, uh, there’s a problem:
COME ON, ANAKIN. Aren’t you supposed to be this techy whiz kid? FIX IT.
Anyways, this does allow Padme and her gang of resistance fighters to gain access to the palace, and Anakin and Artoo head off into the sky. Qui-Gon probably should have asked Shmi to sign a permission slip before they left Tatooine.
Recurring Theme: Just the Sound of Your Author Shrieking
The Duel of the Fates continues, and Maul does this move — which is hard to capture in a still — that appears to serve no purpose other than being extra, and flings himself half-upside down in the air. WHY DO THEY ALL KEEP TWIRLING THEIR FUCKING SWORDS SO MUCH (no, please don’t send me real explanations about fencing or whatever. JUST LET ME ENJOY THIS.)
So the trio tango their way into this power station…thing, that was behind the doors over here, pretty much entirely so that A) Lucas can repeatedly bash us over the head with Moody Colors of Foreshadowing for the remainder, and B) so that we have yet another scene where people are swordfighting on a series of platforms with absolutely zero safety rails. Don’t regular people work here? Naboo’s infrastructure staff need to unionize, man. THIS IS NOT SAFE:
There’s battles going on on several fronts now, which I will not attempt to recap in full. We’ve got Anakin and Artoo, getting autopiloted over to the droid control ship:
Dramatic Force-users flipping around and showing off:
Padme and her crew pew-pew-pewing down a palace hallway:
…and the Gungans and the battle droids blowing shit up:
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Huge, Rule-Bending Nerdboy
Anakin gets Artoo to disable the autopilot of their ship, and starts flying himself around. Artoo, for once the voice of reason, tells Anakin to go back, to which Anakin says:
LOL. Oh he absolutely used this line again with Obi-Wan. Anakin, you little shit.
He then does this:
…and, again: I am 1000% sure he said shit like this as an adult. There is no doubt in my mind. He probably muttered it under his breath AS VADER while flying his TIE around and murdering people.
Recurring Theme: The Many Reasons Why Hermit Kenobi Should Have Been Allowed to Buy a Hot Tub
Padme and co. head further down the hallway, blast open a window, and use grappling hooks to head up towards the throne room. SHE IS FOURTEEN, YOU GUYS.
Meanwhile, Maul v. Team Supernerd continues unabated, and Obi-Wan gets sent tumbling over a ledge and slams down, HARD, on a level below, and IT LOOKS LIKE IT HURT REALLY FUCKING BAD. His whole body must have been a MESS by the time he got to the desert. My poor baby. He tried so hard and he deserved a massage. And a fluffy robe. GOD DAMNIT ANAKIN, WHY. He could have had a NICE retirement, but noooooo.
Anyways, he doesn’t merely get injured, he ends up dangling over the ledge, hanging on for dear life.
Recurring Theme: Another Thing For Obi-Wan To Discuss with His Therapist
While Obi-Wan clings to the ledge, Qui-Gon is, critically, on his own against Maul. And so while Obes is able to haul himself back up onto solid ground again, the other two have gotten pretty far away from him. Not that this will end up being a thing that kinda ruins Obi-Wan’s life and therefore my life by extension or anything.
Yes, why, it’s time once again for something truly terrrible to happen to Obi-Wan. What’s that, you say? You say you’re not here for that? As the author of this blog, I say to you: YEAH RIGHT. I know you angst monsters. Let us now, as a group, dissect this latest Kenobi Pain.
So, our poor ginger space peanut is not quite able to catch up with his Master and the dude who will eventually come back to try to destroy Obi-Wan at least two more times:
He’s running, but evidently he forgot how to use that Super Force Speed he does at the beginning of this movie and can’t make it over there in time (in his defense, he HAD just fallen and possibly broken part of his back like 30 minutes before this), and so Maul and Qui-Gon end up going through this stupid revolving-shield-door thing without him:
The two of them get stuck on opposite sides of a wall, and Qui-Gon uses this moment to try and center himself, while Maul stalks around like a creep.
