My Five Favorite Things About Attack of the Clones

I’m continuing with my “Five favorite things” theme on all the films with Episode 2, Attack of the Clones. You can check out my five favorites of The Phantom Menace here.

Favorite Scene

The Battle of Geonosis. This is the climax of the movie, when all the s**t hits the fan. For me, it really starts with Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme battling the beasties, and then the Jedi arrive led by Mace Windu. AND THEN Yoda arrives with the clones to mop things up. It’s really a great sequence of events, a lot of action, battles, and things blowing up. AND THEN, it all leads to…

Favorite Duel

Yoda vs. Dooku. Obi-Wan and Anakin get to duel Dooku first, but they fail spectacularly and quite quickly, with Anakin losing an arm and Obi-Wan getting a boo-boo on his leg. (I have this sneaky feeling that Dooku has a soft spot for Obi-Wan, as he’s his Padawan’s Padawn. Kind of like a grandson). But then Yoda arrives to fight HIS Padawan, and the battle really begins. This is the first time we’ve seen Yoda fight with a lightsaber, and it’s fantastic. He limps in with his walking stick, and then proceeds to jump and whirl and fight circles around Dooku. I think I laughed and clapped with delight the first time I saw this duel, it made me so happy. Dooku knew he was in trouble and had to distract Yoda by threatening Obi-Wan and Anakin, and then he made his escape. So cool.

Favorite Line

“The day we stop believing democracy works is the day we lose it.” –Queen Jamilla of Naboo

Funniest Moment

Most Impactful Character

Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan simply rocks in this movie. He does some Jedi-CSI investigating to find Kamino and discovers the clone army, finds Jango, fights him, and follows him to Geonosis. Without all this, the Jedi never would have rooted out Dooku and his Separatist cronies. And the only way any of this occurred is because Obi-Wan “we’re not getting into an investigation” Kenobi dived out Padme’s window to follow the assassin droid.

In a lot of ways, I think Attack of the Clones, out of all the movies, is the most fun.

What are your favorite AOTC moments? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

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Rebels: Season Two Review

Rebels Season Two Spoilers Ahead!!!

I’ve been rewatching the animated series Rebels, and I’ve just finished Season Two. Not only is it longer (22 episodes rather than 15), but it was so much more emotionally satisfying. Several familiar characters make an appearance (or reappearance), and the finale was amazing. But we’ll get to that.

So much more happens in this season, and this post could be unbearably long if I mention everything, so I’ll try to point out the most important events and highlights.

Hera

So now the Ghost crew are a part of Phoenix Squadron, led by Commander Sato, along with Ahsoka. Hera and the rest of the crew are all gung-ho about it, but Kanan isn’t so sure–he’s reluctant to join the nascent Rebellion, remembering the Clone Wars and what happened to the Jedi because of it.

They receive a transmission from Minister Tua on Lothal–she wants to defect and she needs their help. She’ll give them important intel in exchange. But before they can retrieve her, she’s killed, engineered by Vader in a plot to draw the Rebels out. Kanan and Ezra end up fighting Vader, and it’s clear to them they are way out of their league–he’s more powerful than anyone they’d ever encountered. They hightail it out of there, but they’re stuck on Lothal. Lando makes another appearance here, as he owes them a favor, and he gets them off the planet.

Minister Tua and Agent Kallus

They escape, but Vader tracks them to the fleet. Ahsoka, on board the Ghost, feels his presence, and he feels hers; he murmurs, “The apprentice lives,” in apparent surprise. Ahsoka is shocked and passes out; later she tells Kanan and Ezra that she doesn’t know who he is, but I don’t particularly believe her. She suspects Anakin, I think, but says nothing to the others.

The Imperials burn Tarkintown on Lothal in retaliation, and the Rebels decide not to go back there; they don’t want to endanger anyone else. Ahsoka asks the Ghost crew to find an old friend of hers, believing that he can help them find a new base. The friend turns out to be none other than Captain Rex, along with two other clones: Gregor and Wolf. They’re in “retirement” on some desert planet, clomping around on some old Republic walker that has seen better days.

Captain Rex, Gregor, and Wolf

Kanan absolutely does not trust them, and understandably so. He’d seen clones turn on the Jedi and kill his own master, Depa Billaba. Rex states that he didn’t betray his Jedi, and explains that he and the others removed the chips in their heads that commanded the clones to kill their former generals, but Kanan’s prejudice runs deep. The others seem to like the clones, though. They need to fight some Imperials off, and the clones go back with them to the fleet. The reunion between Rex and Ahsoka is wonderful to see; and although it takes Kanan a while to come around, I love that Rex becomes an honorary member of the Ghost crew.

