Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Alright, let’s get our Attack of the Clones on! I remember liking this movie the first time I saw it and I’ve only seen it like two or three times since that first viewing. I don’t ever remember disliking it.

Let’s see how these fans edit, shall we?

I never liked the name “Count Dooku”. It really overshadowed his Sithian name, I feel.

So it turns out that the galaxy is in turmoil and there’s a separatist movement being led by “the mysterious” Count Dooku. As I recall, this separatist movement has its roots in the conflict that we saw in The Phantom Menace.

So it turns out that this upsurge in separatism is creating a situation too vast for the Jedi to police effectively. This leads to a movement in the Senate to create an Army of the Republic to assist the Jedi. Surely this will turn out well. So Senator Padmé Amidala (promoted from the position of Teen Queen) is on her way to the senate to vote on the issue.

You know, this makes me wonder: the Jedi have been keeping the peace for 4k+ years, but how long has the Republic been around? Do the Jedi predate the Republic? I mean, I know the (old) canonical answers, but there’s nothing really stated in the movies that confirm that.

Also, the Jedi and the Republic really remind me of Plato’s Republic. Seriously, look it up, it reminds me a lot of this situation.

Amidala’s upgraded her ride since-

Oh it just blew up. Wow, these editors are not messing around at all.

Psych! Amidala was disguised as one of the fighter pilots and so she didn’t die, but now she’s traumatized by the death of her double. Cyclops, the captain of her guard, is like we got to move.

Palpatine meets with three bigwigs from the Jedi Order (Yoda, Mace Windu, Conehead). Mace is like, “We can keep the peace, but we can’t fight a war.” Yoda says, “It’s hard to see the future.”

Palpatine is clearly willing to go all Lincoln on the separatists (he explicitly says the Republic has stood for a thousand years, hmm).

Amidala walks in on their meeting. Jedi Intelligence (?) suspects disgruntled spice miners on the moons of Naboo. Jedi have their own intelligence gathering wing? It’s nothing we ever really get to see on screen, though I bet Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were basically part of that branch.

Amidala suspects Count Dooku.

Conehead and Mace Windu are immediately dismissive of the idea, “Naah, he was a Jedi.” Jedi could never do anything wrong.

Spice miners on the moons of Naboo? Seriously? I’d really like to know what “spice” is in the Star Wars universe because (a) they mine it on Kessel and (b) that run can be done in twelve parsecs. Despite being dropped twice now in the franchise, we never get to see it.

Also, Naboo seems like a pretty chill place. I find it weird suspicious that disgruntled miners would have the gumption and the means to sabotage a spaceship on a completely different planet.

Palpatine suggests some security, and also suggests Master Kenobi (who Mace reveals is just back from dealing with a border dispute). Which seems to be the Jedi’s MO, they send out one or two at a time to handle some pretty large scale situations. A border dispute seems roughly on the scale of what Qui-Gon was dealing with in the previous movie.

You know, I like Mace. He’s a pretty cool.

Jar Jar, who I assume is Amidala’s doorgungan, lets in the Kenobi/Skywalker duo.

Amidala calls Anakin “Annie” and all of Anakin’s lines are immediately cut.

Anakin is like “we’re totally going to go off our mandate.”

And Obi-Wan is all like, “Uh, no, we’re going to do the job we were given and shut up.”

Anakin sulks.

Anakin’s been dreaming about his mother. Obi-Wan reassures him that dreams pass. It’s certainly not possible that Anakin is exhibiting any precognitive abilities because Yoda just said seeing the future is hard and Anakin would apparently be doing that in his sleep.

Anakin just said being around Amidala is intoxicating and that he’d much rather be dreaming about her. I guess this is possibly foreshadowing of how, in the next movie, he actually does dream about her. Still, Anakin comes off as kind of a creep, but really the kind of creep you get when you home school a kid for two decades.

Obi-Wan warns her that (a) he’s a monk and (b) she’s a politician. Obi-Wan’s pretty cynical when it comes to politics.

Evil robot tries to kill Amidala by inserting giant centipedes into her room.

Obi-Wan and Anakin seem to detect this almost instantly. Which is weird because is it a proximity thing? Anakin can spider-sense his mom in danger on Tattooine. But these two don’t sense anything until giant centipedes are on a bed fifteen feet away from them?

