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Jaff
11-29-2003, 12:04 AM
Welcome to Scene by Scene: The Phantom Menace thread. This thread was formed several months ago when I was managing some posts on Darth Vaderís Wave by Wave thread. It seemed obvious to me that we all love exploring every figure and detail, and why couldnít we do that for the movies? So I started compiling all the scripts for the 5 known films, and some pictures for deleted scenes and concept conversation. I also learned allot about the actors through some actors like Kenny Baker, but most of all Doug Murray who agents the SW actors and actresses when they do autographs at many shows. Earlier I was going to do an actor posting on the sight with Doug, and he was ready to go but things just didnít happen, so the idea was nixed. However this thread will provide great opportunities for us to share our insights on the films, concept material, deleted scenes, and I think many of you will really be interested in hearing about some of the events that happened with actors on the sets themselves.

This thread is really simple to be a part of, so let me lay down the foundation. The thread will start with the third draft script for Episode I. I am using an early script to explore the film in its entirety including all filmed scenes that never made it to the DVD. Most of the pictures I put in will be from deleted scenes only. I put the script in just as an added bonus for everyone to explore and debate. I will post part of the script with each update, and we will talk and explore every element of a given scene to the ammount of detail that you folks decide. It is o.k. to get into other scenes that relates to this scene but try to stick with analyzing a current or earlier posted scenes. Bring in EU points, critical points, challenging points, and on and on. Mention figures you would like to have from the current scene if any. All in all just tear up or analyze any part of the scene you want. After The Phantom Menace we will go on to AOTC, then ANH, then ESB, and finally ROTJ. A note for everyone is that you will have plenty of time to post topics per every posting. I will not put a new part of the script unless noone has posted for at least 12 hours, or the discussion is closed. At the earliest I will post a new part of the script every two or three days. That way when we get into the dismal Midichlorian scenes the post can last for a week or more!

I would like us all to commit to a few rules. First off everyone needs to commit to no arguments. Place your viewpoint, actively disagree with others if you must, and challenge them. If they come back debate all you want, just donít assume that an argument will change views. Secondly commit to bringing new info into the topics. I want everyone to teach me some stuff I donít know about the movies and I hope that I give you guys some neat insights that you may not have known. If you have any tidbit of info that seems miniscule bring it out. Some of the smallest details are the coolest ones, as we mostly know from the film forum topics. Lastly have lots of fun! If any of you need to contact me or talk to me about something that concerns or questions regarding the thread just pm me and I guarantee I will pm you back!

So what do you say. Lets Begin: Scene by Scene:

Jaff
11-29-2003, 12:08 AM
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace ďThe BeginningĒ

Written by George Lucas

Third Draft (June 6, 1997)

1. EXT. SPACE (FX)

Title Card:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

A vast sea of stars serves as the backdrop for the main title, followed by a roll up, which crawls up into infinity.

Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute

Hoping to resolve the matter with a blockade of deadly battleships, the greedy Trade Federation has stopped all shipping to and from the small planet of Naboo.

While the Congress of the Republic endlessly debates this alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace, to settle the conflict...

Pan Down to reveal a small space cruiser heading TOWARD CAMERA at great speed. PAN with the cruiser as it heads toward the beautiful green planet of Naboo, which is surrounded by hundreds of Trade Federation battleships.

2. INT. REPUBLIC CRUISER - COCKPIT

In the cockpit of the cruiser, the CAPTAIN and PILOT maneuver closer to one of the battleships.

QUI-GON (off screen voice)
Captain.

The Captain turns to an unseen figure sitting behind her.

CAPTAIN
Yes, sir?

QUI-GON (V.O.)
Tell them we wish to board at once.

CAPTAIN
Yes, sir.

The CAPTAIN looks to her view screen, where NUTE GUNRAY, an odd-looking Neimoidian trade viceroy, waits for a reply.

CAPTAIN
With respect for the Trade Federation, the Ambassadors for the Supreme Chancellor wish to board immediately.

NUTE
Yes, yes, of coarse... ahhh... as you know, our blockade is perfectly legal, and weíd be happy to receive the Ambassador... Happy to.

2. CONTINUED

The screen goes black. Out the cockpit window, the sinister battleship looms ever closer

3. EXT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - DOCKING BAY - SPACE (FX)

The small space cruiser docks in the enormous main bay of the Federation battleship.

4. INT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - DOCKING BAY - SPACE

A PROTOCOL DROID, TC-3, waits at the door to the docking bay. Two WORKER DROIDS, PK-4 AND EG-9, stand in the foreground.

PK-4
Whoever it is must be important if the Viceroy sent one of those useless protocol gearheads to great them.

The door opens, and the Republic cruiser can be seen in the docking bay. Two darkly robed figures are greeted by TC-3. They move off down the hallway.

EG-9
A Republic cruiser! Thatís trouble... donít you think?

PR-4
Iím not made to think.

Jaff
11-29-2003, 12:10 AM
I first saw TPM itís opening day at 3 AM after getting out of work. Seeing the title screen pull back was really sweet, and I have to say I am one of the BIG fans of Phantom menace. Itís not as good as the Classic films, but I think it stacks up there!

The title card gave lots of information, but what I really wanted to know was: Whatís the deal with the taxation topic? I want to know what actually is being disputed? Is Naboo playing hardball with the Trade Federation, thus they are there to enforce? After seeing the film several times here is my theory, and it is a shakable theory at that. The senate decides to allow the Trade Federation access to tax certain trade routes that Naboo currently uses. For using these routes the Trade Federation will charge Naboo. Now while this debate is being addressed Palpatine gets in touch with the Federation as Sideous and starts telling them that they can legally take over Naboo legally (thus gaining more power) if they play their cards right and back him. Itís Palpyís hope that the slow senate will not act fast enough to the crisis and the Trade Federation would then be entrenched and controlling the planet. This way Palpy would be a martyr since itís his own planet and he could ďEXPOSEĒ the incompetent senate and become Supreme Chancellor by promising to change everything. He will also have a planet that he could utilize for resources with his allies in the Trade Federation. Seems simple. Does anyone see flaws in this theory?

The Republic Cruiser (itís called the Radiant VII) almost seemed familiar to the Tantive IV craft, but it had a more rounded design. Obviously in this time the ships were more fancy than the period of the Empire. I thought that was a very nice touch seeing how everything becomes efficintly military after the Old Republic.

Although the dialogue in the cockpit had some different lines like ďWith respect for the Trade FederationĒ the dialogue was the same as in the film. Nute looked really good, and if any of you missed it the Captain and her pilot are wearing very similar (if not the same) uniforms as Lt. Faytoni and Ach-Med in AOTC. These uniforms are probably standard service uniforms on Coruscant.

The entrance of the Radiant VII into the docking bay has changed allot from the script version. I am glad they did this because seeing the Battle Droids and the DROID STARFIGHTERS walking around was a nice touch. TC-3ís name was obviously changed to TC-14, but I was really intrigued by EG-9 and PR-4. They would have been a lame addition to TPM, and their dialogue would have been useless to the film, however if you look at the picture of the droids they are extremely similar to the library droids in AOTC. Too bad they were cut in that movie as well!

First off they need to make the Captain and her pilot. The pilot was played by none other than Silas Carson who also played Nute Gunray and Ki-Adi Mundi. I do have a question about the pilot and the captain. Does anyone know his or her names?

Tycho
11-29-2003, 01:54 AM
I think you got it backwards on the taxation issue. First, have you read the book "Cloak of Deception?"

It was authorized to explain the backstory.

1) Palaptine didn't reveal how he was going to vote on taxation of the trade routes, when Valorum asked him directly.

Taxation was good for the Republic, but it would not be good for Naboo.

Assuming Palpatine was only trying to do the right thing, he might be replaced as Senator for voting for the tax. Amidala would not want it to cause inflation on Naboo, which imported a lot of goods, and exported much as well.

The Trade Federation wanted Republic protection for its convoys.

Pirates were a huge concern. They would attack the most lucrative trading ships, the Federation being one of the wealthiest. (The pirates could be indpendents like Captain Kohl and his raiders on the Havoc, or they could work for the Hutts etc.) Most likely, the Sith had been sponsoring some of the pirating to make the Federation itchy, because the Sith knew that Nute would want a larger droid army to protect their largely automated shipments.

The Republic didn't want commercial enterprises to be raising huge arsenols and armies. So they'd have to raise their own military presence if they were going to protect traders from pirates. To raise the army, the Republic would have to increase taxes to pay for it.

The Federation wanted to do it at the lowest cost - droids. Being allowed to increase their droid armies. They didn't want Republic interference on thier goods. But they didn't want to be taxed.

Darth Sidious had made things happen for them (in Darth Maul: Sabateur, and Cloak of Deception) so they trusted him. They did not know why they were blockading Naboo. They wanted to protest the taxes, so they wanted to do something. Darth Sidious probably told them that the Naboo were weak and had a child-leader. It would be easy to do it there.

Of course Palpatine wanted the sympathy vote to become chancellor. Once he was in power, and the Trade Federation was supposed to be punished for their illegal action, Palpatine could then say that the only solution to the pirate problem would be to raise taxes and increase the military spending.