Recurring Theme: That Never-Fail Star Wars Humor
As for Battle Droids v. Gungans? Yeah, it’s going real bad, and the good guys are in full retreat:
This, of course, provides yet another opportunity for Binks Hijinks and Accidental Day-Saving:
At the same time, the group in the palace finds themselves in a tight spot:
Boy! Everything sure is going really badly for everyone! If only a gifted desert child would do something they should by all logic not be able to do, and save the day! But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ve got something else that Star Wars features far too much to deal with first.
Recurring Theme: The Unbearable Sadness of Obi-Wan
So first, Baby Anakin, Superpilot is still flying around, causing chaos with Artoo. He ends up inside the droid control ship (skidding into a VERY Skywalkeresque landing as he does so,) and then finds himself surrounded by battle droids. Uh oh!
He can’t fly away! Before we can see what Anakin’s going to do to get himself out of this, though, we cut back to the Mauling That Started It All, as Qui-Gon and the Sith break out of their holding cells and continue their battle.
Obi-Wan, again, JUUUUUUST narrowly misses getting there on time. Well! At least this will ensure that the next several minutes of his life are as painful as humanly possible! So…there’s that!
I love that Obes looks ABSOLUTELY READY TO MURDER MAUL. Look at this angry little muffin; he WILL KILL YOU AND BURY YOUR BODY IN A DESERT AND THEN GO ABOUT HIS DAY. (Humorously, this is literally what he ends up doing to Maul. Eventually.)
So there’s Obes, trapped behind a wall, watching these two go at it, and then Qui-Gon gets hit and, unable to react fast enough, gets Mauled, and Ewan gets the honors of delivering our very first Canonical NOOOOOOOOOOOO!:
Honestly, it kind of seems only right that it’s him that we first see screaming in anguish.
Maul does this little hand gesture that’s all like “hmmm? Ya like that?!” and I laugh, because if Obi-Wan looked like he was ready to murder someone before, well, now he looks like he might be able to set Maul on fire with his face alone:
Recurring Theme: Awesome Tiny Girl Saves Day, Makes Evil Dude Look Like Idiot
On the battlefield, the gungans are in full retreat mode now, with a few getting marched off by droids, and Jar Jar really giving it his all:
In the palace, the group gets escorted to the throne room, where Nute Gunray is like FINALLY can we PLEASE just end all this nonsense?:
But, before Padme can react, the bad guys are thrown off by the appearance of Sabe, still in her Queen regalia:
Ha! Can I please tell you all how much I love that one of the main takeaways of the Star Wars saga is “teenage girls are awesome, and evil men are dumb”? That is some good stuff.
With a bunch of the bad guys distracted, Padme and her crew are able to isolate the viceroy, and hold him at gunpoint, and it’s exactly as great as it sounds as she tells him how it’s gonna be:
Recurring Theme: Gifted Desert Child Does Something They Should By All Logic Not Be Able to Do and Saves the Day
Back to Kenobi Pain! Obi-Wan is finally able to get at Maul, and he just goes FLYING at him full-speed, lookin’ sassy and with his Terrible Braid hilariously flailing all over the place. Also this is not really essential to the retelling of this movie, but dear GOD, Ewan was so cute and I am never going to be over it, because a sizable part of me has never stopped being 14.
Aaaaaanyways, you guys know how it goes: fight fight fight…
…fall fall fall…
…Maul stupidly takes his time showboating and will absolutely be thinking about this moment for a LONG time to come…
…but before we can bring THIS bit in for its heartbreaking conclusion, we cut back to Anakin, who is — OF COURSE — accidentally saving the day. He’s been ableto get power back to his ship, and by complete random chance/will of the Force/whatever this has been a long recap and I’m tired, he takes out the power of the droid control ship! Wowee! I’m dying that Luke had to really focus Super Hard and be coached by a ghost and think about what he was doing to blow up the Death Star, while Anakin just sort of fell ass-backwards into destroying this thing while not even consciously trying to do that. That…sounds about right. Anakin is constantly getting freebies from the Force. Anyways: so long, Fake Proto-Death Star! We hardly knew ye (also please enjoy Anakin’s faces, because LOOK AT THIS PRECIOUS BABY BEAN HAVING A FUCKING BLAST):
With the control ship out of commission, that makes things a LOT easier over on the battlefield:
Recurring Theme: …And He Was Never Seen Again (Until He Was)
…but not necessarily easier for Obi-Wan, who is watching Maul continue to act like a total showoff:
Fortunately, Obi-Wan spots Qui-Gon’s lightsaber, and is able to A) grab it, and B) flip himself out of the hole he’s fallen into in one fell swoop, gaining the element of surprise, and slicing Maul clear in half:
THIS GUY WASN’T ACTUALLY DEAD. I am being completely serious when I say I had to pause to laugh out loud here. LOOK AT HIM GO:
I love Star Wars so goddamn much. I truly, deeply do. Goodbye “forever”, evil foe!