I’m not saying anything is wrong with that, just that Jedi senses seem to rely heavily on emotional bonds. Luke, for example, could detect Vader at great distances because of the paternal bond, for example.

Anakin jumps into Amidala’s bed and kills the centipedes. I assume he had to, but I suspect he was a little like, “oh man, I’ve got to jump into that bed to save her life, it’s the only way, here I go, it’s so awesome.”

Meanwhile Obi-Wan jumps through a window and grabs the flying droid. Things have really gone uphill for Obi-Wan since the days when his job was to stay with the car.

I just realized this is roughly the equivalent to a Star Wars drone strike.

Anakin, who I just realized is wearing pretty non-Jedi Code clothing I bet, runs downstairs and grabs a flying car (is it the Jedis’?) and flies off after Obi-Wan who is just content to hang on.

Now Coruscant is a large place, but again, I assume Anakin can home in on Obi-Wan because  he’s basically Anakin’s sensei-dad.

A mysterious figure snipes the droid, causing Obi-Wan to fall. Now, why not snipe Obi-Wan? Maybe killing a Jedi is just a bad idea. Anakin pulls a few g’s to pick up Obi-Wan.

Oh, Anakin said he was delayed because he couldn’t find a speeder he really liked. Which I guess means he stole it? I can believe that Anakin is pretty good at hotwiring cars.

Obi-Wan, by the way, is pretty cool about the whole almost dying thing. Like maximum unflappable. It’s easy to forget that Jedi are all about basically being pretty unemotional all the time.

Obi-Wan says, “There he is,” and they’re in pursuit. But how did he know that “he” was who he was looking for? It didn’t seem like the sniper was that close, but maybe it’s a Jedi thing, or maybe Obi-Wan saw more than I thought he did.

Anakin is like, “I know a shortcut.” I mean he doesn’t say that with his words but with his eyes. To me.

Obi-Wan starts kvetching about Anakin’s life choices (he comes off as a bit of a nag) as Anakin decides that death is preferable to another lecture and jumps off the speeder, to land on the sniper’s speeder. He gets his lightsaber knocked out of his hand, but Obi-Wan, in pursuit, effortlessly catches it.

Really appreciate that Obi-Wan, flying basically a jet with one hand, can reach out and catch an object the size of a lightsaber as it flies by him at a pretty crazy speed.

Jedi powers are so cool.

The sniper crashes and runs away with Annie in pursuit. She ducks into a club and Obi-Wan stops Anakin and tells him to be patient, use the Force, and to think. Annie’s super sulky about the whole thing and you get the feeling that Obi-Wan kind of says the same thing all the time to Annie.

Like, honestly, there really wasn’t anything Annie did that I would think could have been done much better-

Holy crap, Obi-Wan cuts off the sniper’s arm. That’s hardcore. Also, not dissimilar to the scene in Mos Eisley. Annie and Obi-Wan try to Jack Bauer some info out of the sniper but she gets killed by a dart and someone flies away with a jetback.

The Council charge Obi-Wan with tracking down the mysterious jetback bounty hunter. The Council assigns Annie to be the Kevin Costner to Amidala’s Whitney Houston.

Annie is going to escort Amidala offworld where she can be safe.

Amidala instructs Jar Jar to take her place in the Senate. Jesus, they made Jar Jar a Senator. I suspect he got some war hero street cred.

Amidala is upset about having to leave her job because people are trying to kill her. Anakin tries to be diplomatic about it. Amidala comments that he’s grown up, considering the last time we’ve seen the two together Annie was like, what? Eight? I feel like that one’s pretty obvious. He’s like five feet taller than he used to be.

Obi-Wan is a real micro-manager.

Anakin has adopted the traditional Jedi poncho of disguise, but keeps the dumb Padawan hairdo.

Obi-Wan and Captain Tycho the Cyclops are both like, “Those two are probably going to do something dumb.”

And they’re not wrong.

Obi-Wan sends the dart to forensics robots. This leads him to a giant Jedi library with glowing blue lights instead of books. Jedi Librarian Chopsticks swoops in as Obi-Wan searches for a place called Kamino, who then tells Obi-Wan since it’s not in their archives, this planet Kamino doesn’t exist. I think they cut out the whole scene in the diner with the four arm guy.

Obi-Wan and Mace are in the Jedi hanger and Obi-Wan is like, “You think a Jedi could be behind this?” Mace is like, “We can’t really tell because of all this bad Force mojo.”

