Infrequent observations, comments on the news, rants against stupidity, demonstrations of absurdity.
Favorite moments... from Clones and Sith Completing the task I started this week, here are my final two spectacular logs of memorable moments from Star Wars. Enjoy your Father's Day weekend!
Attack of the Clones moments
"Well who can blame them. But he is here." I'm just picking one line of the 'interrogation' conversation (Obi-Wan's derisive comment about the Geonosian's distrust of bounty hunters) between the captive Obi-Wan and Count Dooku, but I think the whole scene is masterful from start-to-finish. Entering with feigned bluster, Dooku soon drops the bomb of the truth on Obi-Wan, and like all the Jedi, he refuses to believe it. Using the memory of Qui-Gon, Dooku then asks for Obi-Wan's help in 'destroying the Sith'. Dooku's motives will forever be the stuff of the expanded universe novels (by-the-by, Labyrinth of Evil wonderfully develops the background of both Dooku and Grievous prior to Episode III).
"I won't be long." Padme and Anakin's embrace outside the Lar's home is a beautiful shot, and poignant because he's about to taste his first bit of the dark side. I have a picture of the scene on my wall.
The look of evil. Shortly thereafter, as Anakin's mother passes away in peace, Anakin feels anything but that. Hayden got his first chance to convey what Vader looks like when he feels rage, and he nails it.
"Always a pleasure to meet a Jedi." Another great conversational scene (all the critics of dialogue can eat me, btw), this time not between two Jedi but two men measuring each other up and not giving an inch. Jango's threat to Obi-Wan that his clones will "do their job well. I'll guarantee that" is wonderfully subtle.
"I love democracy." McDiarmid delivers this line with such humility as he is being appointed supreme-executive powers by the Senate. The sheer gall of this man to deliver probably the most bold-faced lie in the entire series makes me reflexively snort every time I see it. Probably the same way Palpatine is internalizing his own amusement.
"You want to go home and rethink your life." A popular moment for sure, Obi-Wan's casual influence of one of Corsucant's denizens is hilarious. He does it so quickly that you get the sense this is certainly not the first time he's done this. I know he has other things on his mind at the moment, but it's amusing to think that anytime he is confronted with someone he doesn't approve of, he does a mind-trick on them, not out of malice or control, but for his own amusement and maybe to help a bit where he can. A perfect taste of his sense of humor.
"If an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist!" Librarian Jocasta Nu's hauty declaration regarding Obi-Wan's search for Kamino is an great representation of how confident, how blind, and how prime the Jedi are ready for a fall.
Revenge of the Sith moments
The Last ReflectionI think you ask your average fan his/her favorite moment, and most of them will include the word 'lightsaber'. On reflection after seeing it a second time, the choice for my favorite moment became clear. The hauntingly brilliant John Williams track ('Padme's Ruminations') compliments the most halting and beautifully restrained scene in the film. Wraught with symbolism, the two lovers, separated by a great distance, contemplate each other and the future in the backdrop of a blood-red sunset. Although I've only seen the film twice, this moment made my eyes well up both times. You know this is the precipice and Anakin is stepping off. An instant classic.
"I hear a new apprentice, you have." Right before Yoda conversationally mentions to Sidious that he is aware of his recruit, Yoda casuals flips his hand and the force deals with the Emperor's guards. A moment designed to briefly alleviate the seriousness of the situation, it works every time.
"I can overthrow him, and together you and I can rule the galaxy." The whole conversation between Anakin, Padme, and Obi-Wan on Mustafar is wonderful, but this line is the one that resonates to the original trilogy. It answers the question of whether Vader was tempting Luke on Bespin to get him to turn to the dark side, or did he really want his to help him defeat the Emperor. Anakin love and desires have become twisted by the dark side. Twisted, and in his mind, still noble.
"Time to abandon ship!" This is a Grievous line he says, almost giddily, after he escapes from the bridge of his own ship. We haven't seen a villain in the series who so clearly relishes his adversarial relationship with the Jedi. I think that most of his lines will work its way into my standard lexicon eventually, but the two that stick in mind right now are from the opening battle. Another, right before he punctures the bridge parasteel glass he taunts, "You lose, General Kenobi!" His unabashedly playful attitude showed through the voice-effects to heighten what could have been just another stock henchman.
"Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, then his apprentice killed him in his sleep."Palpatine speaking of his former master, McDiarmid delivers the veiled background as a Sith apprentice with fondness and style, most notably when he remarks with a humored wistfullness of his ruthless nature that he killed his master in his sleep. For all the stigma that Lucas can't write dialogue, this is (again) one of the instances where both brilliant script and performance melded to produce an insightful portrait of a man who is a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
"Good, Anakin, good. Kill him. Kill him now." How quickly and unnervingly Palpatine goes from encouraging teacher to casual murderer. So shockingly that even Dooku is speechless at the betrayal; Palpatine nearly smiles at Dooku. Anakin hesitates but the temptation is too strong.
"Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"The effect is chilling when Palpatine suddenly drops all pretense of civility and humility when confronted by the Jedi in his chambers. When he reveals his deadly skills by cutting through three of them in seconds, it is positively scary. I remember watching the trailer over and over for that moment when he leaps over his desk and crouches, animal-like, taking both us and the Jedi aback. It is the very definition of a 'money shot'.