I know this is only the second book in the novelizations of the Star Wars movies, but I am definitely in the thick of it. Reading these books is so fascinating. I have to admit something here to have you fully understand how much I am enjoying reading these books (at the moment I am writing this, I am about halfway through Revenge of the Sith).
Star Wars, while they are good movies, have never been “love” for me. I only remember watching the original trilogy in the days leading up to watching The Force Awakens. Beyond that, I only have rough ideas of the prequel trilogy, though I know I have seen them. However, after finishing reading The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, I can feel the love bubbling to the surface and it could be any moment now when it explodes.
As I mentioned in my post yesterday, The Phantom Menace had information not shown in the movie, expansion on certain scenes, et cetera. This was the same with Attack of the Clones. Here, however, it is so clear for me how Anakin’s characterization and upbringing made him a prime target for falling to the Dark Side. In fact, Attack of the Clones is the perfect way to start me on the path of accurately tracking his descent. Actually, I can almost pinpoint the moment (it involved Tatooine and his mother). Yes, we all know the moment where everything solidified, the straw that broke the camel’s back if you will, but Attack of the Clones confirms for me just how early everything started for him. If only he stayed on Tatooine in the first place. Then again, no one deserves to be a slave, do they?
Moving forward, I think that the Dark Side did a wonderful job in laying the groundwork with Anakin. Not only did they keep him unaware of what was really going on, but they also did what the Jedi did not. The Jedi Council did, frankly, belittle Anakin. Yes, he is in training and I do agree that he cannot just have all the power right away. However, with an individual like that it is hard to keep them on your “side” if the other side is offering him everything he has ever dreamed about having. Even if that dream was buried deep within until they began chipping into him. I think this is something that will become not only more prominent in Revenge of the Sith, but show just how…tragic Anakin really is in this story.
Reading about Anakin’s progression (or descent) in Attack of the Clones makes me wonder about him. I do not believe that he is truly a villain. He does appear that way to a certain extent, but in this book his youth shows through at certain times, particularly where his mother and Padmé are involved. He can be a petulant child, sure, but at others, he simply seems like a young boy in need of love and support.
Speaking of love and support, I believe that comes in a couple of ways to Anakin, but one of the most notable—obviously—is from Padmé. She seems to be grounding him throughout everything, especially after Tatooine. The ending with the two of them, in particular, I found quite interesting. The movies do explore their relationship, but this particular novelization does provide much more detail. This detail, in my opinion, provides an additional depth to their relationship, which in turn makes their future quite believable.
This novel is the bridge. We saw how Anakin began in The Phantom Menace, and will inevitably see his end in Revenge of the Sith. Thus, Attack of the Clones can really only be the bridge—the journey—between the two.
Title: Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Author: R.A. Salvatore
Publisher: Del Rey