That’s like… a giant clue right? What else could cause a disturbance in the Force besides the destruction of a planet? And you know who was behind that event? Evil Jedi.

Obi-Wan confesses that Anakin was too old to start Jedi training. I don’t remember this line, that’s pretty interesting. Annie can’t protect Amidala because erection, adds Obi-Wan.

Mace is willing to cut Annie some slack. Obi-Wan leaves for Kamino.

Oh yeah, R2-Mother-Fu*#*ing-D2 is back! And… serving drinks again? Sure, why not? He’s only a super-intelligent self-aware AI computer.

Amidala asks if Annie, as a Jedi, can love. Annie says attachments and possessions are forbidden. But apparently Jedi value compassion which Annie tries to use as a loophole. It actually makes sense, given that Jedi are probably really dedicated to living a monastic lifestyle so people don’t think they’re trying to exploit their powers.

Obi-Wan goes to Kamino to find that the Kaminoans have been waiting for a Jedi Master. By the way, Apple must have built all the gear for the Kaninoans.

Two hundred thousands units are ready and a million more are on their way. You can’t believe the online fan wars that erupted over the ambiguity of that statement.

I personally fell on the side that “units” indicate “units of individuals” and not one million clones entirely.

Jedi Master Sifo Dyas, a member of the Jedi Council who has been dead for nearly a decade, apparently put in an order for a clone army.

So then we meet Amidala’s parents and it this makes me feel weird. We’re meeting Luke and Leia’s grandparents and aunt, who might theoretically still be alive by the time of the events of the original trilogy, but Luke and Leia might not even know exist. They might not even know who their mother is. It’s a little unsettling.

Amidala’s sister calls Annie Amidala’s boyfriend, which is weird because Amidala was like the queen of her goddamn planet, but apparently doesn’t really warrant respect at home.

Annie and Amidala go on a picnic and talk politics. Annie reveals he’s a bit of a fascist. He flirts pretty poorly but Amidala is in to it and I don’t discount he’s not Jedi mind tricking her.

The Kaminoans reveal that they’ve been cloning a bounty hunter named Jango Fett. They take Obi-Wan to meet him, and his son Boba.

Jango and Obi-Wan face off, with Obi-Wan playing it cool, and Jango coming off as smug and blue collar.

Jango was apparently recruited by a man named Tyrannus. After Obi-Wan leaves, Jango tells Boba that they’re out and to pack his stuff.

Annie charms the ladies with some sweet telekinesis. Because chicks love telekinesis.

The Kaminoans come off as a pretty cool group fo people actually. Obi-Wan goes to his R4 unit to make a call back to his bosses. Mace and Yoda are pretty stunned by the whole situation.

Meanwhile, back on Naboo, Annie decides to creep it up some more. He comes off as unstable, for a Jedi anyway, because of nightmare visions about his mother. So he immediately gives up his mission to go save his mother, sort of foreshadowing Luke’s own journey to Could City.

Obi-Wan confronts Jango who shoots a rocket at him, which disarms Obi-Wan, but then, in probably one of the high marks of the entire franchise, Obi-Wan Kenobi jump kicks a man using a jetpack out of the air. I forgot all about this and it’s as awesome as it sounds.

The fight with Jango is probably one of the few in all movies where we see a “normal” going head to head with a Classical Era Jedi. It’s also probably the only time we see one extensively fighting while disarmed, and it’s interesting how Obi-Wan can kick like crazy, and take some serious hits to the head. Even when Obi-Wan is tied up, Jango barely manages to get away from him by throwing Obi-Wan over the side. But Obi-Wan totally recovers and returns within moments just as the Jango & Son Bounty Hunters escape. I definitely get the feeling that Jango was fighting with everything he had and only succeeded in slowing Obi-Wan down.

Annie and Amidala go to Tattoine and meet Watto who slowly recognizes Annie. Watto reveals that he sold Annie’s mother to a moisture farmer. I wonder how Watto’s been doing over the years considering he claimed to have lost everything by the end of The Phantom Menace. Speaking of menace, I think Annie’s got this slightly menacing air to him that I think feels proto-Darth Vaderian. Annie’s pretty willing to use intimidation to get what he wants.

Annie and Amidala go to the moisture farm and meet Annie’s stepbrother and his stepbrother’s girlfriend. They meet Annie’s stepdad and it turns out that Shmi had been kidnapped by Tusken Raiders. A party of thirty riders were sent out after her, but only four returned. She’d been gone for a month by the time Annie arrives.

