“STAR WARS”, TERRORISM AND “ATTACK OF THE CLONES”

Reality and fantasy have been entwined in the films of “Star Wars” from the beginning. The Reagan administration, for example, dubbed a missile air defense system “Star Wars” and was sued by Lucasfilm. More recently, a woman astrophysicist published a book on the feasibility of Star Wars’ technology. The Smithsonian Institution exhibited Star Wars artifacts and culture in Washington, D.C., around the country and in virtual reality.

“Star Wars” rival “Star Trek”, also mirrors reality with the NASA space shuttle Enterprise, for example, actually being named, at the behest of fans, after the fictional spacecraft in the original television series. Three years before they surfaced in the West, the Suliban were named after the Taliban. The new fifth series also called Enterprise, is set in the 21st Century. So “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” are in accord as both explore what lies ahead.

The prequel trilogy of Star Wars concerns the rise of a homegrown terrorist named Anakin Skywalker who becomes Darth (bin) Vader – ruthless menace to galactic civilization. Phantom Menace, Episode 1, tells of his preteen childhood (0-10). Attack of the Clones, Episode 2, focuses on his post-teen life (20+). Episode IV of the sequel trilogy shows how his twin children, Luke and Leia Skywalker, depose him by refusing to fight.

Just released Episode 2 is advertised in trailers as a love story, as well as, an account of the decline of Anakin Skywalker. The connection of the two events contains insight into the hidden guilt that underlies human conflict but this is not a message intended by George Lucas. Nor will most moviegoers see this two-sided theme in the film. Peace may wait a few more centuries while the insight sinks-in.

In Attack Clones Anakin only stumbles and his full fall is reserved for “Episode III” in the serial of motion pictures. But his turn to terrorism and the resumption of the galactic civil war are also associated with romantic love in the film’s ending. He violates the celibate code of Jedi Knights to marry his childhood sweetheart, Senator Padmé Amidala, in the final scene of this installment.

It is obvious now that Anakin will turn to rage and rampage in “Episode III” over expulsion from the Order of Jedi Knights. In Episode II, due to his love for Padmé, when she is imperiled, and he is told not to rescue her, he almost disobeys orders. This scene, along with her constant threat of assassination, suggests that Anakin will plummet into moral darkness in “Episode III” because she is to be murdered. The act must be done by Republicans or Jedi Knights if Anakin joins the Sith?

Anakin’s descent really began in Episode 1, related to exclusion, but most fans and the media did not realize this. There, Yoda refused to allow Anakin to become a Jedi Knight because the nine-year old boy was afraid of separation from his mother. In now famous lines, Yoda pontificated that anger stems from fear and yet Yoda himself was afraid of Anakin’s admission to training. The elder chief communicated a sense of fear – root of all aggression – to the little plebe.

A slave boy without a father and a future was taken far away from his single mother, placed in a circle of strange creatures and challenged not to be afraid? Hazed like a recruit, Yoda acted like the commander in chief of the armed forces of the Jedi – a role he actually adopts in Attack Clones. The Jedi Council initiated Anakin to the shadow side – he was scared and scarred in Phantom Menace.

Attack Clones shows that Anakin’s transformation into Darth Vader also derives from his feelings of guilt about neglecting his mother for years. When finally accepted for formal training at the advanced age of ten, another decade passes before he sees her because he is busy in the galaxy saving planets from destruction. Apparently, the major lesson he learned from the council of elders was not to even think about his mother?

Anakin does not know she is freed from slavery, remarries, has a stepson and suffers “a hole in her heart” where he used to be. She dies within minutes after their reunion and he goes berserk, slaughtering her kidnappers, including women and children. He reaches into the Force to perform this “dance of death,” explains the novel. His mistreatment of her coincides with her torture by this tribe and his guilt intensifies the massacre.

Look even further into “Attack of the Clones” in part two of STAR WARS, TERRORISM AND ATTACK OF THE CLONES>>>




Posted on August 21, 2002 in Features by

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