He knew this would eventually cause a Separatist movement, which when it became a threat since the Federation, and others illegally added to their armies anyway, would be all the justification he needed to spend the increased taxes on a Grand Army of the Republic - a position he pretended to oppose (with Amidala) until she disappeared due to assasination attempts, and the Jedi reported that the Separatists had a massive army, prompting the Republic to need the conveniently ready Clones.

Pretty nifty trick there. Palpatine is a strategic genius!

As to the beginning of the film, I'd read the novel before I saw the movie, but I gathered that the Federation didn't like the tax and were protesting it by blockading Naboo right from the get-go, though Cloak of Deception explained it better than the novelization for TPM - which didn't go into that much detail. I just also knew that Palpatine was the name of the Kenner Emperor Action Figure, so it made a lot of sense even then.

I hated the Niemoidians voices and the empty threat the Niemoidians and their cheap droids seemed to be for the Jedi. I didn't take the droids too seriously until I could see what they could do to the Naboo soldiers because some of them went down even in the first hanger battle (well I see one body) before they can blast out of there and run the blockade. Later, I realized that the Federation was supposed to be a joke, somewhat to make the Sith look really threatening, but also to drive home the point that they were lackeys blinded by their greed.

Mad Slanted Powers
11-29-2003, 02:21 AM
I've not yet read Cloak of Deception. I'll have to read that sometime, I have the book.

I didn't see the movie opening day. I saw it the first showing on Saturday morning. Of course the opening Fox fanfare and Lucasfilm logo were familiar, as was the opening theme and Star Wars appearing on the screen. But then came the unknown. What I had been waiting to see for 16 years. The opening scroll to give us an idea of what was going on. Actually, I think I had already read it online so it was a little bit familiar when I saw it. The opening shot is very similar to all the other movies. Stars and then panning to see a ship. I'm not sure what my reaction to much of this scene was. I could tell there were Jedi and I was anxious to see them. I wasn't sure what to make of Nute, both his appearance and voice. I think it worked well and fit his personality, though. The first shots of the droids was pretty quick, so it was just enough to make me want to see more. And then we see a familiar form of a protocol droid. I'm glad they cut the scene with the other droids' dialogue.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
11-29-2003, 03:34 PM
The captains' names are Madakor and Williams, I think. Those are the names of the pilots in the movie I'm making - Monkey Wars Episode I - The Phantom Taliban. :p

stillakid
12-01-2003, 11:17 AM
Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute
I don't think that near enough back information about this was given either in the scroll nor in the rest of the film. Arguably, this is the catalyst for EVERYTHING that is to follow, yet it remains a cryptically murky issue even today.


Hoping to resolve the matter with a blockade of deadly battleships, the greedy Trade Federation has stopped all shipping to and from the small planet of Naboo.
Huh? What "matter" needs resolving exactly? This too is never ever explained at all. Has Naboo refused to pay extra tax or something? How is the audience in the dark theater to know? Or are they just expected to "enjoy it for what it is" and stop nitpicking the film to death? :rolleyes:


While the Congress of the Republic endlessly debates this alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace, to settle the conflict....
:confused: As we come to learn, primarily from AOTC, the Jedi amount to little more than Government Police, sometimes detectives, sometimes armed thugs. So why "secretly" send anyone, particularly "muscle" to effect a conclusion? If it had to be a secret, wouldn't the Chancellor be putting himself at risk if the Trade Federation produced some dead bodies of their "attackers"? (They could make up any story they wanted and easily implicate the Chancellor)


Pan Down to reveal a small space cruiser heading TOWARD CAMERA at great speed. PAN with the cruiser as it heads toward the beautiful green planet of Naboo, which is surrounded by hundreds of Trade Federation battleships.

2. INT. REPUBLIC CRUISER - COCKPIT

In the cockpit of the cruiser, the CAPTAIN and PILOT maneuver closer to one of the battleships.

QUI-GON (off screen voice)
Captain.

The Captain turns to an unseen figure sitting behind her.

CAPTAIN
Yes, sir?

QUI-GON (V.O.)
Tell them we wish to board at once.

CAPTAIN
Yes, sir.

The CAPTAIN looks to her view screen, where NUTE GUNRAY, an odd-looking Neimoidian trade viceroy, waits for a reply.

CAPTAIN
With respect for the Trade Federation, the Ambassadors for the Supreme Chancellor wish to board immediately.

NUTE
Yes, yes, of coarse... ahhh... as you know, our blockade is perfectly legal, and weíd be happy to receive the Ambassador... Happy to.

2. CONTINUED

The screen goes black. Out the cockpit window, the sinister battleship looms ever closer

3. EXT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - DOCKING BAY - SPACE (FX)

The small space cruiser docks in the enormous main bay of the Federation battleship.



Well, first of all, one TILTS up and down and PANS left and right. But anyway, that "our blockade is perfectly legal" line has always made me cringe. It's one of those "movie" type lines that is just tossed in to get some information across because there apparently was no subtle way to do it.


I think you got it backwards on the taxation issue. First, have you read the book "Cloak of Deception?"

It was authorized to explain the backstory.
The last time I had to "study" before seeing a film version of a story was DUNE. Why on earth is it okay with everyone when George Lucas doesn't feel compelled to explain such a convoluted set of circumstances onscreen in an entertaining manner? :confused:

Tycho
12-01-2003, 12:09 PM
I suppose that Lucas felt that the background on the tax protest wasn't exciting enough to tell a story about.

Perhaps he lacked James Luceno's sophistication to tell that story, hence why it was left to James in the first place.

Or perhaps since TPM came out before COD, Lucas felt it would give too much away as to Palpatine's identity, and wanted to save some of that for more speculation, as we've seen all kinds of theories that Sidious and Palpatine are 2 different people, etc. All not true, Lucas nevertheless clouded the issue for some of our younger readers who posted opinions like that here.

In any case, some people feel that TPM and AOTC move at paces too slow for SW movies. More on the tax protest issue, and how it got started (senate conference or private caucus scenes) would only slow it down further.

I think the major difference between the prequels and sequels is THE GALAXY IS NOT AT WAR.

Star Wars implies it is a space war story by title. However, until the Clone Wars begin, there is no battle. The Jedi are "keepers of the peace," not soldiers. I liken them to the X-men as the best comparison out there. Master Yoda-X has taken them into his private school, and taught these podigies how to cope with their powers and serve the greater good. It is a philosophy, way of life, or religion, if you want to go that far. So I don't think anything has changed from what the Jedi were always supposed to be.

Luke is different, and BEN Kenobi has been changed. They come to serve in a galaxy already at war. Kenobi had been a general. Luke joined a Rebellion as a freedom fighter, and became a Jedi Knight afterward. Ben was training Luke as his new apprentice, but like I pointed out, Ben was a general for a betrayed and losing faction of a nearly 2 decade-old battle. He started Luke on the Jedi path, but delivered him into a militant rebellion. Luke had ability and used his powers to aide this freedom fighter movement, until Ben could reach him in spirit form and return him to Yoda, to continue on the Jedi path. However, a Rebel, Luke carved his own path, choosing to go on the Endor mission - though that was possibly because he foresaw it leading him back to his inevitable confrontation with Vader. That's unclear.

But in any case, the role of a Jedi in the truest sense, was very different from that which Luke experienced in a galaxy aleady at war when he came of age.

stillakid
12-01-2003, 03:37 PM
I suppose that Lucas felt that the background on the tax protest wasn't exciting enough to tell a story about.

Perhaps he lacked James Luceno's sophistication to tell that story, hence why it was left to James in the first place.

Or perhaps since TPM came out before COD, Lucas felt it would give too much away as to Palpatine's identity, and wanted to save some of that for more speculation, as we've seen all kinds of theories that Sidious and Palpatine are 2 different people, etc. All not true, Lucas nevertheless clouded the issue for some of our younger readers who posted opinions like that here.


I'm not suggesting in the slightest that he just out and out EXPLAIN the whole thing in a straightforward manner. It isn't necessary to give away the farm either and expose Palpatine's role and thus spoil the drama and element of surprise. And it wasn't necessary to just sit on some boring shots of the Senate whilst they debate or whatever it is they do. There are ways to introduce such information while in the context of whatever action film he's making. But so little time is spent on developing the idea of strife in the Republic that one easily comes away feeling confused over what it is all about. I want to know why so many starsystems are feeling disenchanted all of the sudden after a thousand years of peace. Has this been the only uprising and coup in a thousand years? Or have there been other instances. Because, quite frankly, if this move by Palpatine arose and was put down within the span of only 40 years, it amounts to little more than an inconsequential hiccup in comparison to the calm of the last thousand.

Jaff
12-01-2003, 08:45 PM
I want to know why so many starsystems are feeling disenchanted all of the sudden after a thousand years of peace. Has this been the only uprising and coup in a thousand years? Or have there been other instances. Because, quite frankly, if this move by Palpatine arose and was put down within the span of only 40 years, it amounts to little more than an inconsequential hiccup in comparison to the calm of the last thousand.