Annie’s like, “You’re not my dad,” and storms off to stand outside the igloos. He leaves Amidala in the safety of people he’s known for twenty minutes and sets off on his space motorcycle.

And then they kick in “The Duel of the Fates” and you know shits about to get real. He goes and talks to some Jawas.

Meanwhile, Obi-Wan has tracked the Fetts to a planet and sneaks into a giant cathedral in search of some information on what’s going on. And, after discovering the clone army, he stumbles upon the production line of a droid army.

This is where we, and Obi-Wan, come across Dooku who is meeting with representatives of the separatists. The Trade Federation wants Amidala dead, which makes sense since she handed them a pretty humiliating defeat in Phantom Menace. It turns out Dooku is building an army of droids that will be used to overwhelm the Jedi and force the Republic to give in to their demands.

Back on Tattooine, Annie locates the Tusken Raider camp. He uses a lightsaber to cut his way into a yurt and finds his mother who is pretty beat up. I assume he was able to find her partly from Jawa information and partly Jedi homing pigeon ability. Shmi is kind of out of it and dying, which is really suboptimal state for an emotionally unstable superhuman to find her. She dies in his arms and Annie loses his shit.

Which, honestly, on this viewing, I get. Screw these guys. The Raiders charge him but he’s a Jedi so they’re all screwed. Obi-Wan can’t reach Coruscant, so he opts to call Anakin, since Naboo is closer to them, but it turns out Anakin is actually on Tattooine which is apparently close enough anyway.

R2-D2 gets the call back on Amidala’s yacht.

Annie returns from his murder party pretty dark and brooding. Annie admits he killed all the Tusken Raiders. Amidala is like,”ooookkaaay, I don’t know how to process that information.”

Annie is freaked out because Jedi shouldn’t get angry, and definitely don’t go on murder rampages of revenge. The Jedi are super not in to that.

Obi-Wan’s message relays that the separatists are amassing an army and then he’s captured. The Jedi Council orders Annie to protect Amidala. Annie agrees, but Amidala, in a burst of sass, leaves for Geonosis to rescue Obi-Wan, bringing Amidala along through technicality.

On Coruscant, Jar Jar obviously decides to be the hero who votes the Chancellor special powers to create an army.

Obi-Wan meets Count Dooku who confesses that all of this happened without his knowledge and that he’ll try to get Obi-Wan free. It turns out that Count Dooku knew Qui-Gon Jinn, he was, in fact, Dooku’s apprentice.

Huh, it turns out that Dooku knows that the Republic is under the control of the Sith. Considering all the Sidious stuff has been edited out, this gives Dooku a whole different slant. He could legitimately be a Jedi who goes rogue in order to stop the Sith. Wouldn’t that be messed up? What if Dooku was the good guy?

It would seem like the kind of thing that the guy who taught Qui-Gon all his crazy Force philosophy could do.

Jar Jar leads the motion to give Palpatine extreme emergency powers. Palpatine swears to give up the powers when the crisis is dealt with, then immediately creates the Grand Army of the Republic. Mace and Yoda watch all of this, then Mace decides to take a bunch of Jedi after Obi-Wan, while Yoda will go to Kamino.

Amidala goes in to negotiate for Obi-Wan’s release. Dooku tries to get her to sign up with the Separatists, but after she refuses, Dooku is like, “Welp, that’s all I can do,” then someone else sends them to die in some gladiatorial arena. Amidala and Anakin kiss because screw it, they’re going to die anyway, and they find Obi-Wan tied up in the arena.

Obi-Wan’s pissed that they came all this way to die with him.

Annie reassures him that they did the smart thing before they did the stupid thing. Three alien monsters are unleashed to kill them. Amidala uses something hidden on her person to pick the restraints on her and climbs away from her monster. Obi-Wan uses his monster to cut himself free. Annie jumps on his alien monster and uses it to break his chains.

It’s worth noting that Amidala’s monster slashes her back and rips off her midriff? Then Anakin uses one of the more esoteric Force abilities and seems to tame his monster and turns it into his epic level mount.

Obi-Wan, tied up as he is, still manages to disarm a Geonosian and uses it against his monster, but shrugs off his attacks. Destroyer droids roll out to kill them, but just then Mace Windu and his Jedi Force Strike Team Special Forces Delta Commandos reveal themselves.

