Attack of the Clones is 20 years old. Like a fine Naboolian wine, the middle chapter of the prequel trilogy gets better with age. To commemorate its anniversary, Rebel Briefing celebrates the movie’s links to a revered Jedi Knight.
Hello there! Today we are celebrating two big events at Rebel Briefing. Firstly… tomorrow will be a day long remembered for Star Wars fans as the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series finally drops on Disney+.
And secondly; Attack of the Clones is now 20 years old.
Before our excitement levels for the Kenobi show hit hyperdrive, let’s take a moment to make sure the 20th anniversary of Attack of the Clones is suitably celebrated.
Like a fine Naboolian wine, the middle chapter of the prequel trilogy gets better with age. Despite the negative reviews back in the day claiming it was too slow, too dialogue-heavy with too much politics, it has matured very well. Two decades on, it still feels like a bold and ambitious movie.
Packed to the brim with political intrigue and action, Episode II boasts a foreboding sense of tragedy as Anakin takes a big step toward the dark side. Throw in forbidden love, the mysterious clone army, and a menagerie of new bad guys and Attack of the Clones is an essential addition to the Skywalker Saga.
Central to the drama is Obi-Wan Kenobi. Without a doubt, the venerable Jedi Master is easily the best thing about the film. He’s so good; it is possible we wouldn’t have a Kenobi TV show without his exploits in Attack of the Clones. Not only does he carry a significant portion of the movie on his shoulders, this is the film where he has the most fun – watch Obi-Wan roll with the punches as George Lucas throws new planets, creatures, and obstacles in his path.
So on the eve of its release, let’s celebrate the debut of the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV show by looking at why he absolutely rocks Attack of the Clones.
Wars Not Make One Great
As we know, the Kenobi TV show takes place 10 years after the dramatic events of Revenge of the Sith. Since then, the Jedi Master has been hiding in exile on Tatooine as he comes to terms with the destruction of the Jedi Order. Obi-Wan is guilt-ridden, having lost his faith after his best friend and former student Anakin Skywalker fell to the dark side and helped give rise to the Empire.
The Obi-Wan we see in the trailers is far removed from the venerable warrior in Attack of the Clones. While Kenobi was at the height of his martial power in Episode III, it’s safe to say the Jedi Master was in his prime in chapter II.
Having promised Qui-Gon Jinn to train Anakin in The Phantom Menace, the burden and stresses of training the argumentative and rash Anakin Skywalker have made Obi-Wan wise beyond his years. It is a cross he bears well though, because he kicks ass in Attack of the Clones.
Two decades after defeating Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan is no longer a Padawan but a fully-fledged Jedi. With his slick mullet and fetching whiskers, he is wiser and more elegant than the inexperienced (and arguably arrogant) apprentice we met in Episode I. And unlike the reckless and impatient Anakin, he’s the epitome of pragmatic wisdom.
Brain and Brawn
Central to the plot is Kenobi’s mission to investigate the assassination attempt on Padmé. As the action gears up, he goes on a classic detective mission to uncover the clone army on Kamino and the truth about the Separatist movement. It’s safe to say he’s a lone wolf for much of the film.
While on his mission to discover Padmé’s would-be assassin, the canny warrior backs up his immense Jedi skills with some excellent lateral thinking. When the Jedi Archives Library fails to give him the answers he needs, he uses his instincts and visits his old friend Dexter Jettster in a greasy spoon diner on the lower levels of Coruscant. Obi-Wan knows it’s the small things that matter when trying to learn about the bigger picture.
His sharp investigative skills lead him to the blue water planet Kamino and the bounty hunter Jango Fett, who was hired to kill Senator Amidala.
As Obi-Wan investigates the clone facilities, Jango – who has been used as the genetic blueprint for the clone army – recognises the Jedi. Outside on the rain-lashed upper decks of Tipoca City, Kenobi once again proves his immense skills in close combat against Fett. His duel with the famed Mandalorian boasts some of the movie’s best action as the warriors fight above the violent oceans – this is quickly followed by a dogfight in the asteroid belt around Geonosis. Who can forget the sound of the seismic charges that punctuate the stunning visuals? The young Boba Fett, along for the ride with his dad, even picks up a few tips and tricks from Obi-wan that he uses in The Empire Strikes Back.
Despite the chaos and danger of Episode II, Obi-Wan, unlike Anakin, never loses sight of his duties and obligations to the Jedi Order – his respect for Yoda, Mace Windu, and the Council is heartfelt. It is to them (Yoda especially) that he confides his fears about the headstrong Anakin.
A kind and compassionate soul, he understands Anakin’s troubles. Obi-Wan accepts his Padawan may have been too old to begin his training. “You’re going to be the death of me,” he jokingly tells Anakin. Neither can know that this light-hearted comment carries tragic foresight.
Put simply, Obi-Wan is a very cool guy. Despite his exalted status as a Jedi Knight, he consistently shows his down-to-earth nature in Attack of the Clones. He’s (now) just as comfortable drinking galactic brews with pathetic life forms as he is pontificating the finer nuances of the Force with Yoda and the crew in the Jedi Temple. He’s come a long way since his haughty days as a Padawan, as he no longer looks down on the universe’s less fortunate or less esteemed citizens. Cool as ice, he knows how to use a Jedi Mind Trick to maximum effect. We all remember his sage advice to the Balosar death stick dealer! In short, Obi-wan is the type of Jedi we would all enjoy drinking a few cold brews with.
Sand Dunes of Tatooine
Time and again, Obi-Wan proves himself to be an outstanding leader and warrior. His qualities as a war general are apparent in the embers of the battle of Geonosis and the following Clone Wars. Kenobi’s primary powers are his tactical guile and insight into the minds of his enemies. He is a cunning soldier who not only survives Geonosis, the Clone Wars and Order 66 but also the tragic duel on Mustafar.
Despite his best intentions to train Anakin, the boy is destined for the dark side of the Force. Because of Vader, the Jedi Order will collapse, meaning the brave and selfless Obi-Wan will spend what remains of his life guarding Luke among the sand dunes of Tatooine.
In Kenobi’s world, there’s no such thing as luck. But if Attack of the Clones teaches us anything about him, it’s this: the majestic Jedi continues to enrich the Star Wars universe now more than ever. Whatever happens next, he will undoubtedly take his first steps into a larger world in the weeks ahead on Disney+.