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26 May 2005 @ 11:20 pm
"The only one who could ever reach me was the Emperor Palpatine," sang Dusty Skywalker.  
I think first off I should genuflect in the direction of the poor acting and dialogue, but honestly? One doesn't go see a Star Wars movie for witty repartee. One goes to see a Star Wars movie becuase one loves Star Wars. One is becoming C3PO as one writes this, and one will stop that immediately.

Okay, so I enjoyed the movie, as everybody I've spoken to seems to have. I've got gripes, I've got things I loved, but with the Ewan/Hayden kiss firmly in my mind, the whole movie gave me a glowy feeling, except for when it made me want to beat Yoda up for being horrid to Anakin.

Yes. I wanted to beat Yoda up. Even if he is a very wizened Kermit the Frog, and could kick my ass all around the galaxy.

Palpatine was very good at what he was doing, but Anakin was put in an untenable position by Yoda and the council. From the begining, Yoda has spent most of his time telling Anakin what Anakin is doing wrong instead of offering real guidance or advice. It's like something about Anakin just *bothered* Yoda or something, and he never liked him. Either way, he was wholly alienated throughout the whole trilogy, so by the end, the ease of his turn against the Jedi (and when I say 'ease', I mean that very relatively, because it was hard for him, and I'm not downplaying the seriousness of that) made sense.

And poor Anakin, really. What I find so interesting is that all of the Lucas movies have this issue with family, and love in general, where all love is sort of -- conflated into this massive one love, which in its purest form is Jedi-love for everybody (see: Luke, Yoda and Obi-Wan, the most classically heroic of the characters in the series).

Anakin's love for Padme is very tangled with his love for his mother in this weird, *weird* way. His relationship with his mother (Schmee? Schlee? Shiny? What?) was always interesting, because it pushed him to such lengths in the second movie. His love for his mother was intense in a way that one doesn't generally see in movies like this -- it was as though his love for his mother was tied to a sense of who he was at a most basic level. This is the same as his love for Padme. And more than that, the movies go a bit out of their ways to show that these women are the only people whose love Anakin accepts fully. Obi Wan's love for Anakin is always somewhat a tense issue (and I'll get to this later, because wow is that weird, the way they are) and Qui Gon Jinn isn't really around long enough. It's not that they're the only ones who accept Anakin without question, because Obi Wan does accept him -- perhaps more fully than Padme does at times, but that could just be part of his whole "I am way unflappable and that's pretty neat for me" thing.

But the intensity of this love that Anakin has for these women -- which is so directly at odds with the selfless Jedi-One-Love thing -- is all about *Anakin* and it makes you think that for all of his pride, he's really incredibly lost and insecure, and he doesn't have any real centering factor, which is what Obi Wan should be and isn't (for whatever weird ass reason). Now, what, do you think, could make the Chosen One feel so afraid and insecure?

Oh, I don't know. Maybe being questioned and criticized at every turn by Yoda and the Jedi council?

So for Anakin, Mother and Wife become one and the same, which is even echoed in the plot by the precog-dreams he has about Padme's death, and the way he even parallels the two himself. In some ways it's just so Oedipal that it reaches out of the screen with a glove across which is written the phrase 'Oedipus Rex loved his mother' and slaps you across the face. But that would then turn the Anakin/Obi Wan issues into an outgrowth of that Oedipal conflict, and this movie does it's damndest to make us think of Obi Wan as Anakin's brother.

Anakin's fifteen year older brother who raised him from boyhood and treats him like a son.

Yeah. I don't get that either.

I mean, if Qui Gon(I don't know if there's two 'n's there or what, so I'm going to fluctuate between the two spellings in the hopes of being right at least part of the time) is supposed to be the spectral father of our happy Jedi family, and Obi and Ani are supposed to be brothers, man did they fuck *that* up by killing Qui Gonn and not making him come back all blue and glowy in the subsequent episodes to guide Obi Wan.

So. What's the deal with Obi Wan and Anakin and why does Anakin not trust/love Obi Wan so much? Is it because Anakin's so passionate and Obi Wan has such natural reserve that Anakin doesn't feel loved by him, and it's sort of a 'sullen young man doesn't understand the understated but intense love of his father' thing? Is it a competitive issue, as they certainly are competitive? Are they still competing -- really ridiculously somehow -- for Qui Gon's love, even though Qui Gonn is obviously dead and can't see them? Is it that Obi Wan smells really bad? Is it an Oedipal "I must destroy you to become you, except by become you, I mean become your worst nightmare of who I could be" thing?

