4thofeleven: (Default)
Something reminded me the other day about how The Phantom Menace had the rather weird plot point that the Queen of Naboo uses decoy impersonators. Ignoring the problem of why this was introduced when it had no impact on the story whatsoever, I’m now wondering why in-setting this would happen?

I mean, the sort of people who use body doubles for security in the real world are generally dictators who – quite reasonably – assume large numbers of people want to kill them. Is this really a big problem on Naboo?

Of course, Naboo does have a renaissance Italy style to it – should we assume, then, that the human society there is dominated by Machivellian schemers and constant struggles for power and influence among the noble families? Would explain how Palpatine got his start...
4thofeleven: (gunray)
There’s a fair bit of Jar-Jar discussion going on; [profile] veriond posted a defence of Gungan language, and [personal profile] fialleril has a poll on what aspect of Mr. Binks you find the most irritating – and there’s so many to choose from!

So obviously I thought I’d throw my two cents in…

Jar-Jar never actually bothered me that much when TPM originally came out; I suspect largely due to lowered expectations. Most of the reviews of TPM insisted Jar-Jar was ‘completely unwatchable’, rather than just ‘mildly irritating’. Of course, these were the same reviews that insisted that the Pod-Racing scene was ‘the highlight of the movie’ and not ‘that bit that goes on for, like, five times longer than it has any right to’… Personally, I think the most irritating aspect of Jar-Jar is that he’s constantly in motion, which is fine when he’s the focus of the scene, but when the scene’s not about him, having him constantly jumping up and down like a hyperactive ferret is pretty distracting… not as bad as all the CGI droids and rontos and god knows what else that constantly wander in front of the camera in the Special edition of Mos Eisley, but it would be nice if Mr. Lucas would let CGI characters just sit still occasionally…

In my mind, the real problem with Jar-Jar doesn’t develop until AotC and RotS where he’s… well, largely absent. I don’t know whether the backlash against the character led to a reduced role for him, or whether he was always supposed to have a very minor role after TPM, but it results in an odd character arc. He ends up being the only major Prequel character who survives RotS but doesn’t appear in the OT, and while I’m not saying I’d prefer it if he’d died, some indication of what happened to him and where he ended up would be nice…*


4thofeleven: (Default)
Was thinking about the Star Wars prequels, and finally put my finger on what bugged me about them*:

For a trilogy supposedly about the fall of Anakin Skywalker, he ends up being rather irrelevant to the outcome. If Anakin had never come along, what would have changed? Palpatine might have found it a bit harder to take out the Jedi temple, or maybe he'd have kept Dooku** around a little longer. The clone wars might have started a few years early, with the Trade Federation conquest of Naboo as the first battle. Besides that?

Now granted, everyone had a mental image of what the prequels would be like, and perhaps its not fair to critisise the actual films for not living up to our expectations. But I think it's fair to say that most people assumed Anakin's fall to the dark side would be key to the plot of the prequels; that he would betray the Jedi, that through his pride or hatred or arrogance or fear he would make possible the rise of the Empire.

Instead, he's misled by Palpatine just as much as Obi-Wan or Yoda - and, critically, no more so than either. Yes, in the end he turns to the Dark Side - but by the time he takes the name Darth Vader, the Jedi are already all but extinct. Jar-Jar Binks has more responsibility for the rise of the Empire than Vader has! If he'd opposed the newly crowned Emperor, what would have happened? More than likely, he'd have ended up a stain on the pavement, like Mace Windu.

What strikes me as especially peculiar is the 'opera' scene in Revenge of the Sith, where Palpatine all but outright says that Anakin is his creation, or at least a Sith creation, the implication being that he's some sort of secret weapon in Palpatine's machinations. It's a very good scene, well written and acted, but after seeing the whole movie, it doesn't make a great deal of sense. What, exactly, did Anakin bring to the table that Palpatine's earlier aprentices lacked? What, for that matter, did Anakin bring that any random Jedi wouldn't bring if turned to the Dark side? Anakin spends most of the rest of the movie not doing very much at all - the clonetroopers seem to be a bigger factor in the Jedi purges than he is.

I've always felt that one of the best elements of the prequels was the portrayal of Palpatine as the master manipulator, the puppet master playing all sides against each other. The problem though, is that if *everyone* is just a pawn in Palpatine's scheming, no-one is important. The mighty Darth Vader ends up being no more important than Nute Gunray or the Clonetroopers; possibly less. After all, there's plenty of angry, angsty teenagers; there's only one Trade Federation.

* You know, besides Jar-Jar, the dialogue, the hyperactive CGI, R2-D2 flying, Yoda flying, the criminal under-use of Christopher Lee, etc, etc.

** Man, I hate that name. I mean, I get the "Count D_____" as a reference to Lee's most famous role, but couldn't Lucas have come up with a better name starting with D? Dooku makes "Greedo" or "Jar-Jar Binks" look brilliant by comparision.


4thofeleven: (Default)
David Newgreen

August 2017

678910 1112


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 09:08 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios