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The Phantom Menace • Virtual DVD Commentary


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That's a totally different position.

 

Though I agree that Lucas could have done a better job of showing instead of just telling, it doesn't mean the Tatooine scenes needed to be hurried in any way. They were only on the planet for one day afterall.

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I see what you're doing.

He was using the force to fly the damn thing whilst trying to stop it falling apart.   Noobs.

That's a totally different position.

 

Though I agree that Lucas could have done a better job of showing instead of just telling, it doesn't mean the Tatooine scenes needed to be hurried in any way. They were only on the planet for one day afterall.

 

 

Yeah Im not saying they should have been hurried, just that the whole situation could have been handled completely differently.

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I agree that SEEING some of the evils the TF was wreaking upon Naboo would have helped in a ton of ways instead of just hearing about, and I also agree that most of the Tattooine scenes are contrived to tell us Anakin is special and to get us to the next big action piece, which is the pod race.

 

But that said, these are prequels. We know who lives and who dies (unless you're one of those tards that thought Padme had a chance... Ryn) and how it all ends, it's the fun of seeing how things fall into place.

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I think the thing is there just is no tension or urgency in those scenes. Think to ANH or ESB, the main characters are in danger pretty much the entire movies. There is hardly a moment where one of the 3 main characters isnt either being held prisoner, being shot at or being chased. And when it does seem like the good guys have gotten away almost immediately we find out "not so fast." The characters go from danger to danger. I know Maul is chasing them in TPM but seriously does it seem like he is gonna jump out at any moment and attack? It doesnt to me.

 

Here is an idea I had today. Instead of Maul landing and just sending out droids to look for the Queen how about if he did it himself. I mean wouldnt it have been great if we had say a series of scenes interspersed throughout the Tatooine sequence like this:

 

Maul locates the Queens ship and sneaks on board unnoticed. He find the fake queen alone and is about to take her prisoner until he senses its not the real queen. He threatens her and gets information from her that they ar ein town and supposedly have been dealing with some junk dealer to acquire parts.

 

He then tracks down Watoo and forces info out of him, Maul finds out from Watoo that the Queen and Jedi have been staying at Shmi Skywalkers.

 

He goes to Shmis, but they have already left. He threatens her but Shmi wont give any info. Maul is about to kill her when 3PO tells Maul they have gone back to the ship.

 

Maul then heads to the ship and it unfolds just like in the movie.'

 

Wouldnt this have given these scenes more urgency? Wouldnt they have made Maul seem like a far bigger threat that he is in the movie?

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Scene: Darth Maul arrives on Tattooine and sends probe droids off to search for... something.

 

Tank says:

-- Maul's ship resembles Vader's tie fighter from the rear angle-- fun little nod.

 

-- Maul's ship landing amongst the rocks, and his coming down the ramp is a scene taken directly from one of the proto-drafts of the original Star Wars. I think it was perhaps even THE first SW draft written. The script opened with a Sith Lord setting down on a barren planet in search of Starkiller and his Jedi Bendu sons.

 

-- The probe droids are cool, but I have to wonder if there's some filling in needed here. They just fly off so I am making a big assumption that by now, the TF has turned over flight recorder data so that the Sith know Qui-gon is the jedi they are looking for... or are they looking for the Queen?

 

Thomas Alan says:

 

-To be honest, I never was much of a fan of Darth Maul’s Sith Infiltrator looking like a Vader’s modified TIE with a nose on it. It’s a visual call-back to the evil Empire, but I don’t think it really works here.

 

-And Maul’s on-planet, which should ratchet up the tension of the remaining scenes on the planet, which should make Choc happy. Some probes go out and he, presumably, goes back into his ship to take a nap.

 

Scene: Pre-race, Annie gets ready for his big day and we lean he's never actually finished he race. Qui-gon makes another bet with Watto, this time cheating via the force to make sure if Annie wins the race, he'll be set free.

 

 

Tank says:

-- More evidence humans in the SW galaxy are from the same original planet-- Watto calls Annie a "credit to your race."

 

--The cross-betting here is confusing, but I'll play along. Sebulba is back to play the heavy for the race and Watto has faith he'll win... so in other words the we now know who'll win. Obviously Annie will be freed, so it's just a case of showing us how they get there.

 

-- "So Wizard" Ugh. More child acting to kill me. KILL me. Padme is quickly becoming the negative nancy of the group.

 

-- There's a quick insert of Maul's probe droids scooting about... looking for whatever it is they are looking for.

 

Thomas Alan says:

 

-If Qui-Gon hadn’t said Watto was blue, I wouldn’t have known. Maybe I’m colorblind or something.

 

-Watto’s attachment to Anakin comes through again. It makes for one of the more effective ways of showing that Anakin has a pure heart without just having his mother say so.

 

-Jar Jar overacting when he recognizes Sebulba. I do think it’s amusing that he’s got a couple of Twi’leks for his pre-race rubdown.

 

-And here’s where Qui-Gon’s frittering away the prize money from the race comes back to bite him. Now all he has is the pod as currency in bargaining for Anakin and his mother’s freedom and he’s forced to accept only one slave. Given the Jedi prohibition on attachments, Qui-Gon must have known that leaving Shmi in bondage would be a drag on the boy’s training. Perhaps he meant to come back later and free her but died before he had the chance (and Obi-Wan just never thought of it).

 

-I should also note that Qui-Gon has, again, sold Watto a pod that the toydarian already owns.

 

-Ooh, a Chance Cubeâ„¢. Took a lot of creativity to come up with a six-sided die with 2 colors.

 

-I like the look Watto gives Qui-Gon and his angry outburst. He knows that Qui-Gon just cheated him, but can’t call him out on manipulating his loaded dice. Liam Neeson’s good in this little moment. There’s just a bit of mocking in his stance.

 

-Padme and Anakin riding together, and Padme seems to be enjoying it a bit too much. In comes Watto to ruin the moment and give all the characters a big “WTF was that all about moment†only for Qui-Gon to step in and not explain anything.

 

-And there’s 3PO. The human arrive on gratuitous CGI mounts, but somehow Threepio arrives at exactly the same time.

 

-Queen Amidala’s faith in this reckless plan goes from dubious to “Jedi are ****ing crazy gambling my people’s well-being on a 9-year-old†with the knowledge that Anakin’s managed to crash in every one of his races thus far.

 

-Maul’s big black ball gets its own scene as a little reminder that there’s a Jedi killer on the planet.

 

Scene: The Pod Race: Pre-race

 

Tank says:

-- I am NOT a fan of the race announcer(s). One of the worst designed aliens of the saga, too cartoony, WAY over the top with it's vocal performance. In fact, as the other racers are introduced I have much the same reaction. Outside of Sebulba, these aliens are all WAY to cartoonish in my opinion. I KNOW that in a galaxy filled with alien life not all of them are going to be humanoid, but these are just all poorly designed and stiffly animated.

