Star Wars Episode II:
Attack of the Clones

This page expands on my previous page about The Phantom Menace, and introduces new topics specific to this film. There are definitely spoilers here.

The Hunting of the Jedi (and Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus)

The introduction of Count Dooku has brought up an interesting new twist on the hunting of the Jedi. Since he was more capable than Obi-Wan and was on par with Yoda, perhaps it is he, not Vader, who is the primary cause of the Jedi becoming nearly extinct. Although numerous Jedi were killed in the battle against the droid army, most, if not all, of the Jedi Council are still alive, as are at least one classroom of Jedi-in-training. It is hard to believe that one Sith apprentice could kill them all. Then again, there are comments made in the DVD audio commentary that imply the Jedi Temple on Coruscant will be destroyed. That would kill off most of the remaining Jedi, and allow Yoda to escape to Dagobah, while appearing to die there.

The Twins, Luke and Leia

Nothing further is revealed, except that Padme Amidala is definitely the mother of Luke and Leia. Since Padme has met Owen Lars (and assuming that Obi-Wan is really Owen's brother), that probably means that Obi-Wan and Padme agreed on the choice of leaving Luke with Owen. In fact, it's possible that Anakin even was party to this, though less likely considering his complete lack of knowledge of Leia's existence.

The Death of Shmi Skywalker

In my page on the Phantom Menace, I predicted that Shmi's death would send him over to the Dark Side. It appears I was half right, and half wrong. It certainly enraged him and started him down the path, but it was not the final trigger.

I also thought this sequence was not well executed. Why do the Sand People take captives? Why is Shmi allowed to live for one month, against all predictions? Why does she conveniently die in Anakin's arms? Even the novelization does not provide good answers.

Another interesting thing to note is that when Anakin goes on his murderous spree, the voice of Qui-Gon Jinn can be clearly heard. In the audio commentary of the DVD, George Lucas mentions that Yoda also hears this voice, and it will be a significant plot point to be resolved in the third movie.

The Sith (Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus)

Two quite interesting things were revealed in Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus. The first is that he has the ability to project Force lightning! The second is that Force lightning can be blocked by being absorbed into a light-saber (Obi-Wan), and also can be absorbed and re-projected by a Jedi Master (Yoda).

The first point is rather interesting. Up until this point, only the Emperor had shown this ability. Since Darth Maul did not have this ability, is Dooku Darth Sidious's apprentice, or a fellow Sith Lord? Or is it simply because Dooku was once a Jedi, and turned to the Dark Side (cf. George Lucas, audio commentary)? In that case, how does Palpatine gain this ability, since he never was a Jedi?

Another interesting point is that Count Dooku pulls a double-fake on Obi-Wan. He tells Obi-Wan the truth: that a Sith Lord holds power over the Imperial Senate. Naturally, Obi-Wan doesn't believe him.

The Clone Army

According to the Kamino Prime Minister, the Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas was responsible for placing the order for the clone army. Jango Fett said he was recruited by a man named Tyranus, who is presumably Count Dooku. It certainly suggests that the clone army was created by Palpatine in order to quell the separatist movement, which he himself, as Darth Sidious, is fomenting.

So who is Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas? Obi-Wan believes him to have been killed less than 10 years ago, and Mace Windu's comment that nobody on the Jedi Council authorized the placing of the order suggests that Sifo-Dyas rebelled against the Jedi Council. Was that the reason he was killed? And by whom? How does this square with Darth Tyranus recruiting Jango to be the "base model" for the clone army?

Could Dooku have seduced Sifo-Dyas into leaving the Jedi Council? And then after Sifo-Dyas ordered the clone army, was he killed by Dooku with his Dark Side powers?

The Birth of the Rebellion

We should see the beginnings of the Rebellion in Episode III. Since we will almost undoubtedly meet Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan, it is likely that we will see the first seeds of the Rebellion, possibly in an ending coda.

The Balance of the Force

Hopefully more of this "Balance of the Force" and "The Chosen One" plot point will be explained in Episode III. It is rather interesting to note that at the present, the Light Side would appear to be stronger than the Dark Side. Perhaps the "balance" involves the Dark Side becoming more equal to the Light Side via the near destruction of the Jedi. At the time of Episode IV, it could be argued that the "score" is two-to-two: the Emperor and Vader on the Dark Side, and Yoda and Obi-Wan on the Light.

The Fall of Anakin Skywalker and Possible Episode III Plot Points

In light of Shmi's death, it is now almost certain that Padme's death will be the final trigger that pushes Anakin to the Dark Side. He already desires power to keep his loved ones from dying (which George Lucas describes interestingly as "greed"). He also feels that Obi-Wan is holding him back. If Anakin and Obi-Wan have the duel which Obi-Wan later recounts to Luke in Return of the Jedi, it will undoubtedly be over Padme and her death.

The most obvious scenario I see is one in which Padme sacrifices herself (possibly to save Luke (and maybe Leia)), Anakin attempts to stop her, then Obi-Wan stops him. Padme is then killed (by Count Dooku's Force lightning), and Anakin blows a gasket. He calls on all the powers of the Dark Side and kills Count Dooku.

Attack of the Clones /!okamoto / 18 December 2002