Well I think I can safetly answer that, thanks to the lost 20 jedi info in movie based books, and visual dictionaries which do give hints. The fact of the matter is Palpatine was right when he said the senate was full of greedy squabbling delegates, and it really is no secrete. Senators walk around in vain voyeuristic clothing, and they wine about everything, and vote on nothing really important unless something is offered to them. Orn Free Ta, Toonbuck Torra, San Hill, Pasil Argentes, and many more. Those senators that are honest and want to make changes can't get much done because it's like pulling teeth out to get something to happen. Everyone is sick of it, citizens, planets, other senators, and Palpitine just uses the existing problem as a catalyst for his siezure. Even in Episode II after he has achieved his position he uses the system to feed their greed to set up these greedy senators as fall guys for creating his grand army. It is brilliant, and really simple. Truth of the matter is that the Republic is old, stagnant, and now a dinosaur ready to get burried!

Let me paint an analagy and you tell me if you think it would be "ironically" similar to George's idea. After there has been so much peace the Jedi are just sitting in their towers rescuing everyone from their own problems like America without being neutral like they really should be. If they were totally Neutral they would not place their base right at the Republic capital. The Republic represents other countries (planets) who treat American's (Jedi) like they are just know-it-all's who enter their playground whenever they want! They don't actively show hate, but the annoying aggitation is there underlined. Sooner or later it must burst, maybe not in our lives!

Tycho
12-02-2003, 12:16 AM
I agree with that. There have been EU novels and comics that point to frustrations with the Republic, mostly on pirating, slavery, and trade issues. Some hostile takeovers and disreputation disputes. Corporate takeovers become brutal with politics and Jedi in the mix - look at the way the Hutts operate.

Jaff
12-04-2003, 12:09 PM
5. INT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - CONFERENCE ROOM
A door slides open, and the two cloaked shapes are led PAST CAMERA into the formal conference room by TC-3.

TC-3
I hope you honored sirs will be most comfortable here. My master will be with you shortly.

The droid bows before OBI-WAN KENOBI and QUI-GON JINN. He backs out the door and it closes. The JEDI lower their hoods and look out a large window at the lush green planet of Naboo. QUI-GON sixty years old has very long white hair in a ponytail. He is tall and striking, with blue eyes. OBI-WAN is twenty-five, with very short brown hair, pale skin, and blue eyes. Several exotic, bird-like creatures SING in a cage near the door.

OBI-WAN
I have a bad feeling about this

QUI-GON
I donít feel anything.

5. CONTINUED

OBI-WAN
Itís not about the mission, Master, itís something...elsewhere... elusive.

QUI-GON
Donít center on your anxiety, Obi-Wan. Keep your concentration here where it belongs.

OBI-WAN
Master Yoda says I should be mindful of the future...

QUI-GON
... but not at the expense of the moment. Be mindful of the living Force, my young Padawan.

OBI-WAN
Yes, Master... How do you think this trade viceroy will deal with the chancellorís demands?

QUI-GON
These Federation types are cowards. The negotiations will be short.

6. INT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - BRIDGE

NUTE GUNRAY and DAULTAY DOFINE stand, stunned, before TC-3

NUTE
(shaken)
What?!? What did you say?

TC-3
The Ambassadors are Jedi Knights, I believe

DOFINE
I knew it! They were sent to force a setlement, eh. Blind me, weíre done for!

NUTE
Stay calm! Iíll wager the Senate isnít aware of the Supreme Chancellorís moves here. Go. Distract them until I can contact Lord Sidious.

DOFINE
Are you brain dead? Iím not going in there with two Jedi! Send the droid.

DOFINE turns to TC-3, who lets out a squeky sigh.

7. INT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - CONFERENCE ROOM

QUI-GON and OBI-WAN sit at the large conference table.

OBI-WAN
Is it their nature to make us wait this long?

QUI-GON is thinking. The door to the conference room slides open, and TC-3 enters with a tray of drinks and food. OBI-Wan takes a drink.

QUI-GON
No... I sense an unusual amount of fear here for something as trivial as a trade dispute.

8. INT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - BRIDGE

NUTE, DOFINE and RUNE HAAKO are before the hologram of DARTH SIDEOUS, a robed figure whose face is obscured by a hood.

DOFINE
... This scheme of your has failed, Lord Sidious. The blockade is finished! We dare not go against those Jedi.

DARTH SIDIOUS
You seem more worried about the Jedi than you are about me, Dofine. I am amused... Viceroy!

NUTE, looking very nervous, steps forward.

NUTE
Yes, My Lord.

DARTH SIDIOUS
I donít want that stunted slime in my sight again... do you understand?
NUTE
Yes, My Lord.

NUTE gives DOFINE a fierce look, and DOFINE, terrified, rushes off the bridge.

DARTH SIDIOUS
This turn of events is unfortunate. We must accelerate our plans, Viceroy. Begin landing your troops.

NUTE
Ahhh, My Lord, is that ... legal?

DARTH SIDIOUS
I will make it legal

8. CONTINUES

NUTE
And the ... Jedi?

DARTH SIDIOUS
The Chancellor should never have brought them into this. Kill them, immediately.

NUTE
Ye... Yes, My Lord. As you wish.

Jaff
12-04-2003, 12:10 PM
Gratefully the Pylat Bird(s) were not in the film. It would have been too earthly to be in a Trade Federation ship. Still the bird is pictured in the Visual dictionary. These birds would play a small role in scene 11, and their role would have been seen by some viewers as cruel, so for the sake of the kiddies (which is who George was targeting this movie for). The first scene with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan was the first time I caught on the tension between them. The first conversation they had in the film had Qui-Gon checking Obi-Wan. I wondered why George did that, and after seeing the film several times it clicked that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were two totally different people, and that Obi-Wan was a real stubborn know-it-all! Mentioning Yoda also grabbed some nostalgia for me. I couldnít wait to see that little green guy again. Obviously in the script Lucas must not have had Liam Neeson in mind for the role of Qui-gy. 60 years old seems a little old, however Qui-Gon could be 60 and looking the way he does through the help of the Force.

When I first saw the Neimoidians on film I was not sure what to think. Their masks were a bit rubbery, and their lips were oddly speaking as if they were in an old Japanese film, and it quickly clicked that such appearances might have been intentional. The Neimoidians spoke like Japanese who have learned English and that was one of several things that I did not like about The Phantom Menace. In the classic films every single alien that appeared to speak had a unique dialect, and a distinctive language that seemed never before done! In Episode I they borrowed from existing languages thus making the aliens seemed borrowed from our culture. The Trade Federation was obviously Oriental. Jar Jar and his fellow Gungans were clearly Jamaican, and Watto seemed very Arabic.

Based on the Art of Star Wars by Jonathan Bresman the original drawing of Gunray was based on the battle droids. It was assumed that they manufactured the Battle Droids, and therefore would look like them. This look was maintained all the way to shooting, but for some reason the head and body was changed to a more human sized alien. I was grateful to discover that the manufacturers were revealed in Episode II. It was nice to see what their makers (the Geonosians) looked like.

The original script dialogue was a bit long winded. The ďBlind me..Ē verse was just a bit too much if they had put it on screen. After seeing the film several times I think the entire Neimoidian part of Episode I is just about perfect. The Trade Federation was really cool. When watching the films itís obvious that the Trade Federation is a bunch of sniveling cowards who exist for profit, and it was clear right from the start that they were being controlled by Sideous in all ways. They really feared this guy and I have yet to find out why. Any of you who follow EU religiously I would like to hear whatís been written if there is anything on this topic. For sure they know that Sideous is a Sith, and that reputation is something to fear, but how did they come into that relationship knowing what he is?

The Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon dialogue in their second scene was kind of nice to witness. Once again Obi is asking his master questions unable to relax. From the first two scenes I assumed that Obi-Wan had a thirst for knowing everything, and therefore was unable to relax unless he was in his know it all station. Of course this is extrapolating from what I view, but later in the film it is very clear that Obi-Wan does have a: Iím a superior being attitude! Qui-Gon is the exact opposite. Through this scene and the first he just relaxes, and waits for the moment where everything becomes clear. Worrying about an issue, or trying to puzzle it out only clouds his judgment. This being said I was more impressed with Qui-Gon right from the start of the film, than his cocky sidekick pupil.

The written script where Sideous says: ďYou seem more worried about the Jedi than you are about me, Dofine. I am amused... Viceroy!Ē was really stupid converse. I am very grateful that they cut down his dialogue because I truly think that Sideous, and Maul needed to keep little words so that they are more dangerous. I donít know about you but the less a villain says in films the fiercer they are! Later as we go on you will find that Maul had many scenes in which he spoke. Thankfully they nixed it all together except for his two or three lines in the film.

For figures Daulty Dofine and the bridge operators on the bridge with the eye and mouthpieces need to be made. I want them very much. So far in the movie I was thinking this film is going to be very cool. I saw no mistakes (except for the Japanese/Neimoidian accent) and it felt like Star Wars. Did anyone feel otherwise at this point?

plo koon 200
12-04-2003, 12:46 PM
I noticed the oriental thing as well. Notice the Droid bows. What the heck? However ever since the original Star Wars, Lucas has heavily, heavily, heavily borrowed from the Japanese. Yoda was inspired from a Japanese dude who was old. The entire Jedi are a copy of the Samurai and the list goes on. So I was the least bit offed by the whole oriental thing. I think it is because of the oriental thing that these parts work. I really liked the first ten minutes of the film. It really felt like Star Wars.

