The Battle of Geonosis was quite a historic event when you think about it. It was technically the first big battle of what would be known as The Clone Wars. This was the first big test of the clone army, created specifically to fight wars and serve as the Grand Army of the Republic. If the clones failed their first big military test, the war might have ended right there. There were many changes from script to screen, so let’s just take a look at some of the major things that were deleted or altered during the Battle of Geonosis.
MACE WINDU MAKES HIS PLEA
In the finished film, Mace Windu and Yoda decide what they’re going to do about the Geonosian crisis while lurking in the Senate hall listening to Jar Jar make his motion to give Palpatine emergency powers.
In the 2nd draft, things are a little different. Mace Windu makes a plea to the Jedi Council to allow him to take 200 Jedi to Geonosis to help Obi-Wan. This scene was to take place after Anakin and Padmé (with our two favorite droids) depart Tatooine and set a course for Geonosis.
Here’s the excerpt from the 2nd draft of Episode II:
137 INT. CORUSCANT, JEDI TEMPLE, COUNCIL CHAMBER – DAY
The JEDI COUNCIL are assembled as MACE WINDU makes his plea.
The longer we wait, the stronger
Dooku’s armies become. We cannot
wait for the Senate to make up its
mind about granting the Chancellor
emergency powers, in order to be able
to use that clone army… We have
the authority to go now.
We must go now.
All of the JEDI COUNCIL nod their approval.YODA
Agreed, Master Windu.
Two hundred Jedi send.
Enough, let’s hope
This is so small and insignificant, it hardly warrants a mention, but something inside me really gets a kick out of wanting to see Nute Gunray yell, “FOUL!” in the middle of the execution arena scenes.
Why they would remove one word like that is beyond me, but I don’t edit the films. I’m sure they had a good reason. Nute Gunray is humorous enough as it is, but him yelling the word “foul” makes the scene even funnier to me.
You can catch it in most of the printed publications, however.
Here’s the short excerpt from The Art of Attack of the Clones:
In the archducal box, Nute Gunray fumes.
Foul!! She can’t do that…
shoot her or something!
Just for fun, I’m going to include a few other images from Starwars.com of our favorite Neimoidian panicking like a school girl.
With a sequence as big as the battle on Geonosis, there have to be many shots/scenes that were left out of the final product. From pre-visualization to the final product, trimmings and/or entire shots most likely made their way into recycle bins, perhaps to be used at some other time (or even in another film) or to fade away into obscurity.
Issue #68 of Star Wars Insider magazine contains an article about the pre-visualization of Episode II featuring an interview with the head of the pre-visualization department, Dan Gregoire. In the article, Gregoire talks about some of the shots that were lost in Episode II. Here’s an excerpt:
“We actually pre-vised five or six different sequences that were tossed out,” Gregoire says. “In fact, we did about 3,000 shots for Episode II, and there’s only 2,200 in the film, so we had almost another half a film that just didn’t make it.”
The Episode II DVD is actually loaded with pre-visualization material if you look hard enough. There are whole sequences you can view but there are also many small shots edited into the documentaries and bonus features.
One scene that I noticed and really liked was a shot where the Clone Troopers were riding speeder bikes very similar to the ones used in Return of the Jedi. The troopers rode past some Federation baddies and as they passed by, one of the troopers stuck a bomb on one of the walking fighter machines. The thing then exploded as the Troopers rode away.
Some of the images here of from battle outside the arena, scanned from Star Wars Insider. You can see troopers on speeder bikes, some flying Geonosians, and more.
Inside the arena, Jedi and droids were of course being slaughtered left and right. When filming a large fight sequence, there will definitely be loads of extra shots not in the film. Here, you’ll see just a few examples of some Jedi who probably ended up dead, mostly from Starwars.com.
RAID ON THE DROID CONTROL SHIP
In the finished film, when the Jedi are backed into a circle in the arena and Dooku is lecturing them from above, you’ll notice that some more Jedi, including Plo Koon and Ki-Adi-Mundi are escorted in separately. That’s because they were supposed to be off on another mission trying to destroy the droid control ship. This would cause all of the droids to simply shut down during the fight, as we saw in Episode I. The Jedi didn’t count on some new Trade Federation programming, however.
This scene starts with Obi-Wan and Mace Windu fighting back to back in the arena, just after Mace flips his way down. Then it cuts to Ki-Adi-Mundi and Plo Koon fighting their way through the Federation ship, trying to shut the droids down.
Ben Burtt discussed the reason this scene was cut on Starwars.com:
The attack on the Droid Control Ship was filmed and edited together, but never completed with final special effects. A Jedi attack force battled its way up the ship’s ramp, through doorways, down halls, and into the bridge of the ship. The scene was filled with much swordplay and stunts.
The sequence was dropped from the cut because it added another story to be intercut with what already was becoming too complicated and time consuming for the climax of the movie. Including the sequence also meant time needed to set it up and resolve it while the arena battle and the Clone War land battle proceeded simultaneously.
There was lots and lots of material in each one of these sequences that needed to be trimmed. There was lots of Jedi action in the arena fight dropped, more Jango and Mace, and even at one point a battle in space with the Droid Control Ships.
