They’re used for goofy humour in the Original Trilogy too. R2-D2’s saw gag, R2-D2 shocking the Ewok, C-3PO setting up the Ewoks to attack the stormtroopers, Salacious Crumb poking out C-3PO’s eye, and even before this with C-3PO’s body gag at the end of The Empire Strikes Back and moments in A New Hope. They’ve always been used for goofiness to defuse the tension of moments. It’s sort of needed for kids in Attack of the Clones especially as Jango getting his head cut off is pretty grim stuff. Same really with the ending of The Empire Strikes Back.
I get that the droids have always been comic relief, but I feel like the arena body-swap gag took it way too far. It doesn’t really feel like the OT’s style of humor, more like something out of a cartoon. I’m fine with comic relief, but the prequels’ style of comic relief has always rubbed me the wrong way.
C-3PO during Geonosis and general also has a lot of symbolism with Anakin. At the start Anakin builds C-3PO to help his mom through well intentions. This reflects back onto Anakin as he’s very selfless but there’s also a very independent streak in him at the same time. C-3PO has this too but is more neurotic. Then you get to the Battle of Geonosis both are at a crossroads. C-3PO’s body swap represents Anakin being torn between his desires and his duty. Just as Anakin represents C-3PO’s imbalance and alliances being blurred on a galactic scale. These things are also interchangeable. They eventually go their separate ways but not really as this leads to further symbolic meaning with Luke and friends later on.
Sorry, but this feels like an insane stretch. If you have any quote where Lucas actually says this was his intention with the body swap, I’d love to see it. But I didn’t see any sort of commentary about desires and duty, it just felt like something George thought would be funny when he was planning out the factory scene. And I wouldn’t have a problem with that, if it was actually funny.
There’s no coincidence if you watch the films I-VI as George intended. I don’t mean this to be rude to anyone who prefers watching them IV-VI, I-III as I know these things are subjective but so many of the problems some have with the Prequels I find tend to be from watching them as the second trilogy instead of the first. So many things work better in watching and understanding the story through the gaze of how George intended them to be viewed instead of watching them backwards as so many of the perceived plot holes aren’t actually plot holes. The story is also much more clear and you can see how seeds are being planted to eventually eclipse the entire universe.
I also don’t mean to be rude, but I just don’t see how chronological order works at all. You say it makes the story clearer, but I’ve always thought it just made it more confusing. In the OT, we learn info along with our main protagonist Luke, creating a human element that makes the universe much more engaging. In the prequels, however, important info just appears with little-to-no explanation, and the dry, clinical style makes it hard for the audience to latch on to anything.
And also, how does the coincidence of the droids showing up disappear if you watch in chronological order? No matter which way you watch it, the droids land on a vast planet in search of Obi-Wan, only to conveniently be sold to a random farm boy who just happens to know Obi-Wan and is also the son of the second-most-powerful man in the galaxy. If anything, watching the prequels first makes that even more ridiculous.