Tycho
12-04-2003, 01:15 PM
A huge Star Wars and Star Trek fan, with the former being my "love of something perfect," I was shocked when I heard the Niemoidian voices and thought out loud in the movie theater, "My God, they're ruining Star Wars."

I'd read the novel for TPM and thought the TF would be more threatening. Once I saw George's take on them, and realized they were supposed to be greedy bufoons, I got to like Nute and accepted the TFs as being this way.

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are perfect. Obi-Wan's been trained to think of himself as capable, so naturally, without as much experience, he thinks he's superior. Qui-Gon's experience has given him wisdom, and with that he's learned to show respect and humility. Very appropriately cast, written, and acted.

I like the fact that Sidious doesn't talk to Dofine in the film. He's not important enough to be addressed by a Sith Lord.

To answer your question, in the book Darth Maul:Saboteur (an e-book, and now included in the paperback of Cloak of Deception (I think), Sidious contacts the Niemoidians. The Trade Federation is trying to win the monopoly of shipping lominite ore which is used to make transparisteel (the stuff the windows in starship cockpits are made out of - clear but space-worthy steel able to handle space particles and atmospheric entry). There were two vying mining companies trying to control a planet they were strip mining. Sidious told the Federation that they would wind up OWNING both companies (they previously did shipping for) if they did what he told them. Darth Maul was dispatched as one of his early test trials, and he had to work without being seen doing industrial espionage, sabotage, and implicating each company as having gone to war with the other to win a monopoly. They both ended up owing the Trade Federation to stay solvent, and they ceeded their representation for their planet to the Trade Federation, which is how a commercial interest got a Senate seat in the first place. Maul continued to act behind the scenes to set these situations up. Meanwhile, he used pirates and mercenaries to do the attacks that were blamed on the competing corporations, prompting the Trade Federation to want a large droid army to defend itself with, unless the Republic raised taxes to fund a military to protect the trade. (Of course the Republic was going to tax the Federation's preferred shipping lanes to do this - hence the protest in TPM). Meanwhile, the corporate directorate of the Trade Federation included more than Niemoidians. There were Corellian humans, Sullustans, and Gran. In a move made to look like the TF was trying to assassinate Chancellor Valorum, but in actuality it would be publically discovered that pirates were trying to kill the Trade Federation leaders, Palpatine manipulated everything so that all the Board of Directors of the Trade Federation were killed, except for Nute Gunray and his advisors. Darth Sidious had told Gunray that he'd be Viceroy and have Senate representation, and that's what happened. Since Gunray had seen how the Sith had managed to kill everyone else standing in his way, he had reason to fear Sidious, and owe him. Darth Maul even managed to get rid of Black Sun for a while, who were extorting protection money from the TF to hold off their pirates (and the Hutts').

Mad Slanted Powers
12-04-2003, 07:14 PM
Of course I enjoyed hearing the line "I've got a bad feeling about this".

The reaction the Federation has when they learn the ambassadors are Jedi Knights gives us an idea of the reputation the Jedi have at this point in time. It also verifies Qui-Gon's statement that the Federation types are cowards. Even the droid appeared afraid to go to them.

I didn't really have a problem with the portrayal of the Neimoidians. I'm also glad they cut out what they did. This script version was a bit wordy.

The early appearance of Sidious was also great. Even as a holograph, he inspired fear. And the way in which he says "I will make it legal" and "Kill them immediately" show us how evil he is.

I will have to disagree with Jaff about Watto. I thought he seemed more Italian than Arabic.

I am liking the movie, but still feeling the excitement that I can't believe it's finally here. Thus, I am worried that I am missing something. After seeing the original trilogy so many times, I pretty much know everything that is going to happen. To get to that point with this movie after watching it once is impossible.

Jaff
12-05-2003, 06:23 PM
Of course I enjoyed hearing the line "I've got a bad feeling about this".

The reaction the Federation has when they learn the ambassadors are Jedi Knights gives us an idea of the reputation the Jedi have at this point in time. It also verifies Qui-Gon's statement that the Federation types are cowards. Even the droid appeared afraid to go to them.

I didn't really have a problem with the portrayal of the Neimoidians. I'm also glad they cut out what they did. This script version was a bit wordy.

The early appearance of Sidious was also great. Even as a holograph, he inspired fear. And the way in which he says "I will make it legal" and "Kill them immediately" show us how evil he is.

I will have to disagree with Jaff about Watto. I thought he seemed more Italian than Arabic.

I am liking the movie, but still feeling the excitement that I can't believe it's finally here. Thus, I am worried that I am missing something. After seeing the original trilogy so many times, I pretty much know everything that is going to happen. To get to that point with this movie after watching it once is impossible.

Maybe Italian is his dialect, I'm not altogether to familiar with these cultures, but Watto does sound like he learned his language from someone from this planet, and therefore he just didn't sound right for the film. I will still say that Watto was a great character despite this annoying dialect!

stillakid
12-05-2003, 11:27 PM
Okay, well to start, I remember this sequence feeling a little forced. The pacing is really off kilter and the scene never hit a comfortable stride. Partly it was the editing, some of it was the stilted dialogue, but a lot of it was from Liam's cardboard performance. Normally I enjoy his work, but pretty much the entirety of his character came off as extraordinarily uninterested. It's a good thing Jedi are celebate because the possibility of Qui Gon ever getting his blood pressure up enough to get excited about anything is pretty low.

The "I have a bad feeling about this" pretty much gave us the heads up that George was going to fill this with feel-good nostalgiac moments "for the fans." It was cute to include it so early, but it also showed that the saga had really become very self-aware, which is usually the death knell for any story. Let other people spoof you and give tribute. George fell immediately into the trap and started creating a movie that would spoof itself. Not a good way to reintroduce a story to legions of fans worldwide eager with anticipation.

The "foreshadowing" by Obi Wan wasn't obvious...no. :rolleyes: Couldn't George have tried harder to weave this into the normal conversation instead of just bluntly doing a Cartoon Network type "Hey, I smell trouble a brewin'" kinda thing? We'll revisit this faux pau later on in the script when we hear the kindly old lady say, "There's a storm a' comin', Ani.!"

What the hell is with this "Living Force" bs anyway? George had no trouble dropping in an infomercial explanation of Midichlorians so what happened to the gratuitous definition of this Living Force nonsense?

The cuts between the waiting Jedi and the nervous "asians" was probably meant to emote a sense of dramatic build up. While failing at that miserably, it instead created a sense of annoyance at the irregular pacing of the sequence and the lackluster performances by just about everyone involved, from Palpatine on down.

Speaking of which, it's obvious that Palpatine has to keep that cloak over half his face in order to conceal his identity for **gasp!** the intrigue. But that begs the question, how the heck can he see anything that isn't at feet level?

One last question. We don't really know one way or the other if the Trade Federation guys know exactly who this Sidious dude is. So the question is, what does Palps have on them which compels them to call him "Lord" and to follow his every whim?

Aside from the opening scroll and the ship entering the frame, it was becoming clear that this was not your father's Star Wars film.

Mad Slanted Powers
12-06-2003, 01:55 AM
One last question. We don't really know one way or the other if the Trade Federation guys know exactly who this Sidious dude is. So the question is, what does Palps have on them which compels them to call him "Lord" and to follow his every whim?

I'm sure they knew he was a Sith. When he sent Darth Maul to Naboo, I think Rune says "A Sith here?".

stillakid
12-06-2003, 08:47 AM
I'm sure they knew he was a Sith. When he sent Darth Maul to Naboo, I think Rune says "A Sith here?".

Yeah, so? I know that Hitler was a Nazi but I would never have called him Lord and listened to him. My point was that we don't know what threat Palpatine leveled over the Trade Federation to compel them to be so fearful of him.

Another thing that occurred to me was the amount of exposition George was trying to squeeze into this disjointed sequence. To his credit, as with his other films, we join some conflict already in progress. I think the problem is that we join this one a few minutes too soon. A quick look at the other episodes illustrates why.

In ANH, we're into a battle sequence within no time and it's fairly clear who the good guys and bad guys are. That mops up pretty quickly and the story gets to the point...Good guys...stolen plans...Bad guys...get plans back. Bam! That's the story. The chase is on.

In ESB, probe droids are sent out from a bad guy ship. The camera follows one of them to where the good guys are hiding out. The chase is on. In the course of the normal storytelling, we learn that the head bad guy doesn't just want to find the good guys in general, he's after our hero specifically, which is our climax at the end.

In ROTJ, head honcho bad guy lands on new battle station. Quick expository dialogue about fate of good guys, fate of our hero and BAM! we're off into the story.

In TPM however, the issues are pretty cloudy and never cleared up. The Trade Federation is wh...doing what? Why? :confused: What are Jedi doing there anyway? Are they going to threaten to kill the Nemodians if they don't end this blockade thing? Then, via the wonders of modern technology, the head honcho appears by phone to let the audience know right up front that there is more going on behind the scenes than the good guys know. Ahhh, but didn't George already tell us that, via the use of some blunt foreshadowing with Obi Wan's line? Why cleverly :rolleyes: foreshadow something only to dilute it immediately by giving it away? What's the point? Why couldn't we have been "on the ride" with Obi Wan as he slowly peels this onion open to discover the source of conflict?

