Attack of the Clones- did anyone else find this disturbing? (spolerish)

So, this past weekend, I rented and watched AOTC. OK, not a great movie, but entertaining enough.

But something really bothered me about this movie. See, when the Jedi Council found out about the army of clones that had been by Count Dooku/Darth Tyrannus, ostensibly on the Republic’s behalf, there was no hesitation about using them. They did not have any debate about the morality of using this ready made army of clones. I would think that the Jedi would have some serious moral and ethical issues with using what amounts to an army of slaves, artificially deprived of free will. They were just “We need an army, hey, guess what, there’s one ready made for us, let’s send Yoda to pick it up.”

Does anyone else find this disturbing, that the Guardians of Truth and Light in the Universe would be so quick to use a slave army? Why would there be no debate on the issue? Could it have been that the cloud of the Dark Side of the Force that was hanging over Coruscant was affecting their thinking? I mean, they have Darth Sidious practically sitting in their collective lap and they haven’t detected his presence yet. If they can’t sense that “The Force is strong with Chancellor Palpatine, and, hey, guys, it’s the Dark Side,” maybe their minds are a bit muddled…

Many things bothered me about AOTC but I have to say this never occurred to me.

I don’t think the Jedi knew that Dooku ordered the clones. Obi-Wan was informed that a Jedi named “Sifo-Diyas” had ordered the clone army. (We’re told he was a member of the Jedi Council ten years before, although we never saw him in Phantom Menace.)

Later, Obi-Wan confronts Jango on who ordered the clone army. He respons, “Sifo-who? I was contacted by a man named Tyranus on one of the moons of Bogden.”

Dooku is never addressed by anyone as “Darth Tyranus” except by Sidious at the end of the film. Although “Tyranus” is apparently Dooku’s Sith title, it’s not common knowledge…indeed, despite the red lightsaber and use of the dark side, nobody seems to know that Dooku IS a Sith. Note his speech to the captive Obi-Wan…“Join me, and together we can find the ring–er, I mean, destroy the Sith!” Dooku implies that he knows what the Sith are up to, but distracts from the fact that he is one. (Note that Dooku’s offer to Obi-Wan closely matches Vader’s offer to Luke at the end of Empire: it basically translates as “Help me become the new Dark Lord, and you can have my old job.”)

My theory: Yoda and Mace ordered the Clone army. Note the funny look that passes between Yoda and Mace when Obi-Wan contacts them. Note also that Mace mentions that the Jedi are losing their ability to use the force–that the Jedi are, in fact, becoming defunct. (I have theories on why this is happening, too.) My suspicion is that when this first started happening, Mace and Yoda decided to take confidance in the only person they thought they could trust…bum bum bum…newly-elected Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. It would have happened something like this:

Yoda: “Supreme Chancellor…speak with you, we must. Grave matter, it is.”
Palpatine: "Master Yoda, Windu. Of course.:
Mace: “The Jedi’s ability to use the force is mysteriously diminishing. We fear that within the next decade, we will be unable to protect the Republic further.”
Palpatine: (Inwardly chuckling) “That…would be a terrible tragedy. I have a solution. I know of this planet, Kamino…what if we cloned an army of warriors to fight in the stead of the Jedi?”
Yoda: “Like this, I do not. Deceptive it is.”
Palpatine: “Perhaps…but consider the panic that would ensue if people knew that the Jedi were failing…”

And whammo…Palpatine gets an unstoppable army ready to take the place of the Jedi in their hour of weakness.

I also suspect that Yoda’s line in Jedi, “Don’t underestimate the power of the Emperor,” has something to do with this. Basically, that Yoda was ALSO suckered by Palpatine, and he wants Luke to be aware of it.

Excellent point, and I’m ashamed to say I never thought about it.

And the “no one senses a Sith Honcho in their midst” did bother me a lot. But then we ARE assuming D. Sidious and E. Palpatine are the same person … even though we’ve seen clones all over the place … just sayin’ is all.

More than likely it bothered you because you have the wrong idea about the jedi.
It seems Lucas changed his mind about what they really are for the prequels - the jedi of PM and AOTC are little more than a toothless group of monks with pretty swords. Yoda had no compunctions about using the clone army because Palpatine ordered him to. The jedi aren’t independent in the prequels. They supposedly are ‘keepers of the peace’ but only in the interests of the Republic. If perhaps they thought for themselves and were willing to adapt their philosphy to the times, maybe all but a few of them wouldn’t have been wiped out by a one-handed Backstreet Boy.

"But then we ARE assuming D. Sidious and E. Palpatine are the same person … "
Exactly. There have been heavy hints in this direction of course but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a plot twist and it turns out someone else is Darth Sidious.

Also, if they didn’t use the army, they would’ve been wiped out. I mean, if the army was just icing on the cake, sure, moral dilemma, but the army was necessary for their survival.

