Monday, February 10, 2003

OK, time for some geeklike response to SDB's review of Attack of the Clones:

:: First of all, if you're already fairly certain that you only want to see a given movie because of a single scene in the movie, why on earth would you buy the DVD? Just go to Blockbuster, plunk down your four bucks, watch that one scene as many times as you want for a week, and then be done with it. Of course, SDB has quite a bit more money than I do, but to purchase a film that one doesn't particularly want seems to me an odd use for twenty bucks. (Unless, of course, he got a previously viewed copy. He doesn't say.)

:: SDB makes this claim about the Jedi: "They were selected not on the basis of their ethics but solely on the basis of how much "force" they had in their veins."

SDB is stone wrong here. The "midichlorian count" is a definite factor, but it's pretty clear from The Phantom Menace (and the original films, to boot) that there's more at work than mere Force-potential. The Jedi Council, in TPM, duly notes Anakin's Force-potential, and still they initially refuse his training and only grudgingly consent to it when first Qui Gon defies them, and then Obi Wan makes clear his intention to do the same. Also, when Luke arrives on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda is very wary and it's pretty clear that he is far from convinced that training Luke to be a Jedi is a good idea.

:: Then he makes this claim: "It's really hardly any surprise they got their asses butchered in that battle; they were not only arrogant, they were stupid. This was the cream of the original Republic? Good riddance."

SDB is wrong here, too. First of all, he's still showing off his "Look what an expert in military stuff I am" bit, which in the context of a Star Wars movie is a pretty pointless endeavour. But anyway, this is not the cream of the original Republic. Those days are long, long gone. The whole point of Attack of the Clones is that the Jedi have become arrogant and that they are no longer the "cream" of the Republic. How SDB could totally miss the point here is mystifying.

:: "And then they go into a great wild melee with their light sabers, and I found myself wondering: If Yoda can move like that in a fight, why in hell does he need a cane to walk normally?"

Surely this doesn't take that much thought. Yoda clearly channeled a great deal of Force-power in that duel, and it's clearly not something he can do for long periods of time, and certainly not for something as trivial as discarding his walking-stick. We get a glimpse of Yoda's immense skill in Attack of the Clones, but it's not Yoda at his most powerful. He is not in his prime here; he is, in fact, over 800 years old and is only 40 years away from dying of old age.

:: "Yoda could have thrown his light saber and put a big gash in the side of it to make it not be space-worthy. There was no excuse at all for him letting Dooku get away. Yeah, he was using the force to keep a bunch of debris from crushing Kenobi and Skywalker while Dooku got into his ship, but there was plenty of time before it launched to wreck it."

Ummmm....sure. First of all, SDB is suggesting that the ship's hull is sufficiently thin that it would be rendered un-spaceworthy by a mere glancing blow by a lightsaber. Now, nothing ever shown in any of the Star Wars films suggests that a lightsaber, while able to cut through metal, does so like a hot knife through warm butter or a Ginsu-knife through paper. It takes effort -- witness Qui Gon's attempt to cut through a metal bulkhead in TPM.

And for that matter, SDB is assuming that Count Dooku will (a) not notice Yoda's lightsaber arcing through the air and thus (b) either do nothing to deflect it or be unable to deflect it. If Yoda had done this successfully, it would have been a cheat of mammoth proportions.

Then SDB launches into his DragonballZ stuff, which frankly reminds me of when my college roommates and I would stay up late and, after consuming a number of beers, debate whether or not a Borg ship from Star Trek could withstand a Death Star blast. I can only assume SDB is trying to be funny here, but it just ain't working, I'm sorry to say.

OK, geek-mode off. I think. (That's the problem with "geek-mode". It can be reactivated by the slightest thing....)

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