 

-- Were the 3 Stooges droids necessary? Or the fart joke? "Peeyousa." Wow. Great. Don't get the point of the flag carrying either.

 

-- Qui-gon giving Annie some good old fashioned Jedi talk is cool and Williams learns to be subtle again. For a split second it feels like Star Wars!

 

-- Not sure what the point of Jabba the Hutt being here is, but this digital model is vastly improved over the one that was seen in theaters, which itself was vastly improved over the ANH: SE digital Jabba. One thing about Jabba-- it always bothers me they couldn't get his voice right. Here and in ANH he sounds nothing like he did in ROTJ.

 

-- The sound design of the entire pod race is probably Ben Burt's best work.

 

-- Padme and Qui-gon again bicker. She doesn't like not being boss!

 

--Jar Jar makes an annoying comment, and amusingly, no one reacts. I feel like maybe Jar Jar was never intended for the shot.

 

-This establishing shot on Tatooine feels a bit too clean. Which is odd since it’s probably a miniature.

 

-Hehe, I forgot about the two-headed announcer guy for a minute. I never quite understood why he so many people hated him. Never realized it before, but the English voice sounds like Greg Proops. And yes, Google tells me that it is indeed Greg Proops. I’ve obviously watched too much “Whose Line Is It Anyway†since 1999.

 

-God, a little outside the film here guys. These extra scenes they plugged into the DVD release are why it took me so long to get this up. Tank actually forwarded his stuff to me on Friday, but I’ve been procrastinating because of this specific scene. It’s the only time so far (and probably through the whole movie) this commentary will feel like work. My hats off to Tank for going through the whole movie filled with parts he doesn’t like. Of course all this could have been side-stepped if he still had his copy of the VHS release of the original cut of the film <grumble>.

 

-And here we’re given a nice long introduction to all the characters who will soon be slamming into walls. Oh and Ben Quadinaros, the guy with four engines (get the pun everyone?).

 

-Sebulba blows kisses to the crowd, who a few seconds later stand in unison to cheer. Why’s Sebulba standing erect anyway?

 

-Man the CGI is cutrate compared to the other stuff. And they just hold it on some officious-looking character that I don’t even remember appearing in the actual pod-race.

 

-Crowd shot of an elephant guy waving his hands from side to side. My God why didn’t this stay cut?

 

-And the pit-droids get their own introduction so they can do their Three Stooges impersonation.

 

-And yes, Jake Lloyd somehow was the best actor in the whole introduction scene. Wow.

 

-Remember when I said that people gave way too much press to the stepping in poop scene? Well Jar Jar gets farted on now, and people are totally justified in hating it. Now, in this cut the whole momentum of the movie has stopped so it’s not as horrible, but in the original we were quickly moving to the beginning of the race and just so happened to get a random over-the-top bathroom humor scene with Jar Jar. It was one of those times that I thought his inclusion in the movie was completely unjustifiable.

 

-This little interaction with Sebulba is one of the few instances where we see Anakin angry in this movie. He actually looks like he could grow up to be Hayden Christensen when he sets his jaw like that.

 

-Heh, it looks like even Anakin’s getting tired of hearing these little “go with the Living Force†pep talks from Qui-Gon.

 

-I always found the female Hutt in the background to be interesting. Poor Jabba, he has no idea that the daughter of the boy he’s watching in this race will kill him with his own slave chain.

 

-Note there’s a slave with a metal bikini in this shot. But she’s wearing some pink leggings. Do you think when Carrie Fisher got a private screening of the movie she turned to Lucas during this scene and slapped him?

 

-Qui-Gon throws Padme’s secret identity into her face again. This time he gets her to bite and she lets out a verbal hint that she’s the queen.

 

-Oh God more crap that was correctly cut out of the movie the first time. The amazing thing is that this is actually cut down from an even longer version that can be accessed in the deleted scenes. It’s amazing that this much material actually got filmed before it was realized that it was just a massive speed-bump in the movie’s pacing right before a centerpiece action sequence.

 

-And there’s Warwick Davis looking totally recognizable.

 

Scene: The Pod Race

 

Tank Says:

 

-- I'm going to just say it. I think pod racing is stupid. The physics of it annoy me. I don't like the sci-fi chariot race concept. I'd much rather have it be a airspeeder race. I'd have LOVED for it to have been a realized version of Luke's t-16 race through Beggar's Canyon from the ANH radio version (which was also recreated in Rebel Assault). Doing this would have sold Annie better as a "pilot" I think, and would have been more or less the same.

 

-- The effects of the race are hit and miss. Literally some of the shots are probably some of the best CGI and compositing I have ever seen, other shots look like video game cut scenes.

 

-- Look! a 2 second shot of a chick with a gun! Let's obsess over her and become emphatic believers she'll have a starring role in the next film!

 

-- The Sand People taking pot shots cracks me up.

 

-- There's all these little moments in here-- the vendor selling stuff to the crowd, a no-name racer and his pit crew, Jabba being bored-- in some ways I like these things because add to the authenticity of the universe-- people are having lives in the background. But I don't think the middle of an action sequence that already runs too long is the place for it. Plus, each of them seems to be a silly joke or cgi showcase.

 

-- Thanks for filling us in on the plot 3P0. the 3 lights above the finish line didn't make any sense. HE HAS TO DO TWO MORE LAPS NO WAY

 

-- I think we now hit the footage of the race not in the theatrical or VHS version-- where in Anakin fixes his pod after one engine becomes untethered. Not sure if it is needed. He fixes the engine again when he has a flame out in the final lap, so don't know what this added. What might have worked is if Annie reflexively used the force to grab that tether instead of a magnet.

 

-- "I don't care what universe you're from, that's gotta hurt." I hate this guy.

 

-- Annie vs. Sebulba is pretty by the numbers given Lucas' obsession with racing. Try to pass, bump fenders, good guy gets the lead, etc. I remember cheers in the theater when Annie wins. given it's the first time we've seen Darth Vader do something cool, it seems appropriate.

 

-- Kitster and Wald miss their mark on high-fiving and for some reason it makes the final cut.

 

-- At the end of the day, I think that the pod racing scene is hit and miss. There was a bunch of lightsaber action at the top of the film, but it was so fast and brief, then things slowed down. This is the first major action piece of the film. It works in many ways-- it's a cool locale, Lucas always wanting the audience to FEEL the speed comes across, I just don't like the look of pod racing. As I said, I'd have preferred it to be a low altitude airspeeder race. The pods themselves were neatly designed, but most of the alien pilots were terrible. Lastly, the whole thing was too long. For all that speed it really seemed to drag. It also doesn't help there was no real tension riding on the race. It's not like Luke headed down that trench with Vader on his ass and the entire rebel alliance is riding on one shot.

 

Thomas Alan says:

 

-Everyone turn and laugh at the little boy who has stalled. Except you Kitser. You stand there with your hands on your head.

 

-And somehow the announcer is just realizing that there’s a second pod stalled at the starting line. Very observant of him.

 

-The FX in these shots really are excellent and hold up well to today’s standard for the most part. Some of the shredding effects were pretty far ahead of their time whereas simple explosions and crunches would be used in most movies.

 

-It’s more than a little non-credible that Anakin manages to catch up with the back of the pack so quickly. He was stalled for a good minute there and either those drivers are really bad, or their pods are really slow.

 

-Oh look, Aurra Sing. That’s nice. One of those little tie-in deals that some fans just ran with. Though I never saw it as much of a big deal.

 

-In this first lap they let Ben Burtt go to town with his sound effects, and it’s rather amazing what he does. Going back to Oscar b****ing, it’s unfathomable how they could deny him the Sound awards based on these scenes alone. The variety and use of the sounds in these pods was incredible, especially Sebulba’s unexpected chug.

 

-The little mini-pit droid’s celebration after going through the pod engine was pretty funny.

 

-Now we’re on the second lap which is also given a few more scenes (in the original cut is was very short, basically Anakin catching up with the leaders). It’s actually got some good material with Anakin showing off his piloting skills outsmarting some of the lower-level racers.

 

-Here’s a (previously deleted) scene where Anakin’s spinning and has to reattach his pod to the engines. It’s a very interesting little idea. In fact, I would have preferred it had Lucas made THIS the big mechanical problem Anakin overcomes on the third lap and just dumped the relatively tame idea of his losing power to his engine that is there now.

 

As it is, re-introducing this into the DVD was a mistake because the two repair-job scenes are too similar in concept.

 

-Some of the better FXs we’ll see are the sky views at the beginning of the third lap.

 

-Lloyd’s got a nasty habit of gritting his teeth when he faces adversity on the track. It gets really bad as the third lap progresses.

 

-Just after Anakin jumps the service ramp they cut to a crowd shot where an alien bumps his fists in and out in a strange way. It always annoyed the crap out of me.

 

-Utini. Heh.

 

-And suddenly Sebulba’s pod is faster than Anakin’s. Nevermind that Anakin made up a full minute while racing through traffic in only two laps. One of those OCD logic things that ruins the enjoyment of movies.

 

-Teeth gritting is now at maximum power as we go through the engine restart sequence.

 

-Anakin’s faster than Sebulba again.

 

-A little side-note as we near the thrilling climax. There's an animatic of the pod race sequence where Sebulba is a muppet. I always thought he looked rather good in those rough shots and part of me wishes they would've made him a puppet in the movie itself.

 

-The ending with Anakin pulling away while Sebulba realizes he’s about to crash and burn is pretty satisfying, even if I’m not exactly sure what mechanically happened there.

 

-And Kitster forgets they’re supposed to do a high five. Guess they were too behind that day to do a second take.

 

-Is it a very Jedi thing to do to carry someone on your shoulder for a victory salute?

 

-And we end the pod race with waking up Jabba. Nothing like ending a long action sequence by telling your audience what they watched was so boring we understand if you might want to fall asleep.

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-The human arrive on gratuitous CGI mounts, but somehow Threepio arrives at exactly the same time

 

In any given Star Wars film, OT or PT, the worst effect in the picture will always be a person riding a creature. I think Lucas has some weird obsession with the concept because it finds it's way into every film. Nevermind this is a galaxy with all matter of amazing methods of transportation.

 

A small list:

The stormtrooper on the Dew back in both the original and SE version of ANH

Tauns Tauns

the giant fle thing Anakin surfs in AOTC

the lizrd obi-wan rides in ROTS

 

WHAT IS THE POINT STOP IT GEORGE

 

-Utini. Heh.

 

It's funny, I agree... but part of me is annoyed the same way you were with the DIA WANNA WANGA line earlier. This great classic "alien" lines or sounds from the OT often get recycled pointlessly in the PT. The pit droid sucked through the pod engine re-used the Ewok-on-a-speederbike cue. Granted though, no one but people who've seen the film 34123245 times would realize that.

 

-And we end the pod race with waking up Jabba. Nothing like ending a long action sequence by telling your audience what they watched was so boring we understand if you might want to fall asleep.[/color]

 

Good point. It's funny you say this too, because in one of my screenwriting books Lucas gives the comment that you should never have somebody say the words "this is boring" in a script because it gives the audience a chance to agree. Forgot to take his own advice.

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I too have always wanted Anakin to use the force during the pod racer repair scene, Tank. Man, it would have been great. Another moment I felt it could have worked is earlier when we are first introduced to Sebulba and he wants to fight Jar Jar. It would have been awesome to hint that Anakin calmed the situation down with a primitive mind trick.

 

Anyway, pretty much right on with your guys POV about this scene... it is really hit or miss in it's execution.

 

Edit In: I love the creature mounts, well for the most part anyway. The giant fly thing in AotC was just way weird looking. Also Obi-Wan's lizard is my favorite mount.

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I liked most of the extra footage during the pod race that was added back in for the DVD, some nice skills shown by Anakin to back-up the great pilot line from Jedi. Shame Obi-Wan never got to see any of that great piloting but whatever.

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Part of TPM's flaws, in my opinion, stem from Lucas not following his own pre-stated assertions that special effects are tool to tell a story, not the story itself. The completely superfluous trip to Otah Gunga is an example of this. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan came down to the planet to warn the Naboo that they were being invaded. Problem 1: They came down with the invasion army. Problem 2: By the time they get through Otah Gunga and take a bongo through the Core to warn the Naboo, the queen is a hostage and the whole planet already knows about the invasion.

 

Tatooine is rather like a big trip through Otah Gunga. All you have to do there is meet Anakin Skywalker and get him off-planet and on his way to the Jedi. But the Tatooine scenes are long and full of CGI creatures that barely do anything to service the story. Even the big action scene - the pod race - is entirely too long.

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-Utini. Heh.

 

It's funny, I agree... but part of me is annoyed the same way you were with the DIA WANNA WANGA line earlier. This great classic "alien" lines or sounds from the OT often get recycled pointlessly in the PT. The pit droid sucked through the pod engine re-used the Ewok-on-a-speederbike cue. Granted though, no one but people who've seen the film 34123245 times would realize that.

 

Jeez, even I hadn't realized that one.

 

Anyway, "Utini" was already recycled in ANH and is something that jawas seem to say when they get excited. It's the right general context. It makes me laugh. It gets a pass.

 

The earlier "dia wanna wanga" line made the dumb mistake of not only reusing the line, but also sub-titling the thing so that Bib Fortuna's earlier use made sense. If they hadn't told us what the shop keeper was saying, then the meaning of it could have been fudged enough for it to get a pass too.

 

I too have always wanted Anakin to use the force during the pod racer repair scene, Tank. Man, it would have been great. Another moment I felt it could have worked is earlier when we are first introduced to Sebulba and he wants to fight Jar Jar. It would have been awesome to hint that Anakin calmed the situation down with a primitive mind trick.

