Great Scenes Of The Prequel Trilogy: He Has Become A Very Great Threat

normal_cap032

One of my favorite, albeit gut-wrenching, scenes in ROTS is this one where Obi-Wan confronts Padmé in an attempt to find where Anakin went after his massacre at the Jedi Temple. The relationship between these two has been an odd one; they both love the same guy in different ways and yet they are on eggshells around each other because of the huge unspoken bantha in the room. But now it’s time to crack those eggshells because Anakin is a Sith on the loose.

It’s hard not to feel sorry for Obi-Wan in this scene. It’s not bad enough that he has just realized Anakin has joined the enemy and helped kill scores of Jedi. Or that the Emperor was playing him and everyone else all along. But now he has to tell this horrible truth to Padmé in the hopes her own conscience would be shocked enough to give Obi-Wan the information he needs, because he instinctively understands Anakin would’ve confided in her.

But Obi-Wan underestimates Padmé and just how conflicted she is. She cannot bring herself to believe what Obi-Wan is telling her because in spite of whatever doubts or concerns she might have about Anakin, she still believes in Anakin’s goodness. And of course, she wants to protect the father of her child(ren). Especially when she realizes what Obi-Wan wants to do: “You’re going to kill him, aren’t you?”

If this isn’t dramatic enough, as Obi-Wan realizes Padmé isn’t going to snitch on Anakin, he decides to break the one last unspoken secret between them. “Anakin is the father, isn’t he?” Padmé doesn’t answer, but it’s all over her face. “I’m so sorry.” Prior to seeing this film, I had pictured a more Jerry Springer-esque reaction from Obi-Wan once he discovered Padmé’s pregnancy. Eyes bulging, mouth hanging open, spitting out whatever he’d been drinking, a full-on freakout. But here, it is less Obi-Wan discovering the extent of Padmé and Anakin’s relationship as it is sorrowfully revealing he’d known what was happening all along. And I suppose at this point, knocking up a Senator is the least of Anakin’s transgressions.

Tragically this scene sets into motion Padmé’s sad fate because she is inspired to go find Anakin before Obi-Wan does.

Three things sell this scene: John Williams’s mournful score, Ewan McGregor, and Natalie Portman. It demonstrates why it was a great idea to bring in actors best known for indie flicks and dramas because when it comes time to do these sorts of scenes, they’re the kind who can deliver. The only two of the main actors to appear in all of the prequels, they finally get the opportunity to play off of one another that isn’t an action scene. I thought Ewan approached it with a mix of gentleness, concern, and urgency while Natalie’s Padme was heartbreakingly vulnerable. She’s still trying to be strong as everything is falling down around her, but the cracks are coming off of the armor.

Advertisements

Tags: ,

13 Responses to “Great Scenes Of The Prequel Trilogy: He Has Become A Very Great Threat”

  1. madmediaman Says:

    Finally Lazy, you come to my favorite scene in the entire Saga. So many ramifications on what’s to come, so much impending dread and sorrow. Fate has cast its die and it is too late to alter events. And what makes tho scene even more powerful is that not only do we the audience know it, but so do Padmé and Obi-Wan.

    Padmé KNOWS her husband is lost to the Dark Side… you can see it in Portman’s performance; she knows the truth. But she holds out this last hope that somehow, some way, there has to be a way to turn Anakin from evil .

    Meanwhile, Obi-Wan KNOWS Padmé is lying, not only to herself, but as to the whereabouts of her husband. McGregor’s face is racked with guilt, sorrow, compassion, and frustration all at once. It’s a brilliant performance.

    To all of the hateboys, try watching this scene and tell me with a straight face that Lucas is incapable of writing good dialogue and can’t direct actors. While writing may not be Lucas’ strong suit, he saves his best writing for last. This is probably the most powerful scene of the entire Saga, and has some of the strongest dialogue.

    Mythological stuff here folks….