All of these would have been great to see, but choices have to be made for the priorities of the storyline.
According to some production materials I’ve seen, this scene was scheduled to be shot on Friday, September 15, 2000. The scenes are described as Ki Adi Mundi leads the raid onto the droid control ship, they fight their way inside – and Ki Adi Mundi reaches the control panel and punches the master switch. Both scenes involve Plo Koon, Ki Adi Mundi, 6 Jedi and 4 Neimoidian pilots (plus numerous CG battle droids!)
Here’s the excerpt from the 2nd draft of Episode II:
MACE WINDU runs to the center of the arena and fights back-to-back with OBI-WAN, as they swipe and mangle DROIDS.
Someone’s got to –
shut down – these droids.
Don’t worry! It’s being
– taken care of!
EXT. GEONOSIS, FEDERATION STARSHIP – DAY
KI-ADI-MUNDI leads a raiding party of about TWENTY JEDI through the lines of parked Battle Starships. They cut a swath through masses of DROIDS until they arrive at the Command Starship. Some JEDI fall. The rest cut their way up the ramps and into the Command Ship.
INT. COMMAND FEDERATION STARSHIP, CORRIDORS – DAY
KI-ADI-MUNDI and the surviving JEDI fight their way through the corridors of the Command Ship, deflecting laser bolts, slicing DROIDS.
INT. COMMAND FEDERATION STARSHIP, CONTROL BRIDGE – DAY
THEY burst onto the bridge and chop down the COMMAND DROIDS. The NEIMOIDIANS flee in all directions. KI-ADI-MUNDI leans over the control panel. He locates the illuminated master switch and punches down on it. It goes dark. Instantly, all the DROIDS on the Starship and all the DROIDS in the arena FREEZE!
There is a moment of stunned silence, then the JEDI CHEER. One the bridge, PLO KOON claps KI-ADI-MUNDI on the back.
We’ve done it! Now
we have a chance!
Suddenly, there is a harsh BEEPING SOUND. All the DROIDS on the Starship and all the DROIDS in the arena start fighting again! KI-ADI-MUNDI stares in disbelief and dismay.
The system’s off but they’re still
active. That’s a new feature.
They are independent of the
Silas Carson, the actor who played Ki-Adi-Mundi in the Prequels, talked about this scene over at Starwars.com. Here’s an excerpt:
“So many people have asked if I got to do any fighting, and I’d tell them, ‘Yeah, I did quite a few days of filming and breaking a sweat.’ But when we went to see the movie, I saw that they cut that part out. The arena rescue was a packed sequence anyways.”
Still, Carson takes the edit in stride. “You have to ask yourself, ‘Does it tell the story?’ Films can get very, very long if you put everything in there. I would imagine there’s a huge amount of footage that George hasn’t used.”
In June of 2003, Starwars.com launched what they called Hyperspace. This was a “members only” paid/subscription-based area of Starwars.com where members were treated to Star Wars exclusives.
One of those exclusives happens to be a rough edit of the Droid Control Ship Raid. Due to the rules of Hyperspace at the time, I wasn’t allowed to post the video.
SHE’S ALL RIGHT
The scene where Padmé falls out of the Republic Gunship was altered slightly from script to screen. In the 2nd draft, she fell out, waved the others on, and that was the last we saw of her until she showed up in the hangar later on. The Art of Attack of the Clones version of the script is almost the same as the theatrical version.
Here’s the excerpt from the 2nd draft of Episode II:
The PILOT starts to comply, but… there is a HUGE BLASTS, the ship lurches on its side, and PADMÉ tumbles out.
ANAKIN stares down in horror as PADMÉ hits the ground below.
ANAKIN (continuing; to pilot)
Put the ship down! Down!
No! Forget her.
We have to go after Dooku.
No we’re not!!
Land this ship!
Don’t let your personal feelings
get in the way. We’ve got a job to do.
Below, PADMÉ hauls herself to her feet and waves for them to go after DOOKU.
I don’t care!.. Go back.
Anakin! She’s all right! Look.
ANAKIN stares out to see PADMÉ rescued by CLONE TROOPERS.
Follow that speeder!
On the ground, PADMÉ looks up at Gunship #2 as it speeds away after Count Dooku. OBI-WAN and ANAKIN follow the speeder to a Geonosian tower. The speeder descends rapidly; the Gunship follows.
When EpisodeII was released there were actually two versions in theaters. There was the regular print that most people saw but there was also a digital print that was only shown in theaters equipped with digital projectors. There were a few small changes made to this digital print that are also visible on the DVD, since (we assume) they used the digital version to make the DVD.
In addition, there were a few more small changes made after the trasnfer of the digital print to DVD. One of them is the changing of a line of dialogue from Padmé after she gets up from falling out of the gunship on Geonosis. Originally, the clonetrooper asked if she was ok and she seemed to jump up (quite unaffected from the fall) saying, “Yes.” For the digital print and the DVD, this line was changed to a more pitiful sounding, “Uh huh.”
Included here is an audio clip of the DVD version, just for fun.
|AUDIO CLIP: Dialogue from the Episode II DVD of the re-edited scene of Padmé and the clonetrooper.|
Finally, here’s a video that contains bits and pieces of many of the things mentioned above.