July 2nd, 1979: The Day the Funk Died

Time for Lucas to make another sorry attempt to cram continuity from the OT into the prequels. This time it has to do with a line Obi-Wan delivered in A New Hope, “When I first met your father he was already a great pilot, but I was amazed at how strong the Force was with him.” The film established that Anakin can fly a pod racer, but that’s worlds apart from being a pilot. So it is that we find Anakin in the cockpit of the Queen’s ship pointing out the controls to the pilot, who is impressed with Anakin’s innate understanding of flight mechanics. The dialogue is stiff and lifeless and Anakin’s delivery, as usual, is uninspired and doesn’t feel genuinely of the moment. There it is though, do you see? Anakin is a natural pilot! George is a genius!

Why are we heading back to Naboo? This is the question on everyone’s mind as we join the Queen and posse in her lounge. Don’t worry, the Queen has a plan. It’s time to exploit those useless baby talking Gungans. I know what you’re thinking: Jesus, what piss poor plan! Yeah, no kidding eh? Cut to the bridge where we’re approaching Naboo. The blockade is gone now, only the droid control ship remains. Too bad there isn’t a commission here to see this. So our heroes land on Naboo somehow and Jar Jar I off to enlist the aid of the Gungans. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon have a make up scene now which is clearly a reshoot, as evidenced by the sudden transformation of Obi-Wan’s hair into something resembling a shag carpet sample.

Now that our Jedi are all shiny and happy once more, let’s get back to the story. Jar Jar has returned and reports that the Gungans are gone. Jar Jar thinks they’ve gone to the “Sacred place” as is the Gungan habit when in trouble and he’s more than happy to bring this band of outsiders to his society’s “sacred place” without any kind of encouragement. Does that seem a little weird to anyone else?

The sacred place is in a swamp. Apparently it’s easier to hide in a swamp than in a secret city under water. It also appears that a whole community of Gungans fits nicely in a swamp. Captain Tarpals introduces the company to Boss Nass who is immediately irritated with Jar Jar… Just like the rest of us. Keira Knightley tries to sway the Gungans into an alliance with the Naboo, but before she can finish the real Queen jumps in and makes the big revelation as t her identity. Confused looks all around, save for the Jedi who just nod at each other knowingly. Like I’ve said, it’s a shame they didn’t let the audience in on the Jedi’s knowledge of the deception, it would make this scene work better and make the Jedi look less stupid. The queen does some major ass kissing and Boss Nass is swayed, let’s go get our people killed for the humans!

Back at the Palace the Neimoidians are talking to Sidious who is concerned by how aggressive this move is on the part of the Queen. Wait a minute. I thought he could see the future? Certainly his whole scheme is totally dependant on his ability to read the future with such clarity that he could foresee the ridiculous chain of coincidence, but now he’s surprised? Make up your fucking mind George! As always, the force is used as a dues ex machina instead of following the internal logic set forth previously. Faultless precognition is now replaced with the muddy waters of the future being constantly in motion. I guess Sidious was just lucky. We get a line from Darth Maul here. He’s scary and once more totally marginalized and misused. Probably the most intriguing new character in this film and George treats him like a prop. Boo on you George, grow a pair and do something cool.

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~ by Pagz on July 2, 2008.

6 Responses to “July 2nd, 1979: The Day the Funk Died”

  1. Sidious (the holographic “phantom menace” of the title) has been manipulating and deceiving the Neimoidians for his own ends, and it should be obvious by now that nothing he tells them is entirely truthful. Amidala’s actions have not surprised him; she’s playing right into his hands, of course, but revealing that to his timid allies would put them at ease, rather than stirring them to take further irrational action. If they’re led to believe Amidala is taking unexpectedly “aggressive” moves, they’re more likely to do the same, escalating the conflict and therefore furthering Sidious’ own agenda. Seems to me you might’ve missed the point of that scene… but of course, so might anyone who hadn’t already figured out the identity of Darth Sidious, so perhaps it’s a bit too deliberately misleading.

    I’m surprised you let Lucas off so easy with the Queen’s revelation scene in the swamp, though. What struck me as most ridiculous about that moment, where the Naboo contingent are trying to make peace with the Gungans, is how they start out by deceiving them the same way they’ve tried to deceive everyone else they’ve encountered (ostensibly to protect the real Amidala). A peace proposal couched in deception is probably not a good idea to begin with, but to then suddenly expose your own attempts at deception during that historic first meeting is even more self-defeating. Even in the unlikely event that Boss Nass would be impressed by such last-minute, half-hearted honesty, it still makes Amidala look like a silly little girl who’s just making things up as she goes along, and hasn’t actually thought through any of these actions… which, frankly, would’ve suited her teenage character just fine, were it not for the bizarre briefing scene that follows this, where she lays out her well-prepared (and extremely well-illustrated) plan for infiltrating the palace. Apparently, fourteen year-old queens make much better military tacticians than they do diplomats.

  2. what the fuck!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!! you all need lives i have never even seen star wars in my fucking life

  3. Trolls, ya gotta love ’em. If you’re not interested in Star Wars Scottie, I suggest you not waste your time reading about it. I further suggest brushing up on your grammar and punctuation.

  4. forget the p. funk. we got the sea funk.

  5. You’ve seen my downstairs mix-up. You’ve got to love me.

  6. Do you love me, are you playing your love gaaaames.

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