Everything I need to know about Military strategy I learned in kindergarten

Back in the forest it’s time to see the extent of the military expertise of a 14 year old girl. Who wants to take a guess at how vast it is? The scene opens with a Gungan lookout letting Anakin know that the resistance has arrived. Anakin runs to tell the gang and despite his piss poor delivery, they’re relieved to see the resistance leaders arrive in their land speeders. A note on design: The speeders of episode I look ridiculous, bland and uninspired and fake. It’s something you’ll notice throughout the entire prequel trilogy, the designs just don’t live up to the original trilogy. In most cases it comes down to the lack of weathering. One of the great strengths of the OT was the “lived in” feel of the universe that George went to great lengths to create. In the prequels, everything feels like it’s fresh out of the package and it works to the total disadvantage of the film and the audiences suspension of disbelief.

Enough design talk, back to the film. Jar Jar and Boss Nass are having a walk and talk and the boss has some good news for our boy Jar Jar. You see, because Jar Jar has brought the Naboo and the Gungans together (Wasn’t that Amidala?) Boss Nass has decided to make Jar Jar a “Bombad General”. Jar Jar promptly faints in fear and rightly so. What kind of lunatic would put Jar Jar in charge of military forces solely based on his ability to hang out with humans? If the leadership of the Gungans is this stupid than the Gungans deserve to be wiped out.

At last, it’s time for the plan! I hope you’re ready because this is some seriously retarded shit. Panaka delivers his report to the Queen on the situation, in short, it’s not good. The droid army is much larger and stronger than anticipated and the resistance is only a few hundred strong and scattered. “This is a battle I do not think that we can win.” Says Panaka in the last moment of sanity this scene will see. Now it’s time to put military strategy in the hands of a 14 year old pacifist.

The battle is a diversion she tells us, the Gungans must draw the droid army away from the cities. You see, the Gungans, being warriors, are apparently only useful as cannon fodder. Meanwhile, the noble humans will be sneaking into the city through secret passages. Once inside, Capatin Panaka will create a Diversion that will allow them to enter the Palace and capture the Viceroy. This is her plan. You see, if they capture the Viceroy the army will suddenly become lost and confused. WHAT? They’re fucking droids! They have a program. They function independent of the Viceroy. Not to mention there’s this thing called The Chain of Command! If the Viceroy is captured then command moves a rung down.

At this point Amidala turns to our Jedi for their assessment of her plan. What Qui-Gon should have said was “That is a totally ridiculous plan. You have no grasp of military tactics or procedures. I suggest you let Captain Panaka, the resistance leaders and the Gungan Generals devise the battle plan instead, they are infinitely more capable and knowledgeable than you are.” Alas he just goes along with it, pointing out that the Viceroy will be well guarded and that many Gungans will lose their lives. Boss Nass is fine with this, probably because he won’t be there and he isn’t a Gungan. Amidala goes on to say that they have a plan to immobilize the droid army as well. What? Shouldn’t this be THE plan? With the droid army immobilized everything else becomes moot.

This secondary plan calls for the Naboo to send what fighters they can to knock out the droid control ship. Qui-Gon calls this a well conceived plan for reasons that defy human understanding, but then goes on to rob the coming battle scene of any dramatic tension when he tells the audience that the fighters weapons “may not” be able to penetrate the shields. George, throwing in the words may not does not detract from this bit of foreshadowing. You’ve now told the audience that this attack is pretty much useless. We now know that something unorthodox will have to happen up their, and thus the battle will lose its impact because we’ll just be waiting for that. Think about Hoth. How did we learn that the Walkers were impervious to the blaster fire from snow speeders? By watching the snow speeders attack with no effect! We were in the thick of battle and then the cold realization comes that we can’t stop these things. Sadly, dramatic tension is not George’s strong suit… Come to think of it, nothing is George’s strong suit these days. Tragic.

Finally, here’s a pet peeve of mine. Obi-Wan chimes in at this point and says “There’s an even bigger danger.” This always bothered me. It’s a nitpick I know, but “bigger” just doesn’t feel right coming out of Obi-Wan. It should have been greater. Anyway, Obi-Wan explains that if the Viceroy escapes he’ll just return with another droid army. Here’s a thought. The Jedi are essentially the police of the Galaxy. They knew of the invasion. Could they not have testified to its veracity at the senate? What is preventing the Jedi from doing so now? This whole thing makes no god damned sense.

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~ by Pagz on July 6, 2008.

3 Responses to “Everything I need to know about Military strategy I learned in kindergarten”

  1. “Boss Nass is fine with this, probably because he won’t be there and he isn’t a Gungan.”

    While I admit Boss Nass looks nothing like the other Gungans, he nonetheless is supposed to be one of them… He certainly talks like they do!

    Speaking of which, Boss Nass referred to the Naboo as “bombad” in his opening scene, and refused to do anything to help them. Doesn’t this suggest “bombad” is a negative, even derogatory term? Does Boss Nass realize Jar Jar will make a “bombad” general? Can we ask for a little consistency in the Gungan baby talk, at least?

  2. Yeah, I know he’s a Gungan, I mention early in the review my theories behind that, I was just making a joke. As far as Bombad goes, I think it basically means “Bad” and is used the same way we use the word, or did back when George had ven the slightest grip on the vernacular. Bad meaning good or Bad meaning bad. Remember, this movie was written by a guy who had his child actors say things like Yippee and Wizard.

  3. What, you don’t say ‘Wizard!’ You should. All the cool people (like me) are doing it.

    PS: There once was a man named Geoff but he was never heard from again. We should do stuff. Call me or whatever. I’ve got all next week off work.

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