There’s plenty more ways that you can pick at AOTC.

IMO, PM and AOTC weren’t awful movies per se. They just didn’t live up to the Star Wars standard. Not even close. Mediocre.

I haven’t seen AOTC yet (some films are worth seeing in the theater, some worth seeing on tape, and some are worth waiting for the network broadcast), but I had always assumed, right from my very first viewing of the original Star Wars film, that the Clone Wars would have been fought to stop the evil Empire from using clones. It was something of a shock to learn that the clones were on the good side…

I don’t think the Jedi are as moral as you think.

They are very pragmatic, and very insular. Entire planet being conquered and enslaved by the Trade Federation? Well, it’s not really our fight. Let the courts decide it.

Basically, in terms of “keeping the peace”, they are not a military or police force as we would think of them. Individual star systems/groups within the Republic have their own armies/navies, but the Jedi themselves are mediators and high-level investigators more than anything else. They try to help settle disputes between Republic factions, it would seem, and their badass potential is just an extra added bit of encouragement.

Oh, and as far as using the clones-- I think Yoda realized how bad things had gotten (witness all of the Jedi they called into battle to help out Obi Wan) and decided that, even though it was a lousy choice, they needed those clones in order to defeat the Separatists on Kamino.

The use of the clones was an act of desperation that legitimized their use by the Republic and will ultimately lead to the downfall of the Republic. Yoda realizes this, which is why he says in the end it was not a victory. The Jedi have compromised themselves.

I think Palpatine was initiated into the Sith order and cloned himself. The original is now Darth Sideous and the clone, with no Force powers, is now the Supreme Chancellor. When the time is right (in the next movie) the clone will be disposed of and Yoda and Mace will suddenly realize how deeply they’ve been had.

A major problem for me is that the movie doesn’t establish any context for cloning in the SW universe. Is it illegal? Is it immoral? Is it looked down upon? Is it commonplace? The first mention of clones is made almost as an after-thought. Are they considered slaves? Do they have any rights? Are all cloning operations clandestine, or just the one on Kamino? There is nothing in the film to give you any sense of what cloning means.

Of course, this would’ve been easy to fix. When Obi-Wan first hears about the cloners (in Dexter Jettster’s diner, IIRC), all he’d have to say is “Cloners? But cloning’s forbidden by the Republic’s Blahdeblah!”. Ta-da! But no dice, so we have no way of knowing how serious or incidental the whole cloning issue is.

“The Clone Wars” as mentioned in the first film always suggested, to me, an ideological conflict, with strong subtexts of crimes against nature. Somehow, there was something very moral at stake, and the fallout (the destruction of the Jedi order) was devestating. Calling it the Clone Wars now makes no sense, since the war is not about cloning, it just happens to be using clones. Is this wrong or unusual? You’d never know by what goes on in the film. It’s like calling a war “The Soldier War”. With cloning becoming a more everyday reality in our real world, this was an enormous opportunity for SW to escape the realm of pop-fantasy and engage with real Sci-Fi issues–an opportunity that was completely wasted.

::swishes hand:: There’s nothing wrong with using a Clone Army in this fashion. You can go about your business. Move along.


You can’t tell a good story unless you have something you need to say so badly that it’s eating your brain. Lucas seems to have made the new movies more out of nostalgia than brain eating need to express himself. Without that need to direct it no story can maintain its’ integrity long enough to be great.

Dooku: LOL.

Well, don’t Yoda and Mace Windu ponder at one point whether to tell everyone that their ability to use the Force is weakened? That would explain a lot about the whole “Dark Side gallavanting about in front of them” thing, and is undoubtedly some kind of future plot point…

Near the very end of the movie Yoda says to Mace “Begun, the clone war has” (or something to that effect). What is he really saying?

Maybe it is left over confusion from Obi Wans comment to Luke in Star Wars where he mentions that he fought in the Clone War(s?). Both of these lines led me to conclude that the Jedi fought against the clones. I can see that in Star Wars, because that would have been after the fact, but in context I don’t get Yodas line.

Just out of curiosity, if one’s ability to use the force is correlated highly with the midichlorine count in one’s blood, how will the off-the-scale reading of Anakin be affected when he gets mangled in the next movie and has all his limbs replaced? You’d think with less biological real estate, his midi count (and powers) would drop significantly.

Thea Logica, this bugged me a lot, too. The Jedi seem to have no problem with creating an army of slaves (you think the clones get paid? time off? a nice 401K?) to do their dirty work.

Of course, I also found it disturbing that Amidala continued to be all gooshy about Anakin even after he slaughtered the village of sand people. That’s one couple that deserves each other.

Hey, would you act all bitchy to a guy that just slaughtered a village of sand people?

I didn’t think so.