Tag Archives: Anakin

What Does “Choice” Have to Do with Star Wars? – The Phantom Menace

As we all know Star Wars is a franchise that can explore deep themes related to characters and classic mythology.  Through the years we’ve seen the theme of loss and redemption, family ties and the like.  One theme that has come to the forefront of my mind recently is the intriguing commentary that Star Wars has on “choice”.
We start off where the (in-universe) story begins, The Phantom  Menace.  One of the most memorable instances of choice is Queen Amidala’s willful decision to resist signing the Trade Federation treaty.  Amidala undergoes many hardships and trials to protect Naboo, all if which were willful, and made with full understanding of the consequences.  She even rode into the proverbial “valley of death” (with probably more than 600 :) ) to free her planet.

queen-amida
What can we draw from this?  It appears that even while Amidala could have gone with her gut  and simply signed the treaty which would make Naboo a puppet state and end all hostilities (and risk), she made the conscious decision (the filmmakers were probably somewhat influenced by the modern interpretation of American ideals) that it is better to do die standing than to live on one’s knees.  We can also extrapolate that exercising our free will and choosing to go above impulses for the good of others is harder and more rewarding than the former.
Another one of the big moments of choice in the saga is when Anakin leaves Shmi, his mother, behind to join the Jedi Order.  This may appear to be nothing more than a regular development of the plot, but when it is examined closely it’s actually very interesting.  Anakin is a nine-year-old boy who has probably never been more than 10 miles from his home for the majority of his life.

phantom-shmi2

He is extremely close with his mother and when the time comes for him to make the decision to stay at home Shmi and be a slave or go with Qui-Gon and be a Jedi he chooses to leave everything and everyone he’s ever known, including his only family for what he considers to be the betterment of himself.  All that in a nine-year-old boy, most of us probably had trouble deciding what color clothes we would wear when we were nine, let alone deciding on the fate of our lives!  Also, it’s not like he made the decision without thought.  While he didn’t take a long time I think it’s quite evident in the film that he is seriously considering the consequences of his actions and the effect that it will have on his life, and he ultimately the right decision, this is possibly part of the reason that Qui-Gon has so much faith in Anakin.  What can we glean from this instance?  That when we make a choice using all of faculties and seriously consider it and the consequences it we will have more success both for us and for others.  I would even venture that this instance is the height -or at least the beginning of it- of Anakin’s decision making process as by the end of episode two he begins to slip into the void of brashness and impulsiveness when he starts to crash and burn emotionally, but that will be covered in the next installment.

“The Wrong Jedi” Review

The season 5 Clone Wars finale was really a successful culmination of the five-year tension that Star Wars fans have felt knowing the Ahsoka had to somehow disappear by the time Episode III came around in continuity. While there is (hopefully) still more of her tale to tell, we now can FINALLY watch Revenge of the Sith and not have to deal with someone smugly asking where Anakin’s padawan is. For me, this episode had one really awful component, but the rest of it was strong enough to make this a “top five” Clone Wars episode for me.

WARNING: FULL SPOILERS TO FOLLOW FOR THE SEASON 5 FINALE OF STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS.  Continue reading

Riley’s Top 7 Moments of The Phantom Menace in 3D

This past Thursday I attended my first midnight screening of any movie. I saw Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. It was awesome!

I was actually surprised by the number of people who were there at this small, suburban theater. There were a good 30 to 40 of them.  This was a good sign. Even though TPM came in 4th this weekend at the box office, it still made a cool 40 plus million dollars world wide so far. (Hopefully enough to continue this yearly tradition.)

We walked up to the concession stand to buy our popcorn and tickets. A very nice lady produced our yummy snack and began handing us our standard black-ish 3D glasses. This was, of course, completely unacceptable. I wanted my special, limited edition black and red Darth Maul 3D glasses and I wanted them NOW. The lady kindly informed me that the theater manager had (I dare say rather cruelly) instructed the employees not to give out any of the coveted eyewear until the following day… the following day.

