Thursday, 31 May 2018

Rewrite: Attack of the Clones [TV&Film]


To end Star Wars Month off in terms of blog posts, I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. Attack of the Clones is my least favoured of all the films. While I don’t harp on about the romance between Anakin and Padme as though it destroyed the entire film, it is the area that’s dragging it down the most. For this Rewrite, I’m going to look at all of the film.

The first thing to note is the opening. Nearly everything about it is fine. There’s just one thing that bugs me. Where is the bomb placed? The explosion makes it look as though it’s in the ship, and if it is – how did someone get access to the ship to place it there? Jango and Zam are professional bounty hunters. They should know the best places to set up sniper positions and wait. A single bolt would be all it takes. After all, they wouldn’t know a decoy had been used until after Padme arrives at the Senate building later. There’s no need to gun the others down, so as soon as the decoy had been shot they quickly shoot off. Padme then appears at the Senate and we get the scene cut from the film where she appears before the Senate and Palpatine expresses his gratitude that she survived. In other words, aside from seeing the ship coming in to land, the first scene is from the perspective of Zam – but we wouldn’t see exactly who she was.
Palpatine discussing the military creation act with the Jedi council and Padme arriving to then get Jedi bodyguards plays out the same, as does the scene within her suite. The Coruscant chase plays out much the same as before. All of that I don’t have any problems with. The nightclub scene and the subsequent ones are those I’m going to put some detail to.
Anakin and Obi-Wan head into the nightclub to chase Zam, but run head-first into a staged meet between her and Jango. Seeing the armoured man takes them by surprise, allowing him to make a quick getaway. Anakin and Obi-Wan quickly decide to go after both, splitting off to go after one each. Jango’s ship takes off, and to make sure the Jedi cannot mistake it for anyone else, Zam is stood on the outside with a sniper and fires off a shot before retreating inside. The ship then takes off. With no way to quickly get back in the chase, Anakin and Obi-Wan head back to the Jedi Temple to report.
The Jedi council decide, as in the film, that Padme needs to go into hiding. Both Anakin and Obi-Wan are in charge of protecting her. Two bounty hunters. Two Jedi. Anakin is to be within the ship while Obi-Wan follows with the starfighter guard. The ship used is the same one she arrived in, and the two Jedi know that it is a risky move, but the best one to succeed. The ship quickly enters space but gets ambushed by two ships. Jango’s and another one that Zam took control of. The guard do all they can to protect the ship, but it gets damaged just as it enters hyperspace. Obi-Wan manages to fire a tracker onto Jango’s ship before it goes into hyperspace. Zam also jumps to hyperspace, leaving the rest of the guard to jump to Naboo. Obi-Wan stays to report to the Jedi council from where he is, then follows Jango.

Following Anakin’s story, the ship breaks down due to losing power, dropping out of hyperspace near Tatooine. However, as they’re heading down through the atmosphere, Zam shows up and starts blasting away at them. The ship crashes onto the ground, with Zam still firing upon them. Anakin uses the Force to bring Zam down, and a quick fight ensues. Anakin disables Zam, and that’s when they realise they are on owned land. Bringing Zam inside the place, the people inside are willing to give them some space to hold their interrogation. Cliegg Lars watches as Anakin uses his mind control powers to little effect. He then starts getting angrier, using more brutal uses of the Force, wanting to find out who hired her and Jango. In his excessive Force use, he kills her, getting even irate. Padme tries calming him down, but then C-3PO arrives inside. The surprise is enough to bring Anakin from his rage. Then the story comes out of Watto selling Shmi to Cliegg, them getting along as a family, and then the reason she isn’t here. Anakin wants to head out to find her, but Cliegg tries to persuade him not to go. Again Anakin’s rage builds within, and nothing is stopping him going. Like in the film, he heads out on a speeder, finds his mom, she dies in his arms and he goes berserk on the Tuskens. When Anakin returns with his mother’s body, he has much the same dealing with his emotions as in the film, though also with regret at going too far with his interrogation.
Concurrent to all of this is Obi-Wan following Jango to Kamino, where he gets introduced to the Kaminoans and the story of the clone army for the Republic comes out. The meeting with Jango takes place, but instead of the incriminating evidence being Jango’s armour not being hidden, Obi-Wan makes a judgement from the battle of words the two exchange. He reports on the clone army to Yoda and Mace, with the two asking if the bounty hunter who he was tracking and Jango Fett are one and the same. Obi-Wan says he isn’t one hundred percent, but plans on taking a closer look at the ship. Upon doing so, he gets involved in battle with Jango on the landing field of the ship. Jango manages to force Obi-Wan back enough to jump onto his ship that Boba is piloting, and it takes off. Obi-Wan returns to his own ship to find the tracker still active, and sets off to follow. The space battle follows the same as the film, with Jango leading Obi-Wan to Dooku.
You might wonder where all the Anakin and Padme romance talk fits in with little in the way of a pause. All of that has been reduced greatly. The scene that takes place on the transport in the film happens the same as before, so Anakin’s dream of his mother happens and his talk of being encouraged to love takes place. Padme is hiding her own feelings, but she at least recognises them and those of Anakin. On Tatooine there’s little time for such discussion, but once Anakin returns with his mother and has laid his feeling bare, Padme wants to help him, but knows that what he needs she cannot give. The third part of the bonding before Geonosis is during the repair of Zam’s ship takes place so they can leave. This part is where the two talk about Anakin’s feelings in more depth, with Anakin admitting he feels lost without love. He admits that the only two people who have shown him any friendship is Palpatine and Obi-Wan. Padme says that she has too, but Anakin says it isn’t the same – they hadn’t seen each other for ten years. Padme says that their friendship does matter, and shows him the japor snippet he had given her. She admits that she couldn’t help but wonder what he had been up to during the ten years, and had always kept the carving on her for good fortune. Anakin starts asking about commitment, but that is when she starts backing away again. He cannot go too far with that line of thought, as R2-D2 comes along saying that the transmitter on their broken ship was still working, and news was coming in from Coruscant.

