Attack of the Clones,  Original Saga,  Prequel Trilogy,  Revenge of the Sith,  Skywalker Saga,  The Phantom Menace

Video: “Every Time ‘Master’ Is Said in Star Wars”

From Star Wars Kids:

“From Jedi to Sith and beyond, “”master”” is commonly used throughout the galaxy. Find out how many times “”master”” is spoken in the Star Wars movies!

Star Wars By the Numbers is a series from Lucasfilm that counts fun Star Wars tidbits. Let us know what you’d like us to count next!”


  • Cryogenic

    Love the top comment:

    “It’s like this video was made specifically to insult Anakin”

    And it’s kinda true!

    It really does highlight just how under the thumb Anakin is in the PT — especially AOTC. If those numbers are right, then there are 155 utterances of “master” in PT, to the OT’s more slender total of 53, with AOTC taking the prize at 70 utterances alone, compared to ANH’s 11 and TESB’s 13.

    Just think how enslaved Anakin must feel at the close of the PT, when he is reconstructed as Darth Vader and the first words from his mouth are “yes, master”. Reminds me of the powerful closing words in J.W. Rinzler’s “Making Of” book for ROTS:

    “Anakin begins as a nine-year-old boy who is physically enslaved. He ends the prequel saga a spiritual and mental slave to the Emperor, who is his metaphorical if not biological father.”

    No wonder Anakin’s portrayal in the PT was so jarring to some. If the word “master” is used sparingly in fan favourites ANH and TESB, and Vader shown in these installments to be the protective sentinel, a black-hearted enforcer — cold, unyielding, implacable — then the Anakin of the prequels, and AOTC especially, is a markedly different fellow: a callow youth constantly checking himself in the presence of his superiors, who generally distrust him and expect obeisance to protocol and adherence to doctrine.

    Yet these are the very qualities that Vader lacks, or no longer needs to pay homage to, when he is big and mighty and calling the shots, as we see in TESB, indelibly expressed through his routine and darkly comedic manipulation and choking of high-ranking underlings. Indeed, TESB seems to cosmically contrast with TPM, when Vader announces his murder of Admiral Ozzel in advance, by verbally denouncing him to General Veers as being “as clumsy as he is stupid” — the word “clumsy” first being uttered by Jar Jar in the bongo to Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, when explaining why he was banished from his own society, much to the surprise of an uncomprehending Obi-Wan.

    Compared to the Vader of the OT, the Anakin of the PT is a bracing figure; and AOTC, in particular, puts the lie to the notion that Anakin and Obi-Wan were equals, as Obi-Wan first seemingly implied to Luke in ANH. In essence, in the PT, Vader himself is Jar Jar Binks (“the terrible fluidity of self-revelation” to quote Henry James) — a fumbling, clumsy outsider, trying to fit in and eke out a virtuous existence in a social space he finds generally confining and unwelcoming; maybe hostile to his own existence.

    Anakin’s frustrations are well… palpable. And the aptly-named Palpatine, of course, lends an all-too-sympathetic ear: a stark contrast (Star Wars is all about these cyclical contrasts: Stark Whorls) with Obi-Wan, in the role of the strict, overbearing father figure, who is arguably too close to Anakin in age, lacking a father figure himself (after the sudden passing of Qui-Gon), and overcompensating due to a mixture of concern (fear), envy (pride), and inexperience (arrogance).

    See why AOTC is the greatest of the films — or, at least, atrociously underrated? It puts all this up front and center, so that you can’t run away or duck and hide from it. An intense dissection!

    Of course, the video compilation above does contain quite a few “masters”, even in AOTC, not from the lips of Anakin — though the bulk of them in the first half of the film, when he is shown chafing under Obi-Wan’s tutelage, do come from him. And it’s arguably those first few scenes that leave the biggest impression.

    It’s interesting that both Anakin and Obi-Wan are also a lot more relaxed outside of each other’s company in this same stretch of the movie, as shown in rhymed scenes when Anakin goes to Palpatine and Obi-Wan consults with Dex. There is certainly care and affection between Anakin and Obi-Wan, which lends poignancy to the crumbling and splitting apart of their bond in ROTS, but there are many frayed edges and discordant notes, making AOTC, the middle prequel — and, if you like, the nucleus/nidus of the whole story — a special excursion into the psychology of Anakin (the whole movie is also so very Freudian) and a colourful, unflinching examination into the “dark side” of human nature and societal organisation.

    These videos, in my opinion, are really fun, and one of the better things to come out of Disneyfied Star Wars and the modern Internet. Numbers can speak some powerful truths and sometimes say things that words cannot. It’s cool that we now have more windows and mechanisms, of varying intensity and probity, to study and regard this epic saga through.

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