    Yancy

  2. Terri Paxton Says:

    Padme was awesome in being so forgiving. She wouldn’t / couldn’t follow Anakin into the dark. But she didn’t reject him: she pleaded with him to just leave with her. At that point, he wasn’t emotionally stable and not thinking clearly. But he’d just been weeping over what he’d done. Padme in the end was more right than Obi-Wan in never giving up on him. Sadly it took Luke to bring him back to the light. And that’s what the scene with Obi-Wan and Padme led up too: she believed that no matter what he’d done, the good Anakin Skywalker she loved was still in there. Obi-Wan was convinced there was nothing left, which is worse. At least Padme died believing there was hope for Anakin. Obi-Wan suffered twenty years thinking there was none, at least, none for Anakin.

  3. Hunk a Junk Says:

    What I like about this scene is that it makes clear that Yoda has sent Obi-Want to kill Anakin. Not save, not turn back, but kill. (It’s surprising to me how many fans don’t think this was Obi-Wan’s goal) Yoda believes Anakin has been “consumed” (i.e. dead) and only a monster remains. Despite this, Obi-Wan still tries to reason with Anakin and convince him to come back from the brink before ultimately deciding he will “do as I must.”

    But it doesn’t matter how often we point out these great scenes in the PT. The “bad acting” meme is now just taken as a given while bad acting in the OT (“laser brains!”) is hailed as Shakespeare quality.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Now, now I liked the laser brains scene! But point well-taken; few kudos beyond Sir Alec were accorded to the OT by film critics. In fact if you look at a lot of the reviews written at the time, they tend to go along the lines of “in spite of X, Y, and Z this is a fun time at the matinee!”

      I always understood that Obi-Wan, albeit very reluctantly, intended to kill Anakin. His reluctance dropped away after he confronts Anakin on Mustafar. Then when that failed, Obi-Wan and Yoda intended to turn Luke into a patricidal assassin. Obi-Wan and Yoda believed there was no way back from the Dark Side.

    • Keith Palmer Says:

      With respect to “some don’t think Obi-Wan is supposed to kill Anakin,” I suspect this ties into my feeling that Obi-Wan and Yoda are thoroughly idealized among a slice of the fandom as the “wise mentors” of the old movies. For my own part, though, I can look at those three films and see them being presented there as imperfect and fallible (and perhaps even more interesting because of that), but I do know some are always ready to explain away their not telling Luke the truth before Vader got around to it…

      Perhaps, too, I want to draw a distinction between them and Padme too in her trying to hope for Anakin. That she tries to save him, even though it costs her life, just has more resonance to me than the old theories of “Mrs. Skywalker” fleeing the new Darth Vader, getting to nursemaid Leia for a few years, and then vanishing in circumstances suspicious to mysterious, after which Luke just happens to do what she never thought of… Anyway, as for the scene actually discussed in the post itself, it gets to me too.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I thought the way things played out were better than the usual fanon/fan theory on the eventual fate of Padme. Interestingly enough, I figured out from the final scene of AOTC that Padme would lose her life trying to turn Anakin from the Dark Side. Why? When she takes Anakin’s mechanical hand in her own, she accepts him for all that he is, good and bad. If that’s true, she would always believe he was redeemable and that puts her at great risk.

  4. PrinceOfNaboo Says:

    Brilliant scene.

    Loved that Lucas chose to make it a daylight scene. It’s the last “daylight scene” in the movie (Alderaan at the very end may be another).

    It’s like the very last glimpse of a better past and both characters know their immediate future won’t be pleasant.

  5. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    [“I thought the way things played out were better than the usual fanon/fan theory on the eventual fate of Padme. Interestingly enough, I figured out from the final scene of AOTC that Padme would lose her life trying to turn Anakin from the Dark Side. Why? When she takes Anakin’s mechanical hand in her own, she accepts him for all that he is, good and bad. If that’s true, she would always believe he was redeemable and that puts her at great risk.”]

    Actually, I admire Padme for what she did. By accepting all of Anakin, she provided an example of true love. Was it risky? Yes, it was. But then . . . life is always risky.

  6. lovelucas Says:

    Brilliant discussion. I can’t add any more as you all have said everything I felt and thought but in a poetic fashion. LP – one of your very best pieces. I’m so glad I’m here!

    Saving this page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: