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 Anakin Loses a Hand

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
May 13, 2002
It's springtime, and once again we have a bombastic space opera from George Lucas to fritter away our hard-earned money on. Last year's offering from Skywalker Ranch had many diehard fans leaving the theater a bit disappointed, so while the hype may be a bit less than it was in 2001, the underlying tension is much greater. Among those who place value judgments on this sort of thing, the second of the first trilogy is considered the best of the three. Will Attack of the Clones be the same? Is the magic numeral II installment the one that will be full of depth, subtlety, and complex character development?

Probably not, but we're going to take you through the movie anyway. Grab a bucket of popcorn and prepare yourself for the Adequacy movie review of Star Wars: Episode II - The Attack of the Clones.

Note: We at Adequacy have made every effort to ensure that our review won't ruin your intended movie-going experience through the inadvertent revelation of any "spoilers".


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So the movie starts off with the requisite main score while the oddly skewed yellow text brings us up to speed on the goings-on in the galaxy. Something about unrest in the Senate, a separatist movement led by a "Count Dookie", Amidala being a Senator herself, yada yada yada. The main message is that the forced-perspective text looked lame as fuck in 1977, and seems downright abysmal 25 years later. One would think that with all the billions Lucas has made on the previous films he could afford a decent title sequence.

True to a movie made for kids and dysfunctional adults, we then jump right into the action. Senator Amidala is getting off her liqui-chrome spaceship on Coruscant when... kaboom! ...she blows up. Omigod, is she dead?!? Of course not, it was her stand in (you remember her from Episode I, right?). This scene provides a great opportunity for Natalie Portman to get all weepy over her dead assistant and show us that Amidala even cares for the little people. What an angel.

After that we see Yoda, Samuel "Mace Windu" Jackson and some freaky looking alien Jedi talking to Darth Sidious. Er, um, I mean Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who of course is in no way connected to Mr. Sidious. I mean, he's obviously a good guy, right? Yeah, sure. If you paid any attention to Episodes IV-VI you already know who he is. Also, those subtle facial expressions and tones of voice suggesting devious intentions sure do lend an air of, shall we say, insidiousness, to him.

So do the Master Jedi Knights pick up on Palpatine's two-faced treachery? No. The eight year-old kids at the theater see it plain as day, but to the leaders of the Jedi Council, people who have undergone the most stringent of training for detecting such duplicity, people who have freakin' powers of mind control and are sitting right across the desk from this guy, to them Palpatine seems A-OK.

Anyway, the whole point of this scene is to set up Obi-Wan "Ewen McGregor looks goofy in a beard" Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as Amidala's bodyguards since it seems like somebody is trying to kill her. Of course it is Palpatine who suggests this. My goodness, what sort of deviltry is he up to? We also briefly see Jar-Jar Binks stroll by in the background. No lines for him in this scene, though.

Prior to Amidala getting hooked up with her Jedi, we get to meet the two of them alone in an elevator. Anakin is now a moody teen and his pining for Natalie Portman's firm buttox is quite apparent. When the elevator door opens they are greeted by Jar-Jar and... he speaks! Nothing like a little racist, neo-Jamaican patois to tickle the funny bone.

Once the whole gang is reunited all the complex character development gets dumped, wholesale, in about 45 seconds of screen time. Obi-Wan is the wise yet caring teacher, Anakin is straining under the throes of pubescent hormonal lust and good old rebellion, while Amidala is distant yet maternal in her care for Anakin. Jar-Jar appears to be little more than house nigger.

The next scenes begin to suggest why Lucas chose Attack of the Clones as title for this movie. All of the visual imagery was stolen from other people's films. The super-dense high rise cityscape, complete with moody nighttime lighting through half-open blinds, is equal parts Blade Runner and The Fifth Elephant to such an obvious degree that it is painful. We get to zoom about this impossibly crowded aerial metropolis at high speeds in a futuristic flying car chase. It's all Luc Besson at this point, including people falling from building to vehicle. You could swap Hayden Christensen (Anakin) with Bruce Willis at any point and the transition would be seamless (admittedly, replacing McGregor with Milla Jovovich might be noticed).

During this chase Anakin and Obi-Wan banter amusingly and offer flip one-liners. It almost works, but not quite. After the necessary crash to end the pursuit we swing fully into Ridley Scott's corner with teeming ground-level streets and a seedy bar full of oddly dressed people.

There's some sort of plot development going on through all this, but it's not very important. What is important is that this movie tries very hard to drop little nuggets of joy for the aging Star Wars fan base. The first one occurs outside the aforementioned bar when a bounty hunter who looks an awful lot like the Boba Fett of Episodes IV-VI kills somebody and then zooms off with his nifty jet pack. It is at this point where the first real signs of plot strain begin to show.

Now for some reason Obi-Wan is going to a mysteriously undocumented planet to investigate whatever the hell it is that we're supposed to care about, while Anakin stays behind to give the screenwriter a convenient opportunity to have Amidala reciprocate Anakin's puppy love.

The mystery planet is actually a sterile looking clone factory run by tall, lizard necked folks. Hard to say which movie set is being cloned, since the sterile, white, space-based science facility has been done so many times before. It's probably safe to credit Kubrick with being the biggest victim of theft here. All the clones themselves look vaguely ethnic. Additionally, they are apparently the precursor to Stormtroopers. Basically, at the factory they quickly breed a bunch of brown-skinned people who are literally identical looking, dress them up in white armor, and now they represent a huge, sinister force. What exactly is George Lucas trying to say here?

The lizard-necked scientists are a bit daft and don't realize they are revealing details to the wrong person when they tell Obi-Wan that the clones were ordered 10 years ago by a supposedly long-dead Jedi. They are also oblivious to the error of revealing the presence of a bounty hunter and his cloned "son", named Jango and Boba Fett, respectively, at the station. People in technical professions like genetics and computer science are often socially and politically clueless that way, resulting in atrocities like nuclear weapons and peer-to-peer file sharing.

Jango and Obi-Wan have a tense little meeting where more plot details of some sort are revealed, including the fact that all the clones look just like Jango himself, and then they get into a fight. Neither one of them dies though, so they chase after each other in space ships instead.

Back in the world of sappy love stories, things are progressing quite slowly. Anakin is still behaving like the sort of teen you'd send to military school as punishment. This brings to mind another apparent failing of Jedi University. If they're so great at molding super-competent Jedi, how come they can't raise a teenager who isn't a whiny little brat?

Amidala stays cold and distant to the advances of "Ani", and it's hard to see how they're going to end up getting busy and squirting out two kids. Then, they kiss. Yes, that abruptly. First she couldn't care less, then she's probing for tonsils. Whatever caused her change of heart apparently got left on the editing room floor.

George Lucas seems to be awfully fond of himself, so eventually he starts cloning his own movies. First Anakin has a dream about his mother being in pain, so he disobeys his orders and goes off to help her (Luke, 1:2). Amidala tags along.

Of course helping Mom means dropping another joy nugget for the fans, so it's back to Tatooine yet again. We reminisce with Watto a bit, and then head out to an awfully familiar looking house. Yup, it's the same one where future whiny little Jedi wannabe Luke grows up, and we get to meet the aunt and uncle who will be so trivial in later movies. The plot strains become more noticeable.

But hey, what's the point of time spent on Tatooine of you don't get to see some Tusken Raiders? Seems they've kidnapped Anakin's mother, Shmi, so we get to bust a hang with a whole bunch of them. Hell, even the Jawas pop up for a cameo. Nothing like rehashing old ground when you can't come up with a decent plot device.

Oh yeah, Anakin's Mom dies in his arms just as he rescues her (how convenient), and then he goes bezerk and slaughters all the Tusken Raiders. Apparently this is bad. Even Yoda gets some negative Force vibes from it, and he's way on the other side of the galaxy.

Meanwhile, Obi-Wan's story line isn't doing much better. Lacking anything more exciting to do in a space chase, they fly into an asteroid field. They even venture into an asteroid tunnel. To be fair though, the absolute coolest part of the whole movie happens in this scene. See, Jango Fett has these bomb thingies, and he's hurling them at Obi-Wan's ship. Whenever one of them hits an asteroid and detonates everything goes dead silent for a half second and then a wonderfully flanged and modulated kwaaang! rings out while a pale blue shock wave radiates through space. Hearing that sound is almost worth the price of admission.

Somehow Obi-Wan ends up on a droid factory planet pursuing Jango and Boba and he gets caught by the dread Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus/Saruman the White/Christopher Lee. Count Doofus tells him about some plot involving the Senate and the separatists that is entirely too confusing for this sort of movie. In short, he asks Obi-Wan to join him, and Obi essentially tells him to go fuck himself. Count Doodu responds to the snubbing by amassing a huge army of orcs, er, droids, and leaving Obi-Wan trapped in a tower until he is rescued by a giant owl.

Over on Tatooine, Amidala is revealing herself to be quite the mischievous little minx, and she talks Anakin into going to save Obi-Wan. They arrive at the factory and proceed to battle their way through the exact same sorts of choppy, bashing mechanical bits that so flummoxed Sigourney Weaver in Galaxy Quest. R2-D2 has no problems with them though because he has jet packs. I don't recall him having jet packs before. I imagine they would have been very useful if he had managed to hang onto them for his later adventures.

