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?

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Friday Fives: Characters That Deserved More Screen Time

The Star Wars universe is amazing, we can all agree upon that.  There are so many characters, planets, ships, that our imagination can be taken beyond hyperspace and we know we could live in that world if we wanted to (oh, hell, I would love to live in the Star Wars universe).  But the stories we’ve seen in the saga thus far only focus on one family and the people that touch their lives.  Which is great and all, but unfortunately, we don’t get to see the background stories of other characters.  Here are 5 characters that I think deserve more screen time and wouldn’t mind if they were honored with a standalone movie.

Five Characters That Deserved More Screen Time

  1. Sabé. This woman was Padmé’s loyal bodyguard and decoy.  Sounds fun, right?  Uhhh, sounds dangerous.  How did she get to this position at such a young age?  What was the training like in order to learn all the young Queen’s Sabemannerisms, voice inflection, how to be a bodyguard, and learn all these secret ways of asking Queen Amidala for advice when you don’t know the answer?  Sabé showed great strength during the Battle of Naboo and was thrust into a position where she probably was always trained for, but didn’t expect to use in such a dire situation.  Was she even able to fool Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon?  She later fought in the Battle of Naboo and threw out the great line of “Viceroy! Your occupation here has ended!” Playing a pivotal role in distracting him so that Padmé could get the guns and corner Nute.  I would love to know more about Sabé, her past, and what the future held for her.
  2. Bib Fortuna. I haven’t talked about him much, and he’s clearly doesn’t have the strongest bib fortunamind, but I think he was actually a pretty savvy guy.  He was with Jabba for at least 30ish years (we saw him in TPM) so it shows that he knew the right things to say at the right time. Plus, he looked ugly meshed with evil.  The red eyes with greasy skin and lekku just made him this character I wanted to stay far away from.  According to the Legends, he actually really hated Jabba and tried several times to kill him unsuccessfully.  Poor guy.  To fail so, so, so many times.  But you know what?  Sounds like Jabba never knew or he wouldn’t have kept him on so it further proves my point that I think Bib was sly, cunning, and smarter than most.
  3. Syfo-Dyas. AOTC is not my favorite movie, but I was extremely interested in the clone army and how it was kept under wraps for so long.  The back story was explained to us slightly in The Clone Wars, sosifo dyas it fleshed out this mystery on who Syfo-Dyas was and how he kept the clone army hidden from others.  But I’d like to see a more robust version of this story and learn more about his Jedi past and the experiences that shaped him to make the decisions he did.  Why did the top Jedi not listen to him about the “growing darkness”?  Was this the beginning of someone being dissatisfied with the Jedi Council, even before Ahsoka?  Was there more unrest within the Jedi than we knew about and how did those seeds plant throughout the Order?  Knowing the ending of the movie (Spoiler alert!  He dies), could actually heighten the plot.
  4. Shmi Skywalker. Hear me out on this one.  We know a lot about Shmi already, but mostly just how she relates to Anakin’s story.  I’d like to see a more female centric Star Wars story that shmi skywalkerdeals with more everyday issues of life, with a sprinkling of Star Wars.  This could be a very interesting look at slavery in the Star War universe, something that is clearly abhorred by those closer to the center as implied by Padmé’s shock, but still very prevalent in the outer worlds.  Shmi was in slavery most of her life.  And imagine her shock when she became pregnant for no apparent reason?  This could be a very interesting movie/story, and if someone did it right, they could really do a good job with making it very separate from any Christ-like similarities.  Shimi doesn’t need to be visited by any angel or vision, she could just all of a sudden become pregnant.  Imagine the fear and confusion that lives with her for 9 months.  And when she gives birth, she devotes herself to her son and sees it as something happy, but he is taken from her at such a young age.  From there, she goes on to lead a happier life with Cliegg Lars.  This could be a very real life, tough and gritty, female-life story that I’d love to see on the big screen, even though I doubt it’ll ever happen.
  5. Nien Nunb. I have this this weird fascination with this character because I feel like they kind of dumped him in the nien nunbstory and then threw him away.  I mean, he got to be first mate to Lando during the final battle in ROTJ.  You have to be pretty good for that, especially as he doesn’t seem to speak a lick of Basic, but understands it.  According to Legends, he was once a smuggler and befriended Lando during one of his flights.  So much potential here!  Smugglers are always interesting so it would be great to see his adventures and the movie would be in all subtitles!  It would be a foreign action film, but Star Wars style.

All characters in a movie are there to serve a purpose, whether it be a decoy for a queen or the mother of the most important character.  But sometimes I think that they should get a little more time to show their side of the story and how they got where we saw them.

Who would you pick?  Do you have anyone from the movies you’d like to see more of?