The Jedi council, Palpatine, and certain Senators are within the Chancellor’s office to receive the news of Obi-Wan being captured, having previously gathered to hear the news that Padme hadn’t arrived on Naboo. Now they listened to Dooku saying that the Chancellor is to disband the Senate and hand over control of the Republic to him otherwise he would send droids to all Republic systems and create chaos across the galaxy. The discussion of needing the clone army starts up, but then Anakin appears to ask what news they had, reporting that Padme was fine. The group decides that the clone army is indeed needed, with events following the same as the film. Yes, Jar Jar is the fall guy here as well. Palpatine accepts emergency powers that Jar Jar proposes, Yoda heads to Kamino to collect the clones, with Mace organising a Jedi strike. Anakin and Padme head to Geonosis in Zam’s ship, with Padme hoping to settle the conflict peacefully.
Upon arrival, the two are captured. Jango was waiting, expecting Zam to return, but instead finds Anakin and Padme. Instead of taking a pot shot, he uses his jetpack to escape, leading the two to Dooku as well. Padme tries her best to reason with Dooku, but he reveals that Viceroy Gunray wouldn’t be joining him unless she was dealt with, and having Anakin along for the execution would put two Jedi out of action as well. The arena happens here, with Padme finally admitting all her feelings to Anakin. The two agree that no matter what happens, they have each other, and will forever. The three battle against the creatures. The droidekas roll in and surround them, then Mace and the Jedi arrive and the battle between Jedi and droids begins. Instead of Mace vs Jango, Obi-Wan gets to deal with him instead, proving to be a short but not insulting fight. The Jedi are eventually surrounded, the clones come in and the war starts. The CIS begins its retreat, trying its best to get away while their remaining forces continue the battle.
I’m kind of forced to include the final battle here due my rules with this series [keeping with the basic template of the events that happen], so Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme head off in a gunship to follow Dooku hoping to capture him and end the war before it gets out of this system. Padme doesn’t get knocked out of the ship and follows them in. Anakin rushes in for the attack same as the film and gets knocked aside. Obi-Wan takes a more measured approach but is still taken out. Padme again tries reasoning with Dooku, but he again says he cannot keep her alive. Just as he is about to strike, Anakin gives a wild Force push and forces Dooku away. He leaps into action but fares little better, getting his arm sliced away and pushed over to Obi-Wan. Yoda then comes in and with only a small battle of the Force Dooku realises he cannot win. He quickly creates a distraction and leaves.
Back on Coruscant, Obi-Wan and Yoda talk over events, with Obi-Wan finding it funny that a bounty hunter would be involved in both sides of the army that is now set against each other. Both fail to realise the ulterior motive – that Jango was just the catalyst intended to bring both sides together, as orchestrated by the Sith. Anakin and Padme finally arrive on Naboo, holding a secret ceremony to prove their commitment to each other through marriage.

There are three things I set out to do with this Rewrite. The first was to handle the romance between Anakin and Padme better than what the film provided. While I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether this version succeeds in that, I felt it would be better to be more subtle about it. It’s less in your face, and while Anakin’s feelings for her are still present, I tried to make it have more meaning than just Anakin trying to force his feelings onto Padme. The second point of this was to allow Zam to better prove her skills, as I felt she was an underused character, and it’s clear her and Jango have a history of being partners – and I’m not just saying that because of the Bounty Hunter game. In the little they interact, there’s definitely a feel of shared experience between them, such the same as Obi-Wan and Anakin have. And the third was the plan of the Sith to start the war not so reliant on luck.

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