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Episode II: Attack of Lacking Motivations

 "two lightsabers at the same time. Chicks dig a dude with 2 lightsabers."

"two lightsabers at the same time. Chicks dig a dude with 2 lightsabers."

     When you look at the reviews on sites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB, Episode II was received much more positively than its predecessor. Was it a better movie? I don’t know. That’s like asking what’s better; having to eat dog food or cat food. I’m sure that one of them is better than the other, but still…it could have been a better lunch.

 To be honest, this looks pretty darn delicious.

To be honest, this looks pretty darn delicious.

     And now, before I get sued by Alpo or Purina for defamation of their fine line of pet foods, I give you how G.C. Rodriguez would change Episode II: Attack of the Clones. First things first, let’s clean up some of the nastiness of the story’s weak points.

 

     I have to give credit where credit is due: the guy from Belated Media did an amazing re-write of Episode I and Episode II and one of his best plot points was changing Naboo to Alderaan; brilliant. This way we develop a love for the planet that gets obliterated in A New Hope (oops, should I have given a spoiler alert warning before that one?). I agree with him wholeheartedly and will adopt this change as well. (check him out when you get a chance www.facebook.com/belatedmedia). He also makes an excellent point that Padme and Bail Organa should be related. I add to that theory...but you'll see if you keep reading. 

 

     So the story starts the same but it is only 2 years after Phantom Menace; Senator Amidala avoids assassination but instead of her personal ship, the attack is on a transport full of senators. The explosion kills a few which spreads fear of the Separatists amongst the citizens of the Republic. The news comes to the Jedi Temple of the attacks and here is our first change in the story:

 

 

1. Obi –Wan running around playing P.I.? Nah…

 "Just because I have a British accent does NOT mean I'm Sherlock Holmes. It's a lightsaber, not a bloody magnifying glass."

"Just because I have a British accent does NOT mean I'm Sherlock Holmes. It's a lightsaber, not a bloody magnifying glass."

     Instead of having Obi-Wan going to some weird diner to talk to some stupid alien about darts, Republic investigators are able to decipher that the assassin used a radio detonator. They traced the signal to an apartment near the landing pad that is paid for from the bank account of Count Dooku; leader of the Separatist Movement.  The assassin makes another attempt while some of the Senators were at a banquet but Obi-Wan is on it and “disarms” the assassin (HAHA!). No further assassin/bounty hunter crap. We all love Boba Fett, but he doesn’t need a dad in the prequels and he ESPECIALLY does not need to be the blueprint of the entire clone army. He was better when there was an air of mystery about him

     Obi-Wan is torn about his path; he wants to be a good Jedi and wants to eventually carry the rank of master, but he is haunted by the death of his mentor. He seeks Yoda and Mace “Check out the big brain on Brad” Windu for their counsel. With a war stretching the Jedi to their limits, Yoda reminds him that he must be mindful of how easy the dark path can be in this trying time. Obi-Wan worries that this environment is not good for his young padawan and the issues he’s having in his training.

2. Anakin has had a rough go of it

 "No one likes my poems about sadness or anything...I'm gonna look angsty all the time."

"No one likes my poems about sadness or anything...I'm gonna look angsty all the time."

     One of the things we notice about our buddy Anakin Skywalker in Episode 2 is he has some of the worst/cheesiest lines ever to Padme. But it all makes sense if you think of this when you hear them; Anakin is an outcast who all of the other Jedi trainees make fun of.

     Most of them resent this dude who is a few years older than them but has been essentially thrust into their training environment. They’re all told “he’s the best ever.” They hate him, especially because he tries so hard to befriend them, which only makes matters worse. The kid was a slave after all; he’s got a bit of an inferiority complex.