Reflections on the Guest Posts

I am back!  Still a little jetlagged and tired, but overall, I had a great time.  I went to four different places in Australia in two weeks and embarked (and disembarked) on nine different planes.  Though fun, I am exhausted.  This, my friends, is what I believe is the difference between vacation and traveling.  In my eyes, vacation is what I did in May when I went to the Bahamas: I relaxed, read books, went swimming and really had no responsibilities or commitments.  Traveling is what I did this time: I saw as many places as I could, jam packed our days with flights, sightseeing, family visits, driving, and doing as much as possible.

While I was gone, I had two wonderful guest bloggers!  There was supposed to be four, but oh well, two is better than zero.  I want to thank Megan and Null so much for their work on the posts.  Both are fabulous and I appreciate the hard work that you put into writing them.

For the future, if anyone is interested in guest posting, please let me know.  There are really no rules other than it has to be about Star Wars.  As you can see, Null slammed the Jedi even though my blog is often pro-Jedi.

Now that I have had the chance to read through them, I thought I’d give my feedback on both.

 

Facts in Fiction: Conspiracy Theories for Star Wars 

First of all, I love the concept of this post!  It’s so much fun!  I have never really thought about conspiracy theories around Star Wars (this would force me to think outside the box and we all know how I’m not very good at that) but this was a fun way to look at questionable circumstances within the Star Wars universe and create crazy explanations for them.

Theory 1: Jocasta Nu erased Kamino from the archive for Count Dooku.

I actually really like the theory of Nu being in love with Dooku.  And weirdly enough, I am kind of looking at Dooku and Jango’s relationship differently.  So good job to Megan for making me rethink things.

I do agree that this subplot could have been very interesting.  I understand why it wasn’t explored in depth…it would kind of be a tangent in the movie.  But it would have been interesting to explore if Jocasta had deleted Kamino for her own reasons.  I believe Null is correct, that we are supposed to infer that Dooku cut Kamino out, but this is a post on conspiracy theories so anything goes!  What if Jocasta Nu did have a larger role to play in the galaxy?  A small task done for love that ultimately had much larger consequences?

Rawr

Rawr

Theory 2: Luke Skywalker is Obi-Wan’s son, not Anakin’s.

LOL to the fact that Padmé had multiple boyfriends!  I mean, if you watch TCW, it gets even worse so I can somewhat believe this.   I agree with Null that Anakin was really pathetic around Padmé.  I like to blame it on his emotional issues of losing his mother and being thrust into this rigid, chaste monastery of Jedi Knights.  But, no, in the end, I do not think that Luke is Obi-Wan’s son.  I think both twins belong to Anakin because I hope, in the end, Padmé did love Anakin a lot and I would like to believe she remained true to him during the saga.   (Though I agree that she can be kind of personality-less at times)

Theory 3: Qui-Gon faked his own death in order to marry Shmi

I love this theory.  Mainly because I love Qui-Gon so the thought of him still being alive (and happily with Shmi!) warms my heart.  I have a hard time believing Obi-Wan would be pulled into this though…however, it would be hard for Qui-Gon to make it to a bacta tank without him, so maybe he was?  And then for Cliegg to know about Qui-Gon too…?  I dunno.  As much as I love Qui-Gon and want to believe this theory, I find it just a little too far fetched.  He seemed to die a pretty certain death on Naboo and I don’t think he ever got to go back and see Shmi.

I loved reading all the theories and I definitely think theory 1 would be the most plausible of all.

conspiracy theories

Thanks, Megan, for putting this together!  I love fresh looks into the Star Wars universe.

 

On The Jedi Code

Null’s in depth post on the Jedi Code talked about how the Jedi don’t actually follow their code.  Or, worse, their rigid following of the code creates an exclusive society that is detrimental to the good of the galaxy.

There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.

Null made good points about the Jedi and their need for controlling power.  I never really thought about the Jedi Archives (what a coinkidink that both my guest bloggers brought it up!) and how the Jedi keep it to themselves.  Perhaps they should give access to the public, but keep certain potions just to themselves?  I’m sure the public was not completely ignorant and I also believe there were probably other libraries within the galaxy.  We meet people from all over the galaxy in the saga and none of them seem very ignorant, excluding Jar Jar Binks.

Interestingly, the second point made under the knowledge header was how the Jedi prohibit understanding the dark side.  I agree completely with Null that they are, in turn, forcing ignorance of the dark side.  There will be Jedi who are curious and will find other ways to get the knowledge.  I have also thought about this before and thought that maybe the Jedi should have had someone like Mad Eye Moody to teach them a class where they were presented with the dark side so they could understand it and fight it better, and would not be tempted later down the road.  Armed with the knowledge of the dark side, they would be better equipped to face their enemies, as Null also mentions.

There is no emotion, there is peace / There is no passion, there is serenity

In my own post on the Jedi Code, I also wrote about how Luke brought about the fall of the Empire with his passion, exactly what the Jedi

Don't turn off your emotions! You may end up choking your wife.

Don’t turn off your emotions! You may end up choking your wife.