The fix? Join this little episode instead with the Jedi already fighting off some battle droids. They do that then send in the Droidekas. Just by the look of things, we gather who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. Now the audience's blood pressure is up and (in a good way), we're going, "Cool, now what the hell was that all about?" Then, during the normal course of the story, those answers pop out in the form of little pearls of wisdom in dialogue between the characters as they race from one perilous situation to the next.

This entire introduction sequence as written and filmed just didn't work, either to impart enough necessary information nor to build a true sense of drama.

Jaff
12-06-2003, 01:37 PM
O.K. I am a fan of Episode I, but I will admit that the beginning is a bit convoluted. Allready in the scenes we have covered there are allot of unanswered questions, and by the end of the film those answers are not found. Only those who swear by EU material have those answers that I and most likely stillakid will take with a grain of salt because of half of the EU stuff is pure crap! Still in defense of the movie I actually enjoyed not knowing the answers in the film because it was something for me to ponder and explore when I saw the movie again. Every movie nowadays has everything spelled out to them so they don't have to think. Episode I demanded that you try to think and figure out what the heck was going on!

With that said the "LORD" title would have to have been the standard for a sith in my judgement. From what I've seen of sith is that they kill you without care, and therefore everyone would address them with extreme caution and/or reverence if they were anywhere near them! So I don't see a big mystery as to why they would explain that title.

Mad Slanted Powers
12-06-2003, 08:40 PM
I'm sure they knew he was a Sith. When he sent Darth Maul to Naboo, I think Rune says "A Sith here?".


Yeah, so? I know that Hitler was a Nazi but I would never have called him Lord and listened to him. My point was that we don't know what threat Palpatine leveled over the Trade Federation to compel them to be so fearful of him.

You or I may not have listened to Hitler, but we probably have a bit more morals and ethics than the Trade Federation appears to have. They want something out of this blockade, and it appears they have made a deal with the devil to get what they want. A little bit later, when they can't find the Queen and Sidious reveals Darth Maul will find the ship, their response is "This is getting out of hand, now there are two of them" and "We should not have made this bargain." So, I got the impression that they made a deal that they thought would help them out, but now they are in deeper than they had expected. I also concur with Jaff. A Sith is someone to be feared and it would be best to be respectful, especially if you made a deal with one and hope to get something out of it, or at least get out alive.

Tycho
12-06-2003, 08:56 PM
I am a Sith.

Give me all your toys!

stillakid
12-06-2003, 09:04 PM
Every movie nowadays has everything spelled out to them so they don't have to think. Episode I demanded that you try to think and figure out what the heck was going on!

I don't know if I'd agree with that generalization, but for certain, nobody wants everything spelled out for them and that isn't at all what I'm suggesting. In fact, I abhor it particularly in the example of how Midichlorians are explained later on.

It isn't a case of either explaining things bluntly (as you suggest above) or having absolutely no clue what is going on. There is a middle ground wherein the audience is assumed to be intelligent enough to join the main characters on their journey through the story and figure out what is going on via the carefully crafted story elements written by the screenwriter and included subtley by the director. It's fine to leave things vague for the audience to reason out, but it doesn't excuse the filmmaker from creating elements that are unexplainable except through aftermarket Q&A materials. And as, arguably, all the events we see in the rest of TPM, AOTC, Episode III, ANH, ESB, and ROTJ are all caused by this catalyst situation at the very beginning of Episode I, it should be reasonable to expect that it be laid out at least in a manner which can be successfully reasoned out by a theater-going audience within 48 hours or so of the viewing.

Tycho
12-06-2003, 09:40 PM
The main idea and the catalyst are one in the same: Palpatine uses this string of events to come to power.

Only for the unindoctrinated, that will be a secret until Episode 3.

In other words, taxation protests, or accusations that Chancellor Valorum groped Sei Teria in an elevator :D , it doesn't really matter.

There is a situation that will cause a chain of events to happen:

1) Palpatine will be elected
2) many systems will be frustrated with the Senate's inability to act swiftly and with efficiency (leading to other outcomes later, like the Separatists)
3) whatever the outcome, and whoever he is, Darth Sidious will benefit from this. Everyone else are just pawns in his game.

4) Along the way Anakin Skywalker is "discovered," intentionally or otherwise, and the galactic story is told in the background as he and his family's more personal story, becomes the focal point of the story, and he evolves into the lead hero AND villain. Eventually, he is found to be the hero, and his son serves as the catalyst to push him into fulfilling his destiny which will destroy Darth Sidious.

2-1B
12-07-2003, 12:29 AM
Watto seemed very Arabic.

When TPM came out, I remember hearing criticisms that Watto was an Italian stereotype.

And I also heard he was a Jewish stereotype.

This is the first claim I've heard that he was Arabic.

stillakid
12-07-2003, 03:34 PM
2) many systems will be frustrated with the Senate's inability to act swiftly and with efficiency (leading to other outcomes later, like the Separatists)


Yet this is the core of what's missing in the Prequel's. As with other things, we are simply being "told" that this is occurring (that many systems are frustrated) but we never get to really witness it or learn why. Instead of wasting so much time on a pod race to fuel his own sense of nostaligia for his racing days, George's story would have benefitted from a better onscreen illustration of a Republic in trouble.

Tycho
12-07-2003, 04:27 PM
Well, I think he clearly showed Naboo's frustration with the Republic in Episode One:

Amidala to Palpatine: "It is clear to me that the Republic no longer functions. I hope that you will restore sanity and compassion back to the Senate."


Previously: "I will sit back and watch my people suffer and die while you debate this in a committee!"

What I'm really surprised at is that Padme didn't become a Separatist or lead the movement to begin with. That might've been an interesting angle to explore.

I suppose Palpatine being from Naboo, and his election, sealed that deal, keeping Naboo naively hopeful that the "Republic can still be fixed," as Count Dooku suggested Padme believed.

You're right that Lucas didn't show these issues surface on other planets, but there didn't seem to be time.

I can assume that the Separatists worlds came into their cause for 1 of 3 reasons:

1) The commercial powers wanted free trade and no restrictions: as in the Separatist leadership being the Banking Clan, Commerce Guild, Techno Union, Trade Federation, etc.

2) Planets subjected to struggles similar to Naboo, were sick of the Republic's inability to function, and took matters into their own hands on many planets, just like Naboo did. Only their Senator didn't get elected Supreme Chancellor, so if the Senate didn't function, they didn't care whether they were part of it or not - and they certainly didn't want to pay taxes to support it!

3) Treaties, as suggested in "The Approaching Storm," pulled planets in treaty organizations, much like how WWI and WWII got started, into conflicts because they were pledged to defend other planets that were somehow linked up with all the commercial interests through trading treaties, and so they automatically joined the CIS when their neighbors and trade and defense partners did.

stillakid
12-07-2003, 09:47 PM
Well, I think he clearly showed Naboo's frustration with the Republic in Episode One.

Well, yeah, but one system having a "trade dispute" is not the makin's for a galaxywide dissatisfaction with the government. If we gloss over the details of the dispute (just like George did ;) ) and move onto the reactions of the aliens in the little Senate pods, one is definitely not given the distinct impression that there is any such "dissatisfaction" with the government. Not only do we not see any evidence really that the Senate is ineffective on a wide scale, but we aren't allowed to see any such uprising of dissatisfaction on any world other than Naboo, and that was only in the Queen's chambers, not with any of the ordinary citizenery.

Jaff
12-09-2003, 08:42 AM
Well allready we have established that there are a ton of questions (and frustrations for some fans) within the first few scenes of the film. Although we have established there are some issues in the republic the films don't really spell out much of what is going on. Perhaps more of the script will help us, or perhaps not!

9. INT. REPUBLIC CRUISER - COCKPIT - DOCKING BAY

In the cockpit of the cruiser, the CAPTAIN and the PILOT look up and see a gun turret swing around and point directly at them.

PILOT
Captain!? Look!!

CAPTAIN
No! Warn...

10. EXT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - HANGAR BAY - SPACE (FX)

The battleship gun fires. The republic cruiser EXPLODES.

11. INT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - CONFERENCE ROOM

QUI-GON and OBI-WAN leap to a standing position with their laser swords drawn. TC-3 jumps back, startled, spilling the drinks on his tray.

TC-3
Ahhh... Sorry, sir. The Viceroy...

QUI-GON and OBI-WAN turn off their swords and listen intently. A faint hissing sound can be heard.

QUI-GON
Gas.....

QUI-GON and OBI-WAN each take a sudden deep breath and hold it. The exotic bird-like creatures in the cage drop dead.

12. INT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - HALLWAY

A hologram of NUTE, surrounded by BATTLE DROIDS, appears in the conference room hallway.

NUTE
They must be dead by now. Blast whatís left of them.

The hologram fades off, as a BATTLE DROID, OWO-1, cautiosly opens the door. A deadly green cloud billows from the room. BATTLE DROIDS **** their weapons as a figure stumbles out of the smoke. It is TC-3, carrying the tray of drinks.

TC-3
Oh, excuse me, so sorry.

The PROTOCOL DROID passes the armed camp just as two flashing laser swords fly out of the deadly fog, cutting down several BATTLE DROIDS before they can fire.