Unfortunately, Vader has sent out more Inquisitors, and they encounter two of them–Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother–on an old Republic medical frigate they’ve gone to in order to get medical supplies. They escape, but encounter them again when they discover they’re after Force-sensitive babies. They manage to rescue the kids, and we get to see a fabulous display of Ahsoka’s skills as she duels them both before escaping.

Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister

Ezra starts to feel a bit overwhelmed with his Jedi training with Kanan, on top of soldier training with Rex (and the chores Hera gives him on the Ghost), and while trying to escape his responsibilities he encounters Hondo Ohnaka. Since the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire, Hondo has come down a few notches in life–no longer the leader of a formidable pirate gang; he scrapes by in whatever way he can, smuggling and making deals with other pirates. He’s as funny and selfish as he was in Clone Wars, and he’s so fun to watch. He takes a shine to Ezra, who he considers to be his young protege in the art of the con.

Meanwhile, Hera brings an experimental B-Wing into the fleet, to be perfected and mass produced, and she becomes Phoenix Squadron Leader. Kanan and Rex go on a mission together to save Ezra and Commander Sato from the Imperials, and start to bond a little bit; Kanan even calls Rex his “friend.” Sabine has an adventure with an old friend, who’s now an enemy, and then becomes her friend again. I can’t remember her name, but she has gorgeous lavender eyes.

Ezra has Force visions about his parents, and is convinced they need to go back to Lothal. They encounter Ryder Azadi, the former Governor of Lothal, imprisoned by the Imperials–along with Ezra’s parents. He tells Ezra his parents heard the message of hope he sent out in Season One, and was inspired to help the other prisoners escape. But they themselves didn’t make it. It’s assumed they are dead, and Ezra deals with his grief.

Kanan comforting Ezra, as Ryder Azati looks on

Princess Leia shows up on Lothal as an ambassador from Alderaan, bringing three ships full of medical supplies and relief aid. Of course, she expects the Rebels to “steal” her ships, and in this way she helps the Rebellion in the best way she can. She’s about Ezra’s age here, and they have an adventure in getting the ships off Lothal for the Rebellion, without making Leia look guilty. She’s pretty good at making the Imperials look like fools.

In trying to find new, safer hyperspace routes, they encounter a group of Mandalorians on Concordia Dawn called The Protectors that work for the Empire. They take its leader, Fen Rau, prisoner, and get use of the hyperspace route. Zeb finds out he’s not the last of his people, and they help two survivors find a safe haven beyond the Outer Rim. They go on a mission with Hera’s father, the famed Twi’lek freedom fighter Cham Syndulla. Father and daughter have a strained relationship, but they resolve their differences and get a new ship for the fleet to boot. On a mission to get fuel for the Ghost, they encounter space whales called Pergil, and Ezra makes a Force connection with them (they’ll become an important plot point in a future season). Imperial Agent Kallus and Zeb are stranded on a frozen moon, and have to work together to escape with their lives (the experience leaves an impression on Kallus that bears fruit later).

Zeb and Kallus

Those pesky Inquisitors keep finding them, so Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka go to the Jedi Temple on Lothal to find answers on how to deal with them. Kanan ends up fighting a Jedi Temple Guard, who turns out to be the Grand Inquisitor from Season One. Turns out, he’d been a Guard before Order 66, but became an Inquisitor afterward. He symbolically “knights” Kanan after Kanan admits to his fear that he can’t protect Ezra forever; he can only do his best. Ezra finds himself with Master Yoda, and talks with him about the war; only after Ezra insists that they must fight the Empire does Yoda tell him to go to Malachor. Ahsoka hears Anakin’s voice: “Why did you leave me? Do you know what I’ve become?” Her suspicions and fears about who Vader is, and her guilt over her potential part in it, hits home.

Chopper finds a new friend in AP5, and old Republic droid who now does inventory work for the Empire. They help each other on an adventure, and AP5 suggests a new planet for the Rebel base. It seems perfect at first, but then they discover it’s inhabited by–what else?–giant spiders. But they find a way to keep them away from the base itself.

The last two episodes of the season, “Twilight of the Apprentice” Parts 1 & 2, are the best episodes of the season, and possibly one of the best arcs in the entire show. Following Yoda’s advice, Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka go to Malachor, a “forbidden” planet to the Jedi. It contains a Sith Temple, and here they end up meeting Maul, who’s been slinking around there for years, apparently. They encounter three Inquisitors as well–Seventh Sister and Fifth brother, and one other–and they’ve gone there to find “the Shadow,” or Maul.

