With the release of the new novel Aftermath, we have begun the journey to The Force Awakens. This is a multi-part plan to tell the story of what happened after the destruction of the Death Star over Endor and ultimately set the stage for The Force Awakens.
This is not the first bridge story that we have in Star Wars. The Clone Wars animated show expertly bridged the three-year gap between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, telling us the story of a galaxy at war during the tumultuous Clone Wars. Following in the wake of the Clone Wars we have the new animated show Rebels and the comic book, Kanan. Rebels explores the rise of the Empire and builds into the events of A New Hope. While, Kanan gives us the story immediately following the events of Revenge of the Sith and Order 66.
However, there is still one large area of the timeline that is yet unexplored in the new canon and was not well touched upon in the Legends era Expanded Universe either, the 10 year gap between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. This era seems rife with stories to tell, but there are only a few that have been told. It strikes me as odd to leave such a large stretch of the story untold. The Legends era only had 3 novels and the Scholastic Jedi Apprentice series to cover those 10 years worth of story. The current canon has no stories about the Jedi’s reaction to the Sith’s return, or what adventures a young Obi-wan Kenobi and his new padawan Anakin Skywalker went on together.
I know these are stories that I want to hear. I want to see Obi-wan training the young Skywalker, his successes, and his failures. What adventures bonded the two and what threatened to tear them apart? When did the Jedi begin their search for Darth Sidious? Were there clues on Naboo to lead them in their search? How did they react to the death of Qui-Gon Jinn? What changes did Palpatine make in the Senate? What more can we learn about Syfo-Dias, Count Dooku and the clones?
I’m sure that Lucasfilm has a plan to tell stories in that corner of the timeline. However, it will most likely be several years before we see anything since the current focus is moving away from the prequel era and on to the original and sequel trilogies. From a business standpoint, of course, this makes perfect sense. That is the era where the future movies will be set, and let’s not forget that Star Wars first and foremost is a film franchise.
As a fan, I can hope that Lucasfilm will make plans to explore every part of the Star Wars timeline, past, present and future.
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.