Jaff
12-09-2003, 08:45 AM
When the Cruiser is destroyed there were two things that got my attention. The first thing I noticed was the little Droid Starfighter changing its form and flying away. Once again another nice little detail packaged in the painting of the film. I always thought that the Captain said ďShields!Ē just before the ship blew up. Iím pretty sure thatís what she says, and I wondered who she intended to warn if the script version was used. Obviously she would be responsible for the Jedi since she is in charge of ferrying them, and would she report to the senate, or since this mission was secret only Valorum. When thinking about this I muse over Valorumís predicament. He hired this captain, and requested these Jedi secretly (according to the title thread). Since this is the case is he suspecting that the senate is corrupt, thus carrying out this act without distrusting senators knowing it? Later we know that Valorum is nixed by Palpy, and he must be wondering who set him up in the senate. We really need to see Valorum in Episode III with Mothma when he too puts the pieces together realizing that Palpy was the mole in the senate.

This scene also originally shown the Pylat birds dying from gas, and was thankfully nixed. Lucas adding visual danger by dying birds because of gas is just unnecessary. Seeing the gas is enough to engage our imaginations to realize we are seeing gas. In episode I he really tries to spell things out for us a little too much! Itís a modern film trait since audiences want to think less when they see films today.

The hologram of Nute was a nice homage to the hologram Luke, I enjoyed that, and I cheered when the Jedi started mowing down Battle Droids in the opening battle. That was sweet.

stillakid
12-09-2003, 10:53 AM
As we move on from the setup, one can relax a bit and settle in to enjoy the old-tyme serial aspects of the saga. Although, what Jaff says about the assasination attempt is true. Valorum's predicament should be followed through as we see the beginnings of the Rebellion take form lest a great opportunity be lost.

Aside from that, the quick shot of the Droid/ship things flying away was done nicely. Quick enough so as not to "show off", yet long enough so that we see what's happening.

Apart from that, when looking back at these sequences, the squeeky clean aspects that come only from a CGI environment really begin to get annoying to me. CG is a tool, and a very valuable one at that, but to create virtually everything from it begins to degrade the story as everything looks artificial. I'll take Matte Paintings and Puppets to most of what I saw in the Prequels anyday.


And by the way, Jaff, what was the word that the auto-censor **** out?

Tycho
12-09-2003, 01:41 PM
I don't get why every minute the CGI is criticized by OT fans.

I am only a few years younger than Stillakid and saw the OT on its first run, and loved SW ever since.

Yet I'm one of the few OT fans who vocally discuss the prequels and praise them.

I know what bad CGI is: my friend was into Babylon-5 and once tried to show me that show. It looked like a video game with live-actors doing info-mercials between the levels. Later, I've heard great praise for the show, it's plot, and its actors. I also think I'd glanced at it and seen the effects had improved once the show's popularity had taken off, and they got a bigger budget. Not sure. Didn't watch it. But the effects turned me off.

Come forward to Episode One, and the effects were perfect! Everything was nicely done. It's supposed to be make believe, just like for ESB they never built a full-size AT-AT that I knew of. So the tools have become different nowadays. In the past, you might have heard naysayers say the AT-AT's look like PLASTIC (they probably were) - but I think they did a super job painting them to make them look real. With the prequels, they CGI painted a lot of the stuff to look dinged up and did a good job with it: The MTT's for example. I think the stuff on the Trade Federation ship was brand new, thus really clean. Later in the OT timeline, everything's been used. There's your difference.

In any case, how can something that's a rubber puppet be more "real" than something CGI? Yoda in Episode 2 was the best appearance he made in ANY SW movie, and TPM was actually his worst (looked much more "wrong" than in ESB or ROTJ - and I don't know why). But this stuff is not real in the real world anyway.

With Babylon-5 I just could not suspend my disbelief that the images I was seeing were just an overglorified video game.

With The Phantom Menace, I had no problem just enjoying the movie.

What is your deal, Stillakid?

Exhaust Port
12-09-2003, 03:01 PM
Excellent point Tycho. People complain about CGI but what is the alternative? Puppets? Models? Paintings? All are just as distinguishable on the big screen as CGI. As CGI gets better, that distinguishability gets harder and harder to detect. I don't see any technology that would make puppets truly lifelike.

A lot of fans diss the PT because of the CGI use. It's a strange comment as CGI, or any special FX for that matter, can carry a movie. We all have movies that we like where the special FX suck but we still love them. Plot and characters carry a movie, not whether or not the landing spaceship looked real. Yoda in the OT is a souped up Muppet but I still loved the movie because of the character and plot.

One reason I think those that remember seeing the OT at a young age find themselves being critical of the PT while the OT suffered from the same issues is a shift in imagination ability. Sure, Yoda was a Muppet but in the eyes of my 5 year old self he was as real as Luke. Imagination smoothed out his appearance and actions. Now critics blast the PT creatures that are 1000 times better than the Gamorean Guard was on a good day.

CGI is a tool and it has allowed directors like GL to create scenes that wouldn't exist without it. The Arena battle in ATOC wouldn't have happened without CGI. This Correscant planet would be empty as no modeling group could produce enough ships. You think JJB sucked as CGI? Can you imagine someone walking around in a rubber suit being even half as good? Give me CGI.

Jaff
12-09-2003, 05:17 PM
As we move on from the setup, one can relax a bit and settle in to enjoy the old-tyme serial aspects of the saga. Although, what Jaff says about the assasination attempt is true. Valorum's predicament should be followed through as we see the beginnings of the Rebellion take form lest a great opportunity be lost.

Aside from that, the quick shot of the Droid/ship things flying away was done nicely. Quick enough so as not to "show off", yet long enough so that we see what's happening.

Apart from that, when looking back at these sequences, the squeeky clean aspects that come only from a CGI environment really begin to get annoying to me. CG is a tool, and a very valuable one at that, but to create virtually everything from it begins to degrade the story as everything looks artificial. I'll take Matte Paintings and Puppets to most of what I saw in the Prequels anyday.


And by the way, Jaff, what was the word that the auto-censor **** out?

I assure you that there was no word that needed to be censored, the problem is I deleted that part of the script once I posted it!

As for the CG I really liked it, just as I liked the CG environment in LOTR. The film is a bit over effects but it is still cool. I would not have changed one of the visuals in the film except the E.T. shot in the senate!

Exhaust Port
12-09-2003, 05:43 PM
Weren't all the E.T.'s armed with walkie talkies? ;)

stillakid
12-09-2003, 08:56 PM
What's my deal? My deal is that I prefer something that appears to look as 3-D as possible in a 2-D environment. As I said, CG is a tool which can be very effective in the right circumstance. But it is not for everything. The OT Yoda still blows any CG version out of the water in terms of looking and "feeling" real. Particularly in the closeups in AOTC, not one frame of CG Yoda looks anything beyond an animated oil painting whereas, in ESB and ROTJ, there is absolutely no doubt that a tangible creature was there in the environment with Luke on an actual set.

When looking at TPM specifically, absolutely CG is a wonderful tool to create "hardware", such as spaceships, cityscapes, and other non-organic elements. But no matter how far the technology has come, there is still something "amiss" when looking at a CG creature in comparison to something that was shot as a "real" thing on set. Specific to the scene in question, the interior of the hangar really "feels" like a phony place to me. It's too "perfect." In comparison, the hangar interiors in ROTJ feel more real even when they are simply old style matte paintings.

Bottom line is that you take from it what you want. I still think that CG has made significant strides in a short amount of time, but it still is a limited use tool. Not only does it still not accomplish the goal of fabricating a truly "realistic" organic being, but it's overuse can be detrimental to the performances by real live actors trying to do their work against nothing more than a green or blue screen. Like an Eyemo, a Panastar, a Steadicam, or infrared film, CG is still just another tool in the arsenal of the filmmaker to be used with discretion to it's fullest potential and nothing more.

Jaff
12-11-2003, 12:15 AM
13. INT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - BRIDGE

The bridge is a cacophony of alarms. NUTE and RUNE watch OWO-1 on the view screen.

OWO-1
... Not sure exactly what...

OWO-1 is suddenly cut in half in mid-sentence. RUNE gives NUTE a worried look.

NUTE
What in blazes is going on down there?

RUNE
Have you ever encountered a Jedi Knight before, sir?

NUTE
Well, not exactly, but I don't...
(panicked)
Seal off the bridge...

RUNE
That won't be enough, sir.

The doors to the bridge SLAM shut.

NUTE
I want destroyer droids up here at once!!!

RUNE
We will not survive this.


14. INT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - HALLWAY - OUTSIDE BRIDGE

QUI-GON cuts several BATTLE DROIDS in half, creating a shower of sparks and metal parts. OBI-WAN raises his hand, sending several BATTLE DROIDS crashing into the wall. QUI-GON makes his way to the bridge door and begins to cut through it.


15. INT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - BRIDGE

The CREW is very nervous as sparks start flying around the bridge door. QUI-GON and OBI-WAN are on the view screen.

NUTE
Close the blast doors!!

15. CONTINUED

The huge, very thick blast door slams shut, followed by a second door, then a third. There is a hissing sound as the huge doors seal shut. QUI-GON tabs the door with his sword. The screen goes black as a red spot appears in the center of the blast door.