     We learn about his difficult training when Anakin meets Chancellor Palpatine for dinner. The Chancellor has acted as a sort of surrogate father to him since they met on Alderaan.  He confides in him about the way he’s treated by the other Jedi and how hopeless he feels. Palpatine tells him that the Jedi need Anakin more than he needs them. He leaves him with a thought: through passion he gains strength and Anakin is one of the most passionate people he’s ever met, subtly slipping in a tenant of the Sith Creed. They begin speaking about the newly appointed Junior Senator from Alderaan : Senator Amidala. Anakin gets flustered as he had a super huge crush on her when they met. And from what we saw with Padme’s upbringing…go ahead…say it…you know you want to… I GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS!

 

3. PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY PADME LOVES ANAKIN!

 "Why do I love you? Because I have to drive the plot...okay. I can get behind that."

"Why do I love you? Because I have to drive the plot...okay. I can get behind that."

     So in comes Anakin; all handsome and powerful yet deeply troubled. He totally digs Padme and says things to her that…to a normal girl…would be kind of creepy and bordering on restraining order fodder (“I’ve dreamnt about you every day since we met.” That is frightening!). This boy loves her, and as a crazy girl who never got a chance to see what a normal relationship should be like, she eats it up. This makes so much more sense as to WHY she falls in love with Anakin and not just “because they have to be or there’ll be no Luke and Leia.”

    Chancellor Palpatine assigns Anakin and Obi-Wan as bodyguards for a Senatorial envoy to an undisclosed Outer Rim planet. He also slips in the announcement of a clone army that the Senate has already approved. The Jedi are outraged that this army was raised without anyone knowing about it…but many are relieved to be leading a trained force instead of local militias. Wait…a government doing something secret right beneath our noses and people not having a big issue with it because of a war? We’ve never seen anything like that…

     Obi-Wan and Anakin are preparing for their role as body guards for the Senators… that is protecting ALL of the Senators, not just Padme. That Nute Gunray vendetta against her was so freakin’ stupid. If he was going to have a vendetta, wouldn’t it have been against the Jedi who were the ones who foiled his plans? ANYWAYS…

     There were a few things I wanted to fix character-wise because they seemed like they were shoe-horned in just to make the events of the original trilogy make sense. The first one was the lack of any role for Bail Organa, adopted father of Princess Leia and defacto leader of the Rebellion. He deserves a much bigger role and there’s a simple way to do this: he and Padme are half-siblings and a Senator as well. This makes complete sense because of the strange Hollywood-like childhood that Padme had and explains that powerful families on Alderaan would be hooking up and having babies who are in positions of power, like every other powerful political family you've ever heard of. They've both seen Palpatine rise from Senator to Chancellor but will have a front row seat for his rise to Emperor. Bail Organa got wasted in Episode 3, so we'll add him to the Senatorial envoy. He and Padme discuss their relationship and how they want this war to end peacefully. They also discuss a half-brother of theirs who is not into politics and recently used some of his family funds to become a moisture farmer on Tatooine.  His name is Owen Lars. See what I did there? Owen is still Luke’s “Uncle Owen” and there doesn’t have to be this forced, awkward meeting between him and Anakin to show they're related. This clears up the awkwardness of Owen, Anakin, Luke, etc but also, we hear from dialouge that both Bail and Padme love their crazy brother Owen and his get-rich-quick schemes. We all have a relative like this, so we'd understand Bail and Padme's feeling about their sibling.

     The Senators travel to a planet... it can be Geonosis, sure why not... to show them that the Republic is committed to peace. One of the delegates is interested in the Republic’s help but let’s Senator Amidala know that many of her associates are more stubborn and don’t want to show weakness. Padme agrees to meet with them separately and walks away to another room.

 

4. Ready for a giant plot change?

 "Sweeeet! More screen time!"

"Sweeeet! More screen time!"

     When the door slides open, sitting at the end of the conference table is none other than…Darth Maul! See what I did there? Yeah…like Empire…it’s called a parallel, and they’re important to prequels so you can see that they’re related.

