Scene it on Friday – AOTC Scene #102

Short scene, but interesting.  This whole scene is devoted to Shmi, though she is not there physically.  In a way, Anakin is meeting his extended-but-kind-of-immediate family.  I say “family” in the sense of the Brady Bunch structure, not really of any emotional sense.  Clearly, Anakin cannot get attached to these people, nor does he seem to really want to get to know them.  He’s here to find out where his mother is, and that’s that.  The Jedi are his family now, and soon Padmé will be his wife.

In this scene, we also learn more about the Sand People/Tusken Raiders.  We knew a bit about them from Episode IV, but we really see that they are “vicious, mindless monsters” with no real reason to kidnap and torture Shmi.  This seems to be a pattern of the Sand People; they kidnap people for the sake of kidnapping them.  Looking at ANH, we see that they almost took off with Luke if Obi-Wan hadn’t come at just the right moment.  I decided to look into Wookiepedia to see what the EU had to say about this.

“In many tribes, adolescent Sand People were tasked with a ritual known as ‘bloodrite’, in which a youth proved their hunting skills by capturing a creature and fatally torturing it with techniques extending the pain for weeks before death. Most opted for creatures like dewback or desert hulak wraid, but the greatest prestige was reserved for a hunter who performed the rite upon a sentient being.”

Other than that, it seems like the Tuskens often raided Tatooine settlements to try to drive them from their land and so kidnapped people in the process.  Hmmm, that part sounds a little reminiscent of American history.

I am a little confused, however, on one line.  When Cliegg says, “Thirty of us went out after her. Four of us came back. I’d be with them, only… after I lost my leg I just couldn’t ride any more… until I heal.”  Does he mean he would still be with the people who didn’t come back ie the people who died trying to get her back?  Did his leg somehow enable him to be saved?  WOOKIEPEDIA SEARCH!  Ok, yes his leg is a result of a trap laid out by the Tusken Raiders that got caught during the raid.  So what does he mean by “I’d be with them”?  I’m still confused by that line.  Can anyone help?

Lastly, what frustrates me most about this scene is that the dialogue starts off decent but then it quickly goes downhill.  I find that to be a reoccurring problem with Attack of the Clones: I just can’t stand the dialogue.  People say that acting is horrible but I always want to argue that not even someone like Judi Dench could pull off these lines with credible acting.  The second half of the scene after Anakin stands up sounds like a six year old wrote it.

I think that Cliegg’s lines are fine, even appropriate, but there’s no transition for Anakin to abruptly stand up and his lines are corny with Padmé shouting lamely, “No Annie!”  It doesn’t help that the shift between Cliegg’s lines and Anakin’s actions are not done very well by Hayden Christensen.  It’s very dramatic and I don’t like that there is no inner torment inside of him wondering if he is doing the right thing by looking for his mother.  You could argue that the inner torment was played out earlier in the movie with his debate on whether his dreams were real and if he should even go to Tatooine, but knowing what he does about Sand People…shouldn’t there be a little bit of hesitation?  Sure, he’s a powerful Jedi and his anger, in a way, makes him more powerful.  But I know Obi-Wan would have had a few thoughts before singlehandedly trying to take on a whole camp of Tusken Raiders.  And since he’s heard that 30 people went out, and four came back, I’m not so sure I’d be jumping into the fray.

Interesting scene, like I said earlier, and it led me to a lot of EU information.  In the end, it only brought up old anger I’ve had over the bad writing and weird transitions.

 

Awkward dinner where Anakin acknowledges no one

Awkward dinner where Anakin acknowledges no one

INTERIOR: TATOOINE, HOMESTEAD, DINING AREA – LATE DAY

 CLIEGG, OWEN, PADMÉ and ANAKIN sit around the table, BERU brings the drinks in from the kitchen.

 CLIEGG: Your mother had gone out early, like she always did, to pick mushrooms that grow on the vaporators. From the tracks, she was about halfway home when they took her.  Those Tuskens walk like men, but they’re vicious, mindless monsters. Thirty of us went out after her. Four of us came back. I’d be with them, only… after I lost my leg I just couldn’t ride any more… until I heal.

 CLIEGG grimaces, easing his throbbing leg.

 CLIEGG: This isn’t the way I wanted to meet you, son. This isn’t how your mother and I planned it. I don’t want to give up on her, but she’s been gone a month. There’s little hope she’s lasted this long.

 Silence. Then ANAKIN stands up.

 OWEN: Where are you going?

 ANAKIN: To find my mother.

 PADMÉ: No, Annie!

 CLIEGG: Your mother’s dead, son. Accept it.

 ANAKIN: I can feel her pain, and I will find her.

 OWEN: Take my speeder bike.

 ANAKIN: I know she’s alive.

 ANAKIN turns abruptly.

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