 

I wouldn't have liked that for continuity reasons. Anakin already demonstrates rather fine control of the Force with his piloting skills, mechanical skills, and later with some basic mind-reading tricks. Having him run around using telekenisis and mind control would have been too much. The mind-reading trick probably was too much in itself.

 

Compare this with his son Luke, or Leia for that matter, who are both supposed to be near the same level as Vader in terms of Force potential. Luke is remarked to already be a great pilot, but otherwise has never shown the slightest inclination for using the Force. At age 20 he doesn't even know what Ben's talking about and doesn't make a real breakthrough until practicing blindfolded with the remote.

 

It took him three years of training on his own to just barely progress enough to use telekenisis on a lightsaber in the Wampa Ice Creature's cave.

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-- The effects of the race are hit and miss. Literally some of the shots are probably some of the best CGI and compositing I have ever seen, other shots look like video game cut scenes.

 

There is a huge drop in quality between the theatrical cut and the material they added to the DVD release. Is that where you were noticing the difference? Most of the added effects occured during the 2nd lap with Anakin doing things like passing the guy with the rear-facing camera, using the wall to flip over another guy, and recovering from the pod spin.

 

As near as I can tell, the effects of the theatrical cut were consistantly near-perfect.

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That's probably the case, yeah. There's one shot of agreen pod engine hitting a wall that I recall in the theater looking so so, and there are a few focus issues wih things look a little too sharp realistically in the final lap-- ut for the most part you're probably pegging what I am seeing.

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Part of TPM's flaws, in my opinion, stem from Lucas not following his own pre-stated assertions that special effects are tool to tell a story, not the story itself. The completely superfluous trip to Otah Gunga is an example of this. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan came down to the planet to warn the Naboo that they were being invaded. Problem 1: They came down with the invasion army. Problem 2: By the time they get through Otah Gunga and take a bongo through the Core to warn the Naboo, the queen is a hostage and the whole planet already knows about the invasion.

 

The Trade Federation did blow up their ship. They didn't exactly get their pick of how to get down to the planet.

 

Anyway, the trip to Otah Gunga wasn't a superfluous special effects detour. The Gungans play an imporant role in the climax of the movie, and the resolution of their conflict with the Naboo makes for the surface of a happy ending to the movie.

 

Edit In: I love the creature mounts, well for the most part anyway. The giant fly thing in AotC was just way weird looking. Also Obi-Wan's lizard is my favorite mount.

 

I think Tank has a point though. Back during ESB, Lucas and Kasdan made a point to think up a story reason why Luke and Han are out patrolling using tauntauns. The snowspeeders were still being adapted to the extreme colds, and were not available yet. A completely logical explanation.

 

Obi-Wan's lizard mount in RotS was okay thanks to the extreme environment. You can make a good case that it made for good transportation.

 

The use of dewbacks in A New Hope, though, was less logical. You've got a large surface area that's mostly one colored, smooth, and uniform. There's no logical reason why a group of 2 or 3 landspeeders (like the kind that dirt-poor Luke owns) can't start a search grid and cover hundreds of miles a day. Or, for that matter, why an Imperial Star Destroyer can't set a few TIEs out for arial reconassaince.

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TA is right, going to meet the Gungans is not superfluous to the plot. I really dont have too many problems with those scenes. In fact I don't have too many issues with the movie up until when the good guys get past the blockade. Not saying its perfect, but other than Jar Jar needing to be toned down a bit I think the first 1/4 of the movie is very good.

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Finally caught up. Cuba was nice thanks for asking :)

 

A few points I wanted to mention:

 

Transmission from Naboo

 

I think both Thom and Tank picked up on this. My take was simply that a connection trace was established when they 'received' the message. Similar to how you mobile phone can be traced if you receive a call or a text message. In order to watch the message from Sio Bibble they would have to connect with the transmitter. Obi Wan was saying that it was a trap. But I've always felt like it was a trap that had already been sprung. Obi Wan told them not to send a reply because it could mean further danger. Not a plot hole for me. This leads me nicely to:

 

Darth Maul on Tatooine

 

Now if you bear the above in mind, Darth Maul landed on Tat because he knew that the ship that left Naboo was on this planet due to the connection trace. He wasn't looking for either the queen or the Jedi. He was looking for the ship in the hope that he could find both. I know the probe droid is shown in Mos Espa. But you'll notice that Maul turns up at the ship and not in town. Bit of a parallel with ESB probe droids looking for the rebel base.

 

Pod Racing

 

I'm a big fan of the pod racing sequence and I quite enjoyed it. I do think that Tank's idea of duelling T16s would have been better through beggars canyon though. Technically, Beggar's canyon is bloody miles away from Mos Espa, but the story could have been set in Mos Eisley or Anchorhead quite easily to accommodate this.

 

Is it me or is there an even more extended version of the pod racing on the DVD? Like one of the special features?

 

Pod Racer game was bloody awesome when that came out. One of the best SW games they've made. If you've played it then you'll know what the 3 lights mean :)

 

Tatooine

 

I love Tatooine in TPM. It's expanded on substantially and I felt that they did a good job of presenting it. I love the hustle and bustle of Mos Espa. I like race day. I like the tour through the canyons, Jawas, Sand People. I know there's a bit of fan-boi pleasing with some of the dialogue, but there are certain ingredients which make the planet what it is and they're all in there. If any of you have played SWG you will appreciate Tatooine like I do. There was so much detail on that planet. Places from the films were immaculately recreated and it was a pleasure to walk through town and just get lost there. My number 1 sci-fi location of all time :)

 

Telling not Showing

 

Tank man. I know this is a bugbear for you mate. But you're a big Star Trek fan and Star Trek is the all-time king of doing this. I can't watch an episode or a film without being told what's going on 90% of the time. "Shields are down to 50%"; "The warp core is offline"; "We've lost life support in decks 7 through 10" "I've modified the tachyon converter to emit a low spectrum EM pulse" etc etc. In fact the only time we see the characters do anything is when they interact with an alien, fire a phaser, beam to a planet or fire a pocket torch at something to fix or adjust something. Even you have to admit that SW does the "Showing" a lot better than ST does. I've lost track of how many times they've got out of a scrape by tapping a few things in to a keypad whilst telling the viewer what they're doing. It's clearly not just minor plot points.

 

While we're on this subject, It's a lot more acceptable for this to happen in Star Trek than Star Wars because ST is considered to be more 'cerebral'. However, I notice that a lot of complaints from the ST films concern the bits where they've injected a bit more action. It's almost like it's acceptable to be told what's going on in ST but not in SW. Yet it's the reverse when it comes to 'Showing' in SW and 'Showing' in ST. At least that's how I feel about it anyway.

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He was looking for the ship in the hope that he could find both. I know the probe droid is shown in Mos Espa. But you'll notice that Maul turns up at the ship and not in town. Bit of a parallel with ESB probe droids looking for the rebel base

 

There's a deleted scene where one of Maul's probe droids finds Qui-Gon and Anakin when they were on their way back to the ship. Qui-Gon busted it with his lightsaber and they started running. That's why the two of them are running for (seemingly) no reason when Maul ambushes them.