I wish I could say C3PO did as well as R2, but his head gets lopped off and installed on one of those battle droids, while a battle droid's head gets stuck onto 3PO's ungainly frame. I don't want to ruin the movie, but I must tell you that much hilarity ensues from this manufacturing gaffe. But this movie isn't about droids, it's about clones, so let's get back to those.

The next clone returns us to Ridley Scott territory. Anakin and Amidala get captured, and are joined with Obi-Wan in a gladiator arena (yes, a gladiator arena) where they are forced to fight animals and robots to the death. It is at this point where Natalie Portman's midriff begins to receive significant screen time.

Things go well at first, then our protagonists get into trouble as the robots multiply. All seems lost until Samuel Jackson's bald head strides in, accompanied by a whole bunch of other Jedi. Jedi and robot go at it in great numbers and there's lots of glowing phalluses being wielded about and much carnage. Jango Fett flies on into the fray only to get beheaded by Mace Windu. His young clone Boba seems to find this upsetting, and presumably he'll be holding a grudge for some time over this.

Things go well (again) until our protagonists get into trouble (again) as the robots multiply (again). The next turn in the battle occurs when Yoda comes strafing into the arena with several ships loaded with clones and utters his most absurdly spoken line ever: "Around the survivors a perimeter create!" It made me want to beat Frank Oz to death with a copy of Labyrinth.

As the arena battle winds down and everybody leaves to chase the fleeing Count Dooker we see Boba Fett cradling his progenitor's severed head. Somebody should get the kid some counseling or he's going to have some real issues later on.

After a rolling battle across the plains of... whatever planet they're on ...Doochu gets cornered by Anakin and Obi-Wan. As anybody who's ever seen one of the other Star Wars movies can tell you, it's light saber time.

Anakin attacks. Anakin gets tossed in the corner like a sack of dirty laundry. Obi-wan attacks. Obi-Wan gets beaten down like a filthy Scottish actor. Anakin attacks again, this time in the dark and with two glowing phalluses! He looks a lot like one of those irritating Rave kids waving glowsticks about, but he must've forgotten to take his vitamin E because he gets his hand chopped right off. Yes, his hand. The right one. Just like his future son. Oh, the anachronistic irony! This is profound stuff.

Our protagonists are once again in trouble and all seems lost (again) until... ninja Yoda!

He comes hobbling in on his cane looking a bit feeble, but oh is he pissed. After a short hand gesturing bit of "My Schwartz if bigger than yours" they get down to the wand waving. But Yoda doesn't grab his saber. Nosirree, he telekenesifies it from his belt to his wrinkled green paw. Yoda is one bad mother fucker.

He flips, he spins, he darts through the air like a mosquito on crack. If you watch Iron Monkey on fast forward it still won't come close to the acrobatics of this little gremlin. However, he doesn't win. He's forced to chose between killing Count Doosey and saving the other two Jedi from a falling pillar, and he lets the Count go. Despite his ninja skills, Yoda is a humanitarian at the core. The next shot shows the Count flying away in a ship powered by some sort of solar sail (the "hard science" geeks are going to love that bit).

As the movie draws to a close we see Anakin flexing his new prosthetic hand, just like Luke does in Episode V. It might be chilling if it weren't so contrived. When a screenwriter/director has a decade and a half to come up with a prequel you would expect him to conclude with something a little less obvious. But, that's what you get when you focus on joy nuggets of nostalgia for a pathetic group of emotionally underdeveloped adults.

We hope you have enjoyed this Adequacy movie review.


Chocolate Milkshake! (none / 0) (#3)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 03:29:05 AM PST
Where are you? We need you! RIGHT NOW!

In reference to Sam Jackson? (5.00 / 2) (#10)
by Prof Jefferson Arthur C Kensington on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 10:30:43 AM PST
I home you mean that about BMF Samuel Jackson - I, for one, believe his presence onscreen is a welcome sight to all the white-deficient folks out there.

I'm only left to ponder on the size and berth of his light-phalus. I just hope it's bigger than all the honkeys...
"Random numbers are not really random, they're just numbers."
- Jefferson A. C. Kensington, 1993, "Lectures on Applied Mathematics".

Looks pretty kickass from here. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
by Chocolate Milkshake on Tue May 14th, 2002 at 01:50:03 AM PST
Wow, props to Zikzak for risking permanent mental disarray by trying to follow the stroryline of Ep II, which seems a task best left to the sort of ascetic fanboy/monk who spends many long hours in mental preparation, reading and rereading every Star Wars Novel and comic book, playing every videogame, and wearing every variety of Underoo.

As for the rest of us, I think the important thing is not to dwell on questions like: is Count Poontang the father of Admiral Tarkin? Or: how does the wookie/ewok axis tie into all of this?* Or even: where are all the black women in the Star Wars universe? Rather we should rejoice that Lucas has resorted to just turning the tap marked "cgi space duels, lightsaber fights, clone/droid battles, etc." on high, and gotten the fuck out of the way. Between yumpin' Yoda and machine that goes kwaaaang!, it looks to me like the series is back on track.

