Guys, I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I think I’m on some kind of weird AOTC + first person haiku kick.
Whatever problems I have with Attack of the Clones, I think that Naboo retreat scenes are beautiful. The acting in the picnic scene was terrible but it had a lot of great insight into how radically different Anakin and Padmé’s views on politics were. Anakin already favored the dictatorial stance and Padmé rooted for democracy and hearing out the people. But they were too in love to see it. Or perhaps, Padmé shied away from seeing what she probably knew deep down as Anakin laughed it off. Anakin was in the flirtatious mode of trying to impress Padmé, so when he realized she strongly disagreed with his feelings, he tried to act like it was a joke. He was smitten and who can blame him? I would also be smitten with those surroundings.
What I also love about these scenes is not just the extra insight it gives into their opposing political viewpoints, but that George Lucas was, in a way, giving us an old fashioned courting period between Anakin and Padmé. You could argue that the whole movie was a courtship, but I believe these scenes were a chance for the characters to slow down and have fun. The script writing and acting (mostly on Christensen’s part) was pretty bad so it wasn’t entirely believable, but if we take a step back and look at it as a whole – I appreciate the effort that Lucas put into these scenes. It’s easy to brush them aside because on the surface it does not look like it moves the plot forward too much. But the movement of the plot here is more subtle…it’s a wrestling between what they want and what they’ve been told cannot be. The quote on the way to Naboo is setting the scene for tumultuous emotions between the two characters that happens as soon as they land:
Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi’s life. So you might say, that we are encouraged to love.
We have these stunning beautiful scenes that are juxtaposed against their inner turmoil that culminates in the fireplace scene at night, where defenses are most low. There you see their true feelings come to light, when Padmé’s clothing reflects her feelings.
So while I may not like AOTC that much, there is so much to be taken from these Naboo scenes. More than I sometimes like to give Lucas credit for.