 

So, the original intent of the script was that Maul found Qui-Gon and that's what led him to the ship. Not the other way around.

 

Tank man. I know this is a bugbear for you mate. But you're a big Star Trek fan and Star Trek is the all-time king of doing this. I can't watch an episode or a film without being told what's going on 90% of the time. "Shields are down to 50%"; "The warp core is offline"; "We've lost life support in decks 7 through 10" "I've modified the tachyon converter to emit a low spectrum EM pulse" etc etc. In fact the only time we see the characters do anything is when they interact with an alien, fire a phaser, beam to a planet or fire a pocket torch at something to fix or adjust something.

 

Trek has gotten plenty of criticism for using technobabble as a means for resolving a plotline (reaching a crescendo with Voyager). The better episodes only have the outside anomoly as a side-story used to push the interpresonal story that the episode focuses on to a head. TNG was very good at this at its peak. DS9 managed to sidestep the problem for the most part.

 

Is it me or is there an even more extended version of the pod racing on the DVD? Like one of the special features?

 

Yes, there's a deleted scene on the bonus disc that lasts roughly as long as Gone With the Wind.

 

Pod Racer game was bloody awesome when that came out. One of the best SW games they've made. If you've played it then you'll know what the 3 lights mean

 

Am I the only one who recognizes crap Star Wars games?

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He was looking for the ship in the hope that he could find both. I know the probe droid is shown in Mos Espa. But you'll notice that Maul turns up at the ship and not in town. Bit of a parallel with ESB probe droids looking for the rebel base

 

There's a deleted scene where one of Maul's probe droids finds Qui-Gon and Anakin when they were on their way back to the ship. Qui-Gon busted it with his lightsaber and they started running. That's why the two of them are running for (seemingly) no reason when Maul ambushes them.

I've always wondered why on earth they were running. Now it makes sense!

 

Is this on the DVD? I only recently replaced my VHS version with the DVD. Not even sure if I've watched it yet.

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He was looking for the ship in the hope that he could find both. I know the probe droid is shown in Mos Espa. But you'll notice that Maul turns up at the ship and not in town. Bit of a parallel with ESB probe droids looking for the rebel base

 

There's a deleted scene where one of Maul's probe droids finds Qui-Gon and Anakin when they were on their way back to the ship. Qui-Gon busted it with his lightsaber and they started running. That's why the two of them are running for (seemingly) no reason when Maul ambushes them.

I've always wondered why on earth they were running. Now it makes sense!

 

Is this on the DVD? I only recently replaced my VHS version with the DVD. Not even sure if I've watched it yet.

 

 

Yeah, it's on the DVD.

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Scene: In the post-race celebrations Anakin gets congratulated by everyone and Qui-Gon collects his winnings. Before they leave the planet, he still has one last thing to do

 

Thomas Alan says:

-A very distant shot of Jar Jar picking up Anakin in congratulations. It’s rather ugly and awkward. I think it only made it in the film because Lucas and company wanted to include another scene where human/CGI interaction is highlighted.

 

-Padme comes to hug Anakin, little boy leans in. Mom comes to give Anakin a kiss, little boy squirms away. That’s right little lady’s man.

 

-Shmi’s “You have brought hope to those who have none†might be the single clunkiest line in the entire saga.

 

-Watto’s hurting pretty bad from all the gambling he’s lost. The Jedi doesn’t seem the least bit concerned that his actions have caused the ruination of another being, going so far as to play hardball and threatening to take his ass to the Hutts. Neeson’s even got a stare-down going. Of course we’re talking about getting a child out of slavery here, so it’s morally not so bad. But Qui-Gon seems more interested in the boy for what he can get him than any outrage.

 

-Watto again proves himself the best of the CGI characters here with the strongest animation job in the entire movie (pretty good technically too as he goes in and out of shadow). Qui-Gon may not care that Watto’s predicament, but I do. Watto’s attempt to squirm out of the deal feels half-hearted, like he knows it’s not going to work. All the same, he’s got to try. When Qui-Gon plays the Hutt card, the character goes from forced outrage to resigned defeat.

 

-Nice little Easter egg with the Sith probe floating along in the background.

 

-Obi-Wan enters the movie for the first time in 20 minutes and proceeds to be a total douche about Qui-Gon’s plan to bring Anakin along. I’m starting to think that Palpatine’s right. Jedi just aren’t very nice people.

 

Tank says:

-- Jar Jar picking up Annie is one of those shots i thought looked good originally, but hasn't held up that well. Annie looks like a freeze frame image.

 

-- Padme and Schmi and Anakin all seem uncomfortable in this scene for some reason, and the dialog seems very wooden.

 

-- Watto and Qui-gon settle their bets, and Watto is of course screwed. He seems more willing to give over the parts than the boy, more evidence he has an attachment to the kid. Maul's probe droid hovers by in the background. Watto relents of course and I can't help but think he's going to take things out on Shmi-- even though I have no idea what she does for him considering that she never seems to go to work.

 

-- Hey look! OBI-WAN! Remember him!? He talks about picking up another "pathetic life form" which means he doesn't think much of Jar Jar, but more awkwardly, it implies Anakin is worthless as well.

 

Scene: In the post-race celebrations Anakin gets congratulated by everyone and Qui-Gon collects his winnings. Before they leave the planet, he still has one last thing to do

 

Thomas Alan says:

-Qui-Gon just sort of blurts out that Anakin’s been freed. Anakin’s all happy of course, but it was a bit cold of him to just blurt the news out to his mother. Pernilla August has her best scene of the movie (thank goodness, since these scenes are pretty much her only reason for even being in the movie) despite some clunky dialogue.

 

-The Jedi take children from their parents at a young age. It’s a rather cold practice, but one that has some merit given the utter disaster that Anakin became. This scene is really the only example of it that we are given. Qui-Gon, in typical arrogance for him, rather assumes that it’s all good and no way anyone would object. It probably came to a surprise that Anakin was the one to balk.

 

-We get another little recurring theme with Anakin’s “I don’t want things to changeâ€. Lucas once again displays all the subtlety of a Death Star, but again he at least follows through with it (in this case throughout the remainder of the Trilogy, and even retroactively to his actions in RotJ). Shmi gives him good advice on not be

 

-I didn’t mention it before, but Qui-Gon also shares Anakin’s weakness for change. Witness his mournful reply to Anakin when the boy suggests that no one can kill a Jedi. It may also be why he became the first to discover the Jedi ghost trick (in a crude form).

 

-Qui-Gon retroactively comforts Shmi. Yeah, those two had some fun the night before.

 

-There’s a POV shot from Threepio that feels all sorts of strange given the way Star Wars in normally shot. It’s really the few moments that really feel non-Star Wars in the entire movie.

