Thursday, September 2, 2010

Episode II: The Lovey Dovey One

I'm catching up and trying to write more in this blog, since I tend to forget all about it once I'm home for the day.  Frankly, I push everything out of my head in the evenings so that I don't have any worries or stress (with the exception of thoughts about new people I'm talking to...those I'm very guilty of).  Speaking of which, I have been talking with someone new since last weekend and I am pretty excited about it.  He is very intellegent, attractive, funny, and seem to not have any latent psychotic qualities so far.  I'm meeting him for coffee this weekend and I have butterflies in my stomach about it.  I'm sure we'll get along, but 'bad dates' seem to be my trend this year and I don't want this one to be another casualty of that bad luck.  On the other hand, if we meet and hit it off, we won't get to see each other for another three weeks or so because he will be in Kenya, Africa.  I actually think that's kinda cool.  Anyway, its good that I'm mentioning my love life because the second timeline film of the Star Wars films answers a question that had been nagging fans for centuries...what happens when a Jedi gets horny?  Let's get the crap kicked out of us by love as we examine Attack of the Clones.

The film begins 10 years after the phantom menace that is Darth Sideous tried to use the Trade Federation to kill Padme Amidala and thus created turmoil in the Galactic Senate.  In that time, Senator Palpatine of Naboo has become the Chancellor of the senate, Padme has become a senator for Naboo, Obi-Wan has become a Jedi Master and Anakin has become a hot teenage Jedi apprentice. There has also been a push by several groups to separate from the senate and form their own split groups.  These Separatists are being lead by the ex-Jedi Count Dooku and would love nothing more than to wage war on the Repulbic.  The senate begins to wonder if they shouldn't have a grand Army of the Republic to defend themselves against the great threat.  Along with that, a bounty hunter named Jango Fett has been making attempts on Padme's life and the Jedi are working to uncover who the assasin might be.  In the process of investigating Jango, they discover that a giant clone army has been built on the distant planet of Camino...an action that suggests that someone within the Jedi order has been working to betray the Republic.  Oh...and Anakin and Padme share a forbidden love...but that's not important.

Just like with Episode I, Clones is choc full of plot setup that won't be paid off until the next episode and so will not resonate as well with a viewer on a first viewing.  In fact, when I first saw Clones in the theater, I left feeling confused about what all the political stuff was setting up and wowed by having seen Yoda kick butt with a lightsaber.  However, once I saw Episode III and rewatched the the first two films, I could clearly see what Lucas was doing.  However, that doesn't help one much when one is trying to view a movie on its own merits...not as part of a larger whole.  I think that's why part two is my least favorite of the prequels, as I feel it is the most under developed of the three.  Oh, and then there's the love section.  Lucas is trying so hard to make the love between Anakin and Padme so serious that it almost becomes a parody of the feelings of love.  Anakin's expression of his feelings is almost as co-dependant and psychotic as Romeo's stalking of Juliet in Shakespeare's famous play that it always makes me uncomfortable to watch. Padme is also a problem, because she acts like the could return Anakin's feelings but isn't that into him.  Then suddenly, by the end she's willing to marry him in secret.  There is only one moment where she could have this sudden growth of feeling toward him, after he has massacred a bunch of sandpeople, and I would think that she would feel more inclined to push him away rather than embrace him for the angry psychotic he is becoming.  The only reason it happens is because, based on what needs to happen in the next trilogy, it has to.  I suppose I should be glad its not more hokey than it already is...but it will always bug me.  Still, Clones does have the epic battle of the Clones at the conclusion and Yoda kicking butt so it can't be all bad.  I just wish I enjoyed the experience of it more.

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