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A Revenge of the Sith Primer


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If you're like me and are totally perplexed by the political machinations going on in the prequels (it's okay to admit it, we're all mostly friends here) these few paragraphs by George Lucas from a new Star Wars book should hopefully be able to explain what 4 hours+ plus of movies couldn't.

Prologue

The Clone Wars

by George Lucas

For a thousand years, the Old Republic prospered and grew under the wise rule of the Senate and the protection of the venerable Jedi Knights. But as often happens when wealth and power grow beyond all reasonable proportion, an evil fueled by greed arose. The massive organs of commerce mushroomed in power, the Senate became corrupt, and an ambitious senator named Palpatine was voted Supreme Chancellor. Most disturbingly, the Dark Lords of the Sith reappeared, after a thousand years of seeming absence.

In the midst of this turmoil, a separatist movement was formed under the leadership of the charismatic former Jedi, Count Dooku. By promising an alternative to the corruption and greed that was rotting the Republic from within, Dooku was able to persuade thousands of star systems to secede from the Republic. Unbeknownst to most of his followers, Dooku was himself a Dark Lord of the Sith, acting in collusion with his master, Darth Sidious, who, over the years, had struck an unholy alliance with the greater forces of commerce and their private droid armies.

The turning point came when Count Dooku lured the unsuspecting Jedi into a trap on the desolate planet of Geonosis. Having just discovered the existence of a clone army that had been secretly commissioned for the Republic ten years earlier, the Jedi were well prepared when they confronted the Separatists on Geonosis. But their victory in that heated battle was pyrric. It would prove to be merely the opening salvo in a war that would spread like fire across the galaxy and engulf thousands of star systems in the legendary Clone Wars.

Having already been granted emergency powers in the face of the growing threat, Chancellor Palpatine used his ironclad grip on the Senate to seize even greater authority, all in the name of security. To address the urgent military needs of the Republic, he enlisted the Jedi Knights as generals to command the Clone Army. The Jedi valiantly accepted their assignment, though never having served as military commanders, they were unaccustomed to the wages of war. Their ranks, once sufficient to serve as the guardians of peace and justice, were spread periously thin in the face of this unthinkable challenge. Their relationship with Palpatine grew strained. At the same time, they felt their own power waning even as their most promising new apprentice completed his training and stood poised to fulfill his destiny as the Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force.

The Clone Wars raged for three long years, tearing the Republic apart and spawning countless tales of heroism, bravery, treachery, and betrayal as both sides fought to defend their ideals. As dedicated as the Separatists were in their resolve to create a new order to replace the failing Republic, the Jedi were equally determined to preserve the Republic and defeat the Sith, who they understood all too well were the masterminds of the Separatist movement. They still believed in the Republic, still deemed it a Republic worth saving. Their faith, which gave them superhuman strength in the face of mind-boggling power of the enemy, had yet to be shaken.

Neil

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The Clone Wars raged for three long years, tearing the Republic apart and spawning countless tales of heroism, bravery, treachery, and betrayal ...

... None of which were interesting enough to include in these films, apparently.

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We all know that George Lucas loves to make money by milking SW for everything it's worth, so it comes as no surprise that he left the majority of the Clone Wars out of the films. A disappointment to be sure, but not a surprise...

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Actually the only political part of the prequels that puzzles me is the so-called Trade Federation.

Who would appoint a single race to control trade in the Republic and why would a commercial organization have a fleet of battle-ships, war machines etc.?

And why did they have their own floaty thing in the Senate when they're not representing a planet or at least shouldn't be under their trade guise?

Bloody Nemoidians!

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Neil, did you read Star Wars prologue?

It is a great summary of the prequels, says everything without giving details (that havent thought till the prequels)

The politial struggle has always been there.

and well, 'new' is not the world i would have used since that book is now two years old.

Luke, who owns it...

And anyway, that is a resume of the prequels, and the last paragraph is EPIII.

You know there are at least two wars in that movie.

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Sifo-Diyas and who ordered the clone army is supposed to be dealt with in Ep. III.

And everything in that summary was explained one way or another in the movies. Maybe some were too busy watching the pretty effects to notice. :D

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Actually the only political part of the prequels that puzzles me is the so-called Trade Federation.

Who would appoint a single race to control trade in the Republic and why would a commercial organization have a fleet of battle-ships, war machines etc.?

And why did they have their own floaty thing in the Senate when they're not representing a planet or at least shouldn't be under their trade guise?

Bloody Nemoidians!

That's what annoyed me about TPM. The movie actually started halfway into the storyline. Why were ther trade Federation blockading Naboo? What did the Naboo do to piss them off?

Maybe TPM should have been Episode -3 so that we can see Palpatine's path turn foul and the events leading up to the Clone Wars then have Episodes 1-3 on a more indepth telling of the Clone Wars and Anakin's fall from grace.

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That's what annoyed me about TPM. The movie actually started halfway into the storyline. Why were ther trade Federation blockading Naboo? What did the Naboo do to piss them off?

Ummm..Star wars started halfway it's story line too.

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Actually the only political part of the prequels that puzzles me is the so-called Trade Federation.

Who would appoint a single race to control trade in the Republic and why would a commercial organization have a fleet of battle-ships, war machines etc.?

And why did they have their own floaty thing in the Senate when they're not representing a planet or at least shouldn't be under their trade guise?

Bloody Nemoidians!

Lets see.

Isnt it obvious Sidious is helping them?

As obi wan and quigon see, the army was secret.

And clearly the TF has enough power to 'buy' a place in the senate...

And they were not the only in charge of trade in the republic. Thats what they wanted, therefore the blockade of naboo started.

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Episode I started at a perfectly logical place, when the Jedi got involved and the invasion began. The important point wasn't mainly that the Trade Federation was having a problem with Naboo, it's how Palpatine manipulated all involved to get himself elected Supreme Chancellor.

John- who finds these political maneuverings as exciting as any space battle. But that's just me... :D

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The criticism about the Clone Wars being left out - for future franchising - could equally apply to many other conflicts in the SW Universe, e.g. the Rebel attacks on the Empire post-SW, pre-ESB; the getting of the codes in ROTJ; Boba Fett's career etc

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But Lucas said one of the reasons for making the prequels was that he finally got to do the Clone Wars and show how those went. Now we only get to see the beginning and ending. A bit disappointing, IMO.

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The criticism about the Clone Wars being left out - for future franchising - could equally apply to many other conflicts in the SW Universe, e.g. the Rebel attacks on the Empire post-SW, pre-ESB; the getting of the codes in ROTJ; Boba Fett's career etc

I disagree.

The Clone Wars were mentioned in Star Wars (1977) and are supposed to be a pivotal event in the lives of Obi-Wan and Anakin.

Not to mention the fact that it's a WAR and the franchise still has the word WAR in it.

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I can see your point, and I think that one of the hallmarks of the SW series over, say, Star Trek is the fact that all the special effects have been at the cutting edge for when the film was made. However, the whole film cannot be one long battle, and if the rumours are to be believed then the first 10 or 15 mins are a big battle, and obviously the last 20 minutes will undoubtedly be pretty action-laden.

Besides, none of us have seen the film, so to some extenet all speculation is idle.

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You don't have to show only battles. The OT is the Civil War of the Galaxy, but these movies aren't battles from beginning to end. If the idea behind the prequels was to show the Clone Wars, then I say the Clone Wars should have started in Episode I. Have the final battle of Ep. 1 be the beginning of the Clone Wars for example. Just my idea.

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I can see your point, and I think that one of the hallmarks of the SW series over, say, Star Trek is the fact that all the special effects have been at the cutting edge for when the film was made.

These days that's the only hallmark left, I think.

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If the storyline of the SW PRequels confuses you, I believe Spongebob has a new movie coming out.