I can't wait for Ep III, where Artoo comes to terms with his idenitiy as a gay droid and settles in for a lifetime of blissful cohabitation with his bitch, C3PO. Should be really touching.

*Which reminds me, does anyone know if Lucas makes his usual extensive use of midgets in this movie?

Yes there are midgets (none / 0) (#26)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue May 14th, 2002 at 03:02:54 AM PST
Look for them when Obi Wan talks to Yoda about some insignificant plot device.

No spoilers my arse (4.00 / 7) (#4)
by hulver on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 03:35:13 AM PST
You said there would be no spoilers, then you tell me that Luke Skywalker will get his right hand cut off in Episode 5.

I was trying to wait until the series was complete, then watch them all in order, but you have ruined my future enjoyment.

I think an apology is in order.


I agree. (none / 0) (#5)
by John Wainright on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 03:54:18 AM PST
I was similarly appalled by the sheer negligence on the part of the reviewer to omit vital plot points from this article.
Knowing that a bare midriff is imminent will only serve as a distraction from the overall tone of the movie.

I disagree (none / 0) (#7)
by Big Dogs Cock on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 07:38:21 AM PST
The closing credits are left entirely up to the reader's imagination.

I agree... (none / 0) (#9)
by Prof Jefferson Arthur C Kensington on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 10:30:06 AM PST
The part with the hand-removal was totaly uncalled for, the review was perfectly spoiler-free until that moment.

I must say that senior editor Zikzak (if that is his/her real name) must review his critiques at least thrice before submitting it as "spoiler-free".
"Random numbers are not really random, they're just numbers."
- Jefferson A. C. Kensington, 1993, "Lectures on Applied Mathematics".

You owe everyone who reads this 5 bucks!!! (none / 0) (#11)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 11:39:41 AM PST


You should get out more (none / 0) (#12)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 11:45:09 AM PST
Movie tickets cost far more than $5 these days.

I ment Matnee(sp?) (none / 0) (#13)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 11:52:34 AM PST
Who's dumb enough to go at night when day times much cheaper



Are you an OSS programmer? (none / 0) (#16)
by Icebox on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 12:03:18 PM PST
People with normal jobs go to movies at night, because they are working during the day. This is why tickets cost more at night, because those of us with jobs can afford to pay for them.

I don't work (none / 0) (#17)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 12:06:03 PM PST
High School

And theres always Cheap night...unless some people don't get it


The question is still valid (none / 0) (#19)
by Icebox on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 01:04:01 PM PST
Even more so because you seem to have the work ethic of one, high school is some sort of valid reason not to have a job now?

16 (none / 0) (#22)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 02:30:48 PM PST
Isn't true some places won't hire some teens if they are a certain age?


My Apologies (5.00 / 1) (#23)
by Icebox on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 02:38:23 PM PST
You are correct.

I heard that VA Systems won't hire you if you are over 14 because their NAMBLA corporate membership specifies that a certain percentage of their workforce must be of pedophelia-victim age. Maybe you could go work there? Really, anywhere would be good, just get a job.

Thanks.....I think (none / 0) (#24)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 02:43:08 PM PST


Errm... (none / 0) (#27)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue May 14th, 2002 at 03:26:40 PM PST
...wouldn't it count as cruel and inhuman punishment?

Though *nothing* can possibly count in terms of comparing the sequels as high as the difference between Neverending Story 1 and 3.

Fake! (none / 0) (#14)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 11:57:15 AM PST
This is proof the fake MTV lamer Indy is a gross old man not a teen.



Will the real Indy please stand up? (none / 0) (#21)
by tkatchev on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 02:07:59 PM PST

Kill trolls dead.

Peace and much love...

The word is ASS! (0.00 / 1) (#54)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu May 23rd, 2002 at 01:22:23 PM PST
You eurotrash piece of shit

An editorial disagreement re nuclear weapons (5.00 / 2) (#8)
by Adam Rightmann on Mon May 13th, 2002 at 09:47:20 AM PST
I am afraid I must disagree with the editorial tone that nuclear weapons are atrocities. While no one would dispute that they are very dangerous, like any tool, they are not evil in themselves, but can be used for evil or good.

Fortunately for the world, they were developed and used by one of the most moral nations in the history of the world, America. They saved countless millions of lives when used in Japan. By preventing the need for an invasion, hundreds of thousands God-fearing American casualties were avoided, as well as millions of the Japanese Pagans.

