Arm yourself because no one else here will save you

At this point in the film we are treated to our first dialogue between Jedi. It’s not everything I would have hoped for, but it’s not awful either. The problem here though, is the blatant effort by George to cover his ass on one of the most blatant continuity errors of the film. That being that, according to Obi-Wan in the OT, Yoda was his Jedi Master, not Qui-Gon Jinn. In fact, Obi never makes any mention of Qui-Gon at all in the OT. Yet, here he is, calling Qui-Gon master, and here’s Qui-Gon, referring to Obi as his Padawan. Obi-Wan makes a passing reference to some instruction he received from Master Yoda, which presumably is supposed to tell the audience that Yoda was Obi’s master at some point. To my mind though, it seems pretty weak. This scene also brings up another annoyance, where did the term Padawan come from? In the OT, a Jedi learner is always referred to as an apprentice. Why did George suddenly feel the need to “sci-fi” it up by giving it some bizarre name? George, there’s plenty of bizarre names and alien stuff in the saga without changing the term from apprentice to padawan, you can ease off a bit man.

Next we cut to the bridge, where we get some more sterling dialogue from our Neimoidian pals. Voice acting, delivery, cadence, you name it, it all sucks in this scene. There are even some nasty video zooms added to this footage, I assume for dramatic purposes, but for those who know what it looks like, it’s jarring and unnatural in comparison to the rest of the film work. So, the Neimoidians decide to stall the Jedi with their droid, while they contact “Lord Sidious” for instructions on how to handle the Jedi. Lord Sidious… possibly the worst name ever conceived by George in the entirety of the series, that is, until we get to “Attack of the Clones”. Subtlety is not one of George’s strong suits. Honestly, I would not have been surprised if we had ended up with character names like “Darth Evil” and “Lord Vicious” in episode III, they seem to be about George’s speed.

At this point in the film, I think it’s important to note exactly how the Jedi have been portrayed thus far. They don’t seem so much like negotiators, mediators, or “guardians of peace and justice” as they do the Chancellor’s political thugs and bullies. Qui-Gon talks about the Trade Federation being “cowards” and that, as such, the negotiations will be short. Pardon me? This seems to imply that he intends to threaten them in some manner. Next bit of evidence, a line from one of our Neimoidian pals in the scene I just spoke of: “They’re here to force a settlement!” followed closely by “I’m not going in there with two Jedi! Send the droid.” The Jedi are going to force a settlement? That doesn’t sound very legal to me. He’s afraid to go meet with the Jedi Ambassadors why? Seems to me that, thus far, the Jedi have not been made to look particularly good.

So, the droid brings our Jedi Ambassadors some drinks, and right away Qui-Gon tells us what we already knew “I sense an unusual amount of fear over something as trivial as this trade dispute” I hope you caught that. Qui-Gon has just blatantly stated that the whole crux of the plot as laid out by the opening crawl is trivial. If it’s such a trivial matter, why are the Jedi involved? Would this not be a job better suited to a mediator of some variety, as opposed to a group of super powered guardians of peace and justice? It seems to me that mediating a trade dispute does not truly require the use of the Force.

The Neimoidians have now contacted Lord Sidious (ugh) and, in keeping with the theme started at the beginning of the film, the communication starts off as if we missed the first sentence of the conversation. “What is it?” he asks as his image appears. No hint that the Neimoidians have contacted him with some preliminary pleasantries as is customary when speaking to people in such a manner. You don’t answer the phone with “what is it?” you say “Hello” an introduction. You are answered in turn by a return of your greeting, and an introduction of who is calling “Hi, it’s George…” The nuances of communication seem to be a little alien to George however, as evidenced by his writing.

So, Lord Sidious is on the line, and the first thing one of our Neimoidians says is “We dare not go against the Jedi”. So what, are the Jedi a political power now? Why does this script continue to paint the Jedi, our supposed heroes, in such a poor light? Sidious replies with a sterling example of George’s skill as a dialogue writer “Viceroy, I don’t want this stunted slime in my sight again.” Stunted slime eh? That’s some nice alliteration there George, real top notch. Anyway, Sidious decides it’s time to invade Naboo, and while they’re at it, time to kill the Jedi too. We cut to the hangar, where dumb ass copilot watches as a gun turret lowers from the ceiling and swivels to aim at the ship. What does he do? Well, instead of raising the shields, he cries “Captain, look!” which she does. What does the captain do instead of raising the shields? She orders dumb ass to raise them, but she only gets ¾ of the way though the command before the guns, which have now had time to lock on to the ship and power up, blast her ship, her, and her dumb ass copilot, into tiny flaming chunks. I’m glad the Republic is full of alert, quick thinking individuals like these two.

The tension is mounting now. Can you feel it?

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~ by Pagz on June 14, 2008.

2 Responses to “Arm yourself because no one else here will save you”

  1. I’m suddenly having flashbacks to the Star Wars Holiday Special… -_-

  2. What’s with titling the post after the chorus line from the theme to Casino Royale? :p

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