Haiku Me Friday! A pivotal scene and the need to control

The hatred flows through
They took her away from us
My anguish blinds me

As much as I have trouble enjoying Attack of the Clones and finding moments to like about it, I do enjoy the part when Anakin goes in search of her mother, kills the Sand People and cries about it to Padmé.

It’s this tense chase we are on with him and I think Lucas does a great job of NOT showing us Anakin killing the sandpeople. As an audience, we are put in suspense until he reveals to Padmé that he did, in fact, kill them all. To make matters hit home, the fact that Anakin killed both the women and children as well was deftly played by Lucas.

I think it was hard to feel sorry for the Sand People and hard to connect with them as a species. We never see them doing anything interesting; much less have feelings towards them one way or another. For the most part, the Sand People were annoying to me. They always showed up at an inconvenient moment as a plot point to spur the movie along. In fact, they are kind of like savage animals.

Yet, by having Anakin kill the entire village of sandpeople, and confess to doing the unthinkable by killing the women and children, we now feel pity.

Who kills women and children?

Even in war, it’s deplorable, almost everyone can agree to that. It’s part of what makes the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki so heart wrenching. There were thousands of innocent people living in those cities. On top of being innocent people, there were women and children – the future.

By killing the Sand People’s women and children, Anakin is preventing further life, preventing the future. And with that, George Lucas spins how we feel about the Sand People. Anakin says “They are like animals. And I slaughtered them like animals. I hate them!” Yet, now we feel pity and sadness, which brings the Sand People to a human status.

We also feel foreboding towards Anakin’s actions. This anger and rage comes from his feeling of powerlessness. He wants to control everything around him, including death. How can you control death? It is the one certainty in life – that everyone dies. Yet Anakin does not want to accept that.

If you watch Padmé’s face during this scene, you can see that she has fear. What has happened to Anakin? Who kills women and children? Why can’t he understand that it was out of his control and that Shmi’s death was not his fault?

Shmi’s death is a turning point in Anakin. He always feared loss, even in TPM when Yoda points it out to him. When Shmi dies, and then he has dreams about Padmé’s death in ROTS, it spurs him to use his hate and anger to try and channel it into what he thinks is something good.

Shmi’s death and this scene is so important to the entire saga. I often overlook it due to my frustration with AOTC but it shapes Anakin as a character and is a pivotal step for the Skywalker story.

I, too, can be a control freak. I like everything to be just right and when something disrupts my schedule or plans, I don’t deal with it well. I think most of the arguments I have with my husband come from when I have something in my mind of how it should go, and he has something different, and I have a hard time being flexible.

In some ways, it’s a good thing. My control helps me be extremely organized which helps me run my business, keep my daughter at home most of the time, and be a wife.

Yet the need for constant control seeps into a lot of our daily lives. I believe the need for control does stem from fear. Fear of losing control, but a deeper level, fear of not looking like I have it “all together” or that I’m easily handling everything. It’s a fear of loss, though different from Anakin’s. It’s a fear of losing face, in some ways. I think having a child has made it better (they really are unpredictable!) but now I have new aspects to try and control which raises stress levels.


Do you or do you know anyone who are controlling? Who has fears that drives them to dangerous points like Anakin? Or, honestly, do you have any advice for me or others similar to myself?


6 thoughts on “Haiku Me Friday! A pivotal scene and the need to control

  1. When I saw this movie, I honestly expected a special edition DVD to be released showing Anakin slaughter the entire village.

    I read somewhere that this was a set up for his allegedly killing younglings in the next movie.

    I subscribe to the theory that he really didn’t kill all the younglings, that was just Rebel Revisionist History. 🙂

    1. That could be interesting, or comical, depending on how well the scene would have been done.

      And good point, it does set up the future youngling death scene…and also sets up everything else as well.

      I’m pretty sure he killed the younglings lol. Sorry.

  2. I don’t know if this helps, because it’s in a little different context, but somebody made me a foursquare chart. Basically, it tells me to being aware of what situations are (supposed to be) in my control (and which are areas I’m not supposed to be in control/in charge of) and therefore I can take responsibility. Hope this makes sense. I’m supposed to “take charge” in the #2 and the #3 thought/action areas, but train myself not to assume responsibility (aka play the fixer/fix things!) in the other areas (#1 and #4). 1. Not in control but take responsibility anyway 2. In control=my responsibility 3. Not in control=not my responsibility 4. In control but (have no?) not my responsibility
    Any thoughts? Any adaptations of this strike you?

    1. That’s really interesting. I totally understand the concept. My question is… Is this something you write down daily, weekly, or is it just for larger concepts? The hardest part for me is applying it to the here and now. In the present… How would it help me from freaking out about something not going my way?

      1. I have to teach myself to recognize those situations–it’s like a process. So I’m not being manipulated or manipulating myself. I usually find myself getting emotionally upset or confused or frustrated, as an indicator. When I recognize it, or have learned what to expect from a situation/people, I just use it as a little mental inner dialogue. Like a mantra.
        Say it to myself, or out loud if I’m alone. After I ID it, and figure out whether it’s my responsibility or not, then I feel a release of tension. It actually feels oddly zen (for us control types LOL). I’ve also been working on setting up situations where I’m not responsible for other people, or slaves to their schedule–only for myself. So I’m not a the mercy of other people in my interpersonal relationships, and they aren’t at mine, which helps avoid a power struggle. And so I’m not waiting around because they have a different system or method. Like a joint independence method? Drive separately. Adhere to my schedule and also set parameters that will not create an obligation burden so that everything I’ve arranged to do that day is disrupted because they are late, etc. That way, I’m not mad or resentful, but also have a boundary–if the person wants to meet up for lunch again, and they were late previously, I suggest an alternate, where if they’re late, it won’t impact my agenda, etc. I even schedule a day(s) without an agenda. Scheduled flexibility, if that makes sense. It takes practice.

  3. Oh, I’m the same way with the control issues. I agree that for me it stems from fear/anxiety. My husband is the exact opposite of a planner, and at first it drove me nuts, but I’m starting to learn from it now. I’m actually a pretty laid-back person, just not about scheduling or things I see as my responsibility.

    I agree that the part where Anakin kills the Sand People and cries about it is the emotional core of the movie. It’s a shame it gets overshadowed by the longer, less-interesting stuff like the droid factory and arena that has more flash and less character development.

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