NOTE: Possible spoilers for segments of The Force Awakens based on speculation and deduction from the trailers and other official sources.
Like many of you, I woke up Friday morning to the surprise of a new international trailer for The Force Awakens. Once again, J. J. Abrams threw us off the scent with talk of the last trailer being the “final” trailer other than a few TV spots and he surprised us with what is virtually a new, full trailer with many new shots and some revelations.
As I did with the “final” trailer, I will briefly examine some of the most intriguing shots.
The trailer opens with Rey inside one of the partially exposed engines of a buried Star Destroyer. She is prying something off of the engine, or perhaps trying to find a way inside the ship.
We see Rey’s speeder moving in the background with a single sunset. This is reminiscent of the twin sunsets in A New Hope and Anakin riding a speeder to find his mother in Attack of The Clones.
This week Michael and Bruce are joined by Writer James Swallow to talk about his work on Disney Infinity 3.0 James Wrote the story for the Twilight of The Republic campaign which also means he got to write for Fan Favorite Ahsoka Tano! Don’t miss out scoundrels download this awesome episode now!
Attack of the Clones is probably the oddball of the Star Wars saga. It varies noticeably from other movies in that there are no main villains for most of the movie and that a large portion of the narrative is based on dialogue, but this does allow for another contemplative meditation on “choice”.
We start off where we ended last: Anakin Skywalker. After ten years of living romantically and partially paternally barren, Anakin is rather confused. It’s obvious from the first moment he’s on screen: he can’t believe he’s going to see Padme again and is visibly shaken. After ten years of having a romance-sized hole in his heart Anakin finally feels that Padme will fill it. As soon as he begins to get close to her his emotions are shown to be very turbulent. He says rather strange things at inappropriate times to Padme and begins to rant in casual conversation. Ever so slightly, he begins to forfeit his ability to choose, by becoming more and more controlled by his emotions as the movie continues.
This slowly builds throughout the movie and finally comes to a head on Tatooine when Anakin kills all the Tusken raiders to get revenge on the ones that killed his mother. When he does this he completely relinquishes his ability to make the right decision for that moment and is totally ruled by unbridled malice (a.k.a. the dark side). He allows his anger to get the best of him and allows his malicious emotions to dominate his mind for a time. Afterwards he shows some form of regret, but with the help of Padme (talk about bad decisions) he simply replaces his anger with his love and infatuation (at that point it’s still infatuation in my opinion) for Padme.
This instance presents us with the idea that we can begin to weaken our resolve to make moral decisions and drives us deeper into impulsiveness, a vicious cycle.
Next, we see Obi-Wan Kenobi in his political escapade which by it’s nature involves an ability to curb or harness one’s emotions. As Obi-Wan begins to track the mysterious assassin to the ends of well-known space. He must gather all his wits and play his cards right to discover all the mystery surrounding Jango Fett. He must make sure he does not show his emotion to Jango or any of the Kaminoans so as not to blow his cover. This is expertly showcased in what some fans have come to refer to it as a verbal duel with Jango. Obi-Wan sees Jango’s incriminating armor and it’s very likely that somebody like Anakin would immediately draw his saber and make his move.
Obi-Wan, on the other hand, bides his time and waits until he can get Jango alone, and while he still fails to capture Jango he is mostly cut short by fate (or the force), and his failure was ultimately saved by the happenings on Geonosis. One can’t help but notice the almost sharp contrast between Anakin and Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan is very collected and makes decisions based on facts and evidence while Anakin is very impulsive and can base his decisions solely on emotion. We even have this showcased during the scene in which Obi-Wan tells Anakin not to rescue him from his captors on Geonosis, only to alert the council so they can deal with it. In response Anakin makes the impulsive (but still altruistic) decision to rush to his friend’s aid, only to be captured himself; such is the fate of those who don’t think things through.
In conclusion Attack of The Clones is a solemn warning to where allowing blatant impulsiveness and lack of forethought can lead. It shows us that life can be better when we’re in control of our emotions, and make choices deliberately and not impulsively.
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.
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.
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 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 →