1:30:01 – 1:45:00
This chapter of the movie begins with everyone’s favorite pasttime: Political maneuvering.
Chancellor Palpatine is meeting with a group that includes Mace Windu, Senator Bail Organa, and Jar Jar Binks. The consensus seems to be that they are in a crisis. It’s obvious that Count Dooku and the Trade Federation, among others, are gearing up for war, but the confounded Galactic Senate would never vote in favor of a clone army before the imminent attack. The Senate must vote the chancellor emergency powers. But, where oh where will they find a senator bold enough to make that motion? It is a shame that Senator Amidala isn’t around. This seems to make Jar Jar think.
Except she was against the formation of an army, wasn’t she? Jar Jar is an idiot.
Cut to: Obi-Wan being held suspended in a beam of light. Enter Count Dooku, Stage Left. Obi-Wan calls him a traitor, but Dooku assures him that there’s been a terrible mistake. He didn’t have anything to do with Obi-Wan being detained, and he will petition for his release at once. Oh, by the way, what is a Jedi doing way out here on Geonosis?
Obi-Wan tells Dooku that he was tracking the bounty hunter Jango Fett. Does Dooku know him, perhaps?
No, asserts Dooku, I know of no bounty hunters out here.
Dooku attempts to flatter Obi-Wan by telling him that Qui-Gon always spoke highly of him. Dooku wishes aloud that Qui-Gon were still alive, because he could use his help right about now. Obi-Wan says that Qui-Gon would never have joined Dooku.
Don’t be so sure about that, Dooku says. Bombshell revelation: Qui-Gon was Dooku’s apprentice just as Obi-Wan was Qui-Gon’s. And Qui-Gon knew all about the corruption rampant in the Senate.
Dooku drops some truth on Obi-Wan. What would you say if I told you that the Republic was under the control of the Dark Lord of the Sith?
Impossible, says Obi-Wan. The Jedi would have sensed it. Would they, Obi-Wan? Would they, really? They didn’t sense the Clone Army being created. Apparently, they can’t sense their collective ass with both hands.
The Dark Side of the Force has clouded their vision, says Dooku, sounding a lot like Master Yoda. Hundreds of senators are now under the influence of a Sith Lord called Darth Sidious.
Here’s where Dooku stops telling the truth, though. He goes on to tell Obi-Wan that the Viceroy of the Trade Federation was once in league with Sidious, but was betrayed by him ten years ago and came to Dooku for help. It’s important that Obi-Wan Kenobi join him now in his crusade against the Sith Lord now. Together they could defeat the Sith!
Obi-Wan rejects Dooku’s compelling arguments, and then Dooku tells him that it may prove difficult to secure his release.
Next scene: the Galactic Senate. All of the senators are assembled in their UFO skyboxes. And who else but acting senator Jar Jar Binks would be making a motion to grant emergency powers to Hitler…I mean, Palpatine? Toned down for the second prequel, maybe, but Jar Jar is still a royal fuckup.
Chancellor Palpatine—also known to a select few as Darth Sidious—accepts these temporary emergency powers and vows that he will give them up once the crisis has passed. Hmm-hmm. Sure, that’s what’s gonna happen. Then, he immediately creates an Army of the Republic to combat the Separatist threat.
“It is done then,” Mace Windu says to Master Yoda. Windu says he’s going to gather Jedi to help Obi-Wan on Geonosis. Yoda says he’s going to Kamino to talk to the cloners. He wants to see this army for himself.
Fully five minutes into this chapter, we return to our lovebirds, Anakin and Padme, rocketing in their silver spaceship towards Geonosis. All plots lead to Geonosis, it seems. Padme spies columns of steam that she proclaims are exhaust vents. Anakin sets the ship down into one of these.
Padme, who wears the pants in their relationship, tells Anakin to follow her lead. She’s still a senator of the Republic, and she’s not out to start a war here. Anakin quips that he’s given up trying to argue with her.
The ever-plucky R2-D2 decides to follow after them, over C-3P0’s characteristically prissy objections. C-3P0 makes the comment that R2 seems to think a lot for an astromech droid, which makes me wonder why the midichlorian-saturated Anakin would create such a sissy protocol droid.
As Padme and Anakin get deeper into the factory, native Geonosians begin coming out of holes in the walls. They are an insectoid species. Fleeing from the bug-people, first Padme, and then Anakin, fall onto the droid-making assembly line belt. Anakin uses his lightsaber to carve his way through some bug-monsters, while he and Padme, separately, manage to avoid getting stamped flat or welded dead by the assembly line. R2-D2 and C-3PO follow them into the factory.
C-3PO proves that he was the proto-Jar Jar by getting into a fine mess after R2-D2 pushes him into the factory. He provides a bit of comic relief as he is unceremoniously carted away by industrial machinery while R2-D2 uses his built-in jets to carry himself less dangerously into the factory. C-3PO’s head gets knocked off and replaced by a battle droid head, while C-3PO’s own head gets placed on a battle droid’s body. This is high comedy right here, folks.
Meanwhile, Anakin slices and dices his way down the assembly line while Padme has found herself in a particularly perilous spot, traveling inside a recepticle that is about to get filled with molten metal. Then, Anakin himself is temporarily taken out of action, his arm pinned by droid parts of some kind. R2-D2 manages to plug into the operating computer of the assembly line in time to save Padme from being turned into french fries. Anakin has to extricate himself, but his lightsaber is sliced in half during the process. “Not again,” he wails, as aware of the lost-lightsaber trope as the audience has become.
Having just escaped almost-certain death, Padme finds herself surrounded by insectoid Geonosians and captured, while her new boyfriend is likewise captured by Jango Fett and a several destroyer droids.
As Anakin and Padme await being brought out before the entire hive assemblage, they engage in some unfortunate dialogue. Anakin tells Padme not to be afraid. Padme tells Anakin that she’s not afraid to die; she’s been dying a little each day since he came back into her life. What the F___ does that mean? Anakin wants to know.
I love you, Padme blurts out.
I thought we agreed not to fall in love, Anakin says, and then goes on to repeat most of what they talked about by the fireplace earlier in the movie.
Padme says that she just wants Anakin to know, before they die, that she truly, deeply loves him. And then they kiss. But, I didn’t hear Anakin tell Padme that he loved her back.
Okay, this wasn’t Neil Simon or Aaron Sorkin writing this stuff. This was George Lucas. It’s truly the best that he could do. Truly and deeply.
As this chapter of the 15-Minute Force ends, the canoodling couple are brought out in a chariot into an arena filled with about a million buzzing and clicking Geonosians.
Obi-Wan is there as well, about to be crucified for looking like Jesus.
Things seem to be coming to a head. Will our heroic Jedi Knights and the brave senator be executed by the droid-building insects? Didn’t someone else say something earlier about heading to Geonosis with a bunch of Jedi? Is that likely to happen soon?
And what about C-3PO and his misplaced head?
We will see during our next chapter. Until then…Won’t You Join Me Now in My Crusade Against the Dark Lord of the Sith? I Mean…That’s a Reasonable Request, Isn’t It? And…May the 15-Minute Force Be With You.