Code tried to stamp out.  I did not look at it from Vader’s point of view, and I find that most interesting.  I also like how Null brought up the Sith.  The ultimate Sith, Palpatine, is a perfect example of the lack of emotion that the Jedi try hard to achieve.  In the end, how can you care about the galaxy and not feel passionate or emotional?  The Sith care about no one but themselves, so their lack of emotion is easier to maintain and easier to live by.

But as I wrote last year, I still stand by the fact that I think Yoda mastered his emotions the best out of all the Jedi we see.  I disagree with Null that Yoda showed grief after Order 66.  I read it more as complete shock.  I think the grief was fleeting; I think if he felt grief he would not have been clear headed enough to sense his own clones turning on him.  Similar to Obi-Wan sensing Alderaan blowing to pieces, it hurts him briefly, but it’s more shock than emotion.

 

I must say this is a great post from Null.  I agree with so much of what he said and think that trying to follow this code inadvertently brought about the destruction of the Jedi.  I’m hoping that Null sits down and writes one on the Sith Code for us next!  I’m super interested in that since I know next to nothing on the Sith.

 

Again, thanks to both writers.  Another one of my followers, Icarus, has a guest blog in the works so expect to see that in the near future!

I Miss My Childhood

People can be foolish when they say that Star Wars is for kids or is “kids movie”.  They are only looking at the surface of it and failing to realize that despite how the movie has child elements, it really is about human morals and dilemmas, black vs. white, and the murky grey in between.

So it really bothers me when people say that I am “childish” because I love Star Wars.  I completely disagree and it really angers me.  Star Wars does help me connect with my inner child, but not in a bad way, nor in a way that needs to be mocked.

Sometimes I don’t want to be an adult.  There are times when all I want to do is go home to my parent’s house and the times where dinner was made for me, I didn’t have to do dishes, didn’t have to worry about bills and didn’t have to worry about another person.  I have an attachment towards my childhood and at times, I want to block out my current life and pressures.

As I realized this, I sometimes wonder if Anakin also didn’t want to grow up.  Though he was a slave, he seems to have had a pretty good life on Tatooine.  I am not discounting the fact that he was a slave and that it presented many hardships, merely noting that he had a very loving mother, a great imagination, and intelligence that allowed him to Anakin episode I childhoodbuild things in his spare time.  But with this childhood, it also caused an extreme attachment and I believe, in the future, nostalgia for it.  When he was ripped (yes, the Jedi basically ripped him from his life, though we are supposed to look at it as a “choice”) from his childhood, he automatically starts associating his childhood with warm, fuzzy, happy feelings.  When Shmi is almost/ essentially murdered by the Sand People, it’s a murder of everything he connected with that childhood.  Shmi encapsulated his happy childhood and with her dead, instead of his attachment dying, he grew to hate everything that took her and his nostalgia away from him.  I believe that, in a sense, he began to hate the Jedi at this moment.  They took him away from Shmi, essentially, his childhood and with her murder, he will never get that happiness back.

On the other hand, we have Padmé, who was given responsibility and duties at a very young age.  She did have a happy childhood, but it was constantly interwoven with “life” pressures.  I mean, she was in the “Legislative Youth Program”,Padme childhood at parents house for Pete’s sake.  I think Padmé wanted some of that nostalgic youth feeling.  Everyone has something inside of them that cries out for that innocence of childhood, that life before you became disillusioned.  When Padmé and Anakin grew to know each other better and fell in love, that first love feeling represented that innocence, a shadow of the feeling that comes with an ideal childhood.  Unfortunately, Padmé gripped onto that innocence too tightly and to a feeling that can never exist.  First love romance will never last, you can only hope that it gradually fades into something more true to life; similar to when a child’s innocence is lost, you hope it happens gradually and not with something brutal.  Padmé was given too much responsibility too soon and sought for an escape through Anakin…and we all know how that ended.

Finally, I think we find a good balance in Luke.  Luke had a good childhood, but it was slightly tainted with the fact that A new hope deleted scene luke skywalker childhoodthe people raising him were not his real parents.  He did get to fly T-16’s in Beggar’s Canyon and shoot womp rats.  We know that he had good friends, Biggs Darklighter and Camie Loneozner, and enjoyed working on droids and moisture vaporators at the homestead.  Though he and his Uncle clashed over Luke’s desire to see the world, the discipline was what the child needed.  By the time of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru’s brutal murder, Luke was not a child anymore and could handle the emotions better.  As Luke continues through his life, we see a more balanced human being.  He still has that childlike innocence, but it’s grounded in reality.  His innocence comes out in the way he believes in the Rebellion and how he believes that his father, Anakin, can be saved from the dark side.  And guess what?  He was right on both accounts.

I’m not sure where I was going with this speculation, mainly just exploring the ideas of childhoods and how they played out in Star Wars.  Luke is my favorite main character in the Original Trilogy and it reassures me that he turned out okay.  Also, perhaps this thought process helped prove to myself that, no, I am not childish for loving Star Wars.

Scene it on Friday – AOTC Scene #102

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.