 

I recall around the time of AotC people were complaining that Peter Jackson could have done such a better job with the Prequels. People don’t seem to realize that Star Wars was not built to have dynamic direction. Almost all the shots are basic, and that was done on purpose as a means of keeping the audience centered as a thousand amazing things appeared on film in the first movie. Since then there were some mild breaks (most notably the slo-mo cave scene in ESB and some dream stuff in RotS), but a massive break like the constant “Look at me, ain’t I a genius†work from Jackson in the LotR series would have been totally out of place in a Star Wars film.

 

-This scene with Threepio really feels like it was just put in because Lucas wanted to give him one more scene before he went bye-bye for the rest of the movie, and the first half of the next.

 

-The good-bye scene. I really don’t have too much problem with the performances. Lloyd’s acting is pretty much par for the course for him. Williams goes more than a little overboard I think. It probably would have been a better idea, though, for them to just shoot the scene from a distance and without dialogue. There wasn’t much said that added to the previous scene.

 

Tank says:

-- My bad! Shmi does have a job-- cleaning circuit boards or something. Qui-gon is pretty blase-- SURPRISE! YOU'RE FREE! EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER KNOWN HAS CHANGED! TADAAA! I get that we're in a hurry here, but this wasn't very believable. Seems like we could have lost 6 hours out of the pod race to have a little more in-depth character scene here as Anakin realizes mommy won't be coming along.

 

-- Qui-gon is kind of a jerk when he blames Watto for Shmi not being able to come along. Like anyone really could stop a Jedi if he wanted to do something. This is where the whole slave angle falls apart for me. It was just invented as a vehicle to give Anakin angst over being separated from his mother. So much of the PT is centered around this one point, when there could be dozens of other ways to sell this. It'd probably been better if Maul had killed Shmi in this film then the pointless Sandpeople bit in the next one. At least then we'd feel sorry for Anakin, and we'd buy it a little better.

 

-- Anakin hates change. I wonder i this subtle line will ever pay off. HMMMM.

 

-- Qui-gon says Annie will become a Jedi, but Annie seems more excited to go on a spaceship. Small cool moment for the "finest starpilot in the galaxy."

 

-- YIPEEE!!!! Just... come on.

 

-- I hate the scene with 3P0. Lloyd gives a terrible performance and 3P0 is now ditched for the rest of the movie, supporting the fact that Lucas never knew what to do with him.

 

-- I JUST CAN'T DO IT MOM!!! Another terrible scene that is supposed to tug at our heart strings and make us feel bad for Anakin. But it's just so badly written and acted, that it annoys me. Never mind that in the next film when this scene pays off Anakin is performed by another actor with zero connection to this kid outside of the name. Williams is overdoing it again, and the dialog is pretty much the same as the last scene. The one line I DID like-- "I will come back and free you" is never paid off in the future films.

 

Scene: Maul discover’s the queen’s location and races to confront them before they can take off. After a brief duel with Qui-Gon, the Jedi and their charges manage to escape and head to Coruscant.

 

Thomas Alan says:

-Maul gets a report and off he goes on his little Sith motocycle. Pretty cool how he just falls off the cliff like that.

 

-We get the first real lightsaber duel here. It’s just a preview, so there’s a lot of sand in the say and shots of arms. You get the feeling that Maul is overpowering Qui-Gon, but it’s more an impression that a greatly choreographed fight.

 

-It’s interesting that Obi-Wan doesn’t just grab his own lightsaber and run out to help Qui-Gon. But I think it says more about the direction of the story than it does the character’s motivations.

 

There’s some rumors that there’s more to this fight scene that wasn’t shown of Maul following Qui-Gon onto the ship for a short time, but I’ve never seen any footage. It would have been nice, but I suspect it was little more than Maul jumping on and then getting kicked straight back off.

 

-Qui-Gon’s feeling old. And thinks “We should be patient†about the Sith he just fought. Translation, “You can go back there and fight him if you want, my butt’s planted on this deckâ€.

 

-Oh yeah, a minute ago Anakin and Obi-Wan met for the first time. That historic meeting was lot in the midst of a lightsaber battle, so let’s make up for it now with a bit of awkward greetings, fake laughs, and Artoo chiming in because he’s there.

 

Tank says:

-- I like to think Maul has been standing on the exact same spot for a couple days now. The droids reports something we don't understand and if ever there was a cut scene that needed to be added in, it's the one that goes in here somewheres where Qui-gon catches the probe droid and destroys it. It would explain why in the next sequence...

 

-- Qui-gon and Anakin are running from something. Seems awkward that they are running and Maul is there so quickly. This leads into the first ever (chronologically) lightsaber duel, which in my opinion is WAY to brief. There are tons of rumors of it being longer, and Maul jumping up onto the ramp as well-- but no dice here. If the Annie Liebovitz pics from the Vanity Fair shoot were indication (which weren't, but should have been) Obi-wan and Maul maybe also briefly dueled on Tattooine.

 

-- This duel makes me feel nostalgic for two reasons. First, as a kid, I could have sworn there was a duel on Tattooine in ANH. This is in the same vein as Luke having a yellow lightsaber, or the Boba Fett doll that shot the damn rocket-- one of those things you swear you remember, but didn't actually happen. So seeing lightsabers on Tattooine was cool. The OTHER thing, is that the very FIRST spy photo leaked from TPM was a long grainy shot of Qui-Gon and Maul near the set of the ship's ramp. It ran on theforce.net back when it was still the Star Wars page on the Texas A&M site and it took a good 40 seconds to load with my 28k modem. The sad part is, when the scene unfolded for the first time I realized how bittersweet the PT was. That grainy little spy photo looked like it could have been shot in 1977. The dust, Qui-gon's ratty pull-over, you could see Maul was not human, but you couldn't make out detail. It felt so shockingly STAR WARS and yet was new. Seeing that moment in the actual film with all the cg, the overly-choreographed fighting, and uber-sterilized look was the moment that I had to conceed that it just didn't "feel" like Star Wars to me outside of a few random moments.

 

-- That feeling was only made worse a few seconds later when Obi-wan and Anakin were introduced to each other. THIS was NOT how the heroes of the clone wars were supposed to meet. This is where I realized Ewan McGregor was short changed and went to Tunisia and got dysentery for a handful of lines that were still only delivered on-set-- never mind the point I've been repeatedly bringing up about Obi-wan driving the action... Prequel "haters" are often called whiners just because the PT didn't turn out to be the story we wanted. If that is true, than this scene is the moment where I realized that this was not the movie I wanted to see. Hitting the rough halfway mark, this is also where I gave up on hoping the film would turn around and get awesome.

 

Scene: A brief update on the Naboo situation.

 

Thomas Alan says:

-And now back at Naboo Sio Bibble looses about 80 IQ points and starts babbling on about democracy. Occupation, hello! And didn’t he send out an urgent plea asking the Queen to return? He looks more deluded than broken.

 

-A droid pops up to give the strange scene a purpose. The Trade Federation knows about the Gungans and are going after them. Qui-Gon’s little prophecy an hour ago came true.

 

Tank says:

-- pointless scene, nothing new is learned and Sio Bibble is a frickin idiot.