After the war America used nuclear weapons to secure Europe against the Red Menace. While we could have destroyed our economy by attempting to match the Warsaw Pact tank for tank, we instead let the Russians know that any invasion of Western Europe would be met by tactical nukes in the Fulda Gap, and probably strategic nukes on thier Commie motherland. Thus, by balancing an overwhelming force of vodka swilling heathen mongols with a handful of nukes, we were able to focus America's economy on comsumer goods, making the American dream of a house and two cars within reach of all but the most incompetent Americans, is it any wonder that freedom hungry foreigners from Mexico, China and England will risk their lives to reach our fecund shores?

Sadly, it seems to be somewhat wasted with respect to Europe. What the decadent Soviets could not conquer militarily they conquered socially, an Anti-God, drug-abusing, sexually libertine ethos seems to be sweeping western Europe, with the only real God Fearing sorts left being Muslim immigrants from Algeria and Turkey.

A. Rightmann

Nukes (none / 0) (#28)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue May 14th, 2002 at 03:59:46 PM PST
The nukes really helped to end the war. It just wasn't necesary to firebomb the other nameless cities. Hiroshima gets all the publicity and no one remembers those ones.

The Nagasaki bomb wasn't really necessary. But Fat Man was of a different construction than Little Boy, and Pentagon apparently wanted to see it in action. Apparently, "enemy" ground is the best weapon testing site. Structures, vehicles, people... every kind of a target any general could wish for, for no cost for "us".

It seems that to be taken seriously in international negotiations you need to have some of the nuclear beauties on your command. A couple of sleek, slender missiles, and your word has the required weight. Judging from the recend European Union demands, it seems that returning the nukes deployed here back to Russians was a Big[TM] Mistake[TM].

Maybe I should take things to my own hands. The only thing I miss for a crude fission bomb is the weapon-grade uranium; all the other systems for a gun assembly device are well within the reach of my budget and the technology I have access to. I am not so sure with the implosion assembly, especially the required explosive lenses. If it would be worth of the effort, though, I'd ponder to try to build the high-speed firing circuits. It's nothing magical after all, the minimal required technology is almost 60 years old. What I'd miss is the carrier, though - I don't yet have access to the technology for more than puny few kg of payload.

Pondering. Maybe the lenses could be primed not by exploding wire but by exploding metal foil, which can be made to microexplode by a hit of intense laser beam. The required pulse can be generated by commercially available Nd:YAG laser, and led to the "primes" by a fiber. In this case, be led to all the primes at once by several fibers from one laser. Similar technology is in some cases used for secure priming of explosives in quarries and mines. This takes away the problems with embargoed low-induction capacitors and sprytrons.

Maybe it is time to put my country to the list of nuclear powers.

Good luck, and good night. (none / 0) (#29)
by RobotSlave on Tue May 14th, 2002 at 05:14:19 PM PST
As I'm sure you're aware, if you go with an exploding foil slapper type detonator, you're still going to to need the functional equivalent of a vacuum kryton (i.e., spryton) in the firing circuit for your laser. You've just moved the triggering problem.

If you choose to use the usual keepalive type kryton instead of a vacuum kryton, you risk accidental triggering unless the firing circuitry is sufficiently shielded or distanced from the fissible material. This could be done, of course, but it would be quite risky to develop, and such a design would make the device almost useless as a weapon.

It's been fun, Mad Geek. Keep up the good work.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

Yes. However... (none / 0) (#30)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue May 14th, 2002 at 05:33:28 PM PST
...I then have only one device to trigger. So I can use any triggering solution with fast-enough switch time, and I am not dependent on constant and accurate latency anyway. I also don't need to switch high currents as well, as ie. Kerr cell doesn't take by far so much of current as exploding wire fuzes. So I simplified the triggering problem but don't eliminate the triggering problem entirely. Further simplifying could be achieved if we'd manage to shape the laser pulse in some way - make its leading edge sharper - after the laser is fired, which could lower the switch time requirements and allow us to use more common technology, ie. a spark gap.

Sprytrons I mentioned are other name for vacuum krytrons. I am aware about the accidental triggering problem.

The designs that are within the range of my resources are mostly unusable as a "real" weapon, as they would need a middle-sized truck (or a cargo plane) as a delivery method. Making a nuke that is small and lightweight enough to be delivered by a missile is a problem much more resource-hungry than just making a nuke. :(

Andy Kaufman Lives (none / 0) (#31)
by RobotSlave on Tue May 14th, 2002 at 06:38:56 PM PST
Adding system upon system to your design in order to get around a particular component is not "simplification," Mad Geek. It is a neat technique, yes, but it is not "simplification."

If you still find this amusing, by all means, keep it up. Go find some "laser pulse shaping" sites, skim them, and come back when you've got a bundle of nifty jargon and a semi-plausible explanation that most people will find too boring to check out, or even think about. In ever more broken English, please.