    So Obi-Wan is training Anakin, who is making great progress. Obi-Wan tells Anakin that through the Force you can see the past, the future, long lost friends…and then Anakin sees a vision of Padme in trouble (yes, this is another parallel). He immediately breaks focus and tells Obi-Wan he has to find her. Obi-Wan warns him that it’s a trap and that they should have a plan before they dive in. Anakin isn’t hearing that and he’s off to save Padme. Obi-Wan tries to catch up to Anakin but he runs into Darth Maul! He tells Obi-Wan that there is  something special in store for Anakin and Obi-Wan isn’t invited. The two square off. The fighting is intense as Maul taunts Obi-Wan and asks if he is still angry about his master’s death. Obi-Wan does not respond. Maul then shows him that the conference is surrounded by the droid army and their only hope is surrender.  Suddenly, an armada of Republic ships arrive full of a massive corps of clone troopers. They begin engaging the droid army and Obi-Wan smirks that surrender doesn’t seem like his only hope. They continue to duel until Obi-Wan knocks Maul’s saber from his grasp and has him cornered. Obi-Wan tells him that he will not get away this time and Maul just laughs as a starship shows up outside of the room they’re fighting in and starts firing at the building. The explosion destroys the window and rains shrapnel onto Obi-Wan. The momentary distraction allows Maul to grab his lightsaber with the Force and leap onto the ship. He taunts Obi-Wan that young Skywalker won’t be as lucky to escape a fight. OH SNAP, a patented Star Wars dissolve into Anakin’s search for Padme!

     Anakin lands at the deserted hangar and eventually finds Padme tied up and gagged. As he is untying her, she tells him it’s a trap. He said he knows but he couldn’t bear leaving her alone, that he loves her and that her safety is more important than his. They share a passionate embrace. He hears Sarumon…I mean Count Dooku, mockingly applaud their admitted love for each other. He laughs and says he never was interested in Padme, it was Anakin that he wanted.  Padme says she’s going to stay and help, Anakin begs her to leave. Dooku says he’ll take care of that and picks up Padme with the Force and throws her from the room, locking the door behind her. She picks herself up, gathers her bearings and pilots Anakin’s ship to find Obi-Wan.

      Dooku teases and goads Anakin, bringing up his awkward training years, being an isolated loner and the burden of being the “Chosen One.” The two lock sabers. They fight intensely, with Anakin showcasing his ability to focus and control his fear. Dooku is impressed with the young Jedi’s ability and skill with a lightsaber and states this as Anakin head-butts him off in a “suck it Dracula” sorta way, knocking him off the platform they were on which they were fighting (because, in the Star Wars Universe, there’s always a platform or gang way to fall from).

     Obi-Wan starts trying to find a ship to get to Anakin when he runs into Padme. She hopes they aren’t too late to save Anakin and they race to meet them across the desert in an isolated hangar…

     Anakin jumps down to the lower level ready to continue the fight, very confident in himself. Count Dooku gets back to his feet and is all business. Count Dooku has changed his fighting style and is only on the defense, coaxing Anakin to be the one on the attack. He holds his own for a bit but the Sith Lord is merely toying with Anakin. He Force chokes Anakin and sadistically slices off his hand and then throws him across the room. As Anakin lies there clutching his arm in pain, the Sith Lord walks over to him and laughs at the prospect of this being the Chosen One and what an easy victory this was. He prepares to finish Skywalker off when Obi-Wan joins the fight. He engages Dooku and they ferociously fight across the platform as Anakin crawls away from the fray. He stumbles out of the hangar and finds Padme who helps him to medical attention.

 "Yes, I am quite pleased with myself. I'll tell Ian McKellen all about how I dismembered a teenager and we'll laugh and laugh."

"Yes, I am quite pleased with myself. I'll tell Ian McKellen all about how I dismembered a teenager and we'll laugh and laugh."