Recurring Theme: I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight
With Maul destroyed forever and with zero chance of him returning because that would be insane and you would have to be completely barking mad to even suggest bringing him back after what we just saw OH GOD BLESS YOU GEORGE LUCAS YOU ARE A TOTAL WEIRDO AND I SALUTE YOU, Obi-Wan runs over to Qui-Gon’s side.
Obi-Wan is SO SAD. HE IS. SO SAD. MY POOR BABY. I would like all you people to please actually pay attention to HOW MUCH EMOTING MANY PEOPLE DO IN THESE MOVIES, because I will throw down for both A) the acting, and B) the fact that the Jedi do, in fact, have feelings and display them. I don’t think it’s fair to hold it against them that ONE of their frequently-shown emotions is “annoyed with Anakin Skywalker”, either, because who wouldn’t be? They’re only SO powerful, guys. Cut ’em some slack.
AHEM. I digress, yet again. Yes, Qui-Gon is Dying Tragically in Obi-Wan’s arms. It is possible that “in Obi-Wan’s arms” is like, the 4th-leading Location of Death in this galaxy. And before he dies, Qui-Gon has one last assignment to hand out: it’s nothing major, just the care and keeping of Anakin Skywalker. That sounds easy! WHAT COULD GO WRONG.
Of course, Obi-Wan tearfully promises that he will take care of Anakin and worry about him and deal with his bullshit for the rest of his life and afterlife, because when Obi-Wan commits to something, HE COMMITS.
Recurring Theme: This Bitch
With all that pleasantness behind us, we watch as — later that day? the next day? a week later? — Padme sends the Trade Federation packing:
Panaka gets to deliver this INCREDIBLY dorky line:
…and, as the entourage is leading away The Only Bad Guys Involved Here, HERE COMES FUCKING PALPATINE, and HE IS THE FUCKING WORST HERE AND ALWAYS. My poor boys, WHOSE LIVES HE IS GOING TO UTTERLY DESTROY bow to him and they are cute and I hate Sidious so much that I misstyped his name 7 times just now:
Sheev then tells one of his favorite lies by complimenting Obi-Wan as though he’s happy to see him and not blinded with rage that he’s not dead:
LOL! I love how much Obi-Wan appears to hate his guts here. He looks like he’s going to slap him in the mouth for speaking to him! TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS, YOUNG KENOBI. Go with your heart.
Also this happens:
FUCK THIS GUY. I HATE HIM. DON’T YOU EVEN LOOK AT ANAKIN YOU CREEP. Aaaaaaagggghh. My kingdom for an AU where Obes is just like NOPE and physically lifts Anakin off the ground and runs away from this ogre.
Then it’s time for the icing on Sheev’s cake: oh HEY Padme!
OH MY GOD WHAT A FUCKING LIAR. I love Ian in this role so much. LOOK HOW NICE PALPATINE IS. HE LOOKS SO PROFESSIONAL AND KIND AND WARM and I LOVE that they drained the color out of him as the prequels went on. UGH it’s the best and he’s the best and the WORST. I have so many feelings about these movies.
Recurring Theme: I Now Pronounce You Bros For Life
Apparently Yoda caught the last train to Naboo and got into town now as well, and he’s in a poorly-lit room (OF COURSE) talking to his dreamboat of a grandson:
Awww! Obes is so proud and smirks and don’t you just want to kiss him or is that just me? That’s…not important. So Yoda gives Obi-Wan his promotion, but then he lays out a WHOLE LOT of issues he’s got with this whole Operation Let’s Train The Chosen One:
Obi-Wan counters: uh, Qui-Gon thought I should, and I told him I would, so I’m gonna.