But with a look that was a combination of both sympathy and good will to all Star Wars fans, this kind hearted lady stepped into the back room and then came out from around the concession stand. She was cautiously concealing beneath her vest, the “one and only-limited edition-get them while they last” Darth Maul Real-D 3D glasses. My evening was made.

 

 

 

 

So without further ado… My 7 best Episode I 3D moments.

1. The escape from Naboo. It’s the first 3D space battle in Star Wars. It showed me the potential for immersive 3D space combat in Star Wars. Oh, and by the way… WE’RE SITTING DUCKS!

 

 

 

 

 

2. Darth Maul’s Spy Probes. The only time in the movie when the 3D was “in your face”. I loved it when those things flew out of the screen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pod-race. While the 3D was cool in this scene, it’s really the AMAZING sound mix that makes this scene stand out.

 

 

 

 

 

Entry into Coruscant. All of the wide shots of planets were incredible but this sequence really made me feel like I was in the royal starship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The battle of Theed. The firefight in the Theed hanger was incredible. You really got a sense of the size and scale of the hanger.

 

Dual of Fates. This one had to make the cut. It’s definitely the most thrilling and exciting lightsaber dual in Star Wars.

 

And finally, the celebratory parade. Anakin got a haircut, Padme wore her most beautiful dress yet, and Boss Nass gets to hold the sparkly ball of happiness and yell at the top of his lungs…

PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEACE!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really enjoyed seeing this film in 3D with a bunch of Star Wars fans at midnight, and I hope you enjoy watching it too!

MTFBWY!

Riley

 

The Clone Wars Season 4 Episode 16 Review

Hello and welcome back to another The Clone Wars review here on the Star Wars Report! This week Moralo Eval, Cad Bane, and Rako Hardeen (aka Obi-Wan Kenobi) desperately evade authorities after escaping a Republic prison, encountering hutt thugs, Jedi, and double crossings in Friends and Enemies!

Immediately in this episode we notice tension. As Obi-Wan tries harder to gain the trust of the two galactic terrorists by helping cover their tracks on Nal Hutta, Cad Bane either is becoming more suspicious, or more worried that he might not get his cut of the bounty as promised. A lot of this episode is centered around the rivalry they have developed from the first episode. It leads the group to not only have to avoid the Republic and the Hutt’s they’ve upset, but also avoid upsetting each other a bit too. I loved seeing Obi-Wan using the tactics of his fellow bounty hunters to make sure they didn’t get away without him, and by the end of the episode, Bane doesn’t have much choice but to bring him along. Although he may not like his fellow bounty hunter, I think Bane’s suspicion that there’s more to Rako Hardeen than meets the eye has substantially decreased from when they first met. That’s what this episode for me was about, allowing Obi-Wan and Cad Bane to let go of their problems and suspicions with one another so they can move on to the real task at hand, kidnapping the Chancellor. I think it was done marvelously too that in an arc about the low life of the galaxy, backstabbing and bribery are the best way to solve problems.

Another pivotal part of this episode was the role of the Chancellor himself. I think we can say with surety now that he’s behind this plot, it could be another attempt by the Chancellor to get rid of Obi-Wan as an influence on Anakin. Now, I’m not too sure that the Chancellor knew the specifics of the Jedi’s plan, so that confused me a little, and how he could know to set up a plot just so Obi-Wan would go undercover is an unknown. But I thought it was good all the same to have another factor working into this plot, it really shows how complex these episodes can get where there’s so much going on behind the scenes rather than just showing a simple “Lets-save-the-chancellor!” type mission.

While the rivalry between Obi-Wan and Bane was well done, and the Chancellor’s plot to deceive Anakin was intriguing, what made this episode was the climax! The Jedi have caught up to the bounty hunters and the two forces clash in a duel with cruisers, lightsabers, blasters, and rocket boots. The fight was choreographed wonderfully and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. This is the Cad Bane we saw in season 2, but a thousand times better! Also, I’m curious as to how much Anakin knows now about Obi-Wan, other than that he’s alive, and what he’ll do now that he knows Rako Hardeen didn’t kill his former Master.

