Let your back bone slide

Now here’s a question I’ve been dying to ask, and now is the perfect opportunity because there are so many examples of what I’m talking about in this scene. What the hell happened to the art of making alien masks? They used t look great, now they look fake, and too big. There’s a Malastarian pod racer, whose mask just looks awful, in the crowd we see a bunch of Klatuus (I think) that also look terrible, especially their gloves. Worst of all are the group of Bith (the cantina band aliens) whose necks just look ridiculous. Honestly, it looks like they’re buying their masks from Don Post instead of making them themselves.

Speaking of the Pod Race crowd… Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel for extras. These people have absolutely no talent. Not for an instant did I believe any of these people were truly part of a large crowd at a big event. Just terrible. To end the scene on a high note, one of those pack mule/aardvark things blasts a fart into Jar Jar’s face. George, you are the king of high brow comedy.

Now we’re treated to what I’m sure was meant to be an intimate and touching scene between mother and son as Shmi tells Anakin to “be safe”. Anakin replies “I will mom” and had they cut the dialogue there, the scene might have squeaked by, but he continues to say “I promise” and sadly, it’s 2 words too many as Lloyds delivery turns from somber to wooden. But hey! What’s that sneaky Sebulba up to?!? Why, he’s sabotaging Anakin’s pod racer! Bum Bumm Bummmm!

Sebulba decides sabotage is not enough, time to taunt Anakin as well. Why is it that Jake Lloyd’s performance is so much better and more emotionally real when he’s speaking Huttese? Who can say. However, there’s no time to dwell on that, because a big ugly nasty problem has just reared it’s ugly head. It’s a word. An alien word. A word George is going to overuse to the extreme in the Prequels. The word, is Poodoo. Of course, the implication from the sound of the word is that it means “shit”. It does not. Literally translated, the word means “fodder” which, for the laymen in the audience, means “food”. Fine, Sebulba calls Anakin “Bantha Poodoo” as Jabba called Han in ROTJ. The problem is, after this scene, the word will keep popping up in the prequels as a curse. At the end of the Pod Race, when Sebulba crashes, he will shout “POODOO!” emphatically as his cockpit slides to a halt. I know when I get upset I’m often inclined to shout “FOOD!” angrily and violently, so people know the depths of my displeasure. This will happen again in Episode II, where an alien of the same species as Sebulba will loudly proclaim, after a near mid-air collision with Obi-Wan, that Obi-Wan is “Jedi Poodoo” or, “Jedi Food” as it translates. How terribly insulting. Guess what George, Just because it sounds like he’s saying poo, doesn’t mean he is. If you wanted it to mean Shit, you should have had it translate that way. If the subtitles had translated “Bantha poodoo” as “Bantha dung” or “bantha manure” or “bantha feces” there wouldn’t be a problem, however, you chose to go with “fodder” and I’m sorry, fodder will never be an expletive, no matter how much you may want it to be.

Back to the movie. Qui-Gon comes over and helps Anakin into his pod, with an accompanying “whoa” from Anakin. Yeah, that was necessary. A few words of Jedi advice, and it’s time to get this race started…finally. And here to do the honors: Jabba the Hutt. Okay, I have a sort of problem with this. This scene, in and of itself doesn’t really bother me. However, there’s a huge continuity error here if these films flow into George’s “Special Editions” of the OT, instead of into the originals. What’s that flaw you ask? Well, lemme tell you. Clearly, in TPM, Jabba is already a big time crime lord. He’s practically local royalty in the way he’s treated and respected. He starts the big race, has a big entourage. He is clearly “Big Time”. Now, jump ahead to ANH:SE, were there is a new scene of Han Solo having a conversation with Jabba in the hangar to his ship. Guess what? That wouldn’t happen. Big time crime lords like Jabba do not make house calls. They have a whole organization of henchmen to do that kind of thing for them. Oh sure, every so often they may go out to throw the fear of god into someone whom they are losing patience with, but I ask you, did Han seem at all intimidated? Did he treat Jabba with the proper respect and fear that a crime lord of his magnitude should command in the under world? No. Han treated Jabba like a two-bit hood, Like an errand boy not worthy of his time or respect. Say what you will about Han’s cocky attitude and aversion to authority, there’s no way he’d be stupid enough to treat the biggest crime boss in the galaxy (if we believe the movies) with such disrespect. So, one of these scenes has to go. Either we drop Jabba entirely from the PT, and leave the scene in the SE, which can then make it seem like, at that point, Jabba is still on his rise to power, Or, we can cut the SE scene, and leave Jabba as the powerful omni-present crime boss he was originally in the OT. I prefer that second option myself.

Hold on, the race is about to begin…

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~ by Pagz on June 23, 2008.

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