I've really got nothing on that one. The suspicion of Obi Wan exists in Attack of the Clones, also. Or, maybe not suspicion, but vague antipathy toward -- Padme's like "OMG LETS SAVE OBIWAN NOW" and Anakin's respone is a somewhat cool "Yeah, that'd be nice. But not so much."

What the hell, man? Is it a slash issue? Is it a, "I'm attracted to you, but tend to define myself by relationships toward women and it angers me that you come between me and that" sort of a thing? Because I could buy that, but I could also buy it's just that Anakin doesn't know how to trust men, given that his formative years were spent as the child of a female slave. I mean, he's got to have seen some things he'd rather he hadn't.

But, really, I felt so bad for him the whole time. Bad for him, and for Obi Wan, less so for Padme becuase I honestly couldn't bestir myself to care too much about her, which is more because I think that she was just in this movie in a damsel in distress capacity which made her far, far less interesting to me than when she was *doing* things.

When I felt worst for Anakin, though, was when Windoo (Windo? I don't know. Samuel L. Jackson) was about to kill Palpatine, and he said, so shocked, "That's not the way of the Jedi!" That was a heartbreaker of a moment.

So. I liked it. I saw it with the Fam, and afterwards my father and I sang some very loud songs we made up on the spot about it, such as "Do you love me, now that I'm a Sith?" and "Fly Like a Jedi" and "The Emperor Palpatine" and "Obi Obi."
 
 
Current Mood: soresore
Current Music: The Desperate Man-The Black Keys
 
 
 
Serafinaserafina20 on May 27th, 2005 04:57 am (UTC)
Thank you for being the first person besides me to so roundly and rightly critcize Yoda and the Councile's treatment of Anakin. Of course, when I do it, I'm must more incoherent and shaking with rage, but thats' because (as my sudents have informed me) I'm a Sith.

I think a major rift between Obi-wan and Anakin comes from the way they view each other. Anakin, since Obi-wan took over his training, has viewed Obi-wan as a father. He even says as much in the second movie. And he does expect a fatherly love--deeper, more protective, and more akin to what Shimi's love for him was. To Obi-wan,though, Anakin is a brother and while he cares deeply for Anakin and wants to guide him, there's distance. The first year or so of their padwan/master relationship must have been tainted a bit by Obi-wan's grief at losing his father figure and, probably, some stinging resentment at being thrown over so easily by Qui-Gon for Anakin; even if Obi-wan thinks he was ready to be a full Jedi, it had to have hurt. And, further, he might have felt guilt for feeling upset, especially since Qui-Gon was dead and...

It just set up a cycle of not quite being able to attach. That, and the fact Obi-wan was such a new Jedi, is the major reasons that i feel he never should have been the main person responsible for training Anakin. Since Anakin was so powerful and midichlorian-y, Yoda should have trained him. But, as you said, he never seemed to trust Anakin, which is why I'm so agnry at Yoda.

Sorry to babble so much.
antitheantimodel on May 27th, 2005 08:05 am (UTC)
I've always thought (and I haven't watched 1 and 2 for a while so my interpretation might change) that part of the struggle between Anakin and Obi Wan was about Padme. I mean she's quite a bit older than him too, and let's face it, for all the mistreatment of Anakin by the council, the dude was NOT cut out to be a jedi. He was too prone to anger, rashness, and jealousy, too emotional and petulant. So I've always thought that Anakin's always been vaguely afraid of losing Padme to Obi Wan in that irrational way that he seems to have.

I don't know. I thought the coucil treated him badly, but I'm not entirely sure that Anakin would have been a good jedi even with better guidance.
.hackthis on May 27th, 2005 04:26 pm (UTC)
I demand you sing 'Fly like a Jedi!'

Please?
Shelly Webster: brotherloverrestless_jedi on May 31st, 2005 07:21 am (UTC)
I was getting the Padme/Anakin/Obi-Wan vibe, but that's just me.