 

Scene: Anakin and Padme talk as the ship makes its way to Coruscant.

 

Thomas Alan says:

-And now back at Naboo Sio Bibble looses about 80 IQ points and starts babbling on about democracy. Occupation, hello! And didn’t he send out an urgent plea asking the Queen to return? He looks more deluded than broken.

 

-A droid pops up to give the strange scene a purpose. The Trade Federation knows about the Gungans and are going after them. Qui-Gon’s little prophecy an hour ago came true.

 

-And now we have the contradiction between Sio Bibble’s message and his demeanor in the last scene slapping us in the face as Padme reviews it. Is the message supposed to be a fake or something? I don’t get it.

 

-So Padme looking all worried when she notices Anakin. This serves as the last time the two of them will have a major scene together and it’s actually one of their better ones. Anakin’s pick-up lines start degenerating to AotC level as he talks about the weather. BTW, isn’t it often cold in the desert at night?

 

-Padme’s thoughts are still heavily on her queenly duties. Not a bad use of dialogue to express her concern that the Senate won’t help to Anakin. Her time on Tatooine (with slaves) has shaken her belief in the Senate’s ability to do absolute good.

 

-Anakin did some fast carving on that japor snippet. If I’m not mistaken, he basically met Padme the previous day.

 

-The scene ends with Padme acting more as a surrogate mother than a future lover, which makes sense given the age difference.

 

Tank says:

-- In case you haven't gotten it yet, this scene points out Padme is the real Queen. She reviews Sio Bibble's message and is annoyed over how we keep HEARING that the Naboo are suffering, and haven't seen a single frame of it... oh wait, that's me.

 

-- Annie and Padme have bad dialog about SO COLD OMG. He gives her a trinket that should have played a little heavier in the next couple films (we see it again at her funeral... after he kills her.) It supposedly "brings good fortune." HA. Good one, kid.

 

-- Genius Anakin deduces Padme is sad and she tells him that "The Queen" is worried about the senate doing any good. I think her time on Tattooine and the failure of negotiating with the TF has started to make her less naive.

 

-- "ONLY I--" So many times in this script Anakin's dialog is interrupted poorly because Lucas wasn't smart enough to give him extra words, and to have him actually interrupted as opposed to reading the interrupted line. Makes a huge difference.

 

-- Anakin misses his mom and is comforted by Padme, who he'll want to bone in ten years. This kid is jacked.

 

Scene: We finally arrive on Coruscant. Palpatine and Supreme Chancellor Valorum greet Amidala. Arrangements are being made for her to speak before the Senate. Meanwhile Qui-Gon must speak to the Jedi Council on urgent matters.

 

Thomas Alan says:

-And we now how our first daylight view of Coruscant in all its glory. Plus a travelogue courtesy of Ric Ollie. Looking back, the design feels a bit too gray. The traffic is a nice touch, but the buildings sort of blend together in the background. Any good architecture the may have improvised is pretty much lost.

 

-Palpatine is out waiting for the shuttle. I like how he turns away from the Supreme Chancellor as he walks out of his shuttle. Palpatine’s been in the shadows commanding his minions up until now. For him, this will be phase 1 in his attempt to rule the galaxy.

 

-Amidala/Knightly seems a bit dismissive towards Valorum. I mean, this guys sort of the most powerful person in the galaxy. Kind of strange for him to come all the way to see you and you basically say, thank-you and run off in your car without so much as looking back.

 

-Qui-Gon asks Valorum to speak to the Jedi Council for some reason. Don’t see why he’s addressing his request to a politician. And then he just sort of waves Anakin off. Good to know that he’s keeping his promise to Shmi.

 

-I don’t know why, but I find Jar Jar’s grin as he tells Anakin the queen’s being nice by keeping them around pretty funny. They try to get the idiot grin down in a few other shots, but this is the one where it really works perfectly.

 

-There’s a deleted scene here that got reincorporated back into the DVD release. I’m not sure what they think they were gaining by having a 15 second drive through of Coruscant. There’s really nothing new being added here.

 

Tank says:

-- RIC OLIE ladies and gentleman, a terrible actor reading exposition lines! We're told the sites of Coruscant outside of a window as we see them. Another cut scene that wasn't cut.

 

-- The design of Coruscant is seen in the daytime now, and is pretty cool. Still in line with what we saw in ROTJ, but to be honest Fifth Element did the Megapolis thing a little better. I suspect George knew his because the planet/city was greatly stepped up in AOTC and given far more detail.

 

-- And we meet Palpatine for the first time...OR DO WE. WHY DOES HE SEEM SO FAMILIAR OMG. His introduction shot is pretty cool. He looks devious.

 

-- The medium shot of flying over the landing platform is one of the best bits of CG/compositing in the film

 

-- Shooting the talk between Valorum and the Queen from an angle that might be Anakin's POV is an interesting choice and has always stuck out to me as being very NOT Star Wars.

 

-- Qui-gon and Valorum seem to know each other, which makes some sense given what the opening crawl said. of course, that crawl was an hour and a half ago so it might be hard for the laymen to connect the dots. Zod is totally snoozing his way through his performance.

 

-- Annie getting aboard the taxi with the Queen's entourage is odd. is he looking back at Gui-gon, or is he looking for George for some direction?

 

-- Did Jar Jar just call the Queen hot? Why don't I remember this?

 

Scene: Palpatine preps Amidala for her speech before the Senate.

 

Thomas Alan says:

-And now Palpatine tells Amidala how it is. The Senate sucks. They probably won’t act to save her poor planet and their best ally is currently fighting trumped up corruption charges (that Palpatine probably manufactured himself).

 

-And here Palpatine lays his cards on the table. He plants the thought of a vote of no-confidence in Amidala’s head and gives her the only other option of letting the courts decide. Amidala reacts badly to the suggestion of waiting. He’s plays her perfectly and keeps pushing, suggesting that they must accept Federation control. By the end of the scene she is completely resolute and prepared to do exactly as he wishes. A very effective manipulation scene with a logical psychology.

 

-Just to go back to an original plan question, it is obvious that Palpatine had always wanted to use the Naboo crisis to generate the recall of Valorum and have himself installed as Supreme Chancellor on a sympathy vote. Amidala’s presence was not a part of that plan though.

 

People have proposed a lot of complex theories as to what he wanted and why there was an attempt at a treaty to “make it legalâ€. I tend to fall on something relatively simple. When the Trade Federation showed the signed treaty to the Senate, Valorum would be forced to accept it. Palpatine then planned to call for the vote of no-confidence himself, making it easier for him to get nominated in the subsequent election. Amidala showing up just meant that he modified the plans a bit to manipulate her into doing his work for him.

 

Anyway, that’s my analysis of what this entire movie’s about and why everything on Naboo happened.

 

-Just to note, Ian McDiarmid is easily my favorite actor of the Prequels. In many ways I consider him the center of the movies and the person most responsible for keeping them from flying off.