Once your new laser shaping contraption idea is available for study, maybe someone can determine whether it would be easier to use the thing (along with the next system it will lead to, and the next...) or to simply "shape" the laser pulse by using a faster switch.

No, wait. It's even simpler than that. Since part of your character is a strong disrespect for the law, you could just build a copy of an EG&G sprytron, or even better, smuggle one out of the US.

I'll leave any further response to others.

I'm leaving you, Mad Geek.

You don't hurt me like you used to. I'd say we could still be friends, but I've found that hurts more than making a clean break.

Take care of yourself, kiddo.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

Sorry for the broken English. (none / 0) (#32)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue May 14th, 2002 at 07:19:23 PM PST
I am too tired after last two days. (I was quite horrified when I reread it. Ewwww.) If I made some other mistake, I was running from memory and not checking the literature. (Generally, if I don't include links or citations, I usually run from memory.)

I considered redeveloping the sprytron. It would actually be a nice way of revenge to the USA for effectively killing Tamara, our passive radar system, through political lobbying. (Part of the operation was accusing of the company owner from unlawful deals, suspending his licence for selling military material, and then finding out everything is all right, after the company (HTT Tesla Pardubice) got effectively bankrupt. One of the shipments from before, I don't know if it was Tamara or its predecessor Ramona, was intercepted couple years before in some port and then shipped to USA. (A friend's relative was in the management there so I heard stories. Small country, so everyone knows everyone.) Surprise surprise, Lockheed is now developing passive radar technology.) It shouldn't be too difficult, as it is just another kind of a switching tube. But the man I knew who used to design tubes in 60's died before we managed to start the project. :( I could even get to see a krytron, I think a friend has keys from the laser lab it is in.

Regarding export laws, dad was involved in smuggling a Siemens computer, back when it was embargoed. (Two, more accurately. One as spare parts, as each one of them was under the COCOM limits, the other one through an Austrian man-in-the-middle, who "downgraded" the machine by misdeclaring it as a weaker under-the-limits model, and reexported it here.) Working without licences as well - I got taught as a kid that what matters is the work quality, not the papers. I like my bloodline.

WTF?!? (none / 0) (#33)
by zikzak on Tue May 14th, 2002 at 09:19:40 PM PST

Executive summary: (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Wed May 15th, 2002 at 07:23:57 PM PST
RobotSlave: Mad Geek, you don't understand what simplification means. Spryton. I believe you are cribbing your wildly over-technical comments from some sort of literature and presenting them as off-the-cuff remarks.

Mad Scientist: Nuh-uh. I know all this stuff off the top of my head. Spryton. Also, my father was an international dealer in illegally smuggled munitions. I see no reason to feel shame at my lineage, despite the trafficking in human suffering. America Sucks.

Me: I'm not sure if it's worse to feel proud of your ability to quote utterly useless (particularly to someone who will never be able to build what he's talking about) technical jargon extemporaneously, or to be so eager to be perceived as such a person that you would deliberately misrepresent yourself on a website.

Trafficking in human suffering (none / 0) (#35)
by The Mad Scientist on Thu May 16th, 2002 at 04:11:15 AM PST
The computers in question were deployed in civilian sector. Namely in a research institute of automatization. How this goes along with human suffering, despite of legally still being nonsensically labeled as munition? Go on, I am interested in the answer.

Besides, as far as I remember, "we" were the "good" side then (as we still are), the West was the "bad" side (though it meanwhile got reassigned to be the "good" side now). How can I be sure I am on the good side when it is turning over with each geopolitical change? Who determines what defines the "good side"? From their own perspective, isn't *everyone* on the "good" side?

Embargoes are part of international politics. I perceive international politics as dirty and as such I don't want to get my hands dirty with obeying it. Besides, you can sometimes make a lot of money then - look at the gasoline smugglers along the Yugoslavia borders.

The Really Evil Ones from the governments will get what they want anyway, so the embargoes hurt just the common people. Who should help each other. Over the classes, over the borders, over the (oh so volatile) political alliances. What if the situation changes again and a some export law will say that I shouldn't have a whatever piece of technology? Should I obey and go without, like a sheep?

Superpowers in general suck.

How can you be so naive? (none / 0) (#36)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Thu May 16th, 2002 at 05:02:26 AM PST
Just because your father sold the device to a peaceful client doesn't mean they won't re-sell it to the Red Army. This happened thousands of times in the eighties, and caused massive problems for the Western democracies. Which brings me to point number two: If you aren't a democracy and you are part of a totalitarian communist state and your government has sent millions to the GULAG and spends over half of their budget on a failing military while their people aren't the good guys.

I know pretty sure... (none / 0) (#37)
by The Mad Scientist on Thu May 16th, 2002 at 06:17:14 AM PST
...that they hadn't resold it - they were using the machines from then. I think they done some jobs for the army too, though.