:)

You know how many people are going to actually be surprised when Anakin becomes Darth Vader? Oops, did I just ruin it for someone?

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If the storyline of the SW PRequels confuses you, I believe Spongebob has a new movie coming out.

You find all of the political maneuvering clear and well presented in these movies?

Neil

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Which part is difficult to understand? Palpatine's political machinations are quite obvious

But who ordered the clones? Why is Dooku seemingly against Palpatine but working with Sidious, when they are one and the same? Does he not realize who Sidious really is simply becuase of a cloak? Because of him, Palpatine is even kidnapped at thte start of ROTS. Is this all to keep up appearances? Are the clones good or bad in AOTC. They save the Jedi and heroic music is tracked in when they do it, but Yoda says they aren't good, even though he commands them at times.

Neil

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Dooku is against Palpatine because he'd rather rule the galaxy. He's working with Sidious, but like Darth Vader when he tried to lure Luke with "Join me and together we can destroy the emperor", Dooku did the same with Ob-Wan. He probably would make good on that promise.

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Dooku is against Palpatine because he'd rather rule the galaxy. He's working with Sidious...

So one simple cloak is enough to hide the fact that he's really Palpatine? Would you trust some idiot to work with you if he couldn't figure out who you were by wearing just a simple piece of clothing? That doesn't make any sense to me.

Neil

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But who ordered the clones?

I think it's supposed to be a bit of a mystery, that will be answered in Episode III.

Why is Dooku seemingly against Palpatine but working with Sidious, when they are one and the same?  Does he not realize who Sidious really is simply becuase of a cloak?  Because of him, Palpatine is even kidnapped at thte start of ROTS.  Is this all to keep up appearances?

I think it's obvious Dooku and Palpatine are working together, hand in hand. Palpatine calls him Lord Tyranus at the end of AOTC. Dooku says, "War has begun" as though he has fulfilled an order. Dooku is stirring the Seperatists at the command of Palpatine, it's all part of Palps plans to manipulate the galaxy for his own plans to rise to power and to do away with the Jedi.

Are the clones good or bad in AOTC.

Neither, at the moment, they are an army bread to do what the leadership tells them to do. What's "bad" about them is their questionable origin, not the troops themselves.

They save the Jedi and heroic music is tracked in when they do it, but Yoda says they aren't good, even though he commands them at times.

It was either that or leave 200+ Jedi to die, inluding some of the council members and the chosen one. What I gather from the Jedi in the prequels, is that they are a kind of seperate branch of the government to themselves. They work with the Senate but ultimately take orders from them.

Of all the faults I find with the prequels, this part of the storyline is not one of them. Granted, it could be better...

Jeff

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Dooku is against Palpatine because he'd rather rule the galaxy. He's working with Sidious...

So one simple cloak is enough to hide the fact that he's really Palpatine? Would you trust some idiot to work with you if he couldn't figure out who you were by wearing just a simple piece of clothing? That doesn't make any sense to me.

Doesn't Dooko tell Obi-Wan that the leader of the Republic is a sith lord? Doesn't this pretty obviously state that Dooko knows that Sidious is Papatine?

Count Dooku: What if I told you that the Republic was now under the control of a dark lord of the Sith?

Obi-Wan: No, that's not possible. The Jedi would sense it.

Count Dooku: The Dark Side has clouded their vision. Hundreds of senators are now under the influence of a Sith lord called Darth Sidious.

Obi-Wan: I don't believe you.

Justin

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Doesn't Dooko tell Obi-Wan that the leader of the Republic is a sith lord? Doesn't this pretty obviously state that Dooko knows that Sidious is Papatine?

Count Dooku: What if I told you that the Republic was now under the control of a dark lord of the Sith?

Obi-Wan: No, that's not possible. The Jedi would sense it.

Count Dooku: The Dark Side has clouded their vision. Hundreds of senators are now under the influence of a Sith lord called Darth Sidious.

Obi-Wan: I don't believe you.

