Will it ever stop? Yo, I don’t know
The group heads on over to the hangar bay to procure some transport off of Naboo. Now, for some reason, all of the Naboo spacecraft look like, well, rejects from a 1950’s art deco sci-fi rag. I understand the logic behind it. This is supposed to be the renaissance period for this galaxy, when everything became an artisan’s craft, even ship design.
I still don’t buy it. These ships look too plastic, too pristine. Chrome used to the excess it is here looks bad. A starship that is entirely chrome plated (and clearly only a modified SR-71 Blackbird) just looks like ass. The Jedi have a conversation at this point with Keira Knightley, pretending to be the queen, as Natalie Portman looks on, pretending to be a handmaiden. For some reason which is never fully explained in the film, the Queen has been given an accent, which she only uses as the queen. It sounds pretty stupid to be perfectly honest. That’s getting us sidetracked though. The decision is made to flee Naboo and take their case before the senate. Time to get a ship.
The confrontation between Qui-Gon and the head Battle Droid guard is pretty sad. For some reason, George scripted it so that first the droid fakes a hearing problem, then for reasons I can’t fathom it attempts to stall for time briefly before proclaiming that Qui-Gon and his group are under arrest. Why? What is the purpose behind all of that? These are battle Droids, not protocol droids. There should have been no room for discussion; the droid should have instantly placed them under arrest. Needless to say, the Jedi make short work of the droids and the group escape aboard the royal starship.
While watching that particular fight sequence, another question sprung to mind. Why are the Jedi wearing those robes? They certainly aren’t conducive to fighting. They honestly look like a severe hindrance. What really doesn’t make sense is why these robes have been adopted as the Jedi uniform. Obi-Wan was wearing them in ANH sure, but, he was in hiding! Not to mention everyone else on Tatooine was similarly attired. It appeared to be more a function of desert living as opposed to being a Jedi uniform. Why would a Jedi in hiding continue wearing his Jedi uniform? The simple answer is, he wouldn’t. Oh well, continuity and logic doesn’t seem to be the foremost concern on George’s mind when making the prequels.
The escape from Naboo. How do they escape? It makes absolutely no sense. They run a blockade of Dozens of battle ships. We know that the Control Ship at least has a squadron of droid fighters aboard, we saw them loafing around when the Jedi arrived. It’s reasonable to assume that each of the battle ships is similarly equipped. So why don’t they launch their fighters and force the surrender of the escapees? We’ll never know. During the escape sequence we are introduced to R2-D2. Honestly, as much as I love R2, I could do without him in this film. He really serves no purpose except to remind us that this is a Star Wars movie. His appearance also inspires some very poor dialogue delivery from the pilot of the ship. The scene ends with the pilot informing us that they can’t get to Corruscant because the hyperdrive is “leaking”. I’m sorry, but the hyperdrive doesn’t leak. No where in the OT has there ever been mention of the hyperdrive needing any kind of fuel, that’s not what it is. The hyperdrive is not an engine. The hyperdrive is a device which punches the ship out of normal space/time and into “hyperspace”. The hyperdrive can be damaged, but the hyper drive does not leak. Luckily, Tatooine is within sub-light travel distance. Although, this does seem to go against Tatooine’s reputation in the OT as being way, way out in the outer rim territories. Oh well, as noted before, continuity is not a primary concern in this film.
Tune in next time for sand.