Regarding the resellers - if you don't want the technology to end in "wrong" hands, don't make it then. There is no way to stop its proliferation.

Can't prevent proliferation (none / 0) (#40)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Thu May 16th, 2002 at 03:02:38 PM PST
Sadly true. That doesn't exonerate your father, though.

In your eyes. (none / 0) (#42)
by The Mad Scientist on Thu May 16th, 2002 at 06:21:50 PM PST
In my eyes, there is nothing wrong in disobeying a country's (or corporation's) wishes.

When I smuggled the munitions to China, I done that because a friend there wanted to secure her communications, as her government screws them too. "Proletarians of all countries, unite" shouldn't be an empty slogan - especially when the Net makes global cooperation it so easy.

It is only matter of time when the "good"-"bad" geopolitical assignments change again anyway. I surely will not be willing to stop helping foreign friends only because they could happen to appear on the side declared as the "other" one. If I would have to choose between betraying a friend and betraying a country, I will betray the country.

Whatever (none / 0) (#46)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Fri May 17th, 2002 at 04:28:57 PM PST
You've always shown yourself to be very capable of rationalising any action that would benefit you, to the detriment of anyone else. You'll forgive me if I don't reassess my opinion of you this time either. If you consider the United States to be as corrupt as a regime that is guilty of incredible human rights abuses, your perspective is probably warped enough to consider arms dealing a moral obligation. In light of that observation, I should point out that the Vietnamese government is in possession of billions of dollars worth of US military equipment that they can't use and can't move on the open market. They need a patsy with no morals to try to move it secretly, and at incredible risk. I think you could be that patsy. You may commence telling me why you would be justified in illegal arms sales now.

I don't like... (none / 0) (#47)
by The Mad Scientist on Fri May 17th, 2002 at 05:57:20 PM PST deal with the governments; American, Vietnamese, nor others. They will stab you in your back when they don't need you anymore.

Counterquestion, when you started about Viet Nam: How should I judge the acts of first starting a war based on half-faked event in Tonkin Gulf (see Pentagon Papers), and then ending with evacuating of Americans only and leaving their local supporters there without help(see the infamous and hasty retreat), to an easy-to-predict fate?

Though I'd quite like to get my hands on some less common toys. A military-grade thermal imaging system could be nice. Next few years will show what I will be able to get; a lot of technology is migrating into commercial sector...

It's more fun to design weapons from commercially available off-the-shelf devices. Next to everything can be dual-use. And knowing the countermeasures - ie, a rag soaked in vinegar is a good protection against police tear gas (CS, aka chlorbenzylidenmalondinitrile). Color foils, the kind that lighting technicians are using, could be useful as low-cost countermeasures against laser dazzlers, the nonlethal weapons soon to be deployed as one kind of the riot control arsenal (the types I am familiar with are based on powerful semiconductor lasers in red band - their power is limited in order to not cause blindness when hitting naked eye, so the amount of energy the filter will have to cope with isn't so big). And so on...

Look who knows so much! (none / 0) (#48)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Fri May 17th, 2002 at 10:49:07 PM PST
If rags soaked in vinegar are good protection against tear gas, why do people who frequently get tear gassed prefer onions? I believe that's checkmate.

Vinegar and onions (none / 0) (#49)
by The Mad Scientist on Sat May 18th, 2002 at 07:27:56 AM PST
Ingredients like from an Anarchist Cookbook.

But seriously.

Vinegar is useful for soaking rags used as face-masks, to breath through (or, when in a container, to throw a burning CS grenade into, as advised by IRA for the standoff situations). Raw cut onions are advised by PLO to scrub the chemicals from affected skin (sniffing the onions reportedly helps as well, probably to wash away the CS from eyes by invoked tears).

When I was checking the validity of this info (the last time I was studying this for demonstrations was year and half ago, and I admit I hadn't knew about the onions (thanks)), most of the links mentioning vinegar were related to anti-globalization demonstrations, while most of links mentioning onions were related to riots taking place in the Middle East.

In short, both are useful - vinegar before you get hit, onions after.

unsatisfactory (none / 0) (#50)
by nathan on Sat May 18th, 2002 at 12:50:37 PM PST
Swelling and redness are too high. Recommend cyborg neural implants to interface with high-density (2.1 megp) 60 fps Toshiba lenses implanted in eye sockets. Glass is quite resistant to CS.

Wetsuit is good commercially-available ad-hoc solution not requiring replacement of skin with osmotic plastics.

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

There is... (none / 0) (#51)
by The Mad Scientist on Sat May 18th, 2002 at 04:34:02 PM PST
...a lot of homebrewable chemical warfare defense methods available.

