It takes real insight and great courage to acknowledge that assaulting others is based on believing you are guilty to begin with. Since real politics was invented to replace knowledge in an inner world, human beings routinely make conflict the fault of others. Guilt is projected to find evil in outsiders who then deserve punishment for their wrong doings. Still, the idea of attacking clones suggests we fight ourselves.
The current war of terrorism between nation states and stateless nations escalates this ancient cycle of unconscious guilt and political violence to a potential nuclear level. It repeats the expansion to international world war that set the 20th Century apart from all previous history. A record seventy million people were killed in World Wars I and II. It carries out an age-old fear among individuals and societies that world peace through consciousness is not feasible.
While Attack Clones may encourage insight, it also slides backwards to advocate the eradication of enemies and hides the fear of peace behind righteous justification. Yoda the sage now personally fights the secessionist leader, organizes an army of clones and leads light saber knights into combat. “Gandhi turns Rambo,” quipped Time Magazine.
C-3PO, the beloved multi-lingual communicator and ambassador of universal peace, becomes the butt of comic relief in place of Jar Jar Binks. The robot’s head accidentally gets attached to a separatist battle-droid, suggesting that fighting has lost all reason. Even then, C-3PO is completely rational and harmless but audiences go insane thinking this is funny.
Slandered previously by fans and critics alike, Jar Jar’s diction is improved and role as buffoon is diminished as he serves on the staff of Senator Amidala. He proposes, because of the war, that the head of the senate be given emergency powers of absolute authority. Chancellor Palpatine will take over as Evil Emperor of the universe in “Episode III”. Jar Jar is unwittingly set-up to betray the Republic and therefore, claims that he has been dignified in Episode 2 may be premature.
The only woman Senator, Padmé, the one voice for peace, to her peril, opposes building of an army for the Republic. The separatist opposition cares not who starts the war as long as fighting resumes. Ranking Jedi officers help maneuver her out the political arena to protect her from assassination attempts that are pro-voked by their rivalries to begin with. Thus, Jedi Knights are implicated in the leadership of the conspiracy of the Sith?
Jedi Knights, for example, reputed to have left the order lead the rebellion and requisition the clone army later commanded by Yoda? Anakin is assigned to protect Padmé on a remote retreat by the Jedi Council without supervision by his master? Their sycophant Jar Jar replaces Padmé’s and nominates the future tyrant? Anakin takes her into custody by marriage and her point of view disappears the way Komino, production planet of battle clones, is erased from the Archives of the Jedi. The phrase, only a Jedi could do this, punctuates the film.
Critics complain that Padmé’s costumes “appropriate her natural beauty” but her role as object of desire squelches her political voice. It is the message of peace, not the woman, however, that is feared and purged in the film and in real time. It is a matter of faith in a higher power that makes coercion and deadly force unneces-sary in all human affairs. When the sage of wisdom becomes a battlefield com-mander, peace consciousness is in eclipse for now.
Jon Snodgrass is a Professor of Human Development at California State University, Los Angeles and author of Peace Knights: Astronauts of the Soul: Wisdom and Myth in Science Fiction Film.

Posted on August 21, 2002 in Features by

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