Ezra and Maul

Basically, Ezra gets separated from Kanan and Ahsoka, and meets Maul, who wants to use Ezra to get to the Sith holocron inside (as well as turn him to the dark side and have him become his apprentice). Ezra, innocent child, believes that Maul wants to help them, and once they get the holocron, he uses it to activate the Temple–he thinks he’ll get the knowledge they seek, but it really turns into a battle station. Ezra realizes this too late, and in the meantime, Maul has blinded Kanan in battle. They’ve managed to kill the Inquisitors and fend off Maul, but Vader shows up for the holocron, and they’re in real trouble. Kanan and Ezra together retrieve the holocron while Ahsoka battles Vader, and it’s this riveting and heartbreaking encounter that makes this episode epic.

Ahsoka battles Darth Vader

During the course of the duel, Ahsoka realizes that Vader is, in fact, Anakin. As the Temple starts to crumble around them, she tells him, “I won’t leave you. Not this time.” Ezra calls her name, but she closes the temple door on him, and they have no choice but to escape without her. We see an enigmatic scene of Vader leaving the Temple, and Ahsoka going into it. It’s a bit vague as to what actually happened, but it becomes more clear in a future season.

So I’ve already written WAY too much, but suffice it to say this was a great season, with an amazing season-ender.

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My Five Favorite Things About The Phantom Menace

I thought I’d go through all the Star Wars films and list a few of my favorite things about them, because why not? One a week, starting with Episode 1 all the way through 9, as well as Rogue One and Solo. Let’s start, shall we?

Favorite Scene

This isn’t a specific scene, but I loved how Padme Amidala disguised herself as one of her own handmaidens, and Sabe often was dressed as the Queen. It was smart, clever, and fooled almost everyone–I’m still up in the air as to whether the Jedi were fooled or not. They looked fairly surprised when Padme came forward and admitted to being the Queen when she spoke with Boss Nass, but I’ve seen others claim that they knew. What do you think?

Favorite Duel

This one’s pretty easy, because there’s only one duel of note in this film: Duel of the Fates, between Qui Gon, Obi-Wan, and Maul. It’s the first major lightsaber duel of the prequels, and it’s graceful, frenetic, and deadly in a way that the duels from the OT weren’t, like a dance. Maul’s double-bladed red lightsaber is awesome, and his moves are equally impressive. Qui Gon’s death at his hand is heartbreaking, as is the tender way Obi-Wan cradles him and promises to train Anakin right before he dies. Obi-Wan, by the way, proves he’s a master lightsaber duelist when he kills Maul, the first Sith the Jedi have encountered in a thousand years. Well, we thought he killed him, and so did Obi-Wan.

It’s also interesting to note that Dave Filoni himself pointed out that it’s called the Duel of the Fates because it’s Anakin’s fate that hangs in the balance with this duel. If Qui Gon had not been killed, would Anakin have eventually turned the Dark side? Perhaps not, as Qui Gon might have been the strong father figure that Anakin needed, whereas Obi-Wan was more of a brother or friend and inevitably failed in that role. And I’m not saying it’s all Obi-Wan’s fault Anakin turned; I think it’s obvious several factors were at work.

So it’s an important duel for that reason; not to mention the fact that Maul actually survives, and his injuries at the hand of Obi-Wan fuels his rage and his vendetta against him throughout much of Clone Wars and Rebels.

Favorite Line

Some people should heed Qui Gon's words more often.

Funniest Moment

Jar Jar Binks is definitely the comedy relief in this movie, and I have to say that although I thought he was pretty silly when I first saw this back in the day, I’ve come to love the goofy guy. There’s an innocence to him that’s touching, and he does help the cause in many ways. I’d have to say the funniest moments are the ones during the Battle of Naboo, where he clumsily swings weapons around and actually does some damage. It’s not laugh-out-loud, certainly, but gets a little chuckle out of me.

Most Impactful Character

Qui Gon Jinn wins this category. He’s pretty much the dramatic center of the story, and he’s always been one of my favorite Jedi. But I’ve decided to make this category the most impactful character, and not necessarily my favorite. Qui Gon is impactful here because it’s he who discovers Anakin (for better or for worse), frees him from slavery, and brings him back to Coruscant. It’s Qui Gon who pleads for Obi-Wan to train Anakin as a Jedi. It’s Qui Gon who steadfastly believes that Anakin is the Chosen One. Basically, if it wasn’t for Qui Gon, there would be no Skywalker saga; there would be no Star Wars. That’s quite impactful.