I'd advise against Toshiba implants. This technology isn't common enough to hit the streets yet. Besides, 2.1Mpx is far from what I would consider high-density for eyes (though for this particular application nonhomogenous distribution of sensors across the "retina" could be very beneficial to offer better apparent resolution with fewer pixels). For protection against chemical warfare agents, a gas mask is optimal cost/effect/reliability solution for facial protection.

I have a little bit of advantage here, as my elementary school training still contained the civil defense lectures, or what to do if the Evil Imperialists would attack with yperit. This was later abandoned as a relict of communist ideology, instead of being meaningfully reformed to deal with similar threats, like industrial mishaps. The defense is the same if ie. chlorine is released as a chemical attack as if it leaks because of water treatment plant accident.

Like Father, Like Son (none / 0) (#38)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu May 16th, 2002 at 11:55:07 AM PST
Part of the point in all the parallels between this film and ESB is that Luke is his father's son. Note that Yoda didn't want Luke going off on his own to save his friends. Why? Because his dad went off on *his* own to save his mother and as a result took his first step toward the dark side. Luke's desire to save his friends parallels Anakin's desire to save his mother and the Jedi taboo of attachment. Vader cuts off Luke's hand, just as his hand was cut off before. Why? He wants Luke to follow the dark path, just as he did. Remember, the nasty stuff that Anakin did came *first*.

Thank you, sir, (none / 0) (#41)
by gzt on Thu May 16th, 2002 at 05:55:44 PM PST
...for pointing out the obvious point we already knew. I think the gripe with it is that it's lame. Yes, there's a point to it, but it's cheesy. The movies are fun*, but they aren't good literature.


Good sir, this site may be too advanced for you (none / 0) (#44)
by Adam Rightmann on Fri May 17th, 2002 at 08:15:23 AM PST
if you consider pointing out such an obvoius parallel worthwhile. Might I suggest hebephrenic technophiles or whinging liberalists?

If you do intend to stay, eschew such blindingly obvious observations like "Darth Vader sounds an awful lot like Dark Father".

A. Rightmann

That's stupid. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
by tkatchev on Fri May 17th, 2002 at 01:11:45 PM PST
Who cares?

What's more interesting, in my opinion, are the obvious masonic overtones in the whole "jedi council" thingy. I swear, a little bit more, and I wouldn't be surprised if they started drinking blood, wearing goat skins and dancing on gravestones[1].

[1] Or whatever it is that freemasons do as part of initiation.

Peace and much love...

Someone on Slash... (none / 0) (#39)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu May 16th, 2002 at 02:53:40 PM PST
Someone on slash posted this review, i read it and came here after seeing a post attributing its source.

Good review, shame i had to obiwan a few trolls to read it at /. before coming here.

I liked the movie (none / 0) (#43)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri May 17th, 2002 at 12:52:38 AM PST
Although I don't normally subscribe to the hype attached to movies like this (i.e, I usually wait for the video if I see it at all,) my boyfriend is a bit of a Star Wars dork, and has an obssesion with seeing them all, on opening day, every time one is released. So, I saw Episode II today. And I have to say, I disagree with this review. I will admit, it was a bit forced, but all of the "repeat plot devices" you describe are meant to be foreshadowing. Just because you didn't get that, doesn't mean the movie sucked. I've sen much worse movies with much worse plot development than this one. It was a good story, and considerably different from all the other Star wars movies, even with the "joy nuggets." And it could be argued that since George Lucas was around and making movies at the same time as or before the directors and writers you say he rips off, there is a question of who ripped who off.

Ah, I see (none / 0) (#53)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu May 23rd, 2002 at 12:07:19 PM PST
So because Lucas was making movies before these directors, anything he does, no matter what the similarity to their work, is by default his own original creation. Even if it appears that he has lifted things from these directors wholesale, and even if his own movies have never had anything like it in them before, he is the originator based on seniority. Thanks for clearing that up.

A few more comments (none / 0) (#52)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed May 22nd, 2002 at 12:14:19 PM PST
Excellent review, however there are a couple of things that are missing.

The sail on the ship is a rip off of either Babylon 5 or Star Trek DS9, its been used on both of those, more extensively on Babylon 5.

Also, the transitions were too many and horridly done, cutting in the midle of one scene of Obi Wan to "Ani" and back again. They reminded me of the Austin Powers transitions without the dancing Austin Powers (I'm not ripping on Powers here as its transitions were intentionally done as such). All they needed to make the transitions complete is some big animated tie fighter pulling the screen across for the next scene with a big whoosh sound each time and the movie would be complete in its patheticness.

pathetic.. (none / 0) (#55)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Jun 17th, 2002 at 02:40:06 PM PST
its a knock off from TRON genius... (now if TRON knocked it off I apologize, but it is definately a much older and justified place for it to be stolen from)


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