RUNE
...They're still coming through!

On the door, chunks of molten metal begin to drop away.

NUTE
Impossible!! This is impossible!!

RUNE
Where are those destroyer droids?!


16. INT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - HALLWAY - OUTSIDE BRIDGE

Ten ugly destroyer WHEEL DROIDS roll down the hallway at full speed. Just before they get to the bridge area, they stop and transform into their battle configuration. QUI-GON can't see them but senses their presence.

QUI-GON
Destroyer droids!

OBI-WAN
Offhand, I'd say this mission is past the negotiation stage.

QUI-GON
I know, I know.

The WHEEL DROIDS, led by P-59, rush the entry area from three hallways, blasting away with their laser guns. They stop firing and stand in a semi-circle as the smoke clears. OBI-WAN and QUI-GON are nowhere to be seen.

P-59
Switch to bio... There they are!

The Jedi materialize at the far end of the hallway and dash through the doorway that slams shut.

Jaff
12-11-2003, 12:22 AM
This sequence had the ever-popular scene where we finally see Jedi in furious action. Seeing Obi-Wan throw droids around and casually swinging his saber to deflect bolts was nothing compared to seeing Qui-Gon drilling into the door. That scene is one of my favorite scenes in SW today. They were unstoppable. Also seeing the Jedi blink away was cool too.

The Destroyer Droids were among the most creative and visually unique droids in Star Wars. They definitely seemed furious and intimidating and looked great on screen. According to the script one of these droids were named P-59, which was interesting to know.

I am glad they cut out the dialogue between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan when the Destroyer Droids arrived. Hearing Qui-Gon say ďI know, I know!Ē Like Luke said in ESB would have been a bad move if you ask me. It would have made Qui-Gonn sound almost worried or desperate. The comment cut by Obi-Wan stating that they are past negotiations would have been very stupid in such an action scene, and I am glad they cut that even though it would have added to Obi-Wanís brash and cocky manor!

Is there anyone disappointed in this fight scene at all? I thought this was perfect, and quite welcome to finally see Jedi pouncing some victims.

stillakid
12-11-2003, 07:07 PM
For the most part I'm with Jaff on this. Not a bad sequence. I kinda like the "Offhand..." line from Obi that was cut though. Would've added a bit more life to an otherwise cold and heartless beginning.

I didn't particularly care for the super-speed nonsense at the end. Where the hell did that come from? By including that there, it necessitates a barrage of viable questions at the end of the movie about why Obi didn't do a Road Runner to go save Qui Gon. I know, I know, there are a million aftermarket rationalizations why they could run Speedy Gonzales fast in the beginning but not at the end, but I'm tired of all this goofball-have-to-explain-it-all-afterwards-for-it-to-make-sense sh**. How hard is it to write a f***** movie that makes sense then and there.

<<sigh>> Sorry 'bout that. I've vented. I'm better now. :)

Anyway, the Destroyer's were pretty cool, but why didn't they send more of them to surround the Jedi? Hmm?

Just off the cuff, I think that this story might have been made better if Obi Wan's Master, Qui Gon, was winged by one of the Droidekas. Obi has no choice but to cut and run, leaving the guy behind. This frees up Obi Wan to go do what he is supposed to (find Anakin, discover his potential, decide to train him, yadda yadda) and leaves Qui Gon in the hands of the "enemy." Like I said, this is off the cuff, but it would open up all sorts of possibilities for Red Herrings and other unknowns about the character which could be useful down the road as the political intrigue gets thicker. But alas, George is a putz and didn't allow any humans to indignity of actually getting shot in TPM. What can you do.

Tycho
12-11-2003, 07:36 PM
I love this sequence. Sometimes I put TPM on in the background when I'm at home, for "atmosphere" or whatever. (Some like the sound of running water, I like Ben Burt's sound effects).

Anyway, I never fail to stop and pause whatever else I'm doing to watch this sequence play itself out.

Stillakid, as we've discussed red herrings before, the best one is for (between E2 and E3) for Obi-Wan to get a new apprentice so that "a young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a PUPIL of mine before he turned to evil," can exist.

I would have had Anakin kicked out of the Jedi Order at some point before E3, and have found work with the Naboo, working with their Senator (his wife) and the Chancellor (their previous Senator) Palpatine. That'd have kept Anakin around Palpatine a whole lot!

stillakid
12-11-2003, 09:53 PM
I love this sequence. Sometimes I put TPM on in the background when I'm at home, for "atmosphere" or whatever. (Some like the sound of running water, I like Ben Burt's sound effects). .
It is a bit like Muzak...undeniably there yet annoying all the same. ;)


Stillakid, as we've discussed red herrings before, the best one is for (between E2 and E3) for Obi-Wan to get a new apprentice so that "a young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a PUPIL of mine before he turned to evil," can exist.

As I mentioned, it was a spontaneous idea that hit me right then so I haven't really thought through any of the ramifications and/or possibilities. But I guess the one thing I had in mind was the interrogation scene in AOTC when Dooku sort of tried to implicate Qui Gon in the entire scheme. Had George even remotely set up such a possibility (a possibility! not an indictment) of Qui Gon in TPM, then the layers that George was attempting to build in the Prequels would take true form. But instead, he is playing his hand as if he is making this for dumbsh** 6 year olds who he doesn't think have the ability to decipher anything more complicated than the HitPoints on a Pokemon card.

Jaff
12-14-2003, 02:03 AM
Stillakid Quote

Anyway, the Destroyer's were pretty cool, but why didn't they send more of them to surround the Jedi? Hmm?

Something that I found interesting was the organization of the Trade Federation army. One of the reason Destroyer Droids are not the main soldiers used for the army was because they are very expensive because they pack super fire power and shields. As a result they are used less, and very valued. The battle Droids are worthless and cheap, but in numbers they are something to fear. Your answer to the above question is that there were probably not too many of these droids in that section of the ship, or that they (the Nemodians) underestimated the Jedi and only called a few thinking that they were enough to stop them.

As for Obi-Wan speed running to save Qui-Gonn at the end of the film I would have to say that both Qui-Gonn and Obi-Wan were just running on fumes after fighting Maul for a bit. It had been years (perhaps their entire lives) since they had faught a formidible foe to the death in a lightsaber duel, and Maul was trained constantly on combat, while the Jedi was trained constantly on useless diplomacy. They were really in over their heads with Maul, and I'm sure they were so exasperated fighting Maul that they could not really grasp their abilities at the time. It's like one of us being thrown into a ring with a world heavyweight boxer with little training. We may see him jabbing, but we are so desperate to avoid his punches that we miss opportunities to counter.

stillakid
12-14-2003, 09:43 AM
Stillakid Quote

Anyway, the Destroyer's were pretty cool, but why didn't they send more of them to surround the Jedi? Hmm?

Something that I found interesting was the organization of the Trade Federation army. One of the reason Destroyer Droids are not the main soldiers used for the army was because they are very expensive because they pack super fire power and shields. As a result they are used less, and very valued. The battle Droids are worthless and cheap, but in numbers they are something to fear. Your answer to the above question is that there were probably not too many of these droids in that section of the ship, or that they (the Nemodians) underestimated the Jedi and only called a few thinking that they were enough to stop them.
Kind of like the precursor to the Stormtroopers and TIE fighters. A lot of just okay troops is just as good as a few really really great troops. :)


As for Obi-Wan speed running to save Qui-Gonn at the end of the film I would have to say that both Qui-Gonn and Obi-Wan were just running on fumes after fighting Maul for a bit. It had been years (perhaps their entire lives) since they had faught a formidible foe to the death in a lightsaber duel, and Maul was trained constantly on combat, while the Jedi was trained constantly on useless diplomacy. They were really in over their heads with Maul, and I'm sure they were so exasperated fighting Maul that they could not really grasp their abilities at the time. It's like one of us being thrown into a ring with a world heavyweight boxer with little training. We may see him jabbing, but we are so desperate to avoid his punches that we miss opportunities to counter.


I know, I know, there are a million aftermarket rationalizations why they could run Speedy Gonzales fast in the beginning but not at the end, but I'm tired of all this goofball-have-to-explain-it-all-afterwards-for-it-to-make-sense sh**.
;)

Mad Slanted Powers
12-14-2003, 06:04 PM
I thought this was a great scene. I finally get to see the Jedi in action, slicing droids and deflecting all the blaster fire. Then seeing Qui-Gon stick the lightsaber into that door was amazing, something I had not really considered a lightsaber doing. Then when the Destroyer Droids arrived, I was thinking "Holy cow what are those things they have to contend with now?" (I did not intend for that to rhyme.)

As for the super speed thing, I didn't really notice it at first. I thought they took off pretty fast, but I just figured it was the way it was edited that made it seem like they got down the hall quickly. After they took off, it switched to a shot of the destroyer droids and then back to the Jedi. Later on I learned that they did actually have some super speed and heard the explanation for why it was not used later. I can buy the explanation of them being tired in the Maul duel, but I guess I didn't think it was really necessary to give them super speed powers to begin with. But I guess if they can jump really high like we saw Luke do in ESB, then I suppose they can run fast.

stillakid
12-14-2003, 09:11 PM
As for Obi-Wan speed running to save Qui-Gonn at the end of the film I would have to say that both Qui-Gonn and Obi-Wan were just running on fumes after fighting Maul for a bit.