I actually really like that little bit of dialogue, clever on Dooku's (Lucas', or whoever wrote it) part. Tell your enemy the truth and they won't believe you. The Senate/Jedi don't realize that their enemy is one of their own, what better way to help mask that fact. This is even confirmed by what Yoda say's at the end about Dooku, "Lies, deciept..." Yet Dooku flat out told Obi-Wan the truth.

Jeff

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I think it's obvious Dooku and Palpatine are working together, hand in hand.  Palpatine calls him Lord Tyranus at the end of AOTC.  Dooku says, "War has begun" as though he has fulfilled an order.  Dooku is stirring the Seperatists at the command of Palpatine, it's all part of Palps plans to manipulate the galaxy for his own plans to rise to power and to do away with the Jedi.

But that's Sidious he's talking to!

Of all the faults I find with the prequels, this part of the storyline is not one of them.  Granted, it could be better...

Better? It's supposedly what the prequels are about and it's confusing as hell. One person does something, then someone does something else, then they contradict, yet supposedly they are working together. This is not good storytelling.

And Justin, you would think that dialogue would clear it up, but in the treatment that I read (which is very accurate) it even says Dooku may or may not know who Palpatine is when he's kidnapped. So why would it say that, if it's so clear in AOTC? I'm thinking the writer/director may not even know.

Neil

P.S. And say what you will about SuperShadow's site and that treatment, but every comic book page I've read so far has matched up with that.

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So one simple cloak is enough to hide the fact that he's really Palpatine?  Would you trust some idiot to work with you if he couldn't figure out who you were by wearing just a simple piece of clothing?  That doesn't make any sense to me

Makes as much sense as Lois Lane who can't tell Clark Kent is Superman with glasses :roll:

K.M.

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I think it's obvious Dooku and Palpatine are working together, hand in hand.  Palpatine calls him Lord Tyranus at the end of AOTC.  Dooku says, "War has begun" as though he has fulfilled an order.  Dooku is stirring the Seperatists at the command of Palpatine, it's all part of Palps plans to manipulate the galaxy for his own plans to rise to power and to do away with the Jedi.

But that's Sidious he's talking to!

And your point is..? I'm saying that Dooku knows Palpatine is Sidious. Unless this is proven false in the next Star Wars movie, then there is nothing wrong with this aspect of AOTC. If, in fact, we find out Dooku didn't know that Sidious was Palpatine, I will concur that it is very weak storytelling. As it is now, AOTC leaves it open to interpretation and that's fine with me. I do think though that we see enough to be able to figure out what is going on.

Of all the faults I find with the prequels, this part of the storyline is not one of them.  Granted, it could be better...

Better? It's supposedly what the prequels are about and it's confusing as hell. One person does something, then someone does something else, then they contradict, yet supposedly they are working together. This is not good storytelling.

Funny, I thought the prequels were about Anakin Skywalker. The Emperor and the Clone Wars and all of that being the catalyst of how he became Darth Vader. I think it's intentional that we don't know exactly what's going on with the Sith and the Senate. Right now, Episode II ends ambiguously. The audience, like the Jedi in that final scene, are supposed to left wondering what to make of Dooku, the Sith, the clones... Should all movies be straightforward and easy to follow?

I expect Episode III to tie up all these loose ends. If it does not, then you may very well be right, Neil. Poor storytelling indeed. We will find out in a couple months. If Episode III doesn't clear this stuff up, then your criticisms will hold up much better. Until then, nobody knows for sure.

And Justin, you would think that dialogue would clear it up, but in the treatment that I read (which is very accurate) it even says Dooku may or may not know who Palpatine is when he's kidnapped.  So why would it say that, if it's so clear in AOTC?  I'm thinking the writer/director may not even know.

I, personally, don't care what some treatment says (accurate or not), only what's in the final movie.

Jeff

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Funny, I thought the prequels were about Anakin Skywalker.

Yeah, that's what we were told, but after watching this latest preview, it sure looks to me to be Palpatine's story and Anakin and the rest are just there for the ride.

Neil

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Funny, I thought the prequels were about Anakin Skywalker.

Yeah, that's what we were told, but after watching this latest preview, it sure looks to me to be Palpatine's story and Anakin and the rest are just there for the ride.

Ah, yes, we saw a whole 2 and a half minutes of a movie that is sure to be well over 2 hours long. AOTC was 143 min, I don't see RotS being any shorter. Obviously, the trailer was playing up the revelation of Palpatine as Sidious. Sidious is sure to have a bigger role than the last two, appropriate since he is the one who turns our main character to the dark side. Just how big a role? We don't know yet, and I don't think the trailer is a good indication.

Now also going by the trailer, does that mean Natalie Portman won't have any dialogue in the movie?

Jeff

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Funny, I thought the prequels were about Anakin Skywalker.

Yeah, that's what we were told, but after watching this latest preview, it sure looks to me to be Palpatine's story and Anakin and the rest are just there for the ride.

Neil

The prequels should never have been about Anakin, they should have been about Obi-wan.

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Funny, I thought the prequels were about Anakin Skywalker.

Yeah, that's what we were told, but after watching this latest preview, it sure looks to me to be Palpatine's story and Anakin and the rest are just there for the ride.

Neil

The prequels should never have been about Anakin, they should have been about Obi-wan.

I agree, but that has absolutely nothing to do with this particular argument.

Jeff

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Which part is difficult to understand? Palpatine's political machinations are quite obvious

But who ordered the clones? Why is Dooku seemingly against Palpatine but working with Sidious, when they are one and the same? Does he not realize who Sidious really is simply becuase of a cloak? Because of him, Palpatine is even kidnapped at thte start of ROTS. Is this all to keep up appearances? Are the clones good or bad in AOTC. They save the Jedi and heroic music is tracked in when they do it, but Yoda says they aren't good, even though he commands them at times.

Neil

LOL

This is the pinnacle of Lucas bashing. To put one's intelligence at stakes just to critizise a movie (that that one is supposed not to care about)...

But then i hope the info you gave about dooku not knowing is false, otherwise the tide will turn in your favor...

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If the storyline of the SW PRequels confuses you, I believe Spongebob has a new movie coming out.

You find all of the political maneuvering clear and well presented in these movies?

Neil

Well presented? No!

Clear? Reasonably.

I mean the plot to this movie is fairly straightforward folks as it has always been with the SW series.

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So one simple cloak is enough to hide the fact that he's really Palpatine?  Would you trust some idiot to work with you if he couldn't figure out who you were by wearing just a simple piece of clothing?  That doesn't make any sense to me

Makes as much sense as Lois Lane who can't tell Clark Kent is Superman with glasses :roll:

K.M.

You're not suggesting that Darth Sidious wears glasses to avoid being recognised as Palpatine are you?

;)

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1. The politics have been clear to me. Palpatine is masterminding BOTH sides of the war using himselfe/the Senate, and Dooku/Trade Federation/Seperatists.

2. The confusing aspects must be there or the Jedi would sniff it all out easily.

3. I never thought that Dooku didn't know Palpatine is Sidious. I always percieved that he knew, but it wasn't all that important (as Sidious, being an evil mastermind, is a user and backstabber to the Nth degree). All the sith lie, use, and backstab. It's the nature of the Sith. We'll know more as palpatine tells us of HIS "Master" in EIII.

4. Some script leaks that I've read show that Dooku knows who Palpatine is before he... he... um... ah... no spoilers, huh? Heh. I even read one on Milleneumfalcon.com just a while ago.

Odd that, although I felt that the Senate stuff slowed the prequels down, it did a reasonably good job explaining the politics and underlining Palpatine's plot with a not-too-subtle *nudge-wink* (although some nitwits will be surprised when he reveals himself... but likely not many Star Wars nerds... just mostly casual viewers).

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Palpatine is like a spoiled child, playing both parents against each other.

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