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Star Wars The Clone Wars Movie Hilariously Refers to Episode 2’s Dumbest Moment

Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie features a line that hilariously pokes fun at the awkward “sand scene” from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

Disney+’s animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars features a joke that pokes fun at one of the most awkward lines from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of The Clones. When Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter) and Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) are traveling through the desert of Tatooine to return Jabba the Hutt’s kidnapped son Rotta safely to his home, Ahsoka makes a comment about the sand, which appears to be referring to a well-known and often-criticized diatribe spoken by Anakin in Attack of the Clones.    

Set between Attack of the Clones (2002) and the animated series Stars Wars: The Clone Wars, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2007) film follows Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) during the onset of the Clone Wars, a three-year war between the Galactic Republic and the Separatists. Under the orders of Master Yoda (Tom Kane), Anakin is tasked with training Ahsoka, his new Padawan who accompanies him on an assignment to rescue Rotta after he was kidnapped by the Separatists. Locating the kidnappers on the planet Teth, Ahsoka and Anakin are led into a trap orchestrated by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), who intends to frame the Jedi for kidnapping Rotta and therefore sway Jabba to support the Separatist cause. Escaping with Rotta to Tatooine, Ahsoka tries to probe into Anakin’s past after he complains about returning to “this dust ball” of a planet. 

Related: How Maul Gets From Clone Wars to Solo & Rebels

Crash landing on the surface of Tatooine, Ahsoka and Anakin head out on a long journey across the Dune Sea, an expansive desert wasteland, to return Rotta to Jabba’s palace. To pass the time, Ahsoka provokes Anakin to talk about his past by repeating an adage from Master Yoda, “Old sins cast long shadows,” and inquires what Anakin thinks Yoda’s saying means. “He means your past can ruin your future if you allow it,” replies Anakin. “But you forget that it was Master Skywalker who said, ‘I don’t want to talk about my past.’” Relenting, Ahsoka then changes the subject to an almost equally irritating subject for Anakin. “There is so much more we can talk about out here,” says Ahsoka. “Like the sand.” While Ahsoka didn’t know of Anakin’s predisposed hatred for sand, the scriptwriters certainly seemed aware of it, as the line appears to be a self-referential jab at the Star Wars film that came before it.

In Attack of the Clones, upon arriving at the lake country of Naboo with Anakin (Hayden Christensen), Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) muses about her former visits to the area on school retreats, ruminating over summer days spent swimming in the lake and drying out on the sand. “I don’t like sand,” says Anakin. “It’s coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere.” While the scene from Attack of the Clones draws an interesting comparison between Padmé and Anakin’s childhoods, with his dislike of sand not only rooted in the harsh conditions of Tatooine’s environment but Anakin’s rough past as a slave on Tatooine, it is one of the most widely mocked moments from the film. Since Anakin freely talks about his hatred of sand with little to no provocation in Attack of the Clones, the subject hilariously can’t be avoided when Anakin is trapped in the middle of the desert in The Clone Wars.    

In The Clone Wars, Ahsoka’s comment about the sand also spurs a second rant from Anakin about the desert, specifically alluding to Anakin’s brutal last visit. “The desert is merciless,” says Anakin. “It takes everything from you.” His comment is not only in keeping with the joke by having Anakin once more complain about sand, but it is also a dark reminder that the last time Anakin was present on Tatooine, his mother died in his arms and he killed an entire village of Tusken Raiders in retaliation.

Ahsoka’s line about sand reads as an intentional, self-referential joke, paired alongside the reference to Attack of the Clones vilified “sand scene,” and this moment in Star Wars: The Clone Wars indicates that director Dave Filoni has a sense of humor about George Lucas' often-ridiculed dialogue.

More: Every Clone Wars & Rebels Character Appearing In Mandalorian Season 2

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