Aside from it just being stupid, I guess my objection to it is that we are being treated to random haphazard demonstrations of Jedi SuperPowers. If an author "shows" the reader a gun being put in a drawer in chapter one, it is reasonable to assume that at some point later in the story, somebody is going to pull it out and use it. So we're shown that Speedy One and Speedy Two escape from certain death with their latest SuperPower and we NEVER see it again in the course of 6 movies (I'm projecting that it won't come up again in Episode III). But forget that, we never see it again in TPM. And this after George sets up a situation in which that SuperPower would specifically come in handy to, you know, save a guy's life.

But I guess that's just my opinion even though logic would seem to suggest otherwise. :rolleyes:

arctangent
12-16-2003, 07:36 AM
RUNE
Have you ever encountered a Jedi Knight before, sir?

NUTE
Well, not exactly, but I don't...
(panicked)
Seal off the bridge...

RUNE
That won't be enough, sir.

i have always thought the dialogue between the neimodians was very stilted, especially nute's huge pause in the middle of the sentence above. it doesn't sound paniced just really badly spoken. it really grates on me.

Jaff
12-17-2003, 07:57 AM
17. INT. FEDERATION BATTLESHIP - BRIDGE

NUTE and RUNE stand on the bridge, watching the view screen as the WHEEL DROIDS' POV speeds to the doorway.

RUNE
We have them on the run, sir... they're no match for destroyer droids.

TEY HOW
Sir, a transmission from the planet.

17. CONTINUED

RUNE
It's Queen Amidala herself.

NUTE
At last we're getting results.

On the view screen, QUEEN AMIDALA appears in her throne room. Wearing her elaborate headdress and robes, she sits, surrounded by the GOVERNING COUNCIL and FOUR HANDMAIDENS.

NUTE
Again you come before me, Your highness. The Federation is pleased.

AMIDALA
You will not be pleased when you hear what I have to say, Viceroy... Your trade boycott has ended.

NUTE smirks at RUNE.

NUTE
I was not aware of such a failure.

AMIDALA
I have word that the Senate is finally voting on this blockade of yours.

NUTE
I take it you know the outcome. I wonder why they bothered to vote.

AMIDALA
Enough of this pretense, Viceroy! I'm aware the Chancellor's Ambassadors are with you now, and that you have been commanded to reach a settlement.

NUTE
I know nothing about any Ambassadors... you must be mistaken.

AMIDALA, surprised at his reaction, studies him carefully.

AMIDALA
Beware, Viceroy... the Federation is going too far this time.

NUTE
Your Majesty, we would never do anything without the approval of the Senate. You assume too much. Good day.

The QUEEN fades off, and the view screen goes black.

RUNE
She's right, the Senate will never...


17. CONTINUED (2)

NUTE
It's too late now.

RUNE
Do you think she suspects an attack?

NUTE
I don't know, but we must move quickly to disrupt all communications down there.

18. INT. NABOO PALACE - THRONE ROOM

The QUEEN, EIRTAE, SACHE and her Governor, SIO BIBBLE, stand before a hologram of SENATOR PALPATINE, a thin, kindly man.

PALPATINE
...How could that be true? I have assurances from the Chancellor... his Ambassadors did arrive. It must be the... get... negotiate...

The hologram of PALPATINE sputters and fades away.

AMIDALA
Senator Palpatine, we're losing you.
(turns to Panaka)
What's happening?

CAPTAIN PANAKA turns to his SERGEANT

CAPT. PANAKA
Check the transmission generators...

BIBBLE
A malfunction?

CAPT. PANAKA
It could be the Federation jamming us, Your Highness.

BIBBLE
A communications disruption can only mean one thing. Invasion!

AMIDALA
Don't jump to conclusions, Governor. The Federation would not dare to invade.

CAPT. PANAKA
The Senate would revoke their trade permits, and they would be finished for good.

AMIDALA
We must continue to rely on negotiation.
18. CONTINUED

BIBBLE
Negotiation? We've lost all communications!... and where are the Chancellors Ambassadors? How can we negotiate? We must prepare to defend ourselves.

CAPT. PANAKA
This is a dangerous situation, Your Highness. Our security volunteers will be no match against a battle-hardened Federation army.

AMIDALA
I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to war.

Jaff
12-17-2003, 07:59 AM
Where is the figure of TEY HOW? He/She is only one of the coolest Nemodianís ever made!

With that off my chest the introduction of Queen Amidala was something I wasnít sure about. Her elaborate outfits and clown make up (obviously homage to oriental stylings) seemed borrowed and overly detailed. We all know how Lucas pays more attention to details than direction and story, but Amidala just seemed excessive. After I got past my initial impression of her I soon grew to like her outfits and styling. Now that we are getting to details in the film I must say that Episode I is the most detailed film in the entire SW trilogy. I say this because Lucas has really spent time on every little prop on the film because unlike the first three films he has an infinite amount of funds and infinite control. Amidalaís unnecessarily detailed scar of Remembrance honoring the dead of Naboo on her lip is an example. Her dresses bubble lights that light up are also examples. Early in this film the details are very more predominant than any other film to date. Some may argue this point, and if thatís the case bring it on!

The first time I saw this film it was a little hard to keep up with what was going on, because it was so much information, and so fast, and not all of it was spelled out for us. I happen to like that, many others didnít claiming that Episode I was confusing. I could see how they could come to that conclusion but I would not concur one bit. By now weíve established that Palpy is Darth Sideous. For us fans Palpyís chin is very memorable from ROTJ, and we all knew that Ian was reprising his role so it was Dang obvious that it was Palpy. It was really nice that they casted Ian for the part once again by the way! At this point more of the curtain is being pulled away. The trade federation is blockading the planet because of law disputes (which tells us that something is wrong with the politics of the galaxy), and Naboo is on their own. Two Jedi are SECRETLY sent to Naboo. The Trade Federation panics, try to kill them, and we learn that they are merely puppets for Palpy who is obviously using them in his politics for some reason, or heís just a control freak trying to take over an innocent planet! In scene 18 it turns out that he is actually the Senator to Naboo, his home world! Now that was a neat twist showing that he would sell out his own people to get what he wants. Whether or not he was born on Naboo is in question, but he has adopted their stylings and represents them in the senate, thus this would be his home world. Later from some source (Iím not sure where, there are so many) I learned that Palpatineís original plan was to share the resources of the planet Naboo with the trade federation as part of their deal. He was planning to use the Trade Federation to become a martyr to a dying people to gain his Chancellor position in the senate, and he would get a whole planet to manipulate and pull the strings! This seemed to make sense to me because Palpatine is trying in Episode II to gather a bunch of worlds together to fight each other while using one planet: Kamino as his source of power. I think Naboo was his first choice to create a pact with the Federation to form a separatist alliance. Thatís my theory anyway. By the end of the movie I believe Palpy was aggravated at Amidala for thwarting his plan even though he made it through with his plan to become Chancellor. However I think Palpy still holds a very secret grudge towards Padme for her intervention in his plan, and he will no doubt get revenge on her through Anakin in the third film!

The senators were pretty nice (albeit eccentric in attire), and I sure would like to see more figures of them besides just Sio. Panaka was a really annoying character in Episode I. He is the most defeatist character in SW second only to C-3PO. Every line from here on out in the film is negative and defeatist. ďThere too many of them!Ē ďWe have no army.Ē ďYou canít take the queen there.Ē ďI do not agree with the Jedi on this.Ē and on and on and on. Donít take my word for it; watch the film again paying special attention to every line he says. After itís all said and done he is an annoying part of Episode I. I guess actor Hugh Quarshie had little to go on with his character. One could argue that heís just a precautionary security guard, but he is so melodramatic about it. Every line he says is strained with subtle panic and aggravation. They could have done allot better with this character!

stillakid
12-17-2003, 10:26 AM
Not a bad sequence really. It flowed well and got all the necessary information out in an economic manner minus extraneous hoopla. While I never minded Amidala's wardrobe, that talking thing she does has never ever made sense. I get it that she has a decoy or three, but what gives on the dumb low talking thing? Is that supposed to denote "regal" or something? If so, how come the new Queen in AOTC doesn't do it? Dumb dumb dumb.

Aside from that, I liked Bibble's almost flippant realistic evaluation of the situation. Screw the bad acting from characters like Panaka and that pilot guy, Bibble should have had a bigger role to play here.

But overall, not a bad sequence at all. :)

Jaff
12-20-2003, 11:55 PM
I'm sorry to say that this thread is going to be closed. Although the Scene by Scene idea seemed like a great idea to me, there are not many regular visitors to this post besides mainly stillakid and Tycho. Each post takes about an hour and a half to prepare (picture hunting, copying script, coments, research, and so on) there really is a less than enthusiastic turnout generated for such an in depth post. Although I'm sorry to abandon this idea I still want to do the classic trilogy since I have discussed many of the scenes with many of the actual actors/actresses, and an agent connected to them. I am sure many of you would enjoy that, but I won't consider it until after Wave by Wave is done. Perhaps if I do one on the Classic trilogy people would be more excited and more engaged to examine every detail of those films.

We will see!