     As Obi-Wan and Dooku battle, Dooku warns Obi-Wan that he is fighting for the wrong side. Obi-Wan replies in surprise, Dooku left the Jedi Order to become involved in politics and now he's a Sith, the epitome of evil. Dooku informs Obi-Wan that the Jedi have become corrupt and that by embracing the Dark Side, he can see both sides of the Force clearly now. He informs Obi-Wan that Qui-Gon saw the corruption, too and that he would be fighting along side of Dooku. Obi-Wan refuses to believe that and continues to fight the Count. The two are at a standstill, standing at opposite ends of the hangar. The Sith Lord presses a button on his belt. When this happens, we see the droid army disengage the Republic Army and withdraw. Then, an alarm sounds in the hangar and a countdown is announced. He tells Kenobi it’s his choice; either finish the fight or save the Senators as the palace is set to self-destruct. Obi-Wan knows he must withdraw and Dooku laughs as Darth Maul’s ship hovers near the exit of the hangar and the Sith leaps to his safety.  

     Obi-Wan rushes to find the Senators and witnesses the new soldiers evacuating them all quickly and efficiently. He is impressed with their call to action and that they all immediately answer directly to any Jedi. They secure the Senators and make a dramatic escape from the palace as it explodes.

     On the command ship, the Supreme Chancellor joins Obi-Wan and Mace “M-Fin Snakes on an M-Fin Star Destroyer” Windu as they discuss the engagement. The Chancellor declares it a successful first deployment of the clone army and wants to celebrate. Yoda finally speaks up as he has been quietly staring into space. He reminds them that war is never something to celebrate and that he foresees great death and destruction before this war is complete. Palpatine asks how young Skywalker is healing and Windu informs him that he will be promoted to Jedi Knight and command along side Obi-Wan whose bravery has earned him the rank of Master. We see Anakin's Knighthood ceremony (which I'm taking from the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series)  and Padme watches Anakin fly off as she clutches the necklace he gave her. After the Knighthood ceremony, Yoda takes a leave of absence from the Jedi Council stating that the current Council has become too enwrapped in political gain and he needs to meditate on it's future. He appoints Windu as Head Master of the Jedi Order.

 This series, not the CGI one. Check it out if you haven't seen it. It's really good.

This series, not the CGI one. Check it out if you haven't seen it. It's really good.

   

     Let's recap, shall we? The galaxy is at war and the Separatists are attacking the Republic big time. The Jedi are leading militia groups on planets trying to repel the droid armies. Senators get assassinated, the Republic discovers it was a Separatist plan and end up stopping the assassin's second attempt. Obi-Wan wants revenge for Qui-Gon getting offed, Anakin is the outcast nerd kid, and Padme is a senator. Anakin and Padme fall in love because they're both crazy, he and Obi-Wan are bodyguards for the Senators now, and Anakin is Obi-Wan's padawan. There's an outreach program for neutral worlds and the Republic sends senators, including Padme to sway their allegiance...oh no Darth Maul is there...and Count Dooku, the leader of the Separatist Movement is too! Maul and Dooku are BFFs, they kidnap Padme to lure Anakin into a fight. Annie fights his butt off, but loses his hand. Obi-Wan saves the day. The two Sith escape but not before we see the awesome new clone army in action! Obi-Wan makes master, Anakin is a Jedi Knight and Yoda is sad that many people will die before this war is over. Cue John Williams!

     This one was a great deal wordier than the first re-do, but this one is also the meat and potatoes of the trilogy; you need this one to establish what needs to be resolved in the 3rd installment.

     I gave a shout-out to Belated Media earlier for his amazing work, but let me also give props to Pete Rogers for his help with this article as well. 

     I hope you enjoyed my take on Episode 2, and prepare yourself for Episode 3 where it all hits the fan.

 "All the wittle kids will be alwight, wight Mr. Jedi?" "Uh...."

"All the wittle kids will be alwight, wight Mr. Jedi?" "Uh...."

 

Didn't get a chance to read the Episode 1 re-do? Check it out!



Want to find out how the guys fixed Episode 3?  It's in Podcast form! Click the GGR Pirate Radio logo to take you to that podcast!