I…like how does this work? This isn’t even the only time in canon that Obi-Wan threatens to do this, because it comes up again in the comics. Are there a lot of off-brand Jedi roaming the galaxy? Can anybody just quit the Order and train randoms? How do they NOT have like a ton of grey-market faux Jedi out there?
Yoda sighs, because KIDS THESE LAST FEW HUNDRED YEARS, I TELL YA:
At any rate, it doesn’t matter, because Yoda relents: HE thinks it’s a terrible idea, but the rest of the Council is OK with it, so the writing’s on the wall:
Recurring Theme: Jedi Roasting On An Open Fire
The cast assembles to bid a fond farewell to Qui-Gon, whose body they are literally watching be eaten by flame. I have to assume Anakin’s seen some shit, as a former child slave, but even still: THIS IS INTENSE, guys.
We get a nice lineup shot of everyone, including Palpatine who is probably using all of his Force power NOT to burst out into hysterical laughter:
Anakin and Obi-Wan have the first of what I assume was many Dramatic Moments in front of a corpse, as Anakin asks:
Obi-Wan solemnly promises to help Anakin become a Jedi, and Anakin looks over at Qui-Gon in dismay, almost as though he’s wondering if THAT’S what’s going to happen to him if he goes down this path (spoiler alert: he wouldn’t be wrong! Ha! Ha! Oh, Star Wars is misery.)
Mace and Yoda take time out from mourning to dissect what the hell just happened here. They conclude that, OK, FINE, I guess the thing that killed Qui-Gon was a Sith. I’m sure he appreciates you believing him NOW, guys!
And, if that’s true, then they’ve got a Situation, so Mace asks The Question — the one NO ONE WILL ANSWER CORRECTLY UNTIL IT’S TOO DAMN LATE, and when they do the first person to guess right is going to be ANAKIN, which should honestly make all of the Jedi feel WORSE:
George Lucas, concerned that there might be people in the audience even dumber than the people in these movies, gives us a Hint:
DUN DUN DUUUUUN! Gasp! Surely he doesn’t accuse gentle Palpatine of wrongdoing!? No, surely this must be a red herring.
Recurring Theme: And They All Lived Happily Ever After (Or For At Least a Few Minutes)
Now all the bad things have been stopped and everything is fine, and so it’s time to party!
Everyone gets together for curtain call, including Anakin who somehow already has a Jedi outfit AND a terrible braid? WHERE DID HE GET ALL THAT HAIR? Did Obi-Wan loan him some? Also, they are too cute and I’m dying.
So they do a Modified Medal Ceremony, and everyone gets in their Smiles and to my great amusement Obi-Wan looks kiiiiinda suspicious of everything. Or maybe just like he’s trying to hide the fact that his dad got murdered in front of him and he’s REALLY FUCKING SAD and also he doesn’t know anything about children, what if he can’t get Anakin into a good college and what if he accidentally kills him or he swallows a crayon or something??? What I’m trying to say is, Obi-Wan needs a hug.
Boss Nass holds up one of those static balls they have at children’s museums that make your hair stand up on end and declares, in one of the most inaccurate statements in Star Wars:
LOL! Sure. Dream big, guys.
With that, we are escorted out by the iris wipe, get our chance to thank the maker or begin writing furious screeds full of venom towards him for ruining our childhoods somehow, and that’s a wrap!
I HAVE RECAPPED THE ENTIRE STAR WARS PREQUEL TRILOGY, FRIENDS. From Jedi Trainee Hair to the Sand Soliloquy to Elevator Rides Full of Sexual Tension and all points in between and beyond: IT’S DONE. I did it! Thanks for joining me on this very silly, very sweet, very weird ride. I love these movies, and I hope you do, too — but even if you don’t, as I’ve said, it’s always my hope that if nothing else I’ve given you a few laughs, and gotten you to enjoy my enthusiasm for them (…and, OK, maybe I also hope that I’ve softened your heart just a little bit when it comes to these films.)
And now — with episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in our rearview mirror — you all know what this means: I’ll meet you all back on Tatooine, where we’re gonna be trying to cut a deal to save a frozen doofus, and see if we can’t save Anakin and blow up another superweapon while we’re at it, too. Thanks so much for reading! I’ll see you then.