There’s a weird bit of dialogue where Dooku tells Windu that the Jedi are outnumbered and Windu says, ” I don’t think so,” only it turns out that they’re totally outnumbered. Obi-Wan and Annie get some lightsabers and the fight begins in earnest. Jedi seem to be doing alright for the most part, though a handful get hit by some kind of artillery cannon, while another gets gunned down by Jango Fett. Jango gets cocky and tries to take on Mace Windu. Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Jedi Knight was trying to take Jango alive, Mace Windu is a Jedi master who wants to kill Jango, so Jango dies almost immediately.

Obi-Wan displays that Jedi compassion and totally kills alien monster. Meanwhile, the Jedi seem to take horrible losses and are reduced to like a dozen out of what seemed like way more. I suspect that Obi-Wan, Annie, and Mace Windu are exceptional Jedi, because we see some Jedi get gunned down pretty easily.

Just as they’re totally screwed, Yoda shows up with the Clone Army Calvary, which is awesome.Mace’s plan was pretty terrible in retrospect, but I honestly don’t think Mace thought people would actually try and fight the Jedi. When something goes wrong, the Jedi Order sends two Jedi. I get the feeling no one has ever seen such a large force of Jedi mobilized at once.

Mace meets a Clone Trooper who says he has five special commando units waiting for him which lends credence to my interpretation that five units means more than five dudes.

Oh, ok, Dooku says his master won’t allow the Republic to get away with what they have planned. That’s pretty disappointing because he also says his master is on Coruscant, kind of implying that he’s in cahoots with the Sith.

Also the Geonosians have the plans for the Death Star, which I guess still took like thirty years to build. Must have been sort of theoretical plans or something.

What’s interesting about the battle is that there’s a huge cloud of debris kicked up by a crashing space ship and it becomes clear that the Clone Trooper armor is designed for extreme environments because the Clones are capable of continuing to fight in some pretty nightmarish conditions.

Amidala falls out of the Clone helicopter, which causes Anakin to start to lose his shit, which makes Obi-Wan lose his shit and yell Annie back down. Which I guess shows how far Obi-Wan is being pushed right now because he’s been a cool customer for most of the movies except for the death of Qui-Gon.

Annie rushes Dooku who Force Lightnings Annie into submission. Obi-Wan rolls his eyes, and then uses the amazing counter to Force Lightning, he hold up his lightsaber. Should have taught Annie that.

It’s interesting because Obi-Wan ends up fighting the guy who trained the best fighter of the Jedi. It’s really hard to tell how much age has an affect on the Jedi because Dooku, despite being way older than Obi-Wan handily defeats him at lightsabering, displaying way more agility than Obi-Wan did in A New Hope. Annie recovers and tries to solo Dooku and does alright until Dooku cuts off his arm and Force throws him away.

And just then… oh. The fans cut the Yoda/Dooku fight scene. That’s a pretty weird choice and I didn’t expect that.

The movie cuts back to Coruscant where Mace, Obi-Wan, and Yoda all consider what is going down. Yoda is a really negative nancy about the whole situation, declaring the Clone Wars have begun. And with that, queue “The Imperial March” and you know that no matter how real the shit was before, it’s only gotten more real now.

Oh, and Annie marries Amidala because they’re both idiots.

So that’s pretty much it for the second Star Wars movie. I didn’t expect some of these edits, like they cut the whole Amidala and Annie in the factory scene, and R2-D2’s flying jump jets scene, but I REALLY didn’t see them cutting Yoda’s fight. Overall, I still like this one. I think it’s hard to handle Annie because he’s basically constantly creating material worthy of the /r/cringe subreddit, but that’s because he’s a legitimately socially inept superhuman, who has a super crush on the first woman he’s ever met. It’s not really a recipe for success, and the movie also shows that on some level Darth Vader is totally out for the good of the galaxy. All pretty worth watching.

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2 thoughts on “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

  1. I’m a big fan of pretty much anything Star Wars. Including these recaps. But between these long write-ups, Morrowind, and Skyrim, I’m starting to get concerned you’re going to leave your WotE deep dive half finished.

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    • I did take a break from WotE. It was getting pretty exhausting and I was afraid I was being unkind to the book, but I do plan on coming back around to it. A friend asked me to review the Star Wars prequels, so I thought it would be a fun and brief tangent.

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