 

Tank says:

-- Palpy tells the Queen their hosed. The Senate is corrupt and Valorum is a pushover. This is cool because it hearkens back to the original Star Wars novel, the one place before this film where Palpatine was called by that name and was described as a senator that took advantage of the widespread corruption to engineer his rise to Emperor. We're now seeing the beginning steps of just that. I think it's pretty core to the film to be able to recognize Palpatine and Sidious are the same person-- the plot would make even less sense without knowing that. So again, if you refused to buy they were the same guy-- you were a moron.

 

-- McDiarmond, like Neeson, really helps things on track with this film. Despite the poor writing and slip shod plot, he manages to sell what's going on here on multiple levels. He's manipulating the Queen into taking action against Valorum while still seeming as though he is her friend and that this is in her interest. At long last, again-- proof that we are supposed to realize Sid=Palp, the whole movie starts to make a little more sense now. The blockade was meant to contrive this moment. I still think we should know why the TF would have anything to gain with the blockade, but at least now the larger scheme starts to take shape. That said, it's coming pretty late at halfway through the film.

 

-- The question does arise though, how much of this did Palpatine plan, and how much of it is he rolling with? Did he really want to get his way as Sidious and have that treaty signed, or did he expect her to make it to Coruscant and force the no-confidence vote? There's both a WIN and a FAIL here. I think the fail comes from the fact that either way you'd go with that question, there are some pretty deep plot holes to jump over. On the WIN side though, this is par for the course with Palpatine. In AOTC, ROTS and ROTJ he plays both sides of a conflict, so in a sense, this is consistent. In AOTC, did he fake the order of the clone army to take for himself, or did he want Dooku to take them? I tend to think the idea here is that he plays both sides to win. He's like a guy who plays chess with himself. It's not playing one side up to take the fall against the other, he's worked it so that no matter which side wins, HE will enjoy the spoils. That said, I don't think Lucas is a good enough writer to show that alone in his scripts, but at the core i think that's the idea.

 

Scene: Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan appear before the Jedi Council to report on the arrival of an apparent Sith and their discovery of young Anakin.

 

Thomas Alan says:

-Ah the Jedi Council. Everyone in the theater was busy looking at that long necked Jedi. I remember there was some background info that he had an extra brain in his chest, which I hoped would mean that we’d see him runing around waving his lightsaber after being decapitated. Sadly, it was only seen in the movie theater of my brain (and now yours).

 

-I will say that Yoda looks like ass. There’s no way around it, I don’t care if the puppet is technologically superior to the one from ESB, he sucks. Why did they feel the need to make an 800-year-old look younger anyway? It’s not like 25 years is gonna make much of a difference at that scale.

 

-The Council is informed that their mortal enemies have returned and quickly wave off the threat because they’d surely have noticed. At least Yoda’s smart enough to realize that Qui-Gon’s not making things up.

 

-Funny how Qui-Gon didn’t give Obi-Wan a head’s up that he was going to talk about Anakin too. Nothing like being the idiot walking to the door when the boss lets you know the meeting’s still going.

 

-And now we learn that there is a prophecy that surrounds a person conceived by the Midichlorians who will bring “Balance to the Forceâ€. More Chosen One stuff. Once again, this sort of thing isn’t really my cup of tea. There have been so many Chosen One stories over the years that I find it a bit clichéd. I’d prefer Anakin to just be an exceptionally strong Jedi on his own merits.

 

-Yoda calls Qui-Gon out on his presumptions. Good for him. He’s even a bit mocking. But Qui-Gon does get his way, so I’m sure he can take it.

 

Tank says:

-- The establishing shot of the Jedi Temple were disappointing. Pretty weak architecture, lame sky traffic, and a flat boring horizon where for hundreds of miles every building is the exact same height. This is one of those shots that looks like a cut scene from a game.

 

-- The Jedi council is one big douche factory-- though I think that might be intentional. I'm pretty sure that the jedi's overconfidence is what allows Palpatine to throw them over. We're told the Jedi are noble and all powerful, but they come off as stuck-up and worse, stuck in their ways. They don't want to consider the Sith are real, even though Qui-gon has just scrapped with one (shut up, don't want to hear about your non-canon "dark Jedi.")

 

-- Obi-wan is mad to look like a dumbass when Qui-gon brings up Anakin. More proof that Qui-gon does his own thing.

 

-- And here comes the suck. The Force is again belittled by the midichlorians, and by a prophecy. I REEAAALLLY don't like the Chosen One crap. It's tired, played out, and over done. I KNOW it's pure Joseph Campbell, but I've never liked it. One, I think it muddles the nature of the force. More importantly, it ruins Luke. The transformation from Star Wars to being about an epic struggle of good and evil, to being about the life and times of Darth Vader is never one I favored. I know in the end Vader kills the Emperor, but it pisses me off that instead of it being Luke's belief that brings him about (when Ben and Yoda both tell him it can't happen) it's a roundabout prophecy coming true. Nevermind the endless arguments over what "balance" means in terms of the Force, I'm more bothered by the fact that Luke's arc as a hero is reduced to circumstance now, and not destiny.

 

-- And the aliens, including Yoda, in this scene all look like ass.

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Thomas Alan says:

There’s a POV shot from Threepio that feels all sorts of strange given the way Star Wars in normally shot. It’s really the few moments that really feel non-Star Wars in the entire movie.

 

Tank says:

Shooting the talk between Valorum and the Queen from an angle that might be Anakin's POV is an interesting choice and has always stuck out to me as being very NOT Star Wars.

 

I meant to mention the 3P0 bit as well. That's two instances of a POV shot in Star Wars. Back in the day of bet-making and fake script speculation, my first attacking point was always against dream sequences, narrations, voice overs, and flashbacks because they violated the Star Wars narrative devices. Being made as a throwback to serials, the narrative and visual storytelling styles of the OT were very pure and straightforward. The were a grand view of a grand story, so these little devices never belonged.

 

I almost took bets in Lucas' favor saying he'd never violate these principles, and I would have lost. It seems in the PT he threw those rules out the window, and it REALLY bothers me. In addition to the two shots above, there's also the Saving Private Ryan style camera work in the Genosha battle, Anakins dream sequence and the psuedo montage in ROTS, and a couple more I can't recall.

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Wow, I should have looked that one over before submitting it to Tank. Got a lot of typos in there.

 

Nevermind the endless arguments over what "balance" means in terms of the Force,

 

Ugh, I forgot to mention this. Anyone who thinks that "balance" means equal numbers of Jedi and Sith are just...I don't know.

 

I almost took bets in Lucas' favor saying he'd never violate these principles, and I would have lost. It seems in the PT he threw those rules out the window, and it REALLY bothers me.

 

Well, I wouldn't say he threw them out the window. The vast majority of the movies are filmed in line with ANH (especially TPM which I think was the most Star Warsy film after ANH) and the Original Trilogy occasionally broke the rules too (particularly ESB). Though RotS went too far I think.

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