And that wraps up my review this week! All in all, Friends and Enemies was a vast improvement from last episode, the characters have all been set up, and now we’re developing them for what’s to come. I can’t wait to see the next episode, The Box, it already looks great! Now what did you think of this episode? Love it? Hate it? Let us know by leaving a comment below! Thanks for reading and may the Force be with you… always!

-Ryan

 

The Clone Wars Weekly Roundup: 1/1/12

Obi-Wan's Cellmate?

After hibernating in a frigid cave on Hoth, we are back from our little winter vacation from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  The timing is impeccable as TCW is also back from it’s own winter break.  There will be some minor spoilers below as to the subject matter of future TCW episodes in Season Four.

Where have we been in Season Four:

Season Four kicked off with the Mon Cala trilogy in which we are re-introduced to the Mon Calamari-Quarren rivalry, we parallel last season’s introduction of a young Tarkin by meeting his future slave and future leader of the Rebel navy Ackbar, and we met a new potentate in Lee-Char.  From Mon Cala we traveled back to Naboo (again) in an episode that focused on the Gungans and General Grievous, and witnessed the heroic death of General Tarpals. Then we got the slightly odd Droids duology, featuring the misadventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO.  Just when you start to wonder what the heck TCW was doing, they delivered the awesome four-part Umbara arc with the dastardly Jedi General Krell and the kick butt Clones of the 501st Legion.  Before the holiday break began we saw the first two parts of the Slaves of the Republic trilogy, which is adapting the previous Dark Horse Comics story by the same title, written by TCW Season One head writer Henry Gilroy.

Bossk is mad Obi-Wan wouldn't give him his Jell-O

Where are we going in the second half of Season Four?

Much like last years TCW season, things are going to start heating up as the show moves towards the season finale.  It is kind of odd that they choose to take the break in the middle of a trilogy, but that may be a Cartoon Network decision and not a Lucasfilm decision.  Based on what we now know about the remaining episodes for this season, we will be wrapping up the Slavery arc, we will get a stand alone story featuring the return of Lux Bonteri and Death Watch, and we will then wrap up the season with two, four-part story arcs.  The first story-arc will star Obi-Wan Kenobi as he goes under cover as a evil sniper from (dramatic pause for fanboy gasp) Condord Dawn!  Concord Dawn is a planet within Mandalorian space and has a long history with the Fetts.  Does this combined with the return of Death Watch  foreshadow TCW revisiting the Mandalorians, setting up a story arc featuring a Mandalorian Civil War and the defeat of the neutral pacifists under the leadership of Duchess Satine?  I sure hope so!

The final four-part story arc will lead nicely into the 3D re-release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace as it will star Savage Opress and his brother Darth Maul.  How will they put Humpty Dumpty Maul back together again?  I guess we will just have to wait to find out.

TV Guide.com has a brief description of the Lux-Death Watch episode, “A Friend in Need,” which will air on January 13th, 2012.

Lux renounces Dooku and the Separatists, and joins an extreme faction known as the Death Watch.

The move from patrician to Mandalorian is an interesting character development for Lux.  From the EU we know that being Mandalorian means (even the evil Death Watch version) takeing people from all species and backgrounds; it is less about your biology then it is about you adopting the culture.

It will be interesting to see how Ahsoka handles the conflict of emotions, being happy Lux is standing up to Dooku and the Separatists, but being concerned about his new friends.

It certainly sounds like TCW is going to be very interesting in the last half of this season.  I know what I will be watching this Friday night!  Will Anakin decide to join with the Zygerrian Queen or will he be able to save himself, his freinds and the Togrutan slaves?  This Friday at 8:00 P.M. on the Cartoon Network we will find out.

Come back soon to the Star Wars Report for continuing coverage of TCW and all things Star Wars!

~ Pete