And knowing is half the hassle

I inflict upon you, Jar Jar Binks. I’m sorry. I’m really really sorry.

Now we head down to Naboo, where, in the throne room, the queen is having a meeting with a bunch of people I assume to be politicians. They’re listening to Senator Palpatine, who is acting all confused that the negotiations haven’t started. At this point the transmission goes down and one of the politicos jumps to the obvious conclusion “A communications disruption can mean only one thing, Invasion.” Oh, I see. So, anytime I’ve been talking to someone on the phone and I’ve lost my connection, it’s not been because of cell phone service areas, atmospheric interference or anything like that, we’ve been under invasion, my bad. Honestly, who writes a line as insipid as that? Leaping towers of logic in a single bound. Way to go George. Anyway, the queen makes it clear that she will not condone a course of action that will lead them to war. Umm, why? If your planet is being invaded, exactly what options do you have left? Oh well, guess that’s why I’m not a queen.

Back in the swamp, the droid army has landed, and the Viceroy is on the holograph with his droid commander, telling him to look for the Jedi, who they can’t find on their ship. Why? Why, when all of these droids are controlled by the control ship, do they need to contact them in this manner? Why couldn’t that directive just be programmed into the commander from the ship? No reason at all, George just wasn’t thinking, as usual.

Oh look! There’s Qui-Gon, running through the swamp trying to get away from the giant troop transports plowing through the vegetation. What’s that in his way? It looks like some kind of really poorly designed cartoon alien from Disney’s Ducktales. No wait! it’s our new favorite protagonist, Jar Jar Binks! After getting in Qui-Gon’s way for no adequately explained reason and being knocked to the ground, Jar Jar executes a poorly animated karate style jump off of his back onto his feet. Following after Qui-Gon, Jar Jar starts talking, and the fun never stops. George, in his infinite wisdom, decided Jar Jar should talk like a retarded baby. If there is one sure path to an audience’s heart, it’s dealing with a character who speaks in baby talk for 2 hours. Qui-Gon asks Jar Jar the pointed question “Are you brainless?” something I always expected to hear a Jedi say eventually, and cuts right to the heart of the matter for the audience. Jar Jar is brainless, and you know it the moment you meet him.

After some really interminable dialogue, Jar Jar agrees to take the Jedi to the Gungan city. Arriving at the edge of a body of water, Jar Jar does a very poorly animated jump and flip into the water. The animator who did that scene should be ashamed of him or herself. Watching that flip, it’s impossible to not get a sinking feeling about the direction this film is quickly taking. The Jedi follow, having miraculously produced small breathing apparatuses from their cloaks. This isn’t Batman for crying out loud, why the hell do Jedi have these things? Does the force not help Jedi hold their breath? Ugh. A brief swim brings us to the Gungan city, and introduces us to yet another major problem with the film: Computer Generated Sets. Not for one instant do you believe the Jedi are there. The whole place, the inhabitants, everything, looks fake. The Jedi are clearly green screened into the shot. This scene also introduces Captain Tarpals, the Gungan master of arms. He delivers the line “Yousa in big doo-doo this time” and Star Wars will never be the same, thanks George.

Now, we move on to the Gungan audience chamber, once again rendered in fabulous CG. We are introduced to Boss Nass here, the leader of the Gungans. Oddly, he doesn’t appear to be a Gungan himself. He shares practically none of the same physiology as the rest of the Gungans. I think we’re supposed to believe that he is merely an obese Gungan, but I can’t say I buy that explanation; he looks too different. He doesn’t have a beak like the rest of the Gungans, his eyes aren’t on stalks as the rest of the Gungans are, there’s just too much for him to simply be a fat Gungan. The scene carries on and we’re subjected to more Gungan baby talk. We get the basic point that the Gungans and the Naboo don’t get along terribly well. Also, Nass was given the oh so charming character trait of shaking his jowls violently, spraying spit everywhere before pronouncing a decision. Finally, Nass gets mind tricked into giving the Jedi a transport to the Naboo. They take Jar Jar with them, what fun, and off they go, navigating a submarine through the interior of the planet. At this point we get the major plot revelation that Jar Jar was banished from Gungan society for being clumsy. Oh George, how very whimsical of you. Oh, I’m sorry, when I said whimsical, what I meant to say was idiotic.

~ by Pagz on June 16, 2008.

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