So, if I was forced to rank the Star Wars movies (and I see a lot of people ranking them on fan sites), this one would probably be last, as it often is with a lot of fans. Poor Phantom Menace. But I hate ranking the films, as I do love all of them in their own way. It’s like ranking your children, or picking a favorite child. I find something to love in all the Star Wars movies, and TPM has a lot to love.

What are some of your favorites in The Phantom Menace? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

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So You Wanna Be A Jedi?

If you’ve followed my blog, you know I’m a huge Jedi fan. I love anything Jedi-related: Jedi Knights, lightsabers, the Jedi Order, their philosophies and beliefs. I’m fascinated by them, and admire them to a certain degree.

If I lived in the Star Wars universe, I’d want to be a Jedi Knight. I bet a lot of fans would agree.

Well, what if I told you that you could be a Jedi in this world? It’s true! At least, when it comes to following the philosophies of the Jedi, and perhaps some lightsaber training. The Force? Good luck on that!

You may not be able to move objects with your mind (unless you’re supernaturally gifted), but you can become a part of Jedi activities here on earth:

School of Sabrefighting

Want to impress your friends and properly use that lightsaber replica you’ve been clumsily swinging around? Look no further than the School of Saberfighting. I’ve watched some of their Youtube videos of their performances, and they’re amazing! Not only do they perform choreographed duels inspired by Star Wars, they also give lessons to those who want to learn. (If I was at least 25 years younger, I’d consider it! It looks like hard work, but fun).

Here’s what they say on their About Page:

School of Saberfighting is one of the first teams in the world that specialises in public performance of duels inspired by Star Wars, and also provides training for those who wish to learn this form of stage fencing. Many of our trainees have won the highest stage fencing athletic titles in various Russian championships, and acted in fencing combat scenes in theatre and films. They also collaborated with a Combat Choreographer from Hollywood, and performed during the World Fencing Championship 2015.

Check this out:

This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

Temple of the Jedi Order

Is Jediism a real religion? Perhaps not legally, but there is a group called the Temple of the Jedi Order, and it’s recognized as a nonprofit entity. On their homepage at templeofthejediorder.org they describe themselves thus:

The Jedi here are real people that live or lived their lives according to the principles of Jediism, the real Jedi religion or philosophy. Jedi followers, ministers, and leaders embrace Jediism as a real living, breathing religion and sincerely believe in its teachings. Jediism does not base its focus on myth and fiction but on the real life issues and philosophies that are at the source of myth. Whether you want to become a Jedi, are a real Jedi looking for additional training or just interested in learning about and discussing The Force, we’re here for you.

Additionally, they list what the Jedi believe:

Jedi Believe

In the Force, and in the inherent worth of all life within it.

In the sanctity of the human person. We oppose the use of torture and cruel or unusual punishment, including the death penalty.

In a society governed by laws grounded in reason and compassion, not in fear or prejudice.

In a society that does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or circumstances of birth such as gender, ethnicity and national origin.

In the ethic of reciprocity, and how moral concepts are not absolute but vary by culture, religion, and over time.

In the positive influence of spiritual growth and awareness on society.

In the importance of freedom of conscience and self-determination within religious, political and other structures.

In the separation of religion and government and the freedoms of speech, association, and expression.


– Temple of the Jedi Order –

They also have other doctrines, including the Jedi Code, which many of us are familiar with, as well as The Three Tenets (Focus, Knowledge, Wisdom), The Creed (adopted from the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi), The 16 Teachings, and the 21 Maxims. They insist that “real” Jedi do not worship George Lucas or Star Wars; but apply the tenets of Jediism to everyday life.

So there you have it–if you want to be a Jedi, it’s totally possible–if you’re willing to put in the hard work and discipline. The life of a Jedi is not an easy one and requires great sacrifice. Maybe that’s why I admire the Jedi in Star Wars so much–it’s a difficult path (just ask Obi-Wan).

So on second thought, maybe I’ll just continue to admire them from afar and remain at my desk typing away with my tea nearby. That’s my path, but there’s still opportunity to pursue it with discipline, integrity, and responsibility. A Jedi writing warrior–my pen is my lightsaber, my words are my Force abilities, lol.

What do you think